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Hyperborea (Otherworld Realm)

Arctic continent on the Gerardus Mercator map of 1595.

Hyperborea is a combined notion in the Celtic and Norse lands.

Located to the north of the great frostfell, this is a land of near-constant sunshine where the sun sets only once a year. It is a Seelie stronghold, and has the minor positive dominant trait. The brilliant sun illuminates an expanse of rolling, verdant hills cut through by the fiery river Eridanus. Many places flower for centuries at a time with lovely amaranth blossoms. One region is scarred by divine fire, where a sun-god’s chariot flew close to earth and its demigod driver was cast into the river. Phaethon, son of the Greek sun-god Apollo, had lost control of his father’s chariot when the god Zeus slew him to prevent him causing even more devastation. Perhaps due to this past, Apollo still resides here often; some call it his winter home. Other gods are also often welcomed here, so Hyperborea is sometimes considered a veritable divine embassy to Faerie.

For their part the Hyperboreans send mysterious gifts to Apollo‘s temple on Delos. Theseus and Perseus also visited the Hyperboreans.

The Eridanus is among the greatest rivers in Faerie, surpassed in size only by Afon Bhlu. Along its whole length, its deep, darkly colorful mud shines as if riddled with stars and ghostly flames dance across its surface. The flames are usually harmless, but if they grow strong enough they can burn nearly anything. The banks of the Eridanus are overshadowed by massive poplars and other trees that slowly drip amber into the swift current. A few whirlpools and eddies in the depths of the river form portals to mortal worlds that open only during certain nighttime thunderstorms in the Fleeting Realms.

Hyperborea’s resplendent ecology provides a home to a vast number of creatures, but most common are griffons, swans, blue-skinned firbolgsnymphs, dryadssatyrs, and solas sidhe. The firbolgs reside in a small theocracy in the southwest corner of Hyperborea ruled by priests of Apollo and renowned for unearthly music.

To the southeast, surrounding the region scorched by Phaethon’s death, are temples to a variety of gods allied with the Seelie Court, including several of the Seldarine, the Tuatha Dé Danann, the Æsir, and the Olympians. A number of temples to gods no longer allied wtih the Seelie, such as Marduk of the Babylonian Pantheon, stand in ruins. To the north are wilder places favored by the fey of the House of Amaranth and the palace of the Seelie viceroy. He oversees his court’s holdings in Hyperborea and maintains good relations with the gods’ temples to the south.

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