Forgotten Realms Wiki
Forgotten Realms Wiki

An eye of fear and flame, also known as a flameharrow,[2] was a very rare type of undead, believed to be created by chaotic evil deities.[1][3][4] This was said to be for the purpose of spreading darkness and destruction,[3] as well as fomenting the downfall of lawful creatures. Though some claimed that they were also created by lawful gods to test their followers.[1][4]


These undead were human-sized figures with skeletal forms with a gem in each eye socket, one red and one black. They were always dressed in a ragged, hooded cloak. The interior of their hoods were seen as nothing but an opaque black void, which helped to obscure their face.[1][2][3][4] Whenever they were attacked,[4] or their commands were not being met, an eye of fear and flame would throw back their hood and reveal their grisly visage.[1][2][3][4]

The animating spirits of these creatures were smelted from the dead souls of homicidal,[2] chaotic evil madmen.[3]


Some claimed that these undead innately knew the alignment of any creature around them.[4] But in reality an eye of fear and flame simply possessed an innate spellcasting ability that allowed them to cast detect good, detect law,[3] detect evil and good, and detect thoughts. In addition, they could cast the spells etherealness and true seeing once per day,[1] as well as ethereal jaunt twice per day.[3]

Their red gem mimicked the spell fireball, while their black gem mimicked the spell fear. Spells that affected vision, such as blindness and power word, blind, would be reflected by their gems back at casters.[3][4] In addition, their gems allowed them to see in areas of total darkness from up to 60 feet (18 meters) away.[1][3]

Uniquely for an undead creature, an eye of fear and flame was immune to the effects of turn undead.[1][3] Some claimed that the spell raise dead would not work on them and that resurrection would only work if an eye of fear and flame was willing.[3] Some were capable of imbuing their claws with flames.[2]


During combat an eye of fear and flame was liable to target innocent bystanders, for they sought to cause the greatest amount of confusion and destruction as possible. Besides their magical abilities an eye of fear and flame only had their claws to fight with[1] but they rarely relied upon them[3] and would attempt to retreat from close-quarters combat at the first opportunity.[2]

Whenever combat was not going in their favor, an eye of fear and flame would attempt to flee,[2][3][4] often by taking on an ethereal form.[4]

Rumors & Legends[]

Some rumors claimed that there were around only twenty of these undead in existence.[1] Some claimed that the demon lord Orcus was capable of creating these undead.[2]


These were largely solitary undead,[3] constantly on the search for lawful, lawful good, or lawful neutral parties or vulnerable individuals to corrupt by making them perform evil deeds.[1][4] In the case of pairs or groups, they threatened to kill all present unless they killed the other or a member of their party.[1][2][3] While individuals, such as paladins, might be threatened that a greater evil would be done if they did not comply.[1] And they always made good on their threats.[3]

The nature of the deeds they demanded from others varied,[2][4] but they were always evil.[4] Testing an individual's moral foundations[1] and often involving some form of betrayal.[2]

An eye of fear and flame always upheld its promise to those that complied to its command, content to leave the victim wallowing in their shock and guilt.[1][2] They cared only for the execution of an instructed task — whether or not it was done successfully was irrelevant them, for the evil nature of their tasks ensured that misery and general chaos would result no matter what.[1]


An eye of fear and flame could be found in almost any type of environment, but especially underground.[3][4] They were typically encountered during times of uncertainty, unease, and unrest.[1]

Beyond the Prime Material plane, these creatures were occasionally encountered in the Ethereal plane because of their abilities.[5]


The gems of an eye of fear and flame could be salvaged from their bodies, fetching prices of around a thousand to two thousand gold pieces. Some claimed that these gems lost their magical properties when the creature died or they were removed from its skull,[2][3][4] but others considered them to be dangerous and cursed trophies akin to the eye gems of a demilich.[1]

Their red gem could be used as an alternative material component for the spell delayed blast fireball.[6]


The drow adventurer Jarlaxle had an enchanted eyepatch that exhibited powers similar to an eye of fear and flame.[7]


See Also[]