The dark vortece is a mass of dark, swirling shadows. Little more is known about this deadly creature despite many attempts to study their origins. This is understandable when you consider the one well known fact about them: Simply being in the presense of a dark vortece is enough to endanger your life, due to their tendency to drain the life out of everything around them.
Only weapons that do crushing damage will be effective against dark vorteces. They do not carry a weapon or shield, wear no armor and have an extremely low defensive strength. They also take crush critical damage but not critical injuries or status effects.
You swing a twisted orase runestaff at a dark vortece! AS: +97 vs DS: +41 with AvD: +10 + d100 roll: +93 = +159 ... and hit for 20 points of damage! You swing a gem-set pitted mithril maul at a dark vortece! AS: +97 vs DS: +26 with AvD: +31 + d100 roll: +7 = +109 ... and hit for 8 points of damage! Shadows roil forth from the dark vortece, revealing a hazy tenebrous orb. The dark vortece collapses in on itself. You feel an icy chill as the dark form seems to recede into nothingness.
Wizard bolts are highly effective against them.
Dark Catalyst is the only immediate sorcerer spell that affects them. They will take damage from open cast Energy Maelstrom (710), and will grab hold for open Implosion (720) but will not stun, though they are still immune to cold criticals. Minor elemental is also absorbed.
Upon death, they may release hazy tenebrous orbs. Gem dealers will pay for them, and they vary widely in value (from under 100 silver to over 6000). They vanish immediately upon death.
The following can happen when they are in the cavern, ultimately dying after some number of rounds:
A dark vortece seems to shrink, losing some of its intensity. A dark vortece drifts smoothly north, leaving a shadowy haze in its wake. A dark vortece seems to shrink, losing some of its intensity. The dark vortece collapses in on itself. You feel an icy chill as the dark form seems to recede into nothingness.
If you try to search a dark vortece that is not dead it hurts you on contact.
>search vort As you approach the dark vortece, you feel an intense cold shoot through your body! ... 25 points of damage! Icy blast freezes your right hand! You are stunned for 2 rounds! Roundtime: 3 sec.
When they attack you with their powers, there are two warding casts simultaneously.
You feel the dark power of the dark vortece pulling at you. CS: +218 - TD: +168 + CvA: +6 + d100: +81 - -5 == +142 Warding failed! You feel dizzy for a moment as your mana is siphoned off! A dark vortece shoots a shaft of pure darkness at you! CS: +218 - TD: +168 + CvA: +6 + d100: +90 - -5 == +151 Warding failed! You feel an icy pain shoot through your body for 23 points of damage! ... 25 points of damage! You stagger as the icy attack shatters your left leg.
When they siphon off all of your mana, it apparently dispels the magic affecting you:
You feel the dark power of the dark vortece pulling at you. CS: +230 - TD: +161 + CvA: +6 + d100: +80 - -5 == +160 Warding failed! You feel extremely disoriented as the dark vortece draws off the last of your mana. As it continues to pull, you feel a deep-seated chill shoot through your spine! The distracting force passes away from you. You feel the dark power of the dark vortece pulling at you. CS: +224 - TD: +168 + CvA: +6 + d100: +49 - -5 == +116 Warding failed! An unsettling feeling comes over you as the strange force disrupts the flow of mana around you!
The dark vorteces do not seem to do anything malicious when you are dead:
A dark vortece flickers momentarily, attempting to blend into the shadows. A dark vortece draws itself toward its center, giving it the appearance of an amorphous cloud of shadows. The surface of the dark vortece swirls with a dark pattern. A dark vortece extends forth a multitude of branching shadowy tendrils, scattering elongated umbrae across the floor. A dark vortece emits a low hum. A dark vortece extends a wispy length of shadow toward your lifeless body.
Behind the Scenes
Uthex Kathiasas called these "dyar rakul" (Iruaric: "dark cold shadows"), which were "other standard" (non-demonic) extra-planar entities from Rolemaster called Nycorac. Nycorac were mysterious entities made of some unknown kind of energy, who had the ability to move between planes of existence at will (though these ones appear trapped.) The extended creature description above regarding their unknown origins and nature is unusual, as the describe verb only includes the first sentence. They are not considered extraplanar beings for system purposes in GemStone IV.
They were extremely difficult to fight, due to their virtual invisibility, and immunity to almost all weapons. They would stalk their victims, who would only feel "cold chills", draining the life out of them. When you consider that no one knows how to summon them and their origins were unknown, with the nature of their energy beyond comprehension, that Uthex was forging them is supposed to be virtually impossible. The vorteces might be some kind of unnatural perverse hybrid creature between the Nycorac and Blacar entities, because they are made of darkness rather than invisibility.
The details of the original parts of The Broken Lands have counterparts in "The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath" by H.P. Lovecraft. The dark vorteces correspond to the "vortices of cold wind" on the "Cyclopean stairs" of the enormous castle atop the mountain of Kadath, where the gods of earth resided in madness, with the risk of drawing the monstrous demonic attention of their guardians the dreaded Other Ones. The hazy "tenebrous" orbs they drop may be an allusion to the end of "Nyarlathotep", or the "tenebrous" towers of unknown Kadath, and they could also be based on the violet gas S'ngac that warns of him. There was a vision in the Shining Trapezohedron's hieroglyphs of "vortices of space where wisps of black mist floated before thin shimmerings of cold purple haze."
|Near-level creatures - edit|