Hextor


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Hextor
Intermediate Power, "Champion of Evil, Herald of Hell, Scourge of Battle"
Pantheon: Oerthian Pantheon
AoC: Tyranny, War, Discord, Massacres, Conflict, Fitness
Worshippers: Tyrants, soldiers, conquerors
AL: LE WAL: LE, NE, LN
Symbol: Closed fist gripping six downward-pointing red arrows
Home p/l/r: Acheron/Avalas/Scourgehold
Allies: Asmodeus, Dispater, Gruumsh, Lei Kung, Maglubiyet
Enemies: Erythnul, Heironeous, Pelor, St. Cuthbert
Favored Weapon: Flail
Domains: Destruction, Evil, Law, Strength, War
Subdomains: Baatezu, Blood, Ferocity, Rage, Resolve, Tactics
Known Proxies: Norem (Px/♂ ghost/APal14/LE)

While one of the more powerful and significant deities on the material world of Oerth, with entire nations following in his faith, the presence of Hextor (HEKS-tor), half-brother of Heironeous, on the planes has largely been minor outside the plane of Acheron. On that plane, however, this deity is quite well-known, having contributed his forces to the aid of both Gruumsh and Maglubiyet in their never-ending war against one another. He is one of the more significant Acheronian forces, with any number of mercenaries and fighting forces bearing his six-arrowed symbol proudly, in addition to the blood golems that serve as a standard symbol of his power. Even some reaves have begun to take up his banner, viewing him as a deity that reflects them both in outlook and appearance.

Manifestation

Hextor is most commonly seen as a fairly attractive, staid human male with light skin and short-cropped dark hair, clad in black chain-mail and bearing a vicious flail. When in the throes of bloodlust, though, Hextor is more commonly depicted as a gray-skinned, hairless, ogre-like beast in black scale mail with a skull motif, gore-encrusted tusks bursting from his mouth. He bears six arms in this form, each gripping a different variety of weapon, and while in this form he revels in the bloodshed he and his followers bring forth.

History

Hextor was born to the demigoddess Stern Alia, raised in her Ysgardian citadel alongside his half-brother Heironeous. Though the two were quite close as children, they grew further apart as they aged, their baser natures drawing them away from one another over the course of time. The final blow was struck when Hextor, seeking to make up for the advantage Heironeous gained from his meersalm-imbued skin, arranged a deal with entities known only as the "Lords of Evil" — while none are certain as to the identity of these beings, there are any number of theories as to their identity, from the Lords of the Nine to the baernaloths to the Dark Powers of the Demiplane of Dread. While that which he gave up is unknown, he is known to have gained great power, as well as the two additional pairs of arms that mark his monstrous form, and any number of relics, all so that he might have an edge over his half-brother and the various powers of Good that supported him, and that he would serve not as a footnote lost in his blinding light, but a foil and foe on equal footing with him.

In early days, he was no war deity, but merely a god of tyranny and violence. He did not gain this title until entering into conflict with Erythnul, once god of war of one of Oerth's many pantheons. This title was rent bit by bit from the then-greater god, with Hextor gaining victory after victory until finally the mantle of god of war was his. Under this new banner, he and those under him led many horrific campaigns across the Flanaess, one of Oerth's continents, with Hextor's banners flying even in the name of the most significant nation-state of that region, the Great Kingdom of Aerdy, whose founding marked the first year of the Common Year system that most of the planet's people use today.

Church

Priests of Hextor are strictly regimented, seeming at times more akin to a military unit than a church. Any member of the church is bound to follow the directives of his or her superiors, unless such orders seem contradictory to Hextor's ways, regardless of context. Promotion in the ranks is granted only through major achievements on the part of the member, qualifying them for the right to challenge a superior in combat, the success of which allows them to ascend in the church hierarchy. All are expected to undergo both military training and historical study, that every member of his church is capable in proper regimented combat rather than simply charging in like a madman, and all members of his priesthood are expected to gain skill in at least one martial weapon. Many serve as military advisors in Acheron or the various nations of Oerth, occasionally even taking up political positions themselves.

Unlike many darker churches, the church of Hextor does much to help the communities in which they're found, providing education (both religious and not) to the children of their faithful as well as orphans left by the wars they prosecute, and even children of the wealthy whose parents offer up generous contributions to their faith. While this education does include a good deal of indoctrination towards the ways of Hextor, it also serves the children well overall, granting them opportunities many others in their place wouldn't have; and indeed, not all such children raised are required to enter the faith, as the followers of Hextor know that not all people are fit to follow in his ways. Of course, those that seek to follow the opponents of Hextor are quickly "corrected" — they brook none seeking the ways of the Archpaladin or the Lightbringer — but lesser gods for which Hextor has no strong feelings, or allies of Hextor, they have no issue with. As such, many on Acheron, regardless of their feelings towards the god himself, treat his followers with a light hand, knowing the benefit they are to the people of the plane as a whole.

Dogma

The world is a dark and bloody place where the strong rule the weak, and power is the only reward. It is often necessary to be cruel and merciless in the pursuit of ones goals, and achieving those goals can have harsh consequences. Order must be forged out of chaos and law out of anarchy. The forces of tyranny must be obeyed and dissenters must be oppressed or destroyed.

References

  • Deities and Demigods, pp.75-77
  • Dragon #356 - Core Beliefs: Hextor, pp.36-50
  • Manual of the Planes, pg.125
  • Player's Handbook II, pg.170
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