How do you describe a character like Hiero?
He's a homicidal psychopathic bagpipe with a giant butcher knife.
And the "bagpipe" part above? That's not a metaphor. He's an actual bagpipe, a monstrous imp from the lower hells that popped out of the psychic trauma of hell fully formed, or rather fully malformed, with one pig leg, one goose leg, a bloody tongue and a huge butcher knife made of the sharpest thing in the afterlife...pain.
He feeds on humiliation and suffering and boy can he milk it from you for a very, very, long time.
And...he's one of the good guys.
I know. It's complicated. You really need to read the book. (Which is still available FREE btw.)
Yes, Hiero is an odd imp. For one, he doesn't live in Hell anymore, and there's a lot more to his story than anyone could ever guess. You wouldn't imagine you could make a thing that spits blood and that likes to stab people for pleasure into an endearing puppy-like thing, but I think I managed to do it Ok.
He's based, loosely, on the abominations of the famous Flemish Painter Hieronymous Bosch, who is also his namesake. Just google any of Bosch's famous scenes of hell and you'll get where I'm getting this thing from. Sick stuff.
But his inspiration is found in many places. Here is one courtesy of AC/DC. There's not many rock anthems that can pull of a bagpipe solo. I can't imagine Hiero ever playing Amazing Grace, but this? Oh yeah, I can see him playing this.