In Norse mythology, the Vanir are originally a group of wild nature and fertility gods, the sworn enemies of the warrior gods of the Aesir. They were considered to be the bringers of health, youth, fertility, luck and wealth, and masters of magic, also known for protection and prosperity, and keeping the local settlements safe from harm. Some villages built effigies of the Vanir in their fields, while other villages practiced human sacrifices consisting of one male and one female.
Freyja, Freyr, and Njord were the usually-named Vanir deities. In actuality, while there was conflict between the Vanir and the Aesir, the two groups intermarried. While the ancient Germanic and Scandinavian tribes did practice human sacrifice, surviving evidence indicates that the god Odin/Woden/Wotan, of the Aesir, was the most common recipient of human offerings.