|Images of aeons|
Source: Bestiary 2, pg(s). 8–14
Aeons are an inscrutable race of beings who serve to preserve balance throughout the Great Beyond, either by reinforcing order or by promoting chaos. They constantly tinker with the fabric of the planes in an effort to maintain a balance beyond the knowledge of mortals.
Aeons care nothing about their outward shapes, often taking the forms of abstract swirls of quintessence dense enough to interact with others. Their bodies are almost uniform in density and composition, and rarely harmful to the touch. Some aeons adopt vaguely humanoid forms, but only vaguely; and all aeons are faceless.
Aeons are created on the Astral Plane. When two opposite thoughts broadcast from other planes coalesce on the Astral Plane and collide, they form aeonic nebulae, which flash with momentary bursts of emotional auras and crackle in metaphysical debates. As a nebula grows into a critical mass, a new aeon is created, embodying the dichotomy of the nebula where it was born. From there, most aeons disperse to wherever they are needed in the multiverse and use the Astral Plane primarily for transport; only bythos continue to reside in the Astral Plane after their creation.
All aeons are bound in a state called Monad, an omnipresent demigod that has existed since the multiverse's beginning and represents the supreme oneness between all aeons and the multiverse itself. Aeons exist as an extension of the multiverse in the same way that organs form a normal creature, and understand themselves as parts of the Monad's whole instead of viewing it as a divine patron. When destroyed or upon accomplishing specific goals, they fade back to the planar fabric and their energies are recycled by the Monad.
Aeons are created with all knowledge deemed necessary to fulfil their task, and are constantly tapped into the Monad to receive instructions. However, the connection between the Monad and individual aeons is imperfect, giving them some personal agency in completing their tasks.
Aeons are emotionless and single-minded in an ever-changing pursuit of multiplanar equilibrium. When fulfilling its task, an aeon assesses the current situation, and through it the best way to restore balance. Their way is inscrutable and can be beneficent at one moment and destructive the next, but always without emotion. Each type of aeon embodies its purpose and area of control that it would seek to balance, attempting to enforce a perfect harmony upon all things.
Aeons are not actively malicious but care nothing for individual beings or their struggles and emotions, and have no sense of self-preservation. Creating or destroying life, and triggering a calamity or preventing it mean equally little in their manipulation of symmetry; only the final tally matters. All life is life and all death is death, to be protected or eradicated regardless of shape.
Aeons have no culture, society, personality, or memory beyond the present. Aeons embodying greater multiversal principles are usually considered greater, and their works proceed without hesitation when their goals jeopardise or threaten lesser aeons. Aeons only cooperate in matters of great existential concern when directed by the Monad, and only temporarily. They see every task as independent from others, and might fully support an individual whom they have clashed violently against in the past. The very act of forming organisations is alien to them, as is the notion that non-aeons can be allies or enemies; to them, only two states of association exist: those that are part of the Monad, and those that are not.
Aeons are willing to talk as long as doing so does not impede their work, but communication with them often results in frustration and misunderstanding. Pointing an aeon to another target, asking for its help or dissuading it from doing its task is an almost impossible goal.
Outsiders often have difficulty understanding aeons' duality, even more so than mortals do. The outsiders with the best relationships with aeons are axiomites, inevitables, and shulsagas: axiomites are fascinated by aeons' embodiment of the multiverse's truths; inevitables appreciate their enforcement of laws (despite their frequent tendency to foster chaos); shulsagas view them as messengers, are adept at interpreting their communications, and almost always follow their instructions. Psychopomps respect aeons' work as custodians but also view them as rivals for some reason.
In rare cases, aeons can go rogue and take on extreme personalities, coming to favour one aspect of their being over the other. These unstable aeons are considered extremely high-priority targets for other aeons to eliminate.
While aeons form in the Astral Plane, they will then immediately manifest where the Monad needs them to fulfil their task, using the Astral Plane as a mere means of transport. When doing so, they appear as if tearing themselves spontaneously from the very fabric of the destination plane itself. Aeons can only manifest in some particular areas, allowing their foes to prepare for their arrival. So, aeons have no home plane like other outsiders: theirs is the entire multiverse.
Aeons have slowly grown their presence in Axis, where they often come into conflict with inevitables. Planar scholars describe a trend amongst aeons of favouring order over chaos and speculate whether they now have designs on Axis itself.
In the Maelstrom, legions of aeons guard the Antipode from regular assaults by proteans and prevent the cycle of souls from disruption, holding back the Maelstrom from consuming the entire multiverse.
Aeons travel to the Material Plane to correct imbalances as directed by the Monad. It is difficult to determine which half of the duality is currently being enforced by an aeon, and an aeon's presence can be anything from rapturous to apocalyptic depending on how much its goals align with those of nearby mortals. In the latter case, aeons often become perceived as monsters by local cultures, even if their atrocities might end up being beneficial on a more-than-mortal timescale.
The Monad's followers often summon aeons to provide guidance and approval, as the Monad itself is an extremely distant patron. They are particularly adept at asking aeons questions and interpreting their vague answers.
The earliest Azlanti venerated aeons as architects who created the Material Plane from primordial chaos. They honoured them by building the House of Aeons, and sculpting or carving tiny effigies of themselves to serve as offerings. At least one magic-warped, unthinkably powerful aeon still dwells in the tunnels beneath the House of Aeons.
The Riftwardens, who focus on repairing rifts between planes, often cooperate with aeons that are attracted to these same rifts for the same goal. The Dikheiric Order, a Nethysian order who seek a perfect balance between creation and destruction via magic, view aeons as extensions of Nethys' will, and often serve an aeon's agenda or summon them to serve as mentors.
- Paizo Staff. (2010). Bestiary 2, p. 8. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-268-5
- John Compton, Crystal Frasier, Ron Lundeen, and Todd Stewart. (2019). Concordance of Rivals, p. 26–27. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-64078-127-6
- Robert Brookes et al. (2018). Planar Adventures, p. 149. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-64078-044-6
- Robert Brookes et al. (2018). Planar Adventures, p. 173. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-64078-044-6
- Robert Brookes et al. (2018). Planar Adventures, p. 179. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-64078-044-6
- Robert Brookes et al. (2018). Planar Adventures, p. 187. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-64078-044-6
- John Compton, Crystal Frasier, Ron Lundeen, and Todd Stewart. (2019). Concordance of Rivals, p. 40. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-64078-127-6
- Erik Mona. (2017). Secrets of Azlant. Tower of the Drowned Dead, p. 66. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-998-1
- Aeon (Gnosticism) (real-world religious concept)