Starnheim is Kaldheim's source of light, as the plane has no sun or moon. Throughout all the realms, the Hall of Valkyries can be seen in the sky as a "parhelion" effect, similar to what happens to the sun on a cold sky. This trinity of hanging in the sky is known as the "Light of Starnheim" and denizens keep symbols (a mystical glyph of three diamonds) that represent it.
The lofty realm at the top of the World Tree is Starnheim, home of the Valkyries and the honored dead. Carved longships drift silently across a glassy black lake until they reach the central structure: the cavernous Hall of the Valkyries, woven from the living branches of the World Tree. Ancient, elaborate, and pulsing with magic, the longhall at the heart of Starnheim is awe-inspiring. Woven from the uppermost branches of the World Tree where they rise from the lake, the hall seems to float on the surface. Inside, roiling clouds form the ceiling, changing from white to gray to thunderous black depending on the amount of conflict in the lower realms. The vast hall is expansive enough for every worthy person who ever lived to sit at the long table and partake in the eternal feast; however many new souls arrive, the building never feels full and the mead never runs dry. The Valkyries choose the heroes who will spend eternity, after their mortal lives have ended, feasting forever in the mighty hall. Only the bravest souls, those who perform epic feats and die courageously in battle, can earn such a place of honor. Everyone who is welcomed into the Hall of the Valkyries is granted the gift of storytelling, so sagas are told at all hours at the eternal feast. Each mortal soul has the opportunity to tell and celebrate the great victories of their lives. These tales are always heroic and sometimes bitterly tragic, but the strong emotions they evoke quickly pass. In the glories of Starnheim, there is no room for sorrow. Those who are chosen to enter the Hall of the Valkyries are escorted across the Cosmos on a Prismatic Path, like a rainbow bridge, that flows from a Valkyrie's wings.
The smooth, flat surface of the realm appears to be a glassy black lake, but in fact, the "water" is no water at all. The First Saga calls it Valkmir, the blood of the first Valkyrie who died during the creation of the world. From this lake, all Valkyries were birthed. Depending on who wields it, the powerful magic of Valkmir can heal or destroy. A network of wooden docks (the Yetta Docks) surrounds the Hall of the Valkyries, decorated with carvings of the Cosmos monsters. Twelve longships drift near the docks, one for each of the Skoti, the current reigning gods. For all their lofty status, even the gods are not guaranteed a place in the eternal feast when their end comes. Certain ancient sagas say that any unworthy gods will be cast adrift on these boats when they reach Starnheim, sent off into the Cosmos to leave room for worthier gods.
When Niko Aris arrives at Starnheim, they see a mostly radiant plane as if before dawn, atop black mirror-like waters. These "waters" are actually made from the blood of the first valkyrie, from which all others spawn. Longboats meant for the gods litter the lake, on which unworthy gods will sail to the Cosmos to make room for worthier ones.
- The Hall of the Valyries.
- The Yetta Docks.
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- Starnheim is based on Asgard, the home of the gods in Norse mythology.
- The name Starnheim can be the junction of star with heimr ("home", "land" in Old Nordic).
Notes and references
- Ari Zirulnik (January 8, 2021). "Planeswalker's Guide to Kaldheim, Part 1". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Setsu Uzumé (January 8, 2021). "Know Which Way the Wind Is Blowing". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Ari Zirulnik and Jenna Helland (January 14, 2021). "Planeswalker's Guide to Kaldheim, Part 2". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Setsu Uzumé (January 15, 2021). "Aim Through the Target". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Roy Graham (January 20, 2021). "Kaldheim Episode 3: The Saga of Tibalt". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.