Agathions are beast-aspect outsiders native to Nirvana.
Agathion have the following traits:
- Low-light vision
- Immunity to electricity and petrification.
- Resistance to cold 10 and sonic 10.
- Lay on hands as a paladin whose level equals the agathion’s Hit Dice.
- +4 racial bonus on saving throws against poison.
- Except where otherwise noted, agathions speak Celestial, Infernal, and Draconic.
- Speak with Animals (Su): This ability works like speak with animals (caster level equal to the agathion’s Hit Dice): but is a free action and does not require sound.
- Truespeech (Su): All agathions can speak with any creature that has a language, as though using a tongues spell (caster level equal to angel’s Hit Dice). This ability is always active.
Source: Ultimate Magic (see Binding Outsiders for further details.)
Creatures of good with little regard for the cosmic struggles of law against chaos, agathions take on bestial aspects that reflect both their nature and their goals as negotiators and meddlers for the cause of good. When bound, they often bargain for terms for their service and release in good faith with good-aligned binders, but attempt to trick and coerce evil-aligned ones.
As agathions are intensely proud of their beastlike shapes, summoners who insult their forms or imply that they are somehow lycanthropic take a –4 penalty on all Charisma checks when dealing with a bound agathion. Agathions are immune to electricity and petrification. They have resistance to cold 10 and sonic 10, and a +4 racial bonus on saving throws against poison. They are vulnerable to unholy weapons.
Avoral (SR 20): Often bound to serve as spies and scouts, avorals delight in the challenge of such activities when bound, as long as the cause is just and worthy of their attention. They hate being confined, so evil-aligned or neutral-aligned binders typically use imprisonment as punishment or coercion.
Cetaceal (SR 26): Protectors of good aquatic races, cetaceals are often called and bound by good spellcasters for protection of aquatic territories and to serve as ambassadors or emissaries. Unscrupulous binders often make deals with cetaceals on dry land, only letting them roam the water when a bargain for service is reached.
Draconal (SR 31): Powerful, haughty, and removed from mortal affairs, these direct agents of the gods are often aggravating to deal with once bound. Patient pursuers of long-term plans, many draconals seek to wait out mortal spellcasters rather than bargain for their services. Those who wish to bind and use the power of a draconal must be epically powerful and have perfect timing, know the draconal’s true name, or be lucky enough to have plans running in concert with the agathion’s goals.
Leonal (SR 23): Coveted as bound protectors and hunters, leonals are often straightforward in their negotiations with binders. They desire simple (and good) goals, as well as definitive terms for release from their obligations.
Silvanshee (SR 13): Curious but cautious, silvanshees are often bound as familiars by neutral good spellcasters. Sometimes large groups of them are summoned and bound by powerful spellcasters to serve as spies and scouts, especially in cities where they can meld into cat populations.
Vulpinal (SR 17): These foxlike agathions deal with those who bind them into service with an outspoken friendliness. They often bluntly state their dissatisfaction with their current fate in the most diplomatic terms, frequently accompanied by a smile and a wink. They prefer to be used as messengers and emissaries in the service of good, and if bound for any other purpose, they trick their way into the resolution of their bargains as quickly as possible.
Mortals of goodly heart and strong character sometimes call upon the paragons of good for assistance or divine intervention. Though any mortal can pray—and some even receive a sign or aid in response—powerful spellcasters are capable of summoning celestials to fulfill their requests for help. Virtuous summoners have collected and shared information on the types of celestials most likely to answer such summons and how best to conjure the specific type of celestial needed. This information is kept closely guarded by those who know it, lest such secrets fall into evil hands.
Presented here are the celestial hosts best documented by scholars of the divine, as well as the secrets of summoning them. Using one of these secret methods grants the spellcaster a +2, +4, or +6 bonus on Charisma checks made to secure a celestial’s aid when casting any of the planar binding spells—the GM should determine how large of a bonus best fits her game. Good divine spellcasters are more likely to use the planar ally spell to call on celestial allies. In this case, the use of a secret method reduces the cost of the celestial’s aid by 5%, 10%, or 20% according to GM discretion.
Preferred Offering: A golden birdcage worth at least 50 gp with the door removed.
Preferred Offering: A piece of art worth at least 25 gp bearing an aquatic motif.
Preferred Offering: Three living saplings, each one of an exotic type of tree, to be planted in fertile earth after the summoning.
Preferred Offering: A miniature treasure hoard comprising at least 100 gp in coins, gems worth 200 gp in total, art objects worth 200 gp in total, and magic items worth 2,000 gp in total.
Preferred Offering: A morally conflicted individual whom the silvanshee can help steer toward goodness.
Section 15 Copyight Notice: Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Chronicle of the Righteous. © 2013 Paizo Publishing, LLC; Author: Amber Scott.
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, feylike 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 above.
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 irongray 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.
Agathions glory in the freedom of a hawk soaring through the sky, the ferocity of a wolf chasing down its prey, and the patience of a spider spinning its web. Each agathion has the characteristics of a particular type of animal, and all have an easy understanding of good and evil, seeing goodness not as a choice but as the only path even worth pursuing. Moral decisions come easily to agathions, who view the delicate scale of law and chaos as unimportant in the grand scheme of things to come.
This is not to say that agathions remove themselves from mortal conflict—quite the contrary. Agathions frequently intervene in outside affairs, as their freedom from the requirements of law or chaos makes them natural arbiters. These bestial outsiders often act as gobetweens for their more zealous brethren on the other planes, and frequently draw together azatas and archons by exemplifying the shrewd wisdom of the owl and the gentle understanding of the doe. Their detachment from jurisprudence sometimes makes it difficulty for them to understand their more ethically zealous kindred, however.
Agathions have no formal hierarchy, but an individual often gravitates to the service of a deity or empyreal lord that embodies its animal aspect or personal philosophy.
For instance, avorals sometimes serve as scouts or spies, and leonals frequently hunt evil. A deity or empyreal lord doesn’t necessarily have to be neutral in regard to law and chaos to attract an agathion follower—agathions do good deeds wherever they believe such work is needed.
When visiting other realms, agathions prefer untouched rural areas, though they graciously resign themselves to living in more civilized territory if the situation demands it. When traveling incognito in the mortal realms, agathions often stop at prisons to counsel the condemned, hoping to plant the seeds of redemption in those ragged vessels.
Created from the souls of enlightened mortals, agathions retain faint memories of what it’s like to grow old and face death, though their nigh-unmatched foresight and placid demeanors can make it difficult for them to forge lasting connections with mortals.
Agathions inhabit every corner of tranquil Nirvana, the plane of unadulterated good. Avorals typically make their aeries in the lofty Mountains, where they spend their days soaring through the azure skies, and cetaceals shape their houses out of vivid coral reefs in the deepest, coolest waters of the Sea. The mighty draconals have the most varied and extravagant holdings on Nirvana, aside from the resident empyreal lords. Though all agathions are free to travel as they please, they are also highly aware of their roles within Nirvana and serve where they are most needed.
For example, leonals guard the entrances to Nirvana, vulpinals carry messages across Nirvana’s plains, and draconals might arrive unexpectedly at times and places where their enlightenment is sorely needed.
The sunlit reaches of Nirvana offer not only pure goodness, but also peace and respite for the souls who gather there. Agathions return to Nirvana to revel in the innocent beauty of their home, but also to find solace from the struggling mortal world. A soul who suffers without respite or recourse is the ultimate atrocity to agathions. To these compassionate creatures of unparalleled freedom, imprisonment is the worst punishment imaginable, and nothing is worse than a mortal soul imprisoned by evil. Agathions see such individuals as trapped, unable to follow or even behold the course of good that could redeem their souls. A child raised in sin and hopelessness, a person corrupted by madness or magic, a desperate mortal who turns to evil as a last resort—these are the sufferers who draw the attention of agathions.
Section 15 Copyight Notice: Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Chronicle of the Righteous. © 2013 Paizo Publishing, LLC; Author: Amber Scott.