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Aegir, also spelled Aeger, is a deity in the Norse pantheon. He is the Norse god of storms and is the husband of of Ran, goddess who claims the souls of sailors who drown at sea.

His name is pronounced with a soft G, "ay-jeer".[1]

Description

Appearance and personality

Aegir is a fierce man with a long gray beard and clawed fingers.[1] He stands seven feet tall, but often uses his innate ability to increase his size to sixty feet tall in combat.[2]

Aegir hates those who use fire, or who worship a god of fire.[3]

Aegir is neutral evil in alignment,[1] though by some accounts he is chaotic evil.[4]

Titles

Aegir is called the Storm God,[3] Old Man Sea,[4] or the God of the Oceans.[1] For the great feasts he throws, he is called Alebrewer.[5]

Abilities

As a deity, Aegir's powers are great. He is immortal, and cannot die of normal means, such as disease, old age, or energy drain, and cannot be magically imprisoned or banished. However, like all the Norse gods, Aegir can still die if slain.[1]

Aegir can increase his size, and stands sixty feet tall when he rises from the sea to capsize ships or respond to an invasion of his deep sea.[2]

Aegir can instantly slay mortals, or return them to life just as easily. He can control, summon and communicate with all sea creatures. He can make plants and animals sentient, or turn any mortal into a plant or animal. He can conjure a vortex of storm aroud himself, and manipulate the weather.[1]

Aegir is strongest in battle when he and his opponent both stand in water, and he can sense his opponent through the water. He can create a great tidal wave which capsizes and shatters wooden ships and destroys all but the sturdiest of stone structures, and affects 11 miles of coastline each time it is used.[1]

He can see, hear and sense at a distance of 11 miles from himself or any of his temples, followers, artifacts, or any place where his name or one of his titles are spoken.[1]

He can create any magic item related to water or the sea, and can create all except for the most legendary of items this way. He has the ability to cast numerous spells, including animate dead, contagion, disintegrate, earthquake, horrid wilting, wail of the banshee, and water breathing.[1]

Portfolio

Aegir is a god of sea and storms. He rules the domains of death, destruction, evil, strength, and water.[1]

A god of the ocean, Aegir automatically senses anything which affects the sea.[1]

Worship

Dogma

Sailors must make sacrifices to Aegir to appease him if they wish for a safe voyage.[1]

Worshipers

While the people of Midgard typically worship the Norse pantheon as a collective group, Aegir is particularly followed by sailors and those traveling by sea.[1]

Cultists of Aegir are most common among fishing and trading ships which travel far from shore. These sailors primarily worship the God of Storms in hopes of appeasing him.[1]

Aegir is believed to favor pirates and seafaring raiders.[5]

Clergy

Aegir has few clerics. They are known for their cruelty toward those who fail to honor Aegir, and have been said to burn ships in the harbor when their captains refused to make the appropriate sacrifices to the God of Oceans.[1]

Priests of Aegir are typically ship captains, and competent warriors. They are said to have the ability to breathe water.[5]

Holy sites

Aegir's temples are well protected against both flooding and physical attack. Those who pay the proper respect and donations are welcome to seek shelter here against flooding and tidal waves. They often host great feasts, during which all are welcome.[1]

Holy symbol

Aegir's holy symbol is rough ocean waves.[1]

Favored weapon

Aegir favors the greatclub.[1]

Relationships

Family

Aegir is of neither the Aesir nor Vanir, but of another ancient family line.[3] He is more closely related to the giants.[2]

Aegir's wife is the sea goddess Ran.[3] They have nine daughters, hideous sea-green giant women known as the Tempests,[6] each representing one of nine types of ocean wave. Their names are not widely known.[1] A legend of Midgard states that the god Heimdall is the son of all nine daughters.[7]

According to the section Skáldskaparmal in the Prose Edda, the nine daughters of Ran are named Himinglæva, Dúfa, Blódughadda, Hefring, Udr, Hrönn, Bylgja, Bára, and Kolga.
While Heimdall is said to be the son of nine sisters, they are not explicitly stated in the sources to be the nine daughters of Ran.

Aegir is brother to Kari and Loki.[3]

Aegir's relation to Loki, described only in Gods, Demi-Gods & Heroes (1976), appears to derive from a common conflation of Loki with "Logi", a personification of fire who, in a story told in the Prose Edda, defeated Loki in an eating contest.

Enemies

Aegir is an enemy of Deep Sashelas, god of the sea elves.[8]

Njord, a rival sea god who rules the safe waters next to shore, often calms storms Aegir raises.[9]

Allies and minions

Although Aegir is at peace with the gods of Asgard and often invites them to grand feasts, he will not hesitate to retaliate against them if his realm is tresspassed upon without permission.[2][3]

Aegir's primary divine proxy is Erik the Red, a human fighter and uniquely skilled sailor.[4]

Aegir can command all sea creatures.

Artifacts

Aegir wields a club in the shape of a maiden.[2]

Realm

Aegir lives in a great castle under the sea.[2] His dwelling is believed to be near the island Lessoe in a place called the Cattegat.[3]

Aegir is said to have a home in Asgard, though he is rarely seen there.[10]. His hall at Asgard is called Hlesvang, and is located underwater at Aegirsholm, a lake of Asgard. Hlesvang is covered in shells and whale bones, and those who die by drowning go to this hall.[4]

Cultural significance

The name "Aegir" is often given to male giants.[11]

History

Current activity and goals

Aegir appears on the surface of the ocean to destroy ships who have failed to make the appropriate sacrifices to him. His wife, Ran, takes the souls of sailors who drown at sea.[1] He will calm the seas for sailors who hold his favor.[2]

Aegir is known for the grand feasts he provides to the gods of Asgard.[1]

Publication history

Original D&D

Aegir first appears in Gods, Demi-Gods & Heroes (1976), p.31, under the spelling "Aeger".

AD&D 1st edition

Aegir appears in Legends & Lore (1e) (1985), p.100 and Deities & Demigods (1e) (1980).

He is mentioned in Special skills, special thrills, Dragon #85 (May 1984), p.14.

AD&D 2nd edition

Aegir is detailed in Legends & Lore (2e) (1990), p.178 and the Planescape sourcebook On Hallowed Ground (1996), p.138-149.

He is mentioned in For better or Norse: I, Dragon #110 (Jun 1986), p.16 and For Better or Norse: II, Dragon #110 (Jun 1986), p.24-29.

He is mentioned in the Planescape sourcebooks On Hallowed Ground (1996), p.96,141-142,178, and Planes of Chaos, Book of Chaos (1994), p.112.

D&D 3rd edition

Aegir appears in Deities and Demigods (3e) (2002), p.170-171.

D&D 4th edition

The Norse pantheon does not appear in D&D 4th edition.

D&D 5th edition

Aegir is one of twenty Norse gods listed in the Player's Handbook (5e) (2014).

Creative origins

Aegir appears in Norse myth. In the Poetic Edda, a collection of old Norse poetry, Aegir's habit of throwing feasts for the gods is established.

In Hymiskvitha, Aegir is described as "a giant from the stones". Thor pressures him to provide feasts for the gods. Aegir accepts, but sends Thor to find a cauldron large enough to brew beer in. Thor and Tyr set out to recover a massive cauldron Tyr's father, the giant Hymir.

In Lokasenna, Loki insults all the gods at one of Aegir's feasts. An introduction describes Aegir as synonymous with the name Gymir. Aegir has two servants, Fimafeng and Eldir, who are highly praised; Loki is thrown out when he kills Fimafeng, but returns to argue with Eldir.

In the Prose Edda, the section Skaldskaparmal begins by speaking of Aegir, who is also called Hlér. He is skilled in magic. Much of Skaldskaparmal is framed as a conversation between Bragi and Aegir on the topic of poetry. Gold is nicknamed "Aegir's fire" or "fire of the sea", referencing a story where he uses bright gold as lighting in his feasting hall.[12]

References

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 Deities and Demigods (3e) (2002), p.170-171.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 Legends & Lore (1e) (1985), p.100.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 Gods, Demi-Gods & Heroes (1976), p.31.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 On Hallowed Ground (1996), p.141-142.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Legends & Lore (2e) (1990), p.178.
  6. For better or Norse: I, Dragon #110 (Jun 1986), p.21.
  7. Deities and Demigods (3e) (2002), p.179.
  8. On Hallowed Ground (1996), p.96.
  9. For better or Norse: I, Dragon #110 (Jun 1986), p.18.
  10. Planes of Chaos, Book of Chaos (1994), p.111-112.
  11. HR1 Vikings Campaign Sourcebook (1991), p.53.
  12. Skaldskaparmal.
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