|"Once again, we return."|
- "I'm going to open everyone's eyes. I'll show them all. There are no messiahs."
Cassandra Igarashi, currently known as Urdr, is a reporter who investigated the 2010s Recurrence. Initially sceptical of the Pantheon's claims of divinity, she later joined their number as a god, though she remains critical of their behaviour. She is symbolised by a tree with many branches and roots.
Cassandra is a trans woman who has a Masters in Comparitive Mythology, and wrote her thesis on the Recurrence before becoming a journalist. Assuming a normal rate of progress through education, this suggests she is aged at least twenty-two.
The Faust Act Edit
On 1 January 2014, Cassandra interviewed Amaterasu after her performance, and expressed doubt about her claim of godhood, as she had seen the gods perform and did not feel anything. After Lucifer miraculously killed two gunmen who opened fire on the group, she commented to Cassandra that they had hidden their miracles to avoid scaring people. Cassandra attended the trial after the incident and witnessed the Judge Holmes murder.
Cassandra then met Laura at the National Portrait Gallery, and agreed to help with her investigation because she was intrigued by the idea of exposing a supernatural cover-up. She believed she had connections which would allow her to contact the Pantheon. The two continued a joint investigation until Lucifer's escape and subsequent death led to Laura becoming reclusive.
After Lucifer's death, Cassandra became rich from selling the footage of her final moments. At Fantheon, she agreed to help Laura continue her investigation. At one of Dionysus's parties, Cassandra was disturbed as she could not hear any music even though everyone was dancing. Woden, who was similarly unaffected, then approached her and offered her an interview with Ananke.
Halfway through this interview, Ananke announced that Cassandra was a god, and her transformation into Urdr took place. She then transformed her two-woman camera crew into her fellow Norns, Verdandi and Skuld.
Urdr's first performance took place at Ragnarock 2014. Just after her performance began, she was attacked by Baphomet, but The Morrigan intervened and Urdr was not harmed. She continued with her nihilistic performance, but was upset that the audience responded enthusiastically, failing to understand her message. She withdrew to her trailer, but Laura followed her and comforted her. Soon after, Laura, Inanna and Tara all appeared to die under mysterious circumstances.
Commercial Suicide Edit
After Tara's death, Urdr confronted Amaterasu about her privilege and cultural appropriation, which had long been a sore point for her. Amaterasu transported the two of them to Japan, where they began to fight. Amaterasu turned into a massive artificial sun in the sky above Hiroshima, which outraged Urdr, and she immediately told her how offensive she was being. They resolved some of their difficulties, and Amaterasu left, abandoning Urdr and the Norns in Japan.
Rising Action Edit
Urdr was able to return to England, however, as on 24 September, she met Persephone (a miraculously still-alive Laura) in front of the ruins of her old house. Persephone used her powers on her to explain that Ananke had attacked her and was responsible for Inanna's death. She also showed her the events surrounding her survival and attempted to recruit her in her plan to take down Ananke. Urdr refused to participate, telling her to go to the authorities instead, but was unable to stop the attack from happening. She eventually stepped in when Amaterasu asked her for help, and managed to calm down most of the gods so they could ensure Minerva's safety. They found her as she was about to be sacrificed by Ananke and battle ensued. Ananke was captured and claimed to be motivated by wanting to stop the Great Darkness. The gods were not receptive to her pleas. Persephone then killed Ananke, ignoring Urdr's pleas to leave her locked up in the Morrigan's cage. Not wanting to send Persephone to jail, she agreed to Baal's plan that they would call it self-defence, though with a great deal of frustration.
Imperial Phase (I) Edit
Following Ananke's death, Urdr's main goal was to figure out the purpose of the mysterious machine Ananke was using to sacrifice Minerva. She worked so hard she completely forgot about New Year's Eve. However, all she discovered was that a small device kept beeping, and that Woden had built the bomb Ananke sent to Persephone's gig. She and Persephone confronted him about it, but things quickly got out of hand and Persephone almost ended up killing him. He eventually promised to give up the Valkyries and help Urdr with her research.
It became clear that the Great Darkness was indeed a threat when they kidnapped Minerva rather suddenly. The gods held a Pantheon meeting to discuss how to face this new threat. While some, such as Baal and Amaterasu, argued that fighting the Great Darkness should be their main priority, Urdr insisted that they should instead focus on researching all the mysteries relating to the Recurrence, the Great Darkness included. Both groups were overruled, however, by Persephone and her allies, who decided that they didn't care about the Great Darkness and therefore should be able to do whatever they wanted.
Urdr continued her work anyway, and was joined by Woden and Dionysus who, unbeknownst to her, had fallen in love with her. They planned a gig in order to gather enough energy to power the machine and investigate its true purpose. She also asked David Blake for help, and in discovering more about his personal life, came to the conclusion that Woden was actually Blake's son, Jon. Meanwhile, Sakhmet went on a killing spree and Urdr attempted to track her down, both by using her divination powers and by requesting the Morrigan's help.
Imperial Phase (II) Edit
The gig went ahead anyway, but was disrupted by Woden knocking out the Norns and hijacking Dionysus' hivemind in order to gain control of the crowd. By the time Urdr regained consciousness, Dionysus had been rendered brain-dead by the Valkyries. Woden's mind control didn't work on the Norns, and he quickly scarpered when it became apparent they weren't going to submit to him. Urdr attempted to call Persephone for help, but she was already embroiled in a battle with Sakhmet, who was eventually killed.
At the end of an already chaotic day, Urdr and Persephone started up an argument, which resulted in them discovering a secret lair hidden in the depths of Valhalla. A boy was being kept prisoner there by Woden. He revealed that his true identity was Jon Blake, David Blake's son, and that he had been forced to join the Pantheon as the god Mimir. He had been unwilling to cooperate with Ananke, however, and so his father took his place by assuming the identity of Woden. He had been kept a prisoner in Valhalla for all this time, forced to make weapons for his father and Ananke. Blake entered the lair and trapped them all behind bars. After he left, Persephone confessed to Urdr that the reason she had been so destructive was because she felt responsible for her family's deaths, and Urdr comforted her. They then attempted to free Jon, but discovered his head detached from his body as he was apparently a machine.
Cassandra is a Japanese woman with short, dark brown hair and brown eyes. She typically wears black clothes and square-framed glasses. Since becoming a god, she wears her hair slicked back, with white streaks on either side. She also wears a great deal of black make-up around her eyes, which turn white when performing miracles. She continues to wear black clothes, though with the addition of a cloak.
Cassandra is often sarcastic and sceptical when discussing the Pantheon, and always searches for an ulterior motive. She says that her scepticism arises from bitterness, as she studied the Recurrence and was disappointed by the reality of it. Cassandra is inquisitive, argumentative, and passionate about fighting for the truth.
Laura asked Cassandra for help with her investigation, and although Cassandra was irritated by Laura's fannish admiration of the gods, she found Laura's connection to Lucifer useful. Over time, the two began to see each other as friends.
Lucifer took a mutual dislike to Cassandra, who saw her as a 'bitch' after Lucifer made a comment on her trans status. The two worked together reluctantly, but frequently exchanged verbal barbs, and Cassandra continued to resent her even after Lucifer belatedly apologised.
Amaterasu had an interview with Cassandra; even though the interview went poorly, she was friendly to Cassandra when they later encountered each other. Cassandra was very bitter towards Amaterasu however, wishing for her to refer to herself by her believed given name "Hazel", for she felt her acceptance of the title as a Japanese Sun god was racially insensitive.
Cassandra had a particular dislike of Woden due to his fetishisation of Asian women.
Cassandra has shown very little of her powers so far, but they have been shown to include:
- Power bestowal/hive mind: Her first display of power was seen when she realised her companions were fellow Norns, Verdandi and Skuld, helping them ascend to godhood in turn. The Norns are very much led by Cassandra (Urdr) and as such act in a hive mind, at times in a similar manner to Dionysus.
- With a finger click the trio were able to open the doors of Valhalla.
- Divination: As the Norns are known for being the gods of fate, they have the ability to seek out the truth. As such, they were able to discover the identities of Luci's attackers.
- Flight: During their encounter with Amaterasu the Norns seemed capable of flight, within what appeared to be a protective field of some kind. They were also shown flying in issue 22.
- Performance: When Cassandra and the Norns perform, everything, including themselves, appears black and white, with various phrases and thoughts being expressed to the audience. This effect causes the audience to revel, much to Cassandra's own annoyance.
Urdr is based on Urðr, one of the Norns of Norse mythology. Urðr is Norn of the Past, and along with Verðandi, Norn of the Present, and Skuld, Norn of the Future, she lives under the world-tree Yggrasil and decides people's destinies.
- Cassandra is the name of a famous prophet in Greek mythology, a fact Lucifer mocked.
- Influences on the design of The Norns include Savages, Elastica, Ladytron, Electrelane, Sleater-Kinney and McQueen.
- ↑ The fact that Cassandra has a master's degree indicates that she is at least twenty-two, and therefore must have been born around 1992 or earlier.
- ↑ Writer Notes: The Wicked + The Divine #9