Heironeous

Heironeous.jpg

The Invincible
Intermediate Deity
Symbol: Fist holding a lightning bolt
Home Plane: Fields of Glory, Celestia
Alignment: Lawful Good
Portfolio: Valor, chivalry, justice, honor, war, daring
Worshipers: Paladins, fighters, monks, judges, constables
Cleric Alignments: LG, LN, NG
Domains: Good, Law, War
Favored Weapon: Longsword2

The deity of valor, Heironeous (high-roe-nee-us), appears as a tall human male with coppery skin, auburn hair, and amber eyes. He wears a suit of exquisite chain mail and carries a longsword. He wages war against evil of all sorts, especially his half-brother and nemesis, Hextor.

Dogma

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 where those who fight for justice and who protect the weak and the innocent face a never-ending series of challenges. He exhorts his followers to act honorably at all times, and to uphold the virtues of justice and chivalry with deeds, not just words. Those who face danger with certainty and calm will prevail against evil, Heironeous advises. The Arch-paladin’s teachings have been codified in a chivalric code known as the Heironean Code.

The Heironean Code

The Heironean Code consists of three sets of duties:

  • Duty to the People. This duty stresses courage, justice, mercy, valor, protection of the weak, and faithfulness to church superiors or officers of righteous law.
  • Duty to the Arch-paladin. This duty stresses obedience to Heironeous himself, devotion to the church, generosity, championing good against evil, putting the needs of the church and the faith above those of mortals.
  • Duty to a Lady. This duty pertains to the concept of courtly love, devotion to one’s beloved, and respect toward all women in general.

Scriptures

A number of holy texts are venerated by the faith of Heironeous. The best-known work is likely The Book of the Code, a four-chapter work outlining the Heironean Code and providing examples of how one is expected to follow it. Another well-known work is the Book of Penitence (also known as the Just Book), which describes the achievements of Praetor, a legendary paladin who is now venerated as a saint by some Heironean sects.

Clergy and Temples

The religious hierarchy of Heironeous is organized like a military order. It has a clear chain of command, lines of supply, and well stocked armories.

Clerics of Heironeous fight against worshipers of Hextor whenever they can and spend the rest of their time protecting the civilized lands from the threats of evil. Older clerics work as judges, strategists, and military instructors. 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.

Temples to Heironeous always have a slightly militaristic look to them. In unsettled areas, they double as fortresses. Even in settled or urban areas they usually contain open, grassy courtyards where soldiers can train.

Clergy

Priests of Heironeous often travel the world on orders from their superiors to seek out and destroy evil. Older priests often work as strategists, military instructors, or judges. Several of the faith’s most powerful clerics, seeking to gain the benefits of meersalm, have had themselves embalmed alive with the substance, though some have not survived the ritual. Their favored weapons are the longsword and battleaxe.

Novices of Heironeous are known as the Blessed. Full priests are called the Glorious or, collectively, the Valorous Host. Other titles used by Heironian priests are Hero of the Third Rank, Hero of the Second Rank, Hero of the First Rank, Champion of Glory, Knight Gallant, Knight Courageous, Knight Valiant, and Knight Champion. Senior priests are called Paragons, while those who command armies are known as Paragon-Generals. These titles are separate from duty-titles such as postulant, novitiate, professed priest, cloistered cleric, affirmed priest, and templar. They are also separate from ranks within the temple hierarchy such as hierodeacon and abbot. In everyday use, senior priests are called Father or Mother, while lesser priests are known as Brother or Sister. There is also an elite order of priests known as the gloryaxes.

Priestly vestments include chain mail and blue robes with silver trim.

Paladins

Large numbers of paladins in the Princiterra follow Heironeous, as he himself is one. Because of this, and his utter dedication to Law and Good, paladins of Heironeous can be among the most devout, albeit overbearing, people on the Material Plane. The hero-deity Red Knight was a paladin of Heironeous, and her order of Crimson Paladins is actually part of Heironeous’s ecclesiastical hierarchy. Saint Praetor, another paladin, is honored by a group of Heironeans called the Order of the True Strike.

Affiliated orders

The church of Heironeous is supported by numerous religious-military orders.. Prominent examples include the Order of the Shining Sword, the Brotherhood of the Lance Unbroken, and the Copper Crusaders.

The Holy Order of the Supernal Topaz Defenders, or the Topaz Order for short, is an organization of Heironean clerics, paladins, fighters, fighter/clerics, and monks dedicated to purging the world of evil, aberrant races such illithids, beholders, grell, aboleths, and neogi. Their emblem is a brilliant yellow topaz on a field of cobalt blue.

Although this is uncommon, there are also orders of Heironean fighting-monks. The most famous is the Order of the Glory Everlasting, led by a former nobleman named Luther. The Order of the Glory Everlasting is dedicated to the preservation of East Valitaine culture and the destruction of an order of Hextorian monks called the Brotherhood of the Gray Hand.

The most famous group of Heironean knights, however, are the Knights of Holy Shielding.

Rituals

Services to Heironeous include triumphant battle hymns, offerings to copper statues of the god, and the sharing of hearty, strengthening foods such as meat, full-bodied red wine (in moderation), and spiced, stewed, kara-fruit.

The Tests of Valor

Before advancing in rank, priests of Heironeous must clearly demonstrate their bravery, honor, and sense of justice. The exact nature of these tests varies, but they are revealed through prayer and divinely-inspired visions. They can range from tests of fortitude that can be completed within the temple to crusades against the forces of evil.

Heironeous

The World of DaNar DamonRobison