Many of the stories you still see today are inspired directly and indirectly from various myths. For the 2015 A-Z Challenge, I'm going to share mythology from all over the world - myths that are familiar and obscure.
If you've seen the movie Thor, you're probably pretty familiar with the Nine Realms of the universe. In Norse mythology, the cosmos unified by a giant tree, called Yggdrasill. The giant tree's roots drink from the three worlds beneath it:
Asgard: Home of the principal gods (Odin, Thor)
Vanaheim: Home of the Vanir (sorcerers)
Below these worlds is the middle of the cosmos, also known as Midgard. That's where us humans live.
To Midgard's left is Nidavellir, the land of dwarfs. To the right resides: Jotunheim (the home of the giants) and Svartalfheim (the home of the dark elves).
Then there's Niflheim, the cold world of fog and mist. And you can't forget Muspelheim, the home of fire giants and other demons. A huge, angry fire demon named Surt lives down there, and he really hates Odin and all those other gods way up there in Asgard.
In fact, Surt is just biding his time for the Ragnorok where good and evil will have one big showdown. It's essentially the end of the world.