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    Canonfire :: View topic - Hextor ponderings
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    Hextor ponderings
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    Forum Moderator

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    Sat Oct 15, 2005 6:09 am  
    Hextor ponderings

    I was reading the 83 guide entry on Hextor and it brought up some discussion items:

    "Hextor dwells on the Plane of Acheron but can wander to those of Hell or even Nirvana. Most frequently, though, Hextor treads the Prime Material Plane in search of warfare, aiding lawful evil, opposing good."

    Acheron as described by the original Deities and Demigods is aligned 'neutral/ evil law' as opposed to its adjacent planes, the Nine Hells, absolute lawful evil and Nirvana of absolute neutral law. Hextor from this evidence must not be absolutely devoted to law like the devilish Dukes of Hell and he may not be absolutely evil either. I shall elaborate later.

    When Heironeous chose lawful good, Hextor opted to serve lawful evil. Always inferior to his half-brother, the Lords of Evil granted Hextor six arms instead of a mere pair....

    With this extra bit of information, taken literally, it shows that Hextor out of contempt for Heironeous OPTED for not definitively chose evil and only after the CHOICE of good was already made by his half-brother. The decision toward evil was obviously influenced by a bribe of extra arms by a mysterious group in the Lords of Evil. As a side bar, who are the Lords of Evil? Tharizdun, Nerull, Incabulos? Surely not Hextor's peers. These lords are referred to nowhere else that springs to mind, any help on that part would be great.

    Back to the point at hand, Hextor was engineered and turned toward evil by the choices of others. He settled in Acheron, a plane of order and battle. It is from here that he strikes out to the Prime Plane to battle Heironeous as the Champion of Evil, surely championing the so-called Lords then? Hextor is also free to roam Hell. He is the Herald of Hell by title. Hextor's successes has clearly earned him a right among the Nine Hells to be a Herald in the courts of Asmodeus. Now the last interesting point is that he is free to wander Nirvana as well. Being a plane of absolute neutrality and also law, this must be a place he goes to for quiet reflection. He surely wouldn't be welcome otherwise! Maybe Nirvana is what he truly seeks for Oerth but is otherwise compelled by his hatred of Heironeous and the obligation to the Lords of Evil to serve Lawful Evil.
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    Sat Oct 15, 2005 7:04 am  
    Re: Hextor ponderings

    mortellan wrote:
    Hextor from this evidence must not be absolutely devoted to law like the devilish Dukes of Hell and he may not be absolutely evil either.


    Acheron is the plane betwixt absolute L/Neutral and absolute L/Evil, so Hextor is certainly devoted to Law, just not so much to Evil. Perhaps his alignment could be described as L/Neutral (Evil). I agree that he's not as evil as some, though, being more concerned with one-upping his half-brother. I also like the idea of Hextor essentially "using" the Lords of Evil for the power they give him, but not being totally committed to their cause.

    Interestingly, if we follow Gary's cosmology, the kobold deity Kurtulmak also inhabits Acheron, while the orcish and goblin deities dwell in Gehenna. This evidence further supports the stated notion, as kobolds generally are not quite as evil as their bigger kin. (As an aside, I've also placed Hextor's mother, Stern Alia, in Acheron as a "prisoner" of sorts in her son's domain.)
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    Sat Oct 15, 2005 8:03 am  

    Read some of the other flavor text and you will find some additional insight.

    Acheron is described as a plane for warriors who have forgotten why they were fighting. It is the place of people who lost sight of their goals and causes, and now just fight merely for the sake of fighting.
    (And naturally this constrasts with the plane directly opposite it on the Great Ring, Ysgard, a plane where people fight for the pure joy of it, with no malice towards the people they kill one day and are slain by the next.)

    As for wandering adjacent planes, most extra-planar monsters may freely wander, or at least be found on, adjacent planes.

    What does Hextor want?
    To be his brother.
    Or at least be as respected as him.
    He could want more, if you go for my "alternative" view of the relationship between the two. But it would mostly just be that Hextor wanted to be the Champion of Good, and when he wasn't picked, he took the only other thing offered. Now he fights because he has nothing left to him. He lost out on being what he wanted to be, he's lost any respect he may have had from his brother, his body is warped, he is the "Herald" not the "Marshall." All he has left is violence and bloodshed.
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    Sat Oct 15, 2005 8:47 am  
    Hextor thoughts

    Here is some more musings on Hextor:

    On the Codex of Greyhawk, under the 'Religion and Metaphysics tab, there is a great article on Hextor by Will McPherson (it was also in the Oerth Journal) - linked here -


    http://216.10.17.109/



    Furthermore, recent texts have described Hextor as being a god of justice of a sort. Granted, his version of justice is grim, harsh, and unmerciful, but to some folk in the war torn Flanaess that is preferable then the orc hordes and demons rule. Thus, Hextor still has a strong love for law and war (just like his brother) but his methods are what sets him apart.

    While it is likely that the two brothers will never reconcile - it may be plausible that some incredible chaotic threat may force the two to temporarily stop fighting each other and concentrate on the chaotic enemy first (but I doubt it).

    Finally, I see the priests of Hextor as not really thinking themselves as evil. They are stern and harsh because they have to be. Rulership demands it and in the face of incredible threats the only logical course of action is devotion to war and a system of law that favors the strong over the weak and forces the weak to serve the strong. If that means creating undead and occasionally using devilish allies, so be it.

    That's the philosophy of lawful evil, and at least in Aerdy, it has worked.

    O-D
    GreySage

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    Sat Oct 15, 2005 11:23 am  
    Re: Hextor ponderings

    mortellan wrote:
    Acheron as described by the original Deities and Demigods is aligned 'neutral/ evil law' as opposed to its adjacent planes, the Nine Hells, absolute lawful evil and Nirvana of absolute neutral law. Hextor from this evidence must not be absolutely devoted to law like the devilish Dukes of Hell and he may not be absolutely evil either. I shall elaborate later.


    While the format Deities & Demigods used to express this wasn't entirely clear, what it meant was that Acheron is a plane of Law midway between Neutrality and Evil (thus Neutral/Evil Law). Think of it as either Lawful Neutral with Lawful Evil tendencies or Lawful Evil with Lawful Neutral tendencies. The gods themselves don't always perfectly fit the alignment of their plane, however: Bralm is Neutral with Lawful Evil tendencies, Wee Jas is Lawful Neutral with Lawful Evil tendecencies, and Hextor is just plain Lawful Evil.

    Hextor dwells in Acheron not so much because the Herald of Hell isn't as evil as the archdevils as the fact that the Lords of the Nine prefer him to be at arms length. They see him as a rival, so they've insisted he pitch his tent outside.

    Quote:
    With this extra bit of information, taken literally, it shows that Hextor out of contempt for Heironeous OPTED for not definitively chose evil and only after the CHOICE of good was already made by his half-brother.


    "Opted" and "chose" are synonyms. I'm not seeing the subtle distinction you are.

    Quote:
    As a side bar, who are the Lords of Evil? Tharizdun, Nerull, Incabulos?


    Could be, but I strongly suspect they were the Lords of Hell themselves - Asmodeus and his peers. Thus his title, Herald of Hell, granted by those with the authority to grant it.

    Heironeous, on the other hand, would have been trained by the archcelestials of the Seven Heavens.
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    Sat Oct 15, 2005 6:16 pm  
    Re: Hextor ponderings

    rasgon wrote:

    Hextor dwells in Acheron not so much because the Herald of Hell isn't as evil as the archdevils as the fact that the Lords of the Nine prefer him to be at arms length. They see him as a rival, so they've insisted he pitch his tent outside.

    Quote:
    Could be, but I strongly suspect they were the Lords of Hell themselves - Asmodeus and his peers. Thus his title, Herald of Hell, granted by those with the authority to grant it.


    Why would the Lords of Nine prop Hextor up with six arms, Champion status, Herald status then keep him away as a rival? Bad mistake, surely not by the omnipotent Asmodeus ;)

    Quote:
    "Opted" and "chose" are synonyms. I'm not seeing the subtle distinction you are.

    For me it was weight of the word usage. Someone says chose as a word of informed conviction while people use opted as a word of 'alternative to what others would expect'. Yeah its a stretch but for the point I was making I think the subtle distinction isn't as important as the fact Heironeous got to make his choice first and Hextor's decision was influenced by outside factors.

    Quote:
    Heironeous, on the other hand, would have been trained by the archcelestials of the Seven Heavens.
    These would be...the unheralded Lords of Good? Happy
    GreySage

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    Sat Oct 15, 2005 6:33 pm  
    Re: Hextor ponderings

    mortellan wrote:
    Why would the Lords of Nine prop Hextor up with six arms, Champion status, Herald status then keep him away as a rival? Bad mistake, surely not by the omnipotent Asmodeus ;)


    I don't think they're afraid of him. As you mentioned, he's permitted to enter the Hells as he likes. They just don't want him overstaying his welcome, shifting the delicate balance of power.

    Quote:
    These would be...the unheralded Lords of Good? Happy


    Yep!

    Here's something I wrote a while back, about Hextor visiting the City of Dis to find things have changed since his last visit.



    Marching directly through an iron portal in Acheron to the blood-plains of Avernus, Hextor, God of Strife, led his army into the outer wastes of Hell.

    On his left side was Venger Naelax, an ancient half-fiendish general who had conquered many lands. On his right was Ivid I, a king who had delivered an empire to his faith.

    He stopped briefly at Azharul, Tiamat’s lair, to chat with the Dragon Queen about old times, but she seemed surprisingly withdrawn and sullen. Even Venger couldn’t draw her out, and they were old comrades.

    Passing through the great gates at the edge of Dis, his army brazenly crushed any wraiths, shades, and minor fiendlings that strayed in their path.

    As his army reached a certain square, Hextor paused, looked around, and frowned. At last he sighed and began to speak, his words creating echoes like a sword against an iron shield:

    “In the name of Tiamat and Lucifuge, by the banner I carry as herald of Hell, I summon forth a pit fiend from the darkest depths!”

    A spectral glimmer in the air, like a multifaceted gemstone made of magical force, began to drift away from the six-armed god of battles. A lizardlike demarax, sunning itself on a nearby rooftop, flicked out its tongue and swallowed it.

    Hextor cursed, and destroyed the demarax with a glance. He tried again:

    “By the name of the pact which binds us, I command a pit fiend to appear!”

    “Hold yer horses!” called out a quavering voice from above. An awkward, rotund figure began descending from a nearby flight of stairs with the aid of a cane. “I ain’t as young as I used t’be.”

    The army stared in disbelief as the newcomer painstakingly made his way down the rickety staircase. “Most of t’others are away at Parliament,” the fiend explained as he went. “I stayed behind, on accounta my gout.”

    He was, indeed, a pit fiend, but a strangely withered one with spectacles and white whiskers sticking from odd angles from his wrinkled, scaly face.

    “The Parliament of Dis still exists?” Hextor asked hopefully. “I seek Baalzephon, the Prime Minister. She has procured certain services for me in the past.”

    The pit fiend screwed up his face even tighter and began to laugh in his reedy, quavering voice. “Baalzephon the Prime Minister,” he choked. “Haven’t heard that one in a while. Mister, you want to talk with Baalzephon of the Dark Eight, you gonna be waiting a long time. The god Enoch the Thunderer tried t’see Baalzephon. After staying in her waiting room for too long, his people were wiped out by a neighboring tribe and he died. Four centuries later she called him in, and when he didn’t show up she was so peeved she blacklisted his entire pantheon.”

    “I am Hextor, little baatezu,” explained Hextor with uncharacteristic patience. “God of havoc, lord of the scourge, Herald of Hell. She will see me.”

    The pit fiend just laughed harder. Annoyed, Hextor sliced him in half.

    “See here, Hector,” said a tall baatezu with long, wicked claws and a misshapen head. “You can’t do that to a pit fiend. Even him. Against the rules.”

    “I am Hextor!” Hextor howled. “I will be commanded by no one!” He and his army cut a bloody swath through the city, searching fruitlessly for the missing Parliament. Beyond the range of their swords, life in the Iron City continued unaffected, scarcely taking note.

    Eventually, Hextor’s forces encountered another army. The god ordered his troops to a halt.

    “Hail,” said Hextor to the opposing legions, barely making them out through the lunchtime rush. “What is identity and your intention?”

    A fiendish-looking god stepped forward. “Iyachtu Xvim,” he introduced himself. “I’m new here. You wouldn’t know where I could get in touch with a Baalzephon, would you?”

    “No,” said Hextor. “How long have you been looking?”

    Iyachtu Xvim made a frustrated grimace. “Six weeks, mate.”

    “I can’t help you,” Hextor growled.

    “Fine,” said Iyzchtu. “If you’ll excuse us, then, we’ve got lots more searching to do. Bloody city seems practic’ly infinite. If we don’t find this Baalzephon devil soon, me father’s going to imprison me on the Material Plane, mark me words.”

    “Have a good day,” said Hextor stiffly. The army of Iyachtu Xvim left, and Hextor allowed a few of his shoulders to sag.

    “He was obviously an idiot,” Venger said consolingly.

    “I know,” Hextor moaned. “But still - what’s happened to this city? Baalzephon used to want to be found.”

    “There, there,” said Ivid I, patting his god on the back.



    “Hold on a minute,” said Lord Venger. “There it is.” He pointed a taloned finger slightly toward the left.

    “Oh,” said Hextor God of Strife, seeing the terrible runes that announced the Parliament‘s presence. “Huh. Let’s go, then.”

    The Parliamentary Building of Dis had once been a place of stern geometries with nine faces in honor of the Lords of Baator. Now it was almost circular, with two points like the stern and prow of a ship.

    “’Dis is a city of commerce,’” Hextor quoted beneath his breath. “’In it can be purchased anything you can imagine.’ Well, it better be.”

    No one was guarding the Parliament Hall’s massive doors, so Hextor let himself in. Feeling slightly embarrassed, he had his army wait outside.

    Inside there was a vast amphitheatre with hundreds of seats - no, thousands, and more than that. On the seats were entities from every part of the known planes; xills and salamander nobles; liches and nightshades; tsnng and malakim; qlippoth and tzaretch; incarnates and platonics; umber hulks and ghost elves; yugoloths and gehreleths; githyanki and bariaurs; mapmakers, merchants, and lesser deaths; gods, demigods, and anti-heroes of every description. And the Parliament itself, pit fiends and nobles from across the circle of Dis. A stout pit fiend baliff was calling for order.

    And when a baatezu craves order, whole planes run with blood.

    When the slaughter was over, the baliff cleared its throat. “Make way for His Excellency, the Prime Minister of Dis. Duke Titivilus.”

    Hextor’s mouth opened in surprise. He tried to shout something, but his divine voice was drowned out by the crowd.

    Titivilus stepped to the podium with that dancing, skipping walk of his that Hextor knew and loathed. Of course some allowances have to be made when one has two goat hooves instead of feet, but Titivilus took it to an extreme.

    “Welcome, friends.” Titivilus’ voice was sticky and honey-sweet. “I trust we’ll have a productive session today.”

    “’I trust we’ll have a productive session today,’” Hextor mocked. “Baalzephon never said things like that. She took charge. She demanded a productive session, and a productive session she got.”

    A female tiefling sitting next to him laughed and slapped her knee. Hextor glared at her.

    “Our first order of business,” Titivilus droned on. “Is a summary of yesterday‘s order of business. But before that, Furcas would like to recite a poem.”

    Hextor snarled and stood up. “This is useless,” he roared. “I’m leaving!”

    No one bothered to glance up as the god of war maneuvered his way through the narrow aisles, straining toward the door.

    At last, outside. One look at his face and his army knew better than to ask questions. Silently they wound their way back through the shrieking, shifting, mazelike metropolis of Dis. And they went home.
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    Sat Oct 15, 2005 9:24 pm  

    Actually, Hextor and Heironeous and their tale would make a good basis for a warrior oriented mystery cult...
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    Sun Oct 16, 2005 9:46 pm  

    You've raised an interesting line of thought, mortellan! I particularly like the idea the Hextor wasn't originally evil (or at least not as evil as he is today), and that he only chose that route to oppose Heironeous.

    I wonder what Hextor prior to his "choice" for evil was like?

    Perhaps Hextor also had another name, at one point: hex meaning "6" is pretty clear, so perhaps he abandoned his previous identity at some point, in order to pursue justice (? "vengeance" may be a more LE application of that activity) against his brother, in response to some affront/slight/wrong inflicted upon him.

    As I've alluded to elsewhere, IMC I have sometimes set the father of Hextor and Heironeous as Nyarlathotep (whom I've always presumed raped or at least seduced Stern Alia, making her stern as a result of that, or through raising the children of the Crawling Chaos). (Both gods would, of course, despire their father if they knew whom/what he was/is). Taking mortellan's thoughts to heart within that paradigm, perhaps Heironeous consorted with Nodens or other Lovecraftian Mythos powers (or more chaotic powers, if you don't do CthulhuHawk); perhaps Hextor perceived Heironeous doing something which offended his sense of Law....
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    Sun Oct 16, 2005 9:52 pm  
    Re: Hextor ponderings

    rasgon wrote:
    Here's something I wrote a while back, about Hextor visiting the City of Dis to find things have changed since his last visit.


    That was great rasgon---when I saw Venger I almost choked, then I read about Iyachtu Xvim and did :D :D
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    Sun Oct 16, 2005 9:56 pm  

    grodog wrote:
    Perhaps Hextor also had another name, at one point: hex meaning "6" is pretty clear,


    Or possibly hex meaning "evil spell or curse," referring to the enchantment that granted him his changed powers and appearance.
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    Mon Oct 17, 2005 7:48 am  

    Interesting direction this going. In Heironeous' name etymology then it could be HEIR as in he is the inherited champion of good.

    Or if we assume Gygax based this name off of the name Hieronymus we find it is the latin form of Jerome (which means Sacred Name) used in Germany and Holland. A notable example is Hieronymus Bosch a 15th-century Dutch painter known for his depictions of the torments of hell. Hmm.
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    Wed Oct 19, 2005 9:15 pm  

    It's interesting that Hextor is characterized in your story, Rip, akin to how Ares behaves in Greek Myth: basically a cowardly, whining bully. How is it that we create these wimpy wargods, anyway? ;)
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    Sun Nov 13, 2005 4:56 pm  

    Perhaps the far-western origins of the Oeridian homeland (see the other thread at http://www.canonfire.com/cf/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=1630&sid=5ba378e05c550f13f767db5609d17c00) are why the Oeridians needed multiple wargods in their pantheon, in order to support them in their flight from/movement toward a homeland: they needed these gods to literarally fight their way through the lands of the humanoids, the Bakluni, and the Suel (and the Flan, as well, by the time they crossed the Crystalmists and Yatils)
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    Mon Nov 14, 2005 4:49 am  

    grodog wrote:
    Perhaps the far-western origins of the Oeridian homeland (see the other thread at http://www.canonfire.com/cf/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=1630&sid=5ba378e05c550f13f767db5609d17c00) are why the Oeridians needed multiple wargods in their pantheon, in order to support them in their flight from/movement toward a homeland: they needed these gods to literarally fight their way through the lands of the humanoids, the Bakluni, and the Suel (and the Flan, as well, by the time they crossed the Crystalmists and Yatils)


    That's certainly likely. The Oerids are mentioned as being a fairly warlike people. If they had to deal with Sufang, orc and Bakluni invasions and incursions, you can see why.
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    Mon Nov 14, 2005 11:30 am  

    **WARNING-POTENTIAL HERESY-READ ON WITH CAUTION**




    I postulate, given the canon history concerning the worship of these two among the Oeridians, namely the Great Kingdom and their pre-cataclysm ancestors, that Heironeous and Hextor may indeed be the same person. "H" is a dual-personality, diametrically opposed in alignment, that seeks to do both justice and discord, constantly fighting within himself for complete control of his godhood while playing two religions against one another in a mortal manifestation of his own psychotic behavior.

    Birth/Origins:
    "There is great emnity between Heironeous and his (half)brother, Hextor, who chose a different course. Each seeks to destroy each other."
    "Especially does Hextor seek to overthrow those serving Heironeous. The latter is his half-brother and chief enemy."
    At birth, Heironeous had his skin imbued with a secret solution, which protects him from many weapons, magical and non-magical alike."
    "Always inferior to this half-brother, the Lords of Evil granted Hextor six arms instead of a mere pair."
    Heironeous was bathed like Achilles to make him invulnerable and to compensate Hextor was given extra arms by the still to this day unknown Lords of Evil. It is well known they are suppose to be half brothers possibly born of Stern Alia and seperate unknown fathers. So there is already a blood connection and certainly a resemblance in the least to Alia. Stern Alia is the demigoddess of Oeridian culture and motherhood. I would expect she is the one who imbued Heironeous as a child and no doubt as any mother would she would have even spoiled Hextor. In the case of 'H' one personality (Hex) wasn't happy with the better treatment of the other (Heir) and so the fictional Lords of Evil (Alia) gave (Hex) more arms to compete with, thus spoiling him rotten.

    Altering forms:
    "Heironeous is tall, with coppery skin, auburn hair, and amber eyes. However, he has the power to create an illusion which makes him appear as a young boy, a mercenary soldier or an old man."
    "Hextor appears as a normal, handsome man when in disguise, for he can cause four of his arms to meld with his torso whenever he so desires. His complexion is fair and his hair is jet black, as are his eyes. He is well-spoken and charming, a hale fellow and a man's man, yet irrestible to women."
    "When in his true form, however, Hextor is gray of skin, lank haired, red-rimmed eyes bulging from a visage horrible to look upon."


    Both brothers share the ability to appear as something else. This supports the theory. 'H' can appear as any sort of male, in either personality. (Heir) can dull down his appearance to be a common soldier while (Hex) can enhance his looks and drop the arms to appear every bit as approachable as (Heir). Mutable forms/Illusions are not an uncommon ability for deities, and in this case it not only provides the dominant personality of 'H' with a visage it permits 'H' to play both sides of the Oeridian fence, being both a paladin knight and a fearsome warlord whenever or where-ever the mood suits him.

    Planes and Signature Effects:
    "Heironeous often leaves the Seven Heavens in order to move around the Prime Material Plane in order to aid heroic causes and champion lawful good."
    "Hextor dwells on the Plane of Acheron but can wander to those of Hell or even Nirvana. Most frequently though, Hextor treads the Prime Material Plane in search of warfare, aiding lawful evil, opposing good."

    "His personal weapon is a great magical battle axe which shrinks to one-twentieth of its normal five feet of length, or back to full size upon Heironeous willing such."
    "In battle Hextor draws two great bows which fire iron-barbed shafts. At close range he employs two spiked bucklers and four weapons. Typically these are a fork, a scimitar, a flail and a morning star."
    "In the latter guises he (Heir) will be garbed appropriately, but he always wears a suit of fine, magical chainmail."
    "Hextor wears armor consisting of iron scaleswith strips of metal at shoulder and cuff....Around his neck is the Symbol of Hate and Discord..."


    Both aspects of 'H' have home planes that correspond to their alignment. The struggle between Heaven and Acheron/Hell leads 'H' in both forms to tread upon the Prime (Oerth) with frequency. Here, he does most of his work for both alignments, undoing what the other personality starts and so on. The personal effects of 'H' can likewise be explained through the mutable powers of his appearance. (Heir) can change his garb and likewise (Hex)'s garments must be mutable to accomodate the melding arms. Thus his armor is part of the personalty shift. The unique weaponry must also be able to be summoned or shifted in a similar manner. (Heir)'s sword can shrink to about three inches in height, so it isn't a stretch to assume the (Hex) personality of 'H' can do this for his items as well. Items could be left/vanished back to home planes as well depending on who is in control, this way the Trumpet of Acheron is never in the hands of (Heir).

    Alignment Powers:
    "Heironeous can loose a bolt of energy drawn from the Positive Material Plane...It is dangerous to creatures native to the lower planes..."
    "Hextor is able to arouse discord in his surroundings. Friends will argue with friend, irks become hate and petty jealousy grows to seething rage."


    The conflicting alignments of 'H' are indeed true to their nature when in control and no memory of the other alignment is detectable when in that current guise. This way, (Heir) is able to draw upon Positive power or (Hex) is able to control the undead summoned through the Trumpet of Acheron. It permits 'H' access to both the upper and lower planes but only when in the appropriate alignment personality. Interestingly (Hex)'s ability to project discord in those around him may be further evidence of the duelling minds as it mirrors the discord within 'H'.

    Caveats and stuff:
    Understandably, the gods, Stern Alia in the very least would know of the 'H' situation. Why would they sit by and let one god bounce back and forth recklessly? Evil would relish the irony, as lawful as both aspects of 'H' claim to be they are chaotic from a point of view. Wouldn't the gods of good, namely Pelor or Rao try and heal 'H' and certainly in favor of good? Maybe they have tried before and failed so then by bargain with the other gods, as has been seen before in matters like Tharizdun, they have allowed 'H' to operate in delusion as long as it maintains the cosmic balance that is so key to Greyhawk. Then there is the question of them appearing in the same place at the same time. It is written in canon that they seek to slay one another, but never concretely are they shown to have clashed anywhere in Oerth history. So keeping with the theory this could very well be a battle in his mind only played out in reality through the mortal chess pieces that worship 'H'. As such mortal's religious art depicting the two locked in combat with each other is still technically true but none know it is a metaphysical representation of 'H''s inner-struggle.

    In closing this is all I've gathered for now and the quotes are just from the 83 Guide and the identical articles in Dragon #67(?). Feel free to rip it apart or add to it. I like Hextor and Heironeous and the duality alot so I'm always thinking of new angles for discussion about them.
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    Mon Nov 14, 2005 1:33 pm  

    Weren't Hextor and Heironeous both imprisoned by Zagyg at the same time?
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    Mon Nov 14, 2005 2:25 pm  

    DMPrata wrote:
    Weren't Hextor and Heironeous both imprisoned by Zagyg at the same time?


    They were in Gary Gygax's original campaign, according to Rob Kuntz, but that didn't carry over into official products. When Greyhawk became a published setting, and not just Gary's home campaign, he never mentioned anything in print about Hextor and Heironeous being among the imprisoned "demigods."

    I'm sure it made sense in the original campaign, where the PCs worshipped gods like Odin, Poseidon, and Zeus and nobody had yet heard of Heironeous, Hextor, Olidammara, or Trithereon; it makes little sense in the current continuity, where Heironeous and Hextor, far from being mere "demigods," have been among the most popular of Oeridian faiths for the past millennium.

    I'm sure that if Gary Gygax had really meant for Rob Kuntz's list of demigods to be the canonical one he would have simply listed it at the outset.
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    Tue Nov 15, 2005 9:17 am  

    DMPrata wrote:
    Weren't Hextor and Heironeous both imprisoned by Zagyg at the same time?
    That supports my crackpot theory too, if you trap one the other personality would have to be there too! And of course that would mean Zagyg only caught 8 gods, but, Zagyg is quite mad too so why wouldn't he count them as two? Okay I'm done. Laughing
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    Tue Nov 15, 2005 1:59 pm  

    I always run Hextor and Heironeous as the same guy in my campaigns. Not as some split personality, just as a Lawful war god who sees use in having both cutthroats and heros as his disposal. My deities are informed by foreknowledge of a Ragnorok-like event in the far future, so much of what they do is in preparation for this.
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    Tue Nov 15, 2005 5:54 pm  

    mortellan wrote:
    DMPrata wrote:
    Weren't Hextor and Heironeous both imprisoned by Zagyg at the same time?
    That supports my crackpot theory too, if you trap one the other personality would have to be there too! And of course that would mean Zagyg only caught 8 gods, but, Zagyg is quite mad too so why wouldn't he count them as two? Okay I'm done. Laughing


    While I don't buy your theory, Mortellan, I do like this part of it. The Mad Archmage is certainly clever enough to cheat the rules of ascension, using 8 gods to do the work of 9. Perhaps that's why he succeeded where almost no others have--maybe imprisoning 9 "demi"gods is too great a feet even for the few archmages that figure out how to do it. Zagyg discovered that Heir and Hex were aspects of the same deity, and managed to trap both by capturing one. Another aspect of Zagyg's genius defying logic.
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    Tue Nov 15, 2005 8:51 pm  

    Fascinating speculation on this thread, folks. I really like the idea of Hextor having nothing left to him but the bloodshed, the hate and the fighting. Perhaps Hextor is the fallen brother, who resented the attention given to his stronger, purer brother by the gods and planar powers?

    The two brothers fought side by side to give their peoples the chance to survive in the dark times after the Twin Cataclysms, although Hieroneous was revered for his victories, for his gentleness and his capacity to forgive his enemies, including those who had attacked his mortal followers. His own purity and knowledge of such gained him love and admiration from all those around him. Being the elder son did not hurt his chances of receiving favor from those around him, either.

    Hextor seethed with jealousy. He had fought as hard as his brother, and was disgusted by Hieroneous's attempts to reconcile with a defeated enemy. They had attacked the Oeridians, and it was a war of survival. Hextor had done so much to assure the survival of the Oeridian people, slaying his foes without mercy to protect the ones he loved...and in return, he was scorned and made to feel shame.

    His own insecurities and jealousies of his brother grew within him, feeding on the contempt others felt for him, both for his methods and his rank as the second son. What others said about him at first made him think he was cruel and evil, but it was his own actions, of his own free choice, that confirmed what he thought was slander and unearned contempt. He showed no mercy and often brutally slaughtered his enemies, earning him the contempt of those he loved. Ironically, in his efforts to protect the Oeridians and prove himself on the field of battle, he began to sow discord and animosity, as the Oeridians themselves began to be divided, fragmenting into smaller nations and states.

    While this went on, Hieroneous was more and more favored by the other gods, who covered him in meersalm to protect his body, and gave him powers and blessings, while Hextor brought only discord and anger among them. In rage and frustration, the second brother fell in with the Lords of Evil, who gave him companionship and six arms, gifts he felt he needed to carry out his duties as an Oerdian war god. Sadly, however, they only served to create more discord, making him even more distant from his fellow gods, who were disgusted by his trafficking with the lords of the fell planes.

    Hextor stood alone, viewing his fellows as ungrateful for all the times he had fought for them. He was bitter and alone, and many of his followers feel the same way, fighting out of rage and hate. Some of them even share in their god's tragic fate, being declared evil because of circumstances beyond their control, only to justify what those people say about them through their actions. The classic example is Ivid V, the doomed Overking of Aerdy who was born into a diabolical pact that left him damned from the day of his birth, but who turned into a sadistic, twisted individual who attempted to take as many people with him as he could on his judgement day.

    But is it truly the fault of Ivid and Hextor? Were they the victims of circumstance, the actions and perceptions of other people? Or did their subsequent actions justify what people said about them? Who was truly in the wrong here?

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In real Flanaess life, however, I think Hextor is rather popular in these dark post-Wars days. Obviously worshipped in Ahlissa and Northern Aerdy, but also probably in Nyrond, Keoland, Sterich, Greyhawk, Dyvers, Onnwal...all realms that are under the danger of war, or who have already suffered from it. Hieroneous and his ideals may work great in Furyondy and Veluna, but the rest of the Flanaess cannot afford to be so moralistic...or not enforce a truce between the followers of Hieroneous and Hextor.

    Yes folks, Hextor has full-blown temples constructed openly on the streets of Niole Dra, Rel Mord, Scant, Greyhawk, Leukish, and other places, just as do Nerull, Incabulos, and most of the other evil gods...with the obvious exception of the Dark Lord, of course. It's just that most of the followers of the evil gods don't engage in "evil" activities, and sometimes perform valuable social servicees, such as dealing with the dead of those who have no gods or loved ones (Nerull), deal with plague victims and the seriously diseased (Incabulos), hold secrets and secret knowledge for people (Vecna), and are more interested in these activities than in hatching evil plots and sowing anarchy. Hextor is a favored war god among those soldiers who don't like the heavy moralizing of Hieroneous-hence his popularity in Greyhawk, Sterich and Nyrond.
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    Wed Nov 16, 2005 11:41 am  

    I still blame it on Rao seducing Heironeous and Hextor getting jealous and turning to evil as a result.
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    Thu Nov 17, 2005 12:54 am  

    "Hextor has full-blown temples constructed openly on the streets of Rel Mord."...Since when CSL?

    I can accept a temple hidden in an out of the way location in Nyrond but Rel Mord?

    Remember Nyrond was largely shaped by followers of Heironeous escaping the growing power of the Church of Hextor.

    Remember also the bitterness between Heironeous and Hextor especially through their churches is heightened due to the fact, in essence both gods are competing for worshippers largely from the same recruitment pool.
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    Thu Nov 17, 2005 2:21 am  

    Crag wrote:

    I can accept a temple hidden in an out of the way location in Nyrond but Rel Mord?


    I'd imagine that Nyrond would be fairly hostile to Hextor too - since the split between Heironeous and Hextor was effectively mirrored by the split between Aerdy under the Ivids and Nyrond.

    That said, in the home campaign I play in, our GM has played up the fact that Heironeans and Hextorites are two sides of the same coin. It's not like the Heironeans are peaceloving and the Hextorites are warmongers. They both love the din and clamour of battle - it's how they conduct themselves that makes the difference.
    Recently in the game, Szeffrin marched with his army and the Chruch army of Hextor against Nyrond and besieged Womtham. Before the main battle was joined, both Heironeans and Hextorites spent several days, riding up the the enemy camp to issue personal challenges to their opposite numbers.
    There was a memorable scene where we saw the clergy of Heironeous led by Arafeld pouring over lists of their foes - vying with each other to challenge the various champions of the Lord of Slaughter. Then, when one of our number flew over the enemy camp, he could see the Hextorites pouring over similar lists.
    In the end, both Szeffrin and Lynwerd forebade any duels that might weaken or distract their forces from the battle to come, much to the disappointment of both clergies.
    As one of the guys put it, it was like going round to your friends house as a kid and going:
    "Can you come out and play?"
    <In a sulky tone> "No...").

    Smile

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    Thu Nov 17, 2005 2:25 am  

    I do believe in the module Fate of Istus, which comes with city maps including one of Rel Mord, that there is a Temple of Hextor right out in the open. That was before the Greyhawk Wars sure, but still way after the independence of Nyrond.
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    Thu Nov 17, 2005 8:11 am  

    mortellan wrote:
    I do believe in the module Fate of Istus, which comes with city maps including one of Rel Mord, that there is a Temple of Hextor right out in the open. That was before the Greyhawk Wars sure, but still way after the independence of Nyrond.


    mortellan is correct. There is indeed an open temple to Hextor in Rel Mord (at least prior to 582 CY). The government's position is, "As long as the priests don’t cause open trouble, the politicians prefer to leave them alone."
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    Thu Nov 17, 2005 9:29 am  

    Wow. I stand corrected. Embarassed

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    Thu Nov 17, 2005 5:37 pm  
    FoI Flaws

    A Hextor Temple in Rel Mord?!

    This very thing was one of my "cons" from my review of Fate of Istus.

    http://www.canonfire.com/cf/modules.php?name=Reviews&rop=showcontent&id=74

    Having a Hextorian temple in Rel Mord seems to stretch credibility - just as an evil temple in a paladin-run state. Never mind one in which Heironeous is favored.

    Just another example of the hit-or-niss aspect of FoI that makes it so hard to logically fit into the Greyhawk continuity.

    O-D
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    Fri Nov 18, 2005 3:58 pm  

    Well, that depends entirely on how you construct your "Us-Them" axis in religion. Many "evil" gods were venerated openly in real life, generally in the "Oh really bad person, don't hurt us" sort of way. Generally speaking, its really bad form for mortals to tell gods to kiss off. Which includes banning their temples. Some gods (Iuz, Tharizdun, Vecna) are going to be out to get you anyway, so no reason not to ban their temples. But thumbing your nose at Hextor for the heck of it is just asking for all manner of bad things to happen.

    Obviously, actions that are against the law would still be against the law. So a temple of Hextor could not be conducting human sacrifices or things like that in a "good" realm. But not every "evil" religion or entity is a ravening destroyer of all that is moral and good. Its entirely feasible to have a Hextor faith that draws mainly on the warrior classes and emphasies strategy, military training, ruthless execution of orders, defending the "right" to sack resisting cities, encouraging behaviors like the chevauchee, etc. That would definitely be within the bounds of Hextor's philosophy, fully legal, and not involving summoning hordes of undead or eating babies.

    Of course, members of said faiths would be looked on in askance if they were more involved than attending the occassional "Oh Hextor, take thy mighty destructive armies to the lands of our foes instead of coming here." festival.

    Even lands with good rulers and benign social views are not immune to bouts of darkness. Making fantasy realms that black and white cheapens them, imho, and reduces game play options.
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    Sun Nov 20, 2005 8:21 pm  

    Vormaerin wrote:
    Well, that depends entirely on how you construct your "Us-Them" axis in religion. Many "evil" gods were venerated openly in real life, generally in the "Oh really bad person, don't hurt us" sort of way. Generally speaking, its really bad form for mortals to tell gods to kiss off. Which includes banning their temples. Some gods (Iuz, Tharizdun, Vecna) are going to be out to get you anyway, so no reason not to ban their temples. But thumbing your nose at Hextor for the heck of it is just asking for all manner of bad things to happen.

    Obviously, actions that are against the law would still be against the law. So a temple of Hextor could not be conducting human sacrifices or things like that in a "good" realm. But not every "evil" religion or entity is a ravening destroyer of all that is moral and good. Its entirely feasible to have a Hextor faith that draws mainly on the warrior classes and emphasies strategy, military training, ruthless execution of orders, defending the "right" to sack resisting cities, encouraging behaviors like the chevauchee, etc. That would definitely be within the bounds of Hextor's philosophy, fully legal, and not involving summoning hordes of undead or eating babies.

    Of course, members of said faiths would be looked on in askance if they were more involved than attending the occassional "Oh Hextor, take thy mighty destructive armies to the lands of our foes instead of coming here." festival.

    Even lands with good rulers and benign social views are not immune to bouts of darkness. Making fantasy realms that black and white cheapens them, imho, and reduces game play options.


    I couldn't have said it better myself! Not all "evil" temples are going to be doing evil deeds-as I've said before, the followers of Incabulos might dispose of plague victims and the poor and sick; the followers of Vecna might keep important secrets for people; Nerull's priests see to the dead who were atheists, or who had no one to mourn for them when they died alone; all three gods are propitated by everyday folk to avoid their wrath; and the followers of any evil god can intercede to their deities on the behalf of their hometowns and countries to end wars, plagues, misunderstanding and tensions spun out of control, bloody wars, and so forth.

    Also, it should be noted that not all countries are as moral as Furyondy. Furyondy is a (mostly) shining example of good, where demihumans and Flan are generally accorded fair treatment. Nyrond, on the other hand, is not so benevolent: Women are second-class ciitizens, as are Flan humans and demihumans, in many cases; the sale and trafficking of human slaves of Aerdi descent is perfectly legal and acceptable, although no other race can be sold in Nyrond's slave markets; Nyrond itself can be a heavy-handed bully when it comes to politics, having invaded the Urnst states, the old Great Kingdom, and even its supposed allies in the Iron League on more than one occasion to "persuade" Onnwal, Idee or Sunndi of its point of view; and the priests of Hieroneous are more interested in spilling the blood of the Hextorians in Ahlissa than their own countrymen who follow the Herald of Hell. Same with Nyrondal Hextorians-in this case, ethnic rivalry trumps religious hatred.
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    Mon Nov 21, 2005 4:34 pm  

    You got me wrong, I am not saying there are no Hextorians in Nyrond or they can't co-exist together in the military. Just look at the parent civilisation GK, Hextor and Heironeous followers no doubt existed in every secular army and military discipline allowed them to function smoothly. Even the high level heroes have the Order of the Knights of the GK to look to as a cooperative example between the two oeridian war gods. The lawful ethos of there followers provides a "common ground" structure and a code of acceptable behavior to prevent unathorized mutual slaughter.

    However given the basis of the Nyrond state and the animosity, I just have a hard time of accepting a full fledged cathedral present in Rel Mord, perhaps it's a matter of scale, a small church maybe.

    At best, I can see where officially Hextor isn't banned but is unofficially discriminated against by various means making the efforts of the priests of Hextor exceedingly difficult (even more so given the bias of most of Nyrond's population anyway).

    Perhaps frustration with the "religious apartheid" was the core reason that caused many priests of Hextor to support Serwandt's coup in the recent LGG adventure?

    Just a thought...
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    Mon Nov 21, 2005 7:19 pm  

    Well, no one said they had cathedrals there. Cathedrals are rather a big step up from temples. Also, you weren't the only one we were responding to. :)

    Its important to remember that polytheistic religions tend not to be organized the same way that modern monotheistic ones are: ie with weekly services and generally exclusive membership. The laity does not attend temples on a regular basis like the sunday worship type thing.. They exist so the priesthoods can attend to the god's needs and interact with the laity as needed. Lay worship is generally focuses around big festivals and personal observances. And most people attend the festivals of multiple gods.

    Likely the festivals of Heironeous would be state holidays and get lots of public support, while Hextor's holy days wouldn't be on the civic calendar and it would therefore be hard to get a good crowd for them. State funds would not go to them, etc. So it would be difficult for the priests to build expensive buildings, as they would have fundraising difficulties.
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    Wed Nov 23, 2005 1:58 pm  

    CruelSummerLord wrote:
    Yes folks, Hextor has full-blown temples constructed openly on the streets of Niole Dra, Rel Mord, Scant, Greyhawk, Leukish, and other places, just as do Nerull, Incabulos, and most of the other evil gods...

    Although the question concerning Rel Mord has been discussed, I find the statement concerning Greyhawk unjustifiable...I haven't seen any support of a temple of Hextor in any of the GH products and, in fact, "The Adventure Begins" (pg. 100) states that the cult of Hextor is outlawed, along with that of Erythnul, in the description of the Mercenaries' Guildhall...It is true that I don't own every piece of GH canon, so if there is a justification for a temple of Hextor in the City, let me know...
    Kwint
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    Wed Nov 23, 2005 5:49 pm  

    kwint wrote:
    Although the question concerning Rel Mord has been discussed, I find the statement concerning Greyhawk unjustifiable...I haven't seen any support of a temple of Hextor in any of the GH products and, in fact, "The Adventure Begins" (pg. 100) states that the cult of Hextor is outlawed, along with that of Erythnul, in the description of the Mercenaries' Guildhall...It is true that I don't own every piece of GH canon, so if there is a justification for a temple of Hextor in the City, let me know...
    Kwint


    Read the Gord novels. Gary's vision of Greyhawk was definitely far darker than any published version.
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    Wed Nov 23, 2005 9:21 pm  

    DMPrata wrote:
    Read the Gord novels. Gary's vision of Greyhawk was definitely far darker than any published version.

    Oh, that explains it...Read the first Gord book in the 80's and thought it was god awful crap...It's not canon to me and I'll stick with the TSR/WotC Greyhawk, the one without Temples of Hextor popping up on every corner, thank you very much Wink ...
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    Thu Nov 24, 2005 7:59 am  
    The God Versus the Church

    IMO religion is the weakest aspect of Greyhawk, poorly concieved and even more poorly developed. Vormerian touched on what I think is the central problem, and that is how the church is percieved both by the popluace and the parishoners (oh and DMs too).

    Since the beginning of GH the description of the god has stood as the description of the Church. Not of A church but of THE church of that god. All churches of Hextor throughout the Flaness are portrayed as a photocopy of the few paragraph description in whichever version the person is using.

    There is more diversity in the two Methodist churches here in town. In my conception, some churches (Pholtus comes to mind) are very similar in most parts of the Flaness. However, others vary greatly. Hextor is one of those. As his brother is also Lawful I have long thought that there is, somewhere, a cult dedicated to the duality of the brothers and battle. They are both gods of battle... wouldnt some mercenary company, LN maybe, venerate the two? Or some priest somewhere hate yet rever Hextor as the divine brother of his favored god Hieronus?

    The oversimplification of the relationship of a priest to his or her god and/or church has always pushed me away from religious characters. However, recently I have begun playing both a Greyhawk Campaign and a homebrew campaign where religion is more central and complex. It is richer than what GH offers out of the box. The homebrew campaign has a monothiestic world, and yet it is more complex than the GH pantheon.

    To put this into practice, we have worked over religion pretty good in the Gran March Project. Firepower agreed to work over Religion for the Project. Rather than talk about gods, he wrote up Churches... how they relate to other churches of their faith, of other faiths, to different sects within their own religion, and to other races.

    You will also find that Firepower did two fairly unique things... he created the Quintet and St. Inessa. The first is 5 Oerdian gods who are worshipped as a famly or group. These are the seasonal gods/goddesses and Merikka. While a priest can only recieve divine magic from one of them, they do not revile or work against the others, and often have common ceremonies.

    And Firepower has created St. Inessa... a follower of Zilchus who has started receiving worship on her own. Apparently she is favored of Zilchus, and is granting some small magics. She has temples of her own.

    This is the complexity that I dont find in GH, and actually I think our project just scratches the surface. Religion in GH is the neglected area of the world, and the FoI is probably the least of the offenders.
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    Thu Nov 24, 2005 9:15 am  
    Re: The God Versus the Church

    Anced_Math wrote:
    IMO religion is the weakest aspect of Greyhawk, poorly concieved and even more poorly developed. Vormerian touched on what I think is the central problem, and that is how the church is percieved both by the popluace and the parishoners (oh and DMs too).

    Since the beginning of GH the description of the god has stood as the description of the Church. Not of A church but of THE church of that god. All churches of Hextor throughout the Flaness are portrayed as a photocopy of the few paragraph description in whichever version the person is using.

    There is more diversity in the two Methodist churches here in town. In my conception, some churches (Pholtus comes to mind) are very similar in most parts of the Flaness. However, others vary greatly. Hextor is one of those. As his brother is also Lawful I have long thought that there is, somewhere, a cult dedicated to the duality of the brothers and battle. They are both gods of battle... wouldnt some mercenary company, LN maybe, venerate the two? Or some priest somewhere hate yet rever Hextor as the divine brother of his favored god Hieronus?

    The oversimplification of the relationship of a priest to his or her god and/or church has always pushed me away from religious characters. However, recently I have begun playing both a Greyhawk Campaign and a homebrew campaign where religion is more central and complex. It is richer than what GH offers out of the box. The homebrew campaign has a monothiestic world, and yet it is more complex than the GH pantheon.

    To put this into practice, we have worked over religion pretty good in the Gran March Project. Firepower agreed to work over Religion for the Project. Rather than talk about gods, he wrote up Churches... how they relate to other churches of their faith, of other faiths, to different sects within their own religion, and to other races.

    You will also find that Firepower did two fairly unique things... he created the Quintet and St. Inessa. The first is 5 Oerdian gods who are worshipped as a famly or group. These are the seasonal gods/goddesses and Merikka. While a priest can only recieve divine magic from one of them, they do not revile or work against the others, and often have common ceremonies.

    And Firepower has created St. Inessa... a follower of Zilchus who has started receiving worship on her own. Apparently she is favored of Zilchus, and is granting some small magics. She has temples of her own.

    This is the complexity that I dont find in GH, and actually I think our project just scratches the surface. Religion in GH is the neglected area of the world, and the FoI is probably the least of the offenders.


    A point that I think is worth noting regarding your Methodist:Hextorian analogy is that the gods of the Flanaess are real. They exist in a tangible form and interact with their clergy and (to some degree) their worshipers. The same cannot be said of the Methodist faith (or any other real-world religion). Real-world faiths are entirely subjective; the head of each particular sect preaches his/her own interpretation of Divine will. In a fantasy campaign, however, a cleric can simply commune directly with the deity for a straight answer. The gods of Greyhawk are much more accessible, leaving less to "faith."
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    Thu Nov 24, 2005 3:56 pm  

    Well, there are several assumptions made there that are not necessarily valid. Namely,

    1) The god actually interacts directly with his followers regularly enough to routinely correct doctrinal variation. (Note that Commune contacts servitors of the god, not the god itself, and is extremely poorly suited to answering complex questions).

    2) That even if the gods did interact that intensively, that they actually are narrow minded enough to have "one true way" to serve them and would drive off those worshippers who dont' fit that mold.

    3) That the various blurbs in various source materials are 100% true depictions of that god's actuality. Rather than the most common view of complex suprahuman personality by its decidedly human followers.


    You can certainly make the case that there is no real religion in Greyhawk, just the gods and their mortal agents. Its certainly the way a lot of folks, including canon publishers, treat the situation. I just find it dreary and limiting. Just one example of why: If the world is that way, then you *know* with 100% certainty that the priest of Heironeous is a good guy and wouldn't be mixed up in dubious affairs. Because if he was, Heironeous would have booted him from the team. Personally, while I rarely have the "good guys" be misguided or corrupted, I like to have that option without it undermining the way the world is defined.

    GH gods are not omniscient and they aren't reading the minds of their followers (or even their clerics) all the time. That's the province of Monotheistic gods. If an "interpretation" got so far out of bounds that it stopped benefiting the god, it would likely do something. Otherwise, I don't see why they would bother (unlike they have a stick up their butt like Pholtus. And even then...).
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    Fri Nov 25, 2005 4:42 am  
    Re: The God Versus the Church

    Anced_Math wrote:
    You will also find that Firepower did two fairly unique things... he created the Quintet and St. Inessa. The first is 5 Oerdian gods who are worshipped as a famly or group. These are the seasonal gods/goddesses and Merikka. While a priest can only recieve divine magic from one of them, they do not revile or work against the others, and often have common ceremonies.


    I like this idea a lot: it's analagous to how I view the Fey Mysteries of the Olves, and mirrors RW religious structure from ancient Greece (Mystery Cults, etc.). As an example, my co-DM and I have spent a fair amount of time working up alternate religious models for both the elves and the drow, for example, in which they worship various other demons, daemons, powers (shadow, evil elemental forces, etc.), in addition to the usual suspects of Lolth, Graz'zt, the EEG. These drow worship practices are generally clan-based (with the idea of patron demons predominating), and relatively common within any given vault/settlment, but help to distinugish one vault's culture from another, and to make drow less predictable opponents.

    Providing the level of detail and broadness that Anced_Math suggests to Greyhawk's religion is an excellent use of the "Of Oerth and Altar" columns in the Oerth Journal. I hope folks from the Gran March Project would distill some of their concepts and ideas into one or more articles there (hint, hint).

    Quote:
    And Firepower has created St. Inessa... a follower of Zilchus who has started receiving worship on her own. Apparently she is favored of Zilchus, and is granting some small magics. She has temples of her own.


    The plethora of saints and quasi-, hero-, and demi-deities in Greyhawk has always suggested to me that the local veneration of the least divine powers is a regional affair, and that there is room for many more gods like Stern Alia and St. Inessa to exist.
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    Sat Nov 26, 2005 8:52 pm  

    Clerics can commune with their gods; they're certainly not required to give straight answers. A lot of the time they might decide to be as vague and riddling as the Delphic oracle, especially when the clerics are prying into the great mysteries of the cosmos or the nature of the gods themselves.

    In addition, a lot of commune spells may actually be answered by lesser angels, saints, and proxies who might taint the proceedings with their own interpretations, or who might not be privy to their gods' full histories.
    Adept Greytalker

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    Sat Nov 26, 2005 9:41 pm  

    kwint wrote:

    Although the question concerning Rel Mord has been discussed, I find the statement concerning Greyhawk unjustifiable...I haven't seen any support of a temple of Hextor in any of the GH products and, in fact, "The Adventure Begins" (pg. 100) states that the cult of Hextor is outlawed, along with that of Erythnul, in the description of the Mercenaries' Guildhall...It is true that I don't own every piece of GH canon, so if there is a justification for a temple of Hextor in the City, let me know...
    Kwint


    As concerns a Temple of Hextor in Greyhawk, my say-so is all the justification I need. As I've said time and again, I have no compunctions about blowing off canon and replacing it if I don't like it-and I see no reason why Greyhawk would abolish slavery, prevent certain gods from establishing temples and contributing tax money, or prevent brothels, drug saloons, and torture parlors from being established in its back alleys. Why on oerth would the city let anything like MORALS stop them when there's profit to be had?
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    Sun Nov 27, 2005 3:17 am  

    Particularly in a city where the Thieves and Assassins' guilds are fairly open and have blatant influence in the government....
    Master Greytalker

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    Sun Nov 27, 2005 4:54 am  
    Alignment

    Well, something we should keep in mind I suppose is that alignment is a much vaguer thing here in the real world. As we talk of GH as a real place and what real people would do, let us keep in mind that alignments would not be nearly so clear as they were in the days of the first boxed set.

    Remember when -

    "You see a vaguely huminoid form in the shadows."

    "I detect alingment"

    "Chaotic Evil, roll initiative."

    In the more complex Greyhawk that has evolved over the last 30 years, style of play is important to what you do with many of these issues. For some, gameplay now involves much more roleplaying and little combat. Or political combat using skills.

    We often play entire sessions using various skill and counter skill efforts. This could also be because the DM feels that standard combat is not deadly enough, and hikes up the ELs dramatically. Anyway, the same is true of the religious aspects.

    Some people like to play where religion is not a problem.. a clear understanding between the god and his servants. I dont. That is the reason I lead my post with IMO, and it is one of the aspects that people will probably differ on greatly. It is something that somepeople just dont want to explore or spend time on.

    As to Oerth and Altar, we might have something to post there if Firepower gets back soon. While we will edit his work, it is so good in it's current form that I would hate to change anything to make a submission article.

    By the way, in the current Dungeon Adventure path they are working with cults of existing gods, some of the first such treatment that I have seen in GH. There are factions among the religions, and I really like it. Thoughts? Has anyone seen it?
    Forum Moderator

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    Thu Dec 08, 2005 4:28 am  

    Hextor is one of my favorite deities, let me restir the pot a little with a previous excerpt from the thread and a new discussion angle:

    "Hextor appears as a normal, handsome man when in disguise, for he can cause four of his arms to meld with his torso whenever he so desires. His complexion is fair and his hair is jet black, as are his eyes. He is well-spoken and charming, a hale fellow and a man's man, yet irrestible to women."
    "When in his true form, however, Hextor is gray of skin, lank haired, red-rimmed eyes bulging from a visage horrible to look upon."


    The text from the 83 guide says that he appears as a normal handsome man. Not only is his appearance well disguised so is his demeanor as he is charming to both men and women. Could it be that in the eyes of Hextorians he is indeed that well spoken man's man, a charismatic leader. The quote doesn't say his six arms are limited to his 'true form' either it only states he is gray skinned and lank haired with blood-shot eyes. This latter appearance in Hextorian's eyes could be the 'smear' campaign by their enemy the Heironeans to depict their great god as something uglier than their Lightning Lord. This is not without merit as Hextor seems to have an enormous following in the Great Kingdom and even has its foot in other places you'd least expect like Rel Mord as mentioned before. Essentially powerless to halt such a wide-spread religion, Heironeans would have to demonize Hextor's image so as not to lose followers. If Hextor was universally accepted as something inhuman, would hundreds of thousands of Oeridians patronize him?
    Master Greytalker

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    Thu Dec 08, 2005 6:38 am  

    mortellan wrote:
    If Hextor was universally accepted as something inhuman, would hundreds of thousands of Oeridians patronize him?


    If he gives them victory, then perhaps yes.
    Cosmetic appearances don't always correlate to popularity.
    Look at the Hindu pantheon for example, where very widely revered gods can have horrific appearances - Kali, for example, (http://www.pantheon.org/articles/k/kali.html) and Bhairab, the vengeful aspect of Shiva (www.vic.com/nepal/images/bhairab.html).

    These are ferocious deities and so have ferocious forms. It's possible that the Oerids (or at least those who worship him) might not have a problem with Hextor's true form, especially if it strikes fear into their foes. Also the ugliness of the true form stands an opposite to the "handsomeness" of Heironeous. Hextorites might look on this almost as a virtue. They might say - it doesn't matter what you look like - it's who's standing at the end of the slaughter. Fair looks don't win battles, but hard blows do."

    To non believers on the other than, Hextor might take a fair guise, because they are weak and judge people by their outward appearance, rather than their true worth.

    ?

    P
    GreySage

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    Thu Dec 08, 2005 10:37 am  

    Mortellan is right, though, that a god's worshippers don't necessarily ever see the god's 'true form." Syrul's true form is said to be that of a plain, middle-aged woman much like Lydia - the hag form is an illusion, though her faithful will never know for sure. Kurell's true form is said to be uglier than his common representations, though he guards this secret furiously.

    I have my suspicions about Wee Jas, too.
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Thu Dec 08, 2005 11:56 am  

    rasgon wrote:
    Mortellan is right, though, that a god's worshippers don't necessarily ever see the god's 'true form." Syrul's true form is said to be that of a plain, middle-aged woman much like Lydia - the hag form is an illusion, though her faithful will never know for sure. Kurell's true form is said to be uglier than his common representations, though he guards this secret furiously.

    I have my suspicions about Wee Jas, too.


    If memory serves, this is the current consensus about Iggwilv too, who, if not a god, is on a par with a quasi-deity. Her true form is said to be a crone, but she appears in a variety of female forms.
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    Sun Dec 25, 2005 7:48 am  

    Iggwilv's varied appearance is rather common for female mythics actually. Istus for one can appear different ways to different onlookers.
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Sun Dec 25, 2005 12:30 pm  
    Greater following than suspected

    Hello All,

    If I may offer some opinion to this lovely debate, I would say that Hextor has a very valid and faithful following. I would love nothing more than fair play and compassion from my sword wielding enemy who just raided my village, killed my brother, maimed my father and took my sister as a slave. Unfortunately, I don't think the Lightning God will hear my prayer, soooooo I'll turn to his half-brother and plead my case:

    [/i]"Oh Great Hextor, Merciless God of Slaughter, I beg of they to hear my prayer. I ask for vengence, I ask to pay you in bloody tribute with the hearts of my foes who have sought to war with me. Leave me not at the hands of these cowards, but grant me your quick arm, your accurate strike and your wrathful sword blow upon my enemy. May he know that in my coming, I bring the call of Hextor, God of Slaughter upon his head. May our fight be long and brutal, but in the end, show me your favor upon my head. I ask you, Hextor the Wrathful, bestow upon me the favors which your brother has denied me so that honor can be heaped upon your name."

    [/i]

    Now in the war torn countries, arena's and even dungeons where heroes are fighting against hordes of goblinoids, the name Hextor may not be far from anyone's lips. On one hand, having a big temple to him in a "civilized" city may cause people to be mildly apprehensive, but it's not like his clerics are running amock through the streets wantonly killing people for Hextors glory. Indeed, I can imagine many a common soldier praying to both the brothers before a battle. Sure as beer is made by dwarves, I'd be praying to both. Fighting unfairly and unheroically decides who is dead and who is alive.

    -I Miss the Wild Coast
    Dwarf from Nyrond
    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Wed Jul 01, 2009 3:54 pm  

    rasgon wrote:
    grodog wrote:
    Perhaps Hextor also had another name, at one point: hex meaning "6" is pretty clear,


    Or possibly hex meaning "evil spell or curse," referring to the enchantment that granted him his changed powers and appearance.


    -I always assumed "evil spell or curse"; the "six" never occured to me. It works, tho'.

    CruelSummerLord wrote:
    ...Hextor seethed with jealousy. He had fought as hard as his brother, and was disgusted by Hieroneous's attempts to reconcile with a defeated enemy. They had attacked the Oeridians, and it was a war of survival. Hextor had done so much to assure the survival of the Oeridian people, slaying his foes without mercy to protect the ones he loved...and in return, he was scorned and made to feel shame...


    -Great. Sounds like Hextor has PTSD and re-adjustment issues... Cool

    CruelSummerLord wrote:
    ...I see no reason why Greyhawk would abolish slavery, prevent certain gods from establishing temples and contributing tax money... Why on oerth would the city let anything like MORALS stop them when there's profit to be had?


    -IIRC, a law was passed hundred's of years ago abolishing temples to Evil deities after the death of one of the Lord Mayors (or was he a Waldgraf?).

    Vormaerin wrote:
    ...Just one example of why: If the world is that way, then you *know* with 100% certainty that the priest of Heironeous is a good guy and wouldn't be mixed up in dubious affairs. Because if he was, Heironeous would have booted him from the team...


    1) In Restenford, there was a priest of Phaulkon who was NE (due to some sort of insanity), so H simply may not have caught up with him yet.

    2) That priest might be up to something you won't like, but in a LG/NG/LN kind of way...

    Anced_Math wrote:
    ... As his brother is also Lawful I have long thought that there is, somewhere, a cult dedicated to the duality of the brothers and battle. They are both gods of battle... wouldnt some mercenary company, LN maybe, venerate the two? ...


    -I've always assumed so.

    Anced_Math wrote:
    ... St. Inessa... a follower of Zilchus who has started receiving worship on her own. Apparently she is favored of Zilchus, and is granting some small magics. She has temples of her own...


    -There's a similar relationship with Heironieous & Murlynd, Boccob & Zagyg, Pelor (or is it Rao?) & Zodal, and the two Baklunish deities (Zuoken & who?).
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    Wed Jul 01, 2009 8:40 pm  

    A nice bit of threadomancy james! Smile

    Now all I need to do is refresh myself on the Hextor topic...
    Black Hand of Oblivion

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    Thu Jul 02, 2009 12:29 am  

    Hehe. Threadomancy is fine here at Canonfire!, as Greyhawk is a finite topic due to a lack of openly available and official content for it for some time now. Topics are bound to be resurrected or discussed multiple times- even those that were languishing on page 23 of this sub-forum, like this thread was. Razz

    But one point. Be sure that when resurrecting a thread that you not reply to it as if it were an active discussion(i.e. replying to individuals who may or may not still be active posters). Better to preempt the resurrection of such an old thread with something like "This topic of Hextor is one that is near and dear to my little black heart, and I have a few points of my own to add..." and then have at it. Wink

    ...and it's Xan Yae and Zuoken.

    Happy posting. Cool
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    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Thu Jul 02, 2009 11:54 am  

    Cebrion wrote:
    ...But one point. Be sure that when resurrecting a thread that you not reply to it as if it were an active discussion(i.e. replying to individuals who may or may not still be active posters)...


    -Oops. Good point.

    I've known of this site for a while (look at my start date), but I never really had a chance to study it (let's say, I was busy Laughing ). So, I decided to work my way thru' the threads for anything intersting (I've already found stuff I can use in my very old CY 578 WOG campaign).

    You point out that the possible topics are finite (sort of, if 37 pages & counting is finite), but many of them are "timeless", so I thought it would be fine to dig them up.

    I'm glad you all approve!

    JDG
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