The Power of Asgard has grown, and, with it, so too has the span of its control. Originally, the realm consisted only of the Nine Worlds resting upon the length of the World Tree Yggdrasil, but, over time, Asgard has cast her own shadows and has begin colonizing those realms nearest to it, forming the Iron Ring. Beyond these more native pieces of soil, Asgard has also established its presence throughout the shadows of Creation, adopting and/or taking embassies as well as fortified holdings.
Inner Asgard and the Nine Worlds
The NIne Core Worlds of Asgard lie behind the Gates, metaphysical barriers established by the Great Rune. Although may paths allow those with the power to do so to cross these portals, for most, these inner lands are locked beyond anything but imagination. Luckily, this concept works both way, preventing some of the more dangerous of these inhabitants from escaping into the realms beyond.
The Spatial Geography of the Nine Worlds
The lands of Asgard and its associated Worlds are most easily understood when they are considered in terms of a cylinder. From Asgard on high to the lowest depths of Nilflheim, the worlds circle the Great Ash Yggdrasil as it descends.
The Iron Ring
Arrayed in an ever-growing sphere around the Great Rune, the Iron Ring consists of an increasing number of shadows that fall under Asgard’s control. Home to their own races and peoples, these shadows have rapidly found themselves playing host to Asgardian settlers (most commonly led by retired Warband leaders) who spread the Power’s culture and society within their realms.
The largest city in the Iron Ring is the capital of Hrafnborg.
Outposts and Embassies
Asgard has established various points of presence throughout the Creation. Political embassies, Warband recruiting offices, fortified shadows, and even private entertainment clubs (such as the Gullnahol) all fulfill their purpose – ensuring that knowledge of, and access to, Asgardian culture is available in all lands.
Yggdrasil: The Tree of Life
In the middle of Asgard, where the gods lives, is Yggdrasil. Yggdrasil is the tree of life. It is an eternal green Ash tree; the branches stretches out over all of the nine worlds, and extend up and above the heavens. Four deer run across the branches of the tree and eat the buds; they represent the four winds. There are other inhabitants of the tree, such as the squirrel Ratatosk (“swift teeth”), a notorious gossip, and Vidofnir (“tree snake”), the golden cock that perches on the topmost bough. The roots are gnawed upon by Nidhogg and other serpents. On the day of Ragnarok, the fire giant Surt will set the tree on fire.
The Roots of Yggdrasil
The three roots of the World Tree reach downward into the realms of Asgard, Jotunheim, and Niflheim are located.
The Three Wells
Three wells lie at the base of each of Yggdrasil’s roots:
- At the base of one of the great World Tree’s roots lies the well called Urdarbrunnr, or Urda’s Well. This extremely holy well is presided over by three Jotun maidens, who it is said are hideous to look at. These Norn maidens go by the names of Urda, ( Past ), Verdandi, ( Present ), and Skuld, ( Future ). These wise maidens established the laws that men were to follow, and they hold the past, manipulate the present, and weave the future. Two swans drink from this well, and are as white, ” As the film that lies within the eggshell”. The mud at the bottom of the well is also this purest of white shades, and it is said that a dew falls on the valley below keeping it evergreen. The Norns water Yggdrasil’s root daily so that it will not rot damaging the great World Tree. This well is also where the Gods hold Their court of justice.
- The next well, which actually was the first to be formed, is Hvergelmir which exists in Niflheim. From this well, or spring, flow the rivers: Svol, Gunnthra, Fjorm, Fimbulthul, Slid, Hrid, Sylg, Ylg, Vid, Leipt, and Gjoll. Gjoll it is said flows directly in front of Hel’s gate. It is described in Gylfaggining this way, ” And the third root extends over Niflheim, and under that root is the well Hvergelmir”. Here it is said the serpent, or dragon, Nidhogg resides. Nidhogg constantly gnaws at the great root and will in the end eat through it and unbalance the great ash tree, but this will not occur until Ragnarok.
- The final well is Mimisbrunnr, Mimir’s Well, which is, ” located in the direction of the Frost Ogres”. In this well is “hidden” wisdom and understanding. It is guarded by Mimir and his children, and to drink from its holy waters you must give a personal sacrifice. Mimir is the wisest of Gods because he drinks from the well daily from the horn Gjoll. Wise Odin consulted the head of Mimir even after it was seperated from his body by the Vanir who were not happy with Hoenir. It was into these holy waters that All – Father sacrificed his eye, as a pledge, for a single drink of these waters of wisdom.
The Bifrost, or Rainbow Bridge, is a gateway or portal connecting Asgard to other Realms. Most commonly used to travel to the other Eight Worlds, it can be tethered to other lands through the use of rituals.
The Bifrost was, historically, guarded by the Aesir god Heimdall. Since the raising of Asgard, Heimdall is still missing, and the guardianship of the bridge has fallen to the King Who Reigns.