Wight of the Nine Worlds


I welcome thee free spirit, which thou shalt come with an open heart, open mind and an open soul, for what you are about to read can only be understood by the wise who are eager to learn and to embrace the roots deep and forgotten in the hearts of the free people of Europe, by accepting who you are and where your roots lie, is half way into the great road of life. We will journey unto where our spirit takes us with the knowledge we gained. Learn and teach.

Jotunheim Part V


Jotunheim is the richest world of the Nine for the sheer number and diversity of the animals present. Here, the Ice Age megafauna still live, although they have died out in our world. Cave bears, cave lions, sabertooth tigers, hyenadons, dire wolves, mammoths and mastodons, and enormous crocodilians are just some of the predators hunted by the etins, even as they hunt other prey themselves. (You will also find the megafauna as totems used by the Jotunheim tribes.) The one thing you won't find is any kind of primate; there are no monkeys swinging through the foliage. There are, however, many other sorts of small scurrying prey animal.
Insects can be fierce in the wetter, swampier areas, and many of them are poisonous. The Jotnar shift shape to keep them off, and it may not occur to a Jotun guide that you may be vulnerable to them. Make sure that you ask about it before setting out on a trip. There are also poisonous snakes to worry about. In the colder evergreen forests, your biggest problem will be tripping over tangled tree roots and crashing through thorny thickets while being chased by large predators. Either come ready to shapeshift into something fast, or bring Jotun guides and helpers. Make sure that you pay them well.


For more information on Jotunkind in general, see the chapter on the Jotnar as a species and their general habits. Jotunheim has the widest variety of Jotnar - actually, the widest variety of intelligent creatures - of any world of the Nine. The malleable, shapeshifting nature of the etins has created a wide array of characteristics, and representatives of each of them live in various places. Intermarriage is rife; there are no taboos against one sort of etin marrying another sort of etin, and in fact bringing new bloodlines to a tribe is considered a good thing, so etins often "go wandering" when the urge to settle down with a mate seizes them. Throwbacks are common, and wide variations can occur even among siblings. An example is the marriage of Farbauti and Laufey; he is mostly of fire-giant blood with the Iron Wood taint, and she is a mix of fire-giant, earth-giant, sea-giant, and frost-giant (and yes, a mix like this is not uncommon in Jotunheim). Their three children consist of Loki, who is clearly fiery and carries the Iron Wood blood; Helblindi who takes after his sea-giant relatives, and Byleistr who is a frost-giant throwback. As a race, the etins of Jotunheim are vigorous, hardy, and wonderfully diverse.
Most of Jotunheim still works on a gatherer rather than an agricultural economy, as the terrain is unsuited to plowing and planting. On the other hand, Jotnar are experts at arboriculture, and have bred and selected trees that will bear substitutes for almost anything that can be field- grown. Orcharding and tree-culture is one of the few food-producing areas where they shine, and even the Vanir admit to having learned this art from them. Over seventy varieties of nut trees produce nuts up to the size of a giant's hand, in many different flavors, which are ground for flour. Tree fruits and berries provide a large portion of the diet, and certain trees are grown simply for the young leaves and shoots from root-suckers, blanched and tender from growing in the understories. The inner barks of some trees provide spices, and there are even a number of specially-bred parasitic herbs that will attach themselves to tree-limbs, creating an aerial herb garden. The "white herbs" of the forest floor, blanched from lack of sunlight, are especially valued for medicinal purposes.
The ideal forest etin-bride's home is carved out of an enormous tree, hundreds of feet up in the canopy so that sunlight can come in through the eave windows, with fruit and nut trees trained up beside it so that their bounty is within reach, and aerial herb and flower gardens implanted on the huge branches. A spiral staircase may twine around the trunk to the forest floor, or a particularly paranoid etin-woman may forgo the staircase and simply have a rope ladder that can be let down or pulled up as she chooses.
Jotunfolk of the few open areas live in stone-hut villages with thatched twig roofs, usually centered around a central hill where the bones of the seasonal sacrifices are hung from poles. Mammoth-tusks and the huge bones of the megafauna are commonly seen pressed into use as beams, rafters, and furniture.
If you see a house built entirely of bones, it is likely to be the local hedge-witch or wise- woman. There are many such in Jotunheim, some more or less locally famous, but they do not exist to teach you whatever they know. This is something that many travellers need to understand before they get themselves in trouble. If a wise etin wishes to tutor you in something, they will approach you, or let you know that you have an appointment with them. While the idea of going on a quest to seek them out seems romantic, that's not the way they work. Some folk have managed to get themselves astrally killed and eaten by such naive and demanding behavior. This is not a peaceful and easy world, and its inhabitants are neither. Be careful and courteous, and be ready to take no for an answer.

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