Thor’s Land – click on any image for full size
Land of Thor is a huge setting designed by Thor (Anaadi Resident), who recently extended an invitation for Caitlyn and I to visit. Located on a Full region, it is one of the first places we’ve visited to make use of the additional 10K Land Impact allocation available to Full private region owners who wish to raise their overall total from 20K to 30K – and the additional allocation has been put to extensive use!
“The region is very loosely based on Norse Mythology,” Thor informed me when offering the invitation, “and has a lot of interesting places to discover.” Which, as it turned out, was something of an understatement!
The land itself, bathed in sunlight under a cold-looking blue sky and surrounded by tall, rugged peaks with flanks cloaked in fir trees, certainly has a Nordic feel – on arrival I was reaching for a woolly jumper. Roughly divided into four parts by river channels, the land is a curious set of contrasts, with each part named for one of the nine realms of Norse mythology.
The main landing point sit on the largest of these four parts: a huge table of rock occupying the north-west quadrant of the region. Sitting beneath a humped shoulder of rock from which rises Asgard, legendary home to the Æsir tribe of gods. Facing south, the landing point looks out over much lower-lying lands. A switchback path curls down to these lowlands from a slightly lower shelf of rock reached via stone steps, while a great waterfall plunges from a cleft in the great plateau.
Like its namesake, Asgard is surrounded in part by a (albeit low) wall, while smooth path of smooth stone snakes up to it from the west, where sits Yggdrasil, the mythical tree that connects the nine worlds in Norse cosmology. Travel north from the tree, and then west along the cliff edge of the plateau, and you’ll come by way of a grassy trail through avenues of trees leading east, to where a great stone arch spans a deep chasm, offering visitors a way to reach Alfheim (or Álfheimr, “Land Of The Elves” or “Elfland”). This is another highland area, rich in tall grass and where time seems to have stood still, sitting among low, pointed peaks of rock.
Below these northern heights sits Midgard, home of the humans in Old Norse, and for the region, the location of a modern-looking settlement broadly split into three parts: an open-air entertainments area sitting at the foot of the high cliffs of Asgard / the main landing point and separated from the rest of the town via a narrow channel. South of this, and straddling a small natural harbour, sits the rest of the town. Many of the houses are raised on stout wooden stilts, several of them brightly coloured, and fishing boats are tied-up at wharves, marking this as a working town, rather than a holiday setting. A large house – that of the mayor? – sits slightly elevated and a little separated from the rest, occupies the south-east corner of the land, and all of the houses are open to the public.
But this is not all; sitting under the plateau of Asgard, and reached via teleporter (look for the carved stone disks located around the region) or – for those keen of eye – via a hidden entrance curtained by water – is Helheim. Traditionally the abode of Hel, daughter of Loki, in this instance it is a place of winding tunnels and chambers. Easy to find one’s way into, but perhaps not so easy to find a way back out.
Helheim is sometimes linked with Niflheim (“land of Mist or “world of the darkness”), which is one of the locations only reached via the teleport system. Like its namesake, this a place of ice and snow – and home to another great castle-like hall, this one equipped as a club. Also accessed via the teleport system are Jotunheim (or Jötunheimr, the land of the Giants) and Svartalfheim.
For Land of Thor, Jotunheim is presented as an oriental / Japanese environment, although at least one giant is present near the landing point. Cobbled paths run through the landscape here, linking points of interest, which include an interpretation of FLW’s Fallingwater, and floating islands reached via ropes bridges, as well as a pagoda rising from a nearby peak – also reached via rope bridge.
In Norse mythology, Svartalfheim is the home of the svartálfar (“dark elves”). Here, and while dark (being underwater), it has more of a sci-fi / post-apocalyptic feel to it, with a particular emphasis on a certain sci-fi franchise. It can also be reached without teleporting – for those travelling far enough through Helheim’s tunnels.
Even with all this description, I’m still only scratching the surface of Thor’s Land. There are paths to be explored, trails to follow, houses and castles to be examined, hidden walkways to be found, dragons to be ridden – and places to simply set and relax. There’s obviously a lot to photograph as well, for those so minded, and the region has a dedicated Fickr group to which images can be submitted.
Eclectic, eye-catching, detailed, and surprising, Land of Thor makes for an engrossing and worthwhile visit.
- Land of Thor main landing point (Mirrors Edge, rated: Adult)