Many of the cultures and people have the world tend to be warlike. It’s not until you go to larger, more secure cities in the world where you actually meet someone that doesn’t know how to use a weapon of some kind. Life is harsh, and even those who don’t live by the sword have a fairly easy time dying by it and safe havens are not as common as they are in other settings.
The Gods Are Real, and by Extension, Their Enemies
There is overwhelming proof in the world that the gods exist. Phenomena like the Aasimar only further prove the theory that there are divine entities in the multi-verse and the gods themselves have been known to walk Midgard on more than one occasion.
The Planes Exist Along the Trunk of a Giant Tree
It is commonly held belief that Midgard is simply one plane of existence and that others exist, layered and separated as branches of a World Tree. Travel between planes is difficult, save for the gods, who use a bridge to cross through the multi-verse.
Magic is Everywhere
When Odin created the world he wove it together with magic. Mortal races have learned to utilize this weave for their own uses, but usually in only a limited capacity. Other realms touch Midgard and infuse the very land itself with magic, events that are often celebrated or feared.
The World is Old, but Young
Despite the difficulties of life, the mortal races of Midgard have thrived with varying degrees of success over time. Some, like the Dwarves, never seem to wax or wane, while Humans and Tieflings have built empires only to watch them crumble into dust. There are many ruins to delve into, and uncharted parts of the world to explore.
History is Song
There is a very strong oral tradition in many cultures of the world when it comes to passing their history and stories on to the next generation. Bards and Skalds are the keys to this tradition, passing tales of events both recent and long past to any who will listen. Consequently, written records are very rare and can often fetch a high price, especially if they are writings of old magic.