For information about the battle with Baron Herx, see Baron Herx’s Lair.
Baron Herx is the primary antagonist of Barony, starting the story as a normal baron holding ownership over Hamlet, before evolving into a lich and wrenching havoc onto Hamlet, eventually spreading his demonic forces outwards and posing as a threat to the world that the player must defeat.
In as early as the introduction, Baron Herx is shown to be a very greedy, power-hungry character driven by gold and profiteering off the lands of Hamlet. As a consequence of his obsession of mining, he ends up treating the citizens of Hamlet very poorly. Some books state that such poor treatment stemmed from the fact that Herx enjoyed how poorly he could treat those beneath him.
After so much mistreatment, the townsfolk devise a plan to lock Baron Herx into the Mines with the promise of gold and leave him for dead, which ends up working. Through his sheer hatred to those that trapped him, Herx makes a pact with the devil Baphomet and becomes a powerful lich upon death. With his powers, he quickly summons many monsters to assault Hamlet in revenge for his imprisonment, eventually returning to the Ruins as a base of operations.
When the player enters the story, Herx is able to enter their mind and communicate freely with them. Often these are musings about the progress of the player, either being mild surprise about passing through the first floors of the Mines or being very hostile when the player begins entering the Ruins.
Social Standings Edit
As the central antagonist for the first half of the game, as well as his previous wealth and political power before his overthrow, Baron Herx has several major connections to the other large threats of Barony.
Baron Herxs serves under Baphomet, the devil being the source for his lich abilities. The extent of his servitude, as well as exactly when this deal was struck up is never directly explained in the story, only stating vague generalities of Herx making the deal some time after being locked away in the mines, and that he used his powers to both destroy Hamlet and to slowly spread hellish monsters outwards to the rest of the land.
Beyond the beginning of the story, the rest of Baphomet’s and Baron Herx’s interactions are nothing but limited. Their only major interaction is if Baphomet is fought in Hell, where defeating the devil will void his deal with Herx, rendering him ash.
The only lore that delves into Baphomet’s involvement is a book titled “The Adventurer Who Went To Hell”, where it tells of one hero who accepts a proposition by Baron Herx to do battle with the devil and offers the hero a chance at becoming god-like. The proposition to actually kill the devil was likely facetious, so that Baron Herx and Baphomet would be able to reap the adventurer’s soul.
Orpheus and Erudyce Edit
With expanded story alongside the Blessed Addition, the Archmagisters Orpheus and Erudyce were given some connection to Baron Herx, working partially with and against him for their own gains. The player learns about this shortly after defeating Baron Herx or Baphomet, in the Magician’s Guild Outpost through various NPCs inside.
Herx and the Archmagisters were able to assist each other before Herx’s overthrow in Hamlet. In exchange for grants and teaching the Archmagisters about how to make a demonic pact, Herx expected favors from the Magician’s guild in return. Whether or not he received any is unknown, but Herx’s intent was to begin mining in the Caves for its crystal. This was not allowed by the Archmagisters, resulting in termination of further interactions between the three until Herx’s entrapment.
The dialogue spoken by the Archmagisters as the player travels through the Caves and the Citadel shine some light on how they really felt about Herx. Most notably with their messages in the Caves intermission, and right before the player confronts them. Orpheus and Erudyce show little sympathy for Herx after his death, instead being unsurprised on how poorly Herx utilized his power and that his removal allowed his barony to be granted to them instead.
The Minotaur Edit
If the player has the option for the Minotaur to spawn randomly within the floors of the dungeon, Baron Herx announces the oncoming threat once the player begins the floor, as well as manically laughing once the minotaur does enter the floor to chase down the player. He announces the Minotaur as far as level 23 of the dungeon, the last level of Hell before battling Baphomet.
While the origins of Herx and the Minotaur are not known, it is clear that Herx sees the minotaur as a pet. With later dialogue from Erudyce about the Minotaur’s mopy state after Herx’s defeat, the bond between Herx and the Minotaur is surprisingly strong. This is likely due to Herx’s pleasure for the Minotaur’s antics and that enjoyment inclining Herx to treat the Minotaur moderately well in return.