Island of Dreams
Eydraumr, the Island of Dreams, is a large island approximately 40 miles off the coast of Maine. While technically part of the United States as a part of Maine, in practice the island functions as a largely autonomous entity. With its large mountains and dense forests, the island holds approximately fifteen thousand people and has three major cities, six smaller townships, and other scattered hamlets and villages.
While much of Eydraumr’s history is known in written record, primarily the journals of Alvar Erlandsson, the islanders maintain their culture is maintained just as much in its myths, legends, and spiritual practices as it is in dry script. Home to Abenaki and Mi’kmaq tribes, the island’s first European settlers were Norsemen that arrived in the early 1100s CE. Inspired by tales of Leif Eriksson’s settlement of Vinland as a Christian settlement, a large crew of Icelandic Vikings seeking to flee Christianization took to the seas for Greenland. While not much is known of the practicalities of the voyage, historic records vaguely described hardships and storms, likely due to the season of the voyage. As the trip grew perilous, the records describe a senior Völva performing seiðr for guidance, eventually directing the ship away from Greenland and towards the Americas. The Norse came to call the island Eydraumr, the Island of Dreams. There they developed relationships with the Abenaki and Mi’kmaq tribes and eventually established their first settlement, the capital city of Angrun.
Eventually the growing threat of British and French colonization united the First Nations and the Norse more closely. Trade relationships and cooperation became more entrenched as the First Nations and the Norse sought to dissuade any potential incursions onto the island proper. The Norse utilized their previous trade experience to establish themselves, and the island, as a major trading hub into the North-Eastern Atlantic Coast with its port station of Gáttarhlið, though travel into the island was deeply restricted to outsiders. Despite efforts to limit access to the island, it became a hotly contested territory, with the French, British, Canadians, Russians, and the United States claiming the island at varying points in history. The most consistent part of Eydraumr’s history is that neither the First Nations nor the Norse settlers of the island have recognized any authority aside from their own in anything other than name.
With increasing attacks to control the island predominating its history throughout the 1600s, a phenomenon locally called The Mist entered into the historic record. While travel to the island was always a somewhat perilous adventure, fraught with fog and sharp rocky outcrops, The Mist has been accepted as something else entirely. During periods of The Mist, ships would be unable to make landfall or leave the island; some records indicate the ship would find itself turned around to sail back into the port they had just left, some ships swiftly shorn only to have their drowned crew and water-logged cargo drift ashore, and others lost entirely. Legends of great beasts surrounded these accords, which indicate the phenomenon would rarely persist for longer than three years. Regardless of the true mechanism, it would vanish just as quickly as it had appeared. Eydraumr slowly began to lose its position as a trade center, and instead gained a reputation as a cursed and dangerous place.
With the eruption of the American Revolutionary War, Eydraumr was once again thrust into the spotlight. Due to its highly defensible position, it was commandeered by both British forces and American privateers as a launch bay and refuse. Eydraumr maintained its neutrality, only to find itself directly in the conflict as many British Loyalists attempted to settle onto the island after the American victory. The First Nations and Norse populations were largely successful at thwarting these attempts, as the records indicate legends of great, vicious beasts and spirits killing those that attempted to remain and settle by force. With this conflict, the inhabitants of Eydraumr began to foster more official ties to the American colonies in order to prevent further incursions.
Eydraumr saw great economic success during the Industrial Revolution, as it began to establish itself as a center of hospitality and tourism. Due to its deep history and many legends, rusticators of the 1800s and wealthy families such as the Rockefellers, Fords, and Vanderbilts came to the island to experience its natural beauty and hear its legends. Chepiahanu Forest and the Dörrtil Mountains attracted outdoorsmen and hikers, though the island’s inhabitants deeply restricted access only to official trails and with official guides. Theodore Roosevelt himself was a famous visitor, who sung the praises of the island and boosted tourism after his famed “cryptid hunt.”
However, the Golden Age was not to last, as World War II brought conflict back to Eydraumr. Though it had been welcomed into the United States as a part of Maine, German U-boats and spies saw Eydraumr as a prime location to secret their movements and spies. While many of the island’s citizens feared a return of The Mist, many of the military forces that attempted to visit Eydraumr were either killed by natural wildlife in its forests or met their fates in unfortunate accidents along its many cliffs and caves. This revitalized its reputation as a dangerous and cursed place, leaving Eydraumr in a period of economic downturn until the recent return of ecotourism. Today, Eydraumr functions as a major trading center and tourism center, though it has not nearly approached the same level of global success as its Golden Age.