The following is a glossary of terms as found in the Books of the Wyrd, Liesmith and Stormbringer. Note that it contains some spoilers for both books.
As a very quick guide, for Old Norse words, “ð” (eth) is pronounced halfway between “d” and a soft “th” (midh-GARDH), “þ”/”Þ” (thorn) is pronounced as a hard “th” (thurs), “y” is a hard “i” (ig-DRA-sil), and “j” is a “y” (yoe-TUN).
Aldershot: A prestigious suburb in Pandemonium City. Home to fine dining and the mansion of Travis Cameron Hale.
Álfheimr: The land of the ljósálfar.
alu: A rune-spell, invoking protection.
Alvíss: A dvergr. Despite his name meaning “all-wise,” he lost a battle of wits to Thor.
Arin, Nicole Anne: The Wisdom of Crowds and the Spirit of the Information Age. Found by Travis Hale in an early circuit board as a nascent god, she’s now the Senior Vice President of LB.
Asbrú: Literally “gods’ bridge.” Another name for the Bifröst.
Ásgarðr: The home of the Norse gods, or æsir. Sort of a bit like a cleaner, more magical version of tenth century continental Europe or, alternately, every generic fantasy novel setting ever.
áss: (pl. æsir) The Old Norse gods.
ásynja: (pl. ásynjur) A female áss.
Baldr: Son of the Norse god Odin, Baldr was destined to rule Ásgarðr after the events of Ragnarøkkr. Thanks to some meddling by Sigyn, that didn’t happen. Not exactly dead, and that’s exactly the problem.
Bifröst: The bridge between the word of gods, Ásgarðr, and the world of mortals, Miðgarðr. Represented as a rainbow, and in a state of disarray after the Ragnarøkkr.
Bilskirnir: The hall of Thor.
Bleed: An area under the influence of a powerful god or object, and named after said influencer, e.g. Helbleed, Thorbleed. Often used to refer to places where the world of gods touches the mortal world, but in theory these can occur anywhere.
Bölvasmiðr: “Disaster-smith”. Another name for Loki.
Boots: A large snake. Lives in an open-fronted herpetarium in the office of Travis Cameron Hale. Currently enjoying retirement.
Brimir: A hall in Ásgarðr.
Brokkr: A dvergr merchant-price. Once bet his head with Loki that he and his brother could forge the most useful magical items for the gods. Won the bet with the forging of Mjölnir. Didn’t get to cut Loki’s head off in payment, but did sew shut the jötunn’s lips.
Búri: The first áss, grandfather of Odin.
Byway, the: The main feeder highway running the length of Pandemonium City. Crosses Lake Cameron in a stretch known locally as the Rainbow Bridge.
Diamond Square: An outdoor shopping area in Torr Mall, Pandemonium City.
draugr: (pl. draugar) A Viking zombie, one of the misshapen, semi-mindless inhabitants of Niflhel.
dreki: (pl. drekar) A type of jötunn. The drekar are large, quadrupedal, and flighted. In other words: dragons.
dvergr: (pl. dvergar) Dwarves. Sort of. A species of short, stocky, subterranean amphibian with bioluminescent skin. Said to have been born from the maggots infesting the corpse of the first giant, Ymir. Renowned for both their crafting ability and tendency to turn to stone when exposed to sunlight.
einheri: (pl. einherjar) The dead claimed by Odin. Mortals who believe in the Norse gods and die in battle become einherjar, an immortal army destined to fight on behalf of the gods during the epic battle of Ragnarøkkr. Now said battle is over, many find themselves wondering when they can finally go home.
Eitri: A dvergr smith, and creator of Mjölnir.
ergi: An Old Norse sexual slur. Implies “unmanliness” (or “un-womanliness” when used against a woman) and homosexuality. Considered a very serious type of níð by the Vikings.
Eisa: Youngest child of Loki and Sigyn, born just prior to her parents going into exile, and raised by the jötnar of Myrkviðr. Looks ásynja, but is technically a þurs.
fíflmegir: Helbeasts. A type of jötunn, generally found in Helheimr and its surroundings. Roughly the size and shape of horses, they look like small, land-bound dragons.
Freyja: Goddess of love and fertility.
Freyr: God of kingship and fertility.
Forseti: God of law and judgment, and son of Baldr and Nanna. Has taken on the mantle of ruling Ásgarðr in his father’s absence, with various degrees of success.
Frigg: Goddess of prophecy and motherhood. Wife of Odin and mother of Baldr.
galdr: A magic spell. Or a song. Or both at once.
Gangleri: (1) A videogame, or part of one, being developed as a pet project by Sigmund Sussman, Em Ivanovich, and Wayne Murphy. Also sometimes known as Saga. (2) One of the many names of Odin.
Gimlé: A hall in Ásgarðr.
Ginnarr: “Deceiver,” another name for Odin.
Ginnungagap: The Yawning Void. A primal nothingness from which the universe sprang.
Gjallarbrú: The road to Helheimr. Made from the dead’s crushed grave gold.
Gluestick: A horse. Named by Lain, who’s allergic.
Godstongue: The language of the Wyrdborn. Mortals hear it as whatever language they are most familiar with.
goði: A priest dedicated to the Norse gods.
Gungnir: A spear, forged by the dvergar at the behest of Loki, eventually bequeathed to Odin. Its point appears to be fashioned from the tooth of a dragon. Like all magic weapons, causes trouble (specifically, wars) merely by existing.
Hale, Travis Cameron: The world’s third richest man. CEO of LB, and mortal persona of Lain Laufeyjarson.
Haven: A suburb in Pandemonium City.
Heimdallr: The former watchman of the æsir, killed by Sigyn during the events of Ragnarøkkr. Didn’t like Loki very much, and had a strange penchant for seeing Thor in drag. Survived by his three sons.
Hel: A jötunn, daughter of Loki, and custodian of those dead who die outside of battle, such as from accidents or old age. Hel is supposedly “half corpse, half beautiful woman.” After being exiled from Ásgarðr by Odin, Hel took to covering her “living” flesh as a symbolic rejection of those who rejected her.
Helbeast: See fíflmegir.
Helheimr: The land of the so-called “dishonored dead,” or náir. Sometimes simply called Hel, after its ruler.
Heljar-sinnar: “Hel’s followers.” See nár.
Himinbjörg: The hall of Heimdallr. A gatehouse that stands at the edge of the Bifröst, on the approach to Ásgarðr.
Hlín: Goddess of protection, and martial tutor to the ásynjur.
Hlökk: “The Screamer,” a former Valkyrie.
Höðr: Son of Odin. Mostly known for being tricked by Loki into the murder of his brother, Baldr.
Hrímgrímnir: A very large, and very frosty, dreki.
Hrist: “The Shaker,” a former Valkyrie.
Hveðrungr: “Roarer,” another name for Loki.
íss: A rune. Equivalent to the letters I and E. When used in magic, it represents ice.
Ivanovich, Evdokea “Em”: Overweight nerd and one of the best friends of Sigmund Sussman. A computer security analyst by day, she’s also a wannabe writer… and the reincarnation of the Valkyrie, Hlökk.
íviðja: (pl. íviðjur) A type of jötunn. Hel is often described as one of these, usually followed by the word “witch.”
Járngreipr: A pair of magical gauntlets once used by Thor in order to wield Mjölnir. Like many things, they have been missing since Ragnarøkkr.
Járnviðr: The Iron Wood. A forest lying between Miðgarðr and Jötunheimr. Íviðja territory.
Jörmungandr: The World Serpent. An immense jötunn, child of Loki and sibling of Hel. Killed and was killed by Thor during Ragnarøkkr.
Jötunheimr: Ancestral home of the jötnar.
jötunn: (pl. jötnar) The giants of Norse mythology, though not all are particularly giant and the name means something more like “eater.” Jötnar come in a variety of clans or sub-species, each with its own particular physical characteristics, homeland, and culture. However, all jötnar share certain common features, such as wings, feathers, and horns.
Karl: God of the working class, and middle son of Heimdallr. Along with his brothers, has taken over the duty of guarding Ásgarðr’s borders.
kaun: A rune. Equivalent to the letters K and G. When used in magic, it represents pain and illness.Körmt: A river running beneath the Bifröst.
Lake Cameron: An artificial lake that forms the central feature in Pandemonium City. Named after local technology entrepreneur, Travis Cameron Hale.
Laufeyjarson, Lain : The current incarnation of the god Loki. Sort of. Boyfriend of Sigmund Sussman. Is really, really lousy at trying to quit smoking.
ljósálfr: (pl. ljósálfar) Elves. Sort of.
Lokabrenna, Inc.: More commonly known as just “LB,” one of the world’s largest technology companies. Based out of Pandemonium, Australia, and headed by CEO Travis Cameron Hale.
Loki: Norse god of lies and deceit, and also sometimes fire when mortals mess up the translations. Currently somewhere between “dead” and “it’s complicated.” Has a lot of children. Like, a lot.
Magni: Second child of the deceased thunder god, Thor, and eldest son. Loud and brash, Magni hopes to live up to his father’s legacy. Said to be the inheritor of Mjölnir, along with his brother.
mansöngr: Erotic poetry and/or love spells.
Megingjörð: A magical belt, said to imbue its wearer with immense strength. Once used by Thor in order to wield Mjölnir. Like many things, it has been missing since Ragnarøkkr.
Meinkráka: “Harm-crow.” Another name for Loki.
Metaverse Book and Comic: A comic store in Torr Mall’s Diamond Square, Pandemonium City. Wayne Murphy works here. Despite the name, it does, in fact, sell more than two items.
Miðgarðr: The realm of mortals. The literal translation being “Middle-enclosure” or, more popularly, “Middle Earth,” however the idea is broader than just Earth itself. Technically, locations such as the surface of Mars would also be considered “Miðgarðr.”
Mjölnir: Legendary hammer of the Norse thunder god, Thor. Very good at killing jötnar. Has been missing since the death of its owner during the Ragnarøkkr.
Móði: Thor’s youngest child. A scholar and a sorcerer, who prefers throwing runes to throwing hammers.
Munin: A raven. The only surviving one of two that used to accompany Odin. Its name means “memory.”
Murphy, Wayne Kalinda: Six-foot martial arts aficionado, goth, and comic store clerk. Currently studying to be a video game concept artist. One of the best friends of Sigmund Sussman, and also the reincarnation of the Valkyrie, Hrist.
Múspell: The primal realm of fire.
Múspellsheimr: See Múspell.
Myrkviðr: The Murkwood. A forest lying on the borders of Ásgarðr. Þurs territory.
Naglfar: The ship of the dead, on which Hel’s forces sailed to Ragnarøkkr. Sometimes translated as “Nail-ship,” but more likely to be “Náir-ship.” The confusion gives rise to the English nickname for the náir being “nails.”
Nanna: Goddess of grief and wife of Baldr. Considers herself the custodian of Ásgarðr in her husband’s absence, much to the consternation of her son, Forseti, who’d like the title for his own.
Nari: Son of Loki and Sigyn. Deceased. His guts were transformed into the magical iron chains used to bind Loki until Ragnarøkkr.
Náströnd: A beach in Helheimr. New arrivals to the realm wash up here, hence its usualy descriptor as “corpse-lined.”
nár: (pl. náir) The dead of Hel. Mortals who believe in the Norse gods and die outside of battle, such as in accidents or of old age, end up as these.
Niflhel: The realm of mist and shale. Inhabited by the forgotten dead.
Niðavellir: “Dark dwelling.” An enormous mountain. Home of the dvergar.
níð: A specifically Viking kind of dishonor or apostasy, generally implying acts that transgress normal social roles.
níðingr: A dishonorable person. Someone affected by níð.
nothingspace: Folded subspace, or a minor pocket dimension. Some Wyrdborn, e.g. Lain, are able to keep small items in here, as a kind of “abstracted inventory.” It’s said that nothing that ever goes in here comes out quite the same.
Odin: Allfather and former ruler of the æsir, now dead after the events of Ragnarøkkr. Generally considered by almost everyone to have been a bit of an asshole.
Örmt: A river running beneath the Bifröst.
Osko Park: A park located around the Lokabrenna head office.
Outyards: See Útgarðar.
Pandemonium City: A moderate-sized city in south-eastern Australia, home of the LB corporation. Also known as “Panda” amongst its inhabitants.
Pandemonium University: Nicknamed “PU”, pronounced as in the expression of revulsion. Local university in Pandemonium City, and alma mater of Sigmund Sussman and Em Ivanovich.
Pyre Computers: The main computing division of Lokabrenna, Inc. Notable products include the Inferno gaming console, Flame smartphone, and Flash tablet.
Ragnarøkkr: The epic battle between the æsir and their enemies, specifically the jötnar. While it’s often referred to as the end of the world, it really only heralds the end of an age. Which is just as well, because the battle took place during the events of the (mortal) Second World War. Can be spelt either “Rangarøkkr” or “Ragnarök,” though each have slightly different meanings (“twilight of the gods” and “fate of the gods,” respectively).
Rainbow Bridge: Unofficial name for the stretch of Byway that crosses Lake Cameron in Pandemonium. Locals decorate the area with colorful paint, chalk, and yarn. Connects to the Bifröst, for those Wyrdborn who know how to traverse it.
Rígr: God of the ruling classes and youngest son of Heimdallr. Along with his brothers, has taken over the duty of guarding Ásgarðr’s borders.
risi: (pl. risar) A type of jötunn, of which Loki/Lain is a notable example. Slightly taller than humans, bipedal, and with broad wingspans. Along with the drekar, one of two types of jötunn capable of fully powered flight, which their name (“riser”) references.
Saga: See Gangleri.
seiðkonur: (pl. seiðkona) A female practitioner of magic. A witch.
Sif: Wife of Thor and mother of his three children. Had hair of literal gold, after a misadventure with a pair of scissors. Not the world’s biggest fan of Loki, for a wide variety of very good reasons.
Sigyn: Goddess of victory and compassion, and wife of Loki. Died in her husband’s place during the events of Ragnarøkkr, and was reincarnated as the mortal Sigmund Sussman.
Sindri: “Spark.” A small dvergr town located at the entrance to Niðavellir. Mostly a trading outpost. As far into the mountain as most non-dvergr ever see.
Skinnhúfa: A þurs. Seems very keen on eating mortals.
Skírrsær: “Shining Sea.” The underground ocean within Niðavellir. Sindri sits on the shore.
Sleipnir: Son of Loki. Mute, and often mistaken for an eight-legged horse because of it. Is definitely a jötunn, however, not a horse, and has the standard four legs (and two wings) expected of such.
sól: A rune. Equivalent to the letter S. When used in magic, it represents the sun.
Sól: The sun, and personified goddess of the sun. Eaten by a wolf at Ragnarøkkr, now succeeded by her daughter.
Sussman, David: Father of Sigmund Sussman.
Sussman, Sigmund: Twenty-something Australian nerd and general loser. Also the reincarnation of the Viking goddess, Sigyn, and boyfriend of the current incarnation of Loki, more commonly known as Lain. Born to a German Jewish father and a Brazilian mother, Sigmund’s full name is Sigmund Gregor Sussman de Deus, something he’s secretly quite proud of.
Svaðilfari: A jötunn, and father of Loki’s son Sleipnir. Like his son, often mistaken for a horse (which he isn’t).
Thor: Son of Odin, owner of Mjölnir, god of thunder and of jötunn-slaying. Irony: not just what hammers are made from, as it turns out.
Torr: The central downtown area of Pandemonium City. Home to the LB corporate offices and the apartment of Lain Laufeyjarson.
Torr Mall: The main shopping district in Pandemonium City, named after the suburb in which it is located.
Torr Row: A street in Torr Mall. Mostly notable for its proliferation of hipster cafes.
Tóki: Eldest son of the dvergr, Eitri. A smith of considerable skill… and ambition.
þing: A Viking parliament-slash-court.
Þræll: God of slaves and peasants, and eldest son of Heimdallr. Along with his brothers, has taken over the duty of guarding Ásgarðr’s borders.
Þrúðr: Eldest child of Thor, and his only daughter. Has hair made from literal gold, a trait she inherited from her mother.
Þrymheimr: A þurs city, located within the Myrkviðr.
þurs: (pl. þursar) A type of jötunn, common in the lands around Ásgarðr. Þursar tend to be between seven and nine feet tall, roughly humanoid, and walk bipedally. They are flightless, with wingspans generally no larger than a five or so feet.
Ullr: God of archery. Son of Sif, and half-sibling to Thor’s children.
Umami: A very expensive restaurant located in Pandemonium City’s suburb of Aldershot. Travis Cameron Hale has a history of taking dates here.
Uni: Eldest son of the dvergr, Brokkr. An engineer of considerable skill.
Utgard Entertainment: A videogame publisher, and subsidiary of Lokabrenna, Inc.
Útgarðar: Literally “the Outyards.” Used to refer to any realm outside another, such as those outside of the world of mortals. Not to be confused with Útgarðr, which is a specific place.
Útgarðr: A jötunn-inhabited steading. Thor notably once failed in a contest to drink the entire ocean here. Not to be confused with its plural, Útgarðar, which is a general term rather than a specific location.
útlagi: Literally “outlaw.” Under Viking law, referred to someone to whom the protections of the laws did not apply. Functionally, this meant they could be killed or otherwise injured without consequences to the perpetrator.
Valhöll: Valhalla, the Hall of the Slain. Where the einherjar lived until Ragnarøkkr. Was destroyed in said battle.
Valdís: A þurs, and daughter of Loki and Sigyn. Cursed by Odin into the murder of her brother, Nari.
Váli: See Valdís.
valkyrja: (pl. valkyrjur) Valkyries, choosers of the slain, who pick dead warriors to become einherjar. Anthropomorphized ravens, and definitely not busty women with horned helmets and chainmail bikinis.
Vanaheimr: The lands of the vanir. Nowadays, a part of Ásgarðr.
vanr: (pl. vanir) Once upon a time, another nation of gods alongside the æsir. Now subsumed into the latter group, mainly by marriage.
Vartari: The name of the stitches sewn into Loki’s lips by the dvergr, Brokkr. Visible on Lain in his jötunn form. Probably some kind of metaphor.
West Hazel: A suburb in Pandemonium City.
Wyrd, the: Fate or destiny. Also used to refer to the stories mortals tell about themselves, their gods, and the world around them. Particularly strong or well-known stories may generate sufficient presence within the Wyrd to produce their own Wyrdborn. Can be pronounced to sound like either “word” or “weird”, and is the etymological root of the latter.
Wyrdborn: Gods, monsters, and other assorted non-mortal beings with their origins in myth and fiction.
Wyrdsight: A sort of clairvoyance, used by Wyrdborn to “see” the flow of the Wyrd. Most notably used by Lain, who’s otherwise blind.
Wyrdtouched: Mortals affected by the Wyrd. Can include dead Wyrdborn reincarnated into mortal bodies, such as the case with Em and Wayne, or mortals who ascend to godhood, such as Sigyn. Wyrdborn can also intentionally create their own Wyrdtouched, though this is generally thought to be more trouble than it’s worth.
Yggdrasill: The world tree. A giant ash tree that holds within its branches the nine realms depicted in Norse mythology.
Ymir: The first jötunn. It’s said that, when he died, his body formed the world.
ýr: A rune. Has no direct English equivalent, but was used to represent the –r sound at the end of words. When used in magic, it represents the yew tree.