An exarch is the champion or agent of a god, demon lord, or other being of great power. There is no one path leading to the title of exarch; an exarch might be someone who has adopted an appropriate epic destiny, a legendary monster, an archangel, or a damned or exalted soul of great power. Some were once mortal servants who won the station through their mighty deeds. Almost any epic character might become an exarch, regardless of his or her choice of destiny. Every exarch is a unique example of its kind, empowered with capabilities far beyond those of other angels, mortals, or monsters.
The number of exarchs a deity employs, and their exact nature, varies wildly from deity to deity. Most deities have one or two exarchs in their service; some have no exarchs at all, and a few such as Pelor or Moradin have significantly more. For example, Moradin is the leader of the shining host known as the Morndinsamman, which includes the exarchs Berronar, Clangeddin, Dugmaren, Dumathoin, Corm, Haela, Marthammor, Sharindlar, and Vergadain. At the other extreme, Avandra has taken no exarch into her service in ages. She chooses to interact directly with her followers, and she guides her mortal servants to battle against her enemies—not out of any sort of personal cowardice, but because she believes in allowing mortals to solve their own problems. Asmodeus has devils as exarchs, and both Bahamut and Tiamat have granted that status to powerful dragons.
Choosing to become an exarch is a matter of mutual agreement between character and patron. Sometimes the prospective exarch approaches the deity and offers service, and other times the deity appears to a character with promise and offers patronage. A Chosen or a Saint is generally expected to serve as an exarch; characters of other destinies are generally free to seek or refuse patronage as they wish, although gods are not above manipulating promising Demigods into entering their service.
An exarch gains no special powers above and beyond any offered by his or her epic destiny or nature. However, an exarch has access to his or her patron and is expected to give and receive counsel when in the presence of that deity. In addition, most deities check up on their exarchs from time to time. An exarch off on some mission or adventure in the mortal world might be contacted through a dream or a vision, visited by a messenger angel or a physical manifestation, or sometimes summoned back to the deity's dominion. Some deities manage their exarchs' affairs closely, and others leave exarchs to act at their own discretion. An exarch doesn't have any innate ability to signal for his or her deity's attention, but in practice most deities provide their exarchs with rituals, magic items, or special powers to commune when necessary.
List of Exarchs
- Aasterinian, blue dragon exarch of Avandra.
- The Abnegator, exarch of Torog.
- Astilabor, red dragon exarch of Corellon.
- Athearsauriv, mithral dragon exarch of Ioun.
- Atlathessk, yuan-ti exarch of Zehir.
- Bahgtru, Fist of Gruumsh, exarch of Gruumsh.
- Berronar Truesilver, exarch and consort of Moradin.
- Clangeddin Silverbeard, exarch of Moradin and the patron of dwarf warriors.
- Chronepsis, gray dragon exarch of the Raven Queen.
- The Cringe, exarch of Torog.
- Duon-eel the Thrice Slain, exarch of Torog.
- Eclavdra, drow exarch of Lolth.
- Edarmirrik, gold dragon exarch of Erathis.
- Erevan Ilesere, the Fey Jester, Seldarine exarch of Corellon and Sehanine, patron of tricksters and mischief.
- Falazure, black dragon exarch of Vecna.
- Fenmarel Mestarine, the Lone Wolf, Seldarine exarch, patron of rangers.
- Jerran, exarch of Torog.
- Kuyutha, dragonborn exarch of Bahamut.
- Luthic, the Blood Moon Witch, exarch of Gruumsh.
- Maglubiyet, god of goblinoids, defeated by Bane and made his exarch.
- Magrym, an exarch of stone and darkness who helped build the prison Carceri.
- Rathos, an exarch of the gods charged with capturing renegade angels.
- Sekolah, demon shark exarch of Melora.
- Shevarash of the Black Bow, Seldarine exarch, patron of fury and vengeance.
- Thurkearvaeri, mercury dragon exarch of Bane.
- Vaprak the Rapacious, exarch of Gruumsh.
- Virizan, shapechanger exarch of Tiamat.
- Vivexkepesk, brass dragon exarch of Bahamut.
- Yurtrus, an exarch of Gruumsh who is a master of disease, misery, and death.
- Zuoken, monk exarch of Ioun, patron of psionics.
Behind the Scenes
- Some beings that were gods in earlier editions of D&D are now labeled exarchs in 4th edition. Examples include the other dwarf and elven gods in the dwarf pantheon and the elven pantheon (the Seldarine) besides the gods Corellon, Moradin and Sehanine. The label of god in 4th edition is reserved for the mightiest of immortal beings.