"'Swear not so often by Ymir,' uneasily muttered a warrior, glancing at the distant mountains. 'This is his land and the god bides among yonder mountains the legends say.'" -- Robert E. Howard: "The Frost Giant's Daughter"

The provinces of Vanaheim

Westernmost of the nations of the Far North, lying west of Asgard and North of Cimmeria and Pictland.

It was a somber country, mostly a bleak tundra plain that was snow-covered through the long winters. Swampy taiga forests probably clothed its high southern regions thinly. Glaciers crept down from the Eiglophian Mountains in the south and the Blue Mountains on the frontier with Asgard. Far to the north were more mountains, crowned with a permanent ice cap that grew larger as the climate changed.

Fierce storms came from the Western Ocean as well as the icy north. The most felicitous part of Vanaheim as far as human needs were concerned lay along the western coast. There were numerous villages there where the people eked out a living by beachcombing, fishing, and hunting marine and land mammals. Children collected seabird eggs from the rugged cliffs of the seacoast. The lands there were less barren of life than those of the interior were since the sea moderated the climate.

Vanir Chieftain

The Eiglophian uplands of southern Vanaheim evidently harbored a considerable population, because Cimmerians and Aesir conducted raids there.

Legends said that Ymir, the frost giant, lived in the northern mountains of Vanaheim. He was the popular deity of the nation.

By the end of the Hyborian Age, Vanaheim would be swallowed by the last great continental glaciation. Ultimately, it was submerged beneath the waters of the Norwegian Sea.

  • Blue Mountains: A range in far Vanaheim, presumed to mark the border with Asgard. (Frost Giant's Daughter)
  • Blue River: A wide, deep river that drains the snowmelt of the taiga and mountains of northern Vanaheim. Its source is in the Blue Mountains. (Savage Sword #179, "Fury of the Iron Damsels", by Chuck Dixon)
  • Eiglophian Mountains: A high range trending east and west along the southern borders of Vanaheim, Asgard, and Hyperborea. The mountains loomed over northern Cimmeria and harbored a relict population of cannibalistic pithecanthropoids, as well as such fauna as snow dragons and vampiric ice-worms. The passes were open only in spring and summer. (Lair of the Ice Worm, Witch of the Mists)
  • Howling River: A watercourse in the far north of Vanaheim. It has many cataracts and rapids, hence its name. Its source is the glaciers of the Far North. (Savage Sword #179, "Fury of the Iron Damsels", by Chuck Dixon)
  • Lireigh, Village of: A settlement in Vanaheim on the western coast, named for its chieftain (Conan the Barbarian #69, "Demon Out of the Deep", by Roy Thomas)
  • Skaun: A town of Vanaheim, renowned for it's pit fighting. (Conan the Barbarian)
  • Starkadsgarth: A fjord in Vanaheim. (Conan the Valorous)
  • Starkad's Great Hall: The long-house of the Vanir chief Starkad, located above the fjord called Starkadsgarth, in Vanaheim. (Conan the Valorous)
  • Swords, Isle of: An isle located on a large lake in southwestern Vanaheim. The island was home to a tribe of Vanir, led by a chief named Thorfel the Fair. They lived in a place called the Hall of the Lake Dwellers. (Savage Tales #4, "Night of the Dark God", by Roy Thomas)
  • Three Rivers Town: A trading town of the far north of Vanaheim that lies on the junctions of the Howling, the Blue, and one other unknown river. (Savage Sword #179, "Fury of the Iron Damsels", by Chuck Dixon)
  • Umiank Island: A small island located off the north coast of Vanaheim ,in the Western Ocean. The island was home to the Umiank, a tribe that in modern times would be called Eskimos. (Conan Annual #9, "Wrath of the Shambling God", by Michael Fleisher)
  • Wulfstan's Hall: Located up the coast from Starkad's hall in Vanaheim. (Conan the Valorous)

References: Hyborian Age I-II, Frost Giant's Daughter, Treasure of Tranicos, Phoenix on the Sword, Conan the Buccaneer, Return of Conan, Conan and the Treasure of Python.

  • Population: 720,000
  • Capital: None
  • Ruler: Various petty kings and chieftains
  • Major cities: Lireigh (pop. 4,500), Skaun (pop. 8,700)
  • Resources: Timber, fishing, furs and pelts
  • Imports: Steel weapons
  • Allies:
  • Enemies: Asgard, Cimmeria, Pictland
  • Tech level: Dark ages
  • Religion: Ymir