Unlike planet-bound beholders, who are strictly independent and attack others of their kind on sight, the spacefaring beholders have managed to form cooperative hives, much to the horror of other spaceborne civilizations. Luckily, each hive, as a whole, operates much like ordinary beholders in that they seek to eradicate each other at every turn, which serves to distract them from seeking the destruction of other races.
The beholders of any given hive belong to a single subrace and are nearly identical in appearance. Any individual born into their midst that exhibits significant physical variation is immediately slain.
Each hive is ruled by a hive mother and consists of several nests. A nest is the name given to a group of beholders that occupy a ship, similar to how other people use the word “crew.” The hive mother is twice the size of a normal beholder, and her eyes are embedded directly into her spherical body, rather than extending from eyestalks.
Smaller mutated beholders known as orbi serve as helms for the beholders' “tyrant ships.” The orbi are so stunted and specifically bred as to be unable to serve any other purpose. Like the series helms of the mind flayer nautiloids, several orbi can be operated in tandem to increase the speed of a tyrant ship. Each orbus is chalk-white, with an overgrown central eye and eyestalks that are shriveled and useless.
Although the beholders breed their own helms, they still are still forced to deal with the Arcane, for it is the Arcane who build and provide the beholders' tyrant ships.