The greatest of angels, solars dwarf even balors and pit fiends in terms of raw power (CR 23 to their 20). Which makes them among the rarest creatures for adventurers to ever fight—not only are they neutral good (never an easy alignment to script a conflict for), but they’re good on a scale that most mortals can’t comprehend.
(Note that all of the above presumes your PCs are generally good or at least neutral—that’s this blog’s default assumption and I’m sticking to it.)
Even treating with a solar is difficult—they’re not going to answer just any yahoo with a gate spells who come knocking, no matter how spiffy the magic circle.
Still, solars are often the right hands of deities, and gods have a habit of both fomenting conflict and being reluctantly draw into it by their followers. Solars also have such a long-range, multiversal sense of the greater good that their actions may make not make sense to mortals, who then take up arms against them. And some angels are just born warriors. In the world of comics we recently saw Angela burst into the Marvel Universe, and she’s lost none of her will to slay first and ask questions later; maybe some of your solars are the same…
Finally of course, there are fallen solars: a few ability/spell swaps and a template or two and you have an evil angel that’s fair game.
The demigod of Dousing, Fortunetelling, and Gambling has gone insane, corrupted by too many futures best left unglimpsed. In an act of empyreal mercy, the solar Hooded Justice has been tasked with dispatching the tormented young deity. Doing so would also kill several members of a party of mortal adventurers, who lost their souls to the demigod in a quest several years back. They thus have a vested interest in stopping the solar—fast.
Rurforion, the Seed That Flowers, is a solar recently returned from eons protecting new life across the depths of space. His holy senses, used to silence and cosmic beauty, recoil in horror from the cities and smoky industrial centers of man, and he has begun to level them one be one. His back-to-nature approach has caused no direct deaths but created thousands of refugees. And while Rurforion’s peers deem his actions imprudent, until they reach consensus it is up to mortal adventurers to persuade—or force—him to cease.
Few martyrs have suffered more than Cardimenz, who cut off his own hand to assume the burden of the Cestus of Vinnocent. The artifact of the legendary demilich has tormented the solar ever since, spreading a spiritual gangrene on its slow course up Cardimenz’s maimed stump. The embattled, exhausted solar sleeps more and more now, and while he does the Cestus uses his body and his magic to set long range plans into motion…
—Pathfinder Bestiary 12–13
I’m currently enjoying Chronicle of the Righteous, which has lots more on the workings of the empyreal planes. Also, I imagine fighting solars would also be a good excuse to use the Mythic Adventures rules. I have my copy, but my to-read pile is so big all I’ve done is look at the pretty, pretty pictures.
If you came to the blog today looking for the humble snapping turtle, you’ll find it hiding under a log here.