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Elder Orb (Underdark) are very mature (and powerful) beholders. Though they have lost the function of some of their eyestalks, they have more hit points than ordinary beholders and are able to cast spells, some instantly. They can also use the dreaded Anti-Magic Ray as well as several others.


This specific Elder Orb is a found within the Southern Tunnels reachable from the Underdark.

The first of two Elder orbs are encountered in the initial chamber in the Southern Tunnels. The creature will deploy two self-buff protective spells, Stoneskin and Spell Trap. Then the creature will go on the offensive by either casting further arcane spells or firing Beholder Eye rays of various types at the closest valid target. An Anti-Magic Ray is likely the first eye ray attempted.

If the monster isn't killed or disabled quickly, there is a danger that a party member could get exposed to some instant death beholder rays, such as Death Ray or Flesh to Stone. The longer the Elder Orb has to sequentially work down the scripted rays and spells it is assigned, the more dangerous it can be, to include an Imprisonment spell.

Note that the Orb has an inherent 50% Magic resistance.

The game may have toned down the power of this Elder Orb, as it only has 9 Hit Dice (which is well below what it typically would be). And this of course can put its Dispel Magic contingency cast at a disadvantage. Another observation is that the very first chamber in the dungeon provides access to the Elder Orb sought by the party - the creature that has the component which Matron Mother Ardulace Despana requires to conduct her summoning ritual as part of the The Drow Summoning Ritual questline. If this seems a bit too convenient, then the player may be correct. This can be changed with installation of a challenge enhancing mod - see "Mod content" below for options.

On the other hand, if the party is seeking the Eyestalk of an Elder Orb and only desires this to complete a quest item - and doesn't want to enter further within the tunnels - then the early access to the Elder Orb means the party can leave the tunnels with the loot, and not be exposed to any other dangers (and miss out on the other experience and items in the Tunnels as well).

Note the special items dropped by this creature when defeated, listed in the InfoBox.

A second Elder Orb is present in this tunnel system, further into the dungeon. It has the same stats as the first Orb, uses the same script but carries no droppable loot/items (ref: BEHELD01.cre).


Mod content[]

Mods icon This section is about unofficial content that is only available via fan-made mods.

The Sword Coast Stratagems mod moves the Elder Orb further back inside the tunnels. So, the first {and second Elder Orb) are deeper within the dungeon. The mod also makes a number of changes to the creature, including the AI scripts and also adds some additional powers and immunities to the creature. The Orb is now a level 20 creature with SCS. It is under a permanent Free Action (status effect), is immune to its own beholder rays (in case they were reflected upon itself), has a passive alacrity effect that allows multiple spell actions each round to include spell casting and beholder eye ray attacks in the same round without any cool down pause. It also speeds up the casting time for arcane spells.

When hostilities commence the Orb deploys a contingency that launches several spells simultaneously. These include Stoneskin {cast previously), Spell Shield, Spell Trap (or "Moment of Prescience" with the SR mod), and two Summon Djinni creatures are conjured for support. All of these spells instantly manifest and can't be interrupted.

Seconds later the Orb launches a rapid firing Cause Serious Wounds ray and then a Anti-Magic Ray - and simultaneously a Spell Sequencer containing a Web and a group of Giant Spider summoned creatures - which will be placed so as to completely surround the targeted party member. At the same time the Djinn will be casting their own spells. The battlefield will be full of extra opponents very quickly.

It will be absolutely much more challenging and dangerous than the unmodified version. It will behoove the party to take down the Orb as soon as practical to limit opportunities for the Orb to keep spamming spell casts and beholder rays in the same round (sometimes as many as three actions per round because of its permanent alacrity power). On the game difficulty setting of Hardcore and Insane the creature is markedly more effective in battle. Note that the creature will recognize the Shield of Balduran, the Cloak of Mirroring, Cloak of Reflection, and any spell protections upon a party member. It will use its "Telekinesis Ray" to steal the Shield of Balduran and the Cloak of Mirroring (as will any of the beholders) in this area.

The Orb has a large spell book of arcane magic memorized. It can cast Death Spell against summoned creatures, Ruby Ray of Reversal and Pierce Magic, Greater Malison, some offensive spells, and retains the Imprisonment spell.

The mod will install various Icewind Dale spells for the Orb to use if that component is selected. This will also work if the Spell Revisions and or the IWDification mods are also installed.

Mod gallery[]

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