Greater Power of the Infinite Layers of the Abyss
Symbol: An egg with an eye
Home Plane: Abyss/6th layer (Realm of a Million Eyes)
Alignment: Chaotic Evil
Portfolio: Beholders, magic, fertility, tyranny
Core Worshipers: Beholders
Cleric Alignments: Chaotic evil
Domains: Chaos, Death, Evil, Mysticism* (CD), Protection, Strength, Summoner* (CD), Tyranny* (CW).
Favored Weapon: +1 bite, keen
Description: In avatar form, the Great Mother appears as a huge, bloated beholder with rocks, gems, scraps of armor and weapons, shells, monstrous teeth, intact skeletons, and other debris stuck in its carapace. However, because the eyes of its Abyssal layer are the eyes of the deity itself, its true form must be much vaster and stranger. Scholars who worship Gzemnid believe the Great Mother changes appearance from one moment to the next.
Unlike its primarily lawful evil children, the Great Mother is chaotic evil and quite insane by human or even beholder standards (though it’s possible that mortals simply lack the intellectual capacity to comprehend its motivations). Its mindset is incredibly alien, and few of its children are able to contemplate its thoughts or understand its actions, assuming they survive an encounter with it. Unlike beholders, the Great Mother is an egg-laying being.
Relationships: The Great Mother is allied with Kiaransali and considered the enemy of Calladuran Smoothhands, Laduguer, Lolth, and Vhaeraun, but she is largely unconcerned with the affairs of other gods.
The Great Mother is said to have mated with demons, demodands, and worse, always consuming its mates in the process. Some of its offspring are said to still wander the Lower Planes.
Of its spawn, Gzemnid, its only offspring to achieve godhood, is perhaps the only one relatively safe from its seemingly mercurial whims when in its presence. Gzemnid, while he cannot entirely comprehend his mother either, does seek to understand at least some of the wisdom produced by its insanity. He greatly admires it, as much as any deity can another.
Realm: The Great Mother inhabits the 6th layer of the Abyss in the domain known as the Realm of a Million Eyes. The layer is made up of thousands of tunnels, the walls, ceilings, and floors of which the living eyes of the deity protrude. Every known kind of beholder and beholder-kin inhabits these tunnels, preying on one another and on any demons foolish enough to venture near. The Great Mother moves through the planes as it desires, laying the eggs that form Hive Mothers on many worlds.
The Realm of a Million Eyes was discovered by the mind flayer Illionth using its mental powers. It considered the Realm to be the source of all corruption and foulness, and attempted unsuccessfully to destroy it.
Dogma: The Great Mother exists to remake the multiverse in its image by filling it with its spawn, replacing all forms of life with monsters that resemble the Mother itself. It does not bother to acquire knowledge as Ilsensine and Boccob do, because it has always known all that it could ever need to know. However, it cannot or will not communicate this knowledge to lesser beings, including its own offspring. It neglects its children, not bothering with omens or portents. Sometimes it will allow beholders to be entirely wiped out on a given world, while other times it will become enraged when even a small beholder community is threatened.
Clerics: Beholders almost never become clerics. They lack the interest to devote their lives to higher powers, and in truth, their minds simply cannot conceive of doing so. The fact that their antimagic eye disrupts their own magic is another reason they avoid the clerical path. Yet beholders are not atheists; they live every moment in constant devotion to an ageless entity known as the Great Mother.
From birth, beholders know that they came not from their parent, who disavows them and turns on them as an enemy, but from an ancient being known as the Great Mother. To beholders, the Great Mother epitomizes the truth. All else is imperfection, and as a result, each beholder strives to become as perfect in mind and body as the Great Mother. Each beholder vividly recalls its birth not as the event occurred, but as if it had been spawned personally by the Great Mother herself. Each beholder also believes to the core of its being that it personifies the closest approximation the flesh can hope for in replicating the true majesty of the Great Mother. All others are pretenders that must be destroyed, for each moment that another beholder lives is an insult to the Great Mother. To a beholder, there is no greater way to demonstrate its faith than to slaughter and kill.