Svillanders celebrate some of their most important holidays in mid-winter. These festivals are known as blôts (sacrificial holidays). When their times come, folks make sacrifices fitting for Odin and other deities in the pantheon, praising their gods and praying to them for blessings in their lives, crops, hunts, and adventures. There are three blôts in mid-winter; Hjol, Disablôt, and Jolnir.
Jolnir is the holiday that starts just before the Hjol and happens for one month in mid-winter. It is the time when Svillanders believe Odin rides on the skies along with Ullr, Skadi, and his valkyries. They hunt Vanir and other heretics delving on the land.
Because the Allfather is there, descending from Asgard on the skies, folks feel joyous and protected from evil. They also feel responsible, as it is a time Odin watches them closely, and it is the time for Svillanders to show their devotion.
On the other hand, it is a time that passages between the realms is the easiest, meaning various monsters from unsavory lands come to make their mischief. Ghosts and spirits are also known to be strongest during this time.
Some Svillanders believe the great battle between Odd and Svillanders will be during a Jolnir. Where the gods are closest to the land to bless, guide and protect the faithful warriors, but also the Black Winter is in its coldest.
There are many things Svillanders do during Jolnir. First of all, they ward their settlements against monsters that come on lurking. During meals and feasts, they provide a portion of their food as gifts or bargains to unwanted ghosts and spirits so that they can leave them alone. They also invite the spirits and ancestral ghosts they wish to be with to their table, with similar ceremonies of offering food and sacrifices.
Warriors from all around gather in settlements as well, to begin their journey of the Wild Hunt just like Odin does. Hunters and woodsfolk gather as well, grand hunts commence for games that are left during such a cold time.
Divine and the Heretic
During this time, some changes occur on spells and monsters: As Allfather is believed to be roaming the realm, any Divine Intervention from Odin and deities friendly to him have an additional 5% chance to happen.
Additionally, divine spellcasters devoted to Odin or deities that are friendly to him can choose to add 2 to their spell save DC or spell attack once before taking a long rest. Spells against evil such as protection from good or evil and detect good and evil are also cast with spell save DC increased by 2.
On the other hand, as the passage between realms is easier, monsters have advantage on their saving throws against being banished. A dispel or mass dispel cast against a monster’s ability or spell has its spell level for automatic success decreased by 1 and dispelling DC increased by 2.
The Wyld Hunt
The Wyld Hunt is the special event that is commenced in communities against monsters and heretics. It is a hunt where warriors can prove themselves worthy to be counted amongst the Allfather’s hunting pack. Svilland has monsters lurking nearby many of its settlements, and during this time folks gather to bring their end.
Warriors and adventurers gather in settlements. They are informed of a monster lurking nearby, and form parties to hunt them. These parties can be of any size as long as it is agreeable for all, with the final word belonging to the highest authority within the settlement. Some people can choose to hunt in less numbers or individually as well, to show their trust in their capabilities against all odds.
During one day within the holiday of Jolnir (date changes according to the settlement), a ceremony and ritual is made to commence the hunt. The ritual is often done by a gothi of Odin or a ranger of Ullr. The warriors are blessed with the scent of their prey, whichever monster they are gathered to hunt down. Then, the hunt commences and parties separate to find the monster and kill it before others. The party or individual who brings down the monster is rewarded.
In such hunts, one might think it would be easy to cheat, sabotage, or murder other parties to gain the edge on the hunt. Yet, such things rarely happen. As people believe the Allfather is watching, they tend to be careful about honoring the rules of the contest.
When it comes to hunting monsters, it is only natural that many folks die trying. On the other hand, more dangerous a monster is, more handsome its bounty becomes. For weak monsters such as a dire beast, the reward is generally some amount of coins. For more intermediary monsters such as a trold or hel beast, the reward may include a magic item along with coins. For tougher monsters such as a frost spirit or isa worm people are known to even gain titles and land from local rulers.
Ritual of the Wyld Hunt
This ritual is done by a gothi of Odin or a ranger of Ullr. It makes the hunters hungry for the blood of their prey, becoming able to track and perceive it more easily.
Casting Time: 1 hour
Components: A small cup (a larger one can be used for a party) of hunted game blood and a bone talisman made from game bones for each individual hunter for each individual hunter.
Requirements: A gothi devoted to Odin, or a ranger of Ullr, both at least 4th level, must make the ritual.
Duration: Until the monster is hunted (often up to 1 month)
The maker of the ritual prays to Odin or Ullr to bless the blood on the cups, then soaks the talismans in blood and keep them ready. Hunters drink one sip of the blood, and the rest is poured on their face. Finally, the talisman is given to each one.
Conclusion: When the maker of the ritual is done, it declares the beginning of the hunt and the parties go on their way to bring the monster down. They gain the following benefits:
- A hunter has advantage on its Wisdom (Perception) checks to perceive and Wisdom (Survival) checks to track the monster. The Dungeon Master rolls the second die provided by the advantage and does not inform if the hunter’s advantage has applied or not, directly describing the results. This is done so in order to prevent players to know out of game if they are tracking or perceiving the correct target.
- Rangers’ Primeval Awareness range is increased to 2 miles (8 miles within favored terrain).