The Cherub: Four Faces of Righteousness
Introducing the Cherubim. Don’t expect the flying fat babies of Baroque art, but terrifying guardians of holy figures and places. Their natural form is best described as “weird”. The stats are given not so the PCs might actually defeat a Cherub in combat, but merely to help define exactly how long it will take before the characters start crying and begging for Heaven’s pardon.
NO. ENCOUNTERED: 1-4
SIZE: Large (18′ Tall)
HD: 16 (d8)
MOVE: 100′ in all environments
ATTACKS: 4 Sword of Holy Flame (3d8+4, +3d6 Holy Fire [x 2 total damage vs. Evil])
SPECIAL: Magic Weapons To Hit, Deepvision, Elemental Immunity, Immune to Poison and Emotion-affecting Magic, Sword of Holy Flame, Nimbus of Holy Fire and Lightning, Total Perception, Awful Presence, Thunderous Tumult, Telepathic Bond, Virtue of Chastity, Covenant of Chastity, Spell Resistance 15, Spell-like Abilities
ALIGNMENT: Lawful Good
A Cherub (the plural form is Cherubim) in its true shape is an awe-inspiring sight, standing fully18 feet tall. It is hard to look directly at the creature, however, because its body is surrounded by white flame from which small bolts of lightning seem to constantly erupt. The Angel has four faces: one like a bull, another like a man, the third like a lion, and the fourth like an eagle, all together on a single head. The being is capable of rotating its head completely, so any of the faces might be facing forward. The Angel’s body, arm, and legs are man-like, but the being usually shrouds its torso with one pair of large, eagle-like wings. A second pair of wings seems to be used for actual flight. The Angel’s feet are like a calf’s, with brazen hooves. The being’s body and wings are covered with eyes, of kinds resembling those of the creature’s four faces. In the Angel’s hand is a strange, flaming sword whose blade seems to be in constant motion, shifting back and forth into various jagged, zig-zag like configurations. Whenever the being moves, its wings make a sound like storm winds, crashing thunder and rushing water. Usually, however, a Cherub does not show its true form unless it wishes to impress a viewer. They often therefore assume the form of a robed human figure with four wings, although still holding a smaller form of their distinctive sword. Sometimes, a Cherub will even assume the form of a human child, with or without wings. The Angel’s natural voice is thunderous and overwhelming, but the being can modulate it to appropriate levels.
Cherubim are the guardians and sentinels of holy places, and the personal bodyguard of important figures in Heaven. They stand at the Gates of Pearl, as well as guard the various Gardens of the Blessed. They are frequently found in company with Chariot Angels, especially when Heaven’s rulers visit the mundane world. When encountered alone, they will be standing watch over some site of extreme holiness or importance. Unlike some other Angels, Cherubim never wander the mundane world. They always have some specific charge or purpose, from which they never move.
Those who have encountered Cherubim (and lived to tell) report that the Angels have a strange tendency to move only in straight lines. They will turn their faces or pivot their bodies, but will almost always move in perfectly straight lines from north to south or east to west, as if on a grid. Any Chariot Angels found in company with Cherubim will also move in precisely the same manner.
The Cherubim are the particular opponents of the Seducer Devils, who the Angels view as defilers of the holy temple of the body. It is thought by some that the Seducer Devils once were Cherubim themselves, who became victims of Lust and lost their place in Heaven.
Many Sages speculate regarding the relationship between Cherubim and such creatures as Lammasus, Shedus, and Androsphinxes. Naturally, information from the Cherubim themselves is not forthcoming, and Lammasus and Androsphinxes who are asked only smile and give no other indication. It is known that Lammasus have reportedly been seen serving Cherubs, but whether this indicates a shared heritage or some other kind of relationship remains obscure.
Combat: Engaging a Cherub in combat is extremely foolish for all but the most powerful beings. Merely seeing one in its true form will Stun most opponents into inaction, and simply being within melee range subjects opponents to terrible damage from the being’s Nimbus of Holy Fire and Lightning. A Cherub is capable of striking up to four times a round with its terrible Sword of Holy Flame. Worst of all, the Angel will also use its powerful spell-like Abilities to Slow opponents and subject them to a barrage of elemental damage (to which the Angel is itself immune). Cherubim will always Summon other powerful beings to combat, whether other Angels or Lamamsus. For most beings, the best combat tactic against a Cherub is to beg for mercy and swear to ever after devote one’s life to the cause of righteousness.
Sword of Holy Flame: A Cherub’s sword is a strange and terrible weapon, with a blade that not only constantly flames, but seems to be constantly changing from one jagged, lightning bolt-like shape to another. The Sword is magical +4 Holy Weapon (and confers this bonus upon the Cherub’s to-hit roll), that does does double damage (both for the blade and the fire) against Evil beings. At its natural size the sword does a base of 3d8 points of damage (+ 4 points for its enchantment, and an additional 3d6 points of Holy fire damage). If the Cherub is in a human form, however, it will shift the sword into a smaller size, with a base 1d8 damage (plus the magical bonuses). Any creature but a Cherub who attempts to wield this sword will be attacked by the blade itself, which will shift and twist to strike exactly as if wielded by a Cherub (four times a round as a 16 hit dice creature).
Total Perception: A Cherub enjoys constant True Seeing in all directions at once. Naturally, it is impossible to surprise the Angel.
Awful Presence: Any mundane creature (not Elemental or Extraplaner in type) who first beholds a Cherub’s true form must Save versus Charisma (Challenge Level 16) or be Stunned and unable to act for 1d6 rounds.
Nimbus of Holy Fire and Lightning: Any mundane creature standing within 60 feet of a Cherub in its natural form must save versus Constitution (Challenge Level 16) each round or receive 1d6 points of fire and lightning damage per round. This increases by 1d6 per every 10 feet nearer the mundane creature comes to the Angel, to a maximum of 6d6 points of fire damage per round for creatures within melee range. Evil-aligned or Undead creatures take double damage. Mundane creatures immune to either fire or lightning damage will still take full damage from the Nimbus, unless they are immune to both kinds of energy. A Cherub only possesses its Nimbus of Holy Fire and Lightning when in its natural form, and the Angel cannot make the Nimbus appear when the being is in a different shape.
Thunderous Tumult: When a Cherub flaps its wings, its creates a thunderous noise that overwhelms all other sound in 300′ radius. No creature that relies upon spoken communications can do so while the Cherub is creating its Thunderous Tumult. CKs should not allow players within 300′ of the Cherub to verbally coordinate actions during the Tumult, unless their characters can employ Telepathic means to do so.
Telepathic Bond: All Angels within 300 feet of a Cherub are automatically linked by a Telepathic Bond, as the spell. The Cherub can opt to include Good-aligned mortals in this Bond.
Virtue of Chastity: The presence of a Cherub within 300 feet automatically and permanently dispels all magical Charms and Suggestions, permanently dispels such spells as Sympathy and Antipathy, and destroys any effect that causes artificial desire. True, natural love and affections are not altered in nay way. A Cherub’s presence also prevents a Seducer Devil’s ability to Enter Dreams, and automatically forces such Devils into their true form (no Saving Throw).
Covenant of Chastity: A Cherub can grant a character total immunity from all mind and emotion affecting spells and spell-like effects, including such things as Charm, Suggestion, and Fear. In return the character is Geased to never engage in any intimate act outside of matrimony, or to tolerate such acts being committed. Characters in a Covenant of Chastity will be expected to disrupt brothels, expose celibate clergy who keep secret mistresses, and actively prevent acts of adultery. Naturally, such behavior is bound to bring the character no end of trouble. The sole exception to the need to actively enforce Chastity is when the apparently unchaste act is actually part of an Angel of Mercy’s unorthodox scheme of salvation. In that case, the person will hear a voice telling him not to disturb the proceedings. In addition, the Cherub will not tolerate evil acts being committed in the name of enforcing Chastity. Any character in a Covenant of Chastity should expect to be targeted not only by Seducer Devils, but also by any other supernatural power that promotes or enjoys unfettered intimate expression.
Spell-Like Abilities: One at a time, at will: Cone of Cold (10d6), Fireball (10d6), Gust of Wind, Lightning Bolt (10d6), Slow. Once per day they can perform each of the following: Ice Storm, Meteor Swarm, Wall of Fire, Wall of Force, Wall of Ice, Wall of Stone. In common with all Angels, a Cherub can also use Improved Invisibility, Know Alignment, create Light, Polymorph Self, perform feats of Prestidigitation, and Teleport Without Error, all at will. They can roam the Ethereal and Astral planes; speak, write and and understand all forms of communication; and can see perfectly regardless of illumination. Once per day a Cherub can Summon either another Cherub, a Chariot Angel (who, like all Summoned creatures, cannot Summon more Angels themselves), or 4 Lammasus. Unless otherwise noted, all spell-like abilities have an effective caster level of 16.
Elemental Immunity: Cherubim are immune to all forms of Elemental damage from any source, including fire, cold, wind, electricity and acid.
Filed under: Castles & Crusades, Folklore, Monsters, OGL | 3 Comments
Tags: Ancient Folklore, Angel, Angelic, Angels, Celestial Being, Eden, Elemental, Ezekiel, Folklore, Heaven, Hebrew Folklore, Jewish Legend, Kerub, Kerubim, Seven Heavens