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Vikings: The Raid of Yggdrasil

Vikings: The Raid of Yggdrasil

James Butler
by JBConceptArt on 24 May 2022 for Rookie Awards 2022

"Vikings: The Raid of Yggdrasil" is narrative surrounding the idea of Vikings that have progressed into a sci-fi setting. The main aim of this project was to develop upon my asset creation and my worldbuilding ability through the creation of keyframes and modular assets.

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This is an original project I developed as the submission for my final year Leeds Arts University. It was a concept art project that I developed into an art book.

" Following a meteor event on Earth, the Vikings advanced much faster than in our history and progressed to space travel in roughly 1070 AD. Believing space travel was traversing “Yggdrasil”, the life tree, they thought they would be able to eventually find the other realms spoke about in their religion. However, when their travel began they realised the universe was not as they thought and instead began to raid planets in search of the sacred material that made all of this possible many years before. This lead to the planet Avalon... "

"Midgaard", I made this piece to show the loading station of the Vikings before their travel into space. This piece was done to highlight my Mothership design and how the Vikings would load it up for travel.

This is the Mothership design for the Vikings. The ship was inspired by Norse motifs such as the Raven, whilst remaining geometric as a call back to the symbol for Mjölnir. It would also act as a settlement for the Vikings by being large enough to house many people.

This is the Raidship design for the Vikings. This would be their primary mode of transport to and from the Mothership as its counterpart would never land. This was inspired the design of Viking helmets and would be used to transport people and cargo, in and out of orbit.


I wanted to give the Vikings an industrial look whilst staying close to my source material. I decided to combine traditional Viking armour with aviation equipment from the Cold War to achieve this.

The Vikings axe was designed to be a modular weapon that can both be a hatchet and a battle-axe. I have also added a pickaxe head to the rear of the blade so that it could be used as a mining tool in their planetary raids.

As I decided for Avalon to be a canyon-like planet, I chose to make the people of Avalon reminiscent of reptiles. With hard and scaled skin. However, I also wanted them to still appear almost human so I decided to keep their general anatomy humanoid.

The sword design was inspired by scimitars as I felt that the tribal people of Avalon would have a more delicate and traditional weapon design. I have added makeshift elements to the design to reinforce the more native nature of the people.


The canyon lift is a means of transport up and down the vast heights of Avalon. I designed it to operate with a vertical lift system that is altered by lowering weight opposite to a platform.

As the people of Avalon haven't yet discovered electricity. They instead capture these insects that can be found in abundance, which are similar to fireflies. They then use many of these inside a lamp to light their villages.

The resource of Avalon is vital to the plot of my narrative and it is what the Vikings are their to take. It can be used a rich power source when heated and is found within the world of Avalon. 

I was inspired by Star Wars when designing this project and it is because of this I chose for the people of Avalon to live within tree habitats. These extremely large trees are spread all over the planets surface and resemble that of Baobab trees. I chose this as just like Baobab trees, these are hollowed out and are therefore able to be lived in. 

Narrative thumbnails and my 3D assets. (The planet and rope bridge are paid for assets that I have used in my project, they don't require crediting).


The Approach - The first image in my narrative. - "Upon their travels through space, the Vikings have happened to discover the origin of the crystal that made this evolutionary advancement possible. After scanning the planet for a safe landing spot, the Vikings begin their descent upon Avalon to pillage without mercy".

Avalon Establishing Shot - The second image in my narrative - "At the dawn of a new day, three warriors of Avalon stand at the top of there homes to witness the descent of the Vikings upon their land".

Standoff - The third image in my narrative - "Even with the defences of Avalon, they were no match for the relentless pillage and slaughter that the Vikings brought down on them. With Avalon fallen to the Vikings, One lone warrior stands to defend her home and the material that flows through their planet".

The Harvest - The fourth and final image in my narrative - "Following the fall of Avalon, the Vikings begin their mining and gathering of the Avalon crystal. Ready to load up and take there loot back to the Mothership".

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