|“||Turning evil against itself is the highest form of justice.||”|
|— Credo of the archons|
Archons, (pronounced: /ˈɑːrkɒnz/ AR-konz) not to be confused with the similarly named elementals, were an elite group of celestials in the service of all that is lawful and good. Archons were wholly good and lawful and were consistently at odds with fiends of any kind, though they particularly despised demons.
Many archons served the Triad gods Tyr, Torm, and Ilmater. The good deities Cyrrollalee, Dugmaren Brightmantle, Eilistraee, Milil, and Mystra all had lantern archons in their service. Hound archons served the halfling god Urogalan. Archons of all varieties were found in service to the good deities Arvoreen, Berronar Truesilver, and Deneir.
An aura always surrounded an archon that protected it and anyone near it from the forces of evil. When an archon was angry or in combat, the righteous menace of the archon was so strong that it could be felt. They were innately aware of their surroundings when on their home plane.
Archons could create a continuous source of light. They could teleport themselves at will. Archons were naturally fluent in the Celestial language and the language of devils. Most also spoke Draconic. However, they could communicate with almost any sentient creature using their innate magic, so in some sense, they could speak all languages.
The archons most well-known to those on the Material Plane of Toril were lantern archons, hound archons, and trumpet archons. However, there were several other kinds of archons. Archons were transmuted from one form to another as they ascended through the ranks. From the lowest rank to the highest rank, they included:
- Lantern archon
- Friendly, curious archons that appeared as glowing balls of light. The lowest form of archon, sometimes called "proto-archons", these were the petitioners of Celestia and the House of the Triad.
- Hound archon
- Heavily muscled, disciplined soldiers that sometimes took the form of a wolf or dog on the Material Plane. These were the first "true" archons and served as soldiers and servants.
- Warden archon
- These bear-like archons were the watchmen and observers of their plane.
- Sword archon
- The sword archons led the hounds and the wardens.
- Throne archon
- Throne archons ruled the settlements of Celestia, serving beneath the tomes.
- Tome archon
- The tomes were the strongest of the archons, whose greatest power was knowledge.
Archons whose position in the hierarchy was not clear to scholars include:
- Justice archon
- Trumpet archon
- Winged archons who acted as messengers on the Material Plane for the throne and tome archons. Trumpet archons were promoted from either warden or sword archons and, after performing their dangerous missions, are transformed into aasimon.
Archons were peace-loving entities and hated fighting. Archons would never initiate combat, attacking only if provoked. One should note, however, that they were easily provoked by acts of evil and lawlessness, and their rage has been described as "vengeance itself." If at all possible, they avoided harming good creatures and instead used nonlethal attacks.
When in combat, an archon courageously faced its foes head-on, unless it was obviously unwise to do so, in which case, they would take what opportunities they could to even the odds using hit-and-run tactics.
As the primary inhabitants of Mount Celestia, each archon had a specific role within a hierarchical system. There was no jealousy among the archons. Each archon was happy to perform its duties. Over time, the lowest archons, the lantern archons, ascent to higher archon forms. Many lantern archons themselves are the petitioners of lawful good deities.
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 J. Paul LaFountain (1991). Monstrous Compendium: Outer Planes Appendix. Edited by Timothy B. Brown. (TSR, Inc.). ISBN 1-56076-055-9.
- ↑ 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 Skip Williams, Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook (July 2003). Monster Manual 3.5. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 16. ISBN 0-7869-2893-X.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 Jeff Grubb (July 1987). Manual of the Planes 1st edition. (TSR), p. 123. ISBN 0880383992.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 Richard Baker, James Wyatt (March 2004). Player's Guide to Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 159. ISBN 0-7869-3134-5.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Richard Baker, James Wyatt (March 2004). Player's Guide to Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 189. ISBN 0-7869-3134-5.
- ↑ Gwendolyn F.M. Kestrel (July 2006). Monster Manual IV. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 81. ISBN 0-7869-3920-6.
- ↑ Richard Baker (November 7th, 2008). The one and only "Ask the Realms authors/designers thread" 4. Retrieved on January 8th, 2009.
- ↑ Sean K. Reynolds (2002-05-04). Deity Do's and Don'ts (Zipped PDF). Wizards of the Coast. pp. 10–15. Archived from the original on 2016-11-01. Retrieved on 2018-09-08.
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 Jeff Grubb (July 1987). Manual of the Planes 1st edition. (TSR), p. 88. ISBN 0880383992.
- ↑ Warning: book within boxed set not specified for Planescape Campaign Setting
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 Wolfgang Baur (February 1995). “Mount Celestia”. In Michele Carter ed. Planes of Law (TSR, Inc), p. 10. ISBN 0-7869-0093-8.
- ↑ James Wyatt, Darrin Drader, Christopher Perkins (October 2003). Book of Exalted Deeds. (TSR, Inc), pp. 159–164. ISBN 0-7869-3136-1.
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 Wolfgang Baur (February 1995). “Mount Celestia”. In Michele Carter ed. Planes of Law (TSR, Inc), p. ?. ISBN 0-7869-0093-8.
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 Jeff Grubb, Bruce R. Cordell, David Noonan (September 2001). Manual of the Planes 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 134. ISBN 0-7869-1850-8.
- ↑ James Wyatt, Darrin Drader, Christopher Perkins (October 2003). Book of Exalted Deeds. (TSR, Inc), pp. 124–125. ISBN 0-7869-3136-1.
- ↑ Brian R. James and Ed Greenwood (September, 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 52. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.