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|First appearance||Planescape Monstrous Compendium Appendix II (1995)|
Guardinals debuted as several cards in the Blood Wars Card Game in 1995, including the Avoral, Cervidal, Equinal, Leonal, Lupinal, Ursinal, Duchess Callisto, Duke Lucan, Duke Windheir, Lord Hwhyn, Lord Rhanok, and Talisid the Leonal Prince cards.
Guardinals appeared in second edition AD&D for the Planescape setting in Planescape Monstrous Compendium Appendix II (1995). This book featured the avoral, the cervidal, the equinal, the leonal, the lupinal, and the ursinal. In a review of Planescape Monstrous Compendium Appendix II for Arcane magazine, the reviewer cites the culture of the guardinals as helping "give the Planes a solid base of peoples". Guardinals were further detailed, and presented as options for player character races in Warriors of Heaven (1999); Talisid, Callisto, Lucan, Zvestra, Hwhyn, and Rhanok were presented as examples of notable guardinals, while Windheir is noted as having "retired".
The avoral guardinal appears under the celestial entry in the third edition Monster Manual (2000). The leonal guardinal appears under the celestial entry in the Manual of the Planes (2001). The cervidal guardinal and the lupinal guardinal appeared in the Monster Manual II (2002). Savage Species (2003) presented the avoral guardinal as both a race and a playable class. The avoral and leonal guardinals appear in the 3.5 edition revised Monster Manual (2003). The equinal, the musteval, and the ursinal guardinals appear in Book of Exalted Deeds (2003). The book also details the celestial paragons of the guardinals: Talisid, the Celestial Lion and his five companions, Sathia, the Sky Duchess; Manath, the Horned Duke; Vhara, Duchess of the Fields; Kharash, the Stalker; and Bharrai, the Great Bear. The avoral appears again as a player character race in the Planar Handbook (2004).
Guardinals are all extraplanar outsiders.
As such, guardinals share a number of magical powers:
- They possess Darkvision, the ability to see in the dark.
- They are immune to electricity energy and petrification effects.
- They are resistant to cold and sonic energy.
- They are resistant to poison.
- They can speak with any animal.
- They can 'lay on hands' to provide healing like a paladin.
- Avoral – Winged guardinal with unmatched visual acuity.
- Cervidal – Satyrlike guardinals that form the bulk of any guardinal army.
- Equinal  – Horselike guardinal; strong, boisterous, and generally good-natured champions of good.
- Leonal – Lion-headed guardinal with martial prowess.
- Lupinal – Half-human, half-wolf guardinals constantly on the prowl for evil intrusions.
- Musteval  – Ferretlike guardinal that serve greater celestials as spies, and messengers to humanoid heroes.
- Ursinal  – Bearlike guardinal; the scholars and philosophers, advisors to the leonals and record-keepers of Elysium.
Talisid and the Five Companions
The celestial paragons of the guardinals are collectively known as Talisid and the Five Companions. The members include:
- Bharrai, the Great Bear  – The matriarch of the ursinals, resides on Eronia, the second layer of Elysium.
- Kharash, the Stalker  – The paragon of lupinals.
- Manath, the Horned Duke  – The duke of the cervidals.
- Sathia, the Sky Duchess  – The voice of the avorals, and matron and muse for painters and sculptors.
- Talisid, the Celestial Lion  – The most powerful of leonals. Spends most of his time on Amoria, the topmost layer of Elysium.
- Vhara, Duchess of the Fields  – The duchess of the equinals, resides on Amoria.
- Duke Rhanok
From the Planescape setting, Talisid's five original Companions were as follows: Duke Lucan (lupinal), Duchess Callisto (ursinal), Duke Windheir (avoral), Lord Hwhyn (equinal), and Lord Rhanok (cervidal).
In Warriors of Heaven, Windheir is noted to have been replaced by Zvestra.
- Baker, Rich, Tim Beach, Wolfgang Baur, Michele Carter, and Colin McComb. Planescape Monstrous Compendium Appendix II (TSR, 1995)
- Webb, Trenton (January 1996). "Games Reviews". Arcane. Future Publishing (2): 71.
- Perkins, Christopher. Warriors of Heaven (TSR, 1999)
- Williams, Skip, Jonathan Tweet, and Monte Cook. Monster Manual (Wizards of the Coast, 2000)
- Jeff Grubb, Bruce R. Cordell, David Noonan. Manual of the Planes (Wizards of the Coast, 2001)
- Bonny, Ed, Jeff Grubb, Rich Redman, Skip Williams, and Steve Winter. Monster Manual II (Wizards of the Coast, 2002)
- Eckelberry, David, Rich Redman, and Jennifer Clarke Wilkes. Savage Species (Wizards of the Coast, 2003)
- Wyatt, James, Darrin Drader, Christopher Perkins. Book of Exalted Deeds (Wizards of the Coast, 2003)
- Baur, Wolfgang, Jason Bulmahn, et al. Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Bestiary 2 (Paizo Publishing, 2010)