Hecate (pronounced: /hɛkɑːtihek-ah-tee[2]) was an interloper deity of abundance, magic, and the moon that originated from another plane of existence.[3][4][7][10][1]

Description[edit | edit source]

Her true form was that of a three-headed woman with a gorgeous body,[7] milk white skin, scarlet nails, and eyes that burned like embers. She wore a deep red dress.[11] Her avatar could take on almost any form,[2] but she typically appeared as a beautiful woman with lustrous, dark hair.[2][7][1]

Personality[edit | edit source]

Hecate was a very independent woman with a capricious nature.[7] She was widely famed for her cutting wit and great eloquence, with some even claiming she was the one who taught Apollo how to be so eloquent.[8] She promoted the use of spells and magical items, as well as the joys of abundance. She also warned against the folly of wastefulness.[2]

Abilities[edit | edit source]

Hecate was capable of casting any spell accessible to magic-users, especially those of the illusionist school of magic, as often as she liked without any restriction.[9] She was also capable of controlling undead.[7]

Twin spheres of annihilation were by her side at all times, ready to be used against her enemies. They moved by themselves after being started and could not be controlled by mortals.[9]

Possessions[edit | edit source]

Hecate's personal weapon was a +5 dagger with the ghost touch weapon quality.[12] She also possessed the legendary eye of Gruumsh, which had been believed lost in his conflict with Corellon.[13]

Realm[edit | edit source]

Hecate maintained two divine realms that were each on a different plane, being one of the few deities to do so. Both were known as Aeaea, with one residing in the plane of Hades on the layer of Pluton,[8] and the other residing in the Nine Hells on the layer of Minauros.[8][14][note 1]

Her realm in Minauros was a chilly, desolate land shrouded in fog where even those with an infallible sense of direction would become lost.[15] The ground was blackened and charred, featuring rivers of fire and volcanoes. Within one of these volcanic craters sat a throne of obsidian, studded in fire opals.[11][note 2]

Her realm in Minauros was littered in thousands of strange, sculptural devices that visitors risked bumping into. They blinked with eerie lights and made clanking or howling sounds. Her clerics would claim that these devices generated all the magic energy throughout the multiverse.[15]

The validity of their claims was questionable, but it was known that they fed souls to the machines, converting them into divine and sorcerous energy that would be used by both Hecate and her minions. These devices were also capable of consuming other entities, such as extraplanar beings and mortals. Whenever supplies ran low, the lowliest of her servants would be fed to the machines.[15]

History[edit | edit source]

Hecate was born to a pair of titans.[8][16] Some believed these were titans were known as Crius and Eurybia,[8] while others claimed her parentage lied with titans named Asterie and Perses.[16]

She had some unclear history of dealings with the Norse deity known as Loki.[8]

Over the years she was served faithfully by a mortal, human sorceress named Circe. After many years of faithful service they came to a mutual agreement that she deserved a raise in power, thus she promoted her to the full status of a proxy.[13]

In approximately 1357 DR,[note 3] Hecate grew infatuated with the deity Enki, but at the time he was in a relationship with the Faerûnian deity Lliira. Unwilling to let this get in her way, she cursed Lliira so that she could return no man's love and imprisoned her in a "Pleasure Palace" called Zannibar on an unnamed world. Hecate eventually lost the feelings she felt for Enki, but neglected to remove the curse she had placed upon Lliira.[17]

Later that same year she sent her jester out to the World Serpent Inn to acquire some suitable adventurers to obtain her a hound from the Wild Hunt, wanting to crossbreed it with her hell hounds. As the adventurers were guided through the planes by the jester and got caught up in other transactions they learned of Lliira's fate. They went on to free the goddess from her imprisonment, offering the captured hound to Hecate in return for her removing the curse.[17]

Activities[edit | edit source]

Hecate spent some of her time crafting evil, magical items with the aid of her clerics, which she would trade with baatezu for souls to power the machines in her divine realm in Minauros.[15] She often aided mortals for no other reason other than having nothing better to do.[7] Her avatar would wander the mortal realm at night,[12] accompanied by a pack of hell hounds.[7][12] While doing so her avatar would sometimes aid children, herders, and shepherds on a whim.[12]

Relationships[edit | edit source]

Hecate had nine hell hound servants that she would unleash to hunt down anyone that desecrated her temples or attacked her higher ranking clerics.[9] Occasionally she would simply sick them on those traveling at night.[7]

Hecate had no allies among the various deities, with the exception of Persephone[8] who she often visited in Hades.[7] She was respected by Apollo and the other powers of the Olympian pantheon would sometimes come to her for advice, but they wouldn't associate with her any more than necessary.[8] She almost always had a gift for the deities that visited her.[13]

She was one of the Lower Planes deities that had strategic alliances with Asmodeus, lord of the Nine Hells.[18][19]

Worshipers[edit | edit source]

Her worshippers were typically people that practiced dark magic and worked magic for their own personal gain. The doctrine of her church was that finding and holding power was the primary goal of all life,[20] and that the ideal path to achieving power, wealth, and practically all desirable things was magic. Her temples were well hidden, often located in the depths of dark haunted forests where they were guarded by the undead.[2]

Hecate's clerics were few in number and typically were cleric/sorcerers and cleric/wizards that wore blue-white garments, a color akin to moonlight. They usually worked in solitude, performing magical research, making magic items, or searching out legendary treasures,[2][note 4] and convincing good-aligned spellcasters to use their powers for evil or selfish ends.[20] They also would form cells of cultists in order to carry these schemes out on a larger scale.[2] They were ruthless in their pursuits of power and influence, willing to use any trick at their disposal. They were particularly passionate about magical items, which they considered physical manifestations of power, but if they ever found an item they couldn't use a priest would donate it to the church.[20]

All of Hecate's clerics had a special rapport with hell hounds and would not be attacked by them in any case.[9] Each month they would make their sacrifices to her under the night of a full moon,[9][1] often in the form of black ewes and honey. Failure to do so would result in her depriving the worshipper of their magical powers until the proper sacrifice was made.[7]

On the plane of existence where she originated, she was worshipped by a collection of city-states. On that plane she was the sole source of magic for wizards and was often referred to in folktales as a sorceress or witch.[10]

Appendix[edit | edit source]

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. Tales of the Outer Planes identifies her divine realm as residing on Phlegethos, the fourth layer of the Nine Hells, but the later books Guide to Hell and Fiendish Codex II: Tyrants of the Nine Hells change its location as being in the third layer, Minauros.
  2. This description may sound out of character for the layer of Minauros. But keep in mind, this info is derived from Tales of the Outer Planes, which envisioned her realm in the fire-dominant plane of Phlegethos.
  3. Because Tales of the Outer Planes (1988) was published after the Forgotten Realms Campaign Set (1987), but evidently before the Time of Troubles in 1358 DR, when Lliira was free, this could have been set early the following year. It's not entirely clear how long Lliira was imprisoned.
  4. Legends & Lore states that she had no traditional priests, but this is contradicted by other sources.

Appearances[edit | edit source]

Adventures
Tales of the Outer Planes, "A Simple Deed, Well Rewarded"

External Links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 James Ward, Robert J. Kuntz (August 1980). Deities & Demigods. Edited by Lawrence Schick. (TSR, Inc.), p. 123. ISBN 0-935696-22-9.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 Skip Williams, Rich Redman, James Wyatt (April 2002). Deities and Demigods. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 117. ISBN 0-7869-2654-6.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford (2014). Player's Handbook 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 298. ISBN 978-0-7869-6560-1.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Skip Williams, Rich Redman, James Wyatt (April 2002). Deities and Demigods. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 100, 117. ISBN 0-7869-2654-6.
  5. Stephen Kenson (May 2001). “Do-It-Yourself Deities”. In Dave Gross ed. Dragon #283 (Wizards of the Coast), p. 34.
  6. Wolfgang Baur and Lester Smith (1994-07-01). “The Book of Chaos”. In Michele Carter ed. Planes of Chaos (TSR, Inc), p. 38. ISBN 1560768746.
  7. 7.00 7.01 7.02 7.03 7.04 7.05 7.06 7.07 7.08 7.09 7.10 James Ward and Robert Kuntz (November 1984). Legends & Lore. (TSR, Inc), p. 117. ISBN 978-0880380508.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 8.7 8.8 Colin McComb (1996). On Hallowed Ground. Edited by Ray Vallese. (TSR, Inc), p. 123. ISBN 0-7869-0430-5.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 James Ward, Robert J. Kuntz (August 1980). Deities & Demigods. Edited by Lawrence Schick. (TSR, Inc.), p. 64. ISBN 0-935696-22-9.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Nicky Rea (1994). Age of Heroes. (TSR, Inc.), pp. 31, 33. ISBN 1-56076-814-2.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Gary L. Thomas ed. (May 1988). Tales of the Outer Planes. (TSR, Inc.), p. 6. ISBN 978-0880385442.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 Skip Williams, Rich Redman, James Wyatt (April 2002). Deities and Demigods. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 118. ISBN 0-7869-2654-6.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Colin McComb (1996). On Hallowed Ground. Edited by Ray Vallese. (TSR, Inc), p. 124. ISBN 0-7869-0430-5.
  14. Chris Pramas (1999). Guide to Hell. (TSR, Inc.), p. 31. ISBN 978-0786914319.
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 Robin D. Laws, Robert J. Schwalb (December 2006). Fiendish Codex II: Tyrants of the Nine Hells. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 48–49. ISBN 0-7869-3940-0.
  16. 16.0 16.1 Skip Williams, Rich Redman, James Wyatt (April 2002). Deities and Demigods. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 99. ISBN 0-7869-2654-6.
  17. 17.0 17.1 Gary L. Thomas ed. (May 1988). Tales of the Outer Planes. (TSR, Inc.), pp. 4, 11. ISBN 978-0880385442.
  18. Chris Pramas (1999). Guide to Hell. (TSR, Inc.), p. 50. ISBN 978-0786914319.
  19. Robin D. Laws, Robert J. Schwalb (December 2006). Fiendish Codex II: Tyrants of the Nine Hells. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 5. ISBN 0-7869-3940-0.
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 Fraser Sherman (April 1993). “Following in their Footsteps”. In Roger E. Moore ed. Dragon #153 (TSR, Inc.), p. 30.
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