Thursday, February 3, 2011

Saturday Night Specials: Eyes

From a Dissertation on the Historic Miniaturization and Micro-miniaturization of Inter-dimensional Machinery by Chtkptk Kék, Science University of Alpha Centauri 101, 077 AD

… many thousands of years prior to the development of miniaturized inter-planar engines and the portable power orbs that have become ubiquitous across known space; the containment of inter-planar powered devices and other inter-dimensional engines in spheroid constructs appears to have been a not uncommon mode within our interstellar cultural-technological habitas; the orb, perhaps, signifying a self contained universe, extant at once within otherness and itself infinite.

The earliest antecedent of the modern inter-dimensional orb was likely manufactured prior to the end of the 539th century AD. By this time, basic interfogulator inter-planar engines of modest size were available, though at near prohibitive cost. Archival sources and archaeological evidence indicate that such devices dating from that early period through circa the 700th century or somewhat later shared several defining characteristics. These constructs, believed to have been almost universally known as thakel-yel, or Eyes were: a) spherical, b) scaled to the average sentient but of a minimum size and mass as determined by the size and mass of a Mk I interfogulator of the time, c) equipped with a contra-gravitic field generator, d) weaponised, and e) sentient, having an installed early positronic or organic brain.

If ancient legends are given validity, the eventual extinction of the Eyes stemmed from the problematic pairing of an inter-planar engine and intelligence within one shell, flesh and metal intertwined, armed with unspeakable weapons, pulsing with almost unimaginable power, and trapped with itself and the terrors of the spaces between-most of the thakel-yel were driven to madness…

Eye (Thakel)

No. Enc.: 1-2
Alignment: any
Move: Fly 240' (80')
Armor Class: 0/2
Hit Dice: 15 (96-120 hit points)
Attacks: see below
Damage: see below
Morale: 12

The Eyes or Thakel-yel are super-scientific constructs that contain within their spherical bodies a Mk 1 Interfogulator inter-dimensional device and a fully sentient and highly intelligent positronic or organic brain. 

The body of one of these beings is an armored orb of about 3 feet in diameter adorned with one central glassy eye. Atop the Eye are 1d4 cybernetic eye stalks, each capable of a specific power or effect. The body can sustain 60 points of damage, each eye stalk 8 points, and the central eye can withstand up to 28 points. The armor class of the body and central eye are 0 and that of the eye stalks, 2. All damage is to the body of the Eye unless the eyestalks or central eye is specifically attacked and the Eye will not be incapacitated until all parts are destroyed. Attacks aimed specifically at the central eye or eyestalks are made at -4 to hit. Eyes have an internal self-repairing function that regenerates 1d8 hit points of body damage per round.

Each round, the eye may utilize the powers of each of its eye stalks and the central eye. The central eye projects a powerful heat ray (Range: 360’ Damage: 4-24). The offensive power of each eyestalk may be determined randomly (e.g.):

1- Disintegrator Ray (Disintegrate, Range: 60’)
2- Hypnotic Ray (Mind Control or Sleep)
3- Electrical Blast (Range: 120’ Damage: 6-36).
4- Death Ray (Range: 60’)
5- Nerve Gas (Save vs. Poison)
6- Holoscopic Actualizer Ray

Each eyestalk will also be capable of 1d2 other powers that may be determined randomly (e.g.):

1- Language Translation
2- Y –Ray (Heal 4d6 hit points, Cure Disease, Regeneration)
3- Telekinesis
4- Recharge Devices
5- Force Field
6- Detect Life
7- Detect Invisible
8- Revive Dead

All Eyes are highly intelligent and capable of speaking 6-36 common interstellar languages and communicating in Machine language. All also include medium-range communicator devices. Unlike most robots, Eyes are not immune to mind affecting powers.

There is a 50% chance that a randomly encountered eye will be insane and inimical. Eyes of this type are exceedingly dangerous as they have, in addition to their other powers, the psionic abilities of a 15th level Astronaut with a PSY score of 13-18 and the ability to self destruct by detonating their internal interfogulator.


  1. Interesting take on the classic Eye Tyrant/Beholdet.

  2. Grrrrrr..... Beholder. Blasted iPad keypad.

  3. I was imagining in my mind's eye something like that flying metal zappo orb that Ming the Merciless had in the Flash Gordon movie.

  4. Or a spherical version of the robot combat trainer in David Lynch's version of Dune.

  5. @ School Master Oh..the eye is nothing like the Beholder...the Beholder is considered Product Identity and that might make the Eye...criminal...

    @ ckutalik and School Master I thought about both of those floating droids. I'm sure there are all sorts of floating spherical robots in Humanspace, the Eyes might be the nastiest though...

    Didn't the floating orb in Flash Gordon tell Flash to Have a Nice Day? I could imagine an eye saying that.

  6. Oh my. This is rather perfect.

    (I'm loving the banner lately, btw.)

  7. why dont you call this creation an

    ; - )

  8. being a traditional Tekumel ref, I tend to read your stuff with an eye (wince) towards how the concepts translate to the post bethorm world. Wondering if you see these eyes as the source of the traditional eyes of the Original game? Perhaps the weapons systems from the stalks, long since removed from the hosts?

  9. @kokigami These eyes are not the source of Tekumels eye devices but an earlier implementation of the same technology.

    The base setting for Humanspace Empires is about 50,000 years pre-bethorm, during the time when Tekumel was fist discovered. In my research I found indications that, canonically, the eyes of post bethorm times were an invention of the period just before the disaster.

    My take on this is that during the earlier period, inter-dimensional devices (both the hand held eyes and the Humanspace Eye creatures draw on inter-planar power) could not be miniaturized.

    The post bethorm eyes share many of the same powers as the Eye's stalks because both tapped into inter-interdimensional power. By the time of the disaster; however, handheld interplanar devices of various types (Tekumel's eyes) were common consumer products.


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