A hollyphant looked like a tiny little flying elephant, about 2 feet (60 centimeters) in length, with golden fur and wings. Some who had encountered hollyphants claimed that their wings were golden like their fur; others insisted that the wings were shining white. Its small tusks appeared to be made of ivory. There seemed to be variety in their eye color. Some hollyphants had amber to glowing brown eyes. For others, their eyes displayed a rainbow of colors.
They also had an alternative form that they could take, that of a large, 12-foot-tall (3.7 meters), bipedal mastodon with shaggy, black fur, huge leathery wings, and massive curved tusks. In this form, they weighed about 1,200 pounds (540 kilograms).
In their small form, the golden fur of these elephantine creatures seemed to glow. Because of the aura surrounding one, any good creature observing a hollyphant felt a fondness toward it, while any evil creature felt immediate loathing and fear.
Some scholars made speculations that a hollyphant's appearance was a projection of some kind and that they were actually spirits with a different true appearance, since surely no creature would look so goofy in reality. Hollyphants took great offense at such an idea, and anyone who had ever looked upon them with true seeing saw only both of their elephantine forms simultaneously.
Hollyphants were both magical and psionic creatures. When in their usual small size, their shimmering fur gave them invulnerability to spells of weaker power, while their tusks provided them with immunity to poison and diseases. They had several additional inherent magical abilities, including the ability to detect evil, banish outsiders, bless allies, create light, gate in allies from the Upper Planes, protect from evil, teleport, and call down a column of fire on their foes. A hollyphant also had several impressive healing abilities, including the power to raise the dead.
Beyond all these magical abilities, a hollyphant had a limited number of psionic powers as well, including forms of clairsentience and telepathy and the power to see invisibility and make mind-controlling suggestions.
Perhaps most uniquely, the hollyphant could use its trunk in a variety of ways, depending on what the hollyphant wanted. It could cause a trumpeting blast of intense, damaging, deafening sound, which could also stun its opponents, or it could shoot out a burst of positive energy particles, called "sun-sparkles". Sun-sparkles inflicted great damage on the undead or creatures from the Lower Planes.
Hollyphants loved helping good creatures, did not care much for those of a neutral bent, and would actively seek to destroy evil beings, even going out of their way to do so or summoning in more powerful creatures of good to help. They would do all they could to avoid having to battle with a good or even neutral creature. They enjoyed observing noble mortals and serving their masters.
Hollyphants were very sensitive about their appearance, which many found to be silly. Likewise, visitors to the planes were advised not to speculate on their origins, as they took offense at this. Otherwise, the typical hollyphant did not take itself too seriously, and as a rule, they strongly enjoyed harmless pranks and joking.
In its small form, a hollyphant could gore with its upward-curving tusks, but since it was so little, this was not often effective, and it usually avoided melee combat. More likely it would use its powerful, magical trunk.
If a hollyphant summoned aid, another hollyphant was most likely to respond, but sometimes a deva would heed the call instead. Which type of deva responded depended on where the hollyphant was at the time. If on one of the Upper Planes, an astral deva would come; on one of the Inner Planes, a monadic deva would answer; and on the Material, a movanic deva would heed the call. Asuras and avorals had also been known come when summoned by a hollyphant.
Among themselves, hollyphants had their own language.
Hollyphants served as messengers and helpers for the good deities or their agents. Deities known to have hollyphants as servants include Ilmater, Mystryl, and Milil, and the demihuman deities Eilistraee, Haela Brightaxe, Moradin, Sharindlar, Thard Harr, Aerdrie Faenya, Corellon Larethian, Hanali Celanil, Labelas Enoreth, Sehanine Moonbow, Solonor Thelandira, Cyrrollalee, Urogalan, and Yondalla.
They often traveled through Ethereal and Astral Planes on their way to the Material. If sent to the Material Plane, where they sometimes served as advisors to good people, they would usually appear alone and almost always would be flying. When providing aid, they tried to help their charges to defeat evil in their own ways rather than solving the problems for them.
Hollyphants did not need to rely on natural means to survive. They required neither food nor drink, nor did they need to sleep. They could eat and drink, and they often did so, just so those around them would not feel uncomfortable. When they did eat, they preferred nuts, berries, and young shoots.
A hollyphant's tusks, when removed, could be ground into a magical power that, when mixed with a beverage, acted as an elixir of health. Obviously, harvesting a hollyphant's tusks would be an act of evil!
- James Wyatt (September 1999). “Heaven's Trump: Celestial Messengers & Divine Intervention”. In Dave Gross ed. Dragon #263 (TSR, Inc.), p. 56.
- Christopher Perkins (October 2003). “Holier than Thou: Celestial Monsters, Part I”. In Chris Thomasson ed. Dragon #312 (Paizo Publishing, LLC), pp. 55–57.
- ↑ 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 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 1.23 1.24 1.25 1.26 1.27 1.28 1.29 1.30 1.31 1.32 1.33 1.34 1.35 1.36 1.37 1.38 1.39 1.40 1.41 1.42 1.43 1.44 Richard Baker (October 1995). Monstrous Compendium Planescape Appendix II. Edited by Karen S. Boomgarden. (TSR, Inc.), pp. 50–51. ISBN 0-7869-0173-X.
- ↑ 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 2.16 2.17 2.18 2.19 2.20 2.21 2.22 2.23 2.24 2.25 2.26 2.27 2.28 2.29 2.30 2.31 2.32 2.33 2.34 2.35 2.36 2.37 2.38 2.39 2.40 2.41 2.42 James Wyatt, Darrin Drader, Christopher Perkins (October 2003). Book of Exalted Deeds. (TSR, Inc), pp. 176–177. ISBN 0-7869-3136-1.
- ↑ 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 3.17 3.18 3.19 3.20 3.21 3.22 3.23 3.24 3.25 3.26 3.27 3.28 3.29 Gary Gygax (August 1983). Monster Manual II 1st edition. (TSR, Inc), p. 75. ISBN 0-88038-031-4.
- ↑ Jeff Grubb (July 1987). Manual of the Planes 1st edition. (TSR), p. 91. ISBN 0880383992.
- ↑ Jeff Grubb (July 1987). Manual of the Planes 1st edition. (TSR), p. 89. ISBN 0880383992.
- ↑ Jeff Grubb (July 1987). Manual of the Planes 1st edition. (TSR), p. 88. ISBN 0880383992.
- ↑ Julia Martin, Eric L. Boyd (March 1996). Faiths & Avatars. (TSR, Inc), p. 76. ISBN 978-0786903849.
- ↑ slade, James Butler (November 1996). Netheril: Empire of Magic (The Winds of Netheril). (TSR, Inc.), p. 49. ISBN 0-7869-0437-2.
- ↑ Julia Martin, Eric L. Boyd (March 1996). Faiths & Avatars. (TSR, Inc), p. 117. ISBN 978-0786903849.
- ↑ Eric L. Boyd (1998). Demihuman Deities. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 14, 68, 78, 83, 86, 94, 101, 115, 118, 126, 133, 170, 176, 180. ISBN 0-7869-1239-1.
- ↑ James Wyatt, Darrin Drader, Christopher Perkins (October 2003). Book of Exalted Deeds. (TSR, Inc), p. 190. ISBN 0-7869-3136-1.