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  • scratch_flannigan
    scratch_flannigan  10 hours ago

    The IC posts over the Crater Lake events for Nature Night are finally finished!

  • scratch_flannigan
    scratch_flannigan  10 hours ago

    !lol

    It really was something..a bit like a can..that the Sandworms went into !

    Magic and Gnomish Technology to the rescue!

  • Vaedryan
    Vaedryan  11 hours ago

    *chuckles* Love the name of the most recent NN, Scratch!

  • scratch_flannigan
    scratch_flannigan  17 hours ago

    Nature Night will start in about 2 hours!

    Please join us in the Wild Grove in Grauer Suden.

    I will be IG as Dauken. Feel free to shoot me a tell with any questions. smile

  • AmberOfDzu
    AmberOfDzu  1 day ago

    Hi Scratch!

  • scratch_flannigan
    scratch_flannigan  2 days ago

    Amber!

  • AmberOfDzu
    AmberOfDzu  2 days ago

    *wave* @Vaerdryan grin

  • Vaedryan
    Vaedryan  3 days ago

    Omg! I spy an Avarith!!! grin

  • Jandari
    Jandari  3 days ago

    DORF night has kicked off with epic bouts of arm wrestling!

  • archgrendel
    archgrendel  3 days ago

    Payne is just jealous wink


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The Island of Thain :: Forums :: In Character Discussion
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In the Eye of The Beholder

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Alanonas
8:41:29 pm GMT 12/04/19
Alanonas Registered Member #24078 Joined: 3:40:59 am GMT 05/14/17
Posts: 800
In the Eye of The Beholder


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Alanonas
8:44:30 pm GMT 12/04/19
Alanonas Registered Member #24078 Joined: 3:40:59 am GMT 05/14/17
Posts: 800
I


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"A beholder's mind, much like its body, is alien and aberrant to the natural world and actually consists of two distinct, independent minds: the rational and the intuitive.

The rational mind is coldly logical. It is here where the beholder stores schemes, magical knowledge, memories, and goals. The intuitive mind pertains to what the creature sees. It sorts and organizes information and determines what cannot, or should not, be passed onto the rational mind. Herein lurks the creature's suppressed memories, past failures, and other theories that would shatter the creature's characteristic ego.

The chasm that exists between a beholder's dual minds is filled to the brink with paranoia and xenophobia. How these chasms of the mind are filled make up the distinct personality profile of each individual specimen. No two beholders are alike, and therefore, no sets of their alien minds are the same in turn.

One thing is certain: All beholders are irrevocably insane. This may manifest in different ways, some more apparent than others, but the fact of the matter persists."


-excerpt from The Codex Anathema by Iphego of the Ebon Mirror

~>(0)<~




The resounding echo of shattering stone breaks the stagnant silence that had remained undisturbed within the depths of the dark and moist confines of the small cavern. Showers of the sundered stone break and clatter against the wall and vanish into the depths of a dark chasm, their doom resonating into the heart of the earth itself as they tumble and bounce into the inky depths.

"There are no mistakes! Only imperfections! Everywhere they hide! Lurk in every stone. Every rock. Everything....everywhere...."


The hissing voice rakes over the walls of the cavern, each word echoing and colliding with one another as the creature vents its frustration.

"We will worry not! They will never find us here. We know it. How could they? They are lesser, all of them. We are the most cunning of them all, even if they do not know it yet, even if we don't always know it yet..."

The scraping of stone upon stone breaks the creature's soliquary as another stone figure glides across the cavern floor, pulled closer to the creature by some unseen force. A crackling green light flares to life from a spell muttered by the creature. The sickly glow creeps over the strange stone figure, one that could pass for an expertly sculpted statue of a hooded and rugged man where it not for the figure's melted face that was now dominated by a single unblinking eye perched over a distended jaw brimming with needle like teeth.

"Yessss It looks so much better now yes? It must! It looks like us! See? It is a favor! From us to you human! You were imperfect....yesss imperfect like all that surrounds us!"

The creature manages a toothy grin, appraising its work with not one, but ten critical eyes that dart and swish about the statue. The beholder's grin is short lived as the slimy eyes dart in unison to the unfortunate ranger's feet.

"...Legs? Disgusting! Why must these things have such ugly and imperfect growths!"


The creature grins once more, allowing a dribble of viscous saliva to drip to the cavern floor as it readies its eye rays.

"Do not worry little human. We can fix you!"

One of the writhing eyestalks brimming with destructive energy locks upon the petrified man's legs as the beholder gets to work.

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Alanonas
1:05:00 pm GMT 12/08/19
Alanonas Registered Member #24078 Joined: 3:40:59 am GMT 05/14/17
Posts: 800
II

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"I often wondered myself why these horribly egotistic and powerful creatures seldom seem to degenerate to the state of outright destroying all that fails to meet their own twisted perceptions of the world. Why shouldn't such a creature simply disintegrate the world, one blast of magic at a time?

The answer lies in the mindset of the beholder. Although typically infested with xenophobia and insanity, beholders are also astoundingly arrogant and vain, and nothing pleases them more than to have other creatures fawn over and worship them, bolstering their already inflated ego to even more perilous heights.

An overly destructive beholder who runs amok with its powers quickly finds itself without anyone to dominate or menace. Thus, I have observed many beholders exercising some twisted form of self-control to avoid the outright destruction of any and all around them, if only to give them a sense of power. Beholders who fail to maintain this complicated matrix of followers oft fall to a near feral state that more often than not brings about the creature's premature end.

As such, these creatures often find their ways into our lives: the very cities we live in, the gangs that prowl the shadowy underworld below us, or even the very schools and centers of learning where we have these lectures..."


-excerpt from Odiit Tenrest's Lectures on Beholders and Beholderkin - the sage's last known colloquium before his mysterious disappearance.
~>(0)<~

Dirty rays of the setting sun glow a sickly red as they pass through the plumes of odoriferous steam that billows forth from the sewer's grate. The dirty streets of Lowtown begin to stir to life as the last bits light diffuse into the putrid mists. A pile of rags and offal shambles forth from the warm sewer entrance, his one barefoot twitching as it meets the cool, cracked stones of the ruined streets.

Old Gregor "One shoe" Gorman always fancied himself as a man who stayed one step ahead of utter ruin; one had to if they were to cut it on the grimy streets and back alleys of Lowtown. It wasn't a pleasant or comfortable life, but he'd hardly recognize such a life it it slapped him across his unshaven face with a pile of golden Kampfer's.

The old beggar grins to himself as he shambles his way through the tired streets. He had an ace in the hole though. Somehow he knew it. Knew it since that day he took to huddling in the sordid mists rising from the dank sewers in hopes of stealing some of their warmth in the chilling nights. Knew it the first time he heard that voice. The words were hissing and wet, nearly blending into to sticky plumes of sewer gas that blanketed the old man. He remembers being afraid, if only for a moment, but then only safety. Security. Indeed the old man felt more safe while listening to the strange voice than he ever had since his life fell apart all those years ago.

He left that night and found himself yearning to hear the voice again. Part of him knew he was going mad, or that it was the secondhand bits of laudspier finally getting to him, but he really could care less. He had a friend in this voice; security. He never even thought to hesitate when it began to ask him of all sorts of things: Who runs different neighborhoods and ghettos? Where do the lines of drugs and under story resources flow into and out of the city? Where do the mazes of sewers link together under the city street?

The old man tells the voice what he knows as the days pass and the conversations continue. One day it asks him to find a woman, one he had been telling the coaxing voice about while detailing the various strings of the underworld. Gregor knew little of her and the shadowy bunch she ran with, and less of what it is they did, but he knew her face, and that she frequents the city...

As he makes for the square and the voice's coaxing timbre fades into the bustle of the city streets he thinks to himself. How many days had it been? For the life of him he cannot recall. Everything seems blurry and indistinct to the man, but one thing is for certain: It felt good to have a friend.
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Alanonas
8:37:39 pm GMT 12/18/19
Alanonas Registered Member #24078 Joined: 3:40:59 am GMT 05/14/17
Posts: 800
III


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"Beholders are hateful creatures above all else, and nothing provokes their hatred more than other beholders. In theory, a beholder could get along well enough with a beholder that appeared similar to itself, but over time, the creature would continue to find tiny imperfections in a companion that will invariably drive them to rage. Each beholder's physical forms are unique, and no beholder would regard another as anything other than inferior.

There are a number of theories that pertain to the origin of such behaviors, one of such that involves an entity known only as the Great Mother. It is from this mysterious being that the original beholders were said to spawn. From the Great Mother, the beholder race and its various kin have propagated forth into the cosmos, infesting a number of planes of existence. It is said that each individual beholder sees itself as the most perfect depiction of the Great Mother, and that all others are at best foul mockeries and an affront to the beholder race.
"

- Excerpt from The Codex Anathema, by Iphegor of the Ebon Mirror

~>(0)<~

Putrid columns of grimy water cascade downward from the city streets above as they crash into the disgusting waterways of the underworks of Steinkreis. The chilling moisture fills the dark chamber, condensing upon the the grotesque statue that floats forlorn in the middle of the damp room. An unseen force causes the orb like thing of stone to spin about, glistening in the slimy air. The greasy sheen catches the wayward streams of light from far above, bringing the features of the petrified creature into view.

It was what most would consider a beholder, albeit far smaller than the typical thing of nightmares that even the most seasoned of adventurer would approach with caution. Another such creature's form is caught in the lost light from above, this one far larger. The creature's eyestalks whip about its plated body, swirling about the suspended specimen before it, each slimy eye blinking in wet unison as it appraises each of the petrified thing's features.

"Foul thing you are! An abomination. A mockery you are! Imperfect..."

The creature's hissing voice slinks about the wet walls of the tunnel, each word being lost within the slime and molds that coat the enclosure.

"The Jack tells us much about you little abomination...yesss tells us of your sorrid progenitor. This Seamus...The Jack shows us where it lurks. Where it hides its imperfection from us...We will finds it though! Yesss finds it and breaks it!"


The hissing voice breaks into a gurgling laughter as the petrified beholderkin is freed from the unseen telekinetic force that held it aloft, allowing it to fall into a broken pile of sharp stone fragments upon the slimy floor. The crash of broken stone echoes alongside the sickly laughter through the expansive tunnels and into the streets above...

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Alanonas
1:15:55 pm GMT 04/06/20
Alanonas Registered Member #24078 Joined: 3:40:59 am GMT 05/14/17
Posts: 800
IV

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"Despite their possession of deadly powers and vast magical might, beholders remain a physical being. Such creatures must consume food and drink much like any other creature of flesh and blood. Curiously so, many specimens often display a manic desire to pursue food and drink to the level that could be considered vice or over indulgence. While always secondary to their primary drive to unravel magical secrets or the unceasing desire to dominate lesser races, this peculiarity remains a fascinating area of study to many scholars of beholderkin."

- Excerpt from "Lectures on Aberrant Proclivities" presented by Scholar Rendavan the Lucid shortly prior to becoming known as Rendavan the Manic.

~>(0)<~

"We remembers the smell. Smell was tantalizing. Was like hot, steamy earth with notes of warm plants. Smell was invigorating. We follows it we did. Out from darkness of the cavern and over bright lands of the surface. Then we sees it. Rising up in mists from small vessel. There were humans about it, its wardens and protectors."


The murky cavern smelled of decay and rot, all such aromas rising from the half devoured corpses of unlucky wildlife and travelers alike that wandered too close to the auspicious lair of the creature. A wet popping sound reverberates through the cave as the beholder's eyestalks whip about as the memory replays in his alien mind.

"Yess we found it. They were there. Humans. Two of them. Yess. We cloaked our perfect form with magic to hide from their suspicious glares. A innocent pixie they would see with their weak eyes; nothing more. We demands the smells. Tells them we must have them! Humans say that the smell hides in what they call "coffee". Humans say we must pay for smells. PAY? We do not PAY. They makes us angry they do. Laughing! Laughing at us!"


A flash of green light cuts through the darkness of the subterranean abode, striking a lone stalagmite and causing it to flare hot and melt over into a pile molten rock. The acrid fumes quickly overtake the strong smell of rot as the beholder floats faster about its circuitous path.

"Our spell. They makes us lose concentration on our spell! The transmutation falters and we feel the magic covering us fall away, lost in the human's taunts! They sees us then. Yesss...they see us, and we see the fear grow in their tiny eyes as they draw their primitive tools of bloodshed. It is no time for hiding now. No, we has many spells. And we used them to break our attackers, these wardens of the smells. Wardens fall and we try to find the smells, but the other humans come. Angry humans see us and bring more tools of metal! So we fly far away. The smells haunt us. Yess they do. Even now we can still smell them..."


As the sun sets low, a single beam of moonlight finds its way into the dark cavern from some unseen crack in the ceiling. As it spreads over the darkness, it illuminates nothing but melted rock and rotting bones as the beholder's voice echos from outside the cavern as it flies into the night.

"We will have them!"





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Alanonas
5:04:46 pm GMT 04/13/20
Alanonas Registered Member #24078 Joined: 3:40:59 am GMT 05/14/17
Posts: 800
V


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"Beholders who delve into the esoteric secrets of the Arcane often find themselves limited by the very powers that drive their insatiable need to understand and dominate all aspects of the world that come before them. Obtaining mastery of The Art is among the most maddening endeavors an ambitious beholderkin may set its alien mind to, for their own prodigious and terrible powers turn against them.

Would-be beholder mages are forced to witness the treasured arcane secrets ascribed upon pilfered and precious scrolls evaporate into a flash of non magic as their central and most powerful eye's gaze falls upon such things and leaves naught but bare parchment as the magic within is consumed by their dweomer lobes.

Sure, beholders may close their eye and forfeit the benefits of its powers in order to learn what they may, but there are those within their race who would aspire to gain an unbridled mastery of the Weave, their longing for such power great enough to drive them to destroy what could be considered to be their most formidable weapon. These strange outliers of their kind are in may ways the most insane without doubt, but the thought of such a creature investing its full attention and alien intellect in uncovering the darkest secrets of The Art is one that has been a cause of concern for all civilized minds.

For there is nothing worse than stumbling upon a beholder with the exception of stumbling upon one with unimpeded mastery of deadly magicks as well...
"

-Excerpt from Odiit Tenrest's "Lectures on Beholders and Beholderkin"

"We Remembers."

The goblin's eyes try to move to follow the hissing voice in the dark, but only finds its muscles set like stone, held by some unseen force that squeezes the creature's chest, causing each breath to grate out in gurgling desperation as the creature's spell holds it.

"Yess. We remembers. It was a cave, just like this one you lives in little creature. Far in the dark it was...."

The goblin's yellowed eyes remain unmoving, forced to stare unblinking upon its kin that lie twisted and petrified in a disorderly pile of half molten stone. Each of the stony figures' fearful expressions droop, melting into a contorted mass as the hissing voice echoes about the cavern.

"Finds all manner of secrets we did! Humans bring them into the dark they did, leaves them written in their books, hides them in the stones of their rings and in the blades of their swords....but we finds them."


The spell's hold closes about the goblin's body, crushing it further and threatening to squeeze out the last remnants of life that sought to hide within the broken creature. A muffled scream wheezes past the goblin's broken teeth as its bones begin to flex and bend under the weight of the unseen force that holds it.

"We knew there were more secrets. Knew they hid above we did, in the light of the world. Waiting. We finds them we did. So many of them. Powers beyond compare little one!"


The crushing hold stops for a brief moment, allowing the held goblin to take a single breath.

"Does it know what we learned from these secrets?"


The wheezing goblin's frozen eyes fill with fear as the orb-like creature floats close, its rancid breath passing over the creature's face like a plague ridden wind. Ten eyes attached to writhing tendrils stare into the goblin's eye. The eleventh one within the creature's body was gone, replaced by a gaping, scarred pit.

"We learned that we were not perfect."

The spell's deadly grip returned, holding the goblin in place as one of the sinister eyestalks began to glow. A wave of energy washes over the goblin, its trapped feet grow heavy and cold, then it feels nothing at all as the creeping magic replaces it's battered skin with cold, dead stone.

"But we became perfect little one. Learned what was hidden in the secrets...and soon, you shall too!"






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Alanonas
1:54:51 pm GMT 04/16/20
Alanonas Registered Member #24078 Joined: 3:40:59 am GMT 05/14/17
Posts: 800
VI


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"Beholders are creatures of vanity and paranoia at their core, each seeing itself as the apex of perfection in its race. This naturally does not lend itself to large groups of the aberrations congregating, much less working together towards a common goal. Despite this, there are reports of terrible and alien cities in the darkest parts of the world that teem with communities of the very same?

How is such possible?

The answer to this age old conundrum lies in the powers of the Hive Mother. These terrifically powerful and ancient beholders are said to have spawned from the The Great Mother herself in days long forgotten. As such, they are endowed with a multitude of ancient and terrible powers, that among these resides a curious power of domination over their lesser kin. It is only under the rule of a Hive Mother that these egotistical creatures may set aside their own depraved self image to aspire to something greater than themselves, a concept all but foreign to a free-willed beholder."


- Excerpt from The Codex Anathema, by Iphegor of the Ebon Mirror

~>(0)<~


The creature floats along the rising mists that grow from the shadowy terrain below it, its passing stirring the wisps of shadowy nothingness into a flowing trail behind it. The prickling sting of of the Drow sorceress's bindings still felt heavy upon the creature, even now that it was free from them. The beholder now wanders the dark paths of the plane of shadows where it was cast following her interrogation. The surreal and contorted shadows of the prime stretch on in all directions, fading into a deep black on the endless horizon, the deadly silence broken only by the creature's hissing voice as it floats along.

"Dirty dark elves! Traps us! Draws our secrets from us..."

The creature was no stranger to the machinations and deprivations of such creatures, spending much of his nascent years hunting the same dark elves in the tunnels of the deep. But this one was different. This dark elf lived on the surface, and walked where others of its kind dare not tread: under the light of the dreaded sun itself. It had learned that the light reveals a great many secrets that were long lost to those who dwelt in the dark.

More so, the drow knew how to use them.

The beholder drifts deeper in the the shadows, hissing to itself as the shadows grow more oppressive about its floating form.

"We remembers the feel of being bound, not by chains, but by the words of the Mother...It stings us it did. Makes us hurt and melts our mind, holds us like no chain of magic and iron could it did. Never again! Will not be held! Not by Mother of the Hive or Dark ones!"


A swirling vortex of wispy shadow stirs across the twisting path the creature had been following. The orb's swaying eyestalks lock on to the anomaly, seeing flashes of light twinkling within its swirling form as it draws closer. Before the creature can react it feels its body jaunting into the vortex, suddenly blinded by light.

A stinging cold carried by a biting wind sweeps over the creature as the shadows abate and it finds itself once again in the light, the same light that reveals so many secrets...

Its eyes peer into the snowy expanse, drawn to the curious crystal growths that rise above the snow-covered hills of the Northlands. The waves of crackling magic flow over him, replacing the feel of the oppressive cold with one of raw power as he follows the leylines of the weave through the snowy passes and closer to the titanic aether crystals that loom in the swirling snow...

"The dark one knew there was power to be found in the light...and so do we."


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Alanonas
5:56:51 pm GMT 04/23/20
Alanonas Registered Member #24078 Joined: 3:40:59 am GMT 05/14/17
Posts: 800
VII


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"Beyond the central eye of a beholder is a curious set of organs known by scholars of aberrant anatomy as dweomerlobes. While intact, these alien organs draw power from any magical energy drawn into the beholder via the powers of its largest eye, the same that is endowed with the power to disrupt the very weave itself.

Such subjects are still deeply debated within the esoteric groups that delve into such unnatural studies, but many conclude that these aberrations have some degree of need to feed upon the Weave, perhaps even as a means of maintaining the deadly powers that manifest within the smaller eye stalks of the creature. Indeed, it is no mere coincidence that a great array of their deadly powers seem astonishingly akin to several known circles of spells and powers that may be drawn from the arcane weave via study or through latent powers of bloodlines contained within practitioners of the Art.

It is known that some beholders and behoderkin lose, or even willingly destroy this eye in order to study the weave in a more academic sense. How the absence of this eye affects the creature is largely unknown, but one would think the creature would have to find alternative means to fuel the prodigious powers of its eye rays if it could no longer draw in such power from the central eye. Perhaps it is for the best that nearly all subjects encountered with missing central eyes have been forced to resort to traditional, and fortunately well understood, magical means of protecting themselves. However, should such a creature find and alternative means of harvesting power for its dweomer lobes, would it be possible to restore the dwindling power of its natural powers? Just the thought of such a creature that boasts both the natural and learned powers of the weave would be a considerable threat to the unwary scholar.

But what source of raw arcana would be powerful enough to fuel such things? Fortunately such powers are few and far between..."


- Excerpt from Aberrant Anatomy, Volume III: Beholderkin, by Falden Greylorn the Stoic

The windy gusts batter the orb-like creature as it floats against the growing gales of the northern reaches of Thain. A rather vicious gust tears through the snowy gully, sending the creature tumbling and bouncing off the icy crags and into a snow drift. A sweltering heat begins to glow within the snow, melting it away into rivulets of steaming water as the beholders evocation explodes with a wave of searing heat that blasts the snow away.

"What is this? Nasty cold rocks that turn to water? Hates them! Hates them all!"

The hissing beholder turns several more burning spells to the piles of snow that surround him. The booming blasts resonate through the valley, bouncing between the looming peaks of the glaciers that lie ahead. As the creature extricates itself from the snow, it hears a thundering crash as a massive wave of snow begins to fall from the overhead cliffs.

"Cold rocks are angry at us!"

The hissing beholder rises and floats, the torrent of crashing snow from the avalanche flowing down the glacier's side in a roiling cloud of icy death that threatens to overtake the creature. Though the creature flies with alacrity, it is little match for the wrath of the disturbed snow as it comes crashing down over the creature...

~>(0)<~

The pile of snow comes to rest lower in the valley, slowy churning to a halt as the last bits of snow and ice tumble down. All is quiet for a moment before the icy mound begins to sizzle and hiss with a steamy heat..

"BLLLEEEARRGH!"

A ray of heat sears the ice and snow away as the bludgeoned beholder blasts its way from the icy tomb that sought to trap it. It rises from the pile, steaming from the heat of the spell as its frigid eyestalks whip about wildly, blinded by the light of day. No, not the light of day. A pale moon shone overhead, but this valley was awash with colors and shone bright in the night. The creature looks about, seeing a vast array of colors playing off the snow slide, dancing in the fractures of the ice and floating suspended in the falling snowflakes.

"What is thisss?"


The beholder pauses as one of its eyes catches sight of the looming crystal that grows from the side of the valley, one taller and more magnificent than all the others that shimmered in the valley. The air hummed with a strange tingling that coursed through the creature's body, a feeling he had been deprived of since the destruction of his central eye all those years ago...

For a long time the creature floated listlessly, all of its eyestalks locked upon the shimmering crystal. Lost in thought. Lost in power...
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