The captivating realm of Thor’s Land in Second Life

Land of Thor, February 2021

Land of Thor is possibly one of the most unusual and engaging realms we’ve visited in Second Life. Described as being “loosely based on Norse mythology”, we  found the region to be an engaging curio of exploration during the time of our first visit back in February 2018, whilst a recent return to visit one of the art galleries within the region see: Moni and Traci at Midgard Gallery in Second Life) gave rise to a desire to re-visit and explore once more. In doing so, we discovered that much has changed – and also remained somehow the same – greatly adding to the region’s appeal as a place to be explored.

Surrounded by mountains and itself a rugged domain with changes in elevation marked by great cliffs and domed hills which are home to, or guardians of, high tables of rock and land, the region can be somewhat divided into areas that take their name from Norse mythology: Niflheimr (“land of Mist or “world of the darkness”);  Álfheimr (“Land Of the Elves” or “Elfland”); Jötunheimr (the land of the Giants); Vanaheimr (“home of the Vanir“) Midgardr (“middle enclosure”or Earth) and Seidr Gallery, which I assume is a reference to seiðr, or old Norse magic.

Land of Thor, February 2021

A teleport system available at the landing point provides a quick means of jumping between these locations – but I would strongly suggest avoiding it; paths and stairs also interconnect almost the entire region and offer a far more rewarding means of seeing all that it has to offer, including the secrets that might otherwise remain hidden. I  should also note that for those wanting to eschew walking and teleport system, a dragon ride might also be taken to fly around the region (or you might try pulling Mjölnir from the rock in which it is partly embedded and whirling it around to fly from point to point – but good luck with that! 🙂 )..

Each of the realms noted above presents a different aspect of Land of Thor to enjoy, reflecting – at least in part – the realms from which they take their names.

Land of Thor, February 2021

For example, Álfheimr, lying to the north-east of the region remains unchanged since our original visit of three years ago – just as one might expect of a land that is home to ageless elves. With its garden-like setting (complete with somewhat Arthurian elements that add to the overall mysticism of the region) and its rather delightfully eclectic mix of ideas and objects, Álfheimr remains a place to relax as time seems to stand frozen, as indicated by the clocks with hands that never move, one of which has doves caught forever within a beat of their wings  hanging in the air above it, and the little trains that forever circle their tracks, never arriving at their destination.

Similarly, Jötunheimr sits on a high plateau and a tall peak to the south-east, marked by the presence of huge figures who – if I might borrow from a more modern mythology, that of Babylon 5 – appear in part as “giants in the playground”, disinterested in the little people who might roam the landscape, instead enjoying the views their high perches afford, and in the case of one, looking set to launch a Spitfire into the air (perhaps the ‘plane is a new airborne ride for the local Valkyrie? 🙂 ).

Land of Thor, February 2021

Midgardr, meanwhile, occupies the region’s lowlands, which are more extensive than you might think. A deep gorge cuts into the region from the south, presenting a sheltered bay in which a town has sprung up. But no abode of Vikings is this; with its large warehouse, brick-built shops, street lighting, bicycles and more, it is a thoroughly modern setting, albeit one watched over by whatever gods might dwell within the high castles above.

These lowlands also skirt the plateaus to offer paths around the water’s edge that may take visitors by way of streams and bridges to low-lying houses sitting at the water’s edge and the realm of Vanaheimr, or to the broad meadow of Niflheimr. It is here that – if not already found as a result of wandering feet and carefully prying eyes – a secret of the region is revealed: there is as much to be found underground as above it.

Land of Thor, February 2021

For beneath and within the high tables of rock and the peaks that in place rise from them are great caverns awaiting discovery. Admittedly, at the time of our visit, one of the – and the most obvious to spot, simply because it is still being worked on – sits under the cliffs to the north of Niflheimr, in the roots of the uplands that present more elements of the region to be appreciated, from gardens to  a coffee shop and summer houses an waterfalls. The other caverns are all homes to art galleries, one of which is fairly extensive and has secrets of its own to be revealed by careful explorers (make sure you follow all of the arrows!).

Dominating the region are two great castles, one of which was present at our last visit. Neither appears to be directly accessible, although they are connected one to another by their own teleport system (which includes a hidden nod to Asgard’s Bifrost) and a great elevated stone causeway. Given their isolated nature, I assume they are the private residences of Land of Thor’s designers, Thor (Anaadi) – who also holds the region – and Selim Noland.

Land of Thor, February 2021

I mentioned above that “almost” all of the public places within the region can be reached on foot as well as by the landing point teleport system. However, there is one exception, that of Seidr Gallery. This resides high in the sky over the region, thus requiring the use of the teleport in order to reach it. At the time of our visit, it was hosting art by みどり (Midori Rotaru), some of which can also be found within one of the ground-level gallery spaces.

Land of Thor is genuinely a place deserving of careful exploration as there is so much waiting to be found – not all of which I’ve covered here. It can place something of a load on a system when visiting, so a little juggling with settings might be required – but the rewards in doing so are more than worth it.

Land of Thor, February 2021

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