The World Serpent

Jormundgandr depiction

A living planar pathway? Surely not. Jormundgandr the World Serpent (the Inn was named after him, not the other way around) is a familiar figure from Norse myth, and is associated with Nidhogg, the serpent which gnaws Yggdrasil. While the serpent is rooted in the tales of the Nordic pantheon – graybeards say that the World Serpent is the older brother of Hel herself – its presence extends far beyond the boundaries of Midgard, reaching into the intricate tapestry of the multiverse. They say that this colossal serpent encircles the planes, its immense body coiling around the very heart of existence. Out on the Great Ring, Jormundgandr is so huge that its body is a planar pathway, a conduit that stretches through the watery depths of multiple planes, linking disparate parts of the multiverse in a sinuous dance that defies the understanding of the graybeards.

Jormundgandr’s serpentine coils run through almost all the oceans of the planes: the frigid Stygia, Thalasia, Ossa, Demogorgon’s realm, Elemental Water, the enigmatic Annwn Sea and others. It does not touch the Silver Sea of Mount Celestia, mind. Also, despite its obvious Nordic roots, it seldom if ever appears in Ysgard, partly due to the scarcity of water there and partly because Thor goes hunting for the creature whenever it surfaces. Canny cutters with the ability to track the Midgard Serpent can use it as a pathway linking all the planes it dwells on. But they should beware, because smaller — but still enormous, territorial and aggressive — linnorms can be found here and there along its length. The location of Jormundgandr’s head is unknown, but most bets are on the Annwn Sea. It probably moves around top, of course.

Canonical Sources:

  • Deities & Demigods [3e] p180,192 (nemesis of Thor)
  • Dragon Magazine #356 [3e] p61 (Jormundgandr’s role in ecology of the linnorm)

Source: Alex Roberts, Jon Winter-Holt

Jormundgandr is so vast its skin appears to be the seabed for miles

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