In addition to being the gods' messenger, Hermod escorts the souls of the dead to the underworld. He is often equated to the Greek god Hermes.
Hermod is most noted for the story relating to Balder. Upon Balder's death, Hermod agreed to go to the underworld and offer Hel a ransom in exchange for Balder spirit. On reaching Hel's hall, Hel announced that Balder would only be released if all things, dead and alive, wept for him. Loki, who was the cause of Balder's death, did not weep.
Clergy of Hermod rarely stay in one village for long. They’re often found while traveling to a different temple, wearing sturdy garb and enjoying their journey. Junior members of the clergy carry messages from noble to noble, village to village, or temple to temple. They are quick to lend aid to travelers in distress.
TemplesHermod's temples are generally collections of several smaller buildings. In addition to a main hall, most have a training hall and a stable. Many stand near lakes or rivers where the faithful can practice their swimming skills.
Visitors to Hermod's temples receive warm welcomes and a genial, but thorough, interrogation about travel conditions, gossip, and information about places the visitors have been. If they readily and honestly share what they know, the temple plies them with food and drink for as long as the visitors have information to share.
Hermod's cult focuses on endurance and physical fitness. It teaches marksmanship, fencing, steeplechase horse racing, foot races of all sorts, and swimming to its members, believing these are key skills for those who must deliver messages.
Hermod appears as an athletic male. For being a messenger of Odin's, Hermod was gifted with a corselet and helmet, which he often wears. He also has a wand or staff called Gambantein, the emblem of his office, which he carries with him wherever he goes.
Hermod was the son of Odin and Frigg, and brother of Baldr.