Hagen Character in Terrarum | World Anvil


Hagen Lanleifssen Geatheti

The most famous Iolan hero before Varangr, famed for his slaying of the feline giant Klóaður, his winning of the games of King Harlyr as well as his tasks given to him by the mysterious figure Yfirumsjónr.

Divine Symbols & Sigils

The single banded golden necklace and the ox


Hagensnótt- Hagen's Night of feasting and revelry, is observed during the long winter months and a part of the general carousing atmosphere of the Iolans and Rókuri.

Physical Description

General Physical Condition

Generally, Hagen is seen as the strongest mortal to ever live, he is said to have torn Klóaður, the clawed giant in two with his bare hands. It was said that a favorite party trick of Hagen's was stealing an apple from someone and making it explode in his hands by squeezing it.

Special abilities

Above human endurance and natural strength due to his half-giant nature
Vastly enhanced strength due to his enchanted necklace Styrkgjafi

Specialized Equipment

The Styrkgjafi

Mental characteristics

Personal history

Before even Varangr the Great, the might of Iola saw no greater champion than that of its first great son, a hero of unparalleled might. All fallen beasts shivered in thought at the roar of one who took to their ways more than that of men. This was Hagen, son of Lanleif of the Geatheti and of the giantess Hálsgjafi who raised the newborn boy on the island of Hindsola. Only a babe, Hagen astounded all with his strength, even as a babe he had the strength of a hundred men, pulling from the hard earth, timber, and rock. Gifted with an enchanted necklace by a wandering smith, the Stykrgjafi, the beaten necklace of Hagen, never left him in all his days. 

When fair-haired Hagen grew to be a man, he set out into the wide world to earn renown to his name for he was taken by a glory-seeking heart. By his sixteenth winter, fire beared Hagen had become known as a ferocious shield biter, a war wolf, a lord of the frenzy upon the battlefield. Seeking out the employ of any chieftain who gifted him with gold and showered him with acclaim. In battle he wielded no weapon, he carried only a shield and his hands bludgeoned men, broke bones, and pulled limbs. He amassed a posse of men of fortune, men from all the dells, bogs, fjords, and caverns of Iola who sought the ringing of clashed swords and the smell of the ground, wetted in blood. Hagen and his Geathegns were among the most feared and prized Huskarls of the peninsula. None escaped the fury of the Hagen, he spared none who stood before him, whether they be man in mail or quivering maiden.

No feat was too great, no deed above him and soon his deeds make him an outlaw, though he evades none, killing all who came to capture him. Yet known are the great feats of valor and strength by which Hagen's name resounds in the halls of Jarls, he is unmatched it seems in all tests of strength, without equal in all tests of pain and blood. It is for this very reason, against the better judgment of his kinsmen and advisors, that Harlyr Jarl, lord of Ukiah sends a summons to the Geathi outlaw, offering a pardon if Hagen will attend his celebratory games for the sixteenth birthday of his only child Hyra. Upon being ferried to the island by a fisherman, Hagen arrives and songs herald his arrival in the great yule hall of Harlyr. 

Men from Vik, jealous by stout Hagen's deeds, and doubting the judgment of their host, challenge Hagen to face each of them in contests of wrestling. Without a bead of sweat escaping his brow, Hagen bests the Vikmen though rage still eats at them. The men of Vik, together pull at the unbending Hagen with all their might. Though still a boy without his twentieth winter, Hagen bent not an inch to them and before all, threw every last one of them from Harlyr Jarl's hall. When a game was called, where three men were to escort stubborn oxen across a hundred paces to a finish line, the men of Vik frightened the oxen of Hagen, making it jump and disturbed. In stubbornness, Hagen again bested all, and so with a quick motion, the immense Hagen lifted the beast over his shoulders and carried it a hundred paces to the line of finishing, while mocking the men of Vik.

The final game now came, a game simple and challenging for most. Two men faced one another, one with a stone grasped between the fingers with the other seeking to take it from the other man. Throughout the day, men clawed and wrestled, expending themselves greatly. Yet when Hagen faced his man, he clasped the stone hard and refused to run from the man. He reached out his hand, stone inside, and bid the man try to take it from him. As the man pulled and pried as hard as any had the entire day, Hagen's fingers did not move an inch. Soon, the game halted and all before attempted to pull at Hagen's mighty fingers and none faired any better and so Hagen was declared the champion of the games. 

Years after this celebration, Hagen and his men would one day return to the island again on the beckoning of King Harlyr, to slay a ferocious beast. On the sea voyage to the island, a great tempest was hurled at the longboat of the Geathegns with waves crashing and rising near a hundred feet tall. Hagen's men grew fearful and did not row, they let loose their oars and began doing everything in their power to protect themselves from the cold ocean water hitting them with every rocking of the ship. Hagen, on the front of his ship with seafoam spraying everywhere openly began laughing and laughing with a booming volume so all his men could hear. Hagen's men grew more worried over their leader and when Hagen's battle brother Hedred asked what was going on, Hagen boldly claimed,

"Móðir mín spratt upp úr vatni, það gat aldrei endurheimta mig."
"My mother sprung from water, it could never reclaim me."

It was Hagen's maddening guidance that led to the arrival of the Geathegns at the shores of Ukiah and acclaim by his men. As the men arrived in the hall of Harlyr Jarl, they were told of the nature of the monster they were to slay. The beast had attacked farmers coming back from harvest every day for the past week. Every farmer that was recovered bore the same manner of scars, either a single thick slash of the throat or they were bisected at the waist, again in a single strike. Hagen and his men began investigating, asking around the town for any other witnesses to the attacks while Hagen along with Hedred found prints of a large cat-like creature leading into a deep grove. The prints of this cat were the largest prints either had ever seen, of any creature. So Hedred assembled an idea for a trap, to lure the beast to Harlyr's hall, where they could prevent its escape and fight it in an enclosed area. Hedred assembled the bait and laid it just next to a window but out of reach. As the Geathegns readied themselves for the fight, they drank and feasted, and all sang praises for the glory their names would live on with if they were to slay such a mighty creature.

Soon, a quiet yet heavy set of feet were felt, the Harlyr's monster was arriving and so the Geathegns donned their armor and weapons and awaited the fight. As the door opened, the silent predator eased its way in and revealed its immense size. The beast resembled that of a black barn or ship cat, but was larger than a bear, as nimble as a shadow, and had claws so fine and sharp that a slash from them would cut right through the armor Hagen had been wearing. To the astonishment of his men, Hagen dropped his armor and attacked the beast barechested.

The fight was long, the Geathegns kept their distance, peppering the beast with arrows and javelins and getting a thrust in from a sword whenever they could. Hagen himself rolled and wrestled with the beast whose hide was now sticking with arrows and javelins but it seemed unharmed. As Hagen tossed the cat and it bounced right back with furious speed, Hagen understood that its hide was impenetrable and like all cats, it landed on its feet when tossed. As he speculated, the creature lunged at him, and with an instinctive motion, he grabbed the beast's two front paws, grasped its stomach and the lower body, and lifted the great beast above his head. The cat squirmed and wiggled but it was no use, the beast was now in the iron grip of Hagen, and with a grip like a great snake, Hagen grasped and pulled the beast apart at the midsection. Guts showered over him but the beast laid motionless, in two places, Hagen had done it.

Showered in gifts, acclaim, and betrothed to the king's daughter Hyra, Hagen's deeds would survive him for generations and all would know of Hagen's legendary feat. Two years after he arrived on the black shores of Ukiah, Hagen, his men and his new bride sailed off back for home. As they arrive home, Hagen's old father, Jarl Lanleif throws a celebration for the return of his son and calls a great feast to be held, intended to be the largest ever thrown. From all corners of the Iolan world, men, women, and children arrive and bid the hero his glory. With gifts and spectacle flowing like water, the feast is unlike any ever seen. All in attendance hear the story and Hagen's glory is widely known, only one attendee is unimpressed with Hagen's feats. This unknown figure, grey-bearded and with a wide-brimmed hat unsheathes a dazzling sword and announces that he will believe in Hagen's great strength if he can pull the sword from where he will put it. Hagen accepts this challenge and the figure plunges the sword into the central oak tree of the great hall. Hagen grasps the sword and with muscles bulging and red on his face, the sword only manages a slight wiggle. As the crowd whispers and murmurs, Hagen becomes enraged and with all his might he pulls and pulls at the sword, bringing the whole tree down on top of him. When the dust clears, Hagen emerges from the tree with the sword and returns it to the slightly bewildered figure who finally relents and acclaims Hagen as among the strongest men he has ever known.

Hagen's attention is now on this figure who introduces himself as Yfirumsjónr and now says he has a friend who wishes to test him. Yfirumsjónr introduces an enormous man, as large as Hagen and slightly taller who enters and introduces himself as Himminar. Hagen and Himminar are to arm wrestle, with the winner being gifted a special prize from the other. Both men agree and lock arms, with all in attendance looking on with worry as Himminar appears much larger than Hagen. When the two men begin, the table they are seated at breaks nearly instantly, and they are forced to lay down on the ground outside in order to properly arm wrestle. Both men strain and groan, with Himminar gaining ground on Hagen who can be seen struggling. As Himminar seems to be about to win, he begins disrespecting Hagen and mocks him, again and again, while nearing his hand to the ground. Hagen roars with rage and begins recovering ground on Himminar who at first is dismissive but over time, as Hagen begins winning, becomes astonished and shocked how this is possible. As Hagen wins, he finishes the contest with a flourish, smashing Himminar's hand into the cold dirt and rising to meet the cheers of the onlookers. As Hagen embraces the crowd, Yfirumsjónr and Himminar relent and give Hagen a token of his victory, the pelt of the cat he killed on Ukiah, a momento that supposedly still hangs in the halls of the Geathi to this day.

Many tales exist of Hagen's extraordinary strength, of his fishing and pulling up of the Franish Kraken, a beast later slain by the demigod Varangr. A tale is told of how Hagen led a great expedition down the Rhor river and destroyed the Rasennan town of Trevium, which was said to have been a city on the shore of the Rhor destroyed in a great fire. Hagen is also said to have participated in a sea battle near the cape of Thurif where he is said to have rowed out with his Geathegns and to have personally flipped a longship with his bare hands while engaging it.

The exact nature of Hagen's death is murky, some report that he was struck in the side by a boar tusk while on a hunt, and as the pain was too much for him, readied a pyre with the help of his friend and lover Hedred. Supposedly Hagen gave Hedred one last embrace, gifted him the Styrkgjafi, and threw himself on the pyre. Other reports indicate that Hagen's own progeny killed him, and his twelve sons banded together to slay him and claim their birthrights as leaders of the Geathi. Hagen, at this time an old and weary man, was still able to defend himself and supposedly slew half of his own sons in self-defense. Nevertheless, the crime of kin slaying would have damned Hagen to the cold confines of Vukalin, a fate many would have thought was undeserving of a hero of Hagen's caliber. The details of his death often depend on who is retelling the story, if Hagen is portrayed as a shining beacon of Iolan masculine might and power then he likely throws himself on a pyre rather than suffer through a long ordeal. If Hagen is depicted as a rash defier of the gods, a figure vain and full of himself, then he will likely be fated to the caves of Vukalin, to suffer for his challenging of the gods.


In very early sagas written about Hagen's deeds, he is noted for having numerous male lovers as well as female ones. It seems the mighty Hagen was a very promiscuous man and was known as a lustful and hedonistic figure.

In the Konungsbók, Hagen is mentioned to have had two primary lovers, his battle brother Hedred and Hyra, daughter of Harlyr, King of Ukiah.

Accomplishments & Achievements

Winning the ceremonial games of King Harlyr
Slew the giant feline Klóaður at Harlyr's request
Pulled the sword Prófunaraðili from the Ukian oak
Defeated the challenger Himminar in an arm-wrestling contest
Raided and destroyed the Rasennan town of Trevium
Toppled a fully crewed Longship during the battle at Cape Thurif


Family Ties

Son of Lanleif, Jarl of the Geathi and the Hindsolan giantess Hálsgjafi

Religious Views

Hagen was almost at odds with the gods throughout his life. His own strength came from the Jotnar, not from them, and as such, many "mysterious figures" in his sagas are generally seen as being the gods making their presence known and challenging him. Yfirumsjónr, the figure who tasks Hagen with pulling his sword from the Ukian oak and also with arm wrestling Himminar is generally seen as an alias of Ranir and Himminar, a name literally meaning "Sky Roamer" is generally believed to be Rymr's alias. This makes Hagen's defeat of Himminar an even more impressive feat given Rymr is generally considered the strongest of the gods.

Social Aptitude

Hagen was an almost obnoxiously impressive man, he spoke, acted and conducted himself as if he already knew his destiny, already knew of his greatness. Hagen floated over the head of every other man of his day and impressed all with his total nature, as a warrior he was unmatched, as a man of strength none dared challenge him and all heard tales of his romantic exploits with various lovers, be they man or woman.


Proud, brash, and arrogant in everything he did and ever thought, Hagen was more than willing to enhance his own perception of himself with loud acclaim of his deeds, his strength, and his prowess. Many claimed to be the one to make the loud hero finally be silenced and many were left with their ears ringing as Hagen stood over them and continued to shout his own praises in their ear.




Towards Hyra



Towards Hagen

Divine Classification
Circumstances of Birth
Apparent son of Lanleif of the Geatheti clan and a giantess of the island of Hindsola
Circumstances of Death
Mixed information of his death, either by fire or by sword
Hindsola, off the eastern coast of Iola
Hyra (spouse)
Light Brown
Bright Red, long, straight hair and beard
Skin Tone/Pigmentation
7 ft
400 lbs
Quotes & Catchphrases
"I am grinder and I am gasher! I am plunderer and plunger! I am strength and I am unconquered! Blood of the long-lasting! Blood of the sea, of the skies and of the winds! I AM HAGEN AND I HAVE COME TO SLAY YOU BEAST!!!"
Ranir and the Iolan Pantheon
Character Prototype
Beowulf but he's for the gays, and he's fucking crazy
(Hagen's followers, the Geathegns)
(Hagen's father, Jarl Lanleif
(Hagen's 2nd in command, battle brother and lover Hedred)
(The giants of Hindsola, Hagen's birthplace)
(The challenge of Yfirumsjónr in the great hall of Jarl Lanleif)


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Master Watchman Deedly
Watchman Deedly
30 Apr, 2022 04:38

For the past few days, I was stumped on how I wanted to present a diety---and behold---I saw your article! Hagen's story was inspiring. Also, I like the depictions of the life and times of Hagen on the sidebar. (I can't draw, so I'm grateful for sites like Hero Forge to render character images.) I enjoyed reading your article and particularly liked the tale about when Hagen arrived at the shores of Ukiah to kill the beast terrorizing farmers. It reminded me of the story of Beowulf. Nicely done!

Watchman Deedly -Wizard Extrodinaire and Amateur Wordslinger
30 Apr, 2022 13:46

Thank you for the kind words they really mean a lot. I definitely drew a lot from Beowulf so I'm happy you made that connection.