Vanir Species in The Realm of Beardsgaard | World Anvil


The Vanir of Vanaheim are the eldest and most god-like of the elves, and the only that are truly immortal. They have an innate ability of Eternity, in which they can see time in their own timeline as a continuum.   The Vanir almost never venture out of their forests, and if they do it is almost exclusively in the other regions of Manegard. Vanir-blooded children found in other regions of the world are generally the result of Moonsands gatherings, or adventurers who find their way to Vanaheim. There have, however, been known to be Vanir with a touch of wanderlust, although it is usually to the islands, frozen northwest seas, and alternate dimensions or realities.

Basic Information


Generally humanoid, but the Vanir who live in the more remote areas, especially near the Gaw, can take on some alternate forms, walking as animals, mist, a mass of unblinking eyeballs, or whatever they choose.

Growth Rate & Stages

Vanir are infants for a short time, in a year or two they are generally roaming the forests by themselves, and finding their own food. They are under the care of a parent (but generally not two), and full grown by 10, although still considered in their youth until they reach 100 years old and usually live near or in a settlement or civilization.   While they are able to have children all their adult lives, most Vanir are done with family life by their early 300s, turning to the woods, the mountains or eternity and exploring their wider natures. Some turn to great learning or magic, or hone their crafts before being considered elders around age 1000.

Ecology and Habitats

The Vanir are deeply connected to the dark forests and deep green mountains of Vanaheim, and are well suited to blend into them, unable to be seen unless they wish to be.   They love twilight most of all, followed by the night, and in many parts of their lands, true day is dim and rare. While too much heat does not agree with them, they are completely comfortable down past freezing temperatures, they do feel cold when it drops below that, even if they are able to shrug off most of its effects.

Dietary Needs and Habits

They require far less sustenance, especially the animal variety, than many other species, especially the mortals, so their forests are full of weird and wild game. With a vast coastline, and plentiful lakes and rivers, fish is a favorite food source for the Vanir, as well as the large and small game of the forests, both primarily eaten raw or smoked.   The lands are lush, and the forests plentiful with greens, berries and fruit trees. As most Vanir live a solitary existence, or in small settlements, there is little need for large scale food production, although the cities import farmed food from Alfheim.

Biological Cycle

Vanir are immortal, and so do not age as mortals do. They are youthful at a time, but once they reach their middle years, they begin to take on a not young, but ageless quality, if they take on a humanoid form at all. As they reach their elder years, some choose to let that ageless mask slip and their wilder natures take over.

Additional Information

Social Structure

Vanir have little need for social interaction, and tend to live in a transactional manner with each other. They cohabitate in settlements where it is mutually beneficial, especially when they have young offspring or are in the mind to get there with a suitable mate.

Geographic Origin and Distribution

The Vanir are northerners through and through, rarely venture outside of Vanaheim, as they stick out like a sore thumb almost anywhere outside of Svartalfheim, and dislike the climate of Jotunheim. Inside Vanaheim's borders, the highest distribution of Vanir is in the southern central region, as well as the far southern border near Alfheim, with sparse, small settlements and towers to the north.

Perception and Sensory Capabilities

Vanir, as all elves, have heightened perception in hearing and eyesight, as well as dark vision. Unlike the mortal elves, however, for the Vanir, time is not linear. They are able to see their past, present, and future simultaneously, but not beyond their own timelines.

Civilization and Culture

Naming Traditions

As Vanir are able to see their lives as a continuum, and are in full possession of their mental faculties by their first year, each Vanir chooses their own name based on the life path they see for themselves, based on the characters of one or both of their parents, or a combination of the two.   For example, two of the early created Vanir, Daeris Shadowqueen and Gorthon Dreadfell met in the northern woods, and were attracted to the dark powers of the other, and had a child, Daedheleth Shadowfell, who would become a shadow of horror in the Lhing Pass.

Beauty Ideals

Vanir are attracted to those whose nature is complimentary to their own, so beauty is indeed in the eye of the beholder. A dark entity of Vanir may be smitten by what a city Vanir would consider a shapeshifting mass of spiders, while said shapeshifting mass of spiders wouldn't give a second look to the conventionally very fair and expensive entertainers of Thímben.

Gender Ideals

Beyond the biological ability to reproduce with each other, Vanir put no emphasis on gender or gender roles, and identify far more with their nature, be it shadow, or twilight, or the wilderness itself.

Relationship Ideals

Straightforward as any in the Realm, if a Vanir has an interest in another, they come right out say it, offering plainly what they can bring to the equation. This is appreciated by their own kind, generally less so by the other species, who can find their bluntness offputting.   Vanir choose partners for mating and pleasure, not companionship, certainly not long term. A long-term Vanir couple is nearly unheard of.

Average Technological Level

Exceptional ship builders, and masters of the water in their kingdom like the Day Elves, the Vanir have waterfall powered lights in Ernil and some other settlements. Being highly magical beings, the Vanir don't have much use for technology.

Major Language Groups and Dialects

Vanir speak Old Gaardic fluently, and while most speak Common Gaardic, they sound unnatural doing it. Most prefer Northern Elvish, or Common Elvish when in mixed elvish company with the southerners. Many Vanir know Darkspeak as well, the underground nonverbal blinking language of the Night Elves.   The Vanir overall speak with the thrumming musical quality of bowed stringed instruments. The southern Vanir have a more sweet and melodic tone, while the northerners have a more menacing growling purr to their speech.

Historical Figures

The first of the Vanir was Daechir Shadowlord. He still lives in Oldhin Tower on the far northwest coast to this day, kept busier than he would like with the tears in The Gaw. He only ever wished for solitude, never to rule, but he is often sought out for advice or guidance.

Interspecies Relations and Assumptions

The Vanir's closest allies are their fellow elf neighbors. They certainly feel the most kinship with the Night Elves, both northern and adjacent to The Gaw, with all the strangeness and darkness it brings, but the Day Elves of the south, who trade heavily with the rest of the Realm, are their closest partners. Close partners, but the Vanir do not consider their social southern neighbors to be their equals, being Mortal Elves.    The Gods of Asgard may see themselves as the equals of the Vanir, but the Vanir do not.    They are quite drawn to the Elementals, they respect the quiet northern solitude of the giants, if not the weather up there, but they have as little to do with Dwarves, and especially Humans, as possible.

Vanir Stats

Character Building: Dungeons & Dragons 5E
Generic article | Nov 15, 2023

How to build your D&D 5E character in the Realm of Beardsgaard

Type: Immortal • Elf
Ability Score Increase: Plus 2, Plus 1
Size: Medium
Speed: 30 ft
Species Element Affinities: Eternity (Conceptual Time)
School of Magic Affinities: Divination & Illusion
Prime Traits
Misty Ancestry: You have immunity to poison damage, and magic can’t put you to sleep.
  Trance: Elves don’t need to sleep. Instead, they meditate deeply, remaining semiconscious, for 4 hours a day. (The Common word for such meditation is “trance.”) While meditating, you can dream after a fashion; such dreams are actually mental exercises that have become reflexive through years of practice. After resting in this way, you gain the same benefit that a human does from 8 hours of sleep. When you are in trance, you are connected to your own Grand Timeline, where you will see, hear or feel snippets from other points in your life, completely out of context (these will be provided by the GM).
  Visionary Strike: As a bonus action, you extend your hand and point a finger at a target in range. Your magic grants you a brief insight into the target’s defenses.
Legacy Trait
Form Shifter: When you were young, you became enchanted with some form of nature, like a mass of snakes, a living mist, a monstrous boar, an elegant stag, or whatever you and your GM agree on. This change in form is an illusion that surrounds your real form, you retain your own size, stats and abilities in every way except visually. You can do this once per long rest. Also once per long rest you can choose the visual form of your clothing.

Average Height
When in full humanoid form, ranging from 6-7 feet
Average Physique
Taller than their southern cousins, Vanir, like most elves, are usually tall and lithe, and occasionally broader with more muscular definition. All of this is assuming they are walking in a humanoid form.
Body Tint, Colouring and Marking
Vanir skin tones range from moon white to moonless sky dark, but mostly devoid of warmth or saturation, and occasionally with a violet cast in the right lighting.
Geographic Distribution


Please Login in order to comment!