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The Norns were the three Norse Fates, or the goddesses of fate.
Female giants, they brought the wonderful Golden Age to an end.
They cast lots over the cradle of every child that was born,
and placed gifts in the cradle. Their names were Urda,
Verdandi, and Skuld, representing the past, the present, and
the future. Urda and Verdandi were kindly disposed, but Skuld
was cruel and savage. Their tasks were to sew the web of
fate, to water the sacred ash, Yggdrasil, and to keep it in
good condition by placing fresh earth around it daily. In her
fury, Skuld often spoiled the work of her sisters by tearing
the web to shreds.
Nations by Herbert Spencer Robinson and Knox