Nature: Creature
Type: Aberration
Heraldry: Tarkanan

Alignment: Lawful Evil
Size: Large
CR: 12

First Encountered: 22.3 "Hey, Watch This!"

Description: "It floats before you, a bulbous body with a central, unblinking eye, and a large maw filled with daggerlike teeth. Smaller eyes, attached to wriggling stalks, sprout from the top of the orblike body."

A beholder is an 8-foot-wide orb dominated by a central eye and a large, toothy maw. Ten smaller eyes on stalks sprout from the top of the orb. They have an innate, natural buoyancy that allows them to float rapidly through the air.

Each of the beholder's ten eye stalks can fire off a different magical ray, with effects ranging from charming a target to petrifying victims to disintegrating foes. And yet perhaps most dangerous is their huge central eye, for it projects a cone of antimagic, creating a zone in which magical effects and items simply stop functioning.

They speak their own language ("beholder"), daelkyr, aklo and common.

Information: Beholders are the stuff of nightmares. These creatures, also called the "spheres of many eyes" or "eye tyrants", are deadly adversaries.


Most of the aberrations of Eberron are the creations of the daelkyr, the sinister lords of Xoriat. The beholders are no exception. These horrors were the living artillery of the daelkyr armies, shattering hobgoblin armies with the power of their deadly eyes. When the Gatekeepers altered the orbits of the planes, most of the beholders were driven into Khyber with their creators.

Today, the beholders are solitary, egocentric creatures that have not advanced a culture of their own. Some have remained among the daelkyr and the dolgaunts, while others have started their own followings among the Cults of the Dragon Below.

Beholders are hateful, aggressive, and avaricious, attacking or dominating others whenever they can get away with it. They exhibit a xenophobic intolerance, hating all creatures not like themselves.

The basic body type comprises a great variety of beholder subspecies. Some are covered with overlapping chitinous plates; some have smooth hides or snakelike eye tentacles; some have crustacean joints.

But even a difference as small as hide color or size of the central eye can make two groups of beholders sworn enemies. Every beholder declares its own unique form to be the “true ideal of beholderhood,” the others being nothing but ugly replicas fit only to be eliminated.


Beholders usually carve out underground lairs for themselves using their disintegrate rays. Beholder architecture emphasizes the vertical, and a lair usually has a number of parallel tubes, with chambers stacked on top of each other. Beholders prefer inaccessible locations that earthbound foes can reach only with difficulty.

A few have abandoned the path of aggression for philosophy and reflection. These neutral beholders avoid the company of other creatures in favor of solitary meditation; a beholder philosopher may be willing to spare the life of an intruder if he will help the creature by discussing a particularly complex ethical or philosophical question.

A few choose to live beneath humanoid communities, and they may manipulate events in these cities, but generally their actions are intended to stimulate and study a particular social, political, or economic situation as opposed to providing the beholder with power or wealth.

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