Midgard's gods of the North
The stern gods of the Northlands are forbidding, bloody, grim, and dangerous—to outsiders. Northern humans, dwarves, and shapeshifters take joy in the delights of gods that call them to excellence, that invite great boasts and greater deeds, and that laugh louder than thunder.
Piety in the Northlands is a curious thing. Although the gods have their share of true believers, most people regard the gods as unruly kings rather than divine beings: powerful and dangerous if crossed, helpful when bribed or flattered, and thankfully easy to appease with tribute.
Blood is the usual sacrifice. Goats, cattle, or horses suffice most of the time, but it’s not uncommon for humans, dwarves, or trollkin to go beneath the knife when dire portents and evil occurrences demand a response. Each god prefers offerings delivered in a particular way: Wotan demands sacrifices are hung and pierced by spears while Baldur’s offerings are burned and Thor prefers heads bashed in with a sacred hammer.
Druids and even witches are common classes for priests. Full-time clerics in the southern style are a relative rarity, treated more as favored champions than clergy. Most priests also pursue another role, from jarl or captain to soothsayer, hunter, or smith. Worship isn’t something to be kept separate from everyday life; it takes place in feasting halls and forges, on battlefields and the swaying decks of longships. The North hosts few dedicated temples not because Northlanders are impious but because they consider it fruitless to try to contain their gods. They’ve better things to do than visit you, so it’s best to call on them in the places where they like to walk.
Few Northlanders devote themselves to a single deity. Most acknowledge all gods as powerful and best not angered. Although most people have a deity or two that’s close to their heart, it’s not uncommon for Northlanders to call upon local gods when traveling, abandoning them with equal casualness when they move on.
Source: Midgard Worldbook by Kobold Press