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Hero Tale.PNG A pretty obvious reader avatar for this power fantasy

This article is a non-canonical fanfiction.

(Prompted by a discussion on the Discord of how the Kua-toa might acquire Eldritch Eyes.)

You are running through the forest, as fast as your squat legs can carry you, looking for your father. He should be returning from hunting about this time, and he has promised to help you with your practice in learning to fire your spears. You continue walking, looking around, pivoting your single eye in your gooey head to follow a bird flying hastily away. Turning your attention back to the path, you catch sight of some crystalline fragments. A sure sign of a hunter’s recent presence. Rushing over, you turn the corner into a clearing, and are stopped immediately by what you see. Rather than the towering form of your father you expected, likely carrying the body of a deer, there is instead a pile of goo, with a round indentation on it. A body. Your father’s body. It’s impossible, and yet it seems to be the case. Looking around, you see more scattered piles of fragments, but no sign of what could have attacked him. There is no blood, no scraps of flesh, nothing. Even were he to be attacked by a bear, or worse, there would be some sign, surely? Fear grips your chest, and you turn to hurry home, tell everyone, you could swear you hear what almost sounds like corse, low-pitched laughter.


When you get back, the entire village is in a furor. More bodies have been found, each with no sign of the attacker. As you approach, your friend rushes over to you. The only other child in the village, she is a year younger than yourself. She appears afraid, and deeply saddened. “My… my mom is dead. What’s happening?” You have no answer, of course, but you look to the surviving adults. The six of them seem to have reached a plan. “You children, go to the hall, hide in there. Someone is clearly attacking us, and seems to be taking their eyes for some malign purpose. We will stay together, and confront whoever this is. They have been picking us off one by one, we can defeat it if only we stand together.” You are quickly hurried to the main hall of the village, where food and tools are stored, rituals are conducted, and stories are told. The doors, large enough for two Goonoids to walk abreast, are closed with a resounding thud. You wait. Minutes pass, first five, then ten. It’s only when you finally believe that the display of force has scared off this impossible attacker when you hear a loud ripping, tearing noise. Confused, you move to the window, attempting to tell what could be happening.


Peeking your eye over the ledge of the simple window, you see the six Goonoids, each standing at a mature height of more than seven feet tall, and built broader than any man, arrayed against a strange figure. Clothed in a dark robe with a few scattered stains of bright goo, this… thing is far shorter than you would have expected, about your height. Two hands resembling the fin of a fish extend from the figure’s robe, and there is a glint of teeth in the shrouded darkness under his hood. The outlines of the figure are strangely indistinct, cloaked in shadow that seems to leak from its very body. You have never heard of a figure like this creature you see, not matching the descriptions of men, elves, or even the dwarves told to you by the elders, though it approximates the height the stout miners are supposed to possess. The strange monster’s mouth moves, a strange sight, and you hear what sounds like speech in the common tongue. “You beasts really have no idea what you’re up against, do you? To think you lived so close to the coast for so long, and only drew an attack because we needed a few eyes... I wish you had caught our notice sooner, this has been fun.”


The creature shoots forwards, moving almost faster than your eye can track. Instantly, the Goonoids arranged against him begin crystalizing spears of goo, ready to launch them. The distance is shrinking fast, and there are fewer than ten feet between that strange monster and your neighbors when they are ready to fire. But at that range, it should be impossible to miss. Three dozen spears, fired in near unison, arc at the monster. However, the figure’s form, blurred by the creeping shadows around it that seem to have only magnified as it ran, twists and turns, avoiding, sidestepping, and even outright snatching one of the spears out of the air before tossing it aside. This terrifying assault, more than enough to down monstrous threats such as the dire bear, has not yet landed a single mark upon this suddenly terrifying creature. Miraculously, the last bolt lands, square in the creature’s chest. It shatters on impact, but the monster is seemingly unaffected, unperturbed by this seemingly deadly strike. It closes the final feet, reaching out a hand to strike its chosen target. And when it does, the attack lands with such force as to push them back a step. But this creature doesn’t stop there. Seemingly mustering some reserve of force, it strikes again, and again, tearing into this Goonoid you have known all your life.


You stumble back from the window, terrified. Your friend looks at you, panic in their eye. “What… what’s happening?” they whisper. But you have no answer for them. You can still hear the sounds of battle, the wet slap of fin against goo, the pneumatic sound of spears being fired, cries of pain, dismay, fear. And then it stops. Less than a minute after this figure first appeared, the battle ends. Scant seconds later, not enough to process what has happened, the door to the hall creaks open, revealing the figure, with a few more stains of goo on their outfit, but otherwise seemingly unaffected in the slightest by the pitched battle it just finished. Behind it are the piles of goo that used to be your friends, your family, each topped by an intact, unscratched eye. The figure speaks, in a tongue you do not know. The tone seems almost disappointed, and even if you could understand it, the words would do little to lessen your confusion: “Damn. There is no glory in killing runts. But I suppose your eyes will do just as well”. Driven by fear, and rage, you feel spears crystalizing, and firing. You know, however, it’s not enough. They are soft, and weak. Even if they landed they would do nothing. And they do not even land, this monstrous emissary of death stepping aside with the most casual of ease. It closes the scant distance between it and you in a few steps, knocking you aside with a single blow. The last thing you hear is the terrified shriek of your friend as the world goes dark, your body losing cohesion.

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