Jörmungandr, the World Serpent
Jörmungandr is the second son of Loki and Angrboða, and the brother of Fenrir and Hel. Early in life, the seeress Völva prophesied that he would cause great destruction and chaos during the events leading to Ragnarök. The seeress said that Jörmungandr would spew venom over the land, causing the sea to rise up and flood the world. Finally, she said that he was also fated to fatally wound Thor before being killed himself.
To prevent these happenings, Odin banished Jörmungandr from Asgard by throwing him into the sea. He stayed on the edge of the realm, living on islands and beaches emerging to engage in the ongoing blood feud between Thor and himself. Finally, Odin’s banishment was escalated and he was forbidden to return within sight of land or face death. So that he would not drown in the ocean, his father Loki stole a longship, a fast and maneuverable boat for Jörmungandr to take on his journeys alone.
He sailed around the world, seeking targets that were poorly defended and vulnerable such as temples of worship or villages. Once ashore, he would swiftly attack the unsuspecting innocents, quickly overwhelming their defenders with his superior weaponry, tactics and sheer ferocity. He would loot and plunder the area, taking whatever of value that he desired, usually with unusual violence, and would destroy whatever was left behind.
Once he acquired enough wealth and power to pull together arms, servants and more ships, he eventually sailed to the Americas.
The Travels of Jörmungandr
As a soul, he is strongly inclined toward evil, and his legends are usually retold as the deeds of some sort of serpent, dragon or demon.
Among the Aztecs, he was known as el Dragón de Tlatelolco. The legends depicted him as a giant, fire-breathing dragon that lived on an enormous villa on the lake near the city of Tlatelolco. He was driven from the realm by the hero Huitzilopochtli.
Among the Mayans, he was known as the Seven Macaw who claimed to be descended from powerful and great gods and demanded tribute and offerings from the people. However, the hero twins Hunahpu and Xbalanque saw through Seven Macaw’s lies and deceit, and decided to challenge him. They shot out his false teeth, causing him to lose his power and prestige, and revealing him as a mere mortal with no special abilities.
Driven south, Jörmungandr journeyed to the realm of the Incas of South America. There, he was known as Amaru and described as a powerful and malevolent being that terrorized the people of the Andes. He was said to have a body as thick as a tree trunk and a mouth that could swallow whole villages. Amaru demanded tribute from the people, and those who refused to comply were brutally killed by him. In order to defeat Amaru, the Inca emperor Pachacuti dispatched his greatest warrior, Yupanqui. The hero embarked on a perilous journey to Amaru’s fortress, armed with a magical weapon powered by the gods. When Yupanqui arrived at the lair, he challenged Amaru to a battle. The two engaged in a fierce struggle, with Amaru striking and biting at Yupanqui with his razor-sharp teeth. But Yupanqui remained steadfast, and with a single blow from his weapon, he seriously injured Amaru and drove him from the land.
Next, he journeyed across the sea to the islands of Polynesia. Much as he had in the Americas, Jörmungandr terrorized and conquered the common people who lived in great fear of his wrath. There, he was known as Taniwha, described as a fierce and powerful serpent with a long, winding body that stretched for miles, and was capable of swallowing ships whole. The people of the region lived in fear of the beast, and many had lost their lives in failed attempts to slay him. It wasn’t until the demigod Maui was sent to exile him that he moved on to the next realm.
With no wealth and power remaining, Jörmungandr journeyed to Malyasia where he initiated his previous ways of pillaging. There, he settled on the island of Pulau Ujong (future Singapore) and terrorized the indigenous peoples of Orang Laut. He came to be known as the Dragon of Red Hill, occupying a cave on the southernmost point of the island overlooking the sea. Believed to be a fearsome beast, he terrorized the local villagers, savagely killing people and livestock alike. The villagers were terrified and prayed for help until a great hero named Nila Pahlawan journeyed to Jörmungandr’s cave to confront him. Nila Pahlawan was known for his strength and bravery, and he was determined to rid the people of Pulau Ujong of the threat. Nila defeated Jörmungandr, who was driven back to the sea again.
Next, Jörmungandr sailed west, settling on the massive island of Madagascar. He pillaged and looted the villages of the eastern-most coasts until he sailed around to the other side of the island to settle. There, he was known by the name of Mangindusa and continued his reign of terror and demands until the great hero named Rasoherina tricked him into eating a poisoned rat. Weakened by the meat, Rasoherina drove Jörmungandr from Madagascar.
Jörmungandr was known as The Great Python by the Igbo peoples of Nigeria. He was revered and feared with such great terror, it was believed he himself was one of the gods. Finally, Ovuduke defeated The Python with a magical machete in a long and grueling battle.
Returning home to blood, glory and prophecy
By this time, Jörmungandr had effectively circled the globe. He had amassed a wealth of knowledge, as well as literal wealth, and an armory of exotic weapons from around the globe. Although summoned by his father to fight in Ragnarök, he was never as ready to return to Asgard.
Finally, he joined his father’s army to defeat the gods. Thor confronted him, but unlike the great heroes that came for him in the past, Jörmungandr was imbued with the winds of prophecy and a bloodlust of ages. Thor wielded his mighty hammer, Mjolnir, and struck many blows against Jörmungandr, but not before Jörmungandr’s poisonous weapons struck Thor in return.
In the end, he hurled Mjolnir at Jörmungandr with all his strength, and the blow is so powerful that it manages to crush his body against a mountain. However, Thor had been poisoned by Jörmungandr’s weapons in turn and died almost immediately after, succumbing to his injuries.
Jörmungandr is a soul spun out by the Wheel frequently. He is an agent of evil balancing the Pattern with darker threads. If there was an evil dark equivalent of the Heroes of the Horn, he would be one. Instead, he is often spun out opposite a great hero and usually perishes at their hand.
1st Age – Syndicate leader Zixin Kao.
2nd Age – He would have been a contributor to the Collapse, the hundred years prior to the War of Shadow broke when society became sick and twisted. He ran the gladiatorial rings that saw people fight to the death, usually profiting off the money earned. If he survives long enough, he would have joined the Shadow in the war.
3rd Age – A darkfriend loyal to the Dreadlord Arikan who survives the persecution of Arikan’s followers after the defeat at Tar Valon.
4th Age – This would be the rebirth in which he is at his most powerful. A channeler serving the Emperor of Seanchan, his name goes down in legend as a demon that inspires future Hebrew mythologies of the following Ages. He was depicted with a lion’s head and a serpentine body with eagle wings.
5th Age – Aži Dahāka (Persian), depicted as a three-headed dragon with a body filled with lizards and snakes that could infect the world when released, and wings that can darken the skies when fully spread. He was a servant of Ahriman, the father of lies and personification of evil in Persian mythology.
7th Age – Beowulf’s Bane (Germanic). He is the final enemy of the hero, Beowulf and described as a nocturnal, treasure-hoarding, inquisitive, vengeful, fire-breathing creature that mortally wounds Beowulf just before being slain himself.