Some say it was the same area as Asgard, but was still a scattered village rather than an armed encampment, and that only after the war did its focus become one of warcraft and of developing the culture of the Aesir.
Asgard was carved out of the neckbones of Ymir by the brothers Odin, Vili, and Ve in their great task of worldmaking. The great wall around it was demolished by the Vanir during the war between the two races. It was later repaired, but not by the Aesir; they hired a great frost-etin, Hrimthurs, to build it for them. With the aid of his magic draft-horse, Svadilfari, he did do, but his price - the hand of the Vanir goddess Freyja - was not met. Odin promised him Freyja if he could get Asgard finished before summer's end, and then promptly hired Loki to mess up and delay the work so that Hrimthurs would not have to be paid. When the giant discovered how he had been duped, he flew into a rage, which then gave Thor an excuse to kill him. His dead body was changed into a standing stone at the border of Asgard, but the beauty of the city's white walls is a mute testimony to the work of this wronged giant.
Time and Seasons:
Asgard is the smallest world of the Nine, and the Aesir are the race with the smallest numbers. (Still, when you are there, it seems immense.) It was created not to house millions, but to be a pinnacle of both beauty and defensive capability, looking down from the height of the World Tree onto the other worlds. Its geography is largely rolling hills and valleys, with a few flat plains, and one mountain range far to the north. The Vanaheim Ocean borders on its western coast, with a great bay, largely given over to Njord and his ships. The Thund Thvitr river, huge and deep, surrounds the remainder of its borders, running along the northern mountains of Jotunheim and dividing the two worlds, then bordering Alfheim in the south and rejoining the ocean again.
The Thund Thvitr is not only so deep that it is said that only Thor can cross it with relative safety, it is heavily enchanted. It will rise up against anyone who tries to cross it, unless they are a denizen of Asgard or have an appointment there. No boat will reach its far side unless the Aesir will it so, and it will rise and flood its borders at a word from them. The river has swallowed many bodies of ambitious Jotnar who decided to cross it and attack the White Realm. The Alfar have never cared even to try; getting appointments into Asgard is much easier for them, as they are allies of the Aesir. (However, there is a good deal of expected diplomatic traffic in and out of Asgard.) The Thund Thvitr is filled with tumbling whitewater, and the Aesir once set a long stretch of it on fire, with Odin's magic, in order to repel the invading giant Thiazi. The Vanaheim Ocean obeys the commands of the Vanir and the sea-etins, right up to within several miles of the Asgard coast, but they Vanir would never allow a Jotun invasion of Asgard by sea, due to their alliance oaths.
The white walls of Asgard are huge and impressive, gleaming in the sun; a great ring around the entire world, just a quarter mile inland from the coast and the riverside. The walls, too, will belch flames half a mile high as a defense against flying enemies. The great main gate is called Valgrind and is bound in iron, ten times the height of a man. Rather than having specific cities, Asgard is organized around various halls and their courts. None of them are more than a day's ride apart - this is a not a large world - and some, such as Gladsheim, Fensalir, Valaskjalf, and Valhalla, are right next to each other in a combination that some folk might mistake for a city. There are sixteen major halls in Asgard that are known to us, as well as a multitude of small halls belonging to minor deities that satellite around the major ones.
The plain of Vigrid is the largest and emptiest part of this world. Nothing grows there and no one lives there. It is a hundred and twenty leagues wide, an enormous patch of brown dust on one end of the Golden World. This is the future battlefield for the possible Ragnarok, and the Aesir have put a great deal of time and effort into laying battle enchantments on it, in order to further their chances of winning against Hela's infinite troops. The layers of battle-magic have grown so thick there that nothing can grow or live for long, and visitors are advised to avoid it and observe only from a distance.
There are two small "pocket-realms" near Asgard, called Andlang and Vidblain. They mostly seem to be high-class "summer vacation spots" for the upper-class Alfar, which the Aesir may rent to them. Little is known about them except that mortals are not allowed there.
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