articles : nine worlds
"But where is here?" Audrey said bleakly.
"Good question," said Jenny. "It's nowhere on Earth; I know that from what I saw out the window."
"The Shadow World," Dee said. "Remember the instructions? A world that's like ours but different, that exists alongside ours, but never touches it."
" 'Some people call it the world of dreams, but it is as real as anything else....'" Jenny quoted. "Well, it touched our world tonight, anyway. What's wrong now, Audrey?"
"It just occurred to me. You know, in Norse and German legends there are supposed to be nine worlds-our world's just the one in the middle."
"Nine?" said Jenny.

The Hunter pg Collector's Edition

Yggdrasil also known as the "Cosmic Tree", "World Tree", "The Terrible One's Horse", "Ygg's horse", "Ask Yggdrasil", "Hoddmimir's Wood", "Laerad", or "Odin's Steed". Yggdrasil from the Old Norse "Mimameidr" is an ash tree and is the holy place of the Æsir, a place where they hold their court. The branches of Yggdrasil extend over the whole world and spread upwards to the sky. Three roots support the tree and they extend extremely far, one among the Æsir to Asgard, under the root is a very sacred well called Urdarbrunn (well of fate) which is guarded by the Norns; the second lies among the frost giants, under this root lies Mimir's well containing wisdom and knowledge; the third spreads over Niflheim and under the root lies Hvergelmir (roaring kettle), where Nidhogg and other serpents gnaws at the root's bottom. A golden cock, Vidofnir (tree snake), sits in the topmost branches of the ash; he is very knowledgeable and between his eyes sits a hawk called Vedrfolnir. A squirrel called Ratatosk (swift teeth) runs up and down the branches carrying vicious words between the eagle and Nidhogg. Four stags wander in the ash's branches and browse on the foliage; they represent the four winds and are named Dain, Dvalin/Davalar, Duneyr and Durathror. The serpents in Hvergelmir are called Goin, Moin, Grabak, Grafvollud, Ofnir and Svafnir.

chess pieceAsgard is one of the nine worlds and homeland to the race of warrior gods, the Æsir. Asgard is located on the highest level of the Norse universe and surrounded by a high wall of fitted stone blocks, which were built by Blast (or Hrimthurs), who asked for the hand of Freya, the sun and the moon for payment. Odin agreed providing the walls were built within six months. Blast had a magic horse, called Svadifari, who helped him in his work. With but a few days left Blast was almost finished the work, much to the horror of Odin and the other god's, especially Freya. Loki the trickster turned himself into a mare and lured the stallion Svadifari away, and therefore the job was not completed and no payment was given. Around the wall is a magical river, which the gods set on fire to kill the giant Thjazi. In the middle of Asgard lies the plain of Idavoll (or Ida) where the Æsir meet to decide important issues. There the gods assemble in the hall of Gladsheim and the goddesses in the hall Vingolf. A bridge called B´frost connects Asgard to the Underworld. There are two heavens above Asgard called Andlang and Vidblain.

Vanaheim is the home of the Vanir and is located in Asgard on the highest level of the universe. Their leader is Njord.

Niflheim from the Old Norse Niflheimr is the world of the dead, of primal ice and is the house of mists. It is located in the far northern region of icy fogs and mists, darkness and cold. It is on the lowest level of the universe. Helheim, the realm of the dead, is part of the vast cold region. Niflheim lies underneath the ethir root of Yggdrasil, close to the spring Hvergelmir (roaring cauldron). Also on this level is Nastrond, the Shore of Corpses, where the Nidhogg serpent eats the corpses and gnaws on the roots of Yggdrasil. After Ragnar÷k there will be a hall here for the punishment of murderers, oath breakers and philanderers.

Muspelheim, from the Old Norse Múspell, is the land of fire giants and primal fire, the first world to exist and is ruled by the fire giant, Surt, whose wife is Sinmore. In Norse mythology, Muspell or Muspellheim (home of desolation) is a flaming, hot region, and the land of fire far to the south. It is opposed to Niflheim and whose animating beams made the ice in Niflheim melt and created the first living beings. The celestial bodies were made from its sparks, which flew out into space. At Ragnarok, Surt will set the World Tree on fire and kill the unarmed god Freyr.

Jotunheim is the homeland of the frost giants and the rock giants. It is on the middle level of the Norse universe, it is separated from Asgard by the river Iving, which never freezes over, and it lies in the snowy regions on the outermost shores of the ocean. Mimir's well of wisdom is located in Jotunheim, beneath the Midgard root of Yggdrasil. Jotunheim is ruled by Thrym (uproar), the highly feared king of the frost giants. The stronghold of Utgard, the chief city of Jotunheim and the abode of the giants is ruled by the giant Utgard-Loki. Other strongholds include Gastropnir, home of the giantess Menglad and Thrymheim (house of uproar), mountain stronghold of the giant Thiazi.

Midgard is the land of humans and is known as the middle world or middle garden. It is on the same level as Nidavellir (land of the dwarves), Svartalfheim (land of the dark elves/dwarfs) and Jotunheim (land of the giants). In Norse myth, the gods built a defensive fortress around the middle portion of the earth in order to protect mankind from the giants.

Alfheim (elf home) or Ljøsalfheimr, is the land of the light elves and is located on the highest level of the Norse universe and is the palace of the Freyr. Neither the lights elves nor the dark elves, from Svartalfheim, participate in any of the events described in Norse myths. Elves however do have active roles in the literature of other branches of Indo-European mythology.

Helheim (house of Hel) or Hel is the realm of the dead and is ruled by Hel, the monstrous daughter of Loki and his mistress Angrboda. Helheim is located in the world of Niflheim on the lowest level of the Norse universe. No one may leave this place, because of the impassable river Gjoll that flows from the spring Hvergelmir and encircles Helheim. Once one enters Helheim, they are there forever and not even the gods can leave. Those who die of old age or disease and those not killed in battle go to Helheim while those who die bravely on the battlefield go to Valhalla. Garm, a monstrous hound, and Modgud guard the entrance to Helheim. The giant Hraesvelg (corpse eater) sit at the edge of the world, overlooking Helheim and in the form of an eagle with flapping wings he makes the wind blow.

Svartalfheim is the land of the dark elves and dark dwarves. A subterranean world of darkness where shapes are forged.

Nidavellir is the land of dwarves.

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