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Archon

Source Pathfinder RPG Bestiary pg. 19

Archons are a race of outsiders from Heaven, creatures of fundamental law and good tasked with the protection of that plane as well as all who are innocent or free of evil. They are the natural enemies of devils, daemons, and demons, and most are veterans of many attacks against their home by fiends of the Lower Planes.

The natives of Heaven arise from amid the earth and clouds of that divine realm, inspired into creation by the sacred mountain's metaphysical processes, the faith of goodly mortals, and the transformation of virtuous spirits. Each archon begins life as a lantern archon or lesser servitor spirit, gaining in power and prestige through aiding the cause of good. Watched over by benevolent mentors and captains of the divine orders, each spirit is encouraged and aided in indulging its fundamental desire to see peace, honesty, and fairness spread across all lands, especially throughout the Material Plane. To this end, archons of all walks often take on the roles of questing knights, journeying throughout disparate worlds and realms aiding in good works and promoting courageous acts. These virtuous outsiders prefer to motivate mortals to act with honor and integrity rather than righting mortal wrongs themselves, believing the cause of righteousness is best served by enlightening creatures to make just choices and cast off their own shackles of evil. This makes future temptations easier to resist and plants the seeds of spiritual deliverance. Thus, most archons take a subtle hand in their interactions with mortals, taking special pleasure in bringing solace and reprieve to those who are wholly unaware of their presence.

The efforts of Heaven prove far less subtle when it comes to combating the hordes of the Lower Planes. Armies of archons stand in staunch opposition to the affronts of Hell, Abaddon, and the Abyss, confronting them upon both extraplanar battlefields and the Material Plane itself. These encounters might take the form of vast armies clashing over strange planar holdings, or solitary archons revealing themselves upon mortal worlds to push back the machinations of fiendish invaders. In such cases, archons generally prefer to meet foes head-on if it is prudent to do so, but if outmatched, they do what they can to even the odds (usually by employing hit-and-run tactics or standing off and engaging a foe with magic before moving into melee). Because they can teleport at will, it is easy for them to vanish only to reappear later, often with reinforcements, when their enemies are unprepared. These warriors of law act honorably, even to their foes, but are not foolish or without passion, and little in the multiverse dares stand against the rage of Heaven.

Although archons are champions of good, they have little patience for those who do not follow strict traditions and patterns of goodness. While a cruel dictatorship might be a legitimate enemy of the archon, rebellion and riot is not the proper way to address such an inequality. Justice and law must not be abandoned in the constant struggle for peace and good, for in such anarchic actions one often promotes further harm and mayhem, even if unintentionally. The laws of Heaven exist to minimize collateral damage and unwanted pain, and while adhering to these laws often results in longer campaigns, archons point out that their victories are lasting triumphs as a result. Because of this strong adherence to tradition and law, archons often find themselves the unwilling enemies of chaotic good creatures, particularly the azatas. To an archon, an azata's nature seems whimsical and impatient—in striking swiftly against an enemy without bothering to think through the implications of their sudden act, it's possible to do more harm than good. Still, while opposing the chaos of an azata is a necessary step, the archon takes no pleasure in such opposition, and does its best to minimize the length of such a conflict. Unfortunately, the capricious and emotional azatas are legendary among the archons for their ability to hold grudges, so for many archons the best policy when interacting with the azatas is to be brief, succinct, and firm.

Archons speak Celestial, Draconic, and Infernal, but can speak with almost any creature because of their truespeech ability. A full list of archon traits is presented in the archon subtype description. Many archons have additional abilities beyond these traits, as befits their particular role in the army of Heaven.

Archon Subtype

Archons are a race of celestials, or good outsiders, native to lawful good-aligned outer planes. An archon possesses the following traits (unless otherwise noted in a creature's entry).
  • Darkvision 60 feet and low-light vision.
  • Aura of Menace (Su) A righteous aura surrounds archons that fight or get angry. Any hostile creature within a 20-foot radius of an archon must succeed on a Will save to resist its effects. The save DC varies with the type of archon, is Charisma-based, and includes a +2 racial bonus. Those who fail take a –2 penalty on attacks, AC, and saves for 24 hours or until they successfully hit the archon that generated the aura. A creature that has resisted or broken the effect cannot be affected again by the same archon's aura for 24 hours.
  • Immunity to electricity and petrification.
  • +4 racial bonus on saves against poison.
  • Teleport (Sp) Archons can use greater teleport at will, as the spell (caster level 14th), except that the creature can transport only itself and up to 50 pounds of carried objects.
  • Truespeech (Su) All archons can speak with any creature that has a language, as though using a tongues spell (caster level 14th). This ability is always active.

Creatures in "Archon" Category

NameCR
Codex Archon5
Hammer Archon18
Harbinger Archon2
Hound Archon4
Lantern Archon2
Legion Archon7
Preceptor Archon9
Shield Archon10
Spyglass Archon3
Stag Archon4
Star Archon19
Trumpet Archon14

Archon, Hammer Archon

This stern-looking humanoid wears a suit of armor decorated with sharp lines. He wields a hammer-headed polearm with a wicked spike on its reverse side.

Hammer Archon CR 18

Source Pathfinder #107: Scourge of the Godclaw pg. 82
XP 153,600
LG Large outsider (archon, extraplanar, good, lawful)
Init +5; Senses darkvision 60 ft., detect evil, low-light vision; Perception +28
Aura aura of menace (20 ft., DC 26)

Defense

AC 33, touch 10, flat-footed 32 (+11 armor, +1 Dex, +12 natural, –1 size)
hp 310 (20d10+200); regeneration 5 (evil weapons and spells)
Fort +16, Ref +13, Will +17; +4 vs. poison
Defensive Abilities reverberation; DR 10/evil; Immune bludgeoning, electricity, petrification; SR 31

Offense

Speed 30 ft., fly 90 ft. (good)
Melee +4 impact lucerne hammer +30/+25/+20/+15 (4d6+13)
Space 10 ft., Reach 10 ft. (15 ft. with lucerne hammer)
Special Attacks axiomatic barrage, inevitable sunder
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 20th; concentration +24)
Constant—detect evil
At will—breakAPG (DC 15), protection from chaos, shield
1/day—dictum, enemy hammerAPG (DC 20), sympathetic vibration

Statistics

Str 23, Dex 13, Con 30, Int 16, Wis 20, Cha 19
Base Atk +20; CMB +27 (+31 bull rush, +31 sunder); CMD 38 (40 vs. sunder)
Feats Cleave, Great Cleave, Greater Sunder, Improved Initiative, Improved Sunder, Improved Vital Strike, Power Attack, Sundering StrikeAPG, Vital Strike, Weapon Focus (lucerne hammer)
Skills Diplomacy +27, Fly +21, Intimidate +27, Knowledge (engineering) +26, Knowledge (history) +26, Knowledge (planes) +26, Perception +28, Sense Motive +28, Survival +28
Languages Celestial, Draconic, Infernal; truespeech
SQ immovable object

Ecology

Environment any (Heaven)
Organization solitary, pair, or squad (3–6)
Treasure double (+2 full plate, +4 impactUE lucerne hammerAPG, other treasure)

Special Abilities

Axiomatic Barrage (Su) As a standard action, a hammer archon can slam the head of his hammer against the ground, creating an ordered pulse of energy in a 30-foot-radius burst. Only chaotic and neutral (nonlawful) creatures are harmed by this energy, which deals 10d6 points of damage to chaotic creatures (or 10d8 points of damage to outsiders with the chaotic subtype) and slows them for 1d6 rounds (as per slow). A successful DC 26 Will saving throw reduces the damage by half and negates the slow effect. This ability deals only half damage to creatures that are neither chaotic nor lawful, and they are not slowed. Such a creature can reduce the damage by half again (down to one-quarter) with a successful DC 26 Will saving throw. A hammer archon can use this ability once every 2d4 rounds. The save DC is Charisma-based.

Immovable Object (Su) When not in the archon’s possession, a hammer archon’s lucerne hammer can be picked up or moved by only another hammer archon or a lawful outsider of at least the same CR as the hammer archon. A hammer archon’s lucerne hammer has double the hardness and 50% more hit points than a normal lucerne hammer. This quality persists for 24 hours after the hammer archon’s death.

Inevitable Sunder (Ex) When a hammer archon attempts a sunder combat maneuver against an item held or wielded by a chaotic- or evil-aligned creature (or a creature with the chaotic or evil subtype), the hammer archon ignores the target item’s hardness.

Reverberation (Ex) A hammer archon’s body is harmonically attuned to provide it with extraordinary defenses. The archon is immune to bludgeoning damage. Additionally, whenever a character strikes a hammer archon with a weapon (magical or nonmagical), the weapon takes 3d6 points of damage. Apply the weapon’s hardness normally. Weapons that take any amount of damage in excess of their hardness gain the broken quality.

Hammer archons are the unstoppable champions of celestial armies, called to fight against paragons of evil and chaos when all hope seems otherwise lost. Their powerful hammers sweep through lesser enemies and shatter shields and weapons with ease. Each hammer archon’s plate armor gleams like polished silver and resists even the strongest blows from hammers and other bludgeoning weapons.

A hammer archon stands 10 feet tall and weighs approximately 900 pounds.

Ecology

Those archons who continually proves themselves in battle, either by striking down hordes of demons or by holding back a single pit fiend long enough for reinforcements to arrive, may get promoted to the rank of hammer archon. This process can take centuries, even millennia, but the lawful-aligned outsiders would brook no shortcuts. Many hound archons and shield archons with martial inclinations ceaselessly endeavor to rise to the heights of power that being a hammer archon represents.

The most ambitious hammer archons strive to prove themselves worthy of becoming star archons (Pathfinder RPG Bestiary 2 32), often taking on positions of authority in important conflicts. Those who show they can lead squadrons of other archons to victory against overwhelming odds or can make tactically sound decisions under pressure take the first steps to a legendary transformation. Other hammer archons are content to remain as they are, with the knowledge that an army with too many generals and not enough soldiers is no kind of fighting force at all.

Habitat and Society

Hammer archons spend the majority of their time on the fields of battle, whether assaulting an outpost of Hell or clashing with legions of daemons over a nexus of power on the Material Plane. Unless injured by a particularly potent foe, these archons require only brief respites before charging back into the fray. When not fighting, hammer archons struggle to not betray their impatience to re-enter conflict. They pass their idle hours polishing their armor and maintaining their lucerne hammers. As such, the areas of Heaven where these celestials reside are often filled with the rhythmic sound of hammers ringing against steel.

A hammer archon without his hammer is a diminished version of himself, so each archon fervently guards his weapon, sometimes forming such a deep bond with it that it gains a modicum of sentience. Though not fully intelligent, these weapons respond to their owners’ moods with noticeable alterations of the symbols on their heads and hafts. No matter what, a hammer archon who is divested of his weapon in the heat of battle ignores all other threats until he can retrieve it. This sometimes forces the archon to make poor strategic choices, a fact that savvy foes take advantage of when fighting one of these celestials.

Hammer archons often have only cursory relationships with other hammer archons. They are usually sent on solo assignments or asked to lead armies of other celestials, so they rarely have opportunities to interact with one another. When they do, they speak only of past conquests in cool but cordial tones. A hammer archon knows that others of his kind are unflinching followers of law, so he never questions the others’ actions or decisions. When required to act as a team, hammer archons understand that the situation must be dire indeed. They discuss strategy with the same professional attitude, and often reach a consensus very quickly.

Though hammer archons and shield archons (Pathfinder RPG Bestiary 2 31) vary greatly in rank and strength, they sometimes form close ties. The hammer archons see themselves as mentors to the other celestials, offering advice and providing opportunities for the shield archons to gain the power they need to ascend. More often than not, these relationships prove to be quite dangerous for the shield archons, as the hammer archons drag them into battles that are well beyond their capabilities. However, those few shield archons who survive these ordeals gain enough experience to take class levels and eventually transform into more powerful archons.

Many hammer archons share a particular hatred for mariliths. These demons can possess a martial prowess equal to that of hammer archons, and are usually at the command of fiendish armies. A marilith’s many bladed weapons can bypass a hammer archon’s damage reduction and immunities, so hammer archons seek to sunder them before they can cause too much damage. A battle between a hammer archon and a marilith is an awe-inspiring sight to behold, as the two titans struggle to gain advantage over each other.