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    Canonfire :: View topic - Deviltry is the religion of the Horned Society.
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    Deviltry is the religion of the Horned Society.
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    Journeyman Greytalker

    Joined: Mar 24, 2006
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    Tue Apr 17, 2007 6:28 pm  
    Deviltry is the religion of the Horned Society.

    The old WOG boxed set says that the deviltry is the religion of the Horned Society. I have always assumed that it literally meant the Hierarchs were servants of the Dukes o' Hell.

    In the City of Greyhawk boxed set the Horned Society seems more connected with Nerull the Reaper than anything to do with the Nine Hells. I assumed [perhaps wrongly] that that was part of the early 2E move away from demons and devils in the game. I don't know how FTA handled it. I never owned a copy. I haven't even seen one in years.

    Anyway, I just wanted to know what you guys think about the HS and devil worship. For my upcoming campaign ,I'm thinking of ditching the Nerull worship for cults dedicated to Asmodeus, Glasya, Dispater, etc. Nerull cultists might be tolerated there, but they won't be in charge.
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Sep 14, 2006
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    Tue Apr 17, 2007 7:23 pm  

    Deviltry for cert.
    Not a fan of the way Nerull is depicted anway. Don't see why death gods have to be evil. Death is just a thing. Like life. Mmm, back to topic.

    I'm just guessing here, not being anything like the WoG expert that most of the posters here are, but I expect there'll be a bit more info about the religion of the Horned Society in places like the Greyhawk Wars supplements and right here in these threads. I remember seeing somthing about a Green Dragon Hierarch (Varthiminax or something like that) and her links to a particular Duke of Hell, can't think which one.

    The Dice Freaks supplement Gates of Hell also has some nice prestige classes, spells and general Devilish stuff in it as well as good write ups on many Dukes of Hell.
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Tue Apr 17, 2007 9:42 pm  

    I can't quite remember, but I seem to recall the Horned Society worshipping Anthraxus (Neutral Evil daemon lord of disease) in the Gord the Rogue series. My memory is foggy so some would have to confirm this, however.
    Adept Greytalker

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    Tue Apr 17, 2007 11:48 pm  

    There's a very nice thread on the Hierarchs on WotC:

    http://boards1.wizards.com/showthread.php?t=168273
    Master Greytalker

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    Wed Apr 18, 2007 12:59 am  

    Yeah, the confusion comes from the Gord the Rogue series. In the early WoG materials they were pretty consistently shown as diabolists, though not a lot of detail was given about that. In the novels, which are valuable resources but not 'official', Gary had them worshipping a being known as Infestix (who was more or less Nerull) and his daemon servants, such as Anthraxus.

    Later materials starting adopting this line despite its conflict with earlier sources.
    GreySage

    Joined: Aug 03, 2001
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    Wed Apr 18, 2007 7:35 am  
    Re: Deviltry is the religion of the Horned Society.

    CombatMedic wrote:
    I don't know how FTA handled it. I never owned a copy. I haven't even seen one in years.


    From the Ashes and Iuz the Evil both had Nerull as the patron (or at least one of the patrons) of the Horned Society.

    I agree with Vormaerin that the Gord the Rogue books (only the first two, though, so no Infestix) were likely to blame. Much of what occured in the Greyhawk Wars narrative, and much of the description of Greyhawk City, seems inspired by those two novels. That's also why From the Ashes had the Scarlet Brotherhood as worshipers of Tharizdun.

    I also agree with Combat that keeping the Hierarchs as pure servants of the Lords of Hell is more interesting (this way the conflict between Iuz and the Horned Society is part of the greater conflict between the Abyss and the Nine Hells). Putting Nerull on top is more a function of Gygax's distinctive post-TSR cosmology.

    That said, I'm not tremendously opposed to the idea of the Hierarchs worshiping both Nerull and the archdevils, particularly if the Horned Society faith is somehow a descendant of a cult started by corrupt Flannae druids long before the migrations.
    Master Greytalker

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    From: Orlane, Gran March

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    Wed Apr 18, 2007 9:14 am  

    I saw a recent write up where Nerull was depicted as Evil only because he was so unforgiving, killing gods and men. According to this write up, the only entitites in the universe who cared for Nerul were the Devils, who appreciate Nerull. They like what they percive as his discipline and his destruction.

    I don't know where this write up was, though it was possbily a CF! article. I will search; you might find it a nice tie in of the two.
    GreySage

    Joined: Aug 03, 2001
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    Wed Apr 18, 2007 10:10 am  

    I don't think this is the one you meant, but here's my version of Nerull.
    Master Greytalker

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    Wed Apr 18, 2007 7:24 pm  

    You are correct CombatMedic Smile

    Horned Society Worship
    1E) a vague variety of demons (None Specified; some mentioned).
    2E) as part of the movement to "Mainstream" Nerull

    FtA merged the two with Nerull the dominate faction but a minority worshipping various demon lords with religious tolerance and cooperation between the various factions.

    A model of the (LE) ethos of order and acceptance within a heirarchy for a greater purpose. Showing that an evil state can be viable and stable until it happens to be destroyed by the local demi-god tyrant.
    Black Hand of Oblivion

    Joined: Feb 16, 2003
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    Thu Apr 19, 2007 12:36 am  

    I go with the old deviltry angle for the most part myself, though I do throw in a bit of a Nerull contingent and even some hidden Incabulos worshippers in the mix too, as you never can trust anything evil to NOT be an Incabulite you know. ;)

    Asmodeus and the Dukes of Hell are the main powers worshipped by the Horned Society, or what’s left of it, as far as I'm concerned. I still use most of the old material but I have updated my campaign to 3.5e. With the fiendish books out recently, I was somewhat let down by the fact that more information was posted on the actual lords of the lower planes than on their cults. The various Thrall of "X" type prestige classes were a step in the right direction certainly, but I wish that all of the lower planar cults were covered in this way and a bit more besides. I could do without the lower planar lords' stats, as they are not going to come into play more than once, if even that, in most campaigns, whereas cults of those powers might be encounter again and again as part of an ongoing campaign plot. Gee, I wonder which info will be more useful over all. This is one of the reasons I like the Core Beliefs series of articles in Dragon. There are no deity stats, the religions are described with regard to structure, myths, beliefs, observances, and such. All of that is good background info.

    The Hierarchs were pretty much passed over with regards to their treatment in 1e, and practically obliterated without much thought in 2e. Some effort was made to give something back to the Hierarchs in 3e, and so the info on them might slowly grow if people express an interest in their return to power. After the Scarlet Brotherhood debacle (a.k.a. the Greyhawk Wars), when these masters of stealthy manipulation went nuts and launched an all out attack so out of character with their modus operandi, perhaps there is a new secret power growing in the lands of the Flanaess. They have bases in the Fellreev, to as far as the southern coasts of Keoland, but that is only based on what little information is known at this time. Some claim that Warduke is one of the Hierarchs’ “trio of fighter lords” from the 83’ boxed set/Dragon magazine articles, though this seems somewhat of a stretch to me. Other current Hierarchs are known.

    The organization is certainly interesting, and really is an untapped resource to be greatly expanded upon. Perhaps with the overall weakening of Iuz the Hierarchs will return to Molag, or they may reappear in force in an entirely different area. Or, more insidiously still, they will not reappear at all in force, but conduct their affairs as the Scarlet Brotherhood should have been doing up to, and during the Greyhawk Wars and beyond. The cults of deviltry will certainly play a big role in this (at least in my campaign they will).
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    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Thu Apr 19, 2007 7:22 pm  
    The Horned Society

    Hey Folks -

    The Horned Society was one of my old pet projects and I did a couple of articles based on them. I tend to follow the Iuz the Evil description of Molag with a cathedral to Nerull - but with devilry being a far more direct patron of the Society as a whole. In my mythos, a questing devil lord came across the Society in his travels across the planes and was suitably impressed enough to aid them in invading the Shield Lands. He commissioned his own personal army and eventaully took the best of the Horned Society with him to Hell to stage a coup.

    I first wrote of these events here, and continued the story in subsequent articles about the devil duke's home plane of Malbolge (also located in the Planes topic on CF).

    http://www.canonfire.com/cf/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=453&mode=&order=0&thold=0the


    I was also the one who did the article on the green dragon ally of the Hierarchs. She was refered to as the "Fourteenth Hierarch" but that was more tongue-in-cheek then serious. I link the article here:

    http://www.canonfire.com/cf/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=738

    Anyway, all these ideas just come from me. I attempted to revitalize the HS and feel that they may be more dangerous and interesting now that they have scattered their forces.

    O-D
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Thu Apr 19, 2007 11:29 pm  

    While deviltry was prevalent in the Horned Society I always thought that there was no set (state) religion in the area. Rather it was a way to present the major alignment of the leaders, the population and the organization that governed the area.

    I don't know why Gygax went with the Nerull angle but I don't have any problem with there being other mighty powers involved with the Hierarchs than Archdevils. Anthraxus was a fine addition IMO! The reason why 2E had only Nerull as the state religion was probably due to the excising of demons and devils.
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    CF Admin

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    Sun Apr 22, 2007 7:02 pm  

    An old GH fan, Jason Verbitsky, once posted extensively on the devil-olatry of the Horned Society. Unfortunately, to my knowledge, his posts are no longer online.

    Care to prove me wrong? The material was excellent.
    Novice

    Joined: Dec 28, 2001
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    Tue May 08, 2007 1:22 pm  

    Vormaerin wrote:
    Yeah, the confusion comes from the Gord the Rogue series. In the early WoG materials they were pretty consistently shown as diabolists, though not a lot of detail was given about that. In the novels, which are valuable resources but not 'official', Gary had them worshipping a being known as Infestix (who was more or less Nerull) and his daemon servants, such as Anthraxus.

    Later materials starting adopting this line despite its conflict with earlier sources.


    I don't know why (its been a while since I read all of my Gord novels), but I've always associated EGG's Infestix reference in the Gord novels to be the demon Juiblex (sp), obviously not a devil though...
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Tue May 08, 2007 10:07 pm  

    Infestix was meant to be an über-daemon who sometimes manifested as Nerull. Juiblex was present in the books in the form of Schublox (sp?).

    For some reason, the devils and the Nine Hells were very absent from the entire series. Except for the battle of Molag, which they lost, the devils had no presence whatsoever. In effect, this made them the lapdogs of Nerull and the daemons.
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    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Wed May 09, 2007 3:02 am  

    I think one thing that many people often over look is that the original WOG boxed set was a very generic setting. Just a skeleton that was loosely based on gygax's own campaign. I dont even think there was anything in the original boxed set that even made the suggestion that the Theocracy of the Pale has anything to do with Pholtus.
    As the setting was further developed and had more information published, especially by several different authors and for different editions, things get retrofitted and changed... Greyhawk is just about as bad as the bible for contradition. Just take what and use what you like....
    Master Greytalker

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    Wed May 09, 2007 3:56 am  

    Phantasm72 wrote:
    Greyhawk is just about as bad as the bible for contradition. Just take what and use what you like....


    Shocked Are you suggesting that the Flan's creationist theology might have to be revised? I'm not convinced we need to worry. Any discrepancies can be answered quite simply: Zagyg did it.
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