Agents of STRIKE
The Hyborian Age
An Asgardian name for a period that predates all known written human history, the Hyborian Age was, according to Asgardian sources, an age of magic and war that sounded more akin to fantasy stories than any kind of historical record.
Asgardians are notorious for speaking in metaphor and abstraction, and consider advanced technology and magic to be synonymous concepts, so it is extremely difficult to tell how much of their stories of the Hyborian Age are literally true and how much are allegorical.
For clarity’s sake, this section has presented information in accordance with our most accurate historical record we have been able to recreate, with Asgardian terminology or concepts for these ideas noted as such.
The First Giant (Time Unknown)
Avoiding Asgardian creation mythos which are largely nonsensical and unimportant, the most important detail is at some unknown point prior to the Hyborian Age, some extra-terrestrial non-human entity that they call “Ymir the First Giant” arrived on Earth (which they call Midgard) and empowered a portion of humanity into the Asgardians. It’s worth noting that Asgardians are not born superhuman; as they grow older they gain some measure of power, and then when mature they undergo a coming-of-age ritual where they are exposed to a crystalline material that the Asgardians call the “Norn Stones”. This material appears to be the same material we have identified as Terrigen Crystals. According to their myths, the Norn Stones were granted to the Asgardians by Ymir.
Ymir was very clearly a Celestial, the same sort of being that has visited other species in the galaxy and created similar kinds of “Eternals”.
At some point, Ymir left the Asgardians. Their myths and legends are mixed as to why and they don’t seem to agree on the reasons. It’s something that happened thousands of years ago and no living Asgardian seems to have been there when it happened.
King Bor Ascends
The Asgardians mastered what they call “magic” during this period, and crowned a new king, Bor. This formally began the Hyborian Age. The Asgardians began trading with other, non-enhanced humans and teaching them “magic” as well.
The Frost Giants Arrive
Kree Science Navy explorers arrived on Earth. They were looking for assets to potentially use against the Skrull Empire. Technically, they were at peace in accordance with the Xandar Treaty, but the Galactic Cold War was ongoing and both sides were looking for an edge to undermine the other.
The Asgardians call the Kree “Frost Giants” for their blue skin and large stature, and considered them an invading force. The two species fought, with the Kree gaining the upper hand. The Kree, at first, also believed the Asgardians were not native to Earth, and did not realize they are the result of Celestial interference.
The Retreat to Asgard
King Bor created the Bifrost, some kind of portal or wormhole that accesses either a remote planet or dimension or both, and the Asgardians left Earth to the Kree. They called their new home Asgard, and they periodically returned to Earth to skirmish with the Kree.
The Kree scientists began to experiment on the humans. Now that they realized that Asgardians are genetically modified humans, they attempt to recreate the Celestials’ work, trying to turn humans into super-weapons against the Skrulls. They also interbred with the humans, producing Kree-human hybrids that we have later started calling Inhumans.
Eventually, the Kree concluded that they have to “activate” the extranormal potential of an Inhuman by exposing them to the Terrigen Crystals/Norn Stones, and began to do so. This proved enormously successful, creating superpowered entities beyond anything the Kree scientists had imagined. They established a permanent outpost on the Moon using Kree space-fold technology, which later became the Inhuman city of Attilan.
Skrulls arrives on Earth, having learned of the Kree plot. They attempted to interfere, infiltrating human societies and turning the humans against the Kree. The Asgardians called them “Serpent-Men” because of their reptilian nature, and they become one of the dominant empires of Hyborian civilization, Stygia. The Kree and Skrulls on Earth tried to avoid engaging each other directly to avoid violating the Xandar Treaty, and instead acted through intermediaries and agents.
The Experiment Ends
For reasons that are not clear, the Kree Supreme Intelligence determined that the Inhuman experiment needed to end immediately. Perhaps it decided that the experiment was too close to violating the Xandar Treaty, or was a threat to the Empire. It’s not clear. What is known is that the Kree Empire dispatched Accusers to eliminate the Kree scientists, purge Attilan, and hunt down every Inhuman they could find. The Skrulls, not wanting to fight with Kree Accusers, fled Earth, and the Asgardians retreated back across the Bifrost and would not return for centuries. The Hyborian Age essentially ended with the decision of a computer thousands of light years away.