Khen Zai

he Ethergaunts served the daelkyr, their creators, ten thousand years ago, during the Daelkyr War. When the gates to Xoriat were closed by the Gatekeeper Druids, the ethergaunts fled to the Ethereal Plane. After the fall of the Dhakaani Empire, human settlers from Sarlona came to Khorvaire. The humans became food for a race of fey known as Joystealers. The Ethergaunts began taking the Joystealers as slaves. Most Ethergaunts remain on the Ethereal Plane, though some permanently reside on the Material Plane.[3]
Appearance & PersonalityEdit

The ethergaunts are long, spindly humanoids, creations of the daelkyr.[3]

They come in three species: red ethergaunts, white ethergaunts, and black ethergaunts.[2]

Black ethergaunts are rarely found without a handful of powerful slaves that serve as bodyguards. If necessary, they sacrifice their thralls to protect themselves. Though they are able to use etherblades, black ethergaunts consider engaging in physical combat to be a sign of failure, preferring to rely on spells or technological items such as doubt bombs. They particularly hate clerics, viewing divine spellcasters as a threat to the khen-zai's atheist philosophy. Rather than change that philosophy, the black ethergaunts have decided to simply eliminate the divine spellcasters.

Weapons and EquipmentEdit

Ethergaunts use a number of technological devices to aid them. First amongst them is the etherblade, a short glaive topped with a hollow barrel. The etherblade can project a spell-like blast, plus can be used as a two-handed bladed weapon.

Another tool they use are called doubt bombs. These small ceramic spheres which overstimulate the "doubt centers" of most humanoids' brains. Upon shattering, doubt bombs create a noxious smoke over an area of ten feet. Ethergaunts themselves are immune to their doubt bombs.[2]

Although it's believed they originated on the Prime Material Plane long ago, ethergaunts - or the khen-zai, as they call themselves - are now native to the Ethereal.

They are tall, spindly creatures, bipedal but not particularly humanoid, their heads emerging from their chests and covered with strange bisected masks. Beneath their masks are writhing cilliae - pure unadulterated madness. They have, however, no connection to the Far Realm. They are organized into at least three social castes, distinguishable by the color of their masks and carapaces.

Ethergaunts are atheists with nothing but disdain for gods and other outer planar entities. Their current project, frightingly possible given their technology, their sorcery, and their super-genius intellects, is to annihilate the races of the Material Plane they abandoned long ago, recolonizing the plane and terraforming it in their own image.


A Necessary Examination

I'm certain most of our readers are familiar with the notable great planar evils, the fiends, the Efreet, the Dao, the evil Archomentals, and so on. Some of the more educated are probably aware of slightly less noticeable threats, the Illithids, the Drow, the Sarkirith, and such creatures. However, it is likely a rare soul among you who has heard of the Ethergaunts, properly called the Khen-Zai.

So, why did we write a book on such obscure creatures? Well, there are several reasons: one was to simply part the darkness of ignorance, but curiosity didn't carry us all that far with this project, a love of knowledge overcomes only so much danger. No, we did this because even if you haven't heard of Ethergaunts yet, you probably will soon. IN fact, a lot more people would no about them except that so few who encounter them actually survive to tell anyone. Finally, the multiverse has dealt with threats such as the fiends for countless ages, but the Ethergaunts for only a few centuries at best, and in truth they have only really begun to act in the past two decades. Soon the multiverse will need to know everything it can about the Ethergaunts and we are presenting this now, hoping desperately that it is not too late.

This document represents a team of skilled researchers who have spent the majority of the five years since the 'Faction War' trying to learn everything they can about Ethergaunts. It's not everything certainly, and a good deal of this information may be incomplete or untrue. It is everything we could do though, and it may be the only stopgap available for some time.

The Very Basics

Before we launch into a thorough examination I will outline what an Ethergaunt is. They are a tall, semi-humanoid species found primarily on the Ethereal Plane. Their race is organized into specialized castes, but even the least member is tremendously brilliant. They wield a mastery of magic and strange, technological devices, and combine this power with an emotionless, atheistic, and coldly reasoning philosophy that places essentially no value whatsoever on the existence of all other life. They are presently beginning a campaign of genocide focused on the Prime Material.

A Word to Arrogant Cagers

I'm quite certain that many readers immediately dismissed the Ethergaunts as "a problem for the clueless" upon reading the previous sentence. I urge you strongly to look past your shortsighted viewpoint if that is what you are thinking and read on. The emergence of the Ethergaunts is quite possibly the greatest shift in the balance of Planar power in over five hundred years. Yes, that means I rationally consider this far more important than your 'Faction War' or any number of Outer Planar calamities, and I have research to back that statement up if need be. The Ethergaunts are going to change the Ethereal in very significant ways, if they have not done so already. All planes are linked, and the Ethereal is the potential of all that can come to be. If that potential is changed the future of the multiverse will be rewritten.

Acknowledgements

This text was published by Pebbleskin Printers in Slaan (that is on the Paraelemental Plane of Smoke for the uniformed), and research and printing efforts were financed by generous grants from the Etherfarer Society, the Kreenplane nations, and the Elder Concord of Yuhnmoag (yes, we did get financial backing from the Illithids, the reason for that will become clear later). Additionally, without the generous disbursement of powerful divine magic by the priesthood of Lao Tzu there would be great gaps in the material of this text.

This work was not assembled alone, while myself and my friends among the Tome Trackers served as editors most of the actual writing was done by others. While there were a very large number of researchers the most prominent authors included: Chiret, an Etherfarer and Nathri explorer with a keen eye and cutting observations, though as a Sinker he can be distressingly morose in tone, Ehir'Siisliach, possibly the most important single source, an illithid who actually lived among Ethergaunts for several years (as an enslaved thrall). Though its honesty was compelled by magic there is the possibility that some of what the Illithid says was deliberate Ethergaunt disinformation. Alni Swirlsen, a Steam Genasi and one of my fellow Tome Trackers, was also a key research, collating and researching a tremendous amount of historical and logistical information and discovering many key connections. Finally, an Abiorach Rilmani known only as Lexillo contributed some genuinely disturbing data. The validity of this material is highly suspect, and only the barest portions of it have been corroborated, but I made the decision to include it anyway. As a reader you will have to make your own choice about those segments.

A Note about Gender Reference

Properly speaking all Ethergaunts are asexual in nature, and therefore should be referred to as 'it.' However, only Ehir'Sisliach chooses to do this, other authors have taken to calling them 'he' for convenience, and also because to many Ethergaunts seem to be irrevocably male. Lexillo does not refer to any Ethergaunts with personal pronouns at all, but repeatedly uses "a Khen-Zai" as his prototypical reference. Regardless of correctness we have chosen to leave this choice up to the authors, as it is an important revelation regarding their views on the Ethergaunts.

_ "History and Origins" The Origin of the Khen-Zai Alni Swirlsen I have maintained a keen interest in the Khen-Zai (Khen-Zai is the name by which Ethergaunts refer to themselves, Swirlsen dislikes referring to them by what she calls the 'common' name-The Editors) since the days when I worked as a cataloguer for the Etherfarer society. Any report in which the Khen-Zai received mention was sad and depressing, but often also fascinating. Such a strange combination intruiged me, so I began to examine the available data on the Khen-Zai all those years ago. Most of the data on the origination and past of the Khen-Zai, and the goals of the species in the present day come from two sources, ancient tomes and the reports of modern etherfarers. Most such data is fragmentary, but I have put together some very reasonable theories from it. Retreat into the Mists It is well established that the Khen-Zai are not native to the Ethereal Plane. Instead they are like the Githyanki, prime material migrants who have resided there for an extraordinary amount of time. Though, that does not mean that Khen-Zai are not considered to be Ethereal natives for magical and other purposes, their current forms are distinctively native to the Ethereal, and they may be considered natives of the plane. The best working date for the arrival of the Khen-Zai in the Ethereal is approximately twelve thousand years ago. Both Aviaster's The Legends of the Nathri and Mecor Tsim's An Examination of the Rise and Fall of the Xill indicate great disturbances by "tall, thin terrors who wield the powers of destruction" rocked the Ethereal during this era. This seems likely to represent the arrival of the Khen-Zai, though it seems certain that they possessed a significantly different form then than they do today. Of course, this arrival so long ago begs the questions of what the Khen-Zai were at the time, why they retreated to the Ethereal, and what they have been doing since then. A thorough examination of all available sources reveals no references to any race of the name Khen-Zai prior to the emergence of the modern 'Ethergaunts.' However, there is a tantalizing possibility. The runes Ke and Zare, taken from the written script of a now dead prime world blame 'Ke Zare' for leaving them to die at the hands of the Clockwork Horrors (for readers unfamiliar with clockwork horrors, they are a race of mechanical quasi-spiders that exterminates and consumes entire worlds -The Editors). While the translation of that script are of necessity incomplete due to a lack of context, the word Ke Zare can be roughly translated as 'Force Lords' and may be applicable to the current Khen-Zai, though unfortunately there is no example of written text to determine if there may be a similar rune structure to the two names. While this may seem like a thin possibility there is some corroborating evidence from the same world that the Ke Zare were responsible for the creation of the Clockwork Horrors in the first place. The period twelve thousand years ago is significant because it marks the emergence of the Clockwork Horrors as a scourge throughout the known expanse of the Prime Material, and also the emergence of the Elven Nations as a dominant power in the Prime. While legend has long asserted that the Clockwork Horrors destroyed their own creators, mechanized creatures with little or no planar knowledge could easily confuse a mass retreat to the Ethereal with abject destruction, and the possibility that the 'destroyed by their creations' legend was propagated as a cautionary tale with little grounding in fact must not be ignored. Legend does assert that the creators of the Clockwork Horrors were supposedly tall, thin humanoids that were extraordinarily talented artificers. While I must admit that this theory cannot be confirmed, the possibility that the Khen-Zai created the Clockwork Horrors and then left the material plane expecting it to be slowly annihilated behind them are quite possible, and the implications are terrifying. With the possible exception of their relationship to the Prime Material's most terrifying mechanical scourge, whatever the Khen-Zai once where has little bearing on what they now are. For over twelve-thousand years the Khen-Zai did nothing but evolve their forms, powers, and philosophies to the their current heights, unwatched by all. At least, that must be assumed. There are no records or encounters with Khen-Zai in any form until five hundred years ago. Even the Xill and the Nathri, the two most prevalent sentient Ethereal races, can reveal nothing of the Khen-Zai's activities during this time. In fact, the rapid reemergence of the Khen-Zai has shocked these races terribly. It appears that they were able to hide themselves completely from the rest of the multiverse for thousands of years until they finally chose to emerge. Modern Reemergence The Earliest records of what might have been the Khen-Zai appear some five hundred years ago. These were instances of observation by Ethereal Vessels and marks of visitations by a small number of settlements. Reports are fragmentary, but it now appears that the very first Khen-Zai scouts, all of whom were Reds, began their examination of the rest of civilization at that time. There was no real response to these visits, and the Khen-Zai took no actions themselves except to observe. Their enclaves and dwellings remained obscured at this time, and other than the Reds, no other caste was seen. Reemergence truly began about three hundred and fifty years in the past. At this time small numbers of Khen-Zai filtered into sites throughout the Inner Planes and the Ethereal. They likely appeared in the Prime Material as well, but any such sites they visited then no longer exist now, so there are no records to show what may have happened there. This was the advance guard of the Khen-Zai, a systematic examination of the state of other races, often accompanied by manipulative efforts to make later schemes easier (at least that is the presumed motive for many of their actions). Some of these individuals (and they were almost universally single operators) are still in place. Their numbers are quite small, thousands of people can easily be monitored and manipulated by a single Khen-Zai, but many consider their presence to be extensive. While additional surveys have continued up until the present, it is these permanent monitoring Khen-Zai, mostly Reds but with a few Whites, who form the majority of the Khen-Zai encountered on the Inner Planes. Reaction to these observer/manipulator Khen-Zai was and is mixed. The first glimpse of them revealed both great power and great arrogance. It also quickly became apparent that given the opportunity a single one could achieve control over a whole community if it desired to do so. Anger managed to force many of these initial probes away, but the Khen-Zai were often able to cripple a town even while its citizens rebelled. Other locations have learned to live with a Khen-Zai presence, or at least regular visits. It is unclear just what the price might be for such arrangements. Lone Khen-Zai often appear to have different motives than the rest of the race, but it is believed this is primarily an affectation, and that these scouts serve some vital purpose for the rest of the race, otherwise they would not waste the resources. Though there have been some three centuries of scattered Khen-Zai presence throughout the Ethereal and Inner planes it has only been in the past two to three decades that the true scope of the Khen-Zai became visible to others and the plan of the race was revealed. It was a this time that their pyramidal enclaves became known and were first encountered by Etherfarers and Nathri, often with great shock as they were startlingly near many long established settlements and demiplanes. Parties of Khen-Zai began to move through the Ethereal, others journeyed the Inner Planes, pursuing unknown agendas. Most strikingly, and of greatest concern to all, however, has been the beginning of the reclamation of the Prime. Considering the mortal races and other prime residents to be like some terrible viral infection that is polluting the homeland they abandoned the Khen-Zai have taken it upon themselves to cleanse the Material Plane. The vast majority of their race has begun a genocidal campaign that lays absolute waste to anything it encounters. Their first targets are always religious devotion, something that their philosophy considers alien and unnecessarily threatening. Following that, they engage in permanent destruction. There is a slow and massive drive behind the movement, and it is assumed that the Khen-Zai did not simply act at random in beginning their campaign at this time. It is possible that the rapidly growing numbers of planewalkers in the Ethereal and Inner Planes stirred things up enough to convince them to drop their hiding, but it seems far more likely that the Etherguants highest and most intelligent members came to the conclusion that their moment had come. The almost complete inability of anyone to successfully oppose their campaign must be considered evidence of this. At present the situation is in a state of flux (which is why we wrote the book now-The Eidtors), the Khen-Zai are well on their way to completely dismantling several Crystal Spheres. They also appear to have undertaken a campaign to rapidly increase their numbers through reproduction, which will be elaborated on later. Beyond this they continue to gather hordes of slaves and develop their destructive technologies. It is quite possible that if they are not stopped soon their position will soon become invulnerable. Dark Goals The Khen-Zai are very open about their goals as a race, often even taking the time to inform those they meet randomly of them. This of course doesn't make their goals any more pleasant to contemplate, or any easier to deal with. After all, even the fiends do not come forward and say that they intend complete and total genocide and the death of religious belief in every aspect of reality. The Khen-Zai are more than willing to state this clearly, in fact a common way for them to begin conversations is to remark upon the imminent demise of the one they are speaking to. This openness about their intent to exterminate the life forms of the material plane is highly illustrative of two aspects of Khen-Zai thought. One is their complete disregard for the value and feelings of others, and the other is their great confidence in their reasoning. Again, unlike the fiends, many of who keep fighting the Blood War because they somehow must, even if they expect it is ultimately futile, the Khen-Zai have every confidence that they can and will exterminate all life on the material plane, and that the opposition of the residents will not make any difference whatsoever. It may sound like idiotic arrogance to actually believe something like this, much less to go around telling everyone of it, but the Khen-Zai are never idiotic, indeed, they are far smarter than most humans can even comprehend. Their conclusions are reasoned out to unearthly perfection, if they believe they can accomplish this, they have good cause to believe it. You should determine quickly why we are so concerned about them. Interestingly, the openness about their goals has not lost the Khen-Zai any allies, many members of those races they are willing to consider of some value at all (it's a short list, you'll see-The Editors) are more than willing to work with them. See, they known that the Khen-Zai will eventually try to dispose of them, but they figure that they already know the worst and that makes them less shifty than the fiends. Unfortunately, the Khen-Zai seem to always get the better of such 'allies' anyways. _

"Powers and Weaknesses" Powers Chiret Well, I've fought against the Ethergaunts a few times, and I've seen them lay waste to Prime worlds while we tried to ferry refugees away. I'm all for entropy mind you, but it's not entropy what they do, its imposing some sort of perfect nothing over everything, hideous stuff, the complete opposite of the whole point. Regardless, I know what it's like to fight Ethergaunts, both on the Ethereal and on other planes. Well, fight might be a bit generous. I know how to run from Ethergaunts and how others get killed by them. So, I've seen all their major powers in action. All Ethergaunts have roughly the same major powers. Some are equal between all the castes, but mostly, as you go up the castes the higher types just plain get better at doing all of these things. So while a Black's got about the same powers as a Red, its work a lot better and are a lot harder to avoid having affect you. The first power, and one that's equal between all Ethergaunts is their sensory abilities. Complete coverage of a 40 foot sphere, and even magical silence won't stop them from seeing you. Neither will magical darkness, though if you use both at once, well then you've limited them some, but they can still smell you (Ethergaunts effectively have the blind-fighting feat even in magical darkness and silence-The Editors) and nothing stops them from communicating with others of their kind or their thralls, that works by some psychic thing with those damn tendrils of theirs. Ethergaunts have another power that works off how their face's are set up, the power to use their face as a weapon. They can open their masks whenever they want and anyone who sees it has a chance of having their mid break apart and just not function so well. This power is more devastating for higher castes than lower, but it's terrifying either way. The one time an Ethership I was with got attacked by some Reds it apparently took one of Slaan's best psionicists days to stitch my mind back together. While if you manage to look at their face and not break down that same Ethergaunt can't do anything more to you with it that day, they can if you lose it, breaking your weakened mind down further and further. And, even if you shrug one face off, every new Ethergaunt still makes your mind hurt. We just weren't meant to look at things like that. They don't even have to look at you specifically; you just need to see the front of their bodies when the mask is open. This power goes hand in hand with the ability of an Ethergaunt to just enslave three people everyday, making them their total thralls until they manage to break free through will alone. Thankfully an Ethergaunt can only keep a few thralls with this power, which is why the cursed bastards developed Enslavement collars to allow them to keep more. Here's a nasty thing, most people realize all Ethergaunts can cast spells like a mighty wizard. Okay, that's bad enough, but not only that, they understand magic so well they can just ignore its effects. Really, the power of the spells they can ignore goes up with the castes (2nd level for Reds, 3rd for Blues, 4th for Whites, 5th for Grays, and 6th for Blacks-The Editors) but when the do the spells just melt away totally. It makes it really hard for another spell caster to match them in spells, cause the Ethergaunts have a much shorter list of enchantments they have to counter compared to their opponents. Ethergaunts have to study their spells just like mortal wizards, but they're so smart, and they use devices called spell cubes that they can memorize them in just about ten minutes (regardless of level or caste). They usually do this right after resting. Finally, though they can't teleport like fiends (though many of them sure can cast the spells for it) they have another way to get around. They can transport themselves into any plane the Ethereal touches, that's the material and inner planes for those who don't know, just by willing it. They can't stay very long, less than a minute for the weakest types, though they have devices that increase this, but it allows them to show up wherever they want and retreat instantly. Since this is a special power, and not a teleport or plane shift spell, few places are warded against it. They only have to stay on the Ethereal for an hour after taking their 'jaunt' before they can do it again. Finally when on the Ethereal Ethergaunts have the power to defy entropy in perhaps the most direct way possible, the damn, damn, bastards. They can use the protomatter to heal themselves extremely quickly, recovering faster than you or I could without cleric's help (small wonder they think they don't need 'em). Praise to all entropy that this only works on the Ethereal, and not other planes (In game terms, an Ethergaunt heals one hit point per minute while on the Ethereal). So, the real short version is that Ethergaunts have a lot of nasty powers that makes them incredibly difficult to handle. Good luck. Weaknesses Alni Swirlsen I was given the task of discussing the portion of this book most clearly linked to our purpose, discerning weaknesses to the Khen-Zai. Unfortunately there aren't very many methods to it. These creatures have created their form after many periods of deliberation, and they have few weaknesses. Those weaknesses they do have they counter by developing magic or technology to counter it. Still I'll try to give you a sense of some ways to fight the Khen-Zai if you're ever faced with them, or reasoning with them. Of course, I caution that this is only a reference for dealing with one or a few Khen-Zai scouts. Warfare involving these terrible beings is something completely different. I have put together these strategies from accounts of successful (or more often semi-successful) encounters with Khen-Zai. The most obvious recommendation is this. Whether you chose to fight or negotiate, do only one or the other. An Ethergaunt views both as the same thing, but unless you chose your weapon by choosing one method, it will pick you apart as you hesitate. Fighting a Khen-Zai If fighting a Khen-Zai the first rule is to get in close. Accounts show that success vastly increases when they are forced to fight in melee using their Etherblades than when they may avoid their opponents and use Etherblades from a distance or cast spells. Attack immediately from the front, using simple strategies that are difficult to counter. The intelligence of the Khen-Zai gives them the advantage to counter almost any strategic ploy, so you are better off being straightforward and taking the damage of the limited methods to counter simple strategies. Do not hesitate to attack, for a Khen-Zai will retreat behind defensive spells and then use additional spells to counter any attacks. Their ability to ignore spells makes them difficult to fight at range. Expect to suffer from the gaze of a Khen-Zai if you close, there is no way around this, as Khen-Zai disdain fighting in close with their etherblades, despite their skill in using them. However, the stalwart may resist the gaze, or even chose to fight blind. Unfortunately resisting the gaze makes a Khen-Zai more likely to make use of its enslave power to acquire new thralls. There are no special methods to harming the Khen-Zai, they are just as vulnerable to normal blades as most creatures, though they may use spells to counter this vulnerability, and always use them to avoid hits, usually going into physical combat only with mage armor, shield, and stoneskin (which even the Reds can cast) engaged. A Khen-Zai caught without time to prepare these spells may stall by talking, or pretending it cannot communicate. Avoid this, for it can cast spells using its facial organs without the possibility of observation by a human. Even if you can close in and attack with powerful damaging spells (and always use your most powerful spells for the best chance of overcoming their power to ignore them) the fight will still be difficult. An Ethergaunt unable to retreat will fight to the death, since it does not fear that, and will try to kill as many opponents as possible, they will almost always target divine spellcasters first. Reasoning with a Khen-Zai While certain races may have more success reasoning with a Khen-Zai than others, as will be discussed later, this option remains exceedingly difficult for the vast majority of races. It is not even an option at all on the Material plane, where any negotiation on the part of the Khen-Zai is utterly in falsehood, as they will annihilate everyone regardless. On the Ethereal or the Inner Planes it is more likely to be successful. Indeed, in those areas this is recommended, especially if you believe yourself outmatched. Khen-Zai have no particular grudge against the residents of other planes, and they do not go out of their way to 'step on insects' unless they happen to be divine spellcasters. Negotiating with the Khen-Zai is difficult, since communication presents a problem. Though they understand our words perfectly, they cannot themselves speak. If thralls are present they may speak through them, but they prefer to claim a thrall from among those they are negotiating with and use that as a proxy. Their favored targets for this are divine spellcasters. Anyone claimed in such a way is lost regardless of any other arrangements reached. The best way to talk with a Khen-Zai is to be brief and apologetic. They care nothing for pleasantries, and indeed prattling bores them. They do not consider other races worthy of their time, and so prefer quick negotiations. Anyone speaking to the Khen-Zai must come to expect and accept claims of their imminent demise and destruction. Trying to get them to acknowledge the value of another race's life is futile. Instead the best plan is to offer apologies for anything you may have done wrong (even if nothing) and suggest that it is not worth the Khen-Zai's time to destroy you at present. Assuming you are not directly opposing them at the moment this tactic actually has a good chance of working. Of course, the Khen-Zai usually demands recompense, either in the enslavement of a divine spellcaster, or in some task undertaken by the group (often enforced by geas). Lying to them never works, unless you can match their intelligence they will easily tell, and from a single sentence a Khen-Zai can derive an entire multi-layered plot. Don't try trickery, be honest, not wanting to die is a perfectly acceptable reason for your acquiesce to a Khen-Zai's demands from their perspective. If you are trying to directly oppose the Khen-Zai, then don't even bother to negotiate, but fight as mentioned above. As was mentioned by our illithid author, Khen-Zai can reason in the extreme, and have been known to cause others to agree to kill themselves for no reason, and then caused magic to make that a reality. In negotiation with them your only defense if their lack of concern for you.

"Magic and Technology" Ethergaunt Magic and Technology Alni Swirlsen The Khen-Zai are both masters of magic on a level understood by few other races, and great practitioners of the device arts, creating contraptions that would be the envy of tinker gnomes for their ingenuity, with the dangerous appellation that these devices actually work. These two paths of power function in combination to make the Khen-Zai the mighty race that they are today. Khen-Zai Magic Every single Ethergaunt has great magical power; even the least Red is as talented from birth as a wizard of skill and experience, a power that is further augmented by their great intelligence, that enables their minds to hold far more spells than any human of similar levels of power. Indeed the only race with so many spells available at such levels of power is the mineralogical Tsnng. At higher castes Khen-Zai cannot be matched even by the most potent of archmages, and many pursue mystical power far beyond what they are born with. It is said that Blacks exist who can create Khen-Zai enclaves with a single word, or wrack whole prime material world apart with simple motions of their tendrils. I have not met anyone who has truly witnessed such feats, but it is clear that Khen-Zai exist with great magical power, many of whom are master Eldritch Knights, proficient in two deadly fields, such as the renowned Wax Face of Slaan. The magic of the Khen-Zai is both similar and different to that of humans and other races. While the Khen-Zai must still study their spells each day, they have developed technology to vastly hasten this process. They cast their spells without recognizable verbal or somatic components, seemingly by act of will, though this is not precisely the case. A Khen-Zai twitches his tendrils and facial appendages to focus his magic, and does not require material components or foci save for specialize (meaning valuable) cases. The race long ago developed variants to all common spells to get around this problem. Even when they do require specialized material components it is often easier for a Khen-Zai to create what he needs simply out of protomatter than actually creating the object permanently. Most spells cast by the Khen-Zai that have been observed successfully are very similar to the ones commonly in use today. These are tried and true magics of great effectiveness, and it seems that having retained usability on the planes for eons, they have remained in use by the hyper-evolved society of the Khen-Zai as well. However, there are more unique spells than these, ten thousand years of practice has resulted in many highly varied spells, and no Khen-Zai wizard will hesitate to cast his variants if the opportunity is available. Some of these are simply specialized spells, while others are far more deadly and dangerous. Like Liches, most Khen-Zai have a spell for every possible situation, and wit their great intelligence they can often predict exactly what will be useful in any given situation. Notably, they never cast spells at a target if that target is immune, but use an elemental variant designed to hurt the target. It is believed most Khen-Zai know a variant of fireball and lightning bolt for all the known forms of energy. Acid balls, and ice bolts have not gone unnoticed in Khen-Zai attacks. It must be remembered, however, that Khen-Zai magic is only a aspect of their power, one they supplement freely with their technological apparatus, and indeed they may prefer the sterile powers of technology over those of their incredible spellcasting power. Khen-Zai Technology Chiret Ah, the lovely devices of the Ethergaunts, the creepy, entropy defying, my-stuff-never-breaks-down-rusts-or-gets-old-bitches. Ah, sorry, anyway, unlike most people's stuff, the devices of the Ethergaunts don't break down. Instead they work regularly, like clockwork really, or maybe better than most clocks. Of course, the upside is that the Ethergaunts build their stuff for warfare or to kill priests mostly, so they do cause a lot of entropy with their entropy less items, that's a bit more pleasant. Other than that though, the things are so nasty and cunning that they make gnomes drool with envy (which is not a pretty sight). Then they exterminate small cities. The first rule of an Ethergaunt device is this: it only has one purpose. They don't build multipurpose devices, generally because the multiverse doesn't seem to like 'em. So, the Ethergaunts build extremely specialized devices that have a single purpose, which, as I said before, is mostly killing the rest of us, or weakening faith. Of course, they also have devices to protect themselves or acquire slaves, but that's all part and parcel of their drive to annihilate everyone anyway. The second thing about Ethergaunt items is something that a lot of primes, (and planars too!) tend to forget. They aren't magical. These things aren't spell-imbued items, or mystical devices powered by elemental energy, or anything like that. It's straight up machinery, no magic involved, like the crazy gnomes build, except that these things work all the time. If you know anything about gnomes you're probably screaming in terror right about now. If you're not, you should be. See, since Ethergaunt items don't require magic they aren't affected by tricks that counter magic, like wizard mantles, the magic warping of the planes, antimagic fields, or even the dispel magic spell. That makes them nasty, especially when you consider powerful ethergaunts like to drop antimagic fields on an area to ruin everybody else's spellcasting. They've even got a device that inhibits spellcasting for everybody but them, which makes me very glad I'm not a spellslinger. Anyway, what follows are descriptions of a bunch of Ethergaunt items, going in order of the most common to the most rare, as encountered by planewalkers anyway, the most common item in an ethergaunt enclave could be something we've never heard of. Now, since they make an awful lot of these things, I've only to space to go into those that have been documented and captured. Plenty more stuff exists, but you'll have to try and deal with those on your own. Etherblade: The most common weapon of the ethergaunt is this two handed device. Almost every single member of the race carries one, and all the castes know how to use it and use it well. The weapon packs a nasty punch in melee combat, and also has the power to fire a nasty ray of energy that strikes like a stone from a slingshot hitting your chest. Using the ray takes charges though, and an Etherblade only has thirty. This weapon is actually one of the few devices the Ethergaunts make that a planewalker can actually pick up and use, but for you, when the ray charges are gone, they're gone. Ethergaunts make a special device to recharge their Etherblades by sucking the energy out of protomatter, but only they can manage to use it. Most Ethergaunts carry one of those too. Etherblade Enhancements: An Etherblade is a non-magical device, and out on the planes that don't work so well for harming certain creatures, so the Ethergaunts have adapted. They've also gone further and made their Etherblades all the more deadly. Enhancements are usually little tubes that go around the haft of an Etherblade. Substance Modulators are the most common, these devices allow an Ethergaunt to adjust the Etherblade to overcome and damage immunity a creature has, though only one, and not the super-tough creatures whispered about in legend (a Substance modulator provides the ability to overcome an one form of damage reduction per round, excluding X/epic-the Editors). Other devices are called damage enhancers. These things give the Etherblade all sorts of different types of damage, making them burn, or chill, or spit acid. Thankfully it only affects the melee power, not the ray (this provides the equivalent of a flaming, frost, etc trait to an Etherblade, or the burst equivalent in more powerful versions to an Etherblade, the effect is non-magical-The Editors). There are some other enhancements to, but they haven't been documented. Substance Modulators are found on just about any Ethergaunt who's going to need one (and they know) while Damage Enhancers are only usually given to Whites and higher castes, though sometimes a crack troop of Reds could have them (especially if they have class skills). These are useable by Ethergaunts only. Doubt Bombs: The most common method of eradicating religious devotion and softening up the enemy, doubt bombs are a favored device for White and higher castes to use while directing subordinates. They'll steal the very will to live from you, and scourge your mind. This not only reduces the effectiveness of enemy spellcasters, but it also makes enslavement easier. These things are only one use, but the Ethergaunts often carry more than enough to cripple even a group of the toughest Nathri raiders, or the most cunning Xill. Enterprising adventurers can make use of doubt bombs, but its tricky, they have a 50% chance to go off in your hand when thrown by anyone other than an Ethergaunt. Spell Cube: Every last Ethergaunt carries one of these devices in place of a spellbook. These cubes are only about four inches on a side, but they apparently can contain more spells than a whole wizards library. Heck, some people think they contain libraries inside them too, but no one can tell since only an Ethergaunt can use one. Generally immediately after resting an Ethergaunt will put the cube under its facemask for ten minutes. That's all the time it needs to memorize all its spells for the day. Now, one of these things contains hundreds of spells, and even if that's not enough, different Ethergaunts in a group will have some different spells, and thy can use each other's cubes. An Ethergaunt will sometimes place its cube under the mask at other times of day, maybe recording important data or something. Regardless, this device allows your average Ethergaunt to spells only 1/48th of the time a mortal wizard does dealing with its spells and resting. Enslavement Collars: The enslave power of an Ethergaunt can only accumulate a limited number of thralls. Though they can easily supplement this with magic, they've chosen to make devices that do it as well. An enslavement collar is applied to any thrall already under the effects of an Ethergaunts enslave power. Thereafter that thrall must obey any Ethergaunt that gives it commands, and counts against no Ethergaunt's control limit. In all aspects the collar forces the thrall to behave as if affected by a dominate monster spell. A thrall can still attempt a will save (DC 16) to escape once each day, but the collar can immediately attempt three more enslave attempts to reestablish control, and will saves must be made to resist each (DC 16). Anyone successful escaping from the collar finds that the nearest Ethergaunt (regardless of distance) is alerted to the escape. After failing to escape for a week, a thrall becomes completely dominated by the collar and must undergo an experience of extreme crisis to regain enough identity to attempt escape again. Frankly, I think its better to throw yourself on an Etherblade when you get the chance that be stuck to one of these for eternity. I should also mention that the Ethergaunts may not bother to feed their thralls if they don't intend them for long term use, so rescuing people from collars has that additional complication if you really want to try it. Divine Barrier: This device, which looks like a little sphere, erects a spherical barrier 20ft. in radius that prevents the use of all divine magic within it above the 2nd level. The barrier lasts for ten minutes. While this device has truly obvious uses in battle, especially for the godless Ethergaunts, it is often used in really sadistic ways. For one, they like to put up barriers over battlefield hospitals and watch the wounded die, or prevent key miracles or important holy celebrations to erode faith. Thankfully the Ethergaunts are marginally carefully when they use these, since they tend to attract deific attention and reprisals. Shows the gods are useful for something every once in a while. Thank the gods only an Ethergaunt can use one of these. Scent Beacon: These things aren't right. They're just little tubes you stick somewhere and set off, lot a lot like un-wicked candles, frankly. There's just one problem. These beacon's have some way to call up just about every predator in the area and (all animals, vermin, magical beasts, and any aberration or dragons with int<6) and send them into a horrible frenzy. Now the area nearby isn't really very big, only about four hundred yards, which in a forest nets maybe a giant spider and a coyote, but the Ethergaunts seem to find all sorts of ways to call up huge rampaging hordes with this trick. Of course, only they can manage to make these devices work. Divine Feedback Grenade: I had a friend who was a cleric; he met a bad end on one of these. These weapons are shot out of Etherblades to stick to a divine spellcaster. They grab onto the flesh like little spiders with metal claws and they rip out some divine power and detonate. These things act on the most powerful spell left to the poor soul, and detonate for a serious blast for each level of power that spell contains, dealing it all to the cleric (a Divine Feedback Grenade deals 1d6 divine damage per level of the highest spell left in the spellcaster's repertoire) and even if the sod survives that, he's lost his most powerful spell, which can make a huge difference in battle. So far the Ethergaunts only use these devices on the Ethereal, maybe they haven't gotten to work elsewhere yet, but I wouldn't bet my life on that. Luckily, no one but Ethergaunts can make these things work. Posted: Sat Apr 10, 2004 11:23 am Post subject: Culture __

__ "Culture" Ethergaunt Culture Ehir Sis'Liarch So, it seems you thralls think that because I was an Ethergaunt thrall I know something about their 'culture.' Foolish, just like all you thralls you have nothing that could even be considered culture, just the deranged ravings of insects and fools. Ah, but you press for details, facts about Ethergaunt life. Curse you! I will speak. Know that as despised as they are, most Ethergaunts have a culture far superior to the illogical and undirected pursuits of the thrall species. They are appropriately directed and have organized their culture around their goals of ultimate reasoning. Architecture Ethergaunts design simple, and fabulously functional structures in the Deep Ethereal. These creations are usually pyramids or obelisks, for their finely reasoned designs, and are aspects of the hated mindless technology used by their race. They build out of a material that is unknown to any other race, but that resists all damage and magic with great ease. A Giant may swing at an Ethergaunt structure and inflict only the slightest damage, while an Ethergaunt can manipulate their buildings with a touch. This superior construction and unity of design is partly for reasons of defense, since even Ethergaunts face occasional attacks on their enclaves from creatures such as Magran or Terithrans, and partly for existence on the Ethereal. These super-solid structures with no brittle outer surfaces can function easily in the midst of an Ether cyclone or vapor front. This is important for long-term viability. The Ethergaunts apparently create their buildings completely out of the Ether itself, which is how they generate their incredible alloy. They may also cover their buildings in protective glyphs and symbols. Ethergaunt construction emphasizes absolute lines that ascend in a single direction, symbolizing the progress of reason. They usually become more confined toward the top, illustrative of the difficulty that comes from walking the road upwards, but also more refined as they ascend, and energy flows naturally upwards through the construction. They might be said to be style-less in their construction, instead attempting to achieve a perfectly reasoned building devoid of any emotional attachment, but this is still more suitable than the constructions of you thralls, with your complete misunderstanding of the nature of creation. Art There is no such thing as Ethergaunt art; they lavish all their creative energy on their devices of genocide. Such things are perhaps art in the way a finely crafted tentacle extension is art, a demonstration of the beauty of lethality, but this is not deliberate. Instead, the Ethergaunts simply refine their items toward perfection past the point where any 'artist' would be satisfied. Economy Among themselves Ethergaunts are all considered a single race, and they do not engage in anything that might reasonably be considered 'trade' with any other race. Therefore they need not bother with the pursuit of monetary gain, which I believe is one of their few oversights. However, those enclaves that regularly contact with thrall races are aware of the power of money, and may stockpile it to use as blatant bribes in the most simplistic sense. They value whatever it seems that others value. One trick of theirs is to use thrall monies to pay fiends for summoned services, since such things do not matter to the Ethergaunts at all. Among themselves, the Whites control the disbursement of Spell Cubes, which contain the knowledge central to the race. This might be considered an economy of sorts, as you thralls reckon it, since they are distributing information, but if so it follows a pattern of what I have heard called communism, reasoned appropriations according to individual needs. Know that any single spell cube, if used to contain knowledge, holds libraries worth of information, so most Ethergaunts need at most one for their spells and one other. Education Ethergaunts prize the accumulation of personal knowledge and data, and the ability to use it effectively. While their only focused education comes in the instruction of lower castes by higher castes of how to improve their reasoning methods (which is indeed very focused in regular sessions of mental communication) every caste is encouraged to practice the art of reasoning by exposure to new information. The Ethergaunts make extensive use of spellcubes for this purpose, and a single Ethergaunt can assimilate the contents of one very rapidly, and remember a tremendous amount of what they were exposed to. This far surpasses thralls, and is most easily likened to the increase in knowledge my kind gain when we consume the brain of a learned being. Individual Ethergaunts with no specific mission often seek out new forms of information, and in fact this is one of their most common reasons for journeying the Inner planes. To experience new environments, and broaden their knowledge. The most important form of education among Ethergaunts is magical, and the development of magical knowledge and power go hand in hand. It is a rare Ethergaunt that does not make some effort to advance its magical knowledge early in life, and likely this continues throughout their endless existence. Government Now, the system by which Ethergaunts run their society is very complex. The simplest part is their relations with others, which runs simply as manipulate, enslave, or destroy as needed to accomplish objectives. However, within their society, the castes must be organized and they must work together as a group. Mostly this happens in two castes. The Blacks develop overarching goals for all castes below them and the Ethergaunt race as a whole. They may participate in the realization of these goals, or they may not. Blacks from various different enclaves communicate together, and decide by what I must assume is equal voting among their members (though I was hardly privy to their counsels and certainly you thralls could never understand anyways). From the grand sweeping racial objectives to all Ethergaunts two different things happen. The Grays assimilate these instructions and take their own actions as a caste, not working with anyone else, unless they appropriate them, as they will. For the rest, the Whites interpret these goals and develop localized objective regimens and timetables that are to be fulfilled, and they continuously update these. Then they instruct Blues and Reds on their tasks within this scope. In a militant setting Blacks act as generals, Whites as officers, and Blues and Reds as rank and file. Grays serve as unattached specialists. At least, this is the best reference I can provide for thralls. The truth is undoubtedly quite a bit more complex. History Like all their knowledge, the history of the Ethergaunts is kept within Spell Cubes, and is therefore inaccessible to all non-ethergaunts. However, though no specific aspects of their past were ever revealed to me, there are certain things most Ethergaunts did and did not know that allow some reasoning assumptions about their history. Different castes have different levels of knowledge for one, and in particular, no caste is ever aware of past revolts among their caste against superiors, though they assuredly happened. Likewise, failures of members of higher castes are not revealed to those below, unless as some form of object lesson where the blame can be placed on religious devotion among the thralls. Therefore it is likely the Blacks have the only complete history of the Ethergaunts, and that they are the only ones who know the true origins of their race. I suspect that Ethergaunts do not create false history; they simply leave glaring gaps in what they tell the lower castes. While even these are brilliant enough to know that certain things are being left out, they maintain confidence that those with superior reasoning capability have done so for a reason they cannot legitimately fathom. Religion There is obviously no religion among the Ethergaunts, they are totally divorced from their gods. I once believed this was the direction my people should take, but I now believe it is the complete opposite. This is the only weakness the Ethergaunts have that might be reasonably exploited. They lack a religion, though the lower castes often look on the Blacks in a manner similar to the way thralls look upon the divine. It should be remembered however that all Ethergaunts are far too intelligent to ever confuse the two; it is simply a comparison only. Ethergaunts despise religion in others, considering it a decided falsity of reasoning, and a terminal waste of resources. In some ways they have made a cultural philosophy, which many might call a religion, out of being opposed to religion. However, without comprehending the brain of an Ethergaunt as fully as I understand that of a thrall, I cannot understand how this affects them. __

_ "Obelisk in Void" The Obelisk in Void Site Hearsay: Some Inner Planar travelers whisper that the Ethergaunts have placed a grand obelisk in the plane of vacuum from which to conduct experiments. They experiments have to do with the nature and manipulation of emptiness, and some whisper that the Khen-Zai are trying to determine how to properly utilize prime worlds they've cleansed, or maybe how to merge the emptiness of wildspace will the flaming phlogiston, and just burn clear all the prime worlds of the multiverse. Thankfully, the Ethergaunts here aren't hostile, heck they're even sort of approachable, if you go about it the right way. Description: The Obelisk in Void is indeed an Ethergaunt experimental site. The actual obelisk is made of force, and has insured the absolute purity of the vacuum zone inside, which not even the Ethergaunts enter to avid contamination. The actual habitations of the resident Ethergaunts is a pyramid structure that floats next to the force creation. The purpose of the obelisk is unclear, but is seems to be being used for strange experiments regarding emptiness. There's supposedly a Gray Ethergaunt in charge of the whole place, though it appears to outsiders that a small groups of Whites is actually running the show. All in all there are ten whites, fifty blues, and one hundred reds stationed here, though the number may fluctuate slightly in order to account for Ethergaunts currently exploring out in Vacuum or traveling to other enclaves. There are over three hundred thralls that just sit out in the vacuum around the obelisk, observing anyone who comes in and acting as a defense and labor force in need. Most of these thralls are creatures that don't need to breathe. Many are air elemental types, such as djinn or sylphs, but others like Azer and various mephitis are common as well. The Obelisk itself is one hundred feet across at the base and over five hundred feet tall, a most impressive magical construction. There are usually about thirty ethergaunts moving about it, fastening various strange technological devices to the outside or casting spells upon it. The mossy growth known as the Egarus cannot pass within three hundred yards of any part of the whole expanse. It is unknown how this effect is achieved. History: The Obelisk in Void was established about ten years ago, and was created from absolutely nothing within a day. The Ethergaunt enclave just seemed to appear the next day from someplace else. Since then the Ethergaunts have been acquiring thralls and doing their strange experiments. No one is really sure what this is all for, but everybody can tell it has big implications, this is the most concentrated group of Ethergaunts anyone's ever found on the Inner Planes after all. Five years ago a bunch of vacuum quasielementals decided they didn't like the Obelisk and tried to destroy it. The Ethergunats massacred them mercilessly, its said that five hundred elementals died that day, for the cost of four red ethergaunts and two hundred thralls. The quasielementals haven't tried since. Special Features: The most important thing about this place is that the Ethergaunts aren't hostile, indeed, they are willing to entertain any number of travelers, especially those who bring food, which makes taking care of the thralls easier, since the Ethergaunts hate trying to bother themselves. A White Ethergaunts that allows itself to be called Blank Hand meets with outsiders. Blank Hand is more powerful than other Whites, being a very skilled wizard, but the White seems pleasant enough. It speaks through a dominated slyph. The Ethergaunts may request certain services of outsiders, and their requests are essentially demands without a probability of survival attached, but they'll entertain all sorts of babble and requests in return, so someone who needs to deal with Ethergaunts could do a lot worse than coming here. Not everybody gets off so easily though; some who have traveled to the Obelisk in Void simply disappear, and cannot be located or restored by the most powerful of magic. No one but the Ethergaunts is aware of this, yet those people have been put inside the obelisk. Anyone inserted through the force walls is utterly obliterated and cannot be brought back by any spells, artifact or other means short of direct deific intervention (and even that's an iffy prospect since no divine pacts govern the Khen-Zai). The Ethergaunts appear to be researching the powers and potential of this absolute destruction effect. ____

"Ethergaunt Devices" http://www.planewalker.com/050406/ethergaunt-devices Ethergaunt Devices Submitted by Nemui on Wed, 04/06/2005 - 06:00 Members of the mysterious Khen-Zai race, better known as "ethergaunts", are never encountered without a number of devices of such technological complexity that no non-ethergaunt could ever hope to use them. Some of the devices are partially or entirely implanted into an ethergaunt’s body and do not function if removed; others can be removed but are coded so that they self-destruct if tempered with. Some of these devices duplicate the effects of magical or psionic items, but they are entirely mundane. Well, a better term would be non-magical, because there is nothing “mundane” about their effects. Note: Ethergaunts were originally mentioned in the Fiend Folio, and further developed at the Bone-Box Rattler. Datapad: A datapad is usually an implant, but can also be seen as separate device, connected to an ethergaunt’s mask somehow. It is almost exclusively used by the white ethergaunts, granting them access to the immense databases of the ethergaunt race stored somewhere on the Ethereal. By consulting the datapad for 2d6 rounds, an ethergaunt can gain a +10 bonus on the next Craft or Knowledge check it attempts. Deflector: Black ethergaunts are not combatants, and thus never wear etherarmor suits. They instead have small projectors attached or implanted which grant them a deflection bonus to AC equal to two times their Charisma modifier. They have the same bonus on all saving throws, as a resistance bonus. Also, a deflector’s activity can be enhanced (as a free action) so that it protects the ethergaunt with a spell turning effect; this use consumes great amounts of energy and thus can be used for up to 10 rounds per day, divided in any way. Doubt Bomb: This small ceramic sphere contains a chemical mixture intended to over-stimulate the “doubt centers” in the brain. The bomb can be thrown as a grenade-like weapon, and it can be used with an offset of up to 1 minute. When it detonates, it creates a cloud of poisonous gas in a 10-ft. spread in the first round and a 20-ft. spread in the next (in the third round it dissipates harmlessly). Creatures in the area are exposed to a contact poison: initial and secondary damage 1d6 Wisdom, Fort DC 15 negates. Ethergaunts are immune to the effect of doubt bombs. Etherarmor: Red and white ethergaunts are protected by a thin suit of armor, highly flexible yet highly resistant. It grants a +6 armor bonus to AC and entails no armor check penalty. Its maximum Dexterity bonus is +9. Additionally, the suit provides energy resistance 5 against all types of energy damage (acid, cold, electricity, fire, and sonic). An etherarmor is always an item of masterwork quality. Etherblade: Resembling a short glaive topped with a hollow barrel, this favored weapon of the red and white ethergaunts can produce a ray of force as a ranged touch attack for 1d10 points of damage. The range increment is 40 ft. It can fire 50 times before the ethergaunt needs to recharge it at a special power source. Alternatively, the etherblade can be used as a melee weapon. It can be configured to deal slashing or piercing damage, and to act as a standard two-handed weapon, a reach weapon, or a double weapon, according to personal preference. An etherblade is usually connected to the ethergaunt’s mask via a thin cord, which can be attacked as a Tiny object (hardness 5, hit points 10). If the cord is severed, the ethergaunt not only loses the +4 attack roll bonus provided by the mask (see below), but also suffers a -2 penalty on attack rolls with the etherblade until the cord is repaired. An etherblade is always an item of masterwork quality. Jaunt Cube: An ethergaunt holding this small rectangular device can activate it by making a DC 20 Knowledge (the planes) check as a standard action. When activated, it shifts the ethergaunt and all willing creatures within 15 ft. from the Ethereal Plane to the Material Plane, or back again as a free action. The jaunt cube can remain on the Material Plane for up to 10 minutes before automatically returning to the Ethereal Plane to replenish its energy supply from the ether (which takes about a minute). Mask: This device is directly connected with the ethergaunt’s super-developed brain and countless facial sensory organs. While worn, it filters the atmosphere, altering it to suit an ethergaunt’s breathing requirements; it provides immunity to inhaled poisons, cloudkill, or similar effects. Furthermore, the mask grants a +4 enhancement bonus on ranged attack rolls with an etherblade, and the ethergaunt also has blindsight out to 60 ft. and blindsense out to 120 ft. In other words, creatures within 60 ft. of an ethergaunt with active sensors is perfectly located regardless of concealment or other visibility conditions, while between 60 and 120 ft. creatures are located but not perfectly – invisible creatures have concealment (20% miss chance). See the Monster Manual for a more precise definition of blindsight and blindsense. Slave Controller: Ethergaunts have the natural ability to enslave lesser beings, but are unable to maintain control over many specimens at the same time. When they want to “put away” their slaves, they attach this small plastic device to their head or chest, and the enslaved creature’s mind is automatically placed in stasis. It no longer counts against the ethergaunts limit of enslaved creatures, but it can be reactivated at a later time. The creature will respond only to a predetermined command issued by an ethergaunt. During the stasis, the creature’s body needs no sustenance and ages slowly; its mind is kept well preserved and under control. It is thought that ethergaunt enclaves hold large stashes of slaves in stasis, stored away and possibly forgotten. Transport Grid: This device appears to be a small sheet of metallic foil. To activate it, an ethergaunt must first spread it over a 10-ft. square and calibrate it properly, which requires 1 minute. Once set up, the grid can be used either to transport the creature stepping onto it to a previously designated destination (as greater plane shift, usually to a safe location within an ethergaunt compound), or to call in 1-4 previously designated creatures (as gate, usually calling a team of 4 red ethergaunts). A transport grid can be used once every 2d4 minutes. If the ethergaunt wishes to alternate between the two modes, the grid must be recalibrated, which takes another minute.

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