The Eye of the Beholder
|% The Eye of the Beholder|
|When invoked||see text|
|Base price||500 zm|
The Eye of the Beholder is the reward for the Neutral Quest in SLASH'EM, along with the Key of Neutrality. It provides no effects when carried or wielded, but has some (rather nasty) effects when invoked.
You will be asked for confirmation when trying to eat the eye. If you eat it, you will take 150–199 damage, so this is a Bad idea ("This Eye of the Beholder is delicious! You feel a burning inside!"). If you should survive eating the Eye, it provides 10 nutrition.
You can sacrifice the eye at any time ("You offer this evil thing to <your god>..."); this gets rid of it permanently.
As with the other two alignment quest artifacts, you must kill the Beholder in such a manner as to leave a corpse to obtain the Eye. Wishing for the Eye will always fail.
Invoking the Eye has two possible effects. If your luck is less than −9, then the Eye "turns on you!" and you die instantly. Otherwise, it "looks around with its icy gaze!" and all non-undead monsters in lit area in line of sight are reduced to 1⁄3 of their remaining hitpoints. This will never kill any monsters directly. This affects tame, peaceful, and hostile monsters equally, but it will not reduce tameness or anger peacefuls. Invoking the Eye has the further effect of reducing your alignment record and Luck by 3 each.
In general, this is the weakest of the alignment quest artifacts, given that it has no use other than its invocation, which is a somewhat mixed effect at best. You can as well just sacrifice it. Still, it could be useful for clearing out special rooms such as zoos and throne rooms, although you should make sure to light up the room beforehand.
From the famous literary quote: "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder". "Beholder" is a less frequent English word for "observer".
Also an obvious inspiration for the Beholder itself.
The Eye's "icy gaze" appeared in SLASH 6, a precursor to SLASH'EM, as the invocation effect of the Eye of Vecna, a defunct artifact which was an alternate death drop for Vecna.