Zaphkiel (pronounced: /ˈzɑːfkiɛl/ ZAF-kee-ehl), the Watcher, was the first archon created and the leader of the Celestial Hebdomad. The greatest of all archons, he ruled Chronias, the Illuminated Heaven of Mount Celestia. His symbol was the donkey.
Neither male nor female, Zaphkiel was a humanoid creature of breathtaking beauty, bathed at all times in holy power and radiant light. This tome archon stood ten feet (three meters) tall, had skin of gold, and bore wings with platinum-white metallic feathers.
Zaphkiel was at all times surrounded by warm light, and he exuded so much goodness that only the most holy of entities could stand before him without being consumed. Those who could bear his presence were instilled with overwhelming feelings of harmony and joy.
Zaphkiel had an alternative incorporeal form, appearing instead as a golden storm of energy.
Zaphkiel was the embodiment of the Seventh Heaven. He was kind and his countenance soothing. He cared for the souls of imperfect mortals and protected those of truly innocent ones, such as stillborn or sacrificed babies. Beyond this, he was a great enigma.
Zaphkiel had all of the powers common to tome archons. In addition to these, unique magical abilities were available to him. He could detect chaos and see any creature as they truly were. By thought alone, he could bestow an affliction to an unrepentant foe, break enchantments, consecrate an area with positive energy, illuminate an area with a light as bright as day, surround his head with a flaming crown of brilliance so bright as to blind foes, discern the location of any object, dispel all but the most powerful magical effects, make a site holy, damage and daze chaotic creatures with a grid of axiomatic energy, instill hope in subjects within range, send a short message to an individual anywhere in the multiverse, defend himself with a mystical shield, fill an evil creature with intense feelings of remorse, and grant a subject a vision of the Seven Heavens. With a single, spoken holy word, he could slay or banish wicked beings, and he could whisper messages to recipients at a distance.
Zaphkiel's touch dealt holy damage to evil beings, and he could project rays from stigmata found on the palms of his hands. One such emanation caused the victim to feel the painful anguish and suffering that Zaphkiel had felt when he had died as a martyr when a mortal in his past life. The second stigma sent a ray of soothing, providing a healing sensation mirroring what Zaphkiel himself felt when he was elevated to become the first and greatest of the tome archons.
In his alternate, incorporeal form, Zaphkiel was impervious to attacks and could pass through solid objects.
Zaphkiel possessed no weapons or armor.
As ruler of Chronias, Zaphkiel watched over not only his layer but also all of Celestia. As leader of the Hebdomad, he offered guidance and counsel to the other members. It was said that not even Tyr himself knew the activities of Zaphkiel within the Seventh Heaven.
Zaphkiel had no champions, although it might be said that the other members of the Hebdomad were his champions. There was no jealousy or pride among the Hebdomad, and it was thought that it was Zaphkiel himself who chose each of the others and promoted them to their stations of power.
Zaphkiel was one of the first seven martyrs to live a righteous mortal life and die in suffering for the cause of good. When his soul reached Celestia, he experienced an apotheosis that changed him into a being of pure goodness, the first of the tome archons. He and his six companions were given a mandate to serve as rulers of the Seven Heavens.
The only entities in existence to have actually seen Zaphkiel are the gods and the other tome archons. Evil beings have not survived the encounter, and truly good beings are those who have ascended to the summit of Mount Celestia to be joined willingly with the essence of the holy plane.
- ↑ 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 James Wyatt, Darrin Drader, Christopher Perkins (October 2003). Book of Exalted Deeds. (TSR, Inc), pp. 136–138. ISBN 0-7869-3136-1.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 James Wyatt, Darrin Drader, Christopher Perkins (October 2003). Book of Exalted Deeds. (TSR, Inc), pp. 124–125. ISBN 0-7869-3136-1.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 Wolfgang Baur (February 1995). “Mount Celestia”. In Michele Carter ed. Planes of Law (TSR, Inc), p. 10. ISBN 0-7869-0093-8.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Christopher Perkins (April 1999). Warriors of Heaven. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 43–44. ISBN 0-7869-1361-4.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Richard Baker, James Wyatt (March 2004). Player's Guide to Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 189. ISBN 0-7869-3134-5.
- ↑ Richard Baker, James Wyatt (March 2004). Player's Guide to Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 159. ISBN 0-7869-3134-5.