Diet: Solar energy
Lifespan: 90 years
Habitat: Where the sun sets
Activity Cycle: Diurnal
Each and every day, regular as clockwork, the sun crosses the sky in a regular arc. This is true of every world, but the impact of the sun when it rises and falls in the corners of the world vary. In Alfheim, the lands of the rising and setting sun are blasted wastelands, fields of sand melted into glass. Nothing survives there but for the sun-seeking hesperids, the nymphs of dusk in the city of glass.
Hesperids follow a rigid, unchanging schedule baked into their very natures. During the night, they are cold as stones and completely still. Their flesh, normally somewhat flexible or even liquid-like to the touch, becomes hard and blue. Only when morning comes do they come to life. Because the sun rises on the opposite side of the world, most of its light is blocked by the world tree at first, but enough gets through to kick them into some sluggish activity. They turn the colors of sunrise, deep purples slowly brightening up into red as they get more sunlight over the course of the day. Without any need to gather food, they spend most of their time in intellectual and artistic pursuits. The glassy wastes they call home are littered with artwork, often glass or stone melted into shape by their blazing body heat. Some of the world’s most beautiful and powerful weapons hail from the land of the setting sun, forged in heat that few but the salamanders can match.
When the sun has passed the world tree’s branches and is coming down, the activity of the hesperids reaches a peak. Finally exposed to direct light, they soar through the skies, graduating from red to orange to yellow and heating up along the way. This is when they do the vast majority of their work, brimming with energy and a maddening excess of creativity. Old statues are melted away and reforged, images carved into the plains are wiped away and replaced, few things will be allowed to stay the same as the hesperids seek things to change. The city of glass is a mad labyrinth constantly reshaped and added to, impenetrable in its depths even to the hesperids themselves, who only use its outer surfaces for their rest.
When the sun finally comes down to a distance where the hesperids may touch it, they abandon their projects and rise to meet it. Yellow gives way to white, and gummy flesh becomes something akin to a plasma as they begin their orgiastic final dance of the day. A glorious song goes up from every hesperid as they circle their star, one by one dropping away as it dives below the city they have built around the hole it dives into. The bolder hesperids follow it for a way, but if any have managed to follow it all the way to the other sides of the world, they never returned to tell of what they saw. And so the city of glass remains the only outpost of the sun nymphs, and may well be so for all time.