Agathions (pronounced a-GATH-ee-ons)1 are a type of celestials with animal characteristics native to Nirvana, the plane embodying goodness unconcerned with law or chaos.23 They defend the realm of Nirvana and meditate on its deeper mysteries.45
All agathions bear the characteristics of a particular animal species. Some appear humanoid, others are nearly identical to true animals,3 and still others change their shapes situationally.3 Certain animals, particularly scavengers or parasites, specifically have no associated agathions, as their habits and ecological niches clash with the traditions of those who seek enlightenment. Agathions take pride in their bestial aspects and do not like to be compared to mere talking animals or werecreatures; indeed, to suggest that an agathion's appearance is a punishment is one of the worst insults one could level at the species.6
Agathions live everywhere across Nirvana. They are free to travel wherever they wish, but understand their roles well and serve where they are most needed. Unless summoned elsewhere or when there is an opportunity to aid mortals, agathions rarely leave Nirvana; when they do, they prefer idyllic countryside but are willing to live in cities if required by the situation. When incognito in the Universe, agathions often counsel prisoners, hoping to lead them to redemption. Many mythologies tie numerous humanoid species with animalistic aspects to the result of humans forming strong emotional attachments to agathions. In between these visits, they return to Nirvana to revel in its beauty and to find solace.2
Agathions are usually regarded as wise and mysterious, full of aphorisms and animal-themed metaphors. Agathions embody the principles of mutual respect, but are ferocious when defending themselves and their allies from evil. They do not remove themselves from mortal affairs, and are aggressive when dealing with evil in the mortal world.6
Agathions easily understand good and evil, view goodness as the only path worth pursuing, and see the dichotomy between law and chaos as unimportant. Because of this, they make natural arbiters between other celestials, and frequently make common cause between archons and azatas, who in turn often view their arbitration concerning conflicts between law and chaos as fair and reasonable.326 However, agathions sometimes have difficulty understanding their lawful or chaotic kin.26
Agathions view souls who suffer without respite or recourse as the worst evil. To them, imprisonment is the most heinous punishment, especially when a mortal is imprisoned by evil, like children raised in despair, or people corrupted by magic or forced to turn to evil as a last resort. Such individuals are viewed as trapped, unable to even follow the path of good and redemption, and are most likely to draw agathion attention.2
Agathions never try to enforce their will on others and have no formal hierarchy, but usually follow the teachings of a powerful agathion empyreal lord who has been granted far greater power by the plane itself, and who is believed to have been one of the first mortal souls to have reached Nirvana. Agathions do not restrict their service to neutral good deities or empyreal lords, and perform good deeds where they believe necessary.52
As well as contemplating the nature of Nirvana, each type of the agathion has its own specific role, ranging from guardians to messengers to bards.43 Such forms are often tied to the values that they followed in life toward enlightenment.3
Powerful agathions enter the ranks of empyreal lords. Some of the more famous are:8
- Bharnarol, the Tempered Inventor
- Eritrice Heart-Speaker
- Halcamora, the Lady of Ripe Bounty
- Irez, the Lady of Inscribed Wonder
- Jaidz the Fearless Claw
- Korada of the Dream Lotus
- Lady Taramyth, the Singing Flame10
- Lorris, the Savior Hound
- Lythertida, the Voiceless Tragedy
- Ondisso, the Stalwart Stair
- Rowdrosh, the Divine Herdsman
- Shei, the Ibis Matron
- Uskyeria, the Saintly Slumberer
- Ylimancha Harborwing
For additional as-yet unincorporated sources about this subject, see the Meta page.
- “Appendices” in Campaign Setting, 246. Paizo Inc., 2008 .
- “Celestialkind” in Chronicle of the Righteous, 34. Paizo Inc., 2013 .
- “Monsters A-Z” in Bestiary 3, 10. Paizo Inc., 2021 .
- “The Outer Sphere” in The Great Beyond, A Guide to the Multiverse, 45–46. Paizo Inc., 2009 .
- The Inner Sea World Guide, 245. Paizo Inc., 2011 .
- “Chapter 3: The Great Beyond” in Planar Adventures, 161. Paizo Inc., 2018 .
- “Chapter 4: Organizations” in Campaign Setting, 187. Paizo Inc., 2008 .
- Chronicle of the Righteous, inside front cover. Paizo Inc., 2013 .
- “Other Gods” in Gods and Magic, 46. Paizo Inc., 2008 .
- “Celestialkind” in Chronicle of the Righteous, 35. Paizo Inc., 2013 .