Skadi is a female frost giant with blonde hair. She is often seen standing only seven feet tall, although her natural height is around fifteen feet; like many of the Norse pantheon, she has the ability to change her height at will.
Personality and alignment
Skadi is brave in battle. She first encountered the Aesir when she traveled to Asgard in order to kill Thor for slaying her father. Her bravery so impressed the Aesir that they allowed her to join the Norse pantheon in exchange for abandoning her blood feud.
Skadi cannot be caught by surprise, except by a more powerful deity such as Sif. She can assume the form of any animal or elemental. She can cast druid spells, handle animals, jump, climb, and find her bearings in the wilderness instantaneously. She can burrow through the earth and sense the location of enemies within sixty feet.
She is particularly skilled at tracking, hunting and slaying dragons, undead, magical beasts, aberrations, and vermin, and any weapon she wields is supremely lethal against such creatures. She has all the abilities of a druid and ranger.
Skadi's senses extend to a distance of six miles from herself, her holy sites, holy objects, or any place where one of her titles or names is spoken. She can understand and read all langauges, and speak directly to anyone within six miles.
Skadi can create any magic item related to mountain climbing or travel and survival in the wilderness, though her ability is limited, and she cannot create legendary items.
As a frost giant, she is immune to cold.
Skadi automatically senses any natural event involving the earth or mountains which involves five hundred or more people. This includes such things as mudeslides, avalanches, and earthquakes.
Skadi teaches respect for the earth and mountains. She believes that one must always be ready for battle, and that the best defense is a good offense.
While the people of Midgard typically worship the Norse pantheon as a collective group, Skadi is particularly followed by hardy mountain-dwellers, including hunters, herders, and miners. She is followed by barbarians, druids, rangers, dwarves, and halflings.
Skadi's priesthood are tough, hardy warriors. They are always prepared for combat, but in practice rarely do so unless absolutely necessarily. They openly share information about hazards and trails through the wilderness with travelers. They sometimes make extra money by selling climbing equipment to travelers.
Temples to Skadi are always built either in the mountains, or in locations with great views of the mountains. In the latter case, the temple will be built so that the great hall has a window with a view of the mountain. They are built from local materials to blend in with the landscape. They rarely have any hearth fires.
Allies and minions
Skadi possesses a pair of magical snowshoes which allow her to travel swiftly across snowy terrain. She has a set of magic skis, which allow even greater speeds across clear snow. These are particularly useful in traversing the snowy wastes of Jotunheim.
Skadi inhabits Ydalir with her husband Uller.
Conflict with the Aesir
Skadi's family first came into conflict with the gods of Asgard long ago, at the end of the war between the Aesir and Vanir. Skadi's father Thjazi attempted to take advantage of the Aesir over a contract to rebuild the wall around Asgard, for which he would have received the goddess Freya as well as the sun and moon in payment.
Thor slew Thjazi for his insult to the Aesir. As was the custom, his daughter Skadi made the difficult journey from Jotunheim to Asgard to kill Thor in vengeance. She was not successful, but the Norse gods were impressed by her bravery.
Marriage to Njord
Loki, the trickster god, attempted to resolve the situation without the need for violence. He offered Skadi the right to marry any Norse god of her choice, as compensation for the death of her father. However, the Aesir placed a condition that she could only see the gods' feet.
She selected the god with the whitest and cleanest feet, believing they would belong to Balder, handsomest of the gods. In fact, they belonged to Njord, god of the sea, whose feet were cleanest because he walked in the sea each day.
The two married, but Njord lived by the sea, while Skadi preferred to the cold mountains of Jotunheim. As compromise, she moved back and forth between the two on a yearly cycle. In the world of Midgard, it is said that this movement is what created the seasons.
Skadi eventually found this arrangement untenable. She divorced Njord, and married Uller, and went to live with him in the snowy forested plains of Ydalir. There she was able to take part in her hobbies of hunting and snow-racing with her husband, the only of the Aesir who could match her skill in these arts.
AD&D 1st edition
Skadi is mentioned on Legends & Lore (1e) (1985), p.101 as mother of Frey, and Deities & Demigods (1e) (1980). She is mentioned in the article For better or Norse: I, Dragon #110 (Jun 1986), p.18-21, where she is a frost giant and a lesser goddess in her own right, and is Njord's wife, who she selected on the basis of his feet; and For better or Norse: II, Dragon #110 (Jun 1986), p.24, which tells the same story.
AD&D 2nd edition
Her name appears in Against the Giants: The Liberation of Geoff (1999) as a female frost or fire giants.
D&D 3rd edition
Skadi is given the most detail in Deities and Demigods (3e) (2002), p.189-190, where she is Uller's wife and Njord's ex-wife.
D&D 4th edition
The Norse pantheon does not appear in D&D 4th edition.
D&D 5th edition
Skadi is one of twenty Norse gods listed in the Player's Handbook (5e) (2014), where she is incorrectly listed as a god rather than a goddess.
Skadi, also called Skaði, is a giant who appears in Norse myth. In the 13th century Prose Edda, Skadi dons a helmet and chain mail and travels to Asgard seeking vengeance, after her father Thjassi is killed for the kidnapping of Idun. It is not specified which of the Aesir kills Thjassi or suggests marriage in compensation. The giant who builds Asgard's wall is not identified.
Skadi places an additional requirement: that the Aesir make her laugh. Loki manages this by tying a rope to a goat's beard and the other end around his testicles, and engaging in a tug of war.
Odin thereafter throws Thjassi's eyes into the sky, and they become stars. Thjassi's family are also named: his father, Skadi's grandfather Olvaldi; and his brothers, Skadi's uncles Idi and Gang. The brothers divide their father's inheritance by taking mouthfuls of gold.
After her marriage of Njord. Skadi wishes to inhabit her father Thjassi's mountain home of Thrymheim, rather than her husband's seaside home, Noatun. The couple alternate between the two for periods of nine nights but neither can stand the other's home, so Skadi goes back to live by herself at Thrymheim.
In the Poetic Edda, in For Skirnis, Skadi is identified as the mother of Frey. In Lokasenna, Loki insults Njord by claiming that Frey's mother is Njord's own sister. Skadi later threatens that the gods will bind Loki with the intestines his own son, to which Loki gloats that he took part in the battle which killed her father Thjassi. It is Skadi who places the poisonous serpent above Loki when he is imprisoned.
Skadi's marriage to Uller is not attested in the sources.
Norse language professor Jackson Crawford has a video Skaði (Skadi / Skathi) (2019). Crawford identifies Skadi's name as meaning "injury", and cognate with the English word "scathe", and asserts that Frey and Freya are her stepchildren rather than children.
- ↑ 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.189-190.
- ↑ 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 For better or Norse: I, Dragon #110 (Jun 1986), p.18-21.
- ↑ Deities and Demigods (3e) (2002), p.197-199.
- ↑ On Hallowed Ground (1996), p.149.
- ↑ Deities and Demigods (3e) (2002), p.169.