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Agathion

Source 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.

Agathion Leaders

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

NameCR
Avoral9
Bishop Agathion4
Cervapral5
Cervinal17
Cetaceal15
Chelonidal7
Draconal20
Leonal12
Muldnal3
Mustelidal16
Procyal8
Reptial4
Silvanshee2
Vulpinal6

Agathion, Bishop Agathion

Layers of translucent, shimmering fins flow along this fishman’s spindly body. Tentacles curl below its stately mouth, and its humanlike hands and feet end in stubby but sharp claws.

Bishop Agathion CR 4

Source Pathfinder #61: Shards of Sin pg. 80
XP 1,200
NG Medium outsider (aquatic, extraplanar, good)
Init +7; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, detect evil; Perception +11
Aura fear (30 ft., DC 16)

Defense

AC 17, touch 13, flat-footed 14 (+3 Dex, +4 natural)
hp 38 (7d10)
Fort +2, Ref +8, Will +8; +4 vs. poison
DR 5/evil or silver; Immune electricity, petrification; Resist cold 10, sonic 10; SR 15

Offense

Speed 30 ft., swim 60 ft.
Melee 2 claws +10 (1d10+3)
Special Attacks stunning strike
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 4th; concentration +3)
Constant—detect evil, speak with animals
At will—create water, dancing lights, stabilize
3/day—bless, discern lies, remove disease
1/week—commune (6 questions, CL 12th)

Statistics

Str 14, Dex 17, Con 11, Int 14, Wis 16, Cha 9
Base Atk +7; CMB +10; CMD 22
Feats Agile Maneuvers, Improved Initiative, Self-Sufficient, Weapon Finesse
Skills Bluff +9, Heal +5, Intimidate +6, Knowledge (geography) +7, Knowledge (nature) +7, Knowledge (planes) +12, Perception +11, Sense Motive +13, Stealth +12, Survival +12, Swim +10
Languages Celestial, Common, Draconic, Infernal; speak with animals; truespeech
SQ amphibious, lay on hands (3d6, 2/day, as a 7th-level paladin)

Ecology

Environment any waters (Nirvana)
Organization solitary, pair, or contingent (6–8)
Treasure standard

Special Abilities

Fear Aura (Su) A bishop’s eerie, fishlike appearance evokes feelings of unsettling fear in foes within a 30-foot radius. The bishop can use this aura as a free action, and any creature within this area must succeed at a DC 16 Will save or become shaken for 5d6 rounds. A creature that succeeds at its save is immune to the bishop’s aura for 24 hours. The save DC is Wisdom-based.

Stunning Strike (Ex) Five times per day, a bishop can stun a creature it hits with a claw attack. The targeted creature must succeed at a DC 13 Fortitude save or be stunned for 1 round. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Description

Possessing perhaps one of the strangest appearances of all agathions, bishops look as much like fish as they do humans. On their native plane of Nirvana, bishop agathions act as liaisons between the celestial generals of the lands and seas, though their activity is not restricted to Nirvana alone. Bishop agathions perform their duties anyplace their adaptive bodies are needed, such as on watery planes or worlds that are wholly aquatic. The few mortals who have met these noble creatures report that bishop agathions can traverse even the roughest and driest terrain as easily as they can glide through the deepest, most isolated oceans. It’s believed bishop agathions are born from the souls of mortals who led lives of harmonized duality on land and at sea—goodly sailors, ocean-hopping priests, or kindhearted fisherfolk all are said to be candidates for rebirth as these fascinating creatures.

Bishop agathions’ striking coloration ranges from glittering silver to sparkling coral to smoky auburn and green. Layers of fine, translucent fins cascade down their bodies, and combine with the strange enzymes in their skin to give them the appearance of being perpetually wet. Bishops’ heads are rounded, tentacles grow like beards from their chins, and their eyes—which come in all the colors of the tumultuous waves—look like those of a fish, but with a distinguished glint. Bishops’ bodies vaguely resemble those of humans in shape, but webbing in their hands and feet facilitates deep-sea travel. Bishop agathions typically stand about 6 feet tall and weigh anywhere from 140 to 250 pounds.

Ecology

On Nirvana, other agathions respect bishops for their ability to think clearly, logically, and with the best interest of all parties in mind. Because of this, bishop agathions serve as Nirvana’s trusted diplomatic liaisons. Bishops also have been known to carry vital messages between celestial beings and mortal heroes, who often see agathions through warped lenses. Far from being ashamed of their strange appearances, bishops consider their bodies to be among the most beautiful and versatile in all the planes—a fitting reward for a life well spent in meditation, martial mastery, and harmony with the seas. Anyone who suggests otherwise can count on incurring a bishop’s ill will.

Although primarily used as diplomats, messengers, and celestial ambassadors, bishops also excel in battle. With the power of Nirvana behind them, bishops’ claws and nimble fighting style eliminate enemies who stand in the way of their missions. More martially inclined bishops often choose to wield quarterstaves, many of which are enchanted. Bishop agathions don’t go looking for fights, but they intervene when they come across those imposing cruelty or evil on innocents. Bishops particularly abhor piracy and slavery. Legends speak of more than one unlucky pirate slave master who, ostensibly mad, spent his final days blubbering about the tentacle-beards that destroyed his ship and drowned his crew. No one takes these stories seriously except for the few who’ve become acquainted with bishops’ complex ways.

Habitat & Society

Bishops typically conduct their diplomatic work alone. However, planar experts believe that on Nirvana bishops more commonly work in pairs when dealing with simple matters of diplomacy or while on courier missions. When their missions are especially vital, bishop agathions work in contingents of six to eight, engaging in lengthy discussions and lively debate to find the best solution to their particular problem. These conferences sometimes last a long time, and some of the more hotheaded celestials regard them as a great waste of time. These contingents of bishop agathions can, some experts believe, cross into the mortal realm, and though such sightings have yet to be recorded, philosophical texts from across Golarion seem to reach similar conclusions.

The few reported bishop agathion sightings in the Inner Sea mention only one agathion being seen at a time, and these reports are concentrated along the shores of western Varisia, particularly in the Varisian Gulf near Magnimar. Outside of the Inner Sea region, the majority of reports of bishop agathions come from the other side of the world. Some researchers who study the planes believe that a portal to either Nirvana’s oceans or the Plane of Water lies in the southern region of the Embaral Ocean, since both the western coast of Tian Xia and the eastern coast of Casmaron report more instances of bishop agathions than does the Inner Sea region.

Like other outsiders, bishops do not need to eat or sleep while spending time on Golarion. Additionally, bishops do not reproduce among themselves; each individual is formed from the soul of a good mortal. It’s believed bishops retain the deep emotions that marked their mortal lives, giving them a propensity to fall in love with creatures living outside their native plane. Ancient stories speak of bishops who traveled to Golarion for missions, only to fall in love with a remarkable member of an aquatic species. Some coastal storytellers even claim that merfolk, with their otherworldly beauty, descended from such a union, and that sahuagin are their corrupted cousins. Predictably, debates about the veracity of such claims have raged for as long as these tales have been told.

Although few known bishop agathions remain on Golarion for any length of time, some cultures revere their arrival as an omen of fortune and luck. Those seeing a bishop agathion—and being entrusted with its diplomatic knowledge—consider the encounter to be the greatest honor one can receive. Therefore, groups of eager adventurers have set sail from Varisia over the years, hoping to reap the rewards of encountering one of these strange creatures. These seekers are inevitably disappointed. Bishops appear to only those with whom they have business—or whose evil they witness and wish to stop.