Knightmare Lexicon - A Knightmare Encyclopædia

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1. World Tree
Also known as Yggdrasil or Yggdrasill, the World Tree is a giant ash in Norse mythology that supports the universe. According to one myth, the god Odin once spent nine days and nights hanging from the World Tree in pursuit of wisdom. The tree has three roots: at one is Mimir's Well of Wisdom (from which Odin once drank to see the future); at another is Urd's well, used by the Fates; at the third is Nidhogg, a dragon who represents the universal struggle of life and death.

The World Tree and Odin comprise a possible encounter in the Fortress of Assassins gamebook. As a reward for helping Odin down from the branches, the adventurer is allowed to fill a water bottle from one of the World Tree's three pools for later use: the Pool of Wisdom (whose water can be used to gain the use of any spell), the Pool of Fate (grants success in any 'roll a die' situation), and the Pool of Life (added by the author Dave Morris to represent Yggdrasil's other root; restores Life Force to Green). Yggdrasil is sometimes translated as 'Odin's horse', which is what he turns the adventurer into if they refuse to help him.

In the story section of The Dragon’s Lair, the World Tree and its Well of Wisdom are mentioned, as there is a pool with similar powers in the cave of the dragon Talionis.

The World Tree is part of the special significance that Norse mythology holds for Dave Morris, as he revealed in an interview with Il Mondo dei Librogames in 2008:

'The first book I remember taking out the library was a volume of Norse mythology that was almost as big as I was. I just buried myself in the darkness and ice and mystery and that’s still there, right at the roots of all my thinking: Loki with the serpent spitting poison in his eyes, Odin gouging out an eye and hanging himself on the World Tree to gain knowledge... Great formative stuff for a seven year old!'

[Earlier version: 2006-05-13 17:32:56]

Provided By: David, 2014-06-07 11:32:31
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