This rare mutation of the Opticaperis difficult to induce artificially without disastrously unstable mutations, and only otherwise observed when an Opticaper has supplanted a Harlequeen as the vessel of a joker colony's mental hub. Some specimens evidently take on this mantle when the hive or the Harlequeen are mortally injured or terminally ill, but others appear to have taken their own initiative to depose this already loosely defined "leadership," believing that the usual carefree, disorganized nature of a Joker hive demands order and purpose. Regardless, every "ascended" Opticaper interprets the events as unavoidable and behaves as though stricken mad with grief, acting upon what it insists its predecessor would have or should have desired. Combining the naturally obtuse reasoning of its Joker kin with a destructive lust for power, the ascendant can turn a previously peaceful colony into a maniacal conquering army.
The Ascendant mutation not only greatly amplifies the natural abilities of the Opticaper, but triggers the formation of new psychoreactive toxins and defensive biochemicals, including a specialized gas that the creature can combust into flame and a gas that it can condense into fragile but razor-sharp crystalline structures.
ILLUSION: an Opticaper can manipulate the visual and auditory input of creatures caught within its gas.
TENTAPUPPETS: the monster's long, telescoping limbs end in false bodies it can speak through, attack with and shroud in its illusory effects.
PYROVAPOR: the Opticaper Ascendant can control a specialized gas it can temporarily ignite with flame.
CRYSTALIZATION: the Ascendant can briefly manifest sharp, delicate glasslike structures from its gas.
Contents copyright Jonathan Wojcik