Real Name: Niord
Identity/Class: Normal human (Aesir) (Hyborian Era)
Occupation: Warrior, leader
Group Membership: His tribe
Affiliations: Fellow tribe members (notably Bragi, Helga), Gorm
Worm and its hairy herald;
Known Relatives: None
Aliases: James Allison (future incarnation)
Base of Operations: Mobile from the Aesir to the Pictish lands.
First Appearance: The Valley of the Worm (in Weird Tales, February, 1934); Supernatural Thrillers#3 (April, 1973) (Marvel appearance)
Powers/Abilities: Niord was a powerful, brave and resilient warrior who was very skilled in various weapons. He was a fast thinker and able to adapt strategy to win battles.
(Supernatural Thrillers#3 (fb) - BTS) - Niord led his Aesir tribe southward into new lands.
(Supernatural Thrillers#3 (fb)) - Niord and his tribe approached a jungle. Fellow warrior Bragi voiced concern of nearby beating drums and they camped overnight. The next morning, they were attacked by Picts and launched themselves into fierce and bloody battle, including the women. Niord was in a savage duel with a Pict called Gorm, but was eventually able to knock him down with a hard bash from his shield. Admiring the Pict's bravery and battle skills, Niord stopped Helga from bashing his head open with a rock. Niord's tribe was eventually able to force the Picts to flee, and watched as his Aesir tribe farewelled their dead on funeral pyres and looted the slain Picts that were afterwards thrown off the cliff. Niord kept Gorm, helping him back to health, and they learned some of each other's language. Niord accepted Gorm's offer to forge peace between their mutual tribes and let him go. Days later, Niord welcomed Gorm and his tribe back and peace was sworn by both tribes. Niord hunted with Gorm, learning of new valleys and beasts like the giant serpent Satha. One day, they ventured near a ruined stone temple but Gorm hesitated, telling Niord of the place's deadly history. In the next instant, a saber-toothed tiger attacked, but Niord was able to slay it despite severe wounds. Gorm nursed him back to health. Meanwhile, Bragi led his clan to settle nearby, but this was near the old temple.
Finally recovered, Niord went to visit Bragi but instead found all slain in that encampment. Finding a nearby track from a sliding creature, Niord resolved to find the killer of Bragi's clan, but was stopped by the sudden appearance of Gorm, who had likewise found the devastation while on a hunt. The two built a funeral pyre for the dead and Niord planned his revenge, demanding that Gorm find Satha, but also stating that he knew Satha had not massacred his fellow Aesir. Once in the southern jungle, Niord prepared a deadly trap for Satha and killed it before harvesting the venom to coat his arrowheads. Niord then painted his face and sang a death-song as a ritual for the coming confrontation with the beast that Gorm called the Dark One and from which he did not expect to survive. Gorm did not follow him to the temple, so Niord went alone, throwing rocks into the massive carved hole there to waken the monster deep inside. The Dark One's herald, a shaggy, feral humanoid appeared playing a weird musical pipe. The hairy creature was quickly felled by an arrow fired by Niord, who was surprised to see the piping continued even after the instrument had dropped away. Niord ran a short distance and scaled a nearby pillar and readied his bow and arrows, despite being shocked by the Worm's monstrous appearance and size. Niord loosed all his arrows at the vicious creature before jumping on its back and repeatedly stabbing it. Niord was fiercely thrown aside by the Worm, half his bones broken as he crashed through the trees. Niord watched as the dying creature lurched back into its pit where the temple walls then fell. Gorm rushed to his aid and heard the Aesir's dying words that this tale be spread across tribes and villages: that the Aesir will not be preyed upon by man, beast or devil. Gorm mourned his death.
(Supernatural Thrillers#3) - In the modern era, James Allison recalled several past incarnations as he lay on his deathbed, including the warriors Hialmar and Horsa, but most notably that of the blond warrior Niord.
Comments: Created by Ron E. Howard. Developed for Marvel by Roy Thomas & Gerry Conway (script), Gil Kane (pencils) and Ernie Chua (inks).
This is a very good adaption of the R.E.H. short story.
Per Degaton notes that:
Niord and his people invoked Ymir.
Supernatural Thrillers#5 discusses the timeframe of when this story took place in the letters page (stated as possibly being before Kull, between Kull and Conan, or even after Conan - however, the landmasses were different than now, suggesting that it was the Hyborian age).
Allison, the future incarnation of Niord, thought of the stories of Perseus, Saint George, and Sigurd as "racial memories" of Niord's battle.
Profile by Grendel Prime.
Niord has no known connections to:
Gorm was one of the Pictish warriors who opposed Niord's approaching tribe. He and Niord were evenly matched until Niord downed him with a blow to the head using his shield. Admired by Niord for his bravery and resilience, Gorm was cared for by the Aesir, and he later offered and delivered peace between the two opposing tribes. He and Niord became firm friends, going on hunting trips and identifying the ominous temple of the Worm, telling Niord of the past destruction wrought by the fierce creature. He nursed Niord back to health after an attack by a Longtooth (saber-toothed tiger) and helped Niord in realizing his plan to destroy the deadly Worm, although he was afraid to go to the temple himself. He later tried to help Niord recover after the savage fight, but watched him die. Gorm mourned the loss of his friend and fellow warrior.
Satha was a giant serpent that hunted in the jungle near Gorm's tribe. The Picts feared and avoided the snake, but knew where it was located. Niord ordered Gorm take him to this place, eventually trapping the enormous serpent under a massive log before lopping off its head and harvesting its deadly venom to coat his arrowheads.
Called the Dark One by the Picts, the Worm was an ancient and massive predator that dwelt in a ruined temple. Long ago, the Picts came across this temple and heard a weird piping before the attack of the beast, with hundreds slaughtered; few spoke of what happened, but they avoided the area. The Aesir clan of Bragi unwittingly settled near the temple and were likewise all killed by the monstrous creature. The Aesir leader Niord was determined to destroy the enormous Worm, goading it to come up and attack, but was shocked when the monster revealed itself. It was preceded by a shaggy humanoid that played pipes as if to announce the Worm's impending arrival, but the apish being was killed by Niord. When the Worm lurched out into the light, it picked up the furred figure and threw it away using one of its leg-like tentacles. Niord was finally able to kill it using poisoned arrows and sword thrusts as it lumbered back into its pit to die.
Supernatural Thriller#3, p4, pan3 (main image)
Supernatural Thrillers#3 (April, 1973) - Roy Thomas & Gerry Conway (adaptation), Gil Kane (pencils), Ernie Chan (inks)
Last updated: 10/18/10
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