Archon

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Three Archons pose. Jaclyn is on the right.

Proposed Canon

First Appearance: TBFGK 42

A humanoid, knight-class, flying unit first seen in the service of Charlescomm. They all appear female, and their standard raiment is much like that of an airline stewardess from the 1960s. They have random special natural abilities from a set comprised of dance fighting, leadership, and spells from the schools of Shockmancy, Thinkamancy, Dollamancy and Foolamancy. They gain additional abilities from that set as they gain levels. When preparing for dance fighting, they have dressed in a 1950s dance style. When off duty, they have been known to wear very little.

Archons are intelligent and have names (such as Jaclyn, Ginger, MaryAnn, Patty, Maxene, and LaVerne). Archons with spellcasting capacities seem to be different from true Casters: their abilities are referred to as being limited in some way.[1] However, they use Juice just like normal casters. They are also possessed of significant tactical and administrative skills. Archons bring powerful combat and support spells to their employers. Some Archons are able to detect the presence of spells that influence Units, including but not limited to Suggestion Spells and Veils; they can also identify what's being Veiled. Archons have limited resistance against Shockmancy.Erf-b3-p104Same-site.PNG

Decrypted Archons retain their ability to cast, unlike uncroaked Archons.

Non-Decrypted Archons have a minimum Upkeep of 200 Shmuckers and high-Level ones close to 500 Smcks per Turn.

Known Abilities

Archons each have one special from the following list, and gain more as they level, once every level specifically. The specials may be gained multiple times, thus increasing in potency. Spells that Archons are known to have cast are in parenthesis:

Archon Class

Archons working for Charlescomm have a rigid hierarchical classification scheme, presumably implemented by Charlie himself. An archon with a higher Class has access to classified information, restricted floors within Comm Tower, and the highest class has physical access to Charlie.

Known Users

Charlescomm - They're Charlie's main unit and carry out nearly all of his contracts to other sides, as well as serving as his personal intelligence network. There are roughly 600 of them working for Charlescomm, 20% of them are in the capital and the rest abroad. Charlescomm can pop archons quickly, at 1 per turn or 3/2 turns with a turnamancer, maybe due to the Arkendish.

Gobwin Knob - After undergoing decryption. Following the Battle for Gobwin Knob, Gobwin Knob had 28 decrypted Archons in its ranks. At day, they scouted nearby hexes for newly popped wild dwagons that Stanley could tame; at night they returned to their sorority-like quarters at the top of the Tower of Efdup. Unfortunately for Gobwin Knob, Ansom needed them for the Siege of Spacerock, at which one of them was captured and the rest of them were dusted, thanks to Charlie's manipulations.

It is known that other sides can produce archons, but they have not been specified.

Known Archons

Fox Force Five

Other Charlescomm Archons

Gobwin Knob's Decrypted Archons

Immediately following the end of TBFGK, Wanda decrypted 28 of Charlie's ArchonsErf-b1.5-p7Same-site.PNG.

Here is a list of their names, as they've come up:

  1. PattyLIAB Prologue 18
  2. MaxeneLIAB Prologue 18
  3. LaVerneLIAB Prologue 18
  4. GingerLIAB Prologue 25
  5. MaryAnnLIAB Prologue 25
  6. MonicaLIAB Text 53
  7. RachelLIAB Text 53
  8. PhoebeLIAB Text 53
  9. EmilyLIAB 77
  10. AnneLIAB 77
  11. CharlotteLIAB 77
  12. JanetLIAB Text 56
  13. Norma JeanLIAB 83
  14. LilithLIAB Epilogue 11 - captured by Jetstone, transferred as a prisoner to Charlescomm, and repatriated to Gobwin Knob in the Battle for Castle Lilith

15-28 may never be brought up, as apart from Lilith, all of the Decrypted Archons croaked in Gobwin Knob were dusted in the Siege of Spacerock. Lilith was Gobwin Knob's only remaining Archon until more were decrypted in battle in the Magic Kingdom.

  1. Unnamed dark-skinned blonde Archon, dusted shortly after decryption
  2. Sandy (former class AA, attacked by caster in Magic Kingdom)
  3. Bonnie (former class AAA)
  4. Raven (former class A)

Speculation

As non-Casters, Archons would likely not benefit from Linking and are likely not permitted in the Magic Kingdom, so they do not belong to the Thinkamancer conspiracy. However, Archons capable of Thinkamancy probably do have at least a limited, perhaps unconscious, ability to perceive and manipulate G Strings, since the manipulation of said strings is the basis of all Thinkamancy abilities.

Under Charlie, Archons are mercenaries. Given that both the Arkenhammer and Arkenpliers have special Units associated with them (dwagons and decrypted respectively), it is likely that Archons have some special relationship to the Arkendish. As such, they may be overpowered (ie. unbalanced) relative to normal units of their type, or perhaps the power of the Arkendish enables Charlie to transmit his leadership bonuses to them.

They know more about Charlie's secrets than most, but do not know all, most having never met him; the decrypted archons answered some of Parson's questions about him (see LIAB Prologue 25).

Their changing "outfits" when preparing to dance-fight is likely an effect of their natural Foolamancy, though the change of raiment suggests their natural Dollamancy (see TBFGK 95).

Foolamancy could also explain the 3 archons' blasts as being the same Shockmancy spell despite their different appearances. An alternate explanation would be that they randomly had access to different combat spells.

The decrypted Archons put on a giant fireworks display. This could have been Shockmancy (a damage spell) or Foolamancy (a spell that looked like it could damage, but couldn't), or even a combination of both. Assuming it was both, a majority of the 28 Archons had at least one of the two; since there are four other possible specials and they are earned randomly, the average level of these archons would be 2 or 3. Unless they were hand picked for Shockmancy to be the best possible combat troops, which is unlikely given that Erfworld's system is based on multipliers, and the other abilities improve allies' performance.

It may be that Archons are able to lead stacks. Their Leadership ability suggests the ability to command, and Charlie's free-ranging assignments require a good deal of initiative, unless Charlie uses his 'unmatched' command of Thinkamancy to give them orders.

The higher ranked archons wear hats and more professional attire. The lower ranked archons wear older style attire. Postulated due to Book 2 page 75 showing the former to be more capable of leadership.

Speculative Abilities

Dollamancy: Creating cloth golems.

Real World References

Charlie's Archons are a reference to a television series Charlie's Angels featuring 3 young women working as private investigators for their boss, Charlie, whose face is never seen on screen. The first appearance of a trio of archonsErf-b1-p042Same-site.PNG shows them in the iconic silhouette pose from that show's title card (see Wikipedia). This supports the predisposition toward the Archons to appear in the story in groups of three.

Archons are a race of heavenly outsiders analogous to angels seen in the Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying game. The term "Archon" replaced the term "Angel" used in the earliest versions of D&D: this choice was made in response to complaints that the game's depiction of angels was disrespectful toward religious belief. ("Demon" and "Devil" were also renamed to purely invented terms in response to complaints that the depiction of demons and devils encouraged occultism.) Recent versions of D&D have quietly restored the original terms as these issues became less heated.

Connecting the two Real World References leads to the following progression: "Charlie's Angels" becomes "Charlie's Archons" under the marketing decision of TSR (the original creators of Dungeons & Dragons).

The colour of Charlie's Archon's blue raiment is a reference to the Blue Angels, an American fighter squadren that make a habit out of performing in air-shows. This reference is exemplified in the book 1 epilogue [[https://wiki.erfworld.com/TBFGK_Epilogue_7]] in which Archons, albeit red and decrypted, perform an airshow leaving behind multi-coloured smoke spawned from their feet.

"Archon" was also a classical Greek term for a ruler, magistrate or other leader.

The Archon Jaclyn is likely named after Jaclyn Smith, the actress who played the role of Kelly Garrett.

Ginger and MaryAnn are the names of characters from the television show Gilligan's Island.

Patty, Maxene, and LaVerne's names are those of the Andrews Sisters, a famous American singing trio.

The most recent batch of Archons are all American teen stars - mostly pop singers and one heiress, Miley (Cyrus), Paris (Hilton), Avril (Lavigne), Brittany (Britney Spears), Hilary (Duff), and Lindsay (Lohan).

Monica, Rachel, and Phoebe are three of the main characters from the American ensemble sitcom Friends.

Chynna, Wendy, and Carnie are the names of the three members of the singing group Wilson Phillips.

Emily, Anne and Charlotte are the names of the Brontë sisters, nineteenth-century English writers.

Norma Jean is the real name of Marylin Monroe. The phrase "Goodbye, Norma Jean," was the opening lyric to Elton John's song, Candle in the Wind, which is about Marylin Monroe.

When the Arkendish is blacked out for a turn in the Book 2 text updates communications are routed through Fox Force Five, which is a reference to Uma Thurman's character in Pulp Fiction.

Archons decrypted by Wanda resemble Soviet Pioneers very much.

Two unidentified Archons overseeing Lilith's transfer from Jetstone to CharlescommHvs.tCF 45 resemble the Morgendorffer sisters Daria and Quinn from the animated series Daria.

Citations

  1. ^  LIAB Prologue 25