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    Default Re: The Gates of Heaven: Giving Celestia the Dicefreaks Treatment

    My advice is let's get a basic outline for the 7 Heavens, and the 7 highest Archons, and then let's decide on the equivalents of Dukes and the level below Dukes.
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    Default Re: The Gates of Heaven: Giving Celestia the Dicefreaks Treatment

    Agreed. Maybe the "sneaky pragmatic celestial general" could in fact be Domiel- his current version doesn't seem to have much in common with his followers- maybe it could be revised.
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    Default Re: The Gates of Heaven: Giving Celestia the Dicefreaks Treatment

    Yeah, I figured Michael would be out completely; I doubt we could even pull it being another name for one of the Hebdomad like we might be able to do for Chamuel, Jophiel, and Zadkiel.

    Oh, and in regards to using a modified version of my Sandalphon for Zaphkiel; I'm just not seeing it. Beyond the fact that they are both Lawful Good outsiders who don't use weapons they just don't have much of anything in common; and reflavoring Zaphkiel to match Sandalphon just doesn't seem right to me. I envisioned Zaphkiel as a very enlightened and transcendent being, seeing as how he's one of a very small number of entities to go to Chronias and return, let alone live there. Sandalphon however is a 98' guy who can use every part of his body as a weapon and spends virtually all his time punching fiends. Since my preference for him obviously wouldn't fit, I think it would be best to tone him down a bit and establish him as the champion of Sealtiel or Raziel.
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    Default Re: The Gates of Heaven: Giving Celestia the Dicefreaks Treatment

    Just looking at the Planes of Law's details on Celestia, and it talks about 6 paths to move up the mountains (required for Archons) each requiring a code of conduct and granting a +1 bonus to one ability score if it's followed. Should we convert it or use something like it or scrap it entirely?

    Edit: It also presents the hierarchy as Lantern - Hound - Warden - Sword - Throne - Tome (the Hebdomad; lists all 7 by name) with Trumpet Archons as messengers and servants on the Prime for Throne and Tome with their own special ruler Israfel. It mentions that there are occasionally other archons made for special duties.
    Last edited by Zaydos; 2010-10-03 at 05:00 PM.
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    Default Re: The Gates of Heaven: Giving Celestia the Dicefreaks Treatment

    Barachiel of the 1st layer of Celestia seems rather like a "Lord of the Trumpet Archons" though, what with having a trumpet of his own.
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    Default Re: The Gates of Heaven: Giving Celestia the Dicefreaks Treatment

    Quote Originally Posted by hamishspence View Post
    Agreed. Maybe the "sneaky pragmatic celestial general" could in fact be Domiel- his current version doesn't seem to have much in common with his followers- maybe it could be revised.
    Or, given the "Nobody dies!" outline, Sealtiel the Defender.


    If people want to make more unique outsiders, and I wholly support this, we have an entire tier of lower celestial nobility to fill, just as the devils have.

    Which brings up a good question: what's the archon's political system? It's strict and hierarchical I'd assume, since they are Lawful and we know they have ranks and leaders, but what else? Feudalism? Benevolent military dictatorship? Any ideas other than that?
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  7. - Top - End - #127
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    Default Re: The Gates of Heaven: Giving Celestia the Dicefreaks Treatment

    A meritocracy which puts an emphasis on good deeds, and spiritual advancement. That's one reason I asked about the paths was because they were presented as the main way archons promoted through the ranks.
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    Default Re: The Gates of Heaven: Giving Celestia the Dicefreaks Treatment

    I seem to recall in BoED that all of the Hebdomad at one time or another died and were instantly replaced by Zaphkiel (who has never died). The replacements seem to basically be clones. Do we want to keep that? It would seem to play havoc on the back story of the Hebdomad.


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    Default Re: The Gates of Heaven: Giving Celestia the Dicefreaks Treatment

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaydos View Post
    A meritocracy which puts an emphasis on good deeds, and spiritual advancement. That's one reason I asked about the paths was because they were presented as the main way archons promoted through the ranks.
    It's been forever since I last had a look at Planes of Law. I'll have to do that sometimes soon.

    Okay, then.
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    Default Re: The Gates of Heaven: Giving Celestia the Dicefreaks Treatment

    Alternatively, they are all deity-level "cosmic entities" and when one dies, it's actually an avatar, and a new one is created, which is why they have the same names.
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    Default Re: The Gates of Heaven: Giving Celestia the Dicefreaks Treatment

    Quote Originally Posted by blackjack217 View Post
    I seem to recall in BoED that all of the Hebdomad at one time or another died and were instantly replaced by Zaphkiel (who has never died). The replacements seem to basically be clones. Do we want to keep that? It would seem to play havoc on the back story of the Hebdomad.
    Well personally I'd prefer the replacements not to be identical, but that's up to the collective group and not any one person.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    It's been forever since I last had a look at Planes of Law. I'll have to do that sometimes soon.

    Okay, then.
    Well that was half my thoughts upon having just been reading the planes of law, although the paths do present the means of ascending from layer to layer and are implied to include ascension from form to form.
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    Default Re: The Gates of Heaven: Giving Celestia the Dicefreaks Treatment

    I suppose their stats could be different even if their names are the same- and the story for each one might mention how they assumed the name of their predecessor after the predecessor was slain- and how long they've been in the post.

    One could have only assumed the name recently- another could have held it for thousands of years.

    And they might have been promoted to the post on merit- and so, their story might include some of their deeds prior to acquiring The Name.

    The BoED version suggests several people who martyred themselves, became the first Hebdomad- the story of how this happened could be interesting.
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    Default Re: The Gates of Heaven: Giving Celestia the Dicefreaks Treatment

    The original Raziel was one of the first Archons; some say his body was forged by Moradin himself and that Heironeous breathed the light of life into him, whether these rumors are true or not none can verify save maybe Zaphkiel.

    Raziel did well in his work, a warrior for heaven, for many years (eons?) before he saw a Prime world beleaguered by the invading host of demons released by a foolish mage. He traveled to the world with a host of angelic warriors and when they proved too few in number he ordered his men back to Celestia. They left, reluctantly, expecting Raziel to follow just behind once the rearguard movement was finished. They were wrong. He stayed on the Prime, single handily wading through the hordes of the Abyss, and striking down the Balor at the center. Wounded, he entered the circle used to summon the fiends and opened his own wounds, letting his angelic blood wash away the infernal runes. His act of sacrifice sealed the portal and saved the Prime, and Raziel died. Or so he expected instead he was reborn as one of the seven tome archons of the Hebdomad; Raziel the Crusader.

    Or at least that is the tale the bard sang.

    --

    Really I don't think the origins of the original Hebdomad should be known at all, but that was something I came up with in a few minutes.
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    Default Re: The Gates of Heaven: Giving Celestia the Dicefreaks Treatment

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    Which brings up a good question: what's the archon's political system? It's strict and hierarchical I'd assume, since they are Lawful and we know they have ranks and leaders, but what else? Feudalism? Benevolent military dictatorship? Any ideas other than that?
    Quote Originally Posted by Zaydos View Post
    A meritocracy which puts an emphasis on good deeds, and spiritual advancement. That's one reason I asked about the paths was because they were presented as the main way archons promoted through the ranks.
    I'd see it as a benevolent bureaucracy and meritocracy, to mirror the Hells. Where baatezu gain increasingly more power to torment and use their underlings as they are promoted, archons gain increasingly more power to guide and instruct their subordinates. Where the Hells are a nightmare of paperwork where you have to fill things out in triplicate to do anything, the Heavens are a dream of committees where archons work together to make laws to everyone's satisfaction.

    Quote Originally Posted by blackjack217 View Post
    I seem to recall in BoED that all of the Hebdomad at one time or another died and were instantly replaced by Zaphkiel (who has never died). The replacements seem to basically be clones. Do we want to keep that? It would seem to play havoc on the back story of the Hebdomad.
    I see it kind of like Legacy Immortality--the Hebdomad is composed of seven archons who represent the corresponding layers of Heaven, so if any one of them dies, Zaphkiel chooses an archon who best represents the values/philosophy of that layer and that archon assumes the mantle of that Hebdomad member.
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    Default Re: The Gates of Heaven: Giving Celestia the Dicefreaks Treatment

    So, like Primus, but with someone actually choosing? Sounds okay.

    Would they have to take on the name? It would explain why there are different names for the same Tome archon around: they take on a similar, but different name.
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    Default Re: The Gates of Heaven: Giving Celestia the Dicefreaks Treatment

    It seems that the point of Celestia hasn't really been hammered out. Why does it exist? What made it?

    For the hells, it is a place to create more demons from the souls of mortals. It was made by Asmodeus. Already answered questions.

    In that vein, what is the purpose of Celestia? To house the souls of the non-evil dead? To guide them to their final purpose? To keep the Archons in power? Who first made Celestia?
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    Default Re: The Gates of Heaven: Giving Celestia the Dicefreaks Treatment

    That question is, most likely, intimately connected to whatever is on the seventh heaven. And only Zaphkiel knows that one.
    Housing the souls of the non-evil dead... well, the lawful good ones, maybe. Probably producing archons from them, but then, the question becomes what the Archons were originally for. The fluff seems to imply it wasn't fighting demons.
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    Default Re: The Gates of Heaven: Giving Celestia the Dicefreaks Treatment

    2e fluff implies the original purpose was to help souls reach the 7th layer and possibly enlightenment. According to the Planes of Law they are (all those above lantern archon) also proxies, which is normally the term for servants of Powers.
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    Default Re: The Gates of Heaven: Giving Celestia the Dicefreaks Treatment

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    That question is, most likely, intimately connected to whatever is on the seventh heaven. And only Zaphkiel knows that one.
    Housing the souls of the non-evil dead... well, the lawful good ones, maybe. Probably producing archons from them, but then, the question becomes what the Archons were originally for. The fluff seems to imply it wasn't fighting demons.
    That sounds decidedly like a scheme made by an ultimate evil in which the Archons are just soldiers for the purpose of killing off the ultimate good. No, really, he refuses to even tell the souls that are going there? And that doesn't even sound a little bit fishy to the souls?

    Still. Well, the definition for Archon that I have found is a Judge or Lord. I have no idea how that interacts with Celestia. Leaving it a mystery makes it seem just more and more like some sort of weird cult to me, and makes the Nine Hells look practically truthful by comparison.
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    Default Re: The Gates of Heaven: Giving Celestia the Dicefreaks Treatment

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    So, like Primus, but with someone actually choosing? Sounds okay.

    Would they have to take on the name? It would explain why there are different names for the same Tome archon around: they take on a similar, but different name.
    I'd say they take on the name for "official" purposes, but still use their own old names at times, so if there's one named Raziel who also goes by Bob, Joe, and Tom, it's because there was the original Raziel, then Bob takes over and goes by Raziel, then Joe takes over for him and goes by Raziel, then Tom takes over for him and goes by Raziel.
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    Quote Originally Posted by abadguy View Post
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    Default Re: The Gates of Heaven: Giving Celestia the Dicefreaks Treatment

    Quote Originally Posted by PairO'Dice Lost View Post
    I'd say they take on the name for "official" purposes, but still use their own old names at times, so if there's one named Raziel who also goes by Bob, Joe, and Tom, it's because there was the original Raziel, then Bob takes over and goes by Raziel, then Joe takes over for him and goes by Raziel, then Tom takes over for him and goes by Raziel.
    Actually, this is a really cool idea.

    Does each Archon have a specific layer of Celestia? If so, then each Archangel could probably be the strongest Archon on that layer.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lix Lorn View Post
    NOTHING is simple. NO EXCEPTIONS. No, not even that.

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    Default Re: The Gates of Heaven: Giving Celestia the Dicefreaks Treatment

    Quote Originally Posted by unosarta View Post
    Actually, this is a really cool idea.

    Does each Archon have a specific layer of Celestia? If so, then each Archangel could probably be the strongest Archon on that layer.
    Each layer doesn't have an associated archon per se, but we could more closely link the seven archons to the seven layers as part of this project.
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    Quote Originally Posted by abadguy View Post
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    Default Re: The Gates of Heaven: Giving Celestia the Dicefreaks Treatment

    Quote Originally Posted by unosarta View Post
    Actually, this is a really cool idea.

    Does each Archon have a specific layer of Celestia? If so, then each Archangel could probably be the strongest Archon on that layer.
    Archangels? Archons are the LG outsiders while angels are any good outsiders. I don't even think there are archangels. Do you mean the Hedebond? They are the rulers of each lair and are also probably the most powerful.

    Edit: ninja'd
    Last edited by blackjack217; 2010-10-03 at 06:59 PM.


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    Default Re: The Gates of Heaven: Giving Celestia the Dicefreaks Treatment

    Quote Originally Posted by blackjack217 View Post
    Archangels? Archons are the LG outsiders while angels are any good outsiders. I don't even think there are archangels. Do you mean the Hedebond? They are the rulers of each lair and are also probably the most powerful.

    Edit: ninja'd
    Sorry. As I mentioned before, I am not really all that familiar with the whole Planescape layout. But either way, would tying each type of Archon to a level of Celestia make sense?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lix Lorn View Post
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    Default Re: The Gates of Heaven: Giving Celestia the Dicefreaks Treatment

    Your ideas are sound. Don't worry about the terminology mix up it happens to everyone now and then.


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    Default Re: The Gates of Heaven: Giving Celestia the Dicefreaks Treatment

    Well I did tie each archon with a plane in an old game of mine and I came up with:
    Lunia: Lantern Archons
    Mercuria: Hound Archons
    Venya: Warden Archons
    Solania: Justice Archons (not sure what book these are from now apparently they're from MMIV and lower CR than Warden Archons; could replace with Owl Archons)
    Mertion: Sword Archons
    Jover: Trumpet Archons
    Chronias: Throne Archons

    Very setting specific fluff that went along with it and the creation of archons in that setting (not at all required for the idea).
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    Archons were created by Tyr, god of honor, courage, and war. They were made when Enyalius, with Abaddon temporarily vanquished, led his host into Mechanus and a huge series of cogs fell into Acheron. Tyr, with the aid of Heimdall and Hadur, formed the celestial light of Mount Celestiaís seven layers each into a different variety of Archon and taking Hadur and Amaterasu as his generals descended into Mechanus to battle Enyalius. From lowly Luniaís silvery light he forged the Lantern Archons. From Mercuria he formed the Hound Archons, loyal trackers. From Venya he created Warden Archons into forms Heimdall cast. From the Crystal Heaven of Solania he formed the Justice Archons with Hadurís aid. From platinum Mertion he made the mighty sword archonsí souls as Hadur forged their bodies. From the light of Jovar, the Glittering Heaven, he made his standard bearers the powerful trumpet archons and six champions of their kith rode upon celestial pegasi in the personal guard of Tyr himself. From highest Chronias, from which no mortal has ever returned, he formed the spirits of the Throne Archons, leaders of their kind, while Heimdall himself forged their perfect forms; of these he made only seven and under each was a force of lesser archons and two served Hadur, two Amaterasu and the last three reported only to Tyr. Following the battle Tyr divided the army into seven and placed one Throne Archon at the head of each; drawing upon his divine connection to the plane which he had helped to build he promoted them into unique beings. These formed the original Celestial Hebdomad, although many if not all of the original seven are long dead.
    Last edited by Zaydos; 2010-10-03 at 07:13 PM.
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    Default Re: The Gates of Heaven: Giving Celestia the Dicefreaks Treatment

    Weren't they already tied to specific layers? I'm quite sure, at least, that there's a patron Tome Archon for every kind of archon, and that each Tome has a layer. Weren't the archons themselves also assigned layers?

    Edit: Planewalker has some information on:
    Tome Archons
    Throne Archons
    Trumpet Archons
    Sword ARchons
    Warden Archons
    http://www.planewalker.com/encyclopedia/hound-archon


    It's not much, but it has nice pictures. Also interesting: the different collars given to hound archons, which are a kind of pseudo-ranking system indicating "spiritual fluency".
    Last edited by Eldan; 2010-10-03 at 07:32 PM.
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    Default Re: The Gates of Heaven: Giving Celestia the Dicefreaks Treatment

    2 of the Hebdomad were associated with a specific type of archons in 3.5; I'll have to check more in 2e.

    Edit: in the Planes of Law, Lantern Archons can be found mostly on the 1st layer and Warden Archons don't let them move higher unless they're on official business. Hound Archons are also mentioned as acting as guides, but usually only for the 1st 2 layers. Trumpet Archons have their own lord and no connection to any of the Tome archons.

    Edit: @Eldan: Can't say I'm the most impressed by that site; they used a picture marked in the book as a Throne Archon for Tome Archons, and mispelled the name of Israfel. Also I can't find where they got the thing about Hound Archons; it's not from the 3e MM and I haven't seen it in the section on Archons in the Planes of Law or in the Outer Planes Monstrous Compendium.
    Last edited by Zaydos; 2010-10-03 at 07:43 PM.
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    If you ever want to try some of my homebrew and need a DM send me a PM, and if you are playing some, I'd love to know how it works out.

  29. - Top - End - #149
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Eldan's Avatar

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    Default Re: The Gates of Heaven: Giving Celestia the Dicefreaks Treatment

    Yeah, it's the Wiki, that's really about the worst part of the site.

    Anyway, I've been thinking.

    We have six kinds of non-unique archons existing before 3E. We could probably take one more in to make it seven + tomes, which would give us kind of archon per tome.

    My idea on distributing them, not canonical:

    Barachiel the Messenger - Trumpet Archons. Trumpets make me think of heralds, which sounds fitting. They also travel around and gather souls, which works well.

    Domiel the Mercybringer - Hound Archons. Hounds make me think of hunters, and from there, it's not that far to stalking around and hunting down evildoers.

    Earathol the Seer: ?

    Pistis Sophia, the Ascetic - Lantern Archons. This is one I was thinking on for a while, and the connection isn't the best. But Pistis Sophia is an ascetic, so I thought her role in heaven could be to take on the lowest Archons, the Lanterns, and help them achieve higher levels of enlightenment through meditation and asceticism, which seems to work well with her wisdom. Newly arrived souls undergo a period of peace and rest to separate themselves from their mortal lives, in the shape of the lowly lanterns.

    Raziel the Crusader - Sword Archons. He's a fighter, they are fighters. Go out and kill evil.

    Sealtiel the Defender - Warden Archons. Natural fit.

    Zaphiel the Watcher: I'm not even entirely sure if he should have his own order of Archons. If he had, they certainly wouldn't be living on the highest layer, because returning from there should be unique. Perhaps he could have a group of Archon spies and sentries, watching the multiverse for him.
    Extended Brewer's signature

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    I want more mwa-ha-haaa and much less boo-hoo-hoo.

  30. - Top - End - #150
    Colossus in the Playground
     
    hamishspence's Avatar

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    Default Re: The Gates of Heaven: Giving Celestia the Dicefreaks Treatment

    The new Justice Archons (winged humanoids) in one of the later MMs (I think MM IV) might do in place of Sword archons for Raziel.

    Barachiel is associated with Trumpet Archons in BoED- so this makes a lot of sense.
    Marut-2 Avatar by Serpentine

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