Fire elemental myrmidons, otherwise known as fire myrmidons or fire archons, were a variety of elemental myrmidon, beings created by conjuring and bonding elementals — in this case, of elemental fire — into into ritually created suits of armor to act as servile weapons of war.[note 1]
Fire myrmidons were beings composed entirely of elemental fire, with bodies that were roughly human size and shape. With a head, torso, and arms. But rather than legs, their lower body was a single large conflagration that glided above the ground over thin layers of super-heated air.
Depending on their need, their fingers were either true digits or blended together into a mittenlike form. Their heads had a defined front and back, but lacked facial features. Whenever they became angry or agitated, two brighter eyelike points could appear on their face.
They typically stood roughly 7 feet (2.1 meters) tall and weighed close to 200 pounds (91 kilograms). The latter fact was due to their bodes having some solidity to them, despite being made of transparent and flickering flames.
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.
Whenever they chose new armor it was to replace a sundered piece or because of the new armor's capabilities. The most common forms of new armor taken were breastplates, chain mail, chain shirts, and full plate.
Fire myrmidons were the most destructive in nature of all the elemental myrmidons and thought of everything in terms of conflict. They brutishly remained ever aware of what side they were on, their subordinates and commanders, current foes, and who they were to face in some later fight. But they also possessed great cunning and tactical minds.
Fire myrmidons were immune to the effects of diseases and poisons, as they were composed wholly of elemental essence. They were impervious to harm from fire, but could be harmed by water. Also, like other elemental beings, they had no need for sleep. Though they did need to "breath", in the sense that fires needed air.
Any time one of their limbs was severed it would quickly regrow, with the severed part burning away in a swirl of fire and smoke. They could set things alight with their bodies, though it required some concentration. And they were incapable of diminishing the amount of light that their bodies emitted, which was comparable to a bonfire.
- Ash Disciplines
- These fire myrmidons caused noticeable effects on local weather patterns, such as prolonged droughts or heat waves. They could hurl fire, unleash pounding waves of heat, and engulf their enemies in blinding clouds of cinders. When slain they would explode in a burst of fiery embers.
- These fire myrmidons let out bursts of fire whenever they were injured, in addition to when they were slain.
- These fire myrmidons were surrounded by a cloud of embers, burning any foe that came too close to them.
- These fire myrmidons could teleport short distances and would explode into a burst of fire when slain.
They typically preferred to fight with metal weaponry that was evocative of flames, thus they avoided the use of heavy or bludgeoning weaponry. They were most commonly seen fighting with falchions, scimitars, and even rapiers. Regardless of what weapon they used, it was considered magical.
Ash disciples preferred to fight their foes from afar with their fire-based abilities, while blazesteels and emberguards preferred to fight in close quarters, using their greataxe and scimitars respectively. For particularly irksome foes, an emberguard would empower their greataxe with higher degrees of fire essence.
In late 15th century DR, fire myrmidons could be found inhabiting Mount Hotenow. There many served in the fighting forces of the Cult of Maegera, being stationed at Firecross Bridge and in Shadowfire Cavern. Also during this time, fire myrmidons were utilized as minions by the wizard Kabal the Firesoul.
- Ash disciple
- One of the more powerful varieties of fire myrmidons. They were equivalent to war priests, aspiring for a day when fire would immolate and cleanse the world. They wore scale armor, rather than plate, and they typically wore metal robes atop them.
- One of the more powerful varieties of fire myrmidons. They were the most ill-tempered and easily provoked, growing more courageous as they were injured. They served as shock troopers within elemental armies.
- The term used for the basic variety of fire myrmidon. These served as the guardians of temples, tombs, and other locations with strong ties to elemental fire. They also guarded portals leading to the Elemental Chaos. Within armies made up of elemental creatures, they served as infantry.
- Fire myrmidons that were specialized in the use of bows. They were often seen wearing chainmail, rather than plate.
- Fire myrmidons that were specialized in the use of shields.
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 fire 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.[note 2]
Outside of combat, fire 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. Besides that they were excellent craftsmen, able to create masterwork quality items on par with those created by dwarves. Nearly everything they crafted had a flame motif decorating it.
Fire myrmidons freed from service to efreet were likely to emulate the society of their creators. Securing territory, building structures, and keeping slaves. These slaves perform manual labor or acted as practice opponents. Slaves usually died from the latter or from neglect, as the archons did not understand how fragile creatures of flesh could be.[note 3]
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 fire myrmidons, while those at high flow could produce more powerful varieties, such as blazesteels and ash disciples.
The majority of fire myrmidons in existence were created either by efreet or other fire myrmidons. Efreet created their fire myrmidons from Firespring, a forge in the Char district of the City of Brass.
Many were known to serve Imix, the evil archomental of elemental fire. They could also be found working for or alongside ancient red dragons, fire titans, guardian nagas, phoenixes, salamanders, and volcanic dragons. Those known as "blazesteels" were often employed as bodyguards by fire titans and powerful efreet.
In the City of Brass, many fire archons served as soldiers to the ruling efreet.
Rumors & Legends
Fire myrmidons believed themselves to have been the first type of elemental myrmidons ever created, though there was nothing to prove this.
Notable Fire Myrmidons
- Ignazar, a servant of the primordial Maegera.
- Immolus, a servant of the fire giant Gommoth in the late 15th century DR.
- At some point Baba Yaga enslaved four fire myrmidons and brought them to live inside the smithy of her dancing hut, having them produce all manner of metalwork.
- 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.
- Dragon #361's article, "Ecology of the Fire Archons," states that fire archon societies used, "physical and strategic contests, usually not lethal . . . to determine rank." The sourcebook, The Plane Below, retcons this with the information provided herein.
- Dragon #361's article, "Ecology of the Fire Archons," states that fire archons slaves were treated badly because of a lack of empathy. The sourcebook, The Plane Below, retcons this by stating that poor treatment of slaves was "not out of deliberate cruelty."
- Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford (May 29, 2018). Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes. Edited by Kim Mohan, Michele Carter. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 202–203. ISBN 978-0786966240.
- Mike Mearls, Stephen Schubert, James Wyatt (June 2008). Monster Manual 4th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 18–19. 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. 47.
- Ari Marmell, Bruce R. Cordell, Luke Johnson (December 2009). The Plane Below. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 50. ISBN 978-0786952496.
- Matthew Sernett (November 2007). “Ecology of the Fire Archon”. In Chris Youngs ed. Dragon #361 (Wizards of the Coast), p. 42.
- 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.
- Matthew Sernett (November 2007). “Ecology of the Fire Archon”. In Chris Youngs ed. Dragon #361 (Wizards of the Coast), p. 43.
- Matthew Sernett (November 2007). “Ecology of the Fire Archon”. In Chris Youngs ed. Dragon #361 (Wizards of the Coast), p. 44.
- Mike Mearls, Stephen Schubert, James Wyatt (June 2008). Monster Manual 4th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 19. ISBN 978-0-7869-4852-9.
- Scott Fitzgerald Gray (January 2010). “Test of Fire”. In Chris Youngs ed. Dungeon #174 (Wizards of the Coast), p. 56.
- Rodney Thompson, Logan Bonner, Matthew Sernett (November 2010). Monster Vault. Edited by Greg Bilsland et al. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 17. ISBN 978-0-7869-5631-9.
- 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.
- Matt Sernett, Erik Scott de Bie, Ari Marmell (August 2011). Neverwinter Campaign Setting. Edited by Tanis O'Connor. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 190. ISBN 0-7869-5814-6.
- Cryptic Studios (June 2013). Neverwinter. Perfect World Entertainment.
- 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), pp. 68, 74. ISBN 978-0-7869-5002-7.
- 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.
- Mike Mearls, Stephen Schubert, James Wyatt (June 2008). Monster Manual 4th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 83, 124, 195, 221, 227. ISBN 978-0-7869-4852-9.
- Mike Mearls, Greg Bilsland and Robert J. Schwalb (June 15, 2010). Monster Manual 3 4th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 71. ISBN 0786954902.
- Mike Mearls, Stephen Schubert, James Wyatt (June 2008). Monster Manual 4th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 183. 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. 41.
- Craig Campbell (November 2011). “Baba Yaga's Dancing Hut”. In Steve Winter ed. Dungeon #196 (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 33–34.