There is a legend of a place somewhere in the Arctic where whales go to die. The Graveyard of Whales is the whaler’s El Dorado, a fortune in whale bone and ambergris just laying there. The legend is well known among sailors and Eskimos. But what is not known, even in legend, is that just a few miles away amid that frozen sea of ice… there is an island.
This volcanic island is the only solid land in the Arctic and the only place that isn’t devoid of life.
Due to heat from volcanic activity it is covered in thick forests and green meadows. A literal heat island.
It was discovered by a Norse expedition who followed the whales on the way to their graves. When such primitive people beheld life thriving in a wasteland, the only explanation they could conceive of was divine powers.
They settled the island and named it Astragard, the garden of the gods. In time it thrived and even out-lived the rest of the Norse. It’s government, religion and even language remained unchanged. To walk in Astragard is to walk the earth as it was in another age.
Over time, the people of Astragard came to believe the entire outside world was nothing but snow and ice, sparsely inhabited by a few barbarians. And their island was a paradise created by the gods for them and them alone. There is also a prophecy that say one day, envious invaders from the outside world will try to conquer their sacred land.
These beliefs have led these people to become extremely isolationist, never leaving the isle because they think there is nowhere else to and hostile to any who venture too close.
While to live there is to live in the past there are those who note that some civilizations have vanished before. And a time could come when Astragard is man’s only refuge.