Hephaestus

Hephaestus

Intermediate god
Pantheon: Olympian Pantheon
Titles: Workman of the Immortals, God of the Forge
Home Plane: Olympus
Portfolio: Smithing, crafts
Alignment: Neutral Good
Worshippers: Dwarves, artisans, fighters
Cleric Alignments: LG, LN, NG
Domains: Artifice, Community, Earth, Fire, Good
Holy Symbols: Hammer and anvil
Favoured Weapons: Warhammer

The god of blacksmithing, fire, and crafts, Hephaestus usually appears as a tall, bearded giant with a club foot and a hunchback. Among the comely gods of Olympus, only he is ugly. It is said that his mother, Hera, tried to cast him out. If so, that must have been in the distant past. Hephaestus is highly honored among the gods as their armorer and smith. Bards’ tales say that volcanoes mark the sites of his forges. Hephaestus is a patron of all the civilized arts, though smiths are his special charges. He is married to Aphrodite but secretly loves Athena, who either does not notice or does not deign to acknowledge his affection.

Dogma

Hephaestus is a peaceful deity who teaches the value of hard labor, honesty, dependability. He emphasizes loyalty to family and to whomever else loyalty is due: superiors, just rules, and elders most of all. He encourages his followers to tackle their problems with vigor and persistence, like smiths hammering bits of metal into more desirable shapes.

Clergy

Clerics of Hephaestus are charged with maintaining civic life. They perform a wide range of public ceremonies, most importantly welcoming children into family and community. They also see to educating the young and especially to training apprentice smiths and other craftworkers.

Temples

Every temple or shrine of Hephaestus contains a fire that is kept perpetually lit, and most include a smithy or other workshop. Hostels and sanctuaries for the infirm and the handicapped are also common.

Aspects

Avatars: Hephaestus’s avatars usually appear as muscular human males with shaggy, black hair, untrimmed beards, and some kind of physical deformity. He sends them to observe volcanic eruptions (he often helps evacuate people living nearby). Other avatars witness or assist with epic feats of smithing.

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