Odin, King of the Aesir
For In Nomine
by Bevan Thomas
Corporeal Forces - 5
Ethereal Forces - 5
Celestial Forces - 6
Skills: Detect Lies/6, Dodge/6, Driving/3, Fast Talk/6, Fighting/5, Knowledge (Celestials)/4, Knowledge (Marches)/6, Knowledge (Mythology and Religion)/6, Knowledge (Sorcery)/6, Languages (Norse/6, English/6), Large Weapon/6 (Spear), Large Weapon/4 (Sword), Lying/6, Move Silently/4, Riding/6, Savoir-Faire/3, Seduction/2, Singing/6, Throwing/6
Songs: Attraction (Corporeal/4, Celestial/4), Direction (Corporeal/4, Ethereal/4), Form (Ethereal/4), Shields (Ethereal/4, Celestial/6)
Special Song: Changeskin (Ethereal/6): A song that Odin shares with his blood-brother Loki. For 1 Essence, Odin can take any form, from the size of a mouse to a giant. Odin's possessions change with him. However, no matter his form, Odin is always missing his right eye and his left eye is a blazing blue.
Artifacts: Draupnir ("Ever-Drinking") is a ring of priceless value and Odin's kingly seal. It functions as a Reliquary/6, every nine nights, it produces nine non-magical rings of identical appearance and value (non-supernatural) to Draupnir. Odin gives these rings as gifts to those mortals who have earned his favor.
Gungnir is a great hunting spear, and the favored weapon of Odin. It was forged by dwarfs long ago and according to legend it never misses (this is an exaggeration, Odin is simply very good with it). Odin has been known to change the course of battles by shaking his spear over the heads of those he has decided will lose, filling them with fear and foreboding, shattering their confidence. It functions as a Talisman with Large Weapon/6 (Spear), Throwing/6, acts as a Reliquary/6 with Nightmares (Corporeal/6).
Hlidskjalf ("High-Seat") is Odin's imperial throne. It functions as a Reliquary/6 with Sight (Ethereal/6). However, the range of the song is much greater then usual, allowing Odin to see anywhere in the eight Nordic ethereal realms (Alfheim, Asgard, Jotunheim, Musplheim, Nidavellir, Niflheim, Svartalfheim, and Vanaheim) and the countries where the Nordic gods held sway (Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden).
Special Rites: Gain 1 Essence when he discovers an important secret.
Gain 2 Essence when an army he supports wins a battle.
Worship Rites: The following ones on p. 95 of the Marches apply: one hour meditating, sacrificing money, sacred herbs, or humans (human sacrifice is not usually done nowadays), three hours reading stories of the god
Sacrificing Wine (at least 1 pitcher)
Whispering a secret (which Odin does not know) in the ear of his effigy
This ancient god has been known as Allfod ("All-Father"), Bileyg ("One-Eye"), Grimnir ("Masked One"), Helblindi ("One-Who-Blinds-With-Death"), Herteit ("Glad-Of-War"), and many more. He is a god of rulership, death, war, poetry, treasure, knowledge, sorcery, and all else that the ancient Nordic people held dear. Though his power has greatly decreased due to lack of Essence, he still remains a deadly warrior and a wily adversary.
Odin's true form is that of an old man with gray hair and a muscular frame. He is missing his right eye and his left eye is blue, penetrating and wise. When in Asgard, Odin usually appears in golden armor, decked in all the regalia of a warrior-king. However, when he wanders the Ethereal and Corporeal planes, Odin prefers to wear simple traveling clothes and a wide-brimmed hat pulled over his missing eye. Odin can take many other forms as well, favoring such forms as an eagle, a wolf, or a young warrior. However, a perceptive viewer can always recognize him from his eyes.
No matter the form he takes, if it is human, Odin always carries his spear Gungnir. Most of the time, Odin disguises Gungnir as a staff or a walking stick. Odin also always wears Draupnir. To hide it, Odin frequently wears gloves.
In the old days, Odin would lead warriors of his choosing to victory, riding at their forefront with his wolves and causing enemies to quake at sight of his spear. However, the Celestials stopped this practice, depriving Odin of much of his Essence. To accommodate for that, Odin spends most of his time wandering Earth and the Marches, uncovering secrets in order to stop himself from fading further.
Though he is in theory the chief of the Aesir, currently Odin is lord in name only. He spends almost all of his time sitting on Hlidskjalf, his gaze spread-out throughout the realms, looking for secrets to give him Essence and especially those which would turn the balance of power away from the Celestials. Odin is obsessed with destroying the monopoly that the angels and demons have on the minds of mortals, and will not let anything else sway him from his goal. When not sitting upon Hlidskalf, Odin spends most of his time wandering the Marches and even Earth (he is too artful to be caught by angels). Since Odin no longer bothers with ruling Asgard, this role is taken by his wife, Frigga, queen of the Aesir.
Odin prefers to deal with ethereals and mortals, for he has a strong dislike for most Celestials, looking at them in the same manner as a rebellious prisoner would towards his jailers. However Odin has been known to deal with certain Celestials. He does occasionally communicate with certain Servitors of Dreams and Creation who are sympathetic to his need for more Essence, and according to popular legend has occasionally been seen walking with someone who looks suspiciously like Eli. Odin also has a certain amount of respect for Michael and David, due to their loyalty and skill as warriors (however, Odin does not feel the same way towards Laurence, thinking of him only as an upstart dictator lording over the Ethereals).
Among the demons, Odin has relationships with Hatiphas, demon of Sorcery (Odin claims that he learned how to practice sorcery himself after hanging for nine days and nights on the world-tree Yggdrasil with Gungnir in his side . . . something that few Celestials believe), Alaemon, Demon Prince of Secrets, Lilith, and Beleth. He trades favors, secrets, and bits of knowledge to them in return for Essence and secrets of their own. Both sides of these deals know that the other cannot be trusted, but they both believe they have the upper hand. Odin has also been frequently contacted by Nybbas, who tries to interest him in Aesir-style movies and television, but Odin considers him a weak and honorless fool, and does not deal with him.
One of the things that galls Odin most of all is that one of his largest sources of Essence in modern times was from the Nazis, who employed Nordic imagery in their propaganda. Odin hates this, and he despises the Nazis. Because he desperately needs their Essence, Odin swallows his pride and allows White Power Teutonic cults to exist. However, Odin prefers the neopagan religion Asatru, a religion dedicated to reviving worship of the Norse gods, and he is very protective of this new faith.
Odin is assisted by many servants. These include the Einheriar and Valkyries (see The Marches, p. 97), as well as a variety of animal companions: his steed Sleipnir, his ravens Hugin and Munin, and his two wolves Geri and Freki.
GERI AND FREKI
Corporeal Forces - 3
Ethereal Forces - 1
Celestial Forces - 1
Skills: Dodge/6, Fighting/8 (Power +4), Move Silently/4, Swimming/3, Tracking/7
Songs: Motion (Corporeal/6)
Geri ("Greedy") and Freki ("Gluttonous") are the wolves of Odin. In the old days, they lay at his feet during great feasts in the hall of Valhalla, and Odin fed them all the food on his plate (for Odin eat nothing and drank only wine). When Odin rode to war, they ran alongside him, causing terror with their howls. However, now Odin spends little time feasting and even less fighting battles, and Geri and Freki are primarily left to themselves. They spend a lot of their time moping near Odin, waiting to be fed and getting more and more depressed. Sometimes they leave Asgard and stalk the Marches, looking for entertainment and food.
HUGIN AND MUNIN
Corporeal Forces - 1
Ethereal Forces - 3
Celestial Forces - 3
Skills: Area Knowledge/6 (the Marches), Dodge/6, Knowledge/6 (the Marches), Move Silently/6, Tracking/6
Songs: Affinity (Corporeal/6, Ethereal/6, Celestial/6), Direction (Corporeal/6, Ethereal/6, Celestial/6), Form (Ethereal/3), Motion (Celestial/3)
Hugin ("Thought") and Munin ("Memory") are two ravens who serve as spies for Odin. They spend most of their time scouring the Marches and Earth, discovering secrets and finding anything that Odin was unable to discover with Hlidskjalf. Every day they return to Odin and whisper into his ears anything that they have learned. Then they fly off again.
Corporeal Forces - 5
Ethereal Forces - 1
Celestial Forces - 1
Skills: Dodge/6, Fighting/4 (Power +4), Swimming/3, Tracking/3
Songs: Dreams (Corporeal/3), Legs/6, Motion (Corporeal/6)
Sleipnir is the steed of death, symbolized by his eight legs, for there are eight steps to a gallows and eight legs to coffin (it is carried by four pallbearers). He is a huge gray stallion, magnificent and wild. Sleipnir is Odin's constant companion and allows no one else to ride him. On the Corporeal Plane, Sleipnir usually appears as a normal gray horse, albeit a very large one, though he may appear in all eight legs if desired. According to some stories, Sleipnir has occasionally appeared as a gray limousine, though this has not been confirmed.
Odin In The Campaign
Odin wanders the Marches and Earth, so players could find him almost anywhere. He enjoys playing mind games with people he meets, and will almost never reveal his identity (for self-preservation as much as anything else). He loves playing riddle games and making fools out of people, and enjoys pitting Celestials against each other.
If Odin chooses to speak with the player characters, it will be because he wants something. It is probable that he will either try to wrest from them a secret, or wishes to use them as a pawn. He would like nothing better then to go into a city, learn every secret of the city's Celestials, incite them into bloody war against each other, and leave the city with all their artifacts slung over his back as they destroy each other.
However, Odin is not without his own honor. Though he will lie and cheat whenever it could be to his advantage or entertain him, once he gives his word of honor, Odin will never break it. Furthermore, if a Celestial gains his trust -- and this has been known to happen -- then that Celestial has a friend for life.
- The homeless of the city are being stirred up by a particularly charismatic vagrant, who is calling out to them to overthrow the tyrannical social regime and their oppressive monotheistic god. They begin to rise up against the government and religious hierarchy, destroying churches and government buildings, funneling Essence towards the Norse Gods. That's when their Superiors bring it to the attention of the PCs and demand that they do something about it.
- The PCs notice a Nordic sword in the museum. It has attracted the interest of a certain one-eyed collector, who has offered to buy it from the museum. This sword is a powerful artifact of the Aesir, and when the museum refuses to sell it to Odin, he will attempt a more direct way of acquiring it.
- Blundell, Kim & Round, Graham; The Usborne Book of Norse Legends. A useful reference book on Norse Mythology.
- Chupp, Sam et al.; The Marches. Part II of the In Nomine Revelations Cycle, this supplement deals with the Aesir and the Marches in more detail.
- Sturluson, Snorri; The Prose Edda. The most authoritative book on Norse Mythology.
Article publication date: March 15, 2002
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