See why Hel has it in for the Vikings battling for Asgard

Up until recently, Sega's been relatively tight-lipped about the storyline surrounding Viking: Battle for Asgard.

Sure, we know the basic premise – Hel, the aptly named goddess of the underworld, unleashes her minions of wannabe Uruk-hai upon the vikings of Midgard. After Hel slaughters everything that breathes, the goddess Freya shows up to resurrect one of Midgard's fallen, Skarin, and imbues him with extraordinary powers. It's now up to Skarin to avenge his fellow vikings.

While that may sum up enough for some, we've been left wondering why Hel is hatin' on the poor vikings in the first place. Well, Sega recently cleared the air on Hel's intentions by giving us a full character background with some saucy images of this naughty little vixen and even more gameplay screens. Read on to see Hel's full character background straight from Sega's mouth.

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A fierce struggle is taking place within the realm of the Norse Gods. The Goddess Hel has been banished for defying Odin, Lord of Asgard. Angry at her fate, Hel has raised an army of resurrected Viking warriors to wipe out all of humanity in the mortal realm of Midgard, seeking to bring about Ragnarok - the apocalyptic battle that that will destroy Asgard and the Gods themselves. The task of stopping Hel and defending the future of mankind falls to Skarin, a promising but deeply flawed young warrior, ignorant of the true reason for his favour with the Gods ...

Hel is the offspring of Loki, Norse god of chaos. She wishes to begin Ragnarok - the Norse apocalypse – to bring about the Age of the Underworld Gods. Hel was not always evil, but she was banished by Odin, some say, for plotting with her father to overthrow Midgard; others say for asking too many questions about the nature of the Gods and Valhalla.

The more common belief is that she annoyed Freya, primarily because Hel used to be very beautiful, and it was Freya who orchestrated the whole thing. Like Freya, Hel cannot interfere directly with Midgard, but she does have supreme power in the Underworld and, like Freya, she can also influence others to work for her.

As part of her curse Hel cannot assume the shape of a mortal in the same way that other Gods and Goddesses (Freya) can. Instead she must literally take over mortals' bodies. And although she chooses the most beautiful maidens on Midgard, Hel's proximity to Evil and the Underworld means that it's only a matter of time before they start to become withered and corrupted - a literal representation of what she has lost and what she has become.

Hel believes the Asgardian Gods to be vain, selfish, arrogant and extremely elitist. This belief is typified by man's afterlife in Valhalla. Hel believes that this 'heaven' should be open for all not reserved for the select – who just spend their days drinking and eating! She desires to initiate the age of the Underworld Gods and create a New Valhalla that is open to all whether they died a 'valiant' death or not.

Unfortunately what seems like a reasonable belief has been twisted into a fairly warped obsession and consequently Hel has started killing indiscriminately to bolster her underworld army. She's not even waiting for mortals to die natural deaths.

Hel is also very jealous and bitter towards Freya, especially as she blames Freya for getting her kicked out of Asgard in the first place. This only fuels her desire to take over Midgard and swing the balance of power in her favour.

Although she is essentially evil, Hel is far more of a tragic figure – in line with Medusa in Greek mythology.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.