AgathionSource Bestiary 2 pg. 15
Agathions are a race of beast-aspect outsiders native to the plane of Nirvana, a realm of pure good unconcerned with the dogma of law (represented by Heaven) or chaos (represented by Elysium). Though Nirvana is a place of rest where blessed souls seek enlightenment, agathions are aggressive and interventionist in the mortal world when it comes to dealing with evil. Created from the souls of good mortals who have managed to achieve the enlightenment they sought in life (or in some cases, after death), agathions embody the principles of a peaceable kingdom while marshaling their strength to defend that kingdom from any who would despoil it. Because they strike an ethical balance between the chaotic, fey-like azatas and the lawful, rigid process of the archons, agathions are often liaisons between the celestial races, soothing hot tempers and working toward mutual goals of vanquishing evil and protecting good.
All agathions have an animal-like aspect. Some are more humanoid in appearance, while others spend their entire existence in a form nearly identical to that of a true animal. Each type of agathion serves a particular role in Nirvana, and their duties on other planes echo these responsibilities: leonals watch over Nirvana's portals and have a guardian-like aspect in other worlds, draconals carry the wisdom of the ages and observe and guide exceptional mortals, vulpinals are bards and messengers and bear important news to celestial generals and mortal heroes, and so on. Agathions are proud of their feral aspects and don't take kindly to the suggestion that they are cursed folk like lycanthropes or nothing more than magical talking beasts. Every agathion was once a mortal who aspired to goodness and was rewarded in the afterlife with a form suiting her talents and personality; suggesting that an agathion's form is a kind of punishment is a terrible insult.
The following pages describe only a few of the best-known kinds of agathions, but other types exist, corresponding to other conventional animals (bears, dinosaurs, fish, wolves, and so on), with a few having shapes that resemble insects (particularly beetles, butterflies, and mantises); a handful resemble stranger creatures (such as basilisks and owlbears) or unique “animals” native to extreme environments on distant worlds. Certain animals, particularly those associated with scavenging activities (such as hyenas, buzzards, or jackals) or parasitism (like lampreys or ticks) specifically do not have agathions associated with them—these animals are not intrinsically evil, but their habits and ecological niches are far from the noble and proud traditions that most of the souls who seek enlightenment upon Nirvana would associate with themselves.
Individual agathions may be male or female, but they do not reproduce among their own kind—every agathion is a unique individual made from the soul of a good mortal. This does not prevent them from falling in love or having affairs with mortals, and a few aasimar and celestial sorcerer bloodlines derive from past contact with agathions, particularly among communities not averse to anthropomorphic humanoids. Indeed, many mythologies tie numerous races of this kind to the inevitable result of human tribes forming strong emotional attachments to visiting agathions.
Agathions speak Celestial, Draconic, and Infernal, though they can communicate with any intelligent creature because of their truespeech ability. They can also communicate with animals using a similar, silent ability. Even the weakest agathion is able to heal itself or others using a power similar to a paladin's ability to lay on hands. All agathions have a number of similar traits, as detailed in Appendix 3 of this book.
Agathions serving a particular deity or empyreal lord may have additional abilities depending on the role their deity assigns them. For example, a cetaceal serving a goddess of volcanic islands may be able to change shape into a more human-like form to walk on land, and may be immune to fire to tolerate and tend to the life-rich thermal vents at the ocean floor.
Though agathions lack an organized hierarchy, each type of agathion has a few individuals invested with power by the gods of Nirvana or the plane itself. Common agathions look to these exceptional examples for leadership, wisdom, and inspiration; these enlightened folk do not openly claim any responsibilities or rank over their fellows, but welcome the obligations this added power places upon them and do not deny their status or shirk their duties. Part of a category of powerful outsiders known collectively as empyreal lords, these leaders are often significantly larger than common agathions (up to double the normal size, in some cases), and have unusual coloration (such as iron-gray fur) or unique sensory manifestations associated with their presence (such as illusory birds, a constant melody, the scent of oranges, or a calming aura). No agathion fails to recognize their presence when not disguised. Agathion leaders can serve as heralds for deities, although they tend not to encourage religions based on their teachings. The following is but a selection of notable agathion leaders.
Chavod Broken-Spear (cetaceal)
Kelumarion the King Over the Mountain (leonal)
Korada of the Dream Lotus (avoral)
Lady Taramyth the Singing Flame (vulpinal)
Sixlife the Violet Fury (silvanshee)
Walks with Golden Stars (draconal)
Creatures in "Agathion" Category
Agathion, ProcyalWide of chest and waist, this finely dressed man has a graymuzzled raccoon’s head and beady, darting eyes.
Procyal CR 8Source Pathfinder #99: Dance of the Damned pg. 84
NG Medium outsider (agathion, extraplanar, good)
Init +2; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +16
DefenseAC 20, touch 16, flat-footed 18 (+2 Dex, +8 natural)
hp 95 (10d10+40)
Fort +11, Ref +9, Will +6; +4 vs. poison
Immune electricity, petrification; Resist cold 10, sonic 10
OffenseSpeed 30 ft.
Melee +1 short sword +12/+7 (1d6+2/19–20) or 2 claws +11 (1d4+1)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 10th; concentration +13)
Constant—speak with animals
At will—calm emotions (DC 15), magic aura (DC 14), suggestion (DC 16)
3/day—charm monster (DC 17), dispel magic, dimension door (self plus 50 lbs. of objects only), heroism, invisibility, shadow conjuration (DC 17)
1/day—blood biographyAPG(DC 16), dominate person (DC 18), spiritual allyAPG
StatisticsStr 13, Dex 15, Con 18, Int 18, Wis 16, Cha 17
Base Atk +10; CMB +11 (+15 dirty trickAPG); CMD 23 (25 vs. dirty trickAPG)
Feats Combat Expertise, Deceitful, Greater Dirty TrickAPG, Improved Dirty TrickAPG, Spell Penetration
Skills Bluff +20, Diplomacy +16, Disguise +20, Knowledge (local) +14, Knowledge (planes) +17, Perception +16, Perform (act) +16, Sense Motive +16, Sleight of Hand +15, Stealth +15
Languages Celestial, Common, Draconic, Halfling; speak with animals, truespeech
SQ fabricated forgery, imitator
EcologyEnvironment any urban (Nirvana)
Organization solitary or party (3–4)
Treasure standard (+1 short sword, other treasure)
Special AbilitiesFabricated Forgery (Su) Procyal agathions are able to flawlessly forge signatures and legal documents even if they have never seen them before. They can use Bluff in place of Linguistics when forging the signature of or a document written by the creature whose form they are currently assuming.
Imitator (Su) Procyal agathions can use the change shape special quality as per the alter self spell, but they can assume only the forms of any specific individual they have met at least once. They are unable to assume any other form beyond their natural shape.
Procyals are mischievous agathions who take great pride and pleasure in acting just outside the boundaries of imperfect, mortal societies. Unlike many agathions, who are born from the souls of those who seek enlightenment through self-understanding, procyals are born from those who understand the balance of society and the individual.
Procyals view society and the individuals therein as entities in a symbiotic relationship. They believe that individuals can be truly happy or free only within a society when they have access to luxury, commerce, and choice, and that society basically exists as a structure centered on the freedom of the individuals within. It is critically important to procyals that all individuals realize that society isn’t something greater than themselves, but that they are intrinsically part of it and vice versa. Procyals commonly say that “you are not in the city, you are a part of the city”—and this serves as a reminder to those they visit that every member of the community is important.
Procyals present a far more active force than most agathions, as they understand that neither societies nor people are static; rather, they believe that both are constantly growing and changing, and so must be willing to change to attain perfection. They move about the various planes constantly, humbling the prideful, praising the meek, striking down unfair laws, and building the structures that keep society in order. They happily see their work as never truly being complete, since healthy societies are constantly growing and changing. It is the goal of all procyals for this change to always be positive.
Procyals are exceptional shape changers, able to effortlessly take the form of humanoid creatures they have met during their travels. This change is rarely more than cosmetic, however, for procyals are not interested in impersonating the person’s normal behavior. Instead, they do things geared toward the creature’s ultimate good—or at least the ultimate good of that creature’s community. When all is well, procyals sometimes take on particular individuals’ appearances just to play goodnatured pranks on them—though never harmful ones. Some favorites include shadowing that person through town to befuddle onlookers, making public appearances in multiple places at the same time, or asking “themselves” for directions, only to watch the mimicked creature’s face twist in confusion.
Despite their ability to take on specific forms, procyals are unable to assume a humanoid form of their own invention. Instead, they choose from the forms available to them as appropriate for a given task. They may, for example, portray old crones to relay important messages or powerful mercenaries to deliver threats.
Procyals typically stand between 5 and 6 feet tall and weigh 180 pounds.
EcologyMost procyal agathions have short, reddish fur, and gray muzzles that suggest old age. Rarely, a procyal has black or white fur; such creatures are treated with great respect by their fellows. Like raccoons, procyals have sharp teeth and small claws that could potentially serve as weapons, but they prefer to fight with manufactured blades when possible, viewing unarmed combat as distasteful even if it is sometimes necessary.
They do not need to eat or drink, but they greatly enjoy such activities and always endeavor to ensure that food and drink are in abundant supply. Likewise, they enjoy dressing in the trappings of high society, wearing elaborate outfits and carrying only the finest tools. After all, they believe the availability of such luxuries is an indication society is working as it should—provided, of course, that these indulgences don’t come at someone else’s expense.
Although procyals resemble raccoons, they take great offense to the suggestion that they might resort to rooting through the trash to satisfy their hunger or might engage in other undignified pastimes. Though they may wear fancy clothes, procyals make a point not to try to flaunt their wealth, and earnestly attempt to ensure that others are able to satisfy their own needs. Procyals are more than willing to go without or donate their time and energy in order to ensure that others have enough.
Habitat and SocietyProcyals are one of the only types of agathions that build entire cities in Nirvana, and they take great pains to ensure that their home settlements are suitably beautiful. Instead of imposing laws, they establish order through hundreds of maxims that discuss every aspect of daily life, from what clothing to wear to how to speak with strangers. Procyals don’t follow every axiom at all times; instead, they use these proverbs as behavioral guides, and they expect visitors to do likewise. They record these maxims in large, bound tomes kept in the hearts of their cities, available for all to read.
Procyals are gregarious creatures who are always eager to meet new people while on their travels, whether they are in Nirvana or on the Material Plane. They prefer to travel frequently from one community to another, experiencing each one fully and guiding it as needed before once again setting out toward the next settlements along their paths. Once they have experienced a community, they never forget about it or its needs, and they often return when they know their services will likely be needed. However, procyals rarely spend significant time in one place.
The exception is when procyals cross paths with obvious evil, whereupon they stop, often for years at a time, to establish and carry out complex and long-term plans to undermine it. They don’t see evil as a force to be met head on and fought, but instead as something that needs to be weakened over time, so that good can naturally rise up in its place.
This is especially true when it comes to governing bodies, as procyals see some administrations as fundamentally better than others: democratic groups and wise councils are among their favorite forms of government, while dictatorships, monarchies, and military states must ultimately be replaced. In cases of particularly tyrannical rulers, they even go so far as to actively encourage or provide assistance to bands of revolutionaries or heroes who might usher in a fundamentally better government. Procyals are hesitant to meet even a weaker foe in direct combat if they can avoid it. Instead, they prefer to trick enemies into attacking another stronger opponent, especially if that will weaken both antagonists at the same time. When they must fight, they fight dirty, and they take any advantage they can. Procyals typically focus on damaging their opponents’ faces as they fight; if they are forced into unarmed combat, they gouge eyes and tear off ears whenever they can.
On the Material Plane, procyals are rarely wholly trusted. Since procyals love to chasten the powerful and to play pranks on the highand- mighty, few talented creatures are willing to enter into long-term alliances with them. Individuals in the lower classes are frequent exceptions. They tend to welcome procyals with open arms. For here among the poor and downtrodden, where society exists in its most imperfect state, nearly every action that a procyal takes has a positive and lasting effect.