Norse Paganism

Norse Pagans worship two “tribes” of gods: the Aesir and Vanir. While the Norse religion focuses primarily on the heroic and warlike Aesir, rural folk have worshiped the Vanir-associated with elves, fey, fertility, and the natural world-since ancient times. The Norse place a great emphasis on individual freedom, balanced by a deep respect for the inviolability of sworn oaths and the basic law of all Norse lands. This is reflected in their chaotic but normally honorable gods, who battle evil giants of truly mythic proportion, but do not always do good themselves. The religion has adepts, clerics, druids, rangers, runecasters and skalds capable of divine magic, however many temple priest are not.

Norse Paganism is the dominant religion of Danemark, Norge, Isaland and Sverge and may be practiced wherever a band of Norseman have taken themselves (which can be practically anywhere in Europa). The Germanicsh speaking Teutons worshiped the same gods, and small sects still worship them in secret in the Western Empire.

Odin, the chief of the Aesir is the leader of the gods and his son Thor, a warrior god of thunder and lightning, the most widely worshiped. The Vanir Frey and his sister Freya, with their power over animals and beasts, harvests and human fertility, are also popular. The Other Aesir and Vanir have smaller followings, but all are respected.

Symbols: The most common symbol of Norse Paganism is the Hammer of Thor. Other symbols include the Eye and Spear of Odin. The runes of the Futhark are also closely associated with Norse Paganism.

Organization: Norse Paganism has no central church, but instead a number of loosely affiliated priests, practitioners and wise-men (or woman) who fill different roles. This includes the clerics and (non-Chosen) priests of the Norse gods centered on the major temples, the druids and rangers that worship the Vanir in isolated groves, the lore keeping skalds, the adepts found in many villages, and the runecasters in their quest to comprehend the Futhark.

Norse Gods
Odin (CG) The “All-Father”, and chief among the gods, Odin can be a mysterious and seemingly fickle deity. As a god of knowledge and wisdom, Odin has undergone strange journeys and willingly suffered much to learn the secrets of the Nine Worlds, including trading away his eye and crucifixion on Yggdrasil, the world tree. His many journeys have also brought him into contact with mortals, amongst whom he normally travels in disguise: such a meeting may bring weal or woe. Odin is also a war god who leads the other Aesir in battle and is said to be the source of berserker rage. Many pray to him for victory in battle, but how their prayers will be answered; only Odin can be sure. Odin posses an eight legged horse, two ravens and two wolves, and wields the spear Gungir.
Baldur (NG) The most handsome and popular god, this Aesir was killed by a trick of Locki’s and traped by Hel. It is said that after the last battle of Ragnarok, he will return.
Bragi (NG) God of poetry and song with runes carved on his tongue by Odin, Bragi is the Skald of the gods.
Frey (NG) The most well known and widely worshiped of the Vanir, Frey is a god of plenty who, with his sister Freya, presides over fertility and Norse marriages. He is associated with horses and boars, having a magical gold version of the latter as well as a magic ship. Like other Vanir, he is also associated with the Fey and Eldar of Norseland, though they do not worship him.
Freya (CG) The sister of Frey, Freya is the goddess of beauty and love and hence, along with her brother, associated with marriage and fertility. Like her brother, she is also connected to Norse elves and fey.
Heimdall (LN) God of the dawn and guardians, Heimdall is the watchman of the gods, and will blow his horn Gjallarhorn to call the gods to the final battle of Ragnarok.
Hel (NE) Daughter of Loki and a giant,, it is Hel that receives the spirits of those who die by diseases and old age, locking them behind the gates of Nifleheim, the “land of mists”. It is said that only women may be priestesses of Hel, but very few worship her in the open.
Loki (CE) A source of mischief and strife, Loki is a cunning shape-shifter and god of fire. While he causes much trouble for the Aesir, in the end he is always able to return home to Asgard, perhaps because of the services he has provided in the past.
Thor (CG) Son of Odin, this popular warrior god is associated with thunder and lightning and other elements of the weather. His is the “ideal” Viking: strong, brave and far less enigmatic then his father. Thor has a chariot pulled by dire goats, and wields his famous hammer Mjolnir.
Tyr (LG) As much as they love their own freedom, the Norse also have great respect for the law, and the god of law is Tyr. This sword wielding god sacrificed his hand to uphold an oath, and represents an ideal that many Norse at least strive towards, even if they do not always achieve it.