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In NetHack, Hermes is the neutral god of the Healer pantheon.


Hermes is an Olympian deity in ancient Greek religion and mythology, where he is typically Zeus's son by Maia of the Pleiades. Considered the herald and messenger of the gods, Hermes is likewise the protector of human heralds, travelers, thieves, merchants, and orators. Hermes is known as "the divine trickster", able to move quickly and freely between the worlds of the mortal and the divine with the aid of his winged sandals - he also plays the role of the psychopomp or "soul guide", a conductor of souls into the afterlife, making him a god of boundaries and guardian of graves. The most notable symbol of Hermes is the caduceus (or kerykeion), a winged staff intertwined with two snakes copulating and carvings of the other gods; his other attributes and symbols include the rooster, the satchel, talaria (winged sandals), and the winged helmet or simple petasos.

Hermes figures in several notable Greek myths: he delivers the golden apple of the Hesperides to Aphrodite, whom Paris declared to be the most beautiful in a contest that would kick off the Trojan War; in some tellings of Perseus's encounter with Medusa, Hermes gifts the hero his adamantine harpe (a sword with a sickle or scythe in the blade) and helm of darkness to aid in beheading her; and in the Odyssey, he aids his great-grandson Odysseus in avoiding the powers of Circe. In Roman mythology and religion, many of Hermes' characteristics are attributed to Mercury. Hermes is said to have invented several things, including racing and wrestling (making him a patron of athletes) as well as the lyre.



In dNetHack, notdNetHack and notnotdNetHack, Hermes is a neutral god of holy holiness, and his minions consist of quicklings, air elementals, lightning paraelementals, Iasoian Archons, bandersnatches, Panakeian Archons, mortai, and Hygieian Archons. His crowning gift is Hermes's Sandals, a neutral pair of flying boots that confers very fast speed while worn in addition to flying, and can be enchanted up to +7.

Encyclopedia entry

Messenger and herald of the Olympians. Being required to do a great deal of travelling and speaking in public, he became the god of eloquence, travellers, merchants, and thieves. He was one of the most energetic of the Greek gods, a Machiavellian character full of trickery and sexual vigour.
Like other Greek gods, he is endowed with not-inconsiderable sexual prowess which he directs towards countryside nymphs.
He is a god of boundaries, guardian of graves and patron deity of shepherds. He is usually depicted as a handsome young man wearing winged golden sandals and holding a magical herald's staff consisting of intertwined serpents, the kerykeion. He is reputedly the only being able to find his way to the underworld ferry of Charon and back again. He is said to have invented, among other things, the lyre, Pan's Pipes, numbers, the alphabet, weights and measures, and sacrificing.