The Trembling Road, the Rainbow Bridge

Bifrost is a marvel that connects the realms of the Aesir and Vanir, the Norse powers, to the Prime Material Plane. It’s a celestial causeway between the divine and the mortal, a bridge of infinite hues that stretches from Himinborg in Asgard to a chosen world on the Prime. But this bridge isn’t for just anyone. Oh no, it’s as picky as a pentadrone when it comes to who gets to tread upon it.

Imagine this: a rainbow that’s more vivid than a bard’s most colourful tale, with hues of magenta, yellow, and cyan. To those on the Prime, it looks like a shimmering ribbon of light, reaching from the ground to a distant cloud. It stands tall and unyielding, even as it appears to tremble and shudder in the celestial winds. Walking on it feels like stepping among prisms, the light sparkling and shifting like the facets of a gem.

But don’t let its beauty fool you; Bifrost is a formidable guardian. It’s impervious to magic and physical forces, and it dampens the powers of any basher trying to traverse it. Fortunately, trips on the Rainbow Bridge are swift, lasting only one to six hours. However, it’s a daytime journey, for Bifrost is only visible when the sun graces the sky.

Now, here’s the catch: only those with faith in the Norse powers can set foot on Bifrost. Non-believers will find it slipping away, like a shadow in the night. And if you’re a giant, you’d best steer clear. The bridge has a disdain for frost giants, burning them like a fireball, and freezing their cousins the fire giants. Undead are obliterated by the brilliance of Bifrost. It’s like a celestial purifier, cleansing the bridge of all that’s unholy.

Heimdall, the ever-watchful guardian, stands vigilant over Bifrost. He commands where the bridge extends, allowing it to reach a single Prime Material world at a time. The sagas speak of Heimdall summoning the Trembling Road in times of need, even during the darkest hours of night.

Intriguingly, the shamen of the trollish fensir people have learned to conjure Bifrost themselves, granting planewalkers passage to worlds where the Norse powers are worshipped. Their trick here is landing them the right garnish to perform the ritual. It’s a path to be taken judiciously, for Heimdall’s gaze is always upon it, and those who tread upon it must have the faith to light their way.

Canonical Sources:

  • Deities & Demigods [3e] p164-165 (brief mention)
  • On Hallowed Ground [2e] p140  (who can travel on BIfrost),146 (Heimdall)
  • Planes of Chaos: Book of Chaos [2e] p104 (effect on warding spells), 112-115 (Plains of Ida, Vigrid, Heimdall’s duty), 114 (main entry on Bifrost)
  • Planescape Campaign Setting: DMs Guide [2] p64 (brief mention)

Source: Jon Winter-Holt,

Bifrost in Asgard

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