Certain Chaosian legends claim that House Aesir is descended from a cow that licked the giant Ymir out of the primal ice. While this story is often used to make fun of House Aesir, it is pretty much completely wrong. Ymir was certainly not the brightest of all Chaosians, and he did have a certain resemblance to cattle, but he was simply one of King Dios' children (the eighth child, to be precise. His younger brother, Magnus, was his twin brother and younger by a few minutes). Ymir was a mighty hero and slayer of monsters, and King Dios made him Royal Champion.
Ymir's mighty deeds gradually attracted a band of followers, and he decided to found his own stronghold from which to mount his raids against the things which stalked the Chaos side of shadow in the early days of the Courts. This stronghold became Aesirways. Its natural timeflow was much faster than that of many of the shadows around it, which enabled Ymir to build up his forces rapidly. The shadow was molded to make it very hard to break into, taking on its current shape.
When peace settled over the lands around the courts, Ymir towed the shadow of Jotunheim through shadow (supposedly, he tied a heavy chain to a mountain and towed it, though probably he just used Logrus, possibly with some help, since he wasn't exactly the king of strong minds), and settled it right next to Aesirways to provide a constant source of challenges its people could face to keep themselves strong.
Shortly afterwards, the great dragon Nifflinar rose from the Abyss, and Ymir perished fighting it. But his descendents have kept to his ways. They've also maintained the traditional alliance with House Vanir, the descendents of Ymir's younger twin, Magnus.
Recently, a Morgenstern malfunction due to Jacqui-induced brain damage, flung Shinobu Minor into Chaos; she landed in House Aesir, wrecking Lord Odin's sauna, and lost her memories. She took on the identity of Gabrielle the Blue and was raised to become a Valkyrie (or as Motoko put it, 'a warrior hussy').
Lord Odin is the fifth lord of House Aesir, and has ruled for some two hundred years of real time (some 8,000 years of House Aesir time). He is old and wise, a leader of men and a delver of secrets. While a competent warrior, many in his house could beat him in hand to hand combat, but most recognize his skills in other matters are what the house leader needs. (Those who have failed to recognize this always seem to end up finding themselves either unable to honorably offer challenge or manuevered into some sort of test that doesn't require weapon skills, after which they lose and are driven out in disgrace).
He is known to have an extensive knowledge of some future events and much obscure lore, gleaned by his practice of charging for the use of Mimr's Well with the reservation of one of the drinker's questions for an answer desired by Lord Odin.
Odin is, in general, a fairly honorable lord and one who can be depended on if you keep your promises to him. He remains largely neutral in most of the politics of Chaos, except when hideous beasts rampage.
Odin possesses a magical eight-legged horse, Sleipnir, and a magical spear which allegedly never misses, Gungnir. Gungnir was made for him by the Jotunheim Dwarves. He also has two pet ravens, Thought and Memory, and two pet wolves (names unknown), who usually accompany him; they seem to have quite a storehouse of knowledge.
House Aesir specializes in combat, especially personal combat, moreso than conflict at the army level. Most warriors of House Aesir could beat down any average member of House Hendrake, but they tend to lack discipline. Aesir is best at ground warfare, though they do have some longboats for raiding and a force of pegasus riding valkyries.
They are also very good at making weapons and armor, at brewing and drinking huge amounts of alcohol, and at bragging.
Aesirways floats over a huge grey misty void. Those who descend low enough eventually find themselves hovering over the Abyss. Two bridges connect it to the outside world. One lands on a lip of rock in a mountain range shadow claimed by House Aesir as a vassal shadow, maintained by the minor House Midgard. This bridge is known as Bifrost; it resembles a rainbow and is guarded by the entity Heimdall, whose gaze cannot be easily evaded. The other bridge is a navigable waterfall which leads down to a great shadow of fjiords and oceans, Vanirways.
Rivers, forests, and farmland fill half the shadow, which is home to Aesirways' population, who dwell in villages centered around the great halls of the various minor lordlings descended from the first Lord Aesir. Lord Odin rules from Valhalla, a great hall close to Bifrost.
The other half is high mountains, some barren, some forested, which form Jotunheim, the land of the giants. This area effectively forms a gigantic training ground for the Aesir as they battle the giants.
A great wall seperates the two halves; it is not much use as neither side has the manpower to man it, but it does cut down on casual giant raids. Loki long ago tricked the giants into building it.
Balder the Beautiful is the prettiest man in House Aesir. He's not much of a warrior, but he makes a great skald (bard) and serves as House Aesir's chief emmisary to other Houses, usually surprising them with his grace and charm.
These are not Snow White style 'Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to work we go' style dwarves. They're not even Tolkeinian Standard Fantasy Model Dwarves. They're a bunch of greedy, shrunken, degenerate, inbred, fungus eating mad genius solitary craftsmen dwarves, who lurk in the caverns beneath Jotunheim, spending decades crafting artifacts of great power which they then usually use to try to whack each other and the local monsters in order to rob them. Some live in small, incestous family units, while others seem to have been produced by some sort of fungal rotting process from the very rock itself.
Still, they do quality workmanship, and if they fear you enough to not try to whack you instead of doing the work, and if you bribe them copiously with wealth, they can build fantastic items for you. They made Thor's hammer, Odin's spear, Frey's boat, the chains which bound the Fenris Wolf (a very rare collaborative effort), and many other things besides.
The exact nature of the Fenris Wolf is unknown, although most speculate it is a being which may well have survived from the time of the Pre-Logrus civilization. It was found bound in chains reinforced with Order energies, sleeping in a cavern beneath one of the tallest mountains of Jotunheim in the time of the second Lord Aesir.
During the reign of the fourth lord Aesir, it awoke and began devouring everything with the Primal Chaos that seems to dwell inside it. Sacrificing his hand, Tyr managed to hold its attention long enough for it to be bound with new chains, wrought by Frigga and Loki and the Dwarves of Jotunheim. Many fear these chains of Chaos may not hold it as well as the Chains of Order did, though.
Twin children of Odin and Frigga, they're probably the best looking members of the house, and skillful at both sorcery and feats of arms. Frey is said to possess a magical folding boat that can move through shadow under its own power. Freya is noteworthy for being more cunning than her rather straightforward brother. The two usually operate together quite closely.
Big and beefy, Frigga won't win any beauty awards (but then, neither will most members of this house), but she's wise and kind and hard-working. She's also noteworthy as the house's most skillful Logrus Master. Frigga is married to Lord Odin.
Ingria is tall and solidly built, towering over her diminutive husband, Loki. She's actually a member of House Suroth who married him during his time there. She is almost as cunning as her husband, and a shifter of great skill. She possesses one great strength he lacks, which is patience.
Loki is the supreme shapeshifter of House Aesir. His father actually mated with one of the Jotunheim giants; to the surprise of all involved, he came out small and relatively flimsy, but with vast skill at shapeshifting. He was then fostered in House Suroth, where he perfected his talents, and returned to House Aesir with his wife, a Surothian named Ingria.
Loki is one of Lord Odin's chief advisors, but also one of his major annoyances, the very model of the evil vizier. Loki has yet to be crushed because he's simply been too useful, and when push comes to shove, Loki puts House Aesir ahead of himself (and himself ahead of Lord Odin, but...). At least, so far.
Loki has a firey temper which usually only comes out when he loses, and impatience which usually is what causes him to lose.
Magni is Thor's eldest son. He makes his father look bright, but he's quite possibly the strongest man in Chaos (although Lady Suroth would probably dispute this). He's known to wear magical boots which let him walk on air and which are heavily armored; one of his favorite combat tactics is to pry a monster's jaw open, then hold the bottom pinned to the ground by simply stepping on it and breaking its fangs with his leg strength and armored feet.
Left Wing, swerve upwards and come at them down from the sun so they can't see you. Right Wing, drop low and come at them from below; I can tell they think in only two dimensions. Center Wing, follow me; we have to make them think they've got us outmanuevered. Now, GO!!!!
Thor is Odin's eldest son. He won't win any awards for his brains, but he's reknowned as one of the deadliest warriors of chaos, as one of the physically strongest warriors of Chaos, and for possession of his magical hammer which enables him to control the weather. He also has a chariot pulled by goats which flies. Thor is married to Sif, who leads the Valkyries; she possesses tactical genius to match her husband's feats of arms. She is tall and muscular with long flowing golden hair (rumored to be an artifact made for her by the Dwarves of Jotunheim).
During Shinobu Minor's stay in Chaos, they acted as her adoptive parents.
Tyr is Odin's cousin, the son of the younger brother of Odin's father. He is very much the honorable warrior who always keeps his promises; he is also pretty much a complete tightass who drives everyone insane because he wants to instill greater discipline. Many blame his mother, who is a Hendrake, for putting such crazy ideas in his head.
Tyr's hand was bitten off and destroyed by Primal Chaos when the Fenris Wolf escaped its prison the last time; he has been unable to regenerate it, and now has a cold iron right hand, made for him by House Tremere's clever smiths.
Those women who choose to become warriors in House Aesir typically join the Valkyries, a band of female warriors led by Sif. They forswear marriage and having children (but not sex. Being shapeshifters makes birth control pretty easy). Riding pegasi, they form House Aesir's rapid response team, as they can easily outpace ships and foot troops, especially in the rugged mountains of Jotunheim.
Many Valkyries eventually settle down, but some stay Valkyries until they die (which given the jobs they do, happens a fair amount).
House Aesir is closely allied to House Vanir, another Major house, and pretty much always has been.
Notable vassal Minor Houses include: