The Eye of Avarice
The manifestation of the Queen of Avarice, the Eye of Avarice is a worthy herald of that fell being.
The spell had been hard-fought to obtain. The Black Janissaries had defended the crypt like madmen. A great number of precious works had been lost in the battle, but the prize remained intact, a testament to the mystical defenses placed upon the work.
The spell itself was simple enough , but it called for a fortune in gold and jewels. She did not give up of her time for cheap. But the requisite price was gathered, and the summoning successful.
Her appearance was both alluring and dreadful. A great titan of a woman, with her yard-wide eye-sockets swarming with thousands of glittering eyeballs. She was wrapped in a dress made of hundreds of bloodstained but regal dresses, shorn from countless vain and covetous ladies. Her face was hard and severe, surrounded by wild, untamed black hair, and crowned with a golden crown.
She seemed delighted by my offering, scooping up in moments a treasure it took me a decade and untold blood to gather, but it would be worth it. She did not speak, but gave me a brief look with all of her eyes, and it nearly shattered my resolve. She pointed to my left eye and I pulled off the bandage, exposing the gaping socket. Another price, but it would also be worth it. She reached up to her own socket and drew out one of the multitude swarming there. The orb then flew of its own accord, following a beeline to me, drawn as a needle to a lodestone. Pain.
When I regained consciousness, She was gone. So was almost everything of value in the chamber. But no matter, the Eye remained, and with it, all the treasure and more would be regained!
The Goddess of Avarice has many minions, who seek to share in her immense wealth, though none really do. They all lust for her wealth, but fear her attention and disfavor. In return, she holds her minions in little value, none beyond the potential wealth they could bring. Her most loyal and dangerous servants are the Eyes of Avarice, since they are of her own flesh and blood.
The Eyes usually enter the world through the direct intercession of the Goddess, answering the calls of the powerful and greedy who have stumbled upon the rituals to draw her attention. The eyes bond with their hosts and to a lesser or greater degree lend some of their powers.
The rituals to summon the Goddess are quite simple, requiring little more than a Name and an appropriately dear sum of treasure. This amount could easily be described as a King's ransom, but always seems to be just enough to exhaust the summoner's resources, leaving them a near-pauper.
Depending on the value of the host in the creature's perspective, it will attempt to bond with them. There it will gain energy vicariously through its host's own avarice. The host, already disposed towards greed and hording, will be egged on by the Eye towards the acquisition of more and more wealth.
The Eye has to balance its energy use against the utility of its host, and so poor hosts will see little evidence of the Eye's powers. Suitable hosts will justify investments of power by the Eye and so may be able to draw upon the Eye's powers on demand.
The Eye, though the simple expedient of swelling, can bring pain to its host, from a minor warning discomfort, to mind-shattering pain. It will use this as needed to keep its host in line, if it chooses to make its nature clear.
The Eye's Powers
The powers that the eye may chose to make available to its host are as follows:
Enhanced knowledge in value - from somewhat better to full knowledge.
The Gaze of Domination - Drawing upon the latent avarice of the target, can compel them to action if their willpower is broken.
The Gaze of Disruption - The Eye can channel some of its essence to degrade and dispel enchantments, and to injure beings of a supernatural nature.
The Gaze of Destruction - Drawing upon still greater energies, the Eye can direct a beam of energy capable of disintegrating physical objects, inanimate or living.
The Gaze of Deshrouding - The Eye's power can strip any mystical disguises, illusions or invisibilities from the target, laying it bare to plain view.
The Gazes pull significant amounts of energy from the host, and it is loath to use them unnecessarily. The Eye may communicate with its host via base empathy to full telepathy, depending upon the Eyes desires and the suitability of the host.
In addition to the powers listed above, the Eyes are avid sorcerers and will learn magic of their own accord given a suitable host.
The Eyes, before Transformation, have but the aforementioned powers, and a limited telekinesis that they can use to move about short distances, and manipulate small objects. They are fairly tough - being about as durable as thick, solid glass. This durability means that they could generally only be slain by an attack that would also have slain their Host. Outside of Host, they could be dispatched with a sturdy hammer.
After Transformation, their physical abilities are much different.
Once an Eye has accumulated a critical mass of psychic energy, they can rebuild their physical form into one capable of defending the vast wealth that they would have accumulated at that time. They can spend the energy to increase their size and durability, activate additional powers and otherwise become far more formidable. This transformation is dreadfully sudden, to the great detriment of its one-time host.
If there is interest in a system for this, please let me know. Otherwise, consider this an open license to create a monster as powerful as needed. At the very least, one can substitute the more 'conventional' beholder for an Eye at this stage. I will submit a seperate entry for an Adult eye as a seperate submisson, for this one I feel is already overlong, and the pre-transform stage is to me the more interesting one.
The Eyes are not the loyal servants the Queen would desire, for too much of her own nature is imbedded within. Though understanding of her desire, they have desire of their own of matching intensity. They are driven to seek means to hide their success from the Queen, and constantly intrigue to find some way to free themselves from their tie to the Queen. It is this intrigue and desire that allows the Eyes to become a real player in a campaign.
Eye for An Eye
An Eye has located clues to the whereabouts of another Eye's trove, and will attempt to use the PCs to take over the hoard. Of course, the current Eye still holds sway over the treasure, well hidden and defended. The last host may still be present adding to the defense of the trove.
A Captive Eye
The Eyes need not a host to function, and one wizard, Asmahar the Great, has bound one into his scepter. He is strong enough to command the eye, but others may not be so lucky. The eye has yet to accumulate enough energy to transform, as the Wizard has been very care on that front. Too bad his apprentice is not quite so careful.
A Bad Thing Worse
The Eyes serve well as a non-transferable powerup for a Villain - it provides magical firepower the equal of a formidable wizard, with an assortment of gaze weapons and possibly spells that can function independently of the host. Potential hosts could animals - though unlikely, or perhaps the king of all hosts - a Dragon!
Through some event, a Host has come to the conclusion they wish to be rid of the eye, without dying of course. How the host can communicate this desire to others for help, without the Eye finding out what is happening, would be a great challenge. As would be the effort to free the host once such help was obtained. Perhaps, it is simply a trap.
Game Specific Notes
For D&D 3.5, I would suggest that the Eye grant the host the equivalent of a Warlock of equal level - giving the host Evocations that can be directed as a swift action. For other systems, treating it as a virtual spell-caster of some form would be the best fit. For systems with experience point systems, the Eye would consume as many points as would an additional party member.
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? Responses (5)
Greedy, baby Beholders!
I like the Motivation blurb a lot. Each one can be uniquely ambitious, cunning and conniving. I immediately picture a sycophantic Eye latching on to the party, for some reason, then dove-tailing into Eye for an Eye plot-hook.
Good to see you posting again, val!
Plot Hooks titles are fun to make-up for these...The Eyes Have It, Eye'll Be Seeing You, Mud in your Eye...etc Now I'll have to think up some of the actual hooks for these
A solid submission that covers all pertinent angles, with flavour text inserted just where they are needed. Overall, a high quality piece.
This is one of those subs that begs to be used in a game. I look forward to seeing more about the 'Adult Eyes.'
I like the way the 'strength' of the eyes powers depend on the hosts suitability/compatibility.
A fun read. It would be interesting to see Eyers Remorse being played as part of a campaign.
4.5/5 and congratulations on a new sub!