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The Norse pantheon was a tight pantheon of gods[1] residing chiefly in the divine realm of Asgard on the first layer of Ysgard in the Outer Planes.[2][3] They were sometimes called the Asgardian pantheon[1] and other times the aesir.[3] With the exception of Tyr, the god of justice,[4] the members of this pantheon were little known in the Realms and had no influence or power to grant spells in Realmspace.[5]

DescriptionEdit

Technically, the gods of Asgard were the aesir, and the gods of the neighboring realm of Vanaheim on the same layer were the vanir. However, there was a good deal of marriages and mixing of blood between the two groups of powers, and so many scholars considered both to be the collective whole of the Norse pantheon.[2] The aesir were properly the family of Odin, while the vanir were better considered "cousins". The two separate families had a history of feuds.[6] The two groups maintained a treaty that stipulated that Frey and his sister Freya, of the vanir, must spend part of each year living in Asgard among the aesir.[7]

To some mortals, the Norse pantheon seemed like a rowdy group of deities, relative to other pantheons, but they had a strong leader in Odin All-Father.[2][3] This did not by any means imply that all members of this pantheon followed Odin's orders,[2] but they all shared a unifying goal of maintaining their powerful realms on the first layer of Ysgard.[3] Despite their chaotic mindsets, they were organized enough to hold the largest divine realm in Ysgard and were the most powerful group of the whole plane.[2]

In addition to Asgard and Vanaheim, the Norse powers also controlled much of the realms of Alfheim and Jotunheim.[6][8] They also controlled and defended a unique means of planar travel known as Bifrost, or the Rainbow Bridge, which could connect to any location on the Material Plane.[2][3] Bifrost was their own creation and was strongly protected.[9]

The Norse powers were served by a host of valkyries and einheriar.[6]

Legends claimed that the World Ash, Yggdrasil, was the true source of the power of the Norse gods and goddesses, and it was prophesied that Nidhogg would eventually gnaw through the tree's roots, leading to the fall of the pantheon.[10]

Many of the pantheon's members enjoyed exploring the Material Plane in disguise as mortals.[6]

Most of the members of the pantheon shared an outlook that held that bravery was proven by the endurance of pain, and, as a result of this, in the realms of Asgard and Vanaheim, many aesir and vanir did not permit healing spells to function.[2] (The Norse powers, in general, paid more attention to magic performed on their plane than other deities did.)[11]

Notable MembersEdit

Odin 
Leader of the pantheon and the father of most of its members.
Frigga 
Wife of Odin and mother to the god Tyr.
Tyr 
A god of justice and war who was also a member of the Faerûnian pantheon.
Heimdall 
Guardian of Bifrost.
Baldur 
A god of beauty said to rival the attractiveness of Sune.
Bragi 
A god of poetry and music, who was close friends with Oghma.
Frey 
A god of sunshine and fertility, who was close allies with Corellon.
Freya 
A goddess of love and fertility, who shared the realm of Evergold with several Faerûnian goddesses.
Idun 
A goddess of youth, the wife of Bragi, and good friends with Lathander.
Loki 
A trickster god of enigmatic origin.

While sometimes counted among the Norse pantheon,[6][12] the gods Surtur and Thrym properly belonged to the rival Giant pantheon.[13]

Family TreeEdit

Aegir
   
   
Ran
   
   
Nine Wave
Maidens
   
   
Erda
(Jörd)
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Odin
All-Father
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Frigga
   
   
Gunlod
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
HeimdallSif
   
   
Thor
   
   
JarnsaxaBaldur
   
   
NannaHoderHermodTyrBragi
   
   
Idun
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Njord
   
   
Skadi
   
   
UllerMagniModiForseti
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Frey
   
   
GerdFreya
   
   
Odur

AppendixEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 Skip Williams, Rich Redman, James Wyatt (April 2002). Deities and Demigods. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 6. ISBN 0-7869-2654-6.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 Jeff Grubb (July 1987). Manual of the Planes 1st edition. (TSR). ISBN 0880383992.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 David "Zeb" Cook (1994). Planescape Campaign Setting, A DM Guide to the Planes. Edited by David Wise. (TSR, Inc), p. 64. ISBN 978-1560768340.
  4. Jeff Grubb, Ed Greenwood and Karen S. Martin (1987). Forgotten Realms Campaign Set (Cyclopedia of the Realms). (TSR, Inc), p. 18. ISBN 0-8803-8472-7.
  5. Jeff Grubb (August 1989). “Concordance of Arcane Space”. Spelljammer: AD&D Adventures in Space (TSR, Inc.), pp. 16, 18. ISBN 0-88038-762-9.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 Wolfgang Baur and Lester Smith (1994-07-01). “The Book of Chaos”. In Michele Carter ed. Planes of Chaos (TSR, Inc), p. 107. ISBN 1560768746.
  7. Wolfgang Baur and Lester Smith (1994-07-01). “The Book of Chaos”. In Michele Carter ed. Planes of Chaos (TSR, Inc), pp. 111–113. ISBN 1560768746.
  8. Wolfgang Baur and Lester Smith (1994-07-01). “The Travelogue”. In Michele Carter ed. Planes of Chaos (TSR, Inc), p. 40. ISBN 1560768746.
  9. Wolfgang Baur and Lester Smith (1994-07-01). “The Book of Chaos”. In Michele Carter ed. Planes of Chaos (TSR, Inc), p. 114. ISBN 1560768746.
  10. Wolfgang Baur and Lester Smith (1994-07-01). “The Travelogue”. In Michele Carter ed. Planes of Chaos (TSR, Inc), p. 42. ISBN 1560768746.
  11. Wolfgang Baur and Lester Smith (1994-07-01). “The Book of Chaos”. In Michele Carter ed. Planes of Chaos (TSR, Inc), p. 104. ISBN 1560768746.
  12. David "Zeb" Cook (1994). Planescape Campaign Setting, Map: The Powers by Plane. Edited by David Wise. (TSR, Inc). ISBN 978-1560768340.
  13. Wolfgang Baur and Lester Smith (1994-07-01). “The Book of Chaos”. In Michele Carter ed. Planes of Chaos (TSR, Inc), p. 115. ISBN 1560768746.

ConnectionsEdit

The Norse Pantheon
Powers of Asgard who have influenced the Forgotten Realms
Aesir: OdinFriggaTyrHeimdallBaldurBragiIdun
Vanir: FreyFreya
Related Deities: LokiSurturThrym
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