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, Vildeis

This red-winged angel is blindfolded and wrapped with bloody bandages. What shows of her flesh is scarred with celestial runes.

Vildeis CR 28

Source Bestiary 4 pg. 92
XP 4,915,200
LG Large outsider (angel, extraplanar, good, lawful)
Init +13; Senses blindsense 120 ft., darkvision 60 ft., detect evil, true seeing, zealous vision; Perception +42
Aura primal (30 ft.), protective

Defense

AC 44, touch 19, flat-footed 34 (+9 Dex, +1 dodge, +25 natural, –1 size; +4 deflection vs. evil)
hp 610 (33d10+429); regeneration 10 (evil artifacts, effects, and spells)
Fort +31, Ref +20, Will +26; +4 vs. poison, +4 resistance vs. evil
DR 15/epic and evil; Immune ability damage, ability drain, acid, bleed, charm effects, compulsion effects, cold, death effects, energy drain, petrification; Resist electricity 30, fire 30

Offense

Speed 40 ft., fly 60 ft. (average)
Melee Cicatrix +50/+45/+40/+35 (1d6+17/17–20 plus 1 bleed and 2d6 vicious)
Ranged Cicatrix +47 (1d6+17/17–20 plus 1 bleed)
Space 10 ft., Reach 10 ft.
Special Attacks smite evil 7/day (+5 attack and AC, +20 damage, disintegrate evil outsiders)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 20th; concentration +25)
Constant—detect evil, true seeing
At will—command* (DC 16), greater teleport, haste*, paladin’s sacrificeAPG, pain strikeAPG (DC 18)
3/day—discern location, geas/quest (DC 21), heal, holy word* (DC 22), mark of justice (DC 20), mass pain strikeAPG (DC 20), searing light*
* Vildeis can use the mythic version of this ability in her realm.
Paladin Spells Prepared (CL 20th; concentration +25)
4th—blaze of gloryAPG (DC 19), break enchantment, death ward, king’s castleAPG
3rd—dispel magic, fires of judgmentAPG (DC 18), prayer, righteous vigorAPG
2nd—bull’s strength, corruption resistanceAPG, litany of wardingUC, remove paralysis, shield other
1st—divine favor (3), hero’s defianceAPG, lesser restoration (2)

Statistics

Str 35, Dex 29, Con 37, Int 18, Wis 22, Cha 21
Base Atk +33; CMB +46; CMD 66
Feats Blinding Critical, Combat Casting, Combat Reflexes, Critical Focus, Deadly Aim, Dodge, Flyby Attack, Improved Critical (dagger), Improved Initiative, Improved Iron Will, Improved Vital Strike, Iron Will, Power Attack, Spell Penetration, Step Up, Vital Strike, Weapon Focus (dagger)
Skills Acrobatics +45, Bluff +41, Fly +26, Heal +23, Intimidate +41, Knowledge (planes) +40, Knowledge (religion) +40, Perception +42, Sense Motive +42, Sleight of Hand +45, Stealth +41
Languages Celestial, Draconic; truespeech
SQ lay on hands (16d6, 25/day), seed of life

Ecology

Environment any (Heaven)
Organization unique
Treasure standard (Cicatrix, other treasure)

Special Abilities

Primal Aura (Su) Whenever Vildeis would be affected by a bleed effect, all enemies within 30 feet gain that bleeding condition instead, as though they were the effect’s original targets (no saving throw, creatures immune to bleeding are immune to this effect). The Heal DC to stop this bleeding is 25.

Smite Evil (Su) Vildeis can smite evil as a 20th-level paladin. Whenever she uses smite evil and successfully strikes an evil outsider, the outsider is also subject to disintegrate, using Vildeis’s paladin level as the caster level. After the disintegrate effect and the damage from the attack are resolved, the smite effect immediately ends.

Spells Vildeis casts spells as a 20th-level paladin.

Zealous Vision (Su) Vildeis automatically pinpoints the location of any evil creature within 1,000 feet of her.

Description

Also known as the Cardinal Martyr, Vildeis endlessly sacrifices herself in penitence for the sins of the multiverse, every battle against evil giving her body one more wound with which she might shed bloody tears for existence. When Vildeis emerged from the Heavens, she was a being of sublime beauty, but of a majesty so delicate that she couldn’t suffer the sight or even the thought of evil. Within an hour of her birth, she had put out her own eyes, refusing to even gaze upon a reality tainted by sin. Since the first self-inflicted wound marred her once-perfect body, she has struggled against evil in all its forms. Denying herself home or rest, Vildeis harrows the wildest reaches of the multiverse, driving back the expansions of foul realms and slaying those who would do wicked deeds.

Vildeis has no home among the planes, and forgoes any comforts—even those as basic as shelter or company—so long as there is evil afoot in the multiverse. Such makes her one of the most aloof empyreal lords, but also one of the most storied. Across the planes, legends tell of pitched battles, desperate last stands, and near massacres turned in the favor of the innocent by the sudden appearance of Vildeis herself, bloody-winged and avenging. While such miraculous rescues have more to do with happenstance then omniscience, they nonetheless inf lame the passions of the righteous across countless worlds. Those who seek to encounter the empyreal lord of devotion, sacrifice, and scars must follow rumors of her passing, usually spoken by awed beings and crippled fiends along the fringes of reality’s darkest outlands.

Nearly as well known as the Cardinal Martyr herself are her morbid trappings—miles of stained bandages, scars etched and re-etched in the shapes of celestial runes, and a dagger that drips with her blood as often as that of her enemies. Of these, her dagger Cicatrix is the most infamous, a black blade like a thorn dropped from some gigantic iron rose, which the empyreal lord used to blind herself. Tales tell that she uses her blade not just to slay the wicked and share her blindness, but to carve the runes that crisscross her body upon others, infusing them with the compulsion to battle evil even if previously there was no such desire.

Vildeis’s Faith

Vildeis is the patron of devotion, sacrif ice, and scars. Those who follow her number among the most zealous crusaders, the most unshakable priests, and the most incorruptible judges. They view their goddess as an exemplar and a leader who sacrif ices for them in ways they can never match. Vildeis, and by extension her worshipers, is extremely strict when it comes to adhering to her tenets of living an austere and principled life wholly devoted to combating evil.

Those who diverge from Vildeis’s teachings are expelled from her orders, but encouraged to do good in the world under the service of gentler masters. Though Vildeis doesn’t expect all of her followers to perform the same self-mortification that she does, tattoos, scarification, and flagellation are common among her servants, especially her most devoted priests. Even those who don’t engage in ritual bloodletting typically wear long red ribbons, symbolic of the empyreal lord’s eternal wounds.

Vildeis’s holy symbol is a scarred golden breastplate. Her favored weapon is the dagger. Her clerics have access to the Destruction, Good, Healing, and Law domains, and to the Rage and Resurrection subdomains.

The artifact Cicatrix can be found here.