This ancient bioweapon moves at a snail's pace and prefers to root itself in place, cultivating a diet of bacteria on the light and radiation absorbed by its myriad eyes and protecting itself with a variety of directed energy beams. It is capable of producing new eyestalks with astonishing speed, "spinning" the appendages from semifluid tissues stored within its skull and "inflating" them with pressurized lymph fluids in a process that can take less than a minute. Eyes in excess of 22-30 can be severely taxing on the creature's nutrient reserves, but up to a hundred may be produced in emergency situations to be reabsorbed once the danger has passed.
If deprived of light, an Eyedra may withdraw completely into its skull and hibernate indefinitely, an experience apparently too pleasant for the creature to worry if it finds itself buried for centuries at a time.
Eyedra reproduce via insect bite, attracting mosquitoes and flies to unwittingly transmit reproductive cells between individuals. A fertilized Eyedra produces a number of blind "eyefruit," each swollen with fragrant, salty-sweet jelly and bearing a single, tiny egg at its center. Once passed in the feces of another monster, larvae spend their first year as a mindless, fungoid network of tissues before their first small skull erupts like a puffball from the substrate.
A smaller, more mobile variation of the Eyedra is known to exist, closer in appearance to a hominoid skull with a number of thin, jointed legs.
The Eyedra is a simple creature, staking out a territory a few yards across in which it may passively feed in peace, employing its beams strictly for protection against those that would consume its eyes out of season. Though it does not generally attempt to communicate audibly, a pleased Eyedra emits a chicken-like clucking, while an agitated Eyedra produces a high pitched, whistling warning cry.
Eyedra are useful for defensive or offensive operations, especially if they are provided adequate transportation. Hibernating Eyedra may even be planted in crypts and vaults alongside sensitive valuables, awakening only should an interloper foolishly expose them to light.
EYE BEAM: the Eyedra's eyes can focus and release a beam of energy with variable effects.
PAIN RAY: a directed microwave beam rapidly heats solid surfaces, causing considerable pain. Prolonged exposure can begin to burn soft tissues.
ELECTROLASER: an ionized stream of plasma is subsequently electrified, similar to a controlled bolt of lightning.
LASER SLICER: a focused laser capable of damaging solid material, particularly at close range.
DAZZLER: a blinding and disorienting beam of light exceeding several thousand lumens.
NAUSEATOR: a wave of electromagnetic acoustic vibration causes severe vertigo, nausea and vomiting in other organisms.
EYE BOMB: the eyeball is charged with electricity and a volatile chemical secretion before it is hurled from its stalk, igniting on impact with a small but lethal shock wave.
CRYSTALLIZER: a beam of green light causes soft, organic matter to harden rapidly. The mechanism by which this functions remains unknown.
Contents copyright Jonathan Wojcik