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Tome archons were the most powerful archons in the hierarchy of Mount Celestia,[1][2][6][7][8][9] serving the deities of the House of the Triad[5][10] as the rulers of the layers of the Seven Heavens.[1][2][7][8][9] Each of the exactly seven tome archons was a celestial paragon in power,[8][10] serving as a member of the Celestial Hebdomad,[1][7][8][9] and as such, they were also known as archon paragons[5][8] or paragon archons.[10]

DescriptionEdit

Domiel

Domiel, the Mercy-Bringer.

Tome archons were very tall, winged humanoids.[1][2][3][4] By some accounts of mortals, tome archons had the heads of hawks,[1][2][4][6] or, more rarely, of owls.[6] Other scholars described each tome archon as having a unique appearance, generally androgynous but with subtle masculine or feminine traits.[3]

Tome archons were often garbed in full armor, a sign of their role as defenders of goodness and law.[1]

PersonalityEdit

As a rule, tome archons were dignified and remote in personality.[2] Like most archons, they simultaneously despised combat yet excelled in combat skills.[1]

It was inconceivable that tome archons would ever fight or argue amongst themselves, so utterly free of jealousy, pride, and other vices they were.[8]

AbilitiesEdit

Like all archons, tomes could speak and understand any language they desired.[1][2][4][8][11] In addition to flight,[1][2][3] they could also teleport anywhere that they desired without a chance of failure.[1][2][4][8][11] They could also create a source of continual flame whenever they desired.[1][2][4][11]

Besides having darkvision,[1][2][4][8][11] tome archons could detect the presence of evil and also protect themselves and others from it.[1][2][3][11] Some scholars claimed that tome archons could also detect thoughts, know alignments, and detect lies.[2]

For defenses, tome archons were immune to petrification and electricity and resistant to poisons.[3] They were further resistant to spell magic in general[1][2][3][4] and could only be injured by especially powerful magical weapons.[1][2][3][4]

If engaged in combat, a tome archon produced a menacing aura of righteousness and divine wrath that negatively affected its foes' ability to battle with it.[1][8][11] A tome archon also had the power to project beams[1][2] or cones[4] of radiant light from its palms.[1][2][4]

Tome archons were also able to cast divine spells, as if they were the most powerful of clerics,[1][2][3][4] in addition to being able to use innately a wide variety of spell-like powers unique to each of them.[3]

Tome archons were even more intelligent than throne archons,[1][2][3][4] and according to some, the greatest power of the tome archons was that of knowledge.[6] Tome archons seemed to have an omniscience of any event occurring on their own layer,[1][2][9] and they knew much about secret passages and the weaknesses of other creatures.[6] They did not, however, have access to events occurring within any divine realms found within their layer.[1][9]

While the most powerful of the archons, some early scholars insisted that they still were not as powerful as the angelic solars, planetars, or even devas.[2][6] It was certainly true that archons as a whole deferred to the angelic servants of the deities and obeyed them if passed on instructions,[6] but they were not ruled by angels,[6] and modern scholars argued that tome archons were in fact far more powerful than any of the aasimon—even solars.[3]

If needed, tome archons could instantly summon the aid of 125 sword archons, 250 warden archons, 500 hound archons, or 1,000 lantern archons.[1] Some scholars felt that such numbers were inflated, and said that the numbers of potentially summoned archons were rather one or two thrones, one to four trumpets, two to eight swords, or up to forty lanterns.[8] They would call on such aid rather than fight personally, not for selfish reasons, but because the death of one of the tome archons always threw the whole archon hierarchy into disarray.[1] If in the most dire of need, a tome could even instantly summon one of the other six tomes to its side.[8]

If anyone successfully killed a tome archon, he or she would be permanently marked with a rune upon the forehead. This indelible imprint would signal to any lawful good outsider that the person was a murderer of one of the Hebdomad.[8]

SocietyEdit

Zaphkiel

Zaphkiel, ruler of all archons.

There were only ever seven tome archons in existence at any given time, one for each of the seven layers of Celestia.[1][2][7] Together, these seven rulers composed the council known as the Celestial Hebdomad,[7] which was headed by the most powerful and mysterious tome archon of all, Zaphkiel.[8] These archons were rumored to meet together regularly in private to discuss the affairs of the whole plane.[1] They were permitted to travel to other layers in the plane, but they rarely did so.[9]

Each layer of Celestia was divided into 196 provinces, and the governor of each layer would report back to the tome archon in command.[7][9]

Tome archons also acted as record keepers and historians for Celestia, accurately recording all events on that plane without the slightest bias.[2]

Tome archons had trumpet archons serving as their messengers to the Prime when needed.[7]

PromotionEdit

On the rare event that the death of a tome archon occurred, one of the throne archons somewhere in Celestia instantly took on the form and power of the fallen tome archon, taking also his or her position in the Celestial Hebdomad. Most scholars believed that such throne archons were personally chosen by Zaphkiel himself.[8]

Some scholars—those insisting that tome archons were subservient to aasimon—believed that tome archons who served well in their role as leaders of their layers were transformed into agathinon or light aasimon.[12]

EcologyEdit

Tome archons subsisted on ambrosia, the so-called food of the gods, which was in fact a physical manifestation of the distilled joy of all petitioners of the plane.[1][13]

HistoryEdit

Erathaol

Erathaol, the Seer.

When the multiverse was first created, before any mortals had yet died, Mount Celestia had no archons. The first seven martyrs of law and goodness whose souls arrived from the Material Plane were transformed into Celestia's first tome archons and mandated with the role of ruling its seven layers for eternity. The seven martyrs and their successors continued to rule Celestia as the Celestial Hebdomad.[8]

By the late 14th century DR, as counted by mortals, of the original seven tome archons, only Zaphkiel, the greatest, remained. All the other archon paragons had been replaced by others.[1]

Tome archons were rarely seen by mortals from Faerûn; however, shortly before the Time of Troubles, the tome archon of Mercuria, Terxyx, was sent on a personal mission for Saint Sollars to rescue Gareth Dragonsbane and his companions from demons on the Astral Plane. Terxyx led the adventurers to Lunia to speak with Saint Sollars, and then to the realm of Bahamut in Mercuria.[14]

Another tome archon playing an important role in the history of Toril was Erathaol, known as the Seer. After the death of Mystra, Erathaol summoned the astral deva diviner Eirwyn from her imprisonment in order to facilitate her visions. This action ultimately led to Eirwyn aiding Tauran and his companions in defending the Lifespring from Kaanyr Vhok.[15]

Notable Tome ArchonsEdit

Pistis Sophia

Pistis Sophia, ruler of Solania.

AppendixEdit

GalleryEdit

AppearancesEdit

Novels
Adventures

ReferencesEdit

  1. 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 Colin McComb, Dori Hein (February 1995). “Monstrous Supplement”. In Dori Hein ed. Planes of Law (TSR, Inc), pp. 4,8–9. ISBN 0786900938.
  2. 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 J. Paul LaFountain (1991). Monstrous Compendium: Outer Planes Appendix. Edited by Timothy B. Brown. (TSR, Inc.). ISBN 1-56076-055-9.
  3. 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 James Wyatt, Darrin Drader, Christopher Perkins (October 2003). Book of Exalted Deeds. (TSR, Inc), pp. 125–138. ISBN 0-7869-3136-1.
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 4.12 4.13 4.14 4.15 Jeff Grubb (July 1987). Manual of the Planes 1st edition. (TSR), p. 123. ISBN 0880383992.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Richard Baker, James Wyatt (March 2004). Player's Guide to Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 159. ISBN 0-7869-3134-5.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 Jeff Grubb (July 1987). Manual of the Planes 1st edition. (TSR), p. 88. ISBN 0880383992.
  7. 7.00 7.01 7.02 7.03 7.04 7.05 7.06 7.07 7.08 7.09 7.10 7.11 7.12 7.13 Wolfgang Baur (February 1995). “Mount Celestia”. In Michele Carter ed. Planes of Law (TSR, Inc), p. 10. ISBN 0-7869-0093-8.
  8. 8.00 8.01 8.02 8.03 8.04 8.05 8.06 8.07 8.08 8.09 8.10 8.11 8.12 8.13 8.14 8.15 James Wyatt, Darrin Drader, Christopher Perkins (October 2003). Book of Exalted Deeds. (TSR, Inc), pp. 124–125. ISBN 0-7869-3136-1.
  9. 9.00 9.01 9.02 9.03 9.04 9.05 9.06 9.07 9.08 9.09 9.10 9.11 9.12 9.13 Christopher Perkins (April 1999). Warriors of Heaven. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 42–44. ISBN 0-7869-1361-4.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Richard Baker, James Wyatt (March 2004). Player's Guide to Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 189. ISBN 0-7869-3134-5.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 Christopher Perkins (April 1999). Warriors of Heaven. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 41. ISBN 0-7869-1361-4.
  12. Template:Cite book/Planes of Law (boxed set)/The Hierarchies of Mount Celestia
  13. James Wyatt, Darrin Drader, Christopher Perkins (October 2003). Book of Exalted Deeds. (TSR, Inc), p. 96. ISBN 0-7869-3136-1.
  14. 14.0 14.1 Douglas Niles and Michael Dobson (1988). The Throne of Bloodstone. (TSR, Inc). ISBN 0-8803-8560-X.
  15. Thomas M. Reid (July 2009). The Crystal Mountain. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 978-0-78695235-9.

ConnectionsEdit