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Skirnir, called also Skirmir, is a minor hero-deity in the Norse pantheon. He is best known as the god Frey's shield-man.

Description

Appearance and personality

Skirnir is the god Frey's most trusted servant.[1] He is always found at his master's side in battle.[2]

Skirnir has a great love of peace, and always tries to settle disputes without violence before drawing his sword. This quality is what impressed Frey and led him to recruit Skirnir.[3] Skirnir owes Frey his life. He is calm and easy-going.[4]

Skirnir is lawful good in alignment,[5] though by some opinions he is closer to neutral good like his master Frey, whose orders he always follows.[2].

Titles

Skirnir is known as Frey's shield-man.[3]

Abilities

Skirnir is a minor deity, having been invested with divine power by his master Frey, making him his proxy.[4] As a deity, Skirnir is immortal, although he can still be slain.

Skirnir automatically returns to Alfheim a moment before he is killed in battle. [2]

Skirnir radiates an aura of calm. Anyone who comes within five feet finds their fear or rage calmed, although divinely-inspired power can override this power.[4]

He is skilled in battle.[3] He is particularly skilled with the longsword, at horseriding, and at diplomacy.[5]

Portfolio

Skirnir is not powerful enough to have a portfolio.

Worship

Skirnir has few worshipers, if any.[6]

Relationships

Family

Skirnir's relations are unknown.

Enemies

Skirnir's enemies are Frey's enemies.

Allies

Skirnir is strongly loyal to Frey.

Artifacts

Skirnir wields the sword of his master Frey, which we was given as a prize for arranging the marriage of Frey and his wife the giantess Gerd. Frey's magic sword is a longsword of supreme magical enhancement. It is exceptionally sharp, can strike even incorporeal creatures, can defend its wielder, and can fight on its own.[5]

Skirnir has in the past wielded a vorpal sword,[1] and a magical greatsword.[2] He possesses magically enhanced chain mail,[2] but wears a magical suit of invulnerability full plate armor which absorbs damage and protects against even insubstantial creatures. He also possesses a supremely enhanced animated large steel shield, which can move on its own even when let go and can be used to strike opponents.[5]

He also wears boots of striding and springing and a cloak of resistance.[5]

Realm

Skirnir lives in Frey's realm of Alfheim.

Publication history

Original D&D

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

AD&D 1st edition

Skirnir appears in Legends & Lore (1e) (1985), p.102 and Deities & Demigods (1e) (1980).

AD&D 2nd edition

Skirnir is detailed in Legends & Lore (2e) (1990), p.186 and the Planescape sourcebook On Hallowed Ground (1996), p.143.

D&D 3rd edition

Skirnir appears in Deities and Demigods (3e) (2002), p.175-176, where he is a level 20 paladin.

Creative origins

Skirnir appears in Norse myth, most notably the poem For Skirnis, also called Skirnismal, in which he acts in a decidedly un-paladinlike manner in his attempts to convince the giantess Gerd to marry Frey.

Gerd immediately rejects Skirnir's request, even when offered eleven gold apples, and Odin's priceless ring Draupnir. Skirnir threatens to kill Gerd, threatens to kill her father Gymir, then threatens to beat her with a club. He then makes a lengthy set of threats, insults, and curses against her, including that she will be taken to Hel and given nothing to drink but goat's urine. Gerd finally relents, and agrees to marry Frey.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Gods, Demi-Gods & Heroes (1976), p.30.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Legends & Lore (1e) (1985), p.102.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Legends & Lore (2e) (1990), p.186.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 On Hallowed Ground (1996), p.143.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Deities and Demigods (3e) (2002), p.175-176.
  6. According to Deities and Demigods (3e) (2002), p.25, rank 0 deities may have some worshipers, but rank 1 deities may have a fre hundred or more. Skirnir is rank 0.
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