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Njord is a deity in the Norse pantheon. He is the most senior of the Vanir gods, and father to Frey and Freya. He was previously married to the giantess Skadi, but as a sea deity he could not abide her mountain home. The people of Midgard say that the couple's travel between the seaside and the mountains each year created the seasons.

Description

Appearance and personality

Njord is a handsome bearded man. He stands at seven feet tall, although he can change his size at will, and is exceptionally muscular. He frequently wade barefoot in the ocean.[1]

Njord is said to be gentle.[2] His favorite foods are ale and baked fish.[1]

He is of neutral good alignment.

Titles

Njord is called the God of the Sea and Winds.[3]

Abilities

As a deity, Njord is immortal. He is invulnerable to numerous ordinary effects, such as disease, paralysis, polymorphing, magical imprisonment, and planar banishment.

Njord can change his size at will, growing to giant size or shrinking to the size of a human or smaller as he wishes. He can summon and speak to sea animals, and grant sentience to sea animals or plants. He can control the weather, and surround himself with a vortex of storm and positive energy that injures undead.[3]

In addition to controlling the the weather, he is said himself to be immune to the effect of storms. He can control sea creatures and water elementals. He can also wind walk to travel swiftly.[2]

He can bring a dead being back to life, or slay a living being instantly. He can see, sense speak to anyone within 11 miles of himself, his temples or any place his name or title are spoken.[3]

He is a warrior of great strength, skill, and cunning. He is particularly adept at fighting giants, goblins, dragons, aberrations, and undead, and his attacks are exceedingly lethal against giants. He fights even more effectively within water, and is a competent swimmer. He is also a skilled sailor, and can instantaneously take actions regarding sailing, diplomacy, and appraisal of valuable things.[3]

He can create any magic item related to ships or fishing, and can create all but the most legendary items in this way.[3]

He can cast numerous spells, including acid fog, air walk, gaseous form, chain lightning, cone of cold, and [obscuring mist]].[3] He is particularly skilled with water magic, and is himself immune to harm from such magic.[4]

Portfolio

Njord is a god of the sea and wind. Due to the importance of shipping in trade, he is also a god of commerce. He has particular power over the domains of air, good, and water.[3]

Njord automatically senses whenever a merchant or coastal fishing vessel sets sail or undertakes a business transaction.[3]

Worship

Dogma

Njord protects seafarers against shipwrecks and storms. He protects the souls of common folk in their passage to the afterlife.[4]

Njord's cult is friendly and positive in its outlook, and focused on the improvement of reliable trade, shipbuilding, fishing, and and the acquisition of wealth in general. Followers of Njord prefer to make safe, reliable journeys, sailing within sight of the shore.[3]

Worshipers

While the people of Midgard typically worship the Norse pantheon as a collective group, Njord is particularly followed by sailors, fishermen, vikings, pirates, and other people who rely on the sea for their livelihood. Those seeking wealth or a good fishing haul will first pray to Njord.[3][2]

Clergy

The priesthood of Njord spend most of their lives near the water, whether in dockside temples or sailing on rivers. They support the development of sea trade and travel, and charge fees in exchange for their aid in business negotiations.[3]

The clergy are particularly interested in acquiring up-to-date information about weather and seafaring conditions.[3]

When they travel, clergy of Njord are required to carry no more equipment than they can safely swim with.[1] The clergy have a particular hatred of undead.[4]

Rituals

Sailors will pray to Njord to calm the seas when their ship is caught in a storm.[2] Fishermen seeking a good haul will likewise pray to Njord.[3]

Sacrifices to Njord are made by dropping ale and baked fish into the sea.[1] Njord is gentle and easily placated, and does not require much more than this to earn his favor;

Holy sites

Njord's temples are typically built by the sea, with dedicated docks and piers. They contain a great deal of shipping supplies. Those near wealthy cities are often highly profitable thanks to their connections with trade, and some have secret vaults hiding significant amounts of treasure.[3]

Other temples are built near rivers, lakes, and other important waterways.[3]

Holy symbol

Njord's holy symbol is a gold coin.[3] The pole star is also said to represent him.[4]

Favored weapon

Njord favors the longspear.[3]

Relationships

Family

Njord was once married to Nerthus,[2] a goddess better known among followers of the Anglo-Saxon pantheon. Following the Aesir-Vanir war, Njord married the giantess Skadi, who selected him based on his exceptionally beautiful and clean feet.[4]

Njord has two children, the twins Frey and Freya. Their mother is variously said to be either Nerthus or Skadi.

Enemies

As ally of the Aesir, Njord will likely fight against Loki at Ragnarok.

Allies and minions

Njord is the most senior of the Vanir gods, allies of the Aesir.[4]

Artifacts

Njord's longspear has the icy burst property.[3] He also possesses a trident with the powers of fish command and submission.[4]

Realm

Njord inhabits the great harbor Noatun in Asgard. It is a seaside hall, built beside the ocean.[1][4]

History

War with the Aesir

War between the Aesir and Vanir gods broke out when the Aesir killed the Vanir-affiliated witch Gullveig. The Vanir burned down the wall around Asgard, but in the end neither side saw victory, and the gods tired of war.

Njord proposed a peace treaty, which the wise Aesir accepted. To secure the treaty, Njord and his children Frey and Freya would join the Aesir as hostages, while the Aesir sent Honir and Mimir to live with the Vanir.[4]

Publication history

Original D&D

Njord first appears in Gods, Demi-Gods & Heroes (1976), p.30.

AD&D 1st edition

Njord is named in Legends & Lore (1e) (1985), p.101 and in Deities & Demigods (1e) (1980) as Frey's father, but does not appear himself.

Njord is given further detail in two articles in Dragon #110 (Jun 1986): For Better or Norse: I, and For Better or Norse: II.

AD&D 2nd edition

Njord is not mentioned.

D&D 3rd edition

Njord is detailed in Deities and Demigods (3e) (2002), p.184-186.

D&D 4th edition

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

D&D 5th edition

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

Creative origins

Njord appears in Norse myth. His name is also written Niord, Njorth, Njördr, or Njörðr.

In Vafthruthnismal, the giant Vafthruthnir (Riddle-Weaver) tells that at Ragnarok, Njord will return home to the wise Vanir. Odin notes that Njord has hundreds of temples and altars. In Grimnismal, Njord's high-timbered hall is called Noatun. In Lokasenna, Loki accuses him of fathering Frey with his own sister, who is never named, but in For Skirnis Frey's mother is suggested to instead be the giantess Skadi.

According to Snorri's interpretation in the Prose Edda, Nord's children Frey and Freya were born after he married Skadi. This seems to contradict the version of events in Deities and Demigods (3e) (2002), which describes that they were already born when he came to Asgard.

Norse specialist Jackson Crawford suggests there may have been more Vanir who were killed in the Aesir-Vanir war.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 For Better or Norse: I, Dragon #110 (Jun 1986), p.18-21.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Gods, Demi-Gods & Heroes (1976), p.30.
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 3.17 Deities and Demigods (3e) (2002), p.184-186.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 For Better or Norse: II, Dragon #110 (Jun 1986), p.24-29.
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