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Ran is a deity in the Norse pantheon. An evil goddess of the sea, she is the wife of the storm god Aegir. The souls of those who are drowned at sea go to her realm.

Description

Appearance and personality

Ran is a cruel goddess, and demands gold dumped into the sea as tribute. She despises those who use fire or worship a god of fire.[1]

Despite her cruel nature, she is known for her great hospitality, and her great hall is equal to Valhalla as a place of feasting.[2]

Ran is a sea-ogress who stands seven feet tall, but can grow to the terrifying height of forty feet within water.[2] She possesses a large net, which she uses to drag ships beneath the water.[1]

Titles

Ran is sometimes called the Goddess of Death.[1] She is known as the Goddess of Waves and Whirlpools.[2]

Abilities

Ran's magical ability is equal to that of her husband Aegir. She has particular power over water.[1]

Portfolio

Ran is a god of the waves and whirlpools.[2]

Worship

Dogma

Ran drags drowning men down to her hall beneath the sea. Those who drown do not go to Valhalla or Hel's realm, but to Ran's hall.[2]

Sailors will dump gold into the ocean in the hopes of appeasing Ran's wrath.

Worshipers

The people of Midgard typically worship the Norse pantheon as a collective group.

Clergy

Little is known of Ran's priesthood.

Rituals

Cultists of Ran will perform human sacrifice before a voyage in the hopes of appeasing her. The cultists may sacrifice one of their own, or may kill a captive instead.[2]

Holy sites

Little is known of Ran's temples.

Holy symbol

Ran's holy symbol is a net.

Favored weapon

Ran's favored weapon is not well documented, though she is known to wield a net and a harpoon.[2]

Relationships

Family

Ran is the wife of Aegir, the storm god who destroys ships at sea. She is considered his equal partner.[3]

Aegir and Ran have nine daughters, each representing a different ocean wave.[3] Her daughters are said to somehow all be the mother of Heimdall.[4]

Enemies

Ran's enemies among the gods are unknown.

Allies and minions

Ran and her husband Aegir are loyal allies. They are served by their nine daughters, called the Tempests or the Wave Maidens.

Artifacts

Ran owns a powerful harpoon and a giant net of snaring.[2]

Realm

Ran is best known for her great hall beneath the sea, where those who drown at sea are taken. It is famed as an excellent place for feasting.[2] She is alternately said to inhabit Hlesvang in Asgard, and a great fortress beneath the seas of Midgard.

History

Current activities and goals

Ran likes to drag sailors beneath the sea, and she sinks their ships with great waves and whirlpools. Her daughters, the nine Tempests, usually perform this duty in her stead, roaming the oceans for sinks to ship. Ran likes to hoard the treasure of the ships she sinks.[2]

Publication history

Original D&D

Ran first appears in Gods, Demi-Gods & Heroes (1976), p.31.

AD&D 1st edition

The most detailed source on Ran is For better or Norse: I, Dragon #110 (Jun 1986), p.21, which gives a full statblock. She is described here as a demigodess.

Ran is briefly mentioned as Aegir's wife in Legends & Lore (1e) (1985) and Deities & Demigods (1e) (1980).

AD&D 2nd edition

Ran is briefly mentioned in Legends & Lore (2e) (1990), p.178.

D&D 3rd edition

Ran is briefly mentioned in Deities and Demigods (3e) (2002), p.170 as Aegir's wife. She is described here as an equal to Aegir, suggesting perhaps that she should hold the rank of Intermediate deity, rather than that of a demigoddess as given in Dragon #110.

Creative origins

Ran appears in Norse myth as the wife of Aegir. Her desire to sink ships on the sea is attested in the Prose Edda, in the section Skaldskaparmal. Poetic terms for the sea often relate to Ran, her husband Aegir, or their nine daughters.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Gods, Demi-Gods & Heroes (1976), p.31.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 For better or Norse: I, Dragon #110 (Jun 1986), p.21.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Deities and Demigods (3e) (2002), p.170.
  4. Deities and Demigods (3e) (2002), p.179.
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