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Hel, Goddess of the Dead

Hel
Midjourney
  • Pantheon: Norse Pantheon
  • Deity Title: Goddess of the Dead
  • Deity Symbol: The Skull or a Half-Black, Half-White Face
  • Home Plane: Helheim, Niflheim
  • Deity Level: Greater Deity
  • Alignment: Neutral Evil
  • Aliases: Hela, Helia, Halja
  • Superior: N/A
  • Traditional Allies: Fenrir, Jormungandr, Loki, Dyggvi, the Undead King
  • Traditional Foes: Balder, Thor, Odin
  • Divine Artifact: Her magical cloak and staff
  • Servants: The spirits of the dead, Draugr (undead warriors), Hel-Wights (ghostly attendants)
  • Servitor Creatures: Nidhogg (dragon who gnaws at the roots of the World Tree), Garmr (hellhound)
  • Sacred Animal: Serpent
  • Manifestations: A skeletal figure with half of her body appearing healthy and the other half decaying
  • Signs of Favor: Increased control over death and the dead, resistance to necrotic damage
  • Worshipers: Necromancers, those seeking knowledge of the afterlife, those seeking to control the undead
  • Cleric Alignments: Lawful Evil, Neutral Evil, Chaotic Evil
  • Specialty Priests: Necromancers, embalmers, morticians
  • Holy Days: The night of Samhain (Halloween), the winter solstice
  • Portfolio: Death, decay, the underworld, the afterlife
  • Domains: Death, Evil, Magic, Repose
  • Favored Weapon: Scythe
  • Favored Class: Necromancer
  • Favored Race: Undead
  • Duties of the Priesthood: Conducting funerals and burial rites, appeasing the spirits of the dead, mastering necromancy
  • Major Cult/Temple Sites: Helheim, Niflheim B
  • enefits: Mastery over the undead, knowledge of the afterlife, resistance to necrotic damage

Hel is a fearsome and powerful goddess of Norse mythology who rules over the underworld and is associated with death and decay. She has a half-dead, half-alive appearance, with one side of her face appearing youthful and beautiful while the other side is skeletal and decayed.

Her youthful side is fair and rosy, with bright blue eyes and long, golden hair that falls in soft waves around her shoulders. She is dressed in fine robes of shimmering black, and carries a silver staff with a skull on top. On the other side of her face, her skin is deathly pale and stretched tight over her skull, with hollow eye sockets and exposed bones.

Hel’s demeanor is cold and detached, befitting her role as the ruler of the dead. She is often depicted as emotionless, with a voice that is soft and whispery, yet commanding. Despite her fearsome appearance, Hel is not cruel or malevolent, but instead, is simply a representation of the natural cycle of life and death. Her ultimate goal is to maintain balance and order in the realm of the dead, ensuring that those who have passed on can find rest and peace.

According to Norse mythology, Hel is the daughter of the trickster god Loki and the giantess Angrbo√įa. She was cast out of Asgard and sent to Niflheim to rule over the dead, where she created the realm of Helheim. Her role as the ruler of the dead has made her both revered and feared, and she is often invoked in rituals and ceremonies for those who have passed on. Despite her fearsome reputation, Hel remains an integral part of Norse mythology, representing the inescapable cycle of life and death that is a central part of human existence.


Orginally posted by Palindrome

As seen in Palindrome’s thread at Dicefreaks

Hel

Hel
Cleric 30/Necromancer 20/Pale Master 10
Medium outsider (evil, extraplanar)
Divine Rank15
Hit Dice30d8 (cleric) plus 20d4 (necromancer) plus 10d4 (pale master) plus 780 (1140 hp)
Initiative+21 (+13 Dexterity, +8 Superior Initiative)
Speed60 ft.
Armor Class80 (+30 natural, +15 divine, +13 Dexterity, +12 deflection), touch 50, flat-footed 66
Base Attack/Grapple+35/+47
Attack+66 ‘Frigid Grasp of the Grave’ or melee touch +62 or ranged touch +63
Full
Attack
+66/+61/+56/+51  ‘Frigid Grasp of the Grave’ (1d4 plus +1d6 (wounding) plus +3d6 (cold)plus +12/20/x2 plus +6d6 (cold)) or melee touch +62 or ranged touch +63
Space/Reach5ft./5 ft.
Special
Attacks
animate dead 1/day (animate 58 HD, control 116 HD), control undead, salient divine abilities, spells, spell-like abilities, turn undead/outsiders 15/day, undead graft (paralyzing touch, weakening touch, degenerative touch, destructive touch, deathless master’s touch)
Special QualitiesDarkvision 60 ft., deathless mastery, deathless vigor, divine aura (1500 feet, DC 34), divine immunities, DR 25/epic and mithril, godly realm (10 miles outer plane, 1500 ft. Material Plane), greater teleport at will, plane
shift
at will, remote communication,resistance (acid) 19, speak, and read all languages and speak directly to all
beings with 15 miles, SR 77, tough as bone, undead armor affinity, undead cohort, undead graft
SavesFort +60 Ref +55 Will +62
AbilitiesStrength 34 Dexterity 37 Constitution 36 Intelligence 38 Wisdom 40 Charisma 35
SkillsAppraise +34 (+38 alchemical preparations, sculpture, ships), Bluff +57, Concentration +83, Craft (alchemy) +64, Craft (sculpting) +64, Craft (shipbuilding) +69, Decipher Script +69, Diplomacy +85 (+100 Giants), Disguise +57 (+59 observed in character), Hide +61, Intimidate +61 (+76 Giants), Knowledge (Arcana) +92, Knowledge (architecture and engineering) +59, Knowledge (history) +69, Knowledge (nature) +81, Knowledge (the planes) +84, Knowledge (religion) +95, Listen +70, Move Silently +68, Profession (mortician) +70, Search +49 (+53 find hidden doors/secret compartments), Sense Motive +60, Spot +60, Spellcraft +98, Survival +43 (+45 find/follow tracks, +47 aboveground, +49 extraplanar)
FeatsCorrupt Spell, Empower Spell, Energy Admixture (cold), Energy Substitution (cold), Enlarge Spell (B), Eschew Materials, Extend Spell (B), Fell Drain, Greater Spell Focus (necromancy) (B), Heighten Spell (B), Improved Initiative, Maximize Spell, Quicken Spell (B), Scribe Scroll (B), Skill Focus (Knowledgereligion), Still Spell, Weapon Focus (unarmed strike)
Epic
Feats
Enhance Spell, Epic Spellcasting (B), Expeditious Metamagic, Ignore Material Components (B), Improved Heighten Spell, Improved Metamagic(x2), Multispell, Negative Energy Burst, Superior Initiative, Undead Mastery, Zone Of Animation (B)
Salient
Divine Abilities
Automatic Metamagic (Energy Substitution-cold), Automatic Metamagic (Quicken Spell), Automatic Metamagic (Still Spell), Divine Inspiration (dread), Divine Spellcasting, Energy Burst (15d8 points of cold damage), Energy Storm (cold, 15 points of cold damage/15 points of unholy damage, 150 ft.), Epic Weapon Focus (unarmed strike), Frigid Grasp of the Grave*, Frightful Presence (reveal rotting half of head, Will save DC 37), Hand of Death (Fort save 47), Hel’s Arm*, Lay Curse (Will save DC 37), Life Drain (150 ft. radius, 10 ft. high, Will save DC 37), Power of Nature (15 mile radius), Supreme Initiative, Undead Mastery, Whispers of the Dead*, Wound Enemy*Unique abilities; described below.
EnvironmentNiflheim
OrganizationHel and Cohort (Dyggvi) or Hel and Honor Guard (2-4 Corpse Frost Giant barbarians) Nightmare, Cauchemar
Challenge
Rating
56
TreasureAdamant Ring
AlignmentNeutral Evil
Advancement
Level
Adjustment
¬Ė
John Charles Dollman (1851‚Äď1934) Hermod before Hela (the title given to the work in the list of illustrations on page vii) Date Published in 1909, Hel
John Charles Dollman (1851‚Äď1934) Hermod before Hela (the title given to the work in the list of illustrations on page vii) Date Published in 1909

Alter Reality

– Hel can use the wish spell with regard to her portfolio, save for the replication of other spells. This ability costs Hel no XP, and requires a standard action to implement. Hel may alter her size between Tiny and Gargantuan and create avatars.

– Divine Immunities: Ability damage, ability drain, cold, death effects, disease, disintegration, energy drain, fire, mind-affecting effects, Paralysis, poison, sleep, stunning, transmutation, imprisonment, banishment.

Domain Powers: Rebukes fire creatures/commands cold creatures 15/day; casts evil spells at +1 level; may make a death touch 1/day that kills beings with fewer than 30d6 hp

– Spell-Like Abilities At will: animate dead, blasphemy, cause fear, chill touch, chill metal, cone of cold, control weather, create undead, create greater undead, death knell, death ward, desecrate, destruction, dispel good, magic circle against good, ice storm, Obedient Avalanche, polar ray, protection from good, slay living, sleet storm, summon monster IX (evil monsters only), wail of the banshee, wall of ice, unholy aura, unholy blight. Hel uses these abilities as a 75th level caster, except for evil spells, which she uses as a 76th-level caster. The save DCs are 48 + spell level.

Arm of Hel (Unique Salient Divine Ability): Any spell that channels positive or negative energy to either inflict or cure that is cast at Hel is instead absorbed harmlessly by her necrotic left arm. For every ten points of damage absorbed by her dead arm in this manner, she may add 1 point of damage per level to any inflict spell that she in turn casts within the next 12 rounds.

Frigid Grasp of the Grave (Unique Salient Divine Ability): As a result, Hel may repeatedly strike with her own chill arms as if with a weapon, giving her the ability to make successive strikes although at a ¬Ė5 penalty. Her unarmed strikes additionally do 3d6 points of cold damage.

Additionally, should Hel successfully grapple a being, they take 7d6 points of cold damage each round that she is in physical contact with their body. Should a target of Hel’s be reduced to 0 hit points they must make a Fort save DC 55 or else freeze solid in place as the spell flesh to ice. Creatures frozen solid in this manner may only be brought back to life through the casting of ice to flesh by a good-aligned deity of higher divine rank than Hel.

Whispers of the Unquiet Dead (Unique Salient Divine Ability): Hel may fill an area in a 150 foot radius around her with the whispers of the dissatisfied dead, forever unable to escape from her realm. All within hearing must make a Will save DC 47 or else be driven permanently insane from the experience as the spell insanity. Hel may unleash the Whispers of the Unquiet Dead 15/day, and each use of her Whispers lasts for 15 rounds.

РPossessions: Hel wears the Adamant Ring, which is believed to have been a gift to her from her father, Loki, in the intervening time after she was cast into Niflheim and before Loki himself was imprisoned by the rest of the Aesir. The Adamant Ring is a white double band of adamantine formed into a complex knot, with the beginning and the end of the knot being designed in the shape of a serpent’s head devouring it’s own tail as a symbol of her brother, Jormungandr. The Adamant Ring functions as a ring of spell turning against all divine spells cast by clerics of the Aesir and provides her with a +15 profane bonus to all Diplomacy and Intimidate checks when dealing with Giants from her own pantheon. This bonus has been included in her statistics. The Adamant Ring is a minor Artifact.

Other Divine Powers
– As an intermediate deity, Hel gets a result of 20 on any check if she is required to make one at all and treats a 1 on an attack roll or saving throw normally and not as an automatic failure. She is immortal.

– Senses: Hel can see (using normal vision or Low-Light Vision), hear, touch, and smell at a distance of 15 miles. As a standard action, she can perceive anything within 15 miles of her worshipers, holy sites, objects, or any location where one of her titles or name was spoken in the last hour. She can extend his senses to up to five locations at once. She can block the sensing power of deities of her rank or lower at up to two remote locations at once for 8 hours.

– Portfolio Sense: Hel senses the death of any mortal in a manner that shall bring them to her halls of the dead 15 weeks in the past.

– Automatic Actions: Hel can use any skill related to her portfolio, such as Knowledge (religion) to identify undead as a free action if the DC for the task is 25 or lower. She can perform up to ten such free actions each round.

– Create Magic Items: Hel can create any kind of magic item worth less than 200,000 gp if it can be used to control or summon the dead, or can be used to spread the chill of the grave among the living.

Clerical Spells (0th-15th level) (Sp): Spells/day: 6/9+1/9+1/9+1/8+1/8+1/7+1/7+1/6+1/6+1/3/3/2/2/2/2 Hel casts her Clerical spells at 30th level and at 45th level for the purposes of Spell Penetration. Saving throws against Hel’s clerical spells is DC 25 + spell level. The saving throw DC’s are Wisdom-based. Hel may cast 8 epic spells/day with a maximal Spellcraft DC of 108. Hel may additionally rebuke undead 15/day, and command 300 HD of undead creatures. Hel’s rebuking roll is 1d20 plus +20, and her roll to dispel turning is 2d6 plus +44.

Typical Clerical Spells Chosen: 0th level: create water, inflict minor wounds, No Light(x2), read magic, mending.

epic spells known: animus blizzard, demise unseen, epic counterspell, momento mori, servants of the void, soul scry, superb dispelling, word of death

* Domain Spell.

Necromancer Spells (0th-14th level) (Sp): 4/8/8/7/7/7/7/6/6/6/3/2/2/2/2 Hel casts her Necromantic spells at 29th level and at 44th level for the purposes of Spell Penetration. Saving throws against Hel’s Necromantic spells is DC 24 + spell level. The saving throw DC’s are Intelligence-based. Hel’s prohibited school is Enchantment, and all of Hel’s spells are cold-substituted, quickened, and stilled.

Typical Necromantic Spells Chosen:

Deathless Vigor (Ex): Hel gains a +4 bonus on Fortitude saves except against effects that also work on objects.

Tough as Bone (Ex): Hel is immune to disease, nonlethal damage, and stunning.

Undead Graft (Su): Hel’s prosthetic left arm is a hideous and nearly skeletal monstrosity which grants her a +4 bonus to her Strength score. Her graft allows her to deliver horrible touch attacks three times a day. She must decide that she is using this attack before making the attack roll; a failed attack roll still expends that use of the ability. Each time she makes a touch attack with this ability, she can select from any of the effeects described below. The save DC for her touch attacks is 32.

Paralyzing Touch: Any living creature except for an elf that Hel touches must succeed on a Fort save or else be paralyzed for 1d4+1 rounds.

Weakening Touch: A living foe hit by Hel’s touch attack takes 1d6 points of Strength damage (no save). A creature reduced to Strength 0 dies.

Degenerative Touch: A living foe hit by Hel’s touch attack receives one negative level (no save) and must make a Fort save 24 hours later to avoid losing the level permanently.

Destructive Touch: A living foe hit by Hel’s touch attack must succeed at a Fort save or else take 1d6 points of Constitution drain.

Deathless Master’s Touch: A living foe up to one size category greater than Hel must succeed at a Fort save or die. A slain creature automatically animates 1 round later as a zombie and is under Hel’s control as if she had animated it. undead created using this power do not count against her HD total for controlling undead.

Deathless Mastery (Ex): Due to Hel’s half-mummified and degenerate body, Hel is immune to Paralysis, sleep effects, death effects, critical hits, ability drain, energy drain, and physical ability damage.

Avatars: The duality that characterizes Hel’s true form will be replicated one way or another in all of her avatars. As such, all of them will possess something wrong with their left arms, whether it’s withered, skinned, or even skeletal, and a similarly scarred face. A second commonality in terms of all of Hel’s Avatars is that on a Spot check it can be noticed that on her good arm, it’s fingernails are all missing. This is because she has contributed them to the Ships of the Dead, just as with the endless hordes of undead that eternally serve her and shall be unleashed during Ragnarok. Hel’s Avatar is almost always accompanied by a group of five Corpse Frost Giant barbarians, which were presented to her from Thrym and presumably as punishment for the giants involved.

Hel’s Avatar
Medium outsider (evil, extraplanar)
Divine Rank0
Hit Dice14d8 (cleric) plus 10d4 (necromancer) plus 6d4 (pale master) plus 390 (566 hp)
Initiative+18 (+10 Dexterity, +8 Superior Initiative)
Speed60 ft. (12 squares)
Armor Class43 (+15 natural, +10 Dexterity, +8 deflection), touch 23, flat-footed 33
Base Attack/Grapple+18/+24
Attack+25 ¬ďFrigid Grasp of the Grave¬Ē or +26 melee touch or +28 ranged touch
Full Attack+25/+20/+15/+10 ¬ďFrigid Grasp of the Grave¬Ē (1d4 plus +3d6 (cold) plus +8/20/x2 plus +6d6 (cold)) or +26 melee touch or +28 ranged touch
Space/Reach5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacksanimate dead 1/day (animate 30 HD, control 60 HD), control undead, Domain powers, salient divine abilities, spells, spell-like abilities
Special QualitiesDarkvision 60 ft., divine aura (1500 feet, DC 18), divine immunities, DR 10/epic, greater teleport at will, plane shift at will, resistance (electricity) 5, rebuke undead 11/day, SR 47, undead armor affinity
SavesFort +26 Ref +20 Will +16
AbilitiesStrength 27, Dexterity 30, Constitution 30, Intelligence 29, Wisdom 32, Charisma 27
SkillsAppraise +14 (+16 alchemical preparations, sculpture, ships), Bluff +18, Concentration +25, Craft (alchemy, sculpting) +19, Craft (shipbuilding) +24, Decipher Script +16, Diplomacy +23 (+38 against Giants), Disguise +18 (+20 observed in character), Hide +18, Intimidate +20 (+35 against Giants), Knowledge (Arcana) +39, Knowledge (architecture and engineering) +24, Knowledge (history) +19, Knowledge (nature) +25, Knowledge (the planes) +26, Knowledge (religion) +45, Listen +26, Move
Silently
+20, Profession (mortician) +21, Search +10 (+12 find hidden doors/secret compartments), Sense Motive +21, Spot +21, Spellcraft +34, Survival +16 (+18 aboveground, extraplanar, find/follow tracks)
FeatsCorrupt Spell, Enlarge Spell (B), Energy Substitution (cold), Eschew Material Component, Extend Spell (B), Fell Drain, Greater Spell Focus (Necromancy), Heighten Spell, Improved Initiative, Scribe Scroll (B), Skill Focus (Knowledge-religion), Spell Focus (Necromancy), Weapon Focus (unarmed strike)
Epic FeatsSuperior Initiative
Salient Divine AbilitiesArm of Hel (8 rounds), Frigid Grasp of the Grave, Hand of Death (Fort save DC 28)
EnvironmentAny/underground
OrganizationSolitary (unique)
Challenge Rating29
TreasureAdamant Ring
AlignmentNeutral evil
Advancement
Level Adjustment¬Ė
Image Tara Ryzebol.
Image Tara Ryzebol.

Divine Immunities: Ability damage, ability drain, mind-affecting effects.

Domain Powers: Rebukes fire creatures/commands cold creatures 11/day; casts evil spells at +1 level; may make a death touch 1/day that kills beings with fewer than 14d6 hp

Spell-Like Abilities 3/day: animate dead, blasphemy, cause fear, chill touch, chill metal, cone of cold, control weather, create undead, create greater undead, death knell, death ward, desecrate, destruction, Dispel Good, magic circle against good, ice storm, Obedient Avalanche, polar ray, protection from good, slay living, sleet storm, summon monster IX (evil monsters only), wail of the banshee, wall of ice, unholy aura, unholy blight. Hel’s Avatar uses these abilities as a 30th level caster, except for evil spells, which she uses as a 31st-level caster. The save DCs are 18 + spell level.

Clerical Spells (0th-7th level) (Sp) Spells/day: 6/8+1/8+1/7+1/6+1/5+1/5+1/4+1 Hel’s Avatar casts her Clerical spells at 14th level. Saving throws against Hel’s Avatar’s clerical spells is DC 21 + spell level. The saving throw DC’s are Wisdom-based. Hel’s Avatar may additionally rebuke undead and outsiders 11/day. Hel’s Avatar’s rebuking roll is 1d20 + 13, and her roll to dispel turning is 2d6 + 23.

Necromancer Spells (0th-8th level) (Sp): 4/7/6/6/6/6/4/3/2 Hel¬ís Avatar casts her Necromantic spells at 15th level. Saving throws against Hel’s Avatar’s Wizard spells is DC 19 + spell level, except for Necromantic spells which have saving throw DC’s of 21 + spell level. The saving throw DC’s are Intelligence-based. Hel’s Avatar’s prohibited school is Enchantment.

Deathless Vigor (Ex): Hel’s Avatar gains a +4 bonus on Fortitude saves except against effects that also work on objects.

Undead Graft (Su): Hel’s Avatar’s prosthetic left arm is a hideous, skeletonized monstrosity which grants her a +4 bonus to her Strength score. Her graft allows her to deliver horrible touch attacks once a day. She must decide that she is using this attack before making the attack roll; a failed attack roll still expends that use of the ability. Each time she makes a touch attack with this ability, she can select from any of the effeects described below. The save DC for her touch attack is 24.

Paralyzing Touch: Any living creature except for an elf that Hel’s Avatar touches must succeed on a Fort save or else be paralyzed for 1d4+1 rounds.

Currently in the World

Hel, the Norse goddess of the dead, sits on her throne in the dark realm of Niflheim, watching the events of the world unfold. From her vantage point, she observes the rise and fall of empires, the triumphs and tragedies of mortal men, and the deeds of the gods.

As the 1450s dawn, Hel senses a shift in the balance of power. The old ways are giving way to new ones, and the grip of the Norse gods on the world is weakening. Hel is not concerned, however. She knows that death is a constant in the universe, and her realm will always have its place.

Despite her macabre appearance and association with decay, Hel is not a malicious deity. She simply presides over the natural order of things, and accepts that all things must eventually return to her realm. Her motivation is to maintain balance and order, and to ensure that the dead are treated with respect and dignity.

Hel has always had a complicated relationship with her family of gods. She is the daughter of the trickster god Loki and the giantess Angrboda, and her siblings include the fearsome wolf Fenrir and the great serpent Jormungandr. The other gods often view her with suspicion and fear, and Hel has little love for them in return.

In the 1450s, Hel’s attention is drawn to the wars and conflicts that are raging across the mortal world. As the dead pile up, she sends her emissaries – dark spirits and undead warriors – to collect the souls of the fallen and bring them to her realm. She does not take sides in the conflicts of mortals, but simply carries out her duty as the goddess of the dead.

As the world changes and new religions and beliefs arise, Hel remains constant. She knows that her realm will always have its place, and that she will always be there to receive the souls of the departed. And so she watches, from her throne in the dark, cold realm of Niflheim, as the world turns and the cycle of life and death continues.

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