The Invincible One, Champion of Rightful Combat, The Valorous Knight, The Archpaladin
Intermediate Power of the Seven Mounting Heavens of Mt. Celestia
Symbol: Fist holding a lightning bolt or Silver lightning bolt
Home Plane: Mt. Celestia/Venya/Mercuria (The Fields of Glory)
Alignment: Lawful good
Portfolio: Chivalry, Honor, Justice, Valor, Daring, War
Allies: Pholtus, St. Cuthbert
Foes: Erythnul, Hextor
Core Worshipers: Humans, Oeridians
Worshipers: Paladins, fighters, monks, judges, constables
Worshiper’s Alignment: LG, LN, NG
Domains: Courage* (CW), Glory* (CD), Good, Inquisition* (CD), Law, Nobility* (CW, Ss), War.
Favored Weapon(s): Justicebringer (+5 defending holy ghost touch longsword)
Description: Heironeous (hi-ROE-nee-us) is the Oeridian battlefield champion of all that is right and good. He wages war against evil of all sorts, especially his half-brother and nemesis, Hextor. The deity of valor appears as a tall human with coppery skin, auburn hair, and amber eyes. He wears a suit of exquisite chain mail and carries a longsword. At his birth, Heironeous’ skin was imbued with a secret solution called meersalm that protects him from all but the most powerful weapons. His symbol is a silver lightning bolt.
Heironeous is the champion of rightful combat and chivalrous deeds. He is the patron Power of those who fight for honor, justice, and the fair, good order of things. As the patron deity of chivalrous fighters and honorable warriors, Heironeous is a constant thorn in the side of the evil gods. Numerous are his quests against evil, and Heironeous is never slow to leave the Seven Heavens and move around the Prime Material Plane to aid the forces of law and goodness. His allies are other gods who fight evil, and his foes are those who encourage evil or suffering. Known for his great magic battleaxe, he recently has been promoting usage of the longsword in order to appeal to common soldiers as well as paladins and leaders.
Heironeous expects his followers to uphold the highest ideals of chivalry and justice and to treat adversity as a challenge to be met and overcome, just as evil should be overcome.
“The world is a dangerous place that poses a never-ending series of challenges to those who fight for justice and protection of the weak and innocent. One must act honorably at all times, and uphold the virtues of justice and chivalry in word and deed. Danger must be faced with certainty and calm, and glory is the reward for defeating evil, while virtue is the reward for upholding the tenets of Heironeous.”
Clergy and Temples
The religious hierarchy of Heironeous is organized like a military order, championing causes and crusading to eliminate evils. It has a clear chain of command, lines of supply, and well-stocked armories.
Clerics of Heironeous travel the world, fighting against worshipers of Hextor whenever they can and spend the rest of their time protecting the civilized lands from the threats of evil as dictated by their church commanders. Older clerics work as judges, strategists, and military instructors. Many of the most powerful clerics of Heironeous have themselves embalmed alive with meersalm to gain its protective benefits, although some have not survived the process.
The church as a whole is very militant, always championing some cause or embarking on a crusade to against evil or injustice. Though some find their high ideals and intense devotion to their cause a little intimidating, the church of Heironeous is widely admired. This admiration comes mostly because the followers of Heironeous battle genuine evils, usually with little thought of monetary reward._ “Glory is the reward for defeating evil, while virtue is the reward for upholding the tenets of Heironeous,”_ say the clerics. Heironeous’s clerics also oppose clerics of Hextor wherever and whenever they can.
Cleric Training: Many of Heironeous’s clerics begin their training as pages to a cleric or paladin of Heironeous, absorbing the code of chivalry as they see it lived before their very eyes. Pages that show promise become squires. then full-fledged clerics.
Quests: The traditional chivalric quests are the bread and butter of a follower of Heironeous. They joust against the mysterious Black Knight, rescue the princess from the dragon, and lead the vanguard of a shining army of good.
Prayers: Many of Heironeous’s teachings are collected in a series of numbered analects, which worshipers are fond of quoting: “The 34th Analectic states, ‘Never die easy; strive always for a valorous end.’”
Temples: Typical temples to Heironeous always have a slightly militaristic look to them, like a fortified castle. In unsettled areas, they double as fortresses. Even in settled or urban areas they usually contain large, open, grassy courtyards where knights can joust and soldiers can drill. Most temples provide healing arid other spellcasting for those fighting the forces of evil.
Rites: Heironeous’s followers are eager to recognize bravery, chivalry, and other battlefield virtues in a ceremony that culminates in a medal or other decoration given from the clergy to a warrior, sometimes posthumously.
Relationships: Although the Champion of Rightful Combat works against all gods of evil, he attempts to thwart the works of his half-brother, Hextor in particular. In the beginning of time, Hextor chose to follow evil instead of good, just so that he might spite his brother and be opposite to him, and Heironeous has never forgiven him. Another notable enemy is Erythnul the Many, a being who is easily given to grudges, and although what initially started this enmity is unknown, there are several epic confrontations in recorded history between avatars of the two Powers within the Flanaess. Indeed, it is even said that once Heironeous fought both Hextor and Erythnul on the same field of battle, and triumphed (though clergy of Erythnul and Hextor each preach that their own deity fought Heironeous to a draw, and he escaped only through trickery).
Duty to the People: This pertains to mercy, courage, valor, justice, protection of the weak, and fidelity to church superiors and officers of just law. Included in this part of the code is the willingness to give your life to save another.
Duty to the Archpaladin: obedience to Heironeous, devotion to the church, championing good against evil, generosity, and obeying the needs of the faith/ church above that of mortals.
Duty to a Lady: courtly love, devotion to a particular lady and after her all other ladies, with a general respect toward all women.
- Travel the world on church orders to seek out and destroy evil.
- Free the shield lands.
- Work as strategists, military instructors, or judges.
Enemies: All that is evil. Hextor especially receives special treatment.
Holidays of Heironeous
The church has few major holidays. These holidays note the anniversaries of visitations by Heironeous, great battles, and significant victories over evil, but the church prefers to focus on more practical matters in its daily operations. Each regional temple might celebrate different anniversaries relevant to the local members.
Fortnight’s Feast: This two-week-long event celebrates the victories won by the Heironean armies of the Kingdom of Aerdy (before that land came to be ruled by priests of Hextor). Named for the Battle of a Fortnight’s Length, in which the Aerdy vanquished the cavalry of Nyrond (the last nation to join the Aerdy conquerors), the festival lasts from late Wealsun (June) to early Reaping (July). As the Great Kingdom slid into decadence and evil, this holiday has slowly lost its original significance and now serves as a festival of jousting, swordplay, reenactments of battles fought across the land, and bardic recitation of the deeds of long-fallen heroes.
The Day of Just Rebellion: This commemorates the battles fought to tear the land of Almor free from the evil kings of Aerdy. Held late in Coldeven (March), this holy day reminds the faithful that justice is not served by tyranny and honor is sometimes best upheld through rebellion (which is an aspect of the second Duty of the Heironean Code). This holiday is observed mainly by the faithful and its practice does not extend outside the temples. The followers pray, meditate, and discuss when rebellion against rulers is the appropriate and just action. As many tyrants have attacked Heironean temples on this holiday, it also commemorates the death of martyrs.
Valormight: This holy day predates the founding of the Great Kingdom of Aerdy and is celebrated on one of the last days of Ready T’eat. It is a remembrance of a ten-month war between the faithful and the followers of Hextor; despite being outnumbered six to one (as the tradition tells), the Valorous Host held its own and managed to confine the Hextorians to lands east of the Flanmi River. Few tales survive of this conflict and the holiday has evolved to include honoring all champions who fell battling Hextor and his minions.
Herald and Allies: A solar is Heironeous’s herald. Allies are hound archons, trumpet archons, and hound archon heroes.
Relics: Helm of the purple plume, sword of virtue beyond reproach.