Hephaestus is the Greek god of the smithy, forging, fire, and volcanoes. In fact, the rumbling of volcanic activity was said to be caused by him working in his forge and hammering down on his anvil. He was known to create unique items for the Greek pantheon and famous heroes. His craftsmanship was rivaled by none.

Hephaestus is the son of Zeus and Hera. Although his parents were both handsome, Hephaestus was not blessed with the good looks of his parents. That is, he was uglier than most of the other Olympians. He had a lame foot and had a hunchback. Hera, who demanded perfection from herself and her children, simply could not stand the sight of him. She threw him out and banished him from Mount Olympus. Hephaestus survived and was raised by the Thracians. He later returned with a vengeance, trapping his mother and earning him the respect of Zeus. In the process, he won the hand of Aphrodite. It was not a happy marriage.

Spurned, Hephaestus looked for love in different places. He turned his advances to Athena but accidentally impregnated his grandmother, Gaia, in the process. Talk about an interesting family gathering. The resulting child was Erechtaus, the legendary 1st King of Athens. His more successful relationship is with Aglea, a daughter of Oceanid Euronome and Zeus. Together, they would get 4 daughters, all personifications of glory, goodness, prosperity, and friendliness.

The only beings that could come close to his craftsmanship are the cyclopes that fashioned weapons for Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades. Of course, those weapons were fashioned long before Hephaestus had been born. These cyclopes would later assist him in his forge as helpers.