Earth elemental myrmidons, otherwise known as earth myrmidons or earth archons, were a variety of elemental myrmidon, beings created by conjuring and bonding elementals — in this case, of elemental earth — into ritually created suits of armor to act as servile weapons of war.[note 1]
Like all elemental myrmidons, they wore thick armor, typically of a plate variety. These not only protected them against attacks, but contained their form and was integral to their being. After some time they were capable of removing this armor and replacing it with something else, but many never saw any need to do so. Their armor was all that would remain of them when killed.
Even among the militarily minded myrmidons, earth myrmidons stood out as being excellent strategists. They preferred to conquests at a slow and steady pace, bunkering down and fortifying positions.
All varieties of earth myrmidon were capable of creating tremors in the earth, an innate ability they heavily utilized in combat. Seismic strikers had the unique ability to manifest stone javelins that they hurled at their enemies. And ground ragers gave off an aura that liquified the earth around their enemies to impede their movements.
The standard variety of earth myrmidon, rumblers, typically fought with either mighty warhammers or mauls made of stone. Those known as ground ragers fought with no weapons, while seismic strikers fought with a heavy shield, a war pick, and their stone javelins. Regardless of what weapon they used, it was considered magical and could cause seismic shockwaves.
- Ground Rager
- The term used for a variety of earth myrmidon that, while seemingly weaker than rumblers, possessed a much wider array of seismic abilities. They were often drawn to regions of geologic activity, such as fault zones or volcanoes, and they wore chainmail instead of the standard plate.
- The term used for the basic variety of earth myrmidon, who formed the foundation of many elemental armies.
- Seismic Strikers
- One of the more powerful varieties of earth myrmidons. They often served as shock troops within elemental armies, crushing enemies that were too slow in fleeing.
Like any elemental myrmidons, when left to their own devices these beings would form societies that had the same structure, one that was roughly militaristic. They were rigidly disciplined and had hierarchies based on rank, with rank determining every aspect of life in their stronghold. These ranks did not have proper titles, as earth myrmidons simply knew where they and others ranked. They did not challenge authority or compete against one another for rank, each being satisfied with their station and feeling they best serve in that position.
Outside of combat, earth myrmidons spent much of their time trying to hone their knowledge of strategy and tactics, engaging in tactical exercises, or sparring. Constantly training for the next conflict, which satisfied their innate desire to make war.
Some said that constructing an elemental archon required a special foundry, with a special forge built in a significant concentration of elemental energy, and a summoning crucible that served as the transformation space. These forges rarely appeared like a common forge, being unrecognizable contraptions of arcane and elemental magic.
A working foundry could produce them as often as the ritual could be performed and for as long as the foundry's resources were maintained. The forge's power determine what kind of myrmidon was created. A forge with ebbing power could only generate the most basic of earth myrmidons, while those at high flow could produce other varieties, such as ground ragers and seismic strikers.
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- Canon material currently does not outright state that 5th edition's elemental myrmidons and 4th edition's elemental archons are the same creatures, but they have incredibly strong similarities. They are both groups of elementals (of any of the primary elements) bound in suits of armor to act as servile warriors. Such a process forced them into more humanoid shapes. And unlike other elementals, they wield manufactured weaponry. Additionally, in 2021 Matthew Sernett, a designer for Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes and one of the major cosmology designers of 4th edition, stated on Twitter that they were "in essence" the same thing.
- Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford (May 29, 2018). Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes. Edited by Kim Mohan, Michele Carter. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 202. ISBN 978-0786966240.
- Rob Heinsoo, Stephen Schubert (May 19, 2009). Monster Manual 2 4th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 14. ISBN 0786995101.
- Ari Marmell, Bruce R. Cordell, Luke Johnson (December 2009). The Plane Below. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 50. ISBN 978-0786952496.
- Mike Mearls, Stephen Schubert, James Wyatt (June 2008). Monster Manual 4th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 18. ISBN 978-0-7869-4852-9.
- Matthew Sernett (November 2007). “Ecology of the Fire Archon”. In Chris Youngs ed. Dragon #361 (Wizards of the Coast), p. 45.
- Rob Heinsoo, Stephen Schubert (May 19, 2009). Monster Manual 2 4th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 15. ISBN 0786995101.
- Matthew Sernett (November 2007). “Ecology of the Fire Archon”. In Chris Youngs ed. Dragon #361 (Wizards of the Coast), p. 43.
- Matt Sernett, Erik Scott de Bie, Ari Marmell (August 2011). Neverwinter Campaign Setting. Edited by Tanis O'Connor. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 135. ISBN 0-7869-5814-6.
- Cryptic Studios (April 2015). Neverwinter: Elemental Evil. Perfect World Entertainment.}}
- Richard Baker, John Rogers, Robert J. Schwalb, James Wyatt (December 2008). Manual of the Planes 4th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 68. ISBN 978-0-7869-5002-7.
- Matthew Sernett (November 2007). “Ecology of the Fire Archon”. In Chris Youngs ed. Dragon #361 (Wizards of the Coast), p. 42.
- Matthew Sernett (November 2007). “Ecology of the Fire Archon”. In Chris Youngs ed. Dragon #361 (Wizards of the Coast), p. 44.
- Richard Baker, Robert J. Schwalb (February, 2012). Heroes of the Elemental Chaos. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 25, 28. ISBN 78-0-7869-5981-5.