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Hermes (pronounced: /ˈhɛrmizHER-meez[10]) was an interloper deity of commerce, thieves, and travelers who originated from another plane of existence.[5][7] His avatar was barred from entering Realmspace.[11]

Description[]

Hermes' avatar form perfectly resembled his true form,[12] that of a handsome youth.[10][5][8]

Personality[]

Hermes was the most clever member of the Olympian pantheon,[10] was the most carefree among them, eschewed the arrogant pride typically embraced by Olympians,[7] and had a keen sense of fairness[5] that was legendary among the Olympians. He had his moments of vanity, but generally gentler than most Olympians.[7]

Hermes valued the daring and wit that was necessary to pull off difficult thefts, but frowned upon stealing from those who could not afford the loss. He abhorred being idle, feeling that those who couldn't do anything useful ought to go out traveling and gain new experiences. He also despised tedium, but would smile at unexpected occurrences.[10] He was also often amused by the many mortals that attempted to make their way through Olympus.[13]

Abilities[]

Hermes was said to move as fast as a blink dog or someone under a permanent version of the spell haste.[8] He was also capable of moving between places almost instantaneously,[5] by means of being able to cast the spells plane shift and teleport without error at will.[10]

He was able to perceive anything within 15 miles (24 kilometers) of worshipers, holy sites, sacred objects, as well as any location where his name or one of his many titles had been spoken in the last hour. Additionally, he could sense any beginning of a journey, end of a journey, negotiation, theft, or wager. He could focus his senses on up to ten locations at a time.[12]

Hermes was capable of creating magic items that concealed or disguised a user, as well as those that involved travel upon the same plane — examples of these included boots of striding and springing, carpets of flying, hats of disguise, rings of invisibility, and robes of blending. He was also capable of creating magic weapons from clubs, daggers, darts, heavy maces and light maces, morningstars, quarterstaves, rapiers, saps, shortbows, and short swords.[12]

Some of the many spells that Hermes was capable of casting in his avatar form included the following:[10]

aid, animate objects, astral projection, blade barrier, break enchantment, change self, chaos hammer, cloak of chaos, confusion, dimension door, dispel evil, dispel law, entropic shield, expeditious retreat, false vision,find the path, freedom of movement, holy aura, holy smite, holy word, invisibility, locate object, magic circle against evil, magic circle against law, miracle, non-detection, phase door, polymorph any object, protection from elements, protection from evil, protection from law, shatter, spell turning, summon monster IX, time stop, and word of chaos.

Possessions[]

The holy symbol of Hermes.

Hermes possessed a a pair of winged sandals that allowed him to fly, an enchanted helmet that had the same effect as a ring of invisibility,[5][8] and a white caduceus (winged rod with two entwined snakes).[10][5][8] This rod was given to him by the god Apollo and it gave him control over all non-magical creatures other than humans,[10][8] specifically those classified as animals and beasts.[10] This rod would also only function for deities.[12]

History[]

Hermes was born to the Olympian god Zeus[14][15] and a minor goddess by the name of Maia.[15][16] On his first day of life he committed his first act of thievery, stealing a herd of cattle that his older brother Apollo was watching[10][5][7] and hid them within a mountain cave,[7] an act which left the sun god with a distaste for thieves for many years.[10] While Apollo went looking for the lost cattle,[7] Hermes fashioned a lyre for him as a gift of appeasement.[7][15] He later gifted Apollo pane pipes, for which he received his signature golden caduceus.[7]

Later in life, Hermes had a child with the Olympian goddess Aphrodite[17] and with a dryad. From the latter pairing came the god known as Pan.[16] He also had a child named Autolycus, who acted as one of his proxies.[18]

At some point a group of adventurers on Toril came to the island of Achea and ascended it, bringing them into the plane of Olympus. Noticing the mortals, Hermes decided to have a bit of fun with them and disguised himself as a wizened shepherd.[13] He approached the mortals in this shapechanged form and informed them of the fact that Zeus had a magical barrier around the realm that prohibited any mortals from leaving without his verbal consent, so they had to go and win his favor if they wished to return home.[13][19] He then offered to tell them a way of earning the Thunderer's sympathy in return for two hundred silver pieces. After receiving his payment,[19] Hermes informed the mortals that he knew of a nymph named Daphne that had caught Zeus's eye and if they could get her to agree to become one of his wives, then surely Zeus would allow them leave.[13][19] He then gifted the mortals a roughly drawn map showing the location of her village, Amliador, and the location of Zeus's oracle.[19]

Shortly afterwards,[13] Hermes bumped into Apollo outside of the palace of Zeus.[20] He proceeded to boast to him of his scheme to stir up controversy among the Olympians. Intrigued, the Sun God wagered a hundred golden apples on the mortals' success, which Hermes then counter wagered his best lyre that the mortals could never secure the woman's favor.[13][20] The two deities then began using magic to closely observe the progress of the mortals.[20]

The mortals' quest lead them to undertake three labors for Daphne's father, the wood elf King Hiyawat.[21] The third of these labors took them to the chained Prometheus, who they defended from one of his vulture torturers. For their aid he informed the adventurers of the fate of Hiyawat's people, then for saving him a second night he informed them of how they were pawns in Hermes' elaborate wager with Apollo. Including the exact bets that each of them made. He then warned them that whoever lost the wager would likely hold a grudge against them.[22]

Later on Hermes began a romance with the Faerûnian goddess Tymora, which was known to only a few on Olympus. Some claimed this was solely him trying to learn the fate of the Olympian goddess Tyche.[7] Hermes also sent his avatars out across the cosmos, seeking the truth of demise. Eventually he would resort to sending priests through portals to Toril to uncover the truth.[11]

Activities[]

Hermes acted as a messenger between mortals and the members of the Olympian pantheon,[5][8] a role that the Olympians depended upon him for due to his impressive speed.[7] He also acted as an arbiter among the powers of his pantheon whenever they had disputes,[5][8] being far more capable than Zeus at bringing the powers together. The Olympians appealed to him for impartial judgement.[7]

Whenever he wanted to raise hell without upsetting the Olympians, Hermes would travel to Brightwater.[23]

Realm[]

Hermes lived in a hidden area within Mount Olympus, on the divine realm of Olympus.[7][24][25] This home was a sort of gambling den,[18][24][25][26] welcoming of travelers and guaranteeing them a safe night's sleep.[18] The interior of this cavern home was perpetually shrouded in darkness to all but his worshipers and its entrance could at times lead elsewhere to unexpected places.[25]

Relationships[]

Hermes was generally liked by most deities, even Zeus's rival Daghdha had no issues with him.[7]

He was often visited by the halfling deity Brandobaris.[27][28][29][note 1] And he occasionally had conversations with Selûne.[30]

Worshipers[]

The priests of his faith typically wielded clubs or staves as weapons.[5] They wore a tunic and a winged cap as part of their priestly vestments.[9] They had access spells from the all, charm, divination, healing, protection, and summoning spheres. They particularly had access to the detect lie spell. Additionally, they always moved as if they were under the effect of haste.[5]

His priests either traveled regularly or kept themselves busy. Taking on a wide variety of professions, including serving as diplomats, judges, moneychangers, surveyors, and translators.[10] But no matter their position in life, all his clerics were required to keep themselves physically fit and capable of running long distances.[5][8]

Hermes' followers were urged to be both dependable and prompt.[10] He was also known to punish those members of his clergy in positions of arbitration that were caught taking any form of bribe.[5][8]

Temples[]

On the worlds that he was worshiped, wayside shrines to Hermes were far more common than temples.[10] In the Outlands, Hermes had a temple in the city of Sigil and a large following among travelers there.[31]

Appendix[]

Notes[]

  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.

Appearances[]

Adventures
Tales of the Outer Planes

Gallery[]

External Links[]

References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Stephen Kenson (May 2001). “Do-It-Yourself Deities”. In Dave Gross ed. Dragon #283 (Wizards of the Coast), p. 34.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Skip Williams, Rich Redman, James Wyatt (April 2002). Deities and Demigods. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 123–124. ISBN 0-7869-2654-6.
  3. Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford (2014). Player's Handbook 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 298. ISBN 978-0-7869-6560-1.
  4. Skip Williams, Rich Redman, James Wyatt (April 2002). Deities and Demigods. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 100. ISBN 0-7869-2654-6.
  5. 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 5.11 5.12 5.13 5.14 5.15 5.16 5.17 James M. Ward and Troy Denning (August 1990). Legends & Lore (2nd edition). (TSR, Inc), p. 115. ISBN 978-0880388443.
  6. Nicky Rea (1994). Age of Heroes. (TSR, Inc.), p. 37. ISBN 1-56076-814-2.
  7. 7.00 7.01 7.02 7.03 7.04 7.05 7.06 7.07 7.08 7.09 7.10 7.11 7.12 7.13 Colin McComb (1996). On Hallowed Ground. Edited by Ray Vallese. (TSR, Inc), p. 125. ISBN 0-7869-0430-5.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 8.7 8.8 8.9 James Ward, Robert J. Kuntz (August 1980). Deities & Demigods. Edited by Lawrence Schick. (TSR, Inc.), p. 71. 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. 138. ISBN 0-935696-22-9.
  10. 10.00 10.01 10.02 10.03 10.04 10.05 10.06 10.07 10.08 10.09 10.10 10.11 10.12 10.13 Skip Williams, Rich Redman, James Wyatt (April 2002). Deities and Demigods. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 124. ISBN 0-7869-2654-6.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Colin McComb (1996). On Hallowed Ground. Edited by Ray Vallese. (TSR, Inc), pp. 127–128. ISBN 0-7869-0430-5.
  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. 125. ISBN 0-7869-2654-6.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 13.5 Gary L. Thomas ed. (May 1988). Tales of the Outer Planes. (TSR, Inc.), p. 56. ISBN 978-0880385442.
  14. Skip Williams, Rich Redman, James Wyatt (April 2002). Deities and Demigods. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 101. ISBN 0-7869-2654-6.
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 Nicky Rea (1994). Age of Heroes. (TSR, Inc.), p. 76. ISBN 1-56076-814-2.
  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. Skip Williams, Rich Redman, James Wyatt (April 2002). Deities and Demigods. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 104. ISBN 0-7869-2654-6.
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 Colin McComb (1996). On Hallowed Ground. Edited by Ray Vallese. (TSR, Inc), p. 126. ISBN 0-7869-0430-5.
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 Gary L. Thomas ed. (May 1988). Tales of the Outer Planes. (TSR, Inc.), p. 58. ISBN 978-0880385442.
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 Gary L. Thomas ed. (May 1988). Tales of the Outer Planes. (TSR, Inc.), pp. 60–61. ISBN 978-0880385442.
  21. Gary L. Thomas ed. (May 1988). Tales of the Outer Planes. (TSR, Inc.), p. 59. ISBN 978-0880385442.
  22. Gary L. Thomas ed. (May 1988). Tales of the Outer Planes. (TSR, Inc.), p. 62. ISBN 978-0880385442.
  23. Wolfgang Baur and Lester Smith (1994-07-01). “The Book of Chaos”. In Michele Carter ed. Planes of Chaos (TSR, Inc), p. 48. ISBN 1560768746.
  24. 24.0 24.1 Wolfgang Baur and Lester Smith (1994-07-01). “The Book of Chaos”. In Michele Carter ed. Planes of Chaos (TSR, Inc), p. 45. ISBN 1560768746.
  25. 25.0 25.1 25.2 Wolfgang Baur and Lester Smith (1994-07-01). “The Travelogue”. In Michele Carter ed. Planes of Chaos (TSR, Inc), p. 21. ISBN 1560768746.
  26. Jeff Grubb (July 1987). Manual of the Planes 1st edition. (TSR), p. 93. ISBN 0880383992.
  27. Roger E. Moore (March 1982). “The Gods of the Halflings”. In Kim Mohan ed. Dragon #59 (TSR, Inc.), p. 52.
  28. Gary Gygax (August, 1985). Unearthed Arcana (1st edition). (TSR, Inc.), p. 115. ISBN 0880380845.
  29. 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.
  30. Colin McComb (1996). On Hallowed Ground. Edited by Ray Vallese. (TSR, Inc), p. 170. ISBN 0-7869-0430-5.
  31. Wolfgang Baur, Rick Swan (June 1995). In the Cage: A Guide to Sigil. Edited by Karen S. Boomgarden. (TSR, Inc.), p. 44. ISBN 978-0786901111.

Connections[]

Powers of Olympus who have influenced the Forgotten Realms
ApolloDemeterHecateHephaestusHermesPanPoseidonPriapusPrometheusTycheZeus