A Song of Sea and Storm
The Vaesir are a pantheon of warrior gods who fought back the great wolves, primordial forces of destruction and chaos that ruled over the world before it was made fit for humankind.
Victorious, the Vaesir remade the world in their image, and created humans to till their fields and serve at their tables. For uncounted ages, the Vaesir ruled, and fought back the great wolves that sought to plunge creation into disorder.
But, though the Vaesir were long-lived, they were not immortal. They began to die. Eventually age or combat slew them all, and humankind rose to take their place as rulers of the world. There is a divide in the pantheon between those gods that died fighting and those that died peacefully.
Those who died in battle are called the Váði Vitnis (Wolf Foe), and are worshipped in violence and aggression.
Those who died peacefully are called the Valtýr (Slain God), and are worshipped in song and silence.
Adherents believe that the Vaesir will return when the Great Wolves return from the banishment, and ride forth from Hiddenhome (the land of the dead) on ships made from the nails of of the dead to protect the world once more.
Some of the major figures in the pantheon include:
Queen of the gods, ruler of the gallows. The greatest warrior and the last to die of the Váði Vitnis. One of the many gods of war amongst the Vaesir, she was also the god of executioners, death, strength, and martialry. She crafted the first humans from ice and red clay, and breathed life into them. She killed the Great Wolf Foldardrótta and made the world from her corpse. Valda Galga died ripping open the jaws of the Great Wolf Jormunr who tried to bite the world in half.
King of the gods. Foremost among the Valtýr. Too cunning to die in battle, Oski is the lord of wishes and patron of wise tricksters, poets, magic and knowledge. He stole the nectar of wisdom from the Great Wolf Hvedrungr, he won the contest of marriage to Valda Galga and secured his kingship, and he tricked the two Great Wolves of darkness to devour each other, and crafted the sun to warm the world. He died smiling in his sleep.
The only Great Wolf who sided with the gods. Yggr is a monstrous beast who can take on a human form when it pleases him, like all the Great Wolves. Even though he fought with the Vaesir, Oski and would not permit him to remain in creation. Instead, Yggr rules over Hiddenhome, the land of the dead. Where the spirits of the slain wander eternal and faceless. Unlike the rest of the pantheon, Yggr still lives, as the Great Wolves will never know death’s touch.
Second of the Váði Vitnis. God of courage, love, parenting and competition. A great warrior amongst the Vaesir, Gollnir was Valda Galga’s first choice as a husband until Oski won her hand in marraige. Gollnir hated Oski ever since. Gollnir never took a wife and fathered thousands of children, raising all of them by himself. Gollnir died in battle, drowned by the Great Wolf Vidrir the stormer.
Second amongst the Valtýr. God of change, commerce, wanderers, and twins. Tvegga was always in two places at once, for she was the twin god. One of her was always traveling, seeking out new lands and returning with golds and silks never before seen in the world. She created weaving and jewel-cutting, and could change her shape like changing clothes. One of her was lost forever in her wanderings, and her other half died of sorrow.
God of seasons, agriculture, light and darkness. Most kind and beloved of the Vaesir. A fierce warrior, concubine to Valda Galga’s and Oski. Her left half was always in shadow, and her right half shone with daylight. She tamed the Great Wolves of Winter and Summer, and bid them rise and fall at her whim. Oski gave her the sun, and Valda Galga gave her the darkness in all hearts of man. She died in battle against the Great Wolf Grimnir, plunging both of them into the sun rather than let Grimnir unleash the darkness in all hearts.