Archives of Nethys

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Empyreal Lord

Source Bestiary 4 pg. 87
The empyreal lords are the primal forces of good given physical form. Though not as powerful as gods, they are ancient celestials with legendary abilities.

Unlike many other beings of demigod-level power, empyreal lords do not divide themselves as strictly along racial lines—the term “empyreal lord” names the greatest members of the agathion, angel, archon, and azata races. While demon lords, archdevils, horsemen, and similar unique beings orchestrate the plots of their race alone— proving either unwilling or too fractious to collaborate with those not of their kind—empyreal lords seek out the commonalities of interest and purpose shared by their peers among the other celestial races. Although some goodaligned planar races have their own titles for the greatest of their kind, the title “empyreal lord” serves as a unifying bond between forces for good. Though their foes (and even some allies) see these mightiest azatas, angels, agathions, and archons as rulers of their kind, the empyreal lords do not consider themselves royalty. Together the empyreal lords marshal the efforts of all goodly outsiders toward common ends.

Some empyreal lords are almost as old as creation itself, having arisen from the ranks of the first celestials. Others were imbued with divine grace, either by being champions of a deity, inheriting the power of a slain god, or tapping into remarkable powers gathered at far-f lung corners of the planes. Some reached this high station by performing impossible quests, gaining the favor of fate, or becoming perfectly attuned with one of the good outer planes.

Representing the two poles of goodness and the fulcrum upon which they balance, the empyreal lords do not always agree, but generally do not interfere with each others’ decisions. Most view philosophical squabbles as petty when faced with a common foe, and never has infighting threatened the foundation of their bonds. Thus, while their outlooks may differ regarding freedom, individuality, and loyalty, the empyreal lords do not allow such differences to stand in the way of vanquishing evil—they’re celestials aligned against evil first and foremost.

Despite their power, the empyreal lords typically eschew direct involvement in the affairs of mortals and even most other celestials. They believe the greater objectives of good are ultimately served by larger and fartherreaching orchestrations of diplomacy and subtle strategy. Even though their powers might not always obviously be directly at work, empyreal lords court mortal worshipers who share their goals and ideals, who are typically referred to as mystery cultists. Rather than more general goals like good or order, mystery cultists focus their worship on the ideals, activities, and creatures their patron most fervently extols or openly favors.

Empyreal Realms

An empyreal lord’s planar realm may be as small as a metropolis or as large as a continent. The realms’ environments, themes, and traits are as unusual as the empyreal lords themselves, presenting surreal challenges and dangers to creatures seeking to invade them.

An empyreal lord gains the following additional powers while in its realm (the statistics presented on the following pages do not include these abilities).
  • Mythic: An empyreal lord functions as a 10th mythic rank creature, including the mythic power ability (10/day, surge +1d12). It may expend uses of mythic power to use the mythic versions of any spell-like ability denoted with an asterisk (*) just as if the ability were a mythic spell.
  • Use of the following spell-like abilities at will—demand, discern location, fabricate, and major creation.
  • Use of the following spell-like abilities once per day— dimensional lock*, miracle (limited to physical effects that manipulate the realm or to effects that are relevant to the empyreal lord’s areas of concern), power word stun*.
  • Heightened Awareness (Ex): An empyreal lord gains a +10 insight bonus on Perception and Initiative checks.

Other Empyreal Lords

Although the three presented here are among most powerful of the empyreal lords, they are far from the only celestials to bear this title. Among the ranks of the good races of the heavens stand those that are great leaders of their kind and shining examples to other celestials. For these few, their natures or their actions kindle a transformation that reshapes them into empyreal lords—a superlative version of their basic form. When they ascend, these empyreal lords are given an honorific typically celebrating their deeds or honoring another empyreal lord of similar distinction. Below are many ascendant celestials that have become empyreal lords and their honored titles.

Andoletta, Grandmother Crow (archon)
Arshea, Spirit of Abandon (angel)
Bharnarol, the Tempered Inventor (agathion)
Black Butterfly, the Silence Between (azata)
Chucaro, Maiden of Haze and Whimsy (azata)
Falayna, Warrior’s Ring (archon)
Ghenshau, Breezes-Still-and-Ripples-Cease (archon)
Immonhiel, Balm-Bringer (angel)
Jaidz, Fearless Claw (agathion)
Lalaci, He of Motley Repose (azata)
Olheon, the Just Arbiter (archon)
Ragathiel, General of Vengeance (angel)
Shei, the Ibis Matron (agathion)
Sinashakti, Immaculate Joy (azata)
Vildeis, the Cardinal Martyr (angel)
Ylimancha, Harborwing (agathion)

Creatures in "Empyreal Lord" Category

NameCR
Arshea29
Ashava28
Black Butterfly28
Cernunnos30
Korada26
Ragathiel26
Vildeis28

Empyreal Lord, Ragathiel

This towering angelic general has five wings of fire, a flaming bastard sword, and resplendent golden armor.

Ragathiel CR 26

Source Bestiary 6 pg. 114
XP 2,457,600
LG Huge outsider (angel, extraplanar, good, lawful)
Init +13; Senses blindsense 60 ft., darkvision 60 ft., detect evil, low-light vision, true seeing; Perception +40
Aura holy aura (DC 27), primal aura (30 ft.), protective aura

Defense

AC 44, touch 30, flat-footed 35 (+14 armor, +4 deflection, +9 Dex, +9 sacred, –2 size)
hp 604 (31d10+434); regeneration 20 (deific or mythic)
Fort +35, Ref +23, Will +27; +4 vs. poison
Defensive Abilities golden armor, righteous mantle; DR 20/epic and evil; Immune ability damage, ability drain, acid, charm effects, cold, compulsion effects, death effects, energy drain, fire, petrification; Resist electricity 30; SR 37

Offense

Speed 50 ft., fly 90 ft. (good)
Melee +5 evil-outsider-bane flaming burst holy bastard sword +46/+41/+36/+31 (3d8+21/17–20), 5 wings +35 (1d8+5 plus 1d6 fire)
Space 15 ft., Reach 15 ft.
Special Attacks burning wings, devil’s end, smite evil (7/day)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 26th; concentration +35)
Constant—detect evil, holy aura (DC 27), true seeing
At will—bestow grace, fire of judgment (DC 22), greater dispel magic, greater teleport, holy wordM (DC 26), geas/ quest, mark of justice, shield otherM
3/day—banishment (DC 26), quickened blade barrierM (DC 25), blessing of fervor, discern location, healM
1/day—gate, meteor swarmM (DC 28), time stopM
M Ragathiel can use this ability’s mythic version in his realm.

Statistics

Str 32, Dex 28, Con 39, Int 23, Wis 22, Cha 29
Base Atk +31; CMB +44 (+48 sunder); CMD 76 (78 vs. sunder)
Feats Combat Reflexes, Critical Focus, Dazzling Display, Greater Spell Penetration, Greater Sunder, Improved Critical (bastard sword), Improved Initiative, Improved Sunder, Intimidating Prowess, Power Attack, Quicken Spell-Like Ability (blade barrier), Shatter Defenses, Stand Still, Spell Penetration, Staggering Critical, Weapon Focus (bastard sword)
Skills Acrobatics +40, Bluff +43, Fly +43, Intimidate +54, Knowledge (nobility) +37, Knowledge (planes, religion) +40, Perception +40, Ride +40, Sense Motive +40, Stealth +35, Survival +40
Languages Celestial, Infernal; telepathy 300 ft.; truespeech
SQ lay on hands (17d6, 10/day), seed of life

Ecology

Environment any (Heaven)
Organization solitary (unique)
Treasure triple (+5 evil-outsider-bane flaming burst holy bastard sword, +5 full plate, other treasure)

Special Abilities

Burning Wings (Su) A creature damaged by Ragathiel’s burning wings must succeed at a DC 39 Reflex save or catch fire. The save DC is Constitution-based.
Devils’ End (Ex) Ragathiel gains a +4 bonus on caster level checks against devils and on saving throws against their spells, as well as to the DCs of his own supernatural abilities and spell-like abilities against devils. Against his father, Dispater, this bonus increases to +8.
Golden Armor (Ex) Ragathiel is never hindered by his +5 full plate, and is considered to be not wearing armor for the purposes of his maximum Dexterity bonus to Armor Class, his armor check penalty, and his speed.
Lay on Hands (Su) Ragathiel’s lay on hands works as a paladin’s. He can apply any paladin mercy to his lay on hands ability, and he can use this ability on himself even when a condition or effect would otherwise deny him actions on his turn.
Primal Aura (Su) As a free action with Ragathiel’s permission, any ally within Ragathiel’s primal aura can spend two uses of Ragathiel’s smite evil (or four uses of lay on hands) to instantly grant each ally within the aura the benefits of Ragathiel’s smite evil against an enemy of that ally’s choice.
Righteous Mantle (Ex) Ragathiel inherited an affinity for fire from his mother. Fire heals Ragathiel a number of hit points equal to the amount of damage it would have dealt. Any fire damage dealt by Ragathiel ignores evil outsiders’ fire resistance and immunity to fire, and deals double damage to devils. Ragathiel gains a sacred bonus to Armor Class equal to his Charisma bonus. Whenever Ragathiel receives magical healing, he has 2 additional hit points restored per die rolled.
Smite Evil (Su) Ragathiel can smite evil as a 20th-level paladin, but his smite deals extra damage only on the first hit against evil outsiders (not evil dragons or undead). He can trade two uses of lay on hands for an additional use of smite evil as many times per day as he wishes, provided he has enough uses of lay on hands available to do so.

Description

Ragathiel is the son of the archdevil Dispater (see page 22) and a demigoddess of flame. He rejected his father’s evil, losing his sixth wing to the archdevil’s wrath, and escaped to Heaven, where he spent several millennia attempting to prove himself to the heavenly hosts and the other empyreal lords. Though many empyreal lords still find him far more bloodthirsty than they would prefer, the many centuries have proven Ragathiel’s honor, loyalty, and determination time and again, and the other empyreal lords have come to trust his word completely.

Now Ragathiel leads the war against Hell as the General of Vengeance. He is not content to plan from the sidelines and allow his forces to succeed or fail on the strength of his strategies alone. Instead, he leads by example from the forefront of his army, a shining figure of golden flame daring any foe to confront him and hewing through the ranks of devils to create a vulnerable area in the otherwise perfect infernal formation where his own armies then strike. Thus far, his strategy has served him well, as the archdevils prefer self-preservation to risking themselves in a direct confrontation with the General of Vengeance—but it won’t take too many more successful forays before Barbatos (see page 18) moves to take decisive action, possibly bolstered by the forces of Ragathiel’s father, Dispater.

Ragathiel’s domain is a magnificent, towering fortress of steel and silver that stands upon the lower slopes of Heaven. The domain is simply named Ragathiel’s Fortress, as the General of Vengeance has no use for a fancier appellation. There is beauty to be found in the fortress’s design, but it is the sort of beauty and elegance of design and functionality that would be lauded by engineers and military tacticians, rather than artists and poets; Ragathiel specifically built his fortress to withstand a thousand-year siege and prevent ingress into Heaven for that entire duration, even by hosts of enemies that, like most evil outsiders, have access to teleportation magic.

Ragathiel's Faith

Ragathiel’s worshipers number among them crusading knights and soldiers for justice, as well as oath-takers and those who have been grievously wronged by evil and now seek righteous vengeance. His followers must deal with the fundamental paradox of his faith: unlike those who worship forgiving empyreal lords such as Arshea or Korada, Ragathiel’s chosen fight against evil foes unwaveringly and usually without offering second chances, and yet the General of Vengeance rose to his place from the depths of Hell itself. Most worshipers don’t see this as hypocrisy but rather as a sign that the impetus for redemption must come from the former sinner, and even then not merely as an excuse to escape punishment for their sins. Thus, they don’t take the initiative to offer opportunities for redemption to evildoers, but they listen carefully, if skeptically, to any who come seeking such a chance. For his part, Ragathiel empathizes with the moral dilemmas of his followers, as he constantly struggles with his own darker impulses. Thus, while he is unforgiving to his foes, he is particularly forgiving when it comes to lapses of judgment from his followers, allowing a wrathful paladin atonement when others might not. Certain other faiths are quick to interpret this willingness to “bend the rules” for certain circumstances involving paladins who, perhaps, go too far in pursuing their faith’s goals as weakness in Ragathiel, and worry that there may be a little too much of his diabolic father lingering in his veins. Ragathiel has little need for pomp and circumstance in his worship, favoring utilitarian places like battlegrounds, fortresses, and war rooms as sacred spaces.

Ragathiel’s holy symbol is a bastard sword across a crimson wing. His favored weapon is the bastard sword. His clerics have access to the domains of Destruction, Good, Law, and Nobility, and the subdomains of Archon, Judgment, Martyr, and Rage.