Vanaheim (or "Vana-home") is the world of the Vanir, a race of deities and spirits whose
main focus is agriculture. This world lies on the western side of the World Tree, just below
Alfheim and Asgard in the spiral path. No one is really sure where the Vanir came from, or how
they created Vanaheim without the Aesir noticing, and they aren't telling. However, they first
come to the attention of the Aesir after they have already established their world and their land.
Time and Seasons: Vanaheim has four perfect seasons. By this I mean that Vanaheim is blessed
with generally postcard-perfect weather, regardless of what time of year it happens to be. Indeed,
Vanaheim has the best weather and climate of any of the Nine Worlds. Its "year" is significantly
longer than ours, however; it may be difficult to line up the season here with the season there.
Vanaheim turns closest to our world at the halfway point between the summer solstice and the
autumnal equinox, the day that was referred to by some of our ancestors as Lammas.
Geography: Vanaheim is a large island, large enough that it could be called a small continent. Rolling hills decorate the central area, and the rest is meadow and pastureland, with small patches of woodland. The shoreline varies between open beaches and rock cliffs. Fishing is a popular industry, as the Vanir are closely allied to Aegir the sea god. The island is lush and green, with the most fertile soil in the Nine Worlds. Practically any seed will grow, stuck into the ground. As such, Vanaheim is the food basket of the Nine Worlds, exporting and trading agricultural products with all the others.
There seem to be no cities in Vanaheim, nor even a capital or main hall where the important Vanir all live. The people of Vanaheim are organized into small villages, none of them much more important than any other. Government is done by moots, where village representatives travel to meet and discuss and decide law. The moots are large gatherings that take several days, and are often timed with seasonal religious rituals, as if to get as much as possible out of a single gathering. The location of the moots rotates around the island.
Villages usually center around a sacred grove, with cottages, small halls, and fields outlying around it. There are small temples in a few areas, but most worship is done outside in the groves. These groves are distinguished by carefully planted circles of sacred trees, stone altars, and the occasional stang. Actually, you won't find stangs anywhere else in Vanaheim except for the sacred groves, which are holy ground and usually watched by a guardian priest or priestess. That means that when you enter this world, you will come in under surveillance, into a space that is considered sacred and must be treated with respect. Although the priest-guardians are generally not armed, they usually have guards around who are. As soon as you enter Vanaheim, respectfully declare yourself and tell them your business there. There may be food offerings left around the grove; don't eat them.
The largest stretch of woods in Vanaheim is the Barri Woods, a magical wood of gold-leaved trees on the eastern shore, nearest to Jotunheim. The trees grow taller there than anywhere
else in this wood, and it is said by the locals that they are actually of Jotunheim stock, gifted or
traded by the etins just across the water and world-barrier. This is the place where Frey met with
his etin-bride Gerda and wooed her, and the Barri Woods are said to be particularly good for
sexual rites and love magic.
Inhabitants: There is no extant myth of where the people of the Vanir came from. They themselves, when asked, have simply said that they settled Vanaheim when a piece of Ymir's body (said to be his pelvis, as it is the most fertile area) became a stable continent in a stable world. They do not trace any descent from Ymir's children, and may have come from outside the Nine Worlds. The first mention of them in myths is when Odin and his brothers run across them, act rudely, and a war is started. They are an agricultural people, practicing fertility rites and the occasional human sacrifice.
Hospitality rules are very important to the Vanir. While they have a good deal of importance everywhere in the Nine Worlds, the Vanir are particularly picky about them. While any of them will likely give you a three-day guest-right stay in their homes, there are rules about being a good guest. First, offer to help with whatever farm labor they require. If you don't know how to do anything, ask for a task that takes little skill and can be learned quickly. If they happily put you to work, you are in. Don't shirk; do your best job. If they politely decline to give you a task, it isn't because they consider you too fine a guest to be put to work, it's that they don't like you that much, and don't want you to be considered like part of the family, if only for a few hours. If they won't allow you to help, they likely don't want you back.
At one point, the Vanir fought a war with the Aesir, and after much loss of life both sides called it a draw. The point of mentioning this war is that people tend to underestimate the Vanir as warriors. They are not as openly warlike as the Aesir - in fact, there is a strict peace set on their world that it would do anyone ill to break - but they are just as skilled at the arts of warfare, and should not be dismissed. Be courteous and polite to these "mere farmers", or they may decide that you have violated their rules of hospitality, which in some parts of Vanaheim is a killing offense.
As part of the treaty terms of the war, the Aesir and Vanir exchanged hostages. Each side agreed to send over some members of great wisdom so that the other could benefit from them. The Aesir sent over Mimir and Hoenir, but they turned out to be unsatisfactory; Hoenir refused to talk about anything, and Mimir did nothing but babble. One senses either resentment at their hostage status, or an implicit order to keep quiet. The Vanir, however, were insulted, and hacked Mimir's head off and sent it back to Odin with Hoenir. Odin resurrected the head and dropped it down a well, where Mimir is doomed to answer questions for eternity or until Odin decides to release him.
On the other hand, the Vanir hostages consisted of Njord, the god of ships and sailing, and his twin children Frey and Freya, the gods of fertility and love. The presence of the latter two seemed to be part of an ongoing deal to provide Asgard with food. Odin was especially eager to get hold of Freya, and not just for her beauty; she was the mistress of the seidhr-magic that he wished to learn. Not only were the Vanir hostages accepted as full voting members of the Aesir, when their people returned the other hostages, scorned or beheaded, no revenge was taken upon the all-too-important Njord, Frey, or Freya. The end result is that Asgard has a strong Vanir voice in its councils, while Vanaheim is fairly free to ignore Asgard, secure that its hostage-gods are quite safe there.
The three of them are allowed to come home and visit Vanaheim, as long as they do it
one at a time. Njord can be found in Vanaheim in the spring and high summer, usually on a boat.
Frey comes home around Lammas for his yearly role in the all-important fertility-based Ing
ritual, and stays until the first snows. Freya presumably comes home some time in the winter and
stays to see the spring open onto the land, her favorite time of year.
Njord's Vanaheim home is, of course, on the eastern seashore, facing Alfheim and Asgard. (His Asgard home is directly opposite it on Asgard's westerly beaches, calculated to have the straightest possible shot over the ocean between the two.) Noatun, or "Shipyards", is a tall, white, arched building on the rocky outcrop of the largest northern bay. A small fleet of ships have their home in the bay, as Njord keeps all of the Vanir fleet under his protection, even when he is absent. The waters around Vanaheim never freeze, even in the winter, and fishing is always good.
Njord is currently single and solitary, but like the archetypal sailor he has had many wives and lovers. He is technically married to Nerthus - by whom he has sired Frey and Freya - but it is strictly a ceremonial marriage, to be reconsummated once a year for ritual purposes. He was briefly married to Skadi as a favor to Odin, but they did not get along and quickly divorced. He has sired eight more daughters by various Vanir women.
Njord himself has been described as a lean, vigorous, bearded man in early middle age,
with hands calloused from ship-ropes and face somewhat windburned. One spirit-worker who
honors him referred to him as "every inch the perfect sea-captain", and reported that a salt breeze
seemed to move about him wherever he was. Anyone who is interested in ships and sailing will
automatically find an ally to talk to in him.
Njord's ceremonial wife, Nerthus, is the high priestess/earth mother of Vanaheim. Njord is her husband in name, but they do not live together; their marriage is strictly a ritual affair for the magical mating of earth and sea, in order to bring fertility to the land. Their two sacred children are the twins Frey and Freya, who embody the fertility of Vanaheim and bring that fertility everywhere they go.
Nerthus is very old and very private, and surrounded by taboos. She is large and
voluptuous, with a Venus-of-Willendorf figure, and eyes like deep swamp pools. Her skin is
brown as the earth, and her long brown hair trails on the ground for many feet behind her. She is
in charge of all human sacrifice in Vanaheim, and people willingly give their lives before her
knife. She lives on an island in the exact center of Vanaheim - an island within an island - which
is only big enough for her sacred grove, her temple, and her house. During certain times of the
year, she will process through the various Vanaheim villages, bringing peace and fertility, and
then return to her island. She is accompanied on her way back by a tithe of servants whose job is
to bathe her in the waters of her lake, serve her every whim for a week, and then be drowned as
sacrifices. Only seek her out if you are willing to pay a high price for her wisdom, and if you
cannot get it elsewhere.
Frey is a god with many homes, as his conflicting loyalties keep him always on the move. When serving his time in Asgard, he stays with his sister Freya in her hall Sessrumnir, and keeps it while she is home in Vanaheim. However, his beloved etin-bride Gerda will not come to Asgard with him, so he is alone during his sojourns there. He also has a hall in Alfheim (elaborated on more clearly in the Alfheim chapter), given to him by the Aesir, and he spends part of his Asgard-time there. While Gerda will come to live with him sometimes in Alfheim, she really does not like it there either. When he comes home to Vanaheim, the two of them live together in his Vanaheim hall in the Borri Woods, the place of their courtship. While we do not at this time know the name of this hall, or even if it has one beyond "Frey's Place", visitors have reported that it seems to be made entirely of golden corn dollies of woven straw.
Frey himself is a very accessible and friendly deity. He is tall and blond and beautiful, and laughs a good deal. While he is quite welcoming to all who seek him, the hard part is catching up to him as he moves from stead to stead during the year. He has divine rulership over such things as fertility, growth, abundance, peace, and contentment. He is a god of love and sex and sensuality, but unlike his sister who values these things in and of themselves, Frey works with committed lovers who wish to build a home together, especially if they intend to own land. He is just fine with nonheterosexual unions (and worshippers), and his priests were often effeminate and cross-dressed. He is a god of marriage, but unlike Frigga who blesses socially sanctioned marriages, Frey blesses those which make people shake their heads and say "They'll never make it - they're too different," or "they're too strange". His own wedding with the giantess Gerda was not the most well-received of unions, and he is sympathetic to the lovers who flout convention and struggle across cultural differences.
As a god of peace, Frey dislikes violence in his hallowed places, not to mention his home. Starting a fight there is unforgivable, as is discourtesy towards other guests. While he seems like a jovial type, you would be surprised how fast you will be hustled out by his servants if you make him unhappy.
If you can get him to show you his ship Skidbladnir, it's worth seeing. It's a tiny model ship that can blow up into a full-size creation at a word. It was a gift from Aegir, commissioned of duergar-make. He is proud of it, and loves to show it off, and to take short trips in it, although he has little of his father's skill with ships.
Gerda, his etin-bride wife, is utterly unlike Frey. Where he is good-humored and expressive, she is reserved and cool; one might even say downright cold to those she does not know. She is tall and large-boned, like most etin-women, with pale skin and long dark hair that is usually neatly braided behind her. She tends to wear loose, concealing dresses, and she spends a great deal of time in her gardens.
At each of the households where she lives with Frey - in Vanaheim and in Alfheim - she has built a beautiful garden with high walls around it, heavily warded. When you are in her gardens, there is a stillness and a safe quality to the place that makes you feel as if everything except that small place has ceased to exist. If Gerda invites you to come walk in the garden with her, it is not because she wants your conversation and chatter. It is because she wants you to spend time with her quietly appreciating the beauty and the peace of it. She may speak of her favorite garden, which is in Jotunheim at the home of her parents, planted on the limbs of a huge tree a hundred feet in the air, in the canopy of a great forest where mists float among the branches. Bring her offerings of seeds, preferably flower or herb seeds for her garden. Plant a garden in her name, in some out of the way place, perhaps with walls around it.
At first glance, Gerda seems almost plain, and one wonders how this woman won the desperate love of gorgeous blond Frey. Then, when she warms up a little, her dark eyes flash and you realize that under her cold manner lies hot-blooded Jotun passion, and for that moment she is both frightening and shockingly desirable, as if a dull-looking tabby cat growled and for a moment became a sleek black leopard. Then it vanishes as quickly as it came, and she is back to her self-enclosed coolness. Remember that although she is Frey's wife, she does not take on the task of running his households, as they are apart for at least half the year. Those chores she leaves to Beyla, including the work of hospitality. She seems to consider herself a guest in her husband's home, except for her garden spaces; it's a strange way to run a relationship, but it seems to work for them, and there is no questioning the depth of their love and affection for each other.
Frey's personal assistant and man-at-arms is Skirnir, given to him by the Aesir as a token of respect for his rank. Skirnir is lean, sharp, and quick, with a penetrating wit and wry speech. He is clever, resourceful, coldly practical, and willing to twist arms and lean on people in order to fulfill his orders, though he never evinces this behavior in Frey's presence. He takes his vocation as Frey's manservant and bodyguard very seriously, and will not hear any untoward words about his master. Frey gifted him with his horse, Blodighofi, as a reward for aiding his courtship with Gerda. Skirnir wisely realized that this was a gift given in impulse that Frey would later regret, and discreetly returned the horse after a week, saying that it was too fierce for him. He is still allowed to use Blodighofi for errands and missions, however,
Frey's two Vanir servants are Beyla and Byggvir, a married couple who follow him from stead to stead. Beyla milks the herd animals and tends to the bees at each farm, and Byggvir tends to the various crops, makes beer, and takes care of the magical World-Mill, one of Frey's treasures. The World-Mill, when turned, will keep pouring out a steady stream of grain. The type of grain varies from day to day, and Byggvir is always trying to get it to make new sorts. Byggvir is quite approachable, and will gladly show off the mill that is his favorite hobby. Beyla is more reticent, but can be wooed into talking by offering to help her with her tasks. (Knowing how to milk dairy animals is especially useful.) Other members of the traveling household include Blodighofi ("Blood-hoof"), Frey's great red horse who is unafraid of fire, and Gullinbursti ("Golden-bristle") and Slidrugtanni, the great tame boars that pull his chariot.
Offerings to Frey include good beer (preferably homemade or craft beers), fine breads,
good cheeses, and other well-made beautiful gourmet food.
Freya also has two halls; the famous Sessrumnir in Asgard and her home hall in Vanaheim. This hall is tended for most of the year by four of her eight sisters. Three others of her sisters - Bjart (Shining), Blid (Mild) and Frid (Pretty), are handmaidens of Mengloth in Jotunheim. Eir, the eldest of her eight sisters, is Frigga's handmaiden in Asgard and a goddess of healing. Her hall in Vanaheim is simply referred to as Freya's Home, even though she is not there most of the time.
Like her brother, she is a hostage for the continued peace between the Aesir and the Vanir, and she is allowed to come home only when her father and brother are absent. She travels from world to world in a chariot pulled by large golden cats; in some traditions there are four of them and in others two, named Beegold and Treegold, symbolizing honey and amber, her favorite substances. She can also fly through the air in dove form, or wearing a cloak of falcon feathers which can change her into that bird as well.
Much has been said about Freya, the Goddess of Love and Fertility, Lady of the Vanir. She is one of the most popular deities in the northern tradition, and with good reason. She is also an extremely versatile woman. Her sacred activities fall into four categories - she wears four "hats", as it were. First, she is a love goddess; this is her best-known attribute, and the one that marks her appearance. Like her brother Frey, she is tall, blond, and gorgeous. She can go back and forth from coolly poised to emotionally volatile, although her temperament mostly lends itself to being sunny. In her love-goddess persona, she grants the boon of love to some of those who apply to her...but not all; no love goddess ever gave anyone everything that they wanted.
When she appears in her aspect as Love Goddess, she wears Brisingamen, the most beautiful necklace in the Nine Worlds, made by four duergar smith-brothers. She traded four nights of her favors for it, thus proving that her charms really were worth the greatest piece of jewelry, and was serenely immune to the catty remarks of the Aesir about her whoring. Indeed, she has an aspect as Sacred Prostitute, wherein she teaches people to value themselves and their favors rather than desperately selling themselves cheaply to whoever comes by and looks interested. Freya's lesson as Goddess of Love is that of self-esteem, and that the Universe will give you what are willing to settle for.
In her aspect as mistress of seidhr, the mystical art of the oracle, she appears in her mysterious-woman aspect, usually dressed in some form of traditional clothing. She teaches the arts of seid-magic to those she deems worthy, although she does have a preference for women and non-gender-conforming men.
In her warrior aspect, she has the same job as a Valkyrie, except that the Valkyries choose the brave dead for Valhalla. Sometime shortly after arriving as a hostage in Asgard, Freya cut a deal with Odin whereby she would teach him her wisdom in return for the first pick of the noble slain, of which she could take up to a third. Inevitably, she chooses the best of the crop, including all the women warriors (except those sworn personally to Odin or one of his liege-vassal deities). She can be seen alongside of the Valkyries during battle, for those with the eyes to see, in her white armor. But this side of her is never expressed in Vanaheim, only Asgard.
The side of her which is most tied to Vanaheim - and for which she always comes home in the early spring - is that of goddess of fertility. Like Frey, her touch makes the crops flourish, but her special time is that of the early seedling, coaxing it into the full-blown plant. When she is home for her ritual duties, she wears a gown covered in flowers and grains, the magical embroidery of which changes as the plants grow.
There are various stories about Freya's various husbands, all of whom seem to be dead of various disasters. Although she has taken many husbands and lovers, it seems that none of them were able to hold her for long, much less make her monogamous. She wept tears for all of them, which became droplets of amber before they hit the ground. By one of her late husbands, Od, she had two daughters, Hnoss and Gersimi. Each of them have their own halls in Vanaheim, within sight of her own. Unlike her, they mostly take after their father and are round and brown and merry and bouncing. Gersimi means "jewelry" and she is a patron of jewelry-makers, as it is one of her arts, and she often supplies her beautiful mother with strings of beads.
Offerings to Freya include honey, flowers, fine drink, sweet breads and cakes, fruits, and
anything lovely. She is partial to elaborate handiwork that someone slaved over. Jewelry, of
course, is always welcome, as are natural perfumes.
Frodi is a very old Vanir gold whose name means "Fruitful One". According to the lore of
the Vanir, he is the father of Njord by Nott, the sky-etin of the night. He is a grey-haired,
bearded, wrinkled old man who lives in a small wooden hall surrounded by orchards and berry-brambles. While elderly and private, he will welcome you if you come willing to sing or tell
tales, and lend him a strong back to help with the fruit-picking. As an offering, plant berry-bushes or small fruit trees and shrubs.
Nehallenia, whose name also means "Fruitful One", is a goddess of vegetation and the
sea. While it is unclear as to what pantheon she was originally from, she does have a hall in
Vanaheim. It is by the ocean, facing Asgard as Njord's hall is, and just down the coast from his
place. It is made of woven branches, made to be in the shape of a cornucopia, which is her
symbol. She is a goddess of good fishing and plenty, and her specialty is those things which
flourish within half a mile of the coast in either direction - shellfish, seaweed, beach plums, and
produce that loves the salt air. She is especially fond of rosemary as an offering.
Holda is a Germanic goddess, and her actual home is in some strange underworld place that isn't Helheim, but people accidentally fall down a well in order to get to it. However, I am told that she does have a hall in Vanaheim, where she is practically the center of the flax-weaving industry. Vanaheim is famed for its linen, whereas the spinners in Asgard under Frigga's eye generally spin wool. Holda's cottage sits in the middle of many fields of waving blue and white flax flowers, with an extensive culinary herb garden spread about it.
Holda is a goddess of the household arts; many folk who have worked with her report that she loves a clean, neat house, and will make those who call on her suddenly feel the urge to go on a mad cleaning spree, scrubbing floors and dusting shelves even if they have never done such things before. Cleaning is a good way to welcome her, anyway; it shows that you value what she's about. As one can imagine, her home in Vanaheim is spotless, but still warm and homey. Her food never burns, her milk never sours, her fruits and vegetables never spoil, and her hands are never idle; while she talks to you she is likely to be spinning or weaving or doing some other sort of small craft.
She has a small flock of handmaidens to whom she teaches the homely arts; unlike other deities, she does not have a permanent staff, but rather rotates young girls who then go off to run their own households when they have learned enough. The exception is a handmaiden called Harn, who
is an expert in flax-dressing (the long and ungainly process of turning flax into linen thread) and she aids those who wish to learn this art.
For an offering to Holda, clean your house! If your home is already in order - including
all the nooks and crannies such as the inside of refrigerators and the backs of attics - go to the
home of someone who has difficulty keeping their place clean and commit an act of cleanliness
there. It is especially good to help out disabled people, the elderly, or mothers with small children
who are overrun and overwhelmed. Don't worry about actually bringing anything to Holda. She'll
know what you've done. If you didn't think to do any cleaning before you visit, ask to help out
with something. She'll put you to work.
The giant Billing is the "Master of the Vanirs". He is Gilling's brother, Rind's father and
Vali's grandfather. Although he is a giant, he has strong ties with the Vanir - one of his wives is a
Vana - and he is in charge of handling the trade between Vanaheim and Jotunheim. He is
mediator and bargainer, working towards the best deal for both sides, and both sides respect him
for his fairness and neutrality. His hall is located at a large port on the Jotunheim-facing coast of
Vanaheim; it is as much warehouse as living space. Although he is well-disposed towards human
travelers, he is very busy and has little time for their questions.
Aegirheim: Just off the coast of Vanaheim lies Aegirheim, the underwater palace of Aegir, the sea god (occasionally known as Hler). While Aegir and his folk travel the seawater in every land, and are familiar with the beaches that wash everywhere from Midgard to Asgard to Muspellheim to Helheim, their main base is in Vanaheim and they do tend to ally themselves with the Vanir. Aegir's father is Mistblindi, or "mist-blind". His brother, Logi, is a sworn man of Utgard-Loki.
Aegir was often shown as a vigorous man with a spear in his hand - one ancient term for the sea, garsecg, actually meant spear-man - with a long, flowing beard that he loves to decorate with shells and beads. His wife Ran, whose name means Robber, is the Thief of Ships. She is not nearly as nice as Aegir is, and is harder to please. She is tiny for an etin-woman, small and delicate with pale, blue-tinged skin, long fingers, strange sea-colored inhuman eyes, and black hair so long that it trails on the floor behind her. Her eyes are cold and flick from side to side like green-glass blades. She enjoys human guests largely for their entertainment value, so make sure that you are properly entertaining.
Aegir and Ran's daughters, the Nine Undines, take much more after their mother's temperament. In their natural forms, they range from startlingly ugly to strikingly lovely but inhuman-looking, although they can all take on illusory beautiful-human-woman forms if they choose. In the water they will always be tailed mermaids; in Aegirheim they switch to legs. They are a close-knit and rather bloodthirsty lot, as can be deduced by their names: Blodughadda (Blood-hair), Bara (Big Wave), Bylgja (Breaking Wave), Duva (Hidden), Hevring (Heaving), Himinglava (Sky Shining Through), Hronn (Sucking Wave), Kolga (Cool One), and Unn (Billow).
Sea-giants have several forms. They can look like pale humans, usually with long flowing
hair nearly the full length of their bodies. They can take on the forms of fishes, dolphins, whales
and other sea creatures, sometimes even floating clumps of seaweed. They can take on a form
that looks like a transparent humanoid water-shape. They can also take on the classic half-fish
mermaid/merman form that has so entranced sailors through the ages.
To get to Aegirheim, the best route is via Hlesey Island, off the coast of Vanaheim. Here you can rent a boat from the locals (or bring your own), go down to the shore and make the proper offerings, and ask to be escorted to Aegir's halls. If the offering is accepted, one of his servants (or daughters, if he thinks that you rate that kind of treatment) will come up out of the water for you. They will sail the boat for you - go ahead and let them! - and it will slowly sink under the waves. This is the frightening part for us air-breathers, but don't worry - ask long as you are close to them, you will be able to breathe fine. It's part of their magic. If you are rude, of course, they will throw you off the boat (or, later, out of the palace) and you will quickly drown as soon as you are out of range.
Aegir's doorward is an etin named Eldir. Like Fjalar, his favorite form is that of a giant rooster. He is fussy and difficult, and prone to turning rude people away. If he answers the door in rooster form, be careful not to laugh; he would not be above pecking or scratching you badly and then throwing you out into the ocean. Eldir is a bit self-important; humor him and make sure he knows you understand what an honor it is to feast at Aegir's table.
During the feast, Aegir will pass around the Rimkalk, or crystal goblet used for toasts. This is your cue to tell him how honored you are to be there, and to praise his hospitality. If you have a song or poem to donate, go ahead, but keep it short. The great feasts are cooked in a magic kettle a mile deep called Seaboiler. It was originally owned by the giant Hymir, but it was borrowed by Thor, never returned, and won in a game by Aegir, who uses it in his enormous feeds.
One thing that you may find notable when dining with Aegir is the number of human
beings at the table who are actually dead. There will usually be a number of ghosts at the table,
enjoying his hospitality, although these days there are far fewer than there used to be in the times
of the great ships. These are people who were drowned at sea and whose souls were snatched by
Ran, who holds the power to steal souls out of drowning bodies. She keeps them around
Aegirheim, rather like pets, until they cease to be entertaining and then are summarily sent off to
Helheim. The most entertaining ghosts, or the ones that Aegir finds the most engaging, have been
there for hundreds of years feasting and singing and dancing.
Offerings: Shiny coins and jewelry. Please make sure that the metal is actually real precious metal; they can tell the difference and will be as insulted by pot metal as any duergar. Sailors used to be given coins with which to pay off the sea-giants if they were "captured". Alcohol with gold dust in it is also much loved, especially if it is homebrew, which Aegir appreciates. In ancient times, sailors used to give human sacrifices to the sea-giants, throwing them overboard, and they still remember this wistfully. It meant a lot to them not just because of bloodthirstiness, but because the souls of those who drowned went not to Helheim or Asgard, but to their own halls, where they would feast and be entertained forever.