The Twice-Born

the twice-born

THE TWICE-BORN

THE END IS ONLY THE BEGINNING

The Twice-Born represent a dichotomy, a faction whose goals may appeal to and repulse the PCs simultaneously. Their objectives are noble, at least on the surface, but their disregard for the consequences of their actions sometimes makes them a hazard to entire regions.

ATTRIBUTES OF THE TWICE-BORN

Size: Medium (51–100 members)

Alignment and Purpose: N; using their abilities to travel between worlds to reverse extinctions.

Approximate Class Breakdown: Druid 40%, Cleric 18%, Ranger 17%, Sorcerer 10%, 5% Adept, 5% Bard, 5% Other

Resources: The Twice-Born have little in the way of material resources beyond the magic items they themselves have created. Because they rarely involve themselves with humanoid civilization, however, this lack of resources is not normally a hindrance.

Central Headquarters: The Twice-Born have no central headquarters of any sort, as they spend almost every waking moment exploring various worlds in search of evidence of extinctions, or for animals that they know have gone extinct on other worlds.

Known Enemies: To date, the Twice-Born have remained undetected by any major governments on the worlds they have visited, as well as by the other major interplanar organizations.

A GENERAL OVERVIEW

The Twice-Born are an organization of naturalists and nature worshippers who believe that the normal cycles of life are sacrosanct. The greatest sin, in their eyes, is for man (or any sentient race) to hunt another race to extinction or otherwise cause them to die out. They have therefore taken it upon themselves to undo extinction itself by traveling across the planes until they find creatures on one world that have been driven to extinction on another. They then capture a breeding population of the subjects in order to repopulate the world on which they’ve died out. If the extinction was natural, they figure it will die out again, but if it was not, they have undone a grave sin committed, intentionally or not, by the inhabitants of that world.

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This might be considered an admirable goal by some, save that the Twice-Born carry it to fanatical extremes. They don’t care why a race might have been driven to extinction. Over- hunting and environmental changes caused by magic or urban expansion are unfortunate events that perhaps are worthy of being reversed. Sometimes, though, the locals of a region have chosen to hunt down a species deliberately, perhaps because they are innately evil or otherwise harmful to the region. Even if the extinction was both gradual and accidental, suddenly returning the creatures to the environment often wreaks havoc on the communities currently there.

The Twice-Born care not a whit for any of it. The reasons for the extinction, the harm the creatures might cause to the local population

— none of this matters. In fact, though it may seem hypocritical, the Twice-Born don’t even mind if the creatures they’ve reintroduced to the area cause the extinction of other species. By their reckoning, the extinct species belongs here, so any damage it causes is the result of natural processes, not human interference. THE HISTORY OF THE TWICE-BORN

The founder of the Twice-Born was an elven druid by the name of Shallanthrielle Uthellavur. In her youth, Shallanthrielle was a benign, kind soul who firmly believed that the various humanoid races could expand in harmony with nature, rather than in competition with it. It was a belief to which she clung even as the local human villages grew into towns, the towns to sprawling cities; even as hunters and foresters moved ever deeper into the wild, killing whatever they came across for food and fuel and sometimes just for the extra space.

Then, one day approximately 80 years ago, Shallanthrielle came across the body of her best friend, the dryad Throukha, sprawled

beside the stump of the oak to which she had been bonded. Enraged, the druid abandoned her previous stance and began mobilizing the natural environment around her against the human incursions. Animals and plants turned against their oppressors, and the humans abandoned the forest as haunted.

And that would have been the end of it, had Throukha not returned to Shallanthrielle as a ghost. During her visitations, the pair discussed the druid’s actions, and decided that nature could no longer protect itself against the rampages of humanity. No single force could possibly stop the rape of the forests, the death of countless animals — but perhaps a small, devoted organization might be able, at least, to undo some of the most grievous damage.

Guided by her phantom friend, Shallanthrielle sought out likeminded allies, among her own druidic brethren, the rangers who dwell in the wild, clerics of nature gods, witches and hedge-magicians of frontier villages, and others. She gathered them with no explicit purpose beyond trying to undo the damage the humanoid races caused to nature. It was only after the group had grown to over a dozen members and they had bandied notions back and forth that they hit upon the notion of undoing extinction itself.

The Twice-Born spent over a decade seeking out a means of returning dead species to life. Resurrection magics were too difficult to come by, and weren’t capable of raising enough creatures to form a new breeding population. All their experiments in time-travel magics proved failures (and occasionally disastrous). Eventually, the Twice-Born settled on planar travel as the only viable option. Almost any creature imaginable existed on multiple planes, if only one looked hard enough to find them, and an extinction in one world didn’t mean the species was extinct in others.

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Finally, through the efforts of the group’s spellcasters, they were able to locate or create a number of techniques for moving large numbers of beings across dimensional boundaries, and the Twice-Born were ready to go to work.

A Word on Extinction

It’s important to note that, historically, extinction is a relatively modern concept. Most preindustrial societies had no conception that the death of an entire species was possible. It was- n’t just that they didn’t believe it was happening; the thought never even occurred to them.

The various D20 fantasy worlds are, of course, not perfect analogues of real historical culture, but they do share many traits in common with nations of the past. The DM may well decide that the lack of understanding of extinction is one of them. For a society that doesn’t have even the concept of extinction, the actions of the Twice-Born — who themselves are familiar with the process only through their deep bond with nature and their observation of multiple worlds — become even more incomprehensible.

INSIDE THE TWICE-BORN

The Twice-Born is an “organization” in only the most informal use of the term. Many of its members have little in common with one another save their desire to undo the harmful impact humanoid races have had on nature. They do not hold regular meetings, have no particular rules or customs. They gather when necessary or when called by their leaders, and otherwise devote their time to accomplishing their common goals.

The Twice-Born are governed, so far as they have any formal hierarchy, by a council of leaders called simply the Circle. At any given time, the Circle consists of the most skilled and experienced (which usually translates, in game

terms, into highest level) adept, cleric, druid, ranger, and sorcerer in the organization. Until recently, Shallanthrielle Uthellavur served as the druidic member of the Circle. Roughly a year ago, however, she disappeared on an expedition to an aquatic world where she and her companions were seeking to retrieve a number of young dragon turtles and dragon turtle eggs. None of the expedition returned, and although divinations suggest that Shallanthrielle is still alive somewhere, the Twice-Born have been unable to locate her. For the time being, then, one of her oldest and most powerful students — a gnome druid/bard called Stavak — has assumed her position.

Beyond the Circle, the Twice-Born have no system of ranks. Everyone is considered equal. Major disputes are moderated by the Circle, while more trivial matters are determined by either majority vote or on basis of seniority.

Finding What Isn’t There

The activity that occupies most of the TwiceBorn’s time, and is arguably the most difficult, is determining when and where an extinction has taken place. The vast majority of the organization’s members spend most of their time engaged in these efforts, only occasionally leaving off their investigations to hunt down and capture replacement creatures on other worlds.

On rare occasions, extinctions have occurred so recently that people still discuss the now- absent creature, and ample evidence of them exists in the wild. This is most common when a race has been deliberately destroyed, either because the locals believed them to be a threat or because the locals are themselves malicious. In such cases, it’s a relatively simple matter for the Twice-Born to learn a great deal about the extinct species, since many people know about them and some of the deceased may not yet have decomposed.

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Most of the time, however, a species either died out some time back or the extinction was gradual enough that the people in the region remain unaware it has happened at all. These sorts of extinctions are often the result of over- hunting, urban expansion and environmental change. In these cases, the Twice-Born have a much more difficult task ahead of them.

Members of the organization are very methodical. They move into an area, scour it for months or even years on end, and only then move on a ways before starting over. Their techniques are many and varied. They cast divination spells, communing with animals, plants, deities and the very world around them to determine if any living species has vanished from the area. They examine fossils to see if evidence exists of creatures now absent. They also study the interaction of living animals in the region. An overabundance of a particular species suggests the recent disappearance of a predator, or whatever it was that formerly kept them in check. They even make an effort to learn the myths and folktales of an area in case such ancient stories contain evidence of creatures long gone. The bardic knowledge ability of those bards in the organization comes in handy here.

The Twice-Born focus their efforts in worlds and regions where they have reason to believe an extinction has occurred; regions where civilization has recently expanded into new territories or where constant racial warfare is common are particularly worth watching. Divination spells often point them in the right direction as well. For the most part, however, it’s a matter of studying every area through which the Twice-Born pass. It’s a slow, ponderous and often boring process, but the Twice-Born are devoted enough to their objectives that they accept it as a necessity.

Sometimes, the Twice-Born learn of an extinction but decide, reluctantly, not to pursue it.

When a species goes extinct, the world around it eventually adapts. Other creatures move in to take the original race’s ecological niche, and the environment subtly shifts so that the old species might not be able to thrive there anymore. The Twice-Born know that if they learn of an extinction too long after it has occurred, bringing the species back is an exercise in futility. What purpose does it serve restoring a race to life if the environment itself is simply going to kill it again?

No hard and fast rules exist for determining if a species has been extinct too long for its return to be viable. The Twice-Born evaluate each instance on a case-by-case basis, doing their best to determine how drastically the environment has changed, and how severely those changes might impact the reborn species. They don’t care at all if a returning species is going to cause substantial harm to, say, a newly constructed city, but they do care if the presence of civilization has made it impossible for the creature to survive if brought back.

It varies widely from case to case and world to world. On some worlds, the Twice-Born have decided against restoring animals that have been extinct for only a generation or two, simply because the environment had changed so drastically. In others, the region had remained constant for so long that they were able to successfully return dinosaurs and other creatures extinct for thousands upon thousands of years.

Bring Them Back Alive

Once the Twice-Born have identified an extinction, they begin the long and complicated process of reversing it.

This isn’t nearly as easy as casting a few quick spells and calling it a day. As mentioned above, few of the techniques the organization attempted for restoring a race to life actually proved effective. Resurrection magics, even

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when they are available, are far too limited. They can only restore a single creature at a time, and only if the creature has not been dead for too long. High-level polymorph spells might be an option, but only in those very rare instances where the caster is intimately familiar with the creature that has gone extinct. Time-travel magics are notoriously difficult to master and unreliable, to say nothing of not existing at all on many worlds.

Consider, too, that despite various and sundry creation myths, a single mated pair of creatures is not a sufficient breeding population to restore a species to life. The Twice-Born tried it for a while and discovered that, in almost every instance, the single family spawned by a mated pair died out before it had the chance to expand. In those few cases where the population did grow, the constant inbreeding caused substantial defects and illnesses that prevented the species from thriving.

No, a breeding population must consist of anywhere from dozens to hundreds of unrelated creatures, depending upon various factors such as fertility, maturation cycle, and the size and inherent dangers of the environment. And since resurrecting or creating such a population isn’t normally a viable option, the Twice- Born have to set about finding one that already exists.

Using spells and magic items, the members of the organization travel from world to world, seeking specimens of the species that has vanished elsewhere. For obvious reasons, they focus their efforts on worlds that have vast stretches of whichever environment the creature vanished from. (Replacement of a jungle species will focus on worlds that are largely jungle, etc.) The Circle keeps meticulous environmental records of all the worlds the Twice- Born have visited, so they can easily find their way back to, say, a large desert or a savannah when necessary.

Their search for living specimens makes use of any and every technique imaginable. Divination and communion magics point them in the right direction, where more mundane forms of hunting and tracking take over to pinpoint exact lairs and locations. Spellcasters fly over large tracts of terrain, seeking any sign of the species in question. Diplomatic members engage in lengthy discussions with non-hostile humanoid natives, hoping to find evidence of their quarry in the lore and legends of the locals. The Twice-Born often spend years on such a quest, searching multiple planes before they finally find what they’re looking for — and sometimes not even then. More than one attempt to undo an extinction has failed simply because the organization, despite its exhaustive efforts, could not locate the species on any other world.

Even after the Twice-Born has located a population of the creatures and determined that it is big enough to survive the removal of large numbers to another world, the organization still has a hefty task ahead of it in acquiring and transporting the subjects. They employ every conceivable technique, from the mundane — such as nets, ropes and herbal drugs

— to the mystical — such as charm, sleep and dominate spells — to capture the creatures without harming them. In the case of intelligent species, the Twice-Born might first attempt to negotiate, to convince a number of them to come along willingly. Occasionally, this works. More frequently, the creatures are unwilling to leave their homes for a strange world, especially one in which their race has already died out once, and the organization must resort to the tactics discussed above. Sometimes the Twice-Born locate a population of the creatures they seek, but are not able to acquire enough specimens to reliably repopulate a dangerous or harsh region. In these instances, the organization might take enough of the creatures to serve as a breeding

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population in a safer area. They are willing to take years or even decades to breed the population into larger numbers, and only then transport them back to the region they were attempting to repopulate in the first place.

Further, while they hate doing it, the Twice- Born are willing to kill some of the creatures and transport their bodies. So long as the journey is not a long one, they know that their clerical members can make use of raise dead to restore the creatures to life in their new domain. This weakens the subject, of course, and some creatures have proven unwilling to be raised — to say nothing of the fact that the organization doesn’t have all that many members able to cast the spell — so this is truly a tactic of absolute last resort.

The Twice-Born often build temporary encampments designed to hold captive creatures, who are held helpless or at least docile through spells and drugs. The organization has independently developed a device functionally identical to the collapsing cage used by the Mythmakers, but they prefer to avoid using it where possible.

So how to transport dozens or even hundreds of creatures from world to world? Plane shift carries a limited number of creatures and isn’t particularly precise when it comes to destination. Gate is an extremely powerful spell, one that less than a handful of the Twice-Born can cast. In both cases, these spells lie beyond the province of the druids, who serve as the core of the organization.

It was for this reason that the druids of the Twice-Born set about developing the forest gate spell (see below). Of course, this isn’t the only avenue of approach the organization has taken; many of its arcane spellcasters have set about locating or creating items such as the cubic gate, and even locating and mapping those rare portals that occur through accidents of magic or are leftover from ancient civiliza

tions. Still, forest gate has become the TwiceBorn’s most popular means of mass planar travel.

If You Love Something, Set It Free…

Once the group has a viable breeding population of a formerly extinct species, and has managed to bring them to the region to be repopulated, the creatures are let loose. The Twice-Born make no effort to ensure the safety of any humanoid communities that might have cropped up in the interim, especially if the natives are partially or wholly responsible for the extinction in the first place. In the eyes of the Twice-Born, the people here have moved into regions that are the rightful homes of these other creatures; they’ve none to blame but themselves if they suffer for that choice.

In fact, in some situations the Twice-Born take that attitude a step further. In regions where they have reason to believe a newly reintroduced species may be in danger — perhaps because the locals already wiped them out once, or because a powerful military is poised to move against them and clear the land of “dangerous beasts” — the organization may actually leave behind a cadre of operatives to protect the reintroduced creatures from the local inhabitants. Legends still persist in one kingdom, for example, of an entire city that was eventually overrun by gargantuan reptiles, the likes of which had never before been seen. When the local militia went out to hunt the creatures, they were slaughtered by a pack of the beasts, several of whom were accompanied or even ridden by a group of powerful druids and sorcerers.

This example perfectly illustrates one of the best reasons for a DM to make use of this organization in her own campaign setting. They’re a great way of introducing completely new monsters into the world — or, even better, introducing old monsters into the world. Want to include dinosaurs in an other

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wise medieval setting without resorting to the traditional “lost island”? Want to use a great wyrm for a story when it’s already been established that dragons are extinct? Maybe the DM likes the idea of introducing a single superior goblinoid race, from which modern goblins, hobgoblins, bugbears and others all descend.

Perhaps the single most effective use of this technique is if the PCs themselves were, earlier in the campaign, partially responsible for completely exterminating a race of truly vile, evil creatures. The Twice-Born have no interest in constructs, undead or outsiders, but any other living creature is fair game. Imagine the look on the players’ faces when they run across a hoard of the screaming, gibbering horrors they thought were gone for good.

Customs and Practices

The Twice-Born have no time for ritual or religious observance, despite the fact that a large portion of their members are divine spellcasters. So far as they’re concerned, their purpose overrides all else. Time spent in prayer is time wasted. Since most druids worship abstract forces or embodiments of nature, and the nature gods worshipped by the clerical members approve of their goals, this lack of overt obeisance isn’t really an issue.

Everything the Twice-Born do is executed with relative informality. The Circle assigns personnel to specific tasks — investigate this world for traces of extinction, contact that sage about legends of long-dead creatures, aid some other members in capturing a particularly dangerous beast — but remains largely aloof from members’ affairs. They moderate disputes, approve new members, and otherwise spend most of their time leading individual groups of the Twice-Born in their efforts. Whether or not it’s a member of the Circle, most parties of Twice-Born operatives must include a high-level leader, if only to allow

access to planar travel. (While the organization makes use of magical items like cubic gates, at present it has access to only a few such devices.)

During their searches across various worlds for sign of extinctions, members also keep an eye out for potential recruits. They focus specifically on druidic orders and priesthoods of nature deities, but they look anywhere that seems promising. The operative approaches the prospective member at various points and engages her in several lengthy discussions on the issues the Twice-Born consider important. If the individual seems compatible and useful, the operative reveals to her the existence of the Twice-Born, but not their methods or their planar travel. Anyone who expresses a genuine interest in being a part of it is presented to the Circle as a potential member. The Circle approves or rejects the candidate for membership and assigns an operative to train the new member in the organization’s techniques.

Strictures and Requirements

The Twice-Born are an assembly of likeminded individuals who all share the same beliefs and objectives. They have no bylaws, no particular code or procedural doctrine that must be followed. Members are expected to do their level best to detect and undo extinctions — and, should the opportunity somehow arise, to prevent them — in whatever manner they and the Circle feel is most effective. Anyone who consistently fails or who acts in opposition to those goals is expelled. Beyond that, and the basic courtesy all members are expected to show one another, the Twice-Born have to no particular strictures.

Influence and Outside Connections

Other than their occasional contact with outside sages, storytellers and regional experts, the Twice-Born have little to do with civilization as a whole. Their focus is entirely on the wild, or at

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least areas that were wild, and if all of civilization dried up and blew away, most of them would be just as happy. As such, the Twice-Born hold no real influence in society in any way, shape or form, nor do they have any interest in attaining it.

The organization does have some connection with various woodland creatures, fey and others who may approve of their actions. Even these contacts are both uncommon and tenuous, however.

The Twice-Born have had no recognizable contact with any other interplanar factions. It’s worth noting, however, that the aquatic world to which Shallanthrielle was traveling when she disappeared is a major haven of the Poison Tide. It is possible, even likely, that members of that foul cult had something to do with her failure to return.

NEW SPELL

Forest Gate

Conjuration (Creation)

Level: Drd 8

Components: V, S, F

Casting Time: 1 minute

Range: Close (25 ft. +5 ft./2 levels)

Effect: See text

Duration: 10 minutes/level (D)

Saving Throw: None

Spell Resistance: No

The caster opens a gate or doorway to another plane, through which she or any other creature may move. The gate must appear between two large plants (usually trees) of the same type; that is, it could appear between two oaks, two elms or two large ferns, but not between an elm and a pine. The trees must be no less than 5 feet apart, and no more than 5 feet apart per caster level.

The gate opens onto whatever plane the caster designates, with certain restrictions. First, it must also appear between two plants, and these must both be of the same type (or at least very similar, to account for planar differences) as those that created the opening gate. In both cases — the opening plants and the closing plants — the caster must have previously used at least one of each pair during a transport via plants or tree stride spell. Thus, the caster cannot open a forest gate to a world she has never been to, as she would not have had the opportunity to use one of those spells on one of the destination trees. (Obviously, the starting tree and the destination tree need not — in fact, cannot — have been used in the same spell, since those spells do not allow travel across planar boundaries.)

Focus: Two pairs of plants of the same general type, one pair on each world. The caster must have used at least one of each pair previously during either transport via plants or tree stride.

NEW MAGIC ITEM

Collapsing Cage

This appears to be an iron cage, perfectly suited for imprisoning either people or monsters. It changes size at command, growing from a cube approximately 1 foot on a side to a cage easily 60 feet on each side, or anywhere in between. Once a creature is placed inside, the cage can be commanded to shrink with no harm to the inhabitant, which is stored in an extradimensional space inside the cage not unlike that of a bag of holding. The cage provides breathable air for up to 8 hours, at which point it must either be enlarged to a size capable of holding the inhabitant naturally, or else the inhabitant is immediately shunted out of the cage into the nearest unoccupied space.

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When shrunk to its smallest size, the cage weighs approximately 10 pounds. The cage bars, which are made of adamantine, have a hardness of 20, 40 hit points, and a bend DC of 42. Destroying one of the bars immediately causes the cage to revert to its full size. The bars can be destroyed from the outside only, as creatures within the cage are inside extradimensional space.

Caster Level: 9th, Prerequisites: Craft Wondrous Item, reduce person, rope trick, secret chest; Market Price: 30,000

New Monster: Primeval Eye

Large Aberration Hit Dice: 12d8+36 (90 hp) Initiative: +5 Speed: 30 ft. (6 square) (see below) AC: 23 (-2 size, +1 Dex, +12 natural), touch

9, flat-footed 22 Base Attack/Grapple: +9/+18 Attack: Tentacle +13 melee (see below) Full Attack: Up to 10 tentacles +13 melee

(see below) and bite +8 melee (2d6+2) Face/Reach: 10 ft./5 ft. (10 ft. with tentacles) Special Attacks: Improved grab, tentacle

touch attacks Special Qualities: Darkvision 60 ft., buoyan

cy, see magic, burst of speed Saves: Fort +9, Ref +7, Will +11 Abilities: Str 20, Dex 12, Con 17, Int 6, Wis

12, Cha 12 Skills: Listen +8, Search +3, Spot +8 Feats: Alertness, Great Fortitude, Improved

Initiative, Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes

Environment:Any land (usually tropical) and

underground Organization: Solitary Challenge Rating: 10 Treasure: 50% normal Alignment: Usually chaotic evil Advancement: 13-24 HD (Large), 25-36 HD

(Huge) Level Adjustment: —

An enormous creature, roughly spherical and covered in dark chitin, hovers in the air. A gargantuan, tooth-filled maw occupies over half of the creature’s front side; a single eye sits unblinking above it. Numerous tentacles, tipped with a variety of appendages and digits, extend around it in all directions.

A creature long extinct on almost every known world, the primeval eye — named by sages for its resemblance to its more well- known modern relatives, as well as its primordial nature — has only recently returned to civilized areas thanks to the efforts of the Twice-Born. The primeval eye is a large, spherical entity covered in bruise-hued chitin with a single central eye and an enormous gaping maw. The teeth of the primeval eye are exceptionally hard and jagged, and the mouth takes up most of its “face.” Primeval eyes are larger than their descendants, measuring, on average, 8 to 10 feet in diameter.

The easiest way to distinguish the primeval eye from its modern relative, however, is by its limbs. Rather than eye-tipped stalks, the primeval eye possess 10 tentacles — each as long as its body is wide — that extend from all portions of the creature, above and below, front and back, right and left. Two of these tentacles end in wide pads covered in suction cups and tiny spines, useful for both locomotion and grasping prey. Two end in forked claws capable of manipulating small objects.

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The remaining six end in soft and bloated bulbs of flesh, almost like an unopened flower, that possess varied spell-like abilities.

Primeval eyes speak a coarse, primitive tongue unknown in the modern world.

Combat

Although exceptionally cunning, the primeval eye is far less intelligent than its descendants. They rarely choose to speak with one another and almost never with other creatures, preferring simply to hunt, kill and devour. Primeval eyes have only two categories into which they place other living creatures — threat or prey. Given their great power and lack of intelligence, a creature must appear especially powerful to be placed in the former category. For the most part, primeval eyes attack any living creatures on sight, and often fight to the death simply because they cannot comprehend the notion that other living things might overpower them.

Primeval eyes prefer to use their natural buoyancy and grasping tentacles to lurk in wait above potential prey. They are smart enough to use their tentacle powers somewhat tactically, focusing their most harmful effects on those foes who appear most dangerous or most capable.

Buoyancy (Ex): Though primeval eyes cannot fly, they naturally levitate, and may rise or fall at will at a speed of 15 feet. Normally, a primeval eye travels by latching onto convenient items, or even the ground, with its grasping (suction cup-tipped) tentacles. This technique allows it to pull itself in any direction, including up and down, at its normal movement speed of 30 feet.

Tentacle Attacks: The primeval eye has a number of different attacks it can make with its tentacles. In most cases, it attacks only with eight tentacles, reserving its grasping

tentacles for use in movement. It may choose to use its grasping tentacles to attack, but in any round it chooses to do so, it can only move up and down (at half speed) and loses its Dexterity bonus to AC.

The creature may attack with all tentacles in a given round, but may only use three on any given opponent, unless the opponent is larger than the primeval eye.

Clawed tentacles: The two tentacles ending in forked claws are the primeval eye’s primary means of manipulating objects, but they also make nasty weapons. Anyone struck by a clawed tentacle suffers 1d6+5 points of slashing damage.

Grasping tentacles (Ex): These tentacles are tipped with sticky pads that, through a combination of suction and tiny spines, can latch on to almost anything. These tentacles do no damage, but their use allows the primeval eye to use its Improved Grab ability. It rarely uses these tentacles in combat.

Magic tentacles (Su): Each of the bulb-tipped tentacles delivers a magic touch attack. These, sages postulate, are the forerunners of the eye rays used by the creature’s descendants. The primeval eye need only succeed with a touch attack to use these powers. The DC for all saving throws against these powers is 17; the save DC is Charisma-based.

• Enervation: Anyone struck by this tentacle suffers 1d4 negative levels (Fortitude save for half). These negative levels fade in 24 hours and never result in permanent level loss. • Destructive Grasp: Anyone struck by this tentacle suffers 5d6 points of damage (Fortitude save for half). The form of energy used in this attack is unknown and unimpeded by spells that normally grant protection from energy or elemental damage. The wounds left bear some resem99

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blance to those caused by the disintegrate spell.

• Paralyzing Touch: Anyone struck by this tentacle is paralyzed for 4d4 rounds (Fortitude save negates). The victim takes on a gray hue, and his skin feels hard to the touch. This ability may be a less evolved form of a petrification attack. • Fascination: Anyone struck by this tentacle becomes fascinated, almost hypnotized by the primeval eye (Will save negates). For 2d8 rounds, they simply watch the primeval eye, not reacting even if attacked (though once they have actually been struck for damage by the creature, they may attempt another save to break free). • Slow: Anyone struck by this tentacle is slowed, as per the spell (Will save negates). • Immolation: Anyone struck by this tentacle immediately erupts in a gout of fire, suffering 8d6 points of damage (Reflex save for half). Flammable items may ignite. Unlike the primeval eye’s other powers, this one does not resemble any ability possessed by their modern descendants, and sages speculate it evolved out of the species because it didn’t leave edible remains. Improved Grab (Ex): If the primeval eye hits with one of its grasping tentacles, it attempts to start a grapple as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity. So long as it maintains its hold, it may deal bite damage automatically on each succeeding round, or it may choose to forgo its bite in favor of an automatic strike with one other tentacle.

See Magic (Ex): The creature’s single eye is capable of seeing magic auras instantly. Not only does this enable it to detect magic, it immediately knows (so far as its intelligence

allows it to comprehend) the powers and effects of any magic item or any spell it sees. This knowledge requires no prolonged study, allowing the primeval eye to react to a potential magic threat before the power is even unleashed. This ability is always active.

Burst of Speed (Ex): Three times per day, for one minute, the primeval eye can use its clawed tentacles to aid its grasping tentacles in pulling it along, allowing it to raise its base speed from 30 to 50 for the duration. After a burst of speed, the primeval eye’s clawed tentacles are tired, and it cannot attack with them for 1d4 rounds (though its other tentacles can attack normally). It must wait at least that long before engaging in another burst of speed.

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