Hephaestus was an interloper deity of artisans, craftsmen, and smiths who originated from another plane of existence[1][2][7] and was considered rather obscure in the Realms.[10]

Description[edit | edit source]

He was considered by some to be the only unattractive deity within his pantheon,[7][11] due to having a club foot and hunchback. He bore a resemblance to hill giants and had a full beard.[6][8][11] He stood roughly 20 ft (6.1 m) tall.[8]

Hephaestus's avatar usually took the form of a muscular human male with shaggy, dark hair and untrimmed beards, with some kind of physical deformity.[12]

Personality[edit | edit source]

Hephaestus was a very peaceful[11] and generally benevolent deity, but this could be confounded by his sensitivity towards his deformity.[6]

He highly valued and taught the virtues of hard labor, honesty and dependability. He emphasized loyalty to family and whomever else it was due — such as superiors, just rulers, and most of all elders. He encouraged his followers to tackle their problems with vigor and persistence.[11]

Abilities[edit | edit source]

Hephaestus was impervious to harm from fire. He could cast at will the spells could teleport without error and plane shift.[11] His skills related to the working of metal and stone were incredible.[13]

In addition to being capable of casting spells from the school of alteration,[6] some of the many spells that Hephaestus knew included the following:[11]

aid, animate rope, blade barrier, bless, burning hands, dispel evil, earthquake, elemental swarm (Only in the form of fire and earth), fabricate, fire seeds, fire shield, fire storm. hardening, heroes' feast, holy aura, holy smite, holy word, incendiary cloud, iron body, magic circle against evil, magic stone, major creation, mass heal, minor creation, miracle, prayer, prismatic sphere, produce flame, protection from evil, Rary's telepathic bond, refuge, resist elements, shield other, soften earth and stone, spike stones, status, stone shape, stoneskin, summon monster IX, true creation, wall of fire, wall of stone, and wood shape.

Combat[edit | edit source]

This deity typically wielded a 9 feet (2.7 meters)[8] warhammer that had a +5 flaming burst enchantment.[11]

Realm[edit | edit source]

Hephaestus lived and worked within a volcanic mountain in the Outer Plane Arborea, in the divine realm known as Olympus.[2][14] This volcano was situated in an area where volcanic activity was quite common.[2] His workshop had animated chairs and tables.[13]

History[edit | edit source]

Hephaestus was created by the goddess Hera wholly from her body, after she had discovered that her husband Zeus was having multiple affairs. When he discovered this, Zeus was so furious at her insolence that he hurled Hephaestus down on to the Prime Material plane,[2] where he impacted so terribly that his body was injured,[2][7][13] giving him a clubfoot and hunchback.[6] Some time later he reconciled with Zeus and became a welcome member of their pantheon.[2]

Hephaestus went on to marry the goddess Aphrodite[7] under the order of their fellow gods, who reasoned that the two of them needed divine consorts. When Hephaestus later discovered that she was vying for the deity Ares, he fashioned and entrapped them within a net, then invited their fellow gods to mock them.[15]

Activities[edit | edit source]

Hephaestus spent much of his time crafting armor, structures,[6] tools, and weaponry for the other deities within his pantheon. This included forging the thunderbolts that Zeus would hurl at his enemies.[2] His most preferred metal to work with was adamantine,[14] as he worked best with extremely hard metals.[8]

His avatars were often sent to observe volcanic eruptions and witness or assist in epic feats of smithing.[12]

A depiction of the god Hephaestus hammering away at an anvil alongside one of his cyclops servitors.

Relationships[edit | edit source]

Hephaestus had many cyclopes that lived inside his volcanic mountain home with him, assisting in his craftsmen activities.[2][16] They were a gift to him from his mother and were far more intelligent than the standard cyclopes.[16] Other creatures that lived with him as helpers included efreeti and fire elementals. In addition, the tunnel entrance to his lair was guarded by a red dragon.[8]

He was one of the closest allies of the dwarven deity Dumathoin and was supplied by him with adamantine ore.[17][18][note 1] The gnomish deity Nebelun occasionally visited him, offering advice and help, and at times they created incredible items togethor. Some claimed that Hephaestus had an ongoing rivalry with other deities who had the forge in their portfolios, but little was known about it.[2]

Although he was married to Aphrodite, Hephaestus had affection for Athena,[11][6] but she either didn't notice or chose to show ignorance.[11]

Worshipers[edit | edit source]

Hephaestus had very few followers,[6][8] some of which included dwarves.[17][18][note 1] His followers were typically artisans, craftsmen, and smiths.[2][6] Because he had so few worshippers he sought to treat them very well, often crafting them gifts in the form of adamantine armor, shields, and weapons with a +5 enchantment.[6]

The priests of his faith typically wielded hammers as weapons[6] and wore a leather apron as part of their priestly vestments.[9] They were often skilled in creating and repairing magical armor and weapons.[6] In their temple smithies they worked alongside the worshipers of Hephaestus, encouraging finer production, offering or receiving training, and developing new forging techniques.[13] When not working at their forges his priests were charged with maintaining civic life, performing a wide range of public ceremonies.[11]

Before anyone was accepted into his clergy, Hephaestus would send his avatar to see how they reacted to a deformed individual. Those who did not show kindness would be rejected.[6] For one of the duties of his clergy was to help the crippled and disabled of society.[13]

Places of Worship[edit | edit source]

Temples and shrines to Hephaestus typically had a fire that was kept perpetually lit. Most also included a smithy or other workshop.[11] His temples tended to resemble gigantic smithies as well.[13]

Trivia[edit | edit source]

Appendix[edit | edit source]

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 The Forgotten Realms Campaign Set states on page 16 that Unearthed Arcana's information regarding the non-human deities can be considered Realms canon.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

External Links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford (2014). Player's Handbook 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 298. ISBN 978-0-7869-6560-1.
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 Colin McComb (1996). On Hallowed Ground. Edited by Ray Vallese. (TSR, Inc), p. 125. ISBN 0-7869-0430-5.
  3. Skip Williams, Rich Redman, James Wyatt (April 2002). Deities and Demigods. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 100, 119. ISBN 0-7869-2654-6.
  4. Stephen Kenson (May 2001). “Do-It-Yourself Deities”. In Dave Gross ed. Dragon #283 (Wizards of the Coast), p. 34.
  5. Nicky Rea (1994). Age of Heroes. (TSR, Inc.), p. 37. ISBN 1-56076-814-2.
  6. 6.00 6.01 6.02 6.03 6.04 6.05 6.06 6.07 6.08 6.09 6.10 6.11 6.12 James Ward and Robert Kuntz (November 1984). Legends & Lore. (TSR, Inc), p. 114. ISBN 978-0880380508.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 Nicky Rea (1994). Age of Heroes. (TSR, Inc.), p. 76. ISBN 1-56076-814-2.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 James Ward, Robert J. Kuntz (August 1980). Deities & Demigods. Edited by Lawrence Schick. (TSR, Inc.), p. 65. ISBN 0-935696-22-9.
  9. 9.0 9.1 James Ward, Robert J. Kuntz (August 1980). Deities & Demigods. Edited by Lawrence Schick. (TSR, Inc.), p. 123. ISBN 0-935696-22-9.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Warning: edition not specified for Sojourn
  11. 11.00 11.01 11.02 11.03 11.04 11.05 11.06 11.07 11.08 11.09 11.10 Skip Williams, Rich Redman, James Wyatt (April 2002). Deities and Demigods. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 119. ISBN 0-7869-2654-6.
  12. 12.0 12.1 Skip Williams, Rich Redman, James Wyatt (April 2002). Deities and Demigods. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 120. ISBN 0-7869-2654-6.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 13.5 Fraser Sherman (April 1993). “Following in their Footsteps”. In Roger E. Moore ed. Dragon #153 (TSR, Inc.), p. 30.
  14. 14.0 14.1 Ed Greenwood (October 1990). Dwarves Deep. (TSR, Inc.), p. 5. ISBN 0-88038-880-3.
  15. Colin McComb (1996). On Hallowed Ground. Edited by Ray Vallese. (TSR, Inc), p. 118. ISBN 0-7869-0430-5.
  16. 16.0 16.1 James Ward, Robert J. Kuntz (August 1980). Deities & Demigods. Edited by Lawrence Schick. (TSR, Inc.), p. 62. ISBN 0-935696-22-9.
  17. 17.0 17.1 Gary Gygax (August, 1985). Unearthed Arcana (1st edition). (TSR, Inc.), pp. 110–111. ISBN 0880380845.
  18. 18.0 18.1 Jeff Grubb, Ed Greenwood and Karen S. Martin (1987). Forgotten Realms Campaign Set (Cyclopedia of the Realms). (TSR, Inc), p. 16. ISBN 0-8803-8472-7.
  19. Randy Maxwell (May/June 1991). “Ex Libris”. In Barbara G. Young ed. Dungeon #29 (TSR, Inc.), p. 38.
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