Jun 212011

When I entered the Norrhart Domains for the first time, I met Jora, the norn hunter from Boreal Station, on her quest to track down the nornbear. It made sense to help her, since we needed the norn’s help against the Destroyers. Plus I’d rather have the norn as allies than enemies. Our quest took us to Gunnar’s Hold, a massive norn hearthstead (outpost) owned by a famous smith: Gunnar Poundfist. There we were given further advice to seek out Sif Shadowhunter’s help with tracking the nornbear.

With a bit more time on my hands, I took the opportunity to explore the Norrhart Domains on the way to Sif Shadowhunter’s hearthstead, otherwise known as Sifhalla. Even though there is much to do (and to buy) in these newly discovered lands, my friend Elwin L. took time out of his day to accompany me into this unforgiving frozen wilderness.

A short distance from the lively hearthstead of Gunnar’s Hold, there are three norn gravestones. Elwin and I stopped here to pay our respects to the dead and read about their accomplishments. From left to right:

“Here lies Erik Firebeard, slayer of the great ice drake Keilthass, crusher of the Dwarven Lord Mundoon, and drinker of twelve casks of ale in a single sitting.”

Here rests Hrodi Icecrusher, who climbed to the top of the great mountain and slew the glacial griffin with his bare hands, fashioning the head into a stylish helm so all who saw him would know of his great deed.

“Here rests the remains of Barn Frostfeet, who walked from one end of the Shiverpeak Mountains to the other barefoot and drank a pint of ale in toast to each tree he saw along the way.”

Walking along the southern edge, we came across a narrow cliffside that opens up to reveal Gunnar’s Hold.

Steam or something like it was rising from this far south eastern corner of the Norrhart Domains. It made me wonder what it is like down in this inaccessible valley.

Fighting aggressive centaurs is tough enough work, but also being hit by these “snowball machines” adds to the difficulty. Why anyone would build such a thing is beyond me.

A thick forest lies at a lower, unreachable level of the Norrhart Domains. I wonder what creatures roam those dense woods.

I’m not sure Elwin much liked standing still and admiring the scenery. Perhaps he’d enjoy it a bit more if he owned some heavier elementalist robes. With my long leather coat and norn leggings, I could stay here all day watching the delicate snow fall.

I encountered a curious species here. A group of ogre know as “jotuns” were having a fighting competition. We tried to watch them for a while but they caught sight of us and battle ensued. They’re not difficult to defeat, but they knock you down so much that it’s easy to take near-fatal blows.

In the middle of an unremarkable stretch of snowy land, there is a post with two flags depicting the bear. While in Gunnar’s Hold, I learned a bit more about the norn and the spirits of nature. Obviously the norn feel very connected to the bear (as shown by their transformation), but other notable ones are the raven and wolf. Being a ranger, I can understand this bond that they feel with nature.

Another new foe we encountered is the kveldulf; an aggressive two-headed wolf. Later on when I spoke to Jora about my battle with them and one of their leaders, Fenrir, she laughed at me because I mispronounced kveldulf.

The pack kveldulf we encountered lived in this beautiful icy cave.

Before Elwin and I left the area to warm up, I enjoyed the sights a bit more. This grand landscape makes me appreciate the Far Shiverpeaks.

Prized Spoils: 4 golden items, Top Right Map Piece
Outposts: Gunnar’s Hold
Exits: Ice Cliff Chasms, Drakkar Lake, Varajar Fells, Bjora Marches
Friends: Elwin L.