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# Precalculus MM: Lair of the Devourer: Vectors and Parametric Equations 4: NWN 0141a

From the north exit she descends the stairs into the deepest part of the prison complex. This area resembles the torture chamber section of the prison's main floor, and in normal circumstances would seem, if anything, even more oppressive, however it is not possible for Zanzi to tune in to the disturbing echoes of extreme suffering here as the psionic energy field swamps everything. In fact it now dawns on Zanzi that the true purpose of the devourer's use of this psi field is not so much as to cajole the human consciousness within her into taking control of the PC, but rather to stop Shar's 30-60-90 from activating and possibly sending her a call signal. It is simply an unexpected bonus for the intellect devourer that a supplementary effect of the psi field is to promote of the weak human's thoughts and emotions to the fore of Zanzi's mind.
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Despite her invisibility, the rapid fluctuations she can detect in the psi difference quotient mean that the devourer most likely knows she has entered its lair intending to kill it. Four slightly dazed ex-prison guards walk aimlessly around the place, their roughed up faces expressionless and insular. Knowing that the devourer will attempt to take control of these people to attack her during combat, Zanzi acts quickly to speak to all the guards before her invisibility dissipates. She runs to each in turn to warn them of the impending doom and to persuade them to leave, cutting through the fog of their vacant minds in order to do so. Success with each is surprisingly easy, and now with all the guards out of the way Zanzi can focus her attack entirely on the devourer-controlled Alaefin. Maybe defeating the intellect devourer isn't going to be such a great difficulty after all.
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With her invisibility still intact she sings a second Bard Song and then instructs Daelan to attack Alaefin. She also sings a Curse Song to weaken the target. The ease with which Alaefin's body succumbs to Daelan's attack again surprises Zanzi and for a time while Alaefin's slaughtered body lies motionless on the ground she believes the creature lurking inside must also have been killed. However, just as the effects of Zanzi's Invisibility spell begin to fade, Alaefin's head begins to split rapidly along a central seam; then, with all the charm of discovering a well fertilized egg, it opens glutinous and wide to reveal the little parasitic monstrosity crouching inside. With its reptilian-like legs almost fully retracted the quivering creature looks vulnerable and somehow comical, in a disgustingly horrific sort of way -- a quadruped brain that doesn't look as if it could withstand a single blow with a fist, let alone any kind of weaponry. Had Zanzi and Daelan known more about this intellect devourer thing they would have attacked it the instant it hopped from the bloody remains of Alaefin's head, as for the first two or three seconds thereafter its exposed brain is completely unprotected and just as vulnerable to damage as it would seem to be, but the shock of seeing Alaefin's head rip open to reveal this strange little being stalls both combatants from taking any action before the window of opportunity closes. In the meantime the devourer quickly shields its brain within a soft retractable hood that hardens rapidly to become an extremely tough, almost impenetrable transparent carapace.
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