|vargrond, the coldest city in Tibia, is situated on Hrodmir, the largest isle of the Ice Islands up in the far North.
Back in the olden days, Carlin had sent out explorers to the Ice Islands. The Svargrond we know today started out as the place where the ships from Carlin landed after their passage. This place was then soon used as a small trading post, as well as an ore depot right after the Carliners had begun their mining business in the mountains nearby.
The Hrodmir natives, called barbarians, had a nomadic lifestyle before the Carliners arrived. Some were interested in the more settled way of life of the travellers and they learned to appreciate the advantages. So a settlement was established, where the traders and explorers from Carlin resided together with the natives. They built robust houses to live in with the resources the Carliners had brought along.
Everything worked out well, until pretty suddenly, a mysterious plague of sea serpents made a safe passage from Carlin to Svargrond impossible for the beasts attacked the ships enroute. So the connection between Svargrond and Carlin was interrupted. The plague lasted several decades before it suddenly ended, just as mysteriously as it had begun.
That is not the only mystery from the past that is haunting Hrodmir, though. A lot can be learned about the rumours and mysteries by talking to the inhabitants, who have passed on stories and experiences from generation to generation. The North is full of cruel stories. We know that true adventurers cannot be stopped and some will go looking for evidence of the stories people tell, in hope traces have been preserved in the ice. However, we distance ourselves from such endeavors. You will be on your own once you set out into the ice desert. We do not suggest following rumours that send you deep in the Formorgar Mines, for example, to look for cultists trying to revive frozen demons in hope to conjure a mighty archdemon. You have to admit that running into an archdemon is a terrifying thought. You should really think twice about which risks you will put yourself in, apart from simply freezing to death.
Be that as it may, the long isolation of Svargrond due to the sea serpent plague was one of the reasons for severe conflicts among the native barbarians. Some of them had become accustomed to the settled life and preferred to continue living in Svargrond, others left to rejoin their brethren who had continued to live their nomadic lifestyle that they had been used to for many generations. The latter called themselves raiders from then on and retreated to the untamed wilderness of Hrodmir.
It is said that the raiders follow a shaman woman who has passed her 100th birthday quite a long time ago already. That woman might be yet another example of such an astounding mystery of the North.
The raiders set up their camps mainly in the south-western part of the island, bordering the glacier Formorgar. Their camps are named after the major clans: Ragnir, Bittermor and Krimhorn.
After the plague, contact between Svargrond and Carlin was re-established, and Svargrond began to prosper.
The people living on the ice continent believe in Chyll, also referred to as Father North Wind. He is said to be an unforgiving harsh God who has no mercy with the weak.
Druids and shamans who live in a sacred place called Nibelor, located to the north-east of Hrodmir, have determined their lives to trying to calm the wrath of Chyll. In Nibelor, the spirits are strong, and the border between the worlds is thin. Here, the dead are prepared for their last travel to the lands of Everspring, a place of peace and harmony.
According to religious beliefs, every true barbarian that is properly buried will join a great hunt in Everspring. The spirit that is forged during the lifetime will be revealed there and marked either as hunter or as prey.
True burial in the barbarian sense means that the dead are put on small boats or rafts so that they float with the winds of father Chyll. These winds will finally bring them to the afterlife.
The traditional buildings of the city are in a unique, rustic style and usually contain various ornaments.
Since most people living in Svargrond are fishermen or furriers, fish and fishing nets are hanging out in the open, as well as fur from bears or mammoths, for example.
Also, small boats and sleds belong to the townscape, just like the typical skull pillars that bring light to the often dark blue shimmering alleys. The openly displayed skulls might take some time to get used to, admittedly. One might think that the people in Svargrond are plain barbarians to light up their streets like this, however, that is not the case. Snowmen in the streets hint at a much more civilised and nicer atmosphere than the glowing skull pillards.
The inhabitants usually listen to their jarl, Sven the Younger. The jarl is something like a chieftain. In contrast to kings or queens, Sven the Younger is aware that he can only hold the position of jarl as long as the people are satisfied with his ruling.
He is the son of Sven the Elder who has gone missing in the ice when Sven the Younger was still a boy. Nevertheless, Sven the Elder is still considered to be in the realm of the living, since he has not received a proper burial, yet.
Due to their mutual past, Svargrond and Carlin are still close today. However, Carlin's influence on politics is minimal up to non-existent.
Despite the cold, life in Svargrond can be pretty peaceful. However, evil and danger lurk around every corner as soon as you leave the city.
The raiders, for example, have developed a great hate for the barbarians. That is reason enough for ongoing conflicts.
Also the cute looking chakoyas pose a threat outside of the city. Do not let their appearance fool you. And remember, once you see one, there will most likely be more so you better start running.
Another enemy to explorers are the frost dragons, whose origins are currently still of interest to researchers. You can usually avoid frost dragons, though, if you stay away from their lairs and the sea.
A more mysterious creature is the yeti. Not everybody in Svargrond has seen a yeti, yet. Some do not even believe that they exist. So chances that you will actually meet a yeti during your travel to Svargrond might be pretty low.
There are plenty of other dangers around. Amongst the ones named above, and harmless foes like polar bears, winter wolves, or penguins, for example, you can also run into mammoths, stone and ice golems, gargoyles, or more fierce creatures like ice witches and other lost souls, for example. So really do be careful if you decide to explore the island.
If the tales of the North have caught your interest and you decide to stay longer in this cold place, we advise you to try to get proper clothing. Simply help the people in Svargrond. In return you might receive you your own norseman outfit. Then you are ready to wander around, enjoy dog sled rides, or maybe even search for the mysterious man in the cave in the Formorgar Glacier.
Do not expect to be welcomed heartily in Svargrond at first. You will have to prove yourself first in order to gain the respect from the inhabitants. If you are worthy, they will lighten up and become pretty talkative even. Most of them will be very happy to find new listeners for the rumours that they pretend to keep to themselves at times. It is up to you to decide which stories you deem to be true, and which you consider to be a derivation from a frozen mind or too much mead.
When you arrived by boat, you are obviously at the Svargrond harbour (1). Right by the harbour you will find a shop at which you can get some equipment (2), like a rope or a shovel. These things might come in handy during your stay. If you walk south, you will find Lurik's house (3). He is the representative of the Explorer Society in Svargrond. He will surely welcome colleagues and apart from several interesting tasks, he might even introduce you to something called ice music. It is definitely worth it to spend some time with him.
Next by, you will find the local post office and the bank (4). Here you can also buy gems or jewels for your loved ones that you might have left at home.
If you follow the path to the south, you will get to the Svargrond Tower (5). From here you will have a splendid look over the sea and might even be able to see Tyrsung on the horizon, a neighbouring island.
In case you fall in love with Svargrond and decide to move there, you might want to pay a visit to Janz (6) who will gladly sell you some of his furniture. South-west of Janz, you will find the depot (7) that grants you access to all your belongings.
At the next crossroad, if you walk up north and leave the houses behind you (8), you will get to the magic carpet on the top of the mountain to your right. If you walk straight on instead of right, you will get to the area with the training grounds, as well as the knight and paladin guild leaders and a weapon dealer. In this area, you will also find the entrance to the Svargrond arena (9). If you pay an entrance fee and survive ten battles, you might get a fancy title and further rewards.
Above the area, just before you will leave the city, you can climb another tower (10) in order to enjoy another great view. If you walk outside the city and follow the rim of the mountain to your right, you will also find the hidden passage to the Frost Manor (11), a nice and big guild hall.
It is time to walk back, though, and to finally visit the jarl. You will find him in the tavern (12). Talking to the jarl should be one of the first things you do in Svargrond, just in order to make your stay in Svargrond a lot more pleasant. Prepare to prove your drinking skills and gather all your courage before you start out with your barbarian test. You might have to hug a bear or knock over a mammoth.
Just north of the bar, you will find the Svargrond temple (13). After the jarl's tests, you can become a Svargrond resident here.
Other important people you should know about in Svargrond are Iskan and his husky sledge (14), who will gladly transport you over ice cracks after he has got to know you better, and Buddel with his small boats (15). Buddle is a drunk fisherman and ferryman, and he will bring you to different places, like the other islands, for example.
We will close our tour through Svargrond with another house you should not miss out on. If you exit the main city in the south, you will find the famous mammoth house (16).
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