Hound archons were the guardians of the first and second layers of Celestia. They were considered by scholars to be the first "true" archons. While typically associated with the gods of the House of the Triad, they were also particularly favored as servants of the halfling god Urogalan. They were one of the most common archons summoned to the Material Plane, and their duties sometimes permitted them to travel to other realms to interact with their inhabitants.
Hound archons appeared as powerfully built humanoids with canine heads, with broad shoulders and massive, powerful fists. Hound archons had similarly strong legs—a silent warning to foes that a hound archon was also swift on its feet, and if they fled, they would not get far.
All hound archons could be observed wearing simple metal collars about their necks. This collar was not actual metal; it was a mystical representation of the archon's rank within the hierarchy of the archons of Celestia and could not be removed.
When one looked upon a hound archon, he or she sensed a feeling of simultaneous peacefulness and readiness for action. Hounds were intelligent and very protective, seeking to defend the innocent and helpless against evil.
Despite their combat skill, like all archons, hounds preferred not to fight if at all possible, and would usually only be driven to combat if protecting themselves, their plane, or their lantern archons or others who are unable to defend themselves.
Like all archons, a hound's ultimate goal was to ascend to higher state of goodness and eventually become one with the plane. In the meantime, they served as proxies of the deific powers.
Hound archons could transform at will into any canine (fox, dog, or wolf, etc.) ranging from small to large size; this had the advantage of improving the archon's stealth. They were not lycanthropes, however!
Like all archons, hounds could speak and understand any language they desired and even send a message in any language over short distances. They could also teleport anywhere that they desired without a chance of failure. Hound archons could detect the presence of evil and also protect themselves from it. Some claimed that they could further detect all invisible, astral, and ethereal creatures as well. They could call upon divine aid and create a source of continual flame whenever they desired.
Hound archons were immune to paralyzation and electricity. They were resistant to magic and could not be affected by mundane weapons. They could see in darkness and had a strong sense of smell.
Hound archons were able and determined combatants in melee, thanks to their musculature and meaty fists. They preferred their natural weapons, but were also known to wield greatswords to great effect. In close range, a hound archon was adept enough to strike a couple times with its fists and also take a bite at its opponent in rapid succession.
Hounds served as Celestia's guardians, soldiers, and servants. The hounds were responsible for greeting guests to Lunia, the first of the seven layers of Celestia, and for keeping watch over the lantern archons, the petitioners of their divine realm. Scholars estimated that their were at least 100,000 hound archons, and that each of them was responsible for monitoring as many as 100 lantern archons. Each hound archon maintained a permanent telepathic link with all of its lanterns. For this reason, if trouble came to Celestia, all celestia would know of it in short time, and if a single hound archon were under attack, it could expect its full complement of up to 100 lanterns to arrive over the next few minutes.
Some hound archons were known to develop paladin powers, in which case they generally preferred their holy greatswords to their teeth and fists. Hound archon paladins often befriended bronze dragons and rode them into battle; the bond between archon and dragon was, if anything, even deeper than the bond between a mortal paladin and his mount.
A hound archon came into existence whenever a lantern archon had attained the next station of goodness. Worshipers of the gods Tyr, Torm, and Ilmater became lantern archons when they died, and so such souls would eventually become hound archons over time.
Hound archons of the lowest rank appeared to wear lead collars. As the archon progressed along a path of goodness, the metal of the collar appeared to change from lead to tin to brass to bronze to silver to gold and at last to platinum. Beyond this point, a hound archon with a platinum collar would be promoted and transformed into a warden archon.
Like lantern archons, hounds seemed to be sustained by the light and essence of the plane of Celestia, and did not need to eat or drink anything else to live. However, they did enjoy eating and drink gifts offered by visitors, provided it was organic material.
- Tedd Crapper (September 2001). “When Celestials Attack”. In Dave Gross ed. Dragon #287 (Wizards of the Coast), p. 39.
- Chris Thomasson (September 2001). “Vs. Celestials”. In Dave Gross ed. Dragon #287 (Wizards of the Coast), p. 43.
- ↑ 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 Colin McComb, Dori Hein (February 1995). “Monstrous Supplement”. In Dori Hein ed. Planes of Law (TSR, Inc), pp. 4–6. ISBN 0786900938.
- ↑ 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 J. Paul LaFountain (1991). Monstrous Compendium: Outer Planes Appendix. Edited by Timothy B. Brown. (TSR, Inc.). ISBN 1-56076-055-9.
- ↑ 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 Skip Williams, Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook (July 2003). Monster Manual 3.5. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 16–18. ISBN 0-7869-2893-X.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 4.9 Jeff Grubb (July 1987). Manual of the Planes 1st edition. (TSR), p. 123. ISBN 0880383992.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Jeff Grubb, Bruce R. Cordell, David Noonan (September 2001). Manual of the Planes 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 133. ISBN 0-7869-1850-8.
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 Richard Baker, James Wyatt (March 2004). Player's Guide to Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 159. ISBN 0-7869-3134-5.
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Jeff Grubb (July 1987). Manual of the Planes 1st edition. (TSR), p. 88. ISBN 0880383992.
- ↑ Sean K. Reynolds (2002-05-04). Deity Do's and Don'ts (Zipped PDF). Wizards of the Coast. p. 15. Archived from the original on 2016-11-01. Retrieved on 2018-09-08.
- ↑ Bruce R. Cordell, Gwendolyn F.M. Kestrel (July 2004). Planar Handbook. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 22. ISBN 0-7869-3429-8.
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 Wolfgang Baur (February 1995). “Mount Celestia”. In Michele Carter ed. Planes of Law (TSR, Inc), pp. 9–10. ISBN 0-7869-0093-8.
- ↑ Gwendolyn F.M. Kestrel (July 2006). Monster Manual IV. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 82. ISBN 0-7869-3920-6.