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Gods of the Flanaess: Hextor
Posted on Sat, March 07, 2009 by LordCeb
CruelSummerLord writes ""War is life and life is war. Just as the cleansing fires burn the deadwood and the wolves devour the sick and the weak, so too does the glory of the war that is Hextor's blessing to this world destroy the weak and stimulate the growth of the strong. There is no life without death, and the very strongest of death give rise to the strongest growth of life. Such is the legacy of the Herald of Hell."

--Sermon given by Spidasa, Grand Templar of Hextor, at the Divine Citadel of Hextor in Mentrey in the See of Medegia, 573 CY.





Gods of the Flanaess: Hextor

By CruelSummerLord

HEXTOR

Domains: War, Discord, Massacres, Conflicts, Fitness, Tyranny
Home Plane: The Nine Hells
Alignment: Lawfully evil
Alignment of Clergy: Lawfully evil, lawfully neutral, truly neutral, neutrally evil
Alignment of Worshippers: Lawfully evil, lawfully neutral, lawfully good, truly neutral, neutrally evil. Hextor is primarily worshipped by humans, but he also has substantial followings among orcs, goblins, hobgoblins, hill giants, minotaurs, fire giants, and bugbears.
 
History and Relationships: Born of the second generation of gods that came to being in the Time of Legends after the imprisoning of the Dark Lord during the Age of Night, Hextor and his brother Hieroneous grew together as warriors battling many of the horrors vomited up by Dread Tharizdun before the horror was banished. Renowned for his savagery and cruelty on the field of battle, Hextor’s unpleasant and abrasive nature won him few friends or admirers among his kin, who preferred the upright and moral stances of his brother Hieroneous, leaving Hextor with a deep jealousy and loathing of most of his family.

Having spurned most of his kin among the human gods, Hextor came to fight alongside many of the gods of the orcs and the goblins, and many other cruel and wicked races, winning their respect with his strength, skill and brutal fighting style. In return for aiding these gods against their foes, they allowed Hextor to be worshipped by the races they had created and set upon the Oerth, even as the human race sought to worship him as a god of war, massacres and tyranny, or more positively as a god of battle-prowess and physical fitness.

Worshipped by humans and humanoids alike, Hextor made allies of such gods as Kord, Llerg, Gruumsh, Maglubiyet, Bahgtru, Nomog-Geaya, Khugorbaeyag, Hruggek, Clangeddon Silverbeard, Telchur, Grolantor, Joramy, Surtur, Moradin, Gaerdal Ironhand, and Vatun, all of whom have a strong respect for Hextor’s abilities as a warrior, his belief in a strong social hierarchy, or his brutal and unforgiving outlook on life. His enemies include Hieroneous, Rao, St. Cuthbert, Pholtus, Hanali Celanil, Lydia, Pelor, Wenta, Ye’Cind, Zodal, Trithereon, Olidammara, Berronar, Cyrrolallee, Yondalla, Sotillion, Phyton, Merikka, Myrhiss, Lirr, Delleb, Berei and Atroa, all of whom he hates for their peaceful and artistic natures or for their protecting those who cannot defend themselves, a sign of weakness in Hextor’s eyes.

Teachings: The Hextorian church teachers that the world is a brutal, harsh and cruel place, and that only those fit to succeed will be able to prosper. When one is constant danger from monsters, bandits and humanoids, it is essential that people have the capacity to defend themselves from the attacks of their enemies, which may come at any time. Vigilance and preparedness, and always being ready for battle, are thus essential virtues in a world where danger may threaten at any time.

To the Hextorian faith, the ideal society is a very strict social hierarchy based around strong central leadership, earned by right of skill in combat. Those who have risen to positions of power thus command obedience and through their obedience, the leader’s followers will prosper by following one fit to lead and rule. Even at such times, however, the church teaches that one must always be ready to fight and defend themselves, either with words or with weapons, to improve or maintain their positions in life. Those who cannot fight on their own may be allowed to survive if they can provide some mutually beneficial service in exchange for protection, such as their skills in farming or in financial management, but the protection a strong leader and warrior may offer is conditional on their being able to contribute to the community at large. If they can offer nothing of value to a community, or their skills cannot be used by skilled and worthy leaders, then the Hextorian faith has no compunctions about leaving them to starve.

However, there is indeed a place for love and friendship within a Hextorian community, most often with families and others with whom a mutually beneficial relationship may be forged. It is perfectly acceptable for most Hextorians to nurture their own children, or in encouraging the prosperity of those who cannot otherwise survive on their own, if these people can thereby bring glory or gain to the Hextorian by doing so. Rivalries and competitions are thus not limited simply to individuals, as different institutions, ranging from families to merchant houses to clans to countries may all battle with one another for power. The strongest will survive, the Hextorians preach, and thereby those fit to succeed will do so.

Many Hextorians thus actively promote war and conquest, believing that the strong can and should actively expand their influence at the expense of the weak. War is viewed as the flowering of the strong and the culling of the weak, a pursuit that should be actively pursued and encouraged so as to destroy one’s enemies and prove one’s own strength to deter future opponents. Those who cannot fight, or cannot find those to fight for them in exchange for other considerations, are unfit to live and their destruction strengthens humanity as a whole.

The virtues of the Hextorian faith include determination, ambition, skill at one’s chosen profession, a lack of mercy towards one’s enemies, alertness and vigilance, physical fitness, attention to detail, ruthlessness, cruelty to those under one’s domination, and skill at war and combat. The sins of the Hextorian faith include laziness, compassion towards the undeserving, a failure to crush one’s enemies when the opportunity presents itself, passing up the chance at increasing one’s personal powers, and a lack of ambition.

Interaction with Outsiders: In most lands, the church of Hextor is not commonly held in high esteem, as its rivals in the faiths of Heironeous or St. Cuthbert enjoy greater support from both the ruling authorities and the public at large. Only in the lands of the Aerdi, most notably in Bone March, Ratik, Northern Aerdy, Ahlissa, Rel Astra and the cities of the Solnor Compact, and the ancient See of Medegia, does the church of Hextor minister to the national armies and otherwise enjoy a strong position in society. In these lands the Hextorian church enjoys considerable influence and power, although different branches are divided along provincial and national lines. The Hextorians of Northern Aerdy, for instance, thus have a strong enmity for their fellow clergy in Ahlissa, as their countries, to say nothing of the powerful leaders ruling both kingdoms, are at loggerheads with one another. Among humanoids and other outlaw groups, however, the Hextorian clergy actively preaches murder and destruction, stating that its followers are strong and deserve to be able to do whatever they wish to the weak who cannot defend themselves.

In other lands, the Hextorian church is reduced to that same secondary status as most evil faiths that operate openly in the lands of good, that of emphasizing the more positive aspects of their deity’s teachings. They commonly emphasize the need for physical fitness and the capacity of all fit citizens being able to defend their homelands and their persons whenever necessary, and may engage in trying to encourage self-sufficiency among the poor or oppressed, so as to better defend themselves from bandits or raiders, or to otherwise better cooperate with their rightful rulers. Otherwise, the faith does not participate in large-scale politics, and is generally ignored by the populace at large and most of the ruling authorities. Such sects of the faith also tend to get on somewhat better with rival faiths than their more violent and militant counterparts.

In no case, however, will the Hextorians minister to the sick or injured who are not already active followers of Hextor, as they view it as a mortal sin to waste Hextor’s gifts on the weak and undeserving. They will perform blessings, healings, marriages, exorcisms and other such services to their own flocks, but unless one is actively willing to convert to the faith of Hextor, the Hextorian clergy will offer them no aid.

Hextor’s largest temples are to be found in Eastfair, Delaric, Rinloru, Bellport, Rauxes, Rel Astra, Kalstrand, Zelradton, Pontylver, Rookroost, Stoink, Riftcrag, the Stronghold of the Midlands, Greyhawk, and Dyvers. In other lands, the faith is severely restricted or otherwise so small as to be insignificant, and is banned outright in Nyrond, Furyondy, Sterich, the Shield Lands, and the Principality of Ulek.

Variant Sects: As can be expected, those sects of Hextor that are more militant and violent, if not encouraging outright conquest and destruction, deplore those sects that encourage strengthening the defenseless and encouraging martial prowess among them. By encouraging the weak to develop their skills and abilities, the militant Hextorians claim that their fellows are diluting Hextor’s message and giving ground to the feeble and unfit. By opposing the attempts of the followers of Hextor to crush and dominate them, they allow weakness to breed in the world and preventing the strong from prospering.

These variant Hextorians respond that they are following their lord’s dictates by encouraging strength and valor in all who make the effort to do so, making themselves stronger thereby. Pointing to the Hextorian doctrine that those fit to succeed will do so, and that the strongest may survive, they claim that such efforts at self-improvement and the development of combat skill allows for the overcoming of weakness so that the truly strong can survive. If a would-be conqueror underestimates the prowess of the people he seeks to oppress and ends up destroyed by his would-be subjects, then according to Hextorian doctrine such a conqueror would hardly be worthy of his position!

Hextor’s faith is thus in general divided into the major camps of those who stress the right of the strong and the powerful to rule over all within their reach and destroy opposition without mercy, and those who emphasize the more positive aspects of self-improvement and developing one’s own abilities. They do agree, however, upon the cruelty and savagery of the world, and that all must strive to increase their strength, lest they perish at the hands of their enemies.

Adventuring Clergy: Hextor’s clergy are actively encouraged to adventure and pursue wealth and power on their own initiative, and so of the evil gods of the Flanaess, Hextor has far and away the greatest number of clergy who follow the adventuring path. As befits a god of combat and war, the priests of Hextor may wear whatever armor they wish, although they should wield a flail in combat in imitation of their god. Clerics must tithe thirty-five percent of their treasure to the church, although they are otherwise free to acquire as much personal power and wealth as they can, using it in fitting tribute to Hextor.

Hextorians frequently serve as ministers in bands of evil adventurers, outlaws, or other groups that actively cause mayhem and destruction, or otherwise seek power from those they deem weak. Defending the weak or protecting the innocent is of no interest to an adventuring priest of Hextor, save if some sort of personal gain or advancement can come from it, and typically the priest should demand some service for the Hextorian church in return. Hextorians may associate with any type of humanoid they wish, and also with like-minded dwarves or gnomes, although associating with elves or halflings is typically considered a minor sin unless these demihumans are respected for their strength or power. Similarly, travel to lands dominated by other gods, such as the Horned Society, Furyondy, Nyrond or Iuz is also viewed as a minor sin, unless the cleric is seeking to cause some sort of mayhem or trouble for the people of these lands.

Hextor is said to smile on those of his followers who demonstrate sound tactics in battle, those who show no mercy to defeated opponents, who show initiative and drive in constantly trying to improve their skills, who preach his glories to those around them and seek conversions, and who seek and maintain a strong hold on personal power in his name. "
 
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