A kingdom of men, elves and giants, forged in ancient times between the cold mists of Niflheim and the volcanic fires of Muspellheim, Yggdrasil is the land where the myths of the Norsemen, Saxons and other Germanic peoples originated
The native home of the Alfar (elves), Alfheim is a verdant realm of vast grasslands, glassy lakes, and dense forest. It is bound on its northern and eastern borders by the Nidafjoll, and by Wanaham to the south. Historically, the land – then known as Aelfham – was settled by the Four Harts towards the end of the Age of Primordials, and retained autonomy until the Aesir-Wena War. Accountable to Valhalla and the Gladsheim Parliament, the realm is governed by the democratic Alfheim Assembly. The Alfar are masters of agriculture, and their produce can be found in every corner of Yggdrasil, though their most famous crop – the golden apples – have long been forbidden.
Home of the Aesir (men), this realm is the seat of power in Yggdrasil. Once protected on all sides by mountains and ancient fortifications, its boasts an eclectic landscape of rocky highlands, golden fields, roaming forests, and vast swamps. Some of the most famous halls and strongholds were built here, none more iconic than Valhalla, the Royal Palace at the heart of Stellerheim. Asgard was settled long ago by men from the East, expanding from the wooden village of Idavoll to an affluent realm as powerful as any in Octavia. In centuries gone by, it was accessible only by air or via the Rainbow Bridge, Bifrost, but now it welcomes immigrants from all around the world.
The permafrost realm in the northernmost reaches of Yggdrasil, Hel enjoys almost no light from the Aether, nor has it since the Dawn Age. It is named after its former ruler, the wraithlike giantess Hel, a daughter of the infamous Loki. Since being absorbed into the Kingdom of Yggdrasil, the isolated and treacherous landscape of ice and rock has been home to criminals, incarcerated in the subterranean facility of Nastrond. Hel is largely populated now by Niflungar (elves) and Hrimthursar (ogres), drawn by employment as prison wardens, and the dark secrets that exist beneath the mountains.
The largest realm of Yggdrasil, it is the native home of the Jotnar (giants), and boasts vast tracts of forest and farmland as well as barren wildernesses, all bound by some of Octavia’s bleakest mountain ranges. Often a harsh environment, Jotunheim has reared some of Yggdrasil’s roughest clans, steeping its history in blood and oppression. The Jotnar were embroiled in conflict with the Aesir for millennia, and only since Ragnarok have the two races set aside their differences. The old fortress city of Utgard remains the capital of Jotunheim, but a few of Octavia’s most mysterious and supernatural locations can be found here.
Myrkvid: Spanning hundreds of miles across both Jotunheim and Wanaham, Myrkvid is the largest forest in Yggdrasil. With a towering canopy of pine and rowan in the east, it hides several infamous sites from Jotunheim’s history, including the giant Geirröd’s former keep, and the nearby gorge where his daughter almost drowned Thor.
Located on a great peninsula in Southern Yggdrasil, Muspellheim is a volcanic realm that can be as volatile as its inhabitants. Settled by foreign pioneers during the Age of Primordials, its natives are now the Muspellsynir (fire giants) who isolated themselves for millennia. Concealed on the bleak mountainsides, the halls and manses of Muspellheim boast a wealth of obsidian, and it is there that the last murmurs of admiration for Ragnarok can be found.
In Yggdrasil’s Northeast lie the rocky mountains and barren wastelands of Nidavellir, native home of the Dvergar (dwarfs). A desolate realm to view from above, its beauty can be found in the vast subterranean caves and underground cities, for its denizens are sensitive to light. While other races travel by skystallion, the Dvergar prefer flying mechanical boars, designed by the master smiths among them. Famous as they are, though, Nidavellir’s halls of red gold are rarely frequented by outsiders, but they can be accessed via the great gates below the Nidafjoll.
Pre-dating the unification of Yggdrasil, Niflheim was the earliest inhabited of the realms. The desolate wildernesses and glacial landscapes are the ancestral home of the Hrimthursar (ogres), though only a handful of communities remain. Included among its landmarks are the eleven Elivagar rivers, springing from the northern mountains which form a border with Hel, and Aurgelmir’s Glacier, named after history’s most notorious Hrimthurs.
Wanaham – or Vanaheim to the Aesir – is a heavily-forested realm in Western Yggdrasil, settled during the Age of Immortals by the Wena (men) who had come from the West. Some of the region’s largest towns and cities, such as Noaton, lie on the southern coast, while a few can be found nestled amid the dense woodland. Following the Aesir-Wena War, the realm’s leaders relocated to Asgard as part of a political truce, and Wanaham has answered to Valhalla ever since. In exchange, however, the Valkyrie Academy at Folkwang has produced some of Yggdrasil’s most feared warriors, serving as protectors of the Royal Palace for millennia.
Myrkvid: Spanning hundreds of miles across both Jotunheim and Wanaham, Myrkvid is the largest forest in Yggdrasil. Its western reaches host vast tracts of oak, ash and hawthorn, while mangroves surround some of the lakes and rivers hidden beneath its entangled canopy. It is also home to an array of creatures, including rumours of Lindormar (dragons) in its most isolated corners.