A humanoid, knight-class, flying unit first seen in the service of Charlescomm. They are nearly all 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, and MaryAnn). Archons with spellcasting capacities are not true Casters: their abilities are referred to as natural magic, for example natural foolamancy.Erf-b1.5-p007 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.
Spells that Archons are known to have cast include:
- Thinkamancy: Thinkagrams
- Foolamancy: DDR trick and "Fireworks display" Erf-b1.5-p007
- Shockmancy: Blast/energy spells
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 will be overpowered (ie. unbalanced) relative to normal units. or perhaps the power of the arkendish enables Charlie to transmit his leadership bonuses to them.
They seem to have Charlie's secrets, and may have revealed them to Parson, after their loyalty switched due to decryption.Erf-b1.5-p041
Their changing "outfits" when preparing to dance-fight is likely an effect of their natural Foolamancy. It could also explain the 3 archons' blasts as being the same spell-like ability despite their different appearances. An alternate explanation would be that they were different levels and thus 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. Whichever it was, all 28 Archons could create the fireworks, suggesting it is available at a very early level. Charlie may not have sent his lowest level Archons to Gobwin Knob due to the extreme danger of the place (one Archon had already died to Air Defenses), so it may not be available to Level 1 Archons.
Archons often cast spells as a group. Possibly a stack of Archons can cast spells a single Archon wouldn't be able to.
Their full strength may be unknown as they apparently charge more money for more of their ability to be available to their clients
Charlescomm - They're Charlie's main unit and seem the carry out the majority of his contracts to other sides, as well as serving as his personal intelligence network. There are 600 (sic) of them working for Charlescomm, 20% of them are in the capital and the rest abroad. This is the side that can pop archons faster (1 per turn or 3/2 turns with a turnamancer), maybe due to the Arkendish.
Gobwin Knob - after undergoing decryption.
Gobwin Knob, as of the start of Book Two, has 28 decrypted Archons in its ranks. At day, they scout near hexes for newly popped wild dwagons that Stanley can tame; At night, they provide, well, entertainment to the troops.
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.
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.