Yggdrasil, the Mother of Trees, the World Ash

[ Index | Mount Olympus | Oceanus | The Staircase | The Styx | Yggdrasil | FAQs ]
[ Crossroads | Ar-en-Gereh | Via Romana | New Paths | Planar Waterways | Miscellaneous ]

[ What is Yggdrasil? | Tales from the Tree ]

Welcome to Yggdrasil
By Darcmikel -- Planar Grey Elf and Sensate
(by Michael J Meyers and Jon Winter)
Lady's Grace! My name is Darcmikel and Voilá!'s garnished me very well indeed to give you the chant on Yggdrasil, fellow planeswalkers.

Am I qualified? Listen cutter, I've slept with the Seelie Court, climbed in its branches, and dug 'twixt its roots. Even walked through a portal or few. And, as I've travelled the World Ash for over two centuries, I've found more than a few ways to traverse its expanse.

As any Guvner will tell you, "Everything, at some level, conforms to the Rule of Threes." And the World Ash is no different. You see there's three different parts to the tree: the roots, trunk, and the crown. Each area has different methods that can be used to get around.

The roots, more often than not, lead to the Lower Planes. Pandemonium, The Abyss, and The Gray Waste. Travelling here can sometimes be the hardest. Well, no harder than travellin' The Dismal Delve in Earth. Though many of the more commonly used paths are not so difficult to follow, they're also used by more 'walkers, thus, more encounters. The climate here is perpetually winter, and Yggdrasil's leaves are often withered, rotting, or the branches are bare. Don't be fooled by appearances though, cutter, the World Ash is still very much alive!

Watch out for Nidhogg, too, if you're tromping around the roots. Chant goes it's a massive dragon that gnaws at the roots of the World Ash, and has been forever. When it finally bites all the way through, Yggdrasil will come crashing down, bringing half the planes with it. I imagine Nidhogg gets sick of the taste of wood, and the occasional traveller would spice up his menu no end...

On the other hand, the trunk can be one of the easiest to cross. I say cross; because, sometimes, you have to climb the trunk and it seems like days go by. Other times, it's a few scarce miles and hours.

For the most part, colour pools in the trunk region lead to Asgard, with its direct connection with the ground, and Arborea, as it grows up to stretch out its first branches. The odd (and I mean odd) connection to Limbo also can be found here, typically through cavities and caves at the base of the tree.

Branches can be easy to navigate in the Beastlands, but in parts of Elysium a fall can be treacherous. Luckily, many of Elysium's inhabitants have made catches and placed nets under the more travelled branches. And I've even heard of paths in the air and on clusters of leaves that lead to Bytopia or even Mount Celestia. Branches can sometimes force you to travel down the tree in order to get on another trunk division.

As any Guvner worth his salt would also tell you, "There's almost always a loophole." In this case, two. Portals to the Prime seems to sprout up anywhere on the tree as do those to the Outlands.

It would be prudent to note that when travelling on Yggdrasil, it's not always necessary to go through a portal or gate. Though there are plenty of those, most assuredly, and they can be found under and through branches, in crevices and knotholes, and under roots. Most often, though, one finds certain areas of the tree connected to areas of a plane, manifesting as a tremendous ash tree in one place or perhaps a grove of young ashes somewhere else. You can step through one of these connections and off the Great Tree without even realising it, cutter.

Lastly, though the Seelie Court moves throughout the planes of its own free will, it members often move about Yggdrasil in quite a different manner. See there are enchanted places, root-covered banks, ash groves, and pools with great trees over them, that the World Ash touches. If you sleep or even pass out in these places you could find yourself someplace else when you come to. Waking up in Pandemonium is not the best cure for a hang over.

Unless you don't care where your going, I suggest you find a guide. The ratatosk, stags and birds can often help, but there are many others that know the routes as well. And, if you can befriend one of the faerie they can often show you an enchanted area to sleep at, if they're not pulling a prank.

I think that will help you find your way in Yggdrasil's shadow and through all it touches.

Related Topics

What is Yggdrasil?

Being an overview of the Pathway, its history and mythology, recorded by Voilá!.

Tales from the Tree

Being a collection of stories, journal entires and chant concerning the World Ash, including the prize-winning "The Lizard, the Squirrel and the Dryad" by Matthew David.

Ratatosk as a PC Race

The squirrel-people of the World Ash are available as a PC race using these optional rules. More fun than you can shake an acorn at, they're here for your perusal.
Copyright 1998 by Jon Winter and respective authors,
artwork by Jeremiah Golden and Jon Winter

Consult the Mimir Again