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Forseti is a male deity of justice in the Norse pantheon. He is the son of Balder and Nanna.

Description

Appearance and personality

Forseti is a handsome bearded man. He wears a golden tunic and silver breeches.[1]

Forseti is famed for his ability to be fair and impartial in resolving disputes.[2] He is the wisest and most eloquent of the Aesir gods, and nobody has ever found fault with any of his decisions. His primary goal is impartiality.[1]

Forseti has never been known to lie.[3]

He is True Neutral in alignment due to his impartiality,[2] though in the past many considered him Lawful Good.[1]

Titles

Forseti is called Peacemaker, and the God of Justice.

Abilities

Forseti can remember any legal argument that has ever been made. He can sense all events involving legal disputes instantly, and perceive instantly any time his name is spoken. He can speak and read all languages, and speak to any beings at a distance of 13 miles. He can discern lies, and compel people to be truthful for one day. He can lay a geas upon mortals which cannot be removed except by another deity.[2]

He has the ability to cast divine spells as a cleric, and is particularly skilled at divination magic. He also has numerous spell-like abilities, including foresight, legend lore, sancturary, shield other, stoneskin and true seeing. He can teleport and plane shift at will.[2]

Though usually peaceful, he is skilled with the longsword and his strikes are particularly deadly against giants. He is also skilled at hunting goblinoids, dragons, aberrations and undead.[2] It is said that against someone who has spoken a lie in the past week, Forseti's sword never misses.[1]

Portfolio

Forseti is a god of justice and law. His domains also include knowledge, protection, and strength.[2]

Worship

Dogma

Forseti's followers seek to develop an unbiased sense of justice. They believe that true justice can only come from impartiality. True ethics and morality can only come from a formal system of rules, adjudicated by impartial lawmakers.

Worshipers

While the people of Midgard typically worship the Norse pantheon as a collective group, Forseti is particularly followed by lawful good paladins, judges, attorneys, and halflings.

Notable followers of Forseti include Tabbur, who was punished after forsaking the law to work as a vigilante.[4]

Clergy

Priests of Forseti uphold the values of justice and protect those involved in disputes. They serve as diplomats and mediators. Priests of Forseti are often called upon for private conferences with individuals in order to assist in resolving a dispute.[2]

Clerics of Forseti are reputedly often able to detect lies, but are themselves required to always be honest.[5] They often serve as advisors to chieftains.[1]

Holy sites

Forseti's temples resemble courtrooms, although like all Norse temples they are well fortified. They are quiet, peaceful places, containing written libraries of local laws, and small side-chambers for private legal discussion. Halflings in particular find his temples comforting for their fairness and neutrality.

Holy symbol

Forseti's holy symbol is the head of a bearded man.

Favored weapon

Forseti favors the longsword.

Relationships

Family

Forseti is one of the Aesir gods. He is the son of Balder, the Norse god of beauty, and Balder's wife Nanna. By connection to Balder he is grandson of Odin and Frigga.[2]

Enemies

Forseti has no known enemies, but will fight against Loki and the giants at Ragnarok.

Allies

Forseti is allied with the gods of Asgard. Odin often calls upon him to make decisions where Forseti's impartiality is required.[1]

Avatars and proxies

Forseti occasionally appears whenever people are making laws, or seek to overthrow an unjust tyrant. He appears as a warrior priest of ordinary appearance. When any law is made affecting more than 50,000 people, Forseti is likely to appear in the guise of one of the lords making such a law.[1]

Artifacts

Forseti wields a vorpal longsword.[2] Forseti's sword never misses when swung against someone who has spoken a lie in the past week.[6]

Realm

Forseti has a hall, Glitnir, a radiant palace with golden pillars and a silver roof. All who enter leave with their disputes settled. It is located within Asgard, home of the Norse pantheon.[2]

Publication history

Original D&D

Forseti first appears in Gods, Demi-Gods & Heroes (1976), p.29. He is one of twelve main gods and is called a god of peace and justice.

AD&D 1st edition

Forseti appears in Legends & Lore (1e) (1985) and Deities & Demigods (1e) (1980). He is described as a 10th level druid, 15th level ranger, and 10th level magic user and illusionist. He is a greater deity in this edition.

AD&D 2nd edition

The Norse pantheon is described in Legends & Lore (2e) (1990), p.170-188 and the Planescape sourcebook On Hallowed Ground (1996), p.138-149. The human world where they are worshiped is detailed in the HR1 Vikings Campaign Sourcebook (1991).

D&D 3rd edition

Forseti appears in Deities and Demigods (3e) (2002), p.173-174. He is an intermediate deity in this edition.

D&D 4th edition

Forseti does not appear in D&D 4th edition.

D&D 5th edition

The Norse pantheon is listed in the Player's Handbook (5e) (2014). Twenty gods are listed, which are the same as the list in D&D 3rd edition Deities and Demigods.

Creative origins

Forseti is mentioned only briefly in the surviving sources of Norse myth. His name means "the presiding one" in Old Norse, and is still used in modern Icelandic to mean "president".

In Grimnismal, stanza 15, Odin describes Forseti's hall:

"The tenth hall is Glitnir, with gold walls and a silver roof. The god named Forseti is there on most days, and he settles disputes."

In the Prose Edda, Snorri Sturluson says that Forseti is the son of Balder and Nanna. Snorri interprets the stanza in Grimnismal to mean that Forseti's hall is a place where legal disputes are settled.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Legends & Lore (2e) (1990), p.179.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 Deities and Demigods (3e) (2002), p.173-174.
  3. Legends & Lore (1e) (1985), p.101.
  4. Curses are Divine, Dragon #167 (Mar 1991), p.33.
  5. Special skills, special thrills, Dragon #85 (May 1984), p.8.
  6. Encyclopedia Magica Volume Four (1995), p.1370.
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