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 are not true Casters: their abilities are referred to as natural magic, for example natural foolamancy.Erf-b1.5-p007 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 each have one special from the following list, and gain more as they level. Spells that Archons are known to have cast are in parenthesis:
- Dollamancy (Limited)
- Foolamancy (Limited, have seen through veils, used DDR tricks, and "Fireworks display" Erf-b1.5-p007)
- Leadership (associated with DDR spell)
- Shockmancy (Limited. Displayed Blast/energy spells, flash mob)
- Thinkamancy (Limited, have displayed ability to use Thinkagrams)
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 has 28 decrypted Archons in its ranks. At day, they scout nearby hexes for newly popped wild dwagons that Stanley can tame; at night they return to their sorority-like quarters at the top of the Tower of Efdup.
It is known that other sides can produce archons, but they have not been specified.
- Jaclyn - Destroyed
- Patty, Maxene, and LaVerne - Fate unknown
- Ginger and MaryAnn - Decrypted
- Hilary - prisoner of Haggar
- Avril, Brittany, Lindsay, Paris, and Miley - 3 of the 5 croaked, remaining 2 likely escaped.
- Monica, Rachel - Decrypted and Destroyed
- Phoebe - Decrypted
- Carnie, Chynna, and Wendy - Fate unknown
- Norma Jean, Decrypted and Destroyed
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. It may be that the Thinkamancers hostility towards Charlie is based on a fear that the growing numbers of Archons which Charlie is working to create will eventually damage the G Strings.
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 First_Intermission_46).
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.
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-p042 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).
"Archon" was also a classical Greek term for a ruler, magistrate or other leader.
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).
Chynna, Wendy, and Carnie are the names of the three members of the singing group Wilson Phillips.