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.
- 1 Description
- 2 Abilities
- 3 Portfolio
- 4 Worship
- 5 Relationships
- 6 Artifacts
- 7 Realm
- 8 History
- 9 Publication history
- 10 Creative origins
- 11 References
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.
He is of neutral good alignment.
Njord is called the God of the Sea and Winds.
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.
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.
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.
He can create any magic item related to ships or fishing, and can create all but the most legendary items in this way.
He can cast numerous spells, including acid fog, air walk, gaseous form, chain lightning, cone of cold, and [obscuring mist]]. He is particularly skilled with water magic, and is himself immune to harm from such magic.
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.
Njord automatically senses whenever a merchant or coastal fishing vessel sets sail or undertakes a business transaction.
Njord protects seafarers against shipwrecks and storms. He protects the souls of common folk in their passage to the afterlife.
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.
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.
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.
The clergy are particularly interested in acquiring up-to-date information about weather and seafaring conditions.
Sacrifices to Njord are made by dropping ale and baked fish into the sea. Njord is gentle and easily placated, and does not require much more than this to earn his favor;
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.
Other temples are built near rivers, lakes, and other important waterways.
Njord favors the longspear.
Njord was once married to Nerthus, 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.
Allies and minions
Njord is the most senior of the Vanir gods, allies of the Aesir.
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.
Njord first appears in Gods, Demi-Gods & Heroes (1976), p.30.
AD&D 1st edition
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).
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.