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|Alternate Names/Spellings||Hound of Hell|
|Species||Magical Beast (Infernal)|
The Hellhound is a creature whose origins transcend numerous timelines, numerous civilizations and numerous cultures. Nearly every body of mythology, legend and folklore, from nearly every corner of the world has some version of a hellhound in its myths. According to all of them, this species existed before the dawn of civilization...even perhaps before the dawn of man.
For example, in Greek myth, Cerberus was a three-headed hellhound; he and his brother, the two-headed hellhound Orthros, were sons of the great monsters Typhon and Echidna. In Norse myth, Garmr was a hellhound that guarded the gate to the goddess Hel's realm.
Hellhounds come from the infernal realms of existence. As such, their form is adapted to survive the hellish depths and the darker hinterlands of the Underworld. However, they are also adapted to appear frightening and menacing, as suits their highly varied purposes among the infernal ranks.
There is great variation in the number of heads, eyes, mouths, legs, tails and other body parts that a hell-hound can have. Their coats often have red, black, gray, and various other earth-tone colors mixed in. Some even combine the nature of a canine with that of a reptile (dragon, snake, lizard, etc) or with that of a demon.
Hellhounds may also smell of smoke, fire, brimstone and/or death, and it is not uncommon that their fur is matted with blood, soot or ash.
Hellhounds are very intelligent; they can easily outwit a human of average intelligence, and even of above-average intelligence. Some can be militant, diligent and strategic; others are chaotic, impulsive and erratic. Nearly all of them are sadistic, bloodthirsty and fiercely loyal to their masters and members of their pack. Mercy is a luxury they afford no one, and love is far less useful to them than fear and duty.
Infernal beings do no training for their canine emissaries other than releasing them, and waiting for them to return with their target.