Niflheim is an icebound, arctic wilderness, which is home to thriving populations of Ice Giants and Winter Dragons. Flesh-scouring blizzards whip across the mountain plateaus of the interior, where the whiteness is broken by ice-blue glaciers and mysterious lakes, whose waters resemble quicksilver.
Islands of Life
The fjords and coves of Niflheim's southern coast are inhabited by the Northmen, a hardy race of pale-skinned, black-haired humans. The Northmen are seafaring people, who trade, fish, and stage the occasional raid on more fertile lands to the south. Their architecture resembles that of the human, but it is simpler and shorn of most decorative features. Typically, the houses of Northman villages are huddled close under the protection of solid landward walls. The Northmen rely almost exclusively on ocean travel, and few roads connect their settlements, which are like islands under siege by sea and ice.
Six years ago, an Ice Demon called Illgarm arrived in Niflheim. He has spent the last couple of years gathering monsters under his rule, and he recently coerced the leaders of several Northman communities into joining his cause. As a result of his spurring, Northman raids have grown frequent, and some of them have been coordinated (or at least simultaneous) with land-raids by rampaging monsters. Northman ships have been transporting giants, ice dwarves and other monsters across the sound separating Niflheim from the Icegard, and many monster camps have sprung up on the mainland's frozen northern shore.
Illgarm is building an enormous castle, which is to serve as his foremost seat of power. Though few have seen it, the castle is reputed to be of truly gargantuan size. It is being constructed by Ice Dwarves and Ice Giants on a large, permanently frozen lake in the heart of Niflheim.