The Norns
The Norns

The Norns

The Norns

Destiny’s Daughters, Urðr, Verðandi, and Skuld. N powers of unknown status (She/They)

Pantheon: Norse

Symbol: Staff with three branches

Realm: Outlands / Ringlands / The Well of Urd

Known Proxies: None

Here’s the dark on the Norns, those spinners of fate that’ve got even the powers peering over their shoulders. You’ve heard the chant, yeah? Urd, Verdandi, Skuld—they’re seers of the past, the now, and the what’s-to-come. They squat over there in their little grove in the Outlands, twiddling with the threads of all existence like it’s some grand tapestry. If you believe the stories, that is.

Now, these old crones, they’re a sight for sure—if you can ever find ’em, that is. Cloaked in mystery and more reclusive than a Hardhead in the Hive, they’ve got the whole multiverse trying to peek into their business. The dark of it is, they’re said to hold the keys to every berk’s fate, deciding who gets an afterlife of Heavenly glory and who ends up mucking about in the Lower Planes in a pit of fire or some such.

But here’s the rub—no one’s truly sure they exist. Oh sure, every cutter and his mother will tell you they’ve seen the Norns, weaving away at their loom or chuckling over the Well of Urd. But push comes to shove, it could just as well be any of the myriad hermits or mad seers that haunt their realm, all claiming to see the weave of fate clearer than a glass of Elysian nectar.

Their realm? A shadowy grove so thick with trees and thorns you’d think twice about taking a step without a lantern. And at the heart of it, the Well of Urd. A bleak pit if there ever was one, filled with the waters of fate or some such screed. They say if you’re daft enough to peer into its depths, you’ll see your future. More likely, you’ll just get a good scare from the crone looming up behind you and a story to tell back in the taverns of Sigil.

Now, the Norns, if they do exist, they don’t truck with visitors much. No proxies, no servants, just the incessant whisper of fate and the occasional prime or planar desperate enough to seek ’em out. Seeking the Norns for a peek at your thread in their tapestry? Be ready for a journey that’s more about the search than the finding. And remember, knowing your fate’s a dodgy business. Might be you’re better off not knowing what the weave’s got in store for you.

So, there you have it, basher. The Norns: they’re a mystery wrapped in an enigma, shrouded by the mists of the planes, chucked into the bottom of a well. Take it with a grain of salt, or chase after them like a sodden fool. Either way, it’ll be a tale worth telling, eh?

Canonical Sources:

  • Deities & Demigods [3e] p165,167 (Norns must tend to Yggdrasil because of Nidhoggr)
  • On Hallowed Ground [2e] p147 (the Norns and their realm)
  • Planes of Chaos: Book of Chaos [2e] p104,112,128; Travelogue p40,46 (multiple brief mentions of the Norns)
  • A Player’s Primer to the Outlands [2e] p30 (brief entry on the Norns)
  • Planescape Campaign Setting: Sigil & Beyond [2e] p16 (brief mention of the Norns and their realm)
  • Uncaged: Faces of Sigil [2e] p12 (Black Marian possible connection to the Norns)

Further Reading: Norns in mythology

Source: Jon Winter-Holt

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