The Laughing Beholder (Book Excerpts)

Wildspace: The Spelljammer Fanzine

The Laughing Beholder was a local landmark.  Not because it was big, or busy, or scummy, or especially ritzy, but because its proprietor was a genuine-article beholder.  Shaundar had heard of Large Luigi – who hadn’t? – but he thought the creature a selkie-story.  Not so; he (if he was the accurate term) floated serenely behind the finely-carved, rounded oak bar, using one of his eyestalks to direct a polishing rag around in circles.  The other nine peered out in all directions, wriggling from the crown of his maroon ball of a body like Medusa’s tentacles, while the enormous, heavy-lidded green central eye that took up most of his “face” gazed straight ahead.  Unusually for the beholders that Shaundar had seen, all of his eyes matched.  He was humming a slightly off-key star shanty to himself in a gruff baritone.  When he saw them his eyes brightened and his broad…

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