Climate/Terrain: Any Asuras
Frequency: Very rare
Organization: Hierarchy
Activity Cycle: Unsleeping
Diet: Positive material
Intelligence: Genius (17-18)
Treasure: Nil
Alignment: Chaotic good
No. Appearing: 1(2-200 on home plane)
Armor Class: ?
Movement: 12 Fl 33 (A)
Hit Dice: 8
THAC0: 13
No. of Attacks: 3
Damage/Attack: 1-10/1-10/1-8
Special Attacks: Fiery eyes
Special Defenses: Spell immunities
Magic Resistance: 40%
Size: M
Morale: Fearless (19)
XP Value: 7,000

These good spirits are the shining messengers of the gods, similar to the devas as well as their greatest rivals. They are luminous figures, shining beacons of good by day and night. They often appear on the Prime Material Plane to guide oracles, mystics, and the faithful. They never sleep.

Asuras are roughly human, with flat-white skin (like marble), almost painfully sharp features, and enormous red wings of rippling, roaring fire. Their hair is red, coppery or golden, and their bright eyes shine like reddish stars. They have clawed feet like eagles, and males often wear bronze helms decorated with a feathered crest. Both males and females wear loose togas.

Combat: Asuras are primarily messengers and heralds, not fighters, but the messages they are asked to deliver have often been messages of wrath and displeasure, so their skills at combat have been honed by centuries of practice. They attack with their ruby-sharp claws for 1d10 points of damage each and with their scimitars or great spears for 1d8 damage points. They prefer to remain airborne while attacking and only rarely venture into buildings or underground. They may split their attacks between two opponents, one engaged with their claws, the other with their weapon.

Asuras are among the wisest creatures of the outer planes, with a typical Wisdom of 21. This insight gives them immunity to charm, command, fear, forget, friends, hold person, hypnotism, ray of enfeeblement, and scare spells, as well as complete immunity to all illusions. Their fiery eyes allow them to gaze with the same effect as a fire truth spell (their eyes dim when lies are told), and their vision allows them to stare with the same effect as true seeing three times per day. (The results of this sight lead them to a somewhat skeptical view of Prime Material creatures). They have all the spell abilities of 9th-level priests and receive all the spell benefits of their high Wisdom.

When attacking from the air in a group of three or more, the asuras may create a powerful burning wind with their wings. This wind causes 2d10 damage points to evil creatures and none to good or neutral creatures, but it only lasts for the round of their aerial charge. On their home planes, troops of asuras gen- erally carry fiery spears and scimitars, and hosts of them use trumpets for signaling. The sound of these trumpets echoes for miles and is capable of putting evil hordes to flight before a single blow is struck.

When an asuras wishes to remain inconspicuous, it can polymorph self as often as twice per day to appear as a human or demihuman. In this form asuras are still capable fighters, but they rely primarily on their spell-casting abilities. They remain attractive regardless of their apparent age or race.

Habitat/Society: On their home planes, the asuras are organized into volunteer legions, brigades, and cohorts led by charismatic leaders. Though all the members of such hosts are expected to obey their leaders absolutely, they are free to leave one unit and join another at any time. Their service is freely rendered and freely accepted.

The leaders of a host have double Hit Dice and maximum hit points. They have a wisdom of 22, with corresponding spell immunities. The general of all asuras is a radiant, handsome, and wise figure named Absalom. His celestial legion numbers in the thousands and operates exclusively in the outer planes. However, Absalom is merely a powerful servant of good, not a god, and he cannot grant spells.

Asuras who are not members of a legion often wander the world for a time, seeking to right wrongs and show others the path of good behavior through their own example. They are also frequently attracted to pious humans, and there have been instances of children fathered from such unions. Though they are born without their parentTs fiery wings, these children often grow up to become learned mystics and holy men or powerful and devout warriors. Some few become holy slayers. Their eyes always appear to be unnaturally bright; indeed, some of them have the gift of being able to detect lies three times per day as per the fire truth spell. (Such individuals are never PCs.)

Ecology: Asuras are creatures of the outer planes, and as such take no direct part in the ecology of the Burning World of Zakhara. They feed on energies from the Positive Material Plane.

Asuras occasionally cooperate with the djinn against the efreet, but in general they avoid such entanglements, preferring to work on their own tasks according to their own timetables.