Art of a vlish from Geneforge 3.
A Vlish is a tier-2 Magic Creation. Vlish are quite frail, but have good resistance against most forms of damage. They shoot magical bolts of energy at their enemies.
As the Vlish was designed as 'military only' creation, most of its features are made for combat, although their telepathic abilities provide them with some utility in communications.
Vlish are described as being unusual creations, although later creations, such as the Wingbolt and the Gazer, have used Vlish as a prototype. Vlish have a large main sac where most of their organs are located, as well as the air sacks that keep it afloat are located in. Below these sacs protrude the three tentacles. The center tentacle is the main combat-using tentacle. This is where the magical bolt is fired from, as well as possibly the source of poison in its melee attack. The other two tentacles are magic conduits to aid the main tentacle.
Vlish are blind to visible light; they have two main sensory stalkers on their main sack that give it its senses. Along its spine there are vents which the Vlish can breath through. While the Vlish generates its own body heat through magic, they cannot survive extreme temperatures, although a Vlish made by a PC shaper can very well be used in the mountains.
Vlish were given a moderate amount of intelligence, enough that they could live in packs and go rogue. Vlish have been known to mimic the help pleads of other species to try and lure them to a place where they would be vulnerable. The Vlish then attacks their prey. Often, they do this with an entire pack to increase the odds of a successful kill.
Effects like charming and slowing have been observed from Vlish. As they were made with a combat-only purpose, their evolution has gave them very well-refined abilities. Vlish also have been able to use other members of a different species to do their bidding through their powers. The energy coming from a Vlish emits a constant buzzing sound that distracts the thoughts of untrained humans and creations. This effect inhibits the ability of non-shaper magicians to cast spells, but Shapers are trained to be immune to this effect.
At some times, being a pack leader, a Vlish can heal its allies/slaves. They can also communicate through telepathy. For the sake of simplicity, Vlish created by the game player cannot heal its allies or shaper.
Vlish drop a variety of things, including:
Vlish were once overpowered heavily throughout the entire game as their cost of 15 essence clearly was too little for their damage and slowing power. Later on in Geneforge 4, this cost was increased to 25 for balancing issues.
It takes a Shaper with level 2 Magic Shaping and level 1 Vlish Shaping to create a Vlish. The earlier games definitely would want to have a Vlish in the pack of the PC, especially Guardians creating a backup force of creations. Even in Geneforge 4 and 5, Vlish are extremely useful, although fewer Vlish can be created.
Vlish are sometimes used as a creation respawning, as shown in the Western Morass. These Vlish are all different and have different abilities, making them tricky to kill with a single weapon.
Vlish are actually good at resisting physical damage in the absence of the Clawbug. Their tentacles can block off some physical damage. However, this is simply not enough to outstrip the resistance of Roamers and Clawbugs. Vlish are vulnerable to Cold Damage and Fire Damage, however are good at attacking creatures that happen to use those abilities. Glaahks, due to their resistance to magic as well as high hitpoints, are great for combating Vlish but come too late in the game to be of much use against them. Creations that deal Fire and Cold damage such as the Cryoa are also good, provided that they are not hit.
On the offensive side, Vlish really shine. Their magical damage can deal a great amount of pain to many Battle and Fire Creations alike, as well as take out any straggling Artilas in a couple of blows. They also have the ability to Curse their opponents (making them have a lower maximum hit and hit chance.) If not on the PC side, Vlish tend to be on the defensive as they like to heal their allies and call for help.
Vlish are found in the early to middle gaming period mainstream. Specialized and evolved versions can be found later in the game.
Vlish can come in several different forms including: