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Frey is an agriculture deity in the Norse pantheon. One of the Vanir deities, he is sister to the goddess Freya, son of Njord, and husband of Gerd. His worship is popular among the elves.

DescriptionEdit

Appearance and personalityEdit

Frey appears as a handsome young elven man with brown hair and a moustache. He is six feet tall He often dresses in simple clothing and without armour.[1][2][3]

Frey is popular among the the gods of Asgard. He is gentle, and inspires loyalty in his followers. A fertility god, he is also famously lusty. Frey spreads cheer wherever he goes.[4]

Frey is a pacifist, and always seeks non-violent resolutions to conflict first.[2]

Frey is neutral good in alignment.[1]

TitlesEdit

Frey is called the God of Sunlight and the Elves,[1] and God of Sunshine and Summer Showers.[5] He is called God of Plenty.[6] He is nicknamed Sunbeam.[4]

AbilitiesEdit

As a deity, Frey is immortal, and invulnerable to dangers such as disease, poison, paralysis, stunning, transmutation, magical imprisonment, and planar banishment.[1]

Although a pacifist, he is highly skilled in battle. His strikes deal wounds, regardless of weapon, and his attacks are exceptionally powerful against giants. He is quick, and always goes first in combat. He moves with extreme speed, both when attacking and avoiding attacks, and can raise a magical shield around himself.

He can shed bright sunlight that harms undead, and can shoot rays of light up to 18 miles. He can control weather at will. He can command any elves and plant creatures, and can speak with all plants. He can grant increased Dexterity to his allies. He can change his size or assume the form of any creature.

Frey can raise any slain mortal being to life, or take away life. He can do so to any number of mortals within one mile in an instant, although the power does not affect gods.

He can cast spells as a cleric and ranger, and possesses the innate ability to cast various spells, including barkskin, blade barrier, chain lightning, fire seeds, prismatic sphere, repel wood, sunburst, and wall of thorns.

He can see, hear and sense at a range of 18 miles from himself or any of his worshipers, holy sites, objects, or any place where one of his names or titles are spoken.

He can create any magic item, even legendary ones, related to the control of plants.[1]

PortfolioEdit

Frey is a god of agricutlure, fertility, harvest, and the sun.[1] He has power over the domains of air, good, plant, and sun.[7]

He automatically senses anything which affects plant life, whether in the land, sea or air; and anything which affects the welfare, arts, crafts, spellcasting, and warfare. He can sense this as far as eighteen weeks into the future.[1]

WorshipEdit

DogmaEdit

Frey is a god of agriculture. He teaches his followers to respect and cherish the bounty of the land, and that waste is shameful. Those who tend the land, including farmers and ranchers, must do so in a responsible manner.[1]

Frey does not ask much of his followers. He is said to bless people with sunshine and rain,[4] to make plants grow, and to grant marital bliss to couples.[2]

WorshipersEdit

While the people of Midgard typically worship the Norse pantheon as a collective group, Frey is particularly followed by elves and farmers. He is also followed by druids, rangers, gnomes, and half-elves. As a fertility deity, he is followed by and husbands and wives.[1]

Frey is patron of married couples, horses, and horsemen.[2]

Frey is said to send omens in the form of rain and storms, and occasionally horses. He will sometimes send his avatar to personally help people to maintain peace.[2]

ClergyEdit

The priests of Frey are often found working in the fields alongside common folk, indistinguishable except for the holy symbol they wear. They educate people in efficient and responsible farming methods, and freely give advice when asked, although they prefer to teach by example.[1]

The clergy rarely wear armor, and do not carry weapons. They only take up arms when necessary to defend the fiends or communities.[1] They are dedicated to maintaining peace. Many are said to have the power to charm horses, and to beseech Frey to control the rain.[2]

Holy sitesEdit

Temples and shrines to Frey usually appear in rural areas, particularly in elven communities. Frey's temples are large wooden halls, containing a watchtower to guard the fields and observe the weather. Surrounding the temple may be other important constructions, including granaries, armories, vegetable gardens, and horse stables.[1]

Temples of Frey are particularly reknowned for breeding the finest horses.[1] Large pastures of horses are often found near his temples. To steal one is an offence to Frey himself.[2] These horses can only be ridden following a particular religious ceremony.[6]

Weapons are strictly forbidden inside Frey's temples. Bloodshed is forbidden in all places sacred to Frey.[1]

Rangers and druids are always permitted food and board when they visit a temple of Frey. All well-meaning visitors are accepted in Frey's temples, with special welcome invited to elves, fey, and forest creatures.[1]

RitualsEdit

Great feasts are held in Frey's honor at harvest time. It is said that he travels in person from feast to feast in a wagon, in the guise of an ordinary man.[8]

Frey is easily appeased. He does not request sacrifices of human or animals, but only of things like clothes and valuable goods.[6]

Frey's followers engage in fertility rites.[4]

His priests also frequently perform formal marriage rites.[2]

Holy symbolEdit

Frey's holy symbol is an ice-blue greatsword.[1]

Some of Frey's followers use the symbol of a ship-shaped cloud, a representation of his ship Skidblatnir. This may have been used prior to Frey gifting his sword to Skirnir.[4]

Some warriors blazon the image of a boar's head on their shields as a protective motif.[6]

Favored weaponEdit

Frey favors the greatsword.[1]

RelationshipsEdit

FamilyEdit

Frey is one of the Vanir gods. He is son of sea god Njord.[1]. His mother is variously said to be Nerthus, of the Anglo-Saxon pantheon,[5] or Njord's second wife, the giantess Skadi.[9]

His sister, Freya, is a goddess of love and fertility.

Frey's wife is the giantess Gerd. They have a son, Fiolinir.[5]

EnemiesEdit

Frey is fated to fight the fire giant deity Surtur at the final battle at Ragnarok. He will fight him bare-handed, having given his sword to his shield-man Skirnir.[1]

Allies and minionsEdit

Frey will fight alongside the Aesir at Ragnarok.

He is friendly many the gods of other pantheons, including the elven deity Corellon Larethian, with whom he has an alliance. He is on good terms with the Daghdha and the elven Seldarine,[4] particularly with Araleth Letheranil, elven god of light.[10]

He is served by his shield-man Skirnir.[1]

Frey has a legendary horse, named Blodug-Hofi; and a huge boar named Gullin-Bursti, whose name means "Golden Bristles", for its hair shines as bright as fire.[1]

Frey is served fanatically by the light elves of Alfheim. They live in Ljosalfaheim.[11]

ArtifactsEdit

Frey is best known for his weapon, known simply as Frey's magic sword. He gave it to his shield-man Skirnir as a reward for arranging the marriage between Frey and the giantess Gerd.[1]

He owns the ship Skidbladnir, or Skipblade, a great ship which can be folded up to fit in his pocket. When deployed, it is large enoug hto carry all the Aesir and can travel at 100 miles per hour across the land, sea, or sky.[1]

RealmEdit

Frey makes his home in Alfheim, land of the light elves in Asgard, who are called also the Lios Alfar. Here, Frey makes his hall.[12] Alfheim is a beautiful wilderness, untouched by civilization, and inhabited by the elves. The spirits of elven followers of Frey and Freya travel to Alfheim.[13] Dwarves and gnomes are unwelcome here, though Frey has no problem with them.[13]

Frey also has a hall in Vanaheim, land of the Vanir.[4]

HistoryEdit

Frey, along with his twin sister Freya, his father Njord, and the mysterious Kvasir, were given to the Aesir as hostages to secure a peace treaty.[8]

Frey is known for his kindness. He once blessed the burial mound of a much-loved cleric so that no snow could lie on it, as he could not bear that any snow could come between him and his cleric.[8]

Cultural significanceEdit

Many people have names of Frey or Freya, including the female name Freydis.

In esoteric mysticism, Frey is associated with the moon.[14].

Frey is associated the taltos, a form of sorcerer or spirit shaman born with unique and innate magic.[15]

Publication historyEdit

Original D&DEdit

Frey, god of sunshine, first appears in Gods, Demi-Gods & Heroes (1976), p.30.

Basic D&DEdit

Frey is an immortal in the Known World setting, where he is known to some as Fredar. He is said to have been a member of the ancient Antalian tribes before his ascension. He is described as having a cult in the GAZ7 The Northern Reaches, Dungeon Master's Sourcebook (1988), p.101-102, where he is worshiped alongside his sister Freyja.

AD&D 1st editionEdit

Frey appears in Legends & Lore (1e) (1985), p.101 and Deities & Demigods (1e) (1980), where he is a greater god.

He is mentioned in Origins of the Norse Pantheon, Dragon #29 (Sep 1979), p.33, Plane facts on Gladsheim, Dragon #90 (Oct 1984), p.36-38, Aesirhamar, Dragon #90 (Oct 1984), p.36-60, For Better or Norse: I, Dragon #110 (Jun 1986), p.16-22, For Better or Norse: II, Dragon #110 (Jun 1986), p.24-26, and The Goals of the Gods, Dragon #153 (Jan 1990), p.17-18.

AD&D 2nd editionEdit

Frey is detailed in Legends & Lore (2e) (1990), p.180 and the Planescape sourcebook On Hallowed Ground (1996), p.143. By both sources, he is an intermediate deity.

Four versions of Frey's magic sword are reprinted in Encyclopedia Magica Volume Four (1995), p.1370.

Frey's incarnation in Mystara is mentioned in the AD&D Savage Coast Campaign Book, The Campaign (1996), p.4, under the name Fredar, patron of freeheart warriors in the Eusdrian pantheon. He is likewise described in Red Steel, Campaign Book (1994), p.107

He is briefly mentioned in Night Below, Book I (1995), p.30, and Warriors of Heaven (1999), p.6.

Frey is briefly mentioned in The Elfin Gods, Dragon #155 (Mar 1990), p.22 and The Taltos, Dragon #247 (May 1998), p.44.

D&D 3rd editionEdit

Frey appears in Deities and Demigods (3e) (2002), p.174-176, where he is a greater deity with a rank of 18. This makes him equivalent to Thor, but one point below Odin.

D&D 4th editionEdit

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

D&D 5th editionEdit

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

Creative originsEdit

Frey, also written Freyr, appears in Norse myth, including several poems of the Poetic Edda.

In Voluspa, the prophecy of Ragnarok, Frey fights Surtur. In Grimnismal, Frey's land is called Alfheim, "elf-land", which he was given long ago in his youth.

In For Skirnis, Frey is said to be the son of Skadi. Frey is depressed because he used Odin's throne Hlidskjalf to see the beautiful giantess Gerd. His shield-man Skirnir offers to make the dangerous trip to Jotunheim to deliver Frey's marriage proposal, but he asks for Frey's legendary sword in payment. Skirnir makes threats to Gerd if she does not agree to the marriage, and she eventually concedes.

In Lokasenna, in which Loki insults the gods at a feast, Frey is said to have two servants, Byggvir and Beyla. Loki claims that Frey was fathered by Njord and Njord's own sister. Tyr defends Frey:

"Frey is the best of all the gods in the holy halls of Asgard. He doesn't make girls weep nor cause trouble for women; he frees captives from their chains."

Frey threatens that Loki will himself be chained up. Loki insults Frey, saying he had to pay money for his wife, and that he foolishly gave up his sword, so that he will be unable to fight when the giants come to Asgard. Finally, he insults Frey's servants, telling Beyla: "You're Byggvir's wife—and you've plenty of other faults, too."

According to the article Origins of the Norse Pantheon, Dragon #29 (Sep 1979), p.33, the Vanir gods including Frey preceded the worship of the Aesir, which eventually supplanted them as the primary deities. The nobility of Uppland in Sweden claimed descent from Frey.

ReferencesEdit

  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 1.21 1.22 Deities and Demigods (3e) (2002), p.174-176.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 Legends & Lore (2e) (1990), p.180.
  3. Legends & Lore (1e) (1985), p.101.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 On Hallowed Ground (1996), p.143.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Gods, Demi-Gods & Heroes (1976), p.30.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 The Goals of the Gods, Dragon #153 (Jan 1990), p.17-18.
  7. Deities and Demigods (3e) (2002), p.164.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 For Better or Norse: II, Dragon #110 (Jun 1986), p.24-26.
  9. For Better or Norse: I, Dragon #110 (Jun 1986), p.16-22.
  10. The Elfin Gods, Dragon #155 (Mar 1990), p.22.
  11. Gods, Demi-Gods & Heroes (1976), p.34.
  12. Deities and Demigods (3e) (2002), p.165.
  13. 13.0 13.1 Plane facts on Gladsheim, Dragon #90 (Oct 1984), p.36-38.
  14. The Seven Magical Planets, Dragon #38 (Jun 1980), p.28.
  15. The Taltos, Dragon #247 (May 1998), p.44.
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