Odin is a god of knowledge, magic, travel, trickery, and war. He is also called a god of poetry and inspiration.
Odin is an ancient deity with many titles reflecting his past. He is called the All-Father, Father of the Slain, God of the Hanged, God of Prisoners, God of Cargoes, the High One, the Inflamer, Swift Tricker, Father of Victory, the Blind One, Shifty-Eyed, One with a Magic Staff, Destroyer, and Terror.
Odin is revered for his great wisdom, knowledge, and cunning. His dedication to the acquisition of magic is severe. Odin once hung himself from the World Tree Yggdrasil for nine nights in order to receive the knowledge of the runes of magic. Odin is heroic, proud, and stern, resembling a great Norse chieftain. He is obsessed with the acquisition of power, always planning to amass forces for the prophecied battle of Ragnarok.
By custom, Odin cannot slay the direct offspring of gods. However, he has on at least one occasion slain his own distant mortal descendants on the battlefield.
Odin is worshiped primarily among the humans of the world of Midgard, a realm which he himself created from the flesh of his progenitor Ymir. He is popular in numerous other realms, including the Known World, Hollow World, and Earth. He has followers among the many worlds connected to the Great Wheel. He is particularly followed by those who seek knowledge, and heroes who seek to enter Odin's hall Valhalla in the afterlife. His followers especially include gnomes, bards, fighters, rogues, sorcerers and wizards.
Odin's priesthood are valued as counselors to powerful nobles. They serve primarily as diplomats and advisors. Chieftains number among Odin's priesthood. They are expected to fight bravely in the front lines of battle, and to be wise leaders and excellent tacticians.
VestmentsThe clergy of Odin emulate their deity by wearing dark, wide-brimmed hats decorated or made from raven feathers. They wear patches over their left eyes.
TemplesTemples to Odin are long, fortified halls which serve as feasting and brawling. The temple's roof is traditionally supported by oaken pillars carved with images of gods and heroes. Sacrifices of gold and silver are made to Odin each lunar month.
Visitors are generously offered a meal and a tankard of meal, with free accommodation offered to those who work to advance the craft of magic. Many temples also contain a store of knowledge and magic items, which the priests of Odin are happy to trade in.
Odin has a temple upon the distant Rock of Bral, a trade hub within the realm of Wildspace.
ShrinesCommunities often have a shrine to Odin, called the Place of Judgement. Here, priests of Odin use magic to determine the truth when a man is accused of a crime. Runes are often engraved on this shrine to prevent violence during the trial. Many smaller shrines to Odin appear in the wilderness, often in locations that overlook the surrounding terrain.
RitualsThe cult of Odin practices ritual hanging and piercing by spears in emulation of their god. These painful rituals are used to test the faithful, and are not intended to be lethal.
In one such ritual performed by clerics of Odin, a noose is placed around the supplicant's neck, where they are buried in a coffin in a sacred bog for nine nights. The cleric is fed a poison which induces paralysis for the duration. The ritual is dangerous, and in some cases can cause death or madness. The ritual is hoped to grant the cleric knowledge of one of the twenty-four sacred runes of Odin.
The cult of Odin often sacrifice animals in the hopes of receiving victory in battle, or making a successful voyage. Some followers practice human sacrifice, in which the victim is hanged, stabbed through the heart with a spear, and the remains burned on an oaken pyre.
A group of clerics known as Odin's Ravens are tasked with assisting local rulers in the judgement of criminal charges. They use magic to detect lies on both the accused and on witnesses.
The cult of Odin places a premium on canny strategy and cunning solutions to problems. Followers of Odin constantly seek new knowledge as an advantage over their foes. Paradoxically, the cult promotes self-reliance by relating tales of Odin turning against favored kings and generals in the midst of battle. The cult practices ritual hanging and piercing by spears in emulation of their patron deity, but in reality the hangings and injuries are purely tests and cause no lasting harm. Purposely destroying or removing an eye to emulate Odin is shameful to the cult, though an eye's loss in battle is considered a mark of favor from Odin.
The cult makes and loses allies easily. If a ruler takes an advisor from the cult lightly or disregards advice, the advisor may leave without warning or even switch sides to the ruler's enemy.
Odin appears as a grey-haired man, seeming around fifty years of age, with a missing eye covered with a patch. His remaining eye blazes like the sun. He is often accompanied by two ravens, Hugin and Munin, who rest upon his shoulders, and his wolves, Freke and Gere.
In his travels through the human realm of Midgard, Odin disguises himself as an ordinary mortal wanderer, wearing a tattered wide-brimmed hat which casts a shadow over his face.
Odin favors dark clothing, especially grey, and often wears an eyepatch over his missing eye. He appears with a grey beard, broad shoulders, and a hunched back. He leans on a wooden staff as he walks. By some accounts, this staff is the same object as Odin's spear Gungnir.
By blood or marriage, Odin has strong family ties to many of the gods of the Asgardian pantheon and several human heroes of legend.
Odin and his brothers Vili and Ve were the first of the Aesir gods of the Asgardian pantheon, and all Aesir descend from these three. He is blood brother to the Asgardian deity Loki. Odin is married to the goddess Frigga, although he has had several wives, and several sons by different mothers.
With Frigga he fathered Tyr, Balder and Hod. With the giantess Jord he fathered Thor. With Gunlod he fathered Bragi. He is also father of Heimdall, Vidar, and Vali. He is grandfather to Baldur's son Forseti and Thor's sons Modi, Magni and Uller.
As blood brother to Loki he is technically uncle to the world-serpent Jormungandr, Hel, Garmr, and his own horse Sleipnir. Odin is grandfather to King Rerir of Hunaland. He is therefore an ancestor to Rerir's son Volsung, Volsung's son Sigmund (who Odin slew in battle), and Sigmund's son Sigurd. Odin is grandfather to Svafrlami, for whom the dwarves crafted the sword Tyrfing. He is therefore an ancestor to Svafrlami's daughter Eyfura, her son Angantyr, his daughter Hervor, and her sons Angantyr and Heidrek.
Odin has made many enemies through the ages.
The frost giants hold a grudge against Odin for slaying almost all of their species, including the progenitor giant Ymir. Odin is fated to be slain at Ragnarok by the wolf Fenrir, son of Loki. Loki will side with the fire giants against Asgard, holding a grudge against Odin for imprisoning him within a cave for an age as punishment for his part in the killing of Balder. Odin has enmity with the goddess Hel, who rules the land of the dead. She is jealous of Odin's love of life, and angry that Odin has reincarnated the spirits of the worthy as the children of nobles and rulers. Odin shackled the titan Jeuron to the bottom of the sea for posing as a deity.
Odin is chief of the gods of Asgard, and nearly all of them shall side with him at the battle at Ragnarok. Odin's son Vidar is fated to avenge him at Ragnarok.