Pockets full of bat guano, incomprehensible speech, and twisted hands making bizarre gestures—it sounds crazy, but in the Dungeons & Dragons game, these are the earmarks of power (as written in the 3.5 Premium Spell Compendium), for they are the signs of spellcasting.
As further written (back in the 1st Edition Dungeon Master's Guide), all magic and cleric spells are similar in that the word sounds, when combined into whatever patterns are applicable, are charged with energy from the Positive or Negative Material Plane. When uttered, these sounds cause the release of this energy, which in turn triggers a set reaction. The release of the energy contained in these words is what causes the spell to be forgotten or the writing to disappear from the surface upon which it is written.
Spells and spellcasters form a cornerstone of fantasy, and the Spell Compendium builds on that cornerstone by presenting over a thousand spells in one place.
In today's preview, we look at spells that help summon aid to the spellcaster's side—be it elementals, archons, or the undead.
Summon Undead (levels 1-5)
The undead you summon appear in a burst of smoke and fog. The vapor swiftly dissipates, but you can’t shake the impression of screaming faces in the cloud’s tendrils.
Summon Hound Archon (level 4)
You invoke the powers of good and law, and a brilliant beam stabs from the heavens above. Out of that beam strides a red-fleshed, dog-headed humanoid with a greatsword.
From the 3.5 Monster Manual: Archons are celestials from the plane of Celestia. They have charged themselves with the protection of the plane, and also consider themselves guardians of all who are innocent or free of evil. They are the natural enemies of fiends (creatures of the lower planes), particularly demons.
Hound archons look like well-muscled humans with canine heads. They seek to defend the innocent and the helpless against evil. Their broad shoulders and meaty fists mark hound archons as able combatants. Likewise, their strong legs indicate that fleeing enemies won’t get very far.
Summon Elemental Monolith (level 9)
You call into being a gigantic, roughly humanoid creature composed entirely of elemental matter. The creature immediately attacks a nearby enemy.
From the 3.5 Complete Arcane: Like their lesser kin, elemental monoliths are living incarnations of the elemental forces that compose the multiverse. They are so powerful that only the mightiest of summoning spells can draw them to the Material Plane and compel their service, and even then the caster dare not take his attention from the monolith's control for even a moment.
Monoliths are great rulers and princes among their kind, obeyed by even the elder elementals. Only the primal elementals are more powerful.