Aesir Norse Pantheon

Aesir Norse Pantheon

Born in the wastes and ruin of Northern Europe, among Germanic warriors and Nordic pirates, the Aesir compose the fourth-oldest of the divine families. Their pantheon is the product of a shotgun wedding around 1,000 years ago, when the Aesir and the Vanir (an earlier pantheon) were both devastated by the Titans during a war in the North. Relying on the safety of numbers, the Aesir absorbed their rivals into their ranks and thus preserved themselves in difficult times.

The Aesir represent a third option apart from those espoused by the Dodekatheon and the Pesedjet. Aesir Scions promote community stability as a hedge against modern life’s harshness. Yet, they also emphasize personal rights and individual honor. Therefore, while family and nation are important, injustice against a single person is cause for action and even vengeance.

Of all the divine tribes, the Aesir are the most directl affected by Fate. Nearly every Norse God and Goddess is fated to end badly at Ragnarök, the prophesied ending of the nine worlds. Both individually and as a group, the Aesir motivate their scions to find ways around that ugly doom. They challenge both specific people and whole communities, striving for greater justice and firmer commitments to order. On the other hand, their entanglements with Fate cause many complications for the Aesir and their Scions alike.

The Aesir’s great weaknesses are a preponderance of enemies, an obsession with Fate and a fondness for aggressive solutions (which is how they acquired so many foes in the first place). Titanspawn are to be killed first; questions can be asked later using magic, if necessary. At the same time, the bindings of Fate urge these Gods to ask for prophecies from nearly everyone, as they seek to avoid their doom at Ragnarök. Invariably, their enemies grant them foreknowledge of their ruin, with oracles that further constrain their possible courses of action.

Baldur [ aka Phol ]

Description: The handsomest of the Aesir, Baldur is a genial and orderly fellow, in keeping with his role as God of the sub. His blond hair is always just a little longer than custom allows for while still being perfect. His white teeth, incredible physique, graceful dexterity, and sincere eyes make it impossible to deny him anything he asks for. he can be persuasive and charming, fierce and intimidating, clever and generous, but he rarely strays from his intended course. That course is usually predictable and clear. Baldur is a valiant warrior, loved by everyone except Loki. Even hel has a crush on him. His legendary hall had a golden roof and silver walls, and he could shoot a man from the other side of the World with one eye closed. In modern times, Baldur takes on roles that suit his everyday good-guy projection and Nordic good looks. He has been a movie star, a fireman, an alternative energy expert, a veterinarian, a lifeguard, and a sports star. Yet his greatness and goodness tend to make him the best and greatest man in the room. Baldur is fated not to share the stage with anyone, which leads him (and his Scions) into roles where they engender jealousy and envy. Baldur has many Scions, not because he necessarily wants many, but because he likes to make women happy. It is virtually impossible not to like him and lust after him. His children are genuinely good folk, destined to help the World. Their very goodness, of course, tends to bring them to unspeakably unpleasant ends, just like the one their father is destined to suffer.

Associated Powers: Epic Appearace, Epic Charisma, Guardian, Jotunblut, Sun.

Abilities: Art, Athletics, Braw, Melee, Marksmanship, Presence.

Rivals: Apollo, Hel, Horus, Izanami, Kalfu, Loki, Miclántecuhtli.

Freya [ aka Frau, Freyia ]

Description: One of the Vanir who merged their divine tribe with the Aesir, Freya is a red-headed woman of clear skin and clearer eye, older and matronly yet still in possession of great beauty. A great sorceress and warrior queen, she was still capable of weeping when caught in tragedy. Her tears are always pure gold. Legends describe her as being beautiful enough to cause several titanspawn to propose marriage, and she won her necklace and her cat-drawn chariot by giving her body to dwarves. She was also fierce enough to stir up war among mortals for no reason other than to take joy in the comfort of men. In modern times, Freya has assumed disguises ranging from a fortune teller or psychic to a modern life coach or martial arts instructor. Sometimes she is kind and matronly, a baker of cookies and a dryer of eyes. Other times, she is just the right person to kick you into gear. Her principle concern is for women and their achievements and safety, but she is not so much of a feminist that she will refuse to help men. Freya’s Scions are beautiful, regardless of gender, and typically wield that beauty as their most potent weapon. Though Freya tends to dote more on her female Scions, the boys are neither ignored nor underappreciated. It is just that in such a male-centric pantheon, her daughters’ victories mean more to her.

Associated Powers: Epic Appearace, Epic Charisma, Fertility, Health, Jotunblut, War.

Abilities: Art, Craft, Empathy, Integrity, Melee, Presence.

Rivals: Athena, Bastet, Erzulie Hel, Raiden, Sif, Tezcatlipoca.

Freyr [ aka Ing ]

Description: The most powerfully fertile of the Norse fertility Gods, the Vanir, Freyr has power over both plants and mortal lives. Brown-haired with a football linebacker’s build, he has power to control the sun and the rain, and he is capable of increasing someone’s wealth and prosperity without limits. Married to Gerd, a giantess of great power, Freyr nonetheless wanders far and wide in the World of which he is the God. His magical ship and boar, both powerful symbols of fertility, bear him on his travels. In modern times, Freyr takes on roles ranging from pornographic film star to dairy magnate. Wealth, prosperity, and land ownership tend to hang about him as Fate decrees. Although he is rarely directly in the spotlight, few can resist the charisma that radiates from him whenever he is in the room. Whether he is naked or clothed, he is always the best-dressed man in the room. Freyr’s Scions are similarly endowed, with both wealth and fierce fertility. They have a difficult time stopping up floods of coinage and children, and Fate conspires to bring them many opportunities to make both. As caught up in the World as they become, though, it is sometimes difficult for them to muster the energy to go beyond it, or to leave it for the mythic realms where they can achieve so much.

Associated Powers: Epic Charisma, Fertility, Health, Jotunblut, Sun, War.

Abilities: Animal Ken, Brawl, Control, Fortitude, Investigation, Presence.

Rivals: Erzulie, Izanagi, Poseidon, Set, Sobek, Tezcatlipoca, Thor.

Frigg [ aka Freja, Frige ]

Description: Wife of Odin and similarly knowledgeable about mortal destinies, Frigg is an old power of the earth. Some of the Gods think she is of the Vanir; others believe she is a Titan herself, but allied with the Gods. Whatever her origins, she is powerful enough to be counted a great sorceress among divine beings and a powerful predictor of the future. Her falcon-skin can change anyone into a falcon with no chance of getting lost in the animal role. For all that, she has blind spots. What appears inconsequential to her is usually so, but she is not always right. In modern times, Frigg has taken on roles as diverse as gynecologist, women’s rights activist, coven leader, swimsuit model, military wife, financial planner, and gypsy fortune teller. Her predictions are eerily accurate, which unnerves people who know and remember her. Frigg often travels with three younger women, her handmaidens Gna, Fulla, and Hlin, though now she uses more appropriate language, such as “personal assistants” or “associates.” Frigg’s Scions tend to be women, and the few males usually have more in common with Baldur than with her. From all her Scions, Frigg extracts a formal Fatebound promise not to harm Baldur, her son. Swearing this oath is necessary before she will endow her children with any power at all, yet many have died regretting that very promise.

Associated Powers: Epic Charisma, Epic Intelligence, Jotunblut, Magic, Prophecy, Sky.

Abilities: Academics, Command, Fortitude, Medicine, Occult, Science.

Rivals: Freya, Huitzilopochtli, Ogoun, Poseidon, Susano-o, Thoth.

Heimdall [ aka Hama, Rig ]

Description: Heimdall is the guardian of Bifröst, the rainbow bridge that joins the mortal World to Asgard, the Overworld home of the Aesir. As the warden of the paths between the worlds, and the Gods’ first line of defense, he is capable of seeing and understanding almost as much as Odin or Loki. Dark-haired, buff, and possessed of a warrior’s bearing, Heimdall has eagle eyes, a wolf’s nose, and a sixth sense about danger. he is fated to be the slayer of sly Loki at Ragnarök, and in the meantime, he makes a point of getting into everyone’s business while keeping everyone out of his own. In modern times, Heimdall has been a security expert, a photojournalist with a reputation for getting into difficult places, a high-ranking Special Forces operative, a freedom fighter, a mercenary, a spy, a code-breaker, and a hacker. Heimdall’s Scions are many, and their father pulls strings to put them in interesting places. This is not so much because he likes them, as that what the son sees, so does the father. What the daughter hears, the father hears also. Heimdall uses his children as part of his divine security network, often without letting his children know he’s doing so. Usually, the other Gods have to inform his Scions of their father’s interest in managing their careers.

Associated Powers: Epic Perception, guardian, Jotunblut, Sun.

Abilities: Awareness, Command, Investigation, Marksmanship, Melee, Stealth.

Rivals: Hermes, Izanagi, Legba, Loki, Ptah, Shango, Xipe Totec.

Hel [ aka Hell ]

Description: Hel, queen of the Underworld, is profoundly disgusting. Her face and body are fair on the right-hand side, while her left profile is a mass of putrescence and corruption. Rarely leaving her hall and its collection of dead souls, she wanders among mortals only with great difficulty. Humans who look upon her true shape are permanently scarred by the experience. Hel is a fierce guardian of the dead, cold and unforgiving. It is prophesied that she will not let even Baldur, the fair and beautiful God, depart her halls once he arrives in them. The Norse Underworld is cold, and Hel, as its queen, is colder yet. In modern times, Hel becomes the archetypal ice queen. She has assumed roles as diverse as financial advisor, lawyer, judge, and prison psychologist on one hand and gothic beauty queen, model, singer, and undertaker on the other. She never deigns to accept disguises that are beneath her. She is never anyone’s servant, no matter what mortal aspect she puts on. Hel’s Scions are few and far between. Few men can stand to be with her long enough to allow her to father a child, and those who stick around are rarely comfortable with the resulting children. Yet Hel’s halls are crowded with powerful and ghostly servants, at least some of whom she lends to her children when it serves her interests.

Associated Powers: Epic Appearance, Epic Manipulation, Death, Jotunblut.

Abilities: Command, Control, Fortitude, Investigation, Melee, Presence.

Rivals: Baron Samedi, Dionysus, Freya, Izanagi, Osiris, Quetzalcoátl.

Loki [ aka Loftur, Loge ]

Description: Loki the Sky Traveler is a God of fire and mischief. Traveling in disguise and sometimes even shapeshifting, he is capable of being on anyone’s side — or no one’s. He once sheared off Sif’s hair as a practical joke, before tricking the dwarves into replacing it with hair of spun gold. He kidnapped Idun and her apples of immortality, only to rescue her by trickery and bring hr back to safety in Asgard. He is blood-brother to Odin, yet the son of giants, and the Midgard Sperpent and Fenris Wolf — the two most fearsome titanspawn in the Norse cosmology — are his children. The stories say he will be bound under the earth with poison dripping into his face because of the betrayals he has committed against the Gods, and that he will side with the Titans at the end of the World. In modern times, Loki’s sharply angled face haunts boardrooms and BDSM clubs. His tight goatee is equally at home in undercover police operations as in revolutionary camps. He is never in charge, but he is always the clever and capable assistant who makes things happen. For all that, many see him as cowardly even in his cleverness, for he never seems to be around when things go sour. The double-cross is an art form to Loki, and few things please him as much as leading both sides of a conflict into “accidental” ambushes. Loki’s Scions are rare. He is seldom out and about on his own, but usually in the company of a minder — usually Thor if not Odin himself. Failing that, another of the Aesir keeps him on a tight leash. The fact that some of Loki’s extant children are clearly on the side of the Titans means that the Aesir themselves sometimes hunt his Scions to extinction, just to avoid the possibility of them fighting against the Gods.

Associated Powers: Epic Intelligence, Epic Manipulation, Epic Wits, Chaos, Fire, Jotunblut, Magic.

Abilities: Brawl, Empathy, Larceny, Occult, Politics, Stealth.

Rivals: Amaterasu, Baron Samedi, Geb, Hachiman, Heimdall, Hermes, Odin, Quetzalcoátl, Shango, Thor, Thoth, Zeus.

Odin [ aka Vak, Valtam, Wotan, Woden, Ygg ]

Description: Odin, called the All-Father, is the supreme deity of the Norse pantheon, by virtue of his great power and even greater wisdom. He crucified himself for nine nights on the World Tree, Yggdrasil, to gain the power of the runes. He bested giants in contests of skill, strength, and poetry in the dawn of the World and fought epic battles with his warrior host across all the nine worlds of the Nordic Overworld. Plucking out his own eye, he gained perfect wisdom. His throne allows him to see all occurrences in all of the nine worlds. Accompanied by two wolves and two ravens and riding an eight-legged steed, Odin is a cunning and terrifying enemy to the Titans and their spawn. He is no great shakes as a father, though. In modern times, Odin’s disguises have ranged from a telecom cable magnate, to a programmer working with a search engine corporation, to an ordinary telephone repairman. Always bearded, always lacking one eye, he has a tendency to seduce his mortal bedmates and vanish shortly before his child is born. When he returns to introduce himself to his Scions, he rarely gives Birthrights without strings attached. As a far-seeing God, all-knowing and all-understanding, Odin could be more sensitive to his Scions’ needs. Yet the sacrifice of his one eye and its accompanying foreknowledge of Ragnarök, “the Doom of the Gods,” ahs brought Odin to the point of obsession. The only thing he cares about is whether the Aesir survive the final battle with the giants and Titans at the World’s end. The sacrifice of his Scions to that end is not only acceptable, it is purposed. If one or two of them manage to rise as Gods themselves, so be it, but Odin’s own survival is always paramount in his mind.

Associated Powers: Epic Charisma, Epic Intelligence, Epic Manipulation, Epic Perception, Epic Stamina, Epic Wits, Death, Jotunblut, Magic, Mystery, Prophecy, Psychopomp, War.

Abilities: Art, Fortitude, Integrity, Investigation, Occult, Presence.

Rivals: Apollo, Horus, Huitzilopochtli, Loki, Ogoun, Susano-o.

Sif

Description: Sif, a Goddess of fertility and waving grain among the Vanir, is the wife of Thor. Beautiful and youthful, her hair is made of spun gold that the dwarves made for her after Loki cut off her real hair. Blonde and blue-eyed, she has mythic proportions made real. Even the giants lusted over her regularly, the maiden with golden hair. To modern eyes, she often plays cheerleader to Thor’s football star, and movie starlet to his action hero. She also takes on solo roles from time to time: Celebrity chef, runway model, businesswoman, philanthropist, teacher, librarian, cattle heiress, obscure European nobility, and gardening columnist. People tend to remember the sharp nose and the keen intellect, especially when she travels with her loveable lug of a husband. Her children are a diverse lot, ranging from feminist activists to stay-at-home mothers, from sensitive metrosexuals to lumberjacks and miners. Hearth and home are important to them, but so is having it all, in terms of children, careers, and active social calendars. Rare is the Scion of Sif who does not work to fill every minute and moment with vigorous activity.

Associated Powers: Epic Appearance, Epic Charisma, Fertility, Jotunblut.

Abilities: Athletics, Empathy, Integrity, Melee, Science, Survival.

Rivals: Artemis, Bastet, Erzulie, Huitzilopochtli, Loki, Susano-o.

Thor [ aka Donar, Thunor ]

Description: Thor is the right hand of Odin and his chief enforcer among the Gods. The Norse thunder God is quite simply an army unto himself. Legends say that his hammer was so powerful it could shatter mountains, and it unerringly killed every giant who faced him without magical protections. Fierce, angry, and prideful, he was as dangerous to his allies as to his enemies. Red-haired with lightning-blue eyes and massively built with fists like sledgehammers, Thor was strong enough to lift the Midgard Serent and thirsty enough to drink the sea. His regular companion Thjálfi is the best runner and scout in the nine worlds, and Thor traverses the sky in a cart drawn by two golden goats. In modern times, Thor has assumed guises as an electrical technician, a rock musician, an iron miner, a club bouncer, a motorcycle repairman, a sound engineer at a recording studio, and a fireworks specialist. People who encounter him tend to remember a big-hearted, passionate lug with a crushing handshake: Someone quick to anger but quick to forgive. No one describes him as smart, though, and addictions seem to latch onto him quickly. Thor has fathered large numbers of Scions, but tends to reward them with Birthrights less frequently than other members of the Aesir do. His own abilities tend to center on battle and war rather than creation, and his ability to persuade others to create legendary objects for his children is limited.

Associated Powers: Epic Charisma, Epic Stamina, Epic Strength, Guardian, Jotunblut, Sky.

Abilities: Athletics, Brawl, Control, Melee, Presence, Thrown.

Rivals: Hermes, Izanami, Kalfu, Loki, Set, Tlaloc.

Tyr [ aka Tiw, Zíu ]

Description: One-handed Tyr, God of justice and war, is the son of Odin. For a brief time, before he lost his hand, he was chief of the Aesir. Sturdy, well-built, but rarely laughing, he regards the World with turquoise eyes. He gave his right hand to Fenris so that the great wolf would agree to be bound, and the wolf bit it off. The stump is constantly red and inflamed, and no mechanical hand will fit upon it. Yet only by sacrificing Tyr’s hand could the Aesir constrain their greatest enemy. In modern times, Tyr appears as a short, sturdy man, with salt-and-pepper hair. He tends to be fit but jowly, and his career paths tend to wander the gamut from weapons designer to statesman, from judge to bishop, from civil-rights activist to conservative blogger. He is always on the right side of the question, a thoughtful and careful observer of what is just and good in the long run. His stance often makes him wildly unpopular. Tyr’s Scions are no less devoted to justice, if less clear of vision. They tend to work within existing systems rather than tear down established orders, but they still seek to constrain chaos and promote social cohesion and harmony.

Associated Powers: Epic Charisma, Epic Stamina, Epic Strength, Epic Wits, Jotunblut, Justice, War.

Abilities: Academics, Command, Integrity, Investigation, Melee, Politics.

Rivals: Dionysus, Legba, Loki, Set, Susano-o, Tezcatlipoca.

Vidar [ aka Vidarr ]

Description: Other Gods look with suspicion on Vidar Odinson because he is destined to avenge his father’s death and survive Ragnarök. Many modern Scions believe him to be a former Scion himself, elevated to godhood and immortality. He is a model and exemplar for many Scions of the Aesir. Yet as a God of vengeance — vital and necessary in Nordic legend — Vidar is not a nice fellow. He is stronger than all the Gods but Thor, he is more steadfast than Odin, and he is more patient than Loki in laying his plans. He is also an implacable enemy. Vidar sees his Scions as pawns who should serve his purpose before they die. In modern times, as in the ancient, Vidar appears as a bearded man in his late 20s or early 30s, lean but well-built. He takes on identities as diverse as police officer, detective, criminal prosecutor, Mafia hit man, gang leader, advertising executive, political hatchet-man, terrorist, and cult leader. People who have met him tend to use such words as “obsessive,” “paranoid,” and “methodical” to describe him. Vidar’s Scions are driven, focused, and methodical, though not usually paranoid at first. (That comes later.) Military backgrounds are common among Vidar’s Scions, but almost as common are cutthroat businesspeople. These Scions hold grudges against even allies and can identify people with a need for revenge just by shaking hands with them. Some such Scions claim that a handshake compels them to pursue vengeance on that person’s behalf; most see this as a thin justification for violence.

Associated Powers: Epic Stamina, Epic Strength, Jotunblut, Justice.

Abilities: Awareness, Brawl, Fortitude, Investigation, Politics, Stealth.

Rivals: Hades, Izanami, Kalfu, Loki, Set, Xipe Totec.

Aesir Norse Pantheon

Scion: Hero to Ragnarok Uanuiil