Real Name: Askella

Identity/Class: Extradimensional (Asgardian) rock troll

Occupation: Prophetess, sorceress

Group Membership: Rock Trolls of Asgard

Affiliations: Giants of Jotunheim (including Snorth) and other enemies of Asgard, Horskuld, Otny, Svin, Troll king (possibly Geirrodur), wind giant

Enemies: Asgardian gods, Grim Magnus, Greyval Grimson, Oddbrand Otter, Odin, Sygnet

Known Relatives: Svin (apparent son, deceased);
    I'm not certain whether Otny is her son or not

Aliases: "Trollwitch," "Witchwoman"

Base of Operations: Unrevealed; possibly Niffleheim or Hel;
    formerly the caverns beneath Gundershelm, on the Asgardian landmass

First Appearance: Marvel Graphic Novel No. 15: The Raven Banner (1985)

Powers/Abilities: Askella had numerous magical abilities, including shape-shifting, scrying images of distant events from pools, prophecy, taking a wind-like form to transport herself great distances at high speed, and unleashing and directing other mystic creatures, such as a wind giant.

    As a troll, she likely had superhuman strength, even in her small, frail, aged state; perhaps lifting 2-5 tons. She would similarly have superhuman endurance and durability, as a troll's hide is far tougher than human skin. When not moving via her wind-form, her speed is may be less than an elderly human woman. She is accustomed to seeing in the dark -- via vision extending into the infra-red spectrum -- and breathing lower levels of oxygen. She would be immune to most terrestrial diseases and aged at extremely slow rate, with a lifespan measuring centuries, if not millennia.

Height: Unrevealed; approximately 4'10"
Weight: Unrevealed;
Eyes: Unrevealed; dark, likely brown
Hair: Gray or white; her body may be covered with coarse, orange fur, as is common with trolls

(Marvel Graphic Novel #15: The Raven Banner (fb) - BTS) - During a battle between Asgard and its enemies, Greyval Grimson -- son of Grim Magnus, bearer of the Raven Banner, which assured Asgard's victory but at the cost of the standard bearer's life -- strode off to battle, but then three Trolls (possibly including Svin and Otney) rushed up, slid his sword out of its sheathe, and ran off laughing. Greyval gave chase, and the trolls led him to their Troll kingdom beneath dark Gundershelm, where they got him intoxicated with their honeyed wine. The trolls assured Greyval that another god would retrieve the Banner should Grim Magnus fall, and that another family would thus take over the role of dying for Asgard, freeing him from that unwanted destiny, Greyval sang and danced with the Trolls.
    When Grim Magnus fell in battle, Greyval was not there to take over the Raven Banner, and the trolls instead stole it.

(Marvel Graphic Novel #15: The Raven Banner) - After the Asgardians' victory on the Plain of Ida and the death of Grim Magnus, Askella brought word to the trolls. Greyval was pleased for the victory but saddened by his father's death, though he incorrectly assumed another Asgardian had taken up the Banner and freed him from its destiny. As Greyval departed to return to his beloved Sygnet in preparation for their wedding, Askella noted to the troll king (Geirrodur?) that Greyval believed the trolls to be the gods' allies; she prophesied that soon enough the weak-willed Greyval would return to kneel as vassal at their feet until the bottomless Abyss of Shadows filled with blood.

(Marvel Graphic Novel #15: The Raven Banner - BTS) - Greyval learned of the Banner's loss and was guided by his new bride, Sygnet, to seek Odin's leave to retrieve the Banner. Odin was disappointed in Greyval and had instead granted his cousin Horskuld the mission of reclaiming the Banner, but Balder convinced Odin to allow him to guide Greyval in a separate search. During their quest, Balder progressively honed Greyval into a noble, brave, and skilled warrior.
    Frustrated by his own lack of success, the haughty Horskuld was duped by the troll Otny, who convinced him to come to their kingdom where his honor had earned him the right to bear the Raven Banner.

(Marvel Graphic Novel #15: The Raven Banner - BTS) - Askella and Svin posed as a widow (presumably some lesser goddess) and her son in a cottage with a boat on the edge of the Sea of Marmora.

(Marvel Graphic Novel #15: The Raven Banner) - Needing to cross the Sea of Marmora, Balder and Greyval (along with their new ally Oddbrand Otter) approached the cottage, and the disguised Askella told them her boat was indeed for hire, as she filled her cupboard with the charity of strangers. As they reached a patch of smooth sailing, the ferrywoman advised her passengers to sleep to renew their strength. Greyval had his allies rest while he pondered recent events while listening to the sea. Voicing his thoughts that some find treasure on the waves while others drown and share the whale's grave, the ferrywoman embraced Greyval, telling him his godly form's beauty had stirred passion's flame within her breast. She asked him to sail with her beyond destiny to the carefree land of trolls where they could be lovers for eternity. When Greyval forced her away, she revealed her true form, as did Svin, who rushed Greyval. When Greyval impaled Svin, Askella released a wind giant from a mystic pouch, summoning it to howl forth free, by the rune of raw winter; she then instructed it to wrack the craft and rack the godling's soul -- to darkest Hel with him. As Balder, Greyval, and Oddbrand where cast into the stormy waters, Askella took her own air-like form and flew off to the kingdom of the trolls to win another soul there.

(Marvel Graphic Novel #15: The Raven Banner - BTS) - Oddbrand used a magic bottle to contain the wind giant, and the three allies arrived on the far shore of Marmora.

(Marvel Graphic Novel #15: The Raven Banner) - Askella showed Horskuld a vision of Sygnet falling prey to other trolls, who took her to a hidden cave. Askella asked Horskuld if he would like to break Sygnet's spirit like a wild steed to her will; when he acknowledged that he would, she told him to come with her, and they would give him bracelets of hammered gold to woo Sygnet, and the Raven Banner to win her heart. Horskuld told her to lead on.

(Marvel Graphic Novel #15: The Raven Banner) - Back in the kingdom of the trolls, Askella watched as the other trolls plied Horskuld with drink, stoking his ego, and eventually leading him to renounce Asgard and serve as their champion.

(Marvel Graphic Novel #15: The Raven Banner - BTS) - Askella traveled to the cavern in which Sygnet was being held. She took Sygnet's form and awaited in a nearby cavern.

(Marvel Graphic Novel #15: The Raven Banner) - When Greyval overcame the giant Snoth, who was guarding Sygnet, Askella, in Sygnet's form, rushed forward and embraced him. She told Greyval had been a hasty fool to send him off and asked him to give up his ill-starred quest, take her home, and let them live as lovers. Greyval was confused, but then Oddbrand's torch showed the shadow of "Sygnet" to be Askella's. When Greyval grabbed her by the throat, Askella gave him the key to chamber, from which the real Sygnet was released. Askella begged for mercy, but Greyval cast her into Sygnet's former cell, and Oddbrand dropped the key into his mystic bag, then wished that the key would be whisked to magic worlds never to open this door again.

Comments: Created by Alan Zelenetz and Charles Vess.

Profile by Snood.

No KNOWN connections to:

images: (without ads)
Marvel Graphic Novel No. 15: The Raven Banner, story pg. 7, panel 3 (full, shadows);
    pg. 39, panel 5 & 7 (illusory widow form - body and face);
    pg. 44, panel 6 (windform);
    pg. 46, panel 7 (face);
    pg. 53, panel 8 (shadow while in Sygnet's form)

Marvel Graphic Novel No. 15: The Raven Banner (1985) - Alan Zelenetz (writer), Charles Vess (artist), Ralph Macchio (editor)

Last updated: 02/21/14

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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