Long ago, the allfather Odin united the worlds. He threw down his foes and cast them into the tenth world, then split the boughs that held their prison to the world-tree, and left it to drift unanchored, a place of exile...
For centuries, this world slumbered uneasily. But it did not die... As glacial ages passed, kingdoms rose and fell out of sight of the gods.
When Odin heard his enemies were growing once again in strength, he looked to Midgard and sent his Valkyries to scour the battlefields for the greatest of their warriors. Dead to the world, they would be born again...
In order to prove your worth you have been sent to the 10th Norse world - Valheim. Only by surviving and fighting in a harsh environment with many mythical monsters and beasts will you prove your worth to the gods. For those who don't prove their worth though, the only place they will find is Hel - The underworld, where their soul will be tormented for centuries. Or maybe you will be one of the strong warriors who will prove their worth and earn the favor of the gods, then your place will be in Valhalla - a majestic, enormous hall located in Asgard, and by your side Odin.
Hold, traveler, and bear witness to my warning. We are many who have come before you, carried by Odin's will to do his work. The path ahead is hard and the dangers great. If you hold your life dear, keep to these meadows and make your dwelling away from the trees. Fear the Horned One and spare his kin.
This land is hard and wild but we who are brought here are harder still. Take comfort, traveler, in the gifts before you, the good wood and stone, the fruits and flowers of the forest.
Look also to the wild boar who roam these lands. They fear fire and the hand of man but they can be taught to obey it. Go quietly to them and let them eat of your stock. Roots of the ground are their pleasure.
Heed these words of Ulf, a poor settler in a strange land. You will find here good stone and wood, all you need to build a house. You will need to craft a roof to keep out the rain. Then you will need walls to stop the roof from falling down. Finally, you must have a door or it will be much harder to go in and out.
These things Ulf has learned for himself. now he writes them on this stone to help others. Pray to Odin for his soul.
I was Astrid, a shieldmaiden of the forest. I know nothing of my life before I came here but my arm remembers the sword and my eyes see the course of the arrows.
Now the raven guides me and I fight the great beasts in Odin's name.
Let all who read me beware of the Greydwarfs, the skulkers in darkness, the soulless ones. They are born from rot and rainfall, they spring like mushrooms from the smoking soil. There is nothing on their tongues or behind their eyes, those who fear nothing should still fear them.
When the soul of a murderer or a great sinner rots under the ground, it makes a hollow cyst which draws rock and wood and moss to it. It gathers up the peat into flesh, braids reeds into bone and takes rags for skin. It should not walk but when the night comes it walks. Should you who read this see one with a sword to your hand, lance it and let it out. Or put it to the torch, for it fears the flame.
Below the mist and murk
Bone speaks to bone
Heed the words of poor Ulf and do not build your house beside the murky waters. Bad dreams and a soggy bed are all you will find. I leave this stone as a warning and go now to make my dwelling on higher ground.
Although the surtlings appear small on the outside, they are very wicked on the inside. They are many but act as one, they did come from the same evil afterall. The story goes like this: "Once there was a great demon called Surtr who was brought down and destroyed by the First Men, giant warriors of whom you are but a dwindling echo. They smited Surtr with his swords and hammers so hard that his fiery substance was shattered into many small pieces. One wise man once said "He who was made of fire was fire in every part of him". You could not say 'This is the arm of Surtr' or 'This is the head of Surtr' because every part was Surtr. So all the fragments of him were Surtr still, but much weaker in power thought and memory... with no way becoming whole again. Now these fragments are called Surtlings... and when they are found they should be stomped just like the last embers of a fire or doused with water to choke off their flames at the root. They will throw fire afar and joy in causing terror and mass destruction. Even in his scattered dotage, the demon still seeks revenge on the children of the First Men.
Long ages ago, the world of Valheim was home to a race of proud and noble people. They built great towers that touched the clouds and delved deep into the earth for precious metals. But their pride was their undoing. They challenged the very gods and went to war against the Aesir and Vanir, destroying themselves completely. Great Odin leveled their cities and Loki consumed their mines in fire. Mighty Thor broke down their towers and Freya sowed their fields with salt tears. Now they are sunk many hundred of years deep. No songs sing of their stories, and the earth has claimed their cities. But pride cannot be killed entirely and the warriors who fought in that final battle will not surrender until their bodies are dust and the dust long gone. They return as Draugr, unholy walkers in ancient armour, creatures of rust and despair. Break them, bury them, let them know they are dead.
Great cities do not rise of themselves.
Harden your hearth, settler in a strange land.
Build from the ground upwards.
This marks the spot where the great drake was first seen by me, Ulf, in the third summer of my life in Valheim. She stopped here to leave a pile of dung holding the bones of deer, boar and the skull of a greydwarf. I will never come near this place again.
Peaks of Valheim
Halt and listen, traveler. On the highest peaks of Valheim, the air is thin and fragile. From here you can sometimes catch sounds from other places, the ring of battle on Midgard, the roar of a feast in Valhalla or the shriek of a Valkyrie as she crosses the space between the worlds.
This stone was placed by me, Astrid, in my seventh year in Valheim. At this spot, the Allfather spoke to me. I awoke from a deep sleep to find his words scattered around me on the ground, frozen to pebbles by the deep cold. When I warmed them in my hands they thawed and spoke his message to me, one word after another.
Slay the Forsaken. Chain their heads. I will come.
Let you who read me be aware of the Frost wyrms, one of the most ancient kins sprung from Ymir's body.
The most common form of the wyrm are the Drakes, the small males that cares for the offspring. Most often they can be seen poised by rocky nests guarding the eggs.
In contrast, the females are much larger and a rare sight to behold, but once angered they provide a vicious foe.
Watch for him in moonlight,
Haunter of the night,
soft of foot,
sharp of tooth,
Slow to stalk,
Quick to bite.
In my dreams, Odin came to me as an old man leaning on a stick, a wide-brimmed traveler's hat on his head. He told me to trust the ravens who carry his words under their tongues and to carve this stones that others might know his will. We must kill the Forsaken to find our places in his hall at Valhalla.
Where no rain falls
And no crops will grow
Still the ground can give up treasures.
Good friend, lay your hand on this stone and remember Harald, who carved it. In Midgard I lost my life on the battlefield but in Valheim it was restored to me. Yet still my battle continued.
In the green meadows I fought Eikthyr the Great Stag and lost an eye to his horns.
In the deep woods I gave my shield hand to the Old Man of the Forest, and took a draugr arrow below my ribs that my fingers can still feel.
On the mountainside I fought the Mother Drake and she bit off my leg at the knee so that I must walk always with a staff.
Now my last battle must be at hand. When I sleep this time, where will I wake?