Straddling the twin powers of life and death, the goddess Hella seeks to keep balance between these most powerful forces and through this keep the world from destroying itself.
Hella is a deity who is heavily linked to both life and death, but instead of representing the ultimate source of life, or the finality of death, Hella instead represents the balance between these two powerful forces. Without life there cannot be death, but without death there cannot be life, and if one side were to become more powerful than the other, it would eventually lead to the collapse and destruction of everything. Whilst Hella has the power to strike people down, or to create life, she rarely exercises her powers quite so bluntly, but prefers to act more subtlety, making adjustments to the balance of the cosmos and the creatures within it as they live their lives, rather than trying to solve the problems of balance through mass slaughter or mass creation. She is often viewed as a cold or neutral deity, for sometimes she will find abhorrence in the abundance of life, if it threatens to strangle other things around it, and sometimes she will find satisfaction or utility for undeath, seeing undead servants as tools to prune the weeds that may threaten to overwhelm something. Whereas on other days, or in relation to other places, she may feel completely differently. She also advocates for equal respect to be shown to the living and the dead. Her key association with balance also spills out into other aspects of the world, and she is often invoked to keep balance in more mundane matters, such as ensuring that both sides in a negotiation get a fair deal, and also far more philosophical matters, such as keeping balance between good and evil.
Unlike most other deities that are actively worshipped throughout Kelbonnar, Hella doesn’t have any fixed feast days, but instead, people hold their own celebrations to Hella upon the birth of a child and upon the death of someone significant to them. These two fixed points of celebration, which are rooted within the lives of individual worshippers, rather than to any calendar, help to reinforce Hella’s adherence to balance within life. Occasionally, followers of Hella will hold a feast in her honour to mark other significant life events, such as a marriage for example, but this is not common place, and will tend to be something that is specific to individual communities, rather than to Hella’s faithful as a whole.
Main centres of Worship and FollowersHella is a deity who has found more traction with the denizens of the Underdark than those of the surface world of Kelbonnar and as a result, her largest dedicated place of worship is the Temple of Hella, located in the Upper Underdark opposite the town of Sun Hollow. Beyond this main complex, there are few dedicated buildings to Hella, with most of her worship focused around ritual grounds, where people can come to celebrate life, or to cremate their dead. These ritual grounds can be found across the levels of the Underdark and also in the surface world.
PriesthoodThose who wish to dedicate their lives in service to Hella are trained at a local level, generally at their nearest ritual ground by the priest or cleric who tends to it. There is no high priest or humanoid personification of Hella per se, but the priest who runs the Temple of Hella is regarded as being the most favoured of the goddess on the Material Plane, as only those who have been specifically marked out by her can become a priest or acolyte in this most sacred space. Most curiously, Hella is one of the few deities to advocate the use of priests who are undead. This is not a regular occurrence by any means, but in places where there are no trainee clerics and the main priest serving a populace and looking after a ritual site dies, Hella will resurrect them as an undead servant, who still retains all of their memories and experiences, to maintain the balance until another living servant comes to take over.
Divine Goals & Aspirations
Above all, Hella desires balance, perfect harmony between the two greatest forces of the multiverse, in her eyes, life and death. Whilst she is pragmatic and realises that the randomness of both forces makes this impossible, she still aspires to see communities, perhaps even worlds where the balance is achieved. Her aspirations have in the past brought her into conflict with other deities, the warlike Astartes and the goddess of undeath Inthanata in particular, who she views as deliberately upsetting the balance. Conversely, she has also been drawn into alliances with other deities with darker, or more dubious focuses if she feels that their work is necessary to restore balance.
Activities in the Divine WarWhilst Hella has not chosen a side in the Divine War, she has by no means removed herself from participation in it. On the contrary, as in all other things, she strives to keep balance amongst the other Divines and has acted aggressively towards both sides, especially when one side produces an act that has lead to the creation of an area of desolation on the Material Plane. As a result, the various sides in the Divine War treat Hella with extreme caution, often acting aggressively towards her on sight, incase she has appeared to try and reset the balance through retribution. One side, the Dark Pact is particularly fond of bringing Hella's attention to perceived excesses of their rivals, hoping to turn the wrath of the goddess of judgement to their advantage.
Family Tree of the Divines