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Gazers

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Gazers
Gaffer
Gazer, from Ultima VII manual
Also known as: "Wandering Eyes" (in Ultima I)
First appearance: Ultima I
Last appearance: Ultima IX

Gazers are strange creatures of magic; large, hovering orbs with a big central eye, and five "eyestalks," each with a smaller eye on its tip. With these many eyes, nothing escapes a gazer's attention, as it can look in every direction. They battle their foes by paralyzing them or using strong magic, which hints at a cunning intelligence. It is yet unknown how they devour their prey. If a gazer is killed, it dissolves into a swarm of stinging insects.

Gazers are usually found in dungeons and caves, and occasionally in the wilderness. They are often seen in groups, acting as overlords for the weaker humanoid species, and sometimes associate with zorns for unknown sinister purposes.

Gazer

Ultima IX Gazer

After these creatures were first spotted in Ultima I (then known as "Wandering Eyes"), it took until Ultima IV before they re-appeared. Gazers remained in the series (with the exception of Ultima VIII) virtually unchanged until they underwent a drastic visual and mechanical redesign for Ultima IX.

At some point, gazers may have had a society, or at least some organization. Per the timeline, in 172 BC Iskander Ironheart did slay the seven gazer princes, who had stolen the eye from the cyclops' tribal leader. This led to Iskander coming to be known as "Wonder Boy," at least to his own kind. What type of hierarchy gazers actually have in their own society, or whether they were merely titled "princes" by the cyclops race to add emphasis to their own tales, is unknown.


LoreEdit

Wandering-eyes

Many a dungeon seeker hath been startled to enter a darkened chamber and be greeted by a number of eyes staring out of the murky blackness. Stare not long, for the Wandering Eyes weave a hypnotic spell that entrances even the most strong-willed and leaves one helpless before the magical onslaught that inevitably follows mesmerization.

- from The First Age of Darkness (Ultima I)

These hypnotic creatures snare their prey by putting them to sleep. The deep forests are the favorite habitat of these evil, floating eyes.

- from The History of Britannia (Ultima IV)

Gazer-u5c

A gazer (Ultima V, caves)

Giant, magical floating eyes, gazers mesmerize their foes, turning them against each other. They make up for their weak, clumsy physique with strong intelligence and a fairly good constitution.

- from The Book of Lore (Ultima V)

How this monstrosity evolved is anybody's guess, for gazers are among the most unusual creatures found in the realm. They are usually spotted hovering above the ground in dungeons, searching for creatures they can mesmerize with their multiple eyes. One experienced adventurer claims that gazers emit a strange buzzing sound as they move about. Remain alert when you suspect the presence of a gazer, as it is constantly on the alert for prey.

- from Compendium (Ultima VI)

Surely this creature was created by sorcerous means, for no natural law could have given birth to a beast this monstrous. Gazers float through the corridors of our chasm, and with their many eyeballs are quick to spot intruders into their domain. Do not underestimate the fearsomeness of this obstacle, as a Gazer's attack - noted by the wink of its great central eye, or the twist of an eye stalk - cuts as deep as a sword thrust, and this beast seldom misses its mark.

- from Memoirs of Sir Cabirus (Ultima Underworld)

Gazer2

This strange creature is found mostly in dungeons. It hovers about, looking for victims to mesmerize with its multiple eyes. Upon being killed, the body of a gazer will break up into a tiny swarming colony of insects.

- from The Book of Fellowship (Ultima VII)

These many-eyed floating spheres are the product of some perverse wizard's madness, or perhaps genius, given that once created the gazers proved well-adapted to the subterranean environment, and have multiplied in profusion. No one knows what they eat, or whether they are intelligent. Some have been observed using magic, but we cannot tell whether this is a learned skill among them, or some sort of innate ability.

- from A Safe Passage Through Britannia (Ultima Underworld II)

Gazer3

Hovering orbs of flesh, gazers seem to spend all their time in search of prey Their name comes from their multiple eyes, all but their central eye extending from tentacle-like arms. Having faced one in battle, I can report that a gazer's death results in an explosion of swarming insects.

- from Beyond the Serpent Pillars (Ultima VII Part Two)

Beware of the frightful creature that never blinks. The magical gazer is never surprised, for its floating body is guarded by six eyes. Each eye carries in it a type of magic which the gazer can project as desired. It is a singularly difficult foe, as one never knows the next form of attack. Although highly intelligent and capable of language, these creatures prefer their own company and through violence seek to maintain it. The origin of these magical creatures is unknown. It is believed they reproduce without mates.

- from Journal (Ultima IX)

TriviaEdit

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