Archives of Nethys

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Archon

Source Pathfinder RPG Bestiary pg. 19

Archons are a race of outsiders from Heaven, creatures of fundamental law and good tasked with the protection of that plane as well as all who are innocent or free of evil. They are the natural enemies of devils, daemons, and demons, and most are veterans of many attacks against their home by fiends of the Lower Planes.

The natives of Heaven arise from amid the earth and clouds of that divine realm, inspired into creation by the sacred mountain's metaphysical processes, the faith of goodly mortals, and the transformation of virtuous spirits. Each archon begins life as a lantern archon or lesser servitor spirit, gaining in power and prestige through aiding the cause of good. Watched over by benevolent mentors and captains of the divine orders, each spirit is encouraged and aided in indulging its fundamental desire to see peace, honesty, and fairness spread across all lands, especially throughout the Material Plane. To this end, archons of all walks often take on the roles of questing knights, journeying throughout disparate worlds and realms aiding in good works and promoting courageous acts. These virtuous outsiders prefer to motivate mortals to act with honor and integrity rather than righting mortal wrongs themselves, believing the cause of righteousness is best served by enlightening creatures to make just choices and cast off their own shackles of evil. This makes future temptations easier to resist and plants the seeds of spiritual deliverance. Thus, most archons take a subtle hand in their interactions with mortals, taking special pleasure in bringing solace and reprieve to those who are wholly unaware of their presence.

The efforts of Heaven prove far less subtle when it comes to combating the hordes of the Lower Planes. Armies of archons stand in staunch opposition to the affronts of Hell, Abaddon, and the Abyss, confronting them upon both extraplanar battlefields and the Material Plane itself. These encounters might take the form of vast armies clashing over strange planar holdings, or solitary archons revealing themselves upon mortal worlds to push back the machinations of fiendish invaders. In such cases, archons generally prefer to meet foes head-on if it is prudent to do so, but if outmatched, they do what they can to even the odds (usually by employing hit-and-run tactics or standing off and engaging a foe with magic before moving into melee). Because they can teleport at will, it is easy for them to vanish only to reappear later, often with reinforcements, when their enemies are unprepared. These warriors of law act honorably, even to their foes, but are not foolish or without passion, and little in the multiverse dares stand against the rage of Heaven.

Although archons are champions of good, they have little patience for those who do not follow strict traditions and patterns of goodness. While a cruel dictatorship might be a legitimate enemy of the archon, rebellion and riot is not the proper way to address such an inequality. Justice and law must not be abandoned in the constant struggle for peace and good, for in such anarchic actions one often promotes further harm and mayhem, even if unintentionally. The laws of Heaven exist to minimize collateral damage and unwanted pain, and while adhering to these laws often results in longer campaigns, archons point out that their victories are lasting triumphs as a result. Because of this strong adherence to tradition and law, archons often find themselves the unwilling enemies of chaotic good creatures, particularly the azatas. To an archon, an azata's nature seems whimsical and impatient—in striking swiftly against an enemy without bothering to think through the implications of their sudden act, it's possible to do more harm than good. Still, while opposing the chaos of an azata is a necessary step, the archon takes no pleasure in such opposition, and does its best to minimize the length of such a conflict. Unfortunately, the capricious and emotional azatas are legendary among the archons for their ability to hold grudges, so for many archons the best policy when interacting with the azatas is to be brief, succinct, and firm.

Archons speak Celestial, Draconic, and Infernal, but can speak with almost any creature because of their truespeech ability. A full list of archon traits is presented in the archon subtype description. Many archons have additional abilities beyond these traits, as befits their particular role in the army of Heaven.

Archon Subtype

Archons are a race of celestials, or good outsiders, native to lawful good-aligned outer planes. An archon possesses the following traits (unless otherwise noted in a creature's entry).
  • Darkvision 60 feet and low-light vision.
  • Aura of Menace (Su) A righteous aura surrounds archons that fight or get angry. Any hostile creature within a 20-foot radius of an archon must succeed on a Will save to resist its effects. The save DC varies with the type of archon, is Charisma-based, and includes a +2 racial bonus. Those who fail take a –2 penalty on attacks, AC, and saves for 24 hours or until they successfully hit the archon that generated the aura. A creature that has resisted or broken the effect cannot be affected again by the same archon's aura for 24 hours.
  • Immunity to electricity and petrification.
  • +4 racial bonus on saves against poison.
  • Teleport (Sp) Archons can use greater teleport at will, as the spell (caster level 14th), except that the creature can transport only itself and up to 50 pounds of carried objects.
  • Truespeech (Su) All archons can speak with any creature that has a language, as though using a tongues spell (caster level 14th). This ability is always active.

Creatures in "Archon" Category

NameCR
Bastion Archon20
Codex Archon5
Exscinder12
Gate Archon17
Hammer Archon18
Harbinger Archon2
Hound Archon4
Lantern Archon2
Legion Archon7
Preceptor Archon9
Shield Archon10
Spyglass Archon3
Stag Archon4
Star Archon19
Trumpet Archon14

Archon, Bastion Archon

This massive, four-armed figure is protected by thick layers of rocky armor. Its face is a shimmering, pulsating globe of holy light.

Bastion Archon CR 20

Source Planar Adventures pg. 226
XP 307,200
LG Huge outsider (archon, extraplanar, good, lawful)
Init +6; Senses darkvision 60 ft., detect magic, low-light vision, true seeing; Perception +30
Aura aura of menace (DC 25), aura of mending (40 ft.)

Defense

AC 36, touch 14, flat-footed 30 (+6 Dex, +22 natural, –2 size)
hp 350 (20d10+240); fast healing 5
Fort +24, Ref +14, Will +19; +4 vs. poison
Defensive Abilities all-around vision, entrench; DR 15/bludgeoning and evil; Immune electricity, blindness, petrification; SR 31

Offense

Speed 40 ft.; air walk
Melee 4 slams +30 (4d6+12/19–20)
Space 15 ft., Reach 15 ft.
Special Attacks holy beam, rending beam, smite evil
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 20th; concentration +25)
Constant—air walk, detect evil, true seeing
At will—aid, daylight, greater teleport (self plus 50 lbs. of objects only), sending
3/day—prismatic spray (DC 22), sunbeam (DC 22)
1/day—meteor swarm (DC 24), polar ray (DC 23), sunburst (DC 23)
Cleric Spells Prepared (CL 17th; concentration +24)
9th—mass heal
8th—holy aura (DC 25), mass cure critical wounds
7th—greater restoration, holy word (DC 24), mass cure serious wounds, regenerate
6th—blade barrier (DC 23), greater dispel magic, heal, mass cure moderate wounds (2)
5th—break enchantment, breath of life (2), flame strike (DC 22), wall of stone
4th—cure critical wounds (3), death ward, divine power
3rd—cure serious wounds (3), dispel magic, invisibility purge, searing light
2nd—cure moderate wounds (4), shield other, status
1st—cure light wounds (4), divine favor, sanctuary (DC 18)
0—guidance, mending, resistance, stabilize

Statistics

Str 34, Dex 23, Con 35, Int 22, Wis 25, Cha 20
Base Atk +20; CMB +34; CMD 50
Feats Cleave, Combat Casting, Combat Expertise, Combat Reflexes, Critical Focus, Improved Critical (slam), Lightning Reflexes, Power Attack, Staggering Critical, Stand Still
Skills Diplomacy +25, Heal +27, Intimidate +28, Knowledge (arcana) +26, Knowledge (engineering) +26, Knowledge (geography) +29, Knowledge (planes) +29, Knowledge (religion) +26, Perception +30, Sense Motive +30, Spellcraft +29, Survival +30
Languages Celestial, Draconic, Infernal; truespeech
SQ ultimate sacrifice

Ecology

Environment any (Heaven)
Organization solitary
Treasure standard

Special Abilities

Aura of Mending (Su) Good-aligned creatures within 60 feet of a bastion archon are bathed in a rejuvenating holy light that grants them fast healing 5 while they remain in range. This includes the bastion archon itself.

Entrench (Ex) If a bastion archon does not move from its location, it becomes entrenched until the start of its next turn. While entrenched, it can’t be moved from its space by combat maneuvers or the push or pull universal monster rules, nor can it be tripped.

Holy Beam (Su) Once every 1d4 rounds as a standard action, a bastion archon can unleash a concentrated beam of holy energy from the shining beacon that is its face. This beam of light creates a 120-foot line of holy radiance. Each creature within this area must succeed at a DC 25 Reflex save to avoid being blinded for 1d4 rounds. Evil creatures in the area of effect also take 20d6 points of damage from the holy beam—this damage comes from sacred energies and cannot be reduced by energy resistance, but a creature that succeeds at its Reflex save negates the blindness and takes only half damage. The save DC is Charisma-based.

Rending Beam (Su) A bastion archon that hits a single creature with two of its slam attacks can blast the target with a swift pulse of holy light that blinds the target for 1 round and deals 5d6 points of damage if the target is an evil creature. A target can attempt a DC 25 Reflex save to negate the blindness and take half damage. The save DC is Charisma-based.

Spells A bastion archon casts divine spells as a 17th-level cleric. It does not gain access to domains or other cleric abilities. Its beacon-like face serves as its divine focus.

Ultimate Sacrifice (Su) When a bastion archon is slain by an evil creature, it erupts in a 40-foot-radius burst of positive energy that restores 100 hit points to good-aligned creatures and consecrates the ground in the area. The area is treated as the subject of a hallow spell (CL 20th) with an associated bless spell effect for 1 year thereafter.

Though bastion archons are among Heaven’s most powerful defenders, their formation results from the intertwining of lesser archons, starting with the least of them all, lantern archons. Rarely, when a group of at least nine lantern archons is turned back by an overwhelming invading force of fiends, the group can use their gestalt ability to form a whirling globe that stands its ground.

This brave act of defiance usually lasts only half a minute, buying the lantern archons’ allies time to escape before the gestalt is overcome. In such dire situations, a nearby shield archon—a combatant of Heaven more suited to serving as a bulwark against tides of evil—can transpose itself with the squad of lantern archons, using teleportation to take their place. But this interaction of abilities has unpredictable outcomes, and rarely, rather than swapping places, the two entities meld in a brilliant flash of light that sends nearby evil outsiders reeling, leaving a crater with a nascent bastion archon lodged in its center. The bastion archon is initially stuck in the ground where it formed, but it retains many of its component creatures’ defensive and offensive abilities. If it survives, it eventually pulls together a huge, four-armed body from the surrounding terrain until it is clad in the stone of the Holy Mountain itself, in the process becoming infused with power greater than that of any other archon. A fully formed bastion archon stands 30 feet tall and weighs 15 tons.

Even after a bastion archon has freed itself from its creation crater, it rarely moves far, preferring to defend the place that was once so nearly overcome by invading forces. Indeed, convincing a bastion archon to abandon its self-selected post is so futile that “trying to budge a bastion” is a common phrase in Heaven for attempting the impossible. However, there have been a few rare instances when a particularly large crusade into Abaddon, the Abyss, or Hell has prompted a bastion archon to serve as a forward base for the forces of Heaven, helping establish a formidable foothold that requires a truly terrible counteroffensive to uproot.

In battle, a bastion archon is akin to the eye of the storm, standing firm and unmoved by the chaotic melee around it as its allies clash with invading fiends. It provides shelter to Heaven’s servants, slamming enemies into dust or holding them aloft just long enough to rend them to shreds with its magnificent beam of holy light. Given the choice between pursuing a retreating evil army or tending to the wounded, a bastion archon almost always prefers the latter, following its indelible instincts to protect and heal.

The one threat most likely to stir a bastion archon from its typically rigid methodology is a balor, the fiery winged demons that sometimes serve as generals during demonic invasions. Given the opportunity, a bastion archon wades through a vast army of demons in a single-minded effort to get to the strategic head and cut it off, leading to a confrontation that often ends explosively—either when the archon falls or the balor erupts into massive fireball during its death throes.

Bastion archons hold in reserve an explosive last resort in the event they are felled in battle: an explosion of light that destroys the archon, heals its allies, and consecrates the ground around it. This final sacrifice gives its (likely overwhelmed) allies a last-ditch chance at victory, and the site of a bastion archon’s death is often thereafter considered a sacred place of remembrance.

A particularly unusual bastion archon by the name of Anvil Fist serves in the deepest caverns of the Forgeheart in Heaven, patrolling without end to keep invaders from the Abyss at bay. Anvil Fist is one of the longest-serving of its kind, and it has recently begun to act strangely, wandering into empty tunnels and staying there for days, speaking only in vague aphorisms when questioned. Some worry that Anvil Fist’s millennia-long battle against chaotic abominations has begun to destabilize the archon, while others believe its uncharacteristic behaviors are the result of a qlippoth lord’s vile machinations. Still others theorize that Anvil Fist may be nearing an apotheosis to something greater, perhaps becoming the first incarnation of an archon of power akin to the mightiest balor lords, infernal dukes, or veranallia azata elders.