Skaggir of the Noon Myth in Terrarum | World Anvil

Skaggir of the Noon

Famous Iolan skald and folk hero who becomes harried by a demon hungry for his soul and bests it in several pacts and trials before eventually surrendering his own shadow.


A tale told heartily in great halls across Iola, the tale of Skaggir of the Noon and the demon known as Halatsog is one that warms the heart of any skald or poet who is requested to repeat it. Beginning with our protagonist, Skaggir the poet strolling through the market of his home of Untersholm looking for a necklace for a woman he is betrothed to. Here in the market, Skaggir first encounters a man named Halatsog who says he has arrived from the land of the Prus and that he seeks to challenge Skaggir to a friendly game of Ard RĂ­. Here, Halatsog bests Skaggir who becomes jovial with him and invites him to drink with him later at the Jarl's mead hall atop the hill.

At the Jarl's hall, Skaggir's lute playing attracts Halatsog to challenge him to play better than him before pulling a lute of his own out. The terms are that whoever loses the challenge must do as the other commands them for the rest of the night. Skaggir agrees and the two engage in a musical duel of sorts with the audience of the entire Jarl's hall upon them. Initially, Skaggir is on the backfoot as Halatsog plays to the amazement of everyone in attendance who at first nearly proclaim him the winner without Skaggir responding.

Skaggir must quiet them down before he boldly says to Halatsog that he is impressed with his talent but that he should sit down before Skaggir starts as otherwise, he may faint like "a dame in heat". Skaggir's response is exactly as he said it would be, where Halatsog played very well, he played something a song that was very simple and well known. Skaggir started likewise with a raucous song with a thumping beat that seemed to outdo Halatsog at his own game. After he was content in knowing he had likely already beat his opponent, Skaggir then settled down into a very touching song detailing his love for his betrothed as he moved the audience from jovial bumping and thumping into openly weeping at the tune he was now playing. After he was done, none denied that Skaggir had won and so for the rest of the night Halatsog would have to do as Skaggir said which began with buying him and the entire hall another round.

After this first test, Skaggir and Halatsog settled into the night and drank their fill before Skaggir invited his new drinking companion back to his own home where he could stay before making his way back across the sea to the lands of the Prus. The two spend a few minutes conversing before Halatsog says he is going to sleep. Skaggir stays up the entire night growing more and more suspicious that his own shadow is now watching him and moving on its own. In the morning, the two men grow more and more hostile with each other before Halatsog makes it very clear he is a demon that has his eyes set on Skaggir's soul. Now satisfied that he has wrestled the truth out of his guest, Skaggir immediately challenges Halatsog to a dare, if Halatsog can get Skaggir to the island of Ukiah on the back of a seal he can have the skald's soul without complaint. Overjoyed, Halatsog agrees and summons a seal from the bay which Skaggir mounts. Skaggir and this seal arrive off the coast of Ukiah in mere seconds but just before making it to shore proper, Skaggir clubs the seal on the back of the head, killing it, before swimming the short distance ashore. Halatsog is enraged when he arrives but Skaggir claims that the terms of the deal were never that the seal needed to arrive ashore, only Skaggir. Skaggir tries to bid Halatsog farewell but the demon is now motivated to see Skaggir's soul.

Skaggir returns home but is plagued by visions, mainly of his own shadow commanding him and his betrothed to mutilate themselves and others. One stormy night, Skaggir's shadow speaks to him, it mocks him telling him of how carefree and unconcerned he is with danger when he is to be betrothed and to start a family. The shadow states that it is the only thing bound to him, Skaggir's actions are followed by the shadow and the shadow has become disillusioned with him. The shadow makes the case that they should be reversed as the shadow says it will live "as a husband and father should" claiming to be more capable of living the life they are heading towards than Skaggir will ever be. Frustrated, Skaggir tells the shadow that he knows who he works for, for Halatsog and so he speaks directly at Halatsog stating that he wants to make a pact. Halatsog appears and asks what Skaggir's pact is to which the skald says that he will allow Halatsog to take his soul when they next meet, in exchange for three wishes.

Overjoyed, Halatsog accepts the pact before asking Skaggir what he wishes for. The skald says that he wishes to receive a tether none can escape from, Halatsog grants this wish. Next, Skaggir wishes to forever be rid of his shadow, Halatsog grants this wish. Finally, Skaggr surprises Halatsog by saying that he wishes for Halatsog to be ensnared in the tether, Halatsog must grant this wish. Now forever unable to collect on the latter portion of their deal, Skaggir has trapped a demon in its own deal and gotten rid of the one method left for which that demon could contact him. For the rest of his days, Skaggir lived without a shadow, surrendering a piece of himself and saving the rest.


Told during the long months of the Iolan winter, Skaggir's tale is one that inspires a collected mind on its listeners and warns them that even the supernatural can fall victim to hubris, overconfidence, and bashfulness.

Cultural Reception

The tale of Skaggir of the Noon is one that is a joyful triumph of humanity through determination, patience and thoughtfulness. A tale that oddly casts the supernatural demon as having the fault of tunnel vision, rashness, and impatience in contrast to Skaggir who always remains rational, careful, and collected throughout.
Date of First Recording
215 A.F
Date of Setting
Related Ethnicities
Related Locations


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