|Climate/Terrain:||Quasiplane of Vacuum|
|Activity Cycle:||Any (nocturnal, if appropriate)|
|Movement:||9, Fl 18 (B)|
|No. of Attacks:||2|
|Special Attacks:||Suction, ingestion|
|Special Defenses:||Immune to sleep, hold, charm|
|Size:||M (5’ tall)|
As much as the bean-counters of the Fraternity of Order’d like to keep everything in the multiverse nice and neat, the truth of it’s undeniable — the Inner Planes are full of leaks. Bits of fire spread to the plane of Earth, spheres of air drift through the plane of Smoke, and so on. And the Negative Energy Plane is no exception. Negative energy leaks onto other planes, and wraith, spectres, and other undead spirits often go with it. Most of the time, they’re inexorably drawn back to their cold, dark home, but once in a while they manage to escape. The darklight, for example, is an undead entity able to form a brand-new existence on the quasiplane of Radiance.
Another example: the vacuous, an undead spirit that escapes the Negative Energy Plane through one of the rare leaks that spills onto the quasiplane of Vacuum. How do they avoid being drawn back to their home? Simple — they literally lose themselves in the nothingness of Vacuum. The endless void swallows them up.
Once on the quasiplane, the spirits take on properties related to their new environment. They become the creatures known as the vacuous: short humanoids with large heads, beady black eyes, and eggshell-white skin that’s covered in tiny cracks. The relatively short arms of a vacuous end in long black talons. But the thing’s most significant feature is its huge, gaping mouth. A basher who looks into the gigantic maw of a vacuous sees nothing — the creature holds the void of its new home within its very form.
Combat: In normal combat, the vacuous rakes with its long claws, inflicting 1d6 points of damage with each strike. But the monster can also kill a foe without ever spilling a drop of blood. See, it can tap into the vacuum of its plane, creating a void within its body. This void hungrily draws everything outside the vacuous toward the creature’s large, gaping mouth.
By “aiming” its mouth, the vacuous can focus this suction as it wishes, drawing any sods who happen to be within 25 feet. To resist the vacuum, a targeted victim must somehow brace himself and must make a successful Strength check with a -2 penalty. Otherwise, he’s helplessly drawn close to the undead monster, which can automatically strike him with two claw attacks during the same round.
After the first round of suction, the vacuous must stop the effect, choose another target, or allow the first victim to be drawn completely through its mouth and into the void of its body. That’s a horrible experience for the victim, but it incapacitates the monster as well — with its body full, it can’t attack or even move. Thus, most of the time, the creature’s willing to ingest a berk only if all other foes have already been defeated. Sometimes, though, a group of planewalkers who encounter several vacuous at once find that some of them draw the victims in while the others provide protection.
A sod drawn all the way into the maw or a vacuous must make another Strength check at -4. Success indicates that he’s able to cling for dear life to the outside of the creature, preventing himself from being pulled into the mouth. However, he’s unable to act — and is subject to two automatic claw attacks as well. A victim who fails his Strength check, however, finds himself forcefully sucked within the monster’s mostly hollow body. Once inside, the sod’s trapped within the tight enclosure, unable to move. In 2d4 rounds, he will die due to suffocation and heat loss. Only the death of the vacuous can save him.
The vacuous are turned as wights. Like many other types of undead, they’re immune to poison, paralyzation, attacks based on cold or negative energy, and mind-affecting spells like sleep, hold, and charm.
Habitat/Society: Extremely intelligent undead creatures, the vacuous travel and hunt in packs, using crafty tactics. For example, a group of vacuous might herd potential victims into an ambush where others are waiting to draw them inside their bodies. Other times, the monsters keep themselves spread out and attack a group from two or more different directions, separating their opponents by drawing them apart from one another. This also works on a single foe — the vacuous alternate using their suction powers, which tosses the victim back and forth each round and keeps him off balance.
’Course, these tactics work better on planes other than Vacuum; it’s difficult to lay an ambush in a featureless void. But, truth is, the monsters enjoy traveling (whether via summonings or accidental gate openings) to other planes, where there’s so much more to eat. See, due to the nature of the quasiplane of Vacuum, the vacuous can feed only when outsiders come to the plane — and that doesn’t happen too often.
Ecology: Vacuous will feed on any living creature, devouring every bit of the body and brain. Their own bodies aren’t really material at all, but rather constructs of planar energy from both the Negative Energy Plane and the quasiplane of Vacuum. This means, of course, that the vacuous are made (at least in part) of nothingness.
◆ 1898 ◆