Most agathions are animal-headed humanoids, but the cervinal switches it up, going the centaur route. And since I’m a big deer-centaur fan—for instance, I believe that in a perfect world the Forgotten Realms’ hybsils wouldn’t have gotten buried in the overpriced Monsters of Faerûn—I’m all about these guys.
That said, they’re not easy monsters to write combat encounters for. Unless your group’s characters are absolute mercenaries or outright evil, they’re not going to have much reason to fight these neutral good, noble agathion knights. (You can’t even get mad at them for being snooty or goldbricking since they like to take the lead in fights.) Cervinals are the heavenly (Nirvana-ly?) version of your cool older neighbor who always used to let you tag along despite your age, or the three-sport valedictorian at your high school who was also hella nice. There’s just too much to like.
In other words, if you get on the wrong side of this guy, he’s probably not the problem. Then again, adventurers are very good at getting on the wrong side of people, even noble-hearted celestials.
Archons are holding a devil prisoner—a monster the azatas desperately want to see tried. When the archons refuse a change of venue, some of the more rebellious azatas decide to take things into their own hands…and they know just the adventurers who can help them out. But when a vulpinal spy catches wind of the plan, she makes sure a collective of cervinals are waiting to stop the plot before any archons are roused to anger.
Cervinals are often entrusted with securing dangerous artifacts…artifacts that adventurers want. It’s a race against time across three Outer Planes—the wilds of Thornhold, the gray geysers of Daemonhaunt, and the mathematically-perfect seashell expanse of Nautilheim—to beat galloping cervinal knights to the Organ of Magard’s Deep.
A cervinal burst into Crown Prince Ronan’s wedding ceremony, cut down several guards (though not fatally), and dosed the bride with a sleeping agent. Then he escaped with the somnolent girl slung over his back. The kingdom is in an uproar, the king’s inquisitors have put the bishops under house arrest, and everyone is talking sides now that the very heavens seem to have turned against the union. Who was the cervinal who took the bride? To where? And why? The answers to those questions could make an adventuring party very, very rich—and landed and titled—indeed.
—Chronicle of the Righteous 58 & Pathfinder Bestiary 5 12
For more deer-like monsters I love, check out the polymorph gas-breathing actaeons from Rules Cyclopedia-era “basic” D&D. (Here’s a Dragon“Ecology Of” article they were in.) Planescape’s goat-like bariaurs are another favorite.
It’s Tuesday’s radio show! Got a couple new tunes for you, including Chumped, who I am tragically late to the party for (and who play their final show this week). Tune in!
(Bear with the initial muddy audio…it’s fine after the first 50 seconds. Link good till Monday, 2/8, a midnight. For best results, Save As an mp3 and listen via iTunes.)