Skadi

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Overview

Name(s): Skadi "Goddess of Mountains"
Status: Lesser Deity
Symbol: Mountain Peak
Home Plane: Asgard
Alignment: True Neutral
Portfolio: Earth, Mountains
Worshipers: Barbarians, druids, rangers, Dwarves, Halflings
Clerical alignments: LN, CN, NE, NG, N
Domains: Destruction, Earth, Strength
Favored Weapon: Greataxe

The Giantess Skadi was drawn to Asgard by her desire for revenge for the death of her father. How justified this death was is uncertain as some legends say he was Hrimthurs, the stonemason who built the walls of Asgard, and some that he was Thiassi, who stole the Golden Apples and the Goddess Idun.

In the former case Hrimthurs was guilty only of taking advantage of the arrogance of the Gods and failing to realise they would rather preserve their wealth than their honour. He bargained that his price would be the Goddess Freya, the Sun, and the Moon and, at Loki's suggestion, Odin in return set a six-month deadline for the eighteen-month task. To their horror though, with the aid of his great stallion Svadilfari, Hrimthurs had built all but a gateway by three days before that 'impossible' deadline. Although the deal had been freely struck the Gods now felt the price they had set was unaffordable, so they chose instead to sabotage the building of their own walls.

Loki assumed the form of a Mare to lead Svadilfari astray and since this led to Loki giving birth to Slepnir, Odin's eight legged horse, he either underestimated the stallion's speed or decided a new experience was worth trying at least once. Without his horse Hrimthurs did not meet the deadline and when he protested that he deserved some payment as the walls were so close to complete the Gods then used the excuse of him being a Giant to have Thor murder him with Mjolinir.

With Thiassi his death was in return for him trying to cause the death or permanent enfeeblement of the Gods, and so was in return for his own gross hostility. Having captured Loki the Giant released him on condition that he lure Idun into a trap, which the trickster God did by claiming to have seen an apple tree even better than that the Goddess tended. There in the woods Thiassi seized Idun and flew her to Jotunheim while he was in the form of an Eagle. Then without her and the Golden Apples of Youth the Gods began to age rapidly until they were all but incapacitated.

Summoning his strength Odin was able to discover where Idun was being held and when the Gods captured Loki, who as a Giant was likely unaffected by the lack of the Apples, they forced him to attempt a rescue. He flew to Jotunheim in the shape of a Falcon and, having turned Idun into a nut, he took her in his claws and flew her back to Asgard. Thiassi took the form of an Eagle again to pursue, but was burned to death by fires placed on the high ramparts of Asgard.

Whoever her father was his death drew Skadi to come to Asgard and seek revenge. Deciding on appeasement the Gods offered her gold, but Skadi rejected that in favour of a bellyfull of laughter and a husband. The former was supplied by Loki tying his testicles to a Goat and the latter resulted in a beauty contest where Skadi had to choose between the unmarried Gods when all of them except their feet were concealed.

Unfortunately for her it was not Baldur, who she wanted, who had the most shapely and cleanest feet and she was disappointed to find she had chosen the old Sea God Njord, whose feet the sea washed clean every day. They attempted to make a marriage of it but he found her mountains too cold and desolate and she found his coastline and the bustle of shipbuilding around his hall too noisy. So after nine days in each place they decided to live apart.