Illithid Mind Flayer

Oh what savory brain shall I have tonight ...
CategoryRaces
Typehumanoid, aberration
Creation14 Temporal 1987 DE
Languagetelepathy - can communicate with any intelligent mind
NativeBal-Kriav, Ráglauth, Urkolon

In the Creation War, the primordial lords, and any of their minions who could get their hands on one, used Entropic Ponds to create their minions. These minions became servants, soldiers, administrators, or any role dreamed up by their creator. For the better part of them, these primordial lords considered quantity over quality - a trait that seemed to have passed down to the demons.

Among the primordial lords, there was a certain status to those with more minions. This was their weakness and became that of those they spawned. The demons, progeny of the primordials, also use numbers to overwhelm their foes. Whereas the true masters of warfare, the devils, prefer strategy and tactics to make up for their shortfall in numbers. I have personally witnessed innumerable times devils of equal or even lesser strength than their demon foes win by stratagem. This is no means an innate ability. It has been learned, documented, and studied over thousands of years facing demon hordes that almost always outnumber you.

- Raxcvillibus, excerpt from the Generals of Hell - "Demon Mob Tactics"

The first illithids came about from an accident at one of the Entropic Ponds of the Nine-Tongued Worm. This happened when a Lith-Crillion slave fell into one of these vats of liquid entropy. In most cases, this resulted in nothing but the destruction of the the creature as their soul energy and essence are converted back into raw energy. This did not happen for this particular individual. It is theorized that perhaps the neothelid that was at the time being created in the pool fused with the psyche of the hapless slave. This resulted in a tadpole-like creature that overtime morphed into a humanoid with the head of flailing suckers instead of a primordial aberration. This new creation was called an illithid. The creation's physic potential was such that the Nine-Tongued Worm decided that it should be reproduced in mass numbers. This was done carelessly at first, because a population of several hundred of these creatures decimated their master's slave population with all their brain feeding. The next batches of them were more selectively bred and assigned roles which were worthy of their high intellect.

Illithid were dangerous to their foes and sometimes a threat to their primordial masters. They are cunning, highly intelligent, and have a streak of Law in them from their Lith-Crillion ancestry, and have nourishment requirements (brain devouring) that can strain an army or settlement. As a result, illithid colonies were culled by their primordial masters whenever they got to well-entrenched in an area, too populous, or in some way proved to be a potential threat to their masters. After a time, word got out about these culls and fearing that he would someday be part of one, an illithid by the name of Ilsensine devised a way of continuity for the illithids that passed on.

Illithids do not speak of dying, but of Commencement. An illithid does not face oblivion or some spiritual communion with its deity after death. Rather, it experiences union with the elder brain, a state of existence where its mind and abilities will last for all of time - or so each illithid believes [1].

Ilsensine created the first elder brain for his colony. It took the psychic energy of 73 illithids to bring it alive. Many of them came forth willingly and made the sacrifice, giving up their material forms to rot, while their psychic potential flowed into a brainy mass gaining awareness with each that fused with it. The last twenty or so needed to bring the brain to full awareness were convinced to join with it.

Ilsensine's colony were lucky, because they never gained the ire of the Nine-Tongued Worm. When this primordial was dispatched by commanders of the Nawirrûs Covenant, the illithids were nearly wiped out by the angels and their godly masters. Ilsensine escaped with several dozen others and their elder brain. For the rest of the Creation War, they stayed well-hidden from both the primordials and the gods. During this time, Ilsensine devised a way to have an elder brain sever a portion of itself which could then be used to grow another elder brain and serve as the focus of a new illithid colony. The legend of Ilsensine is known by all elder brains, and it is the reason why he is worshiped as patron deity by most illithids.

The illithid stayed hidden in the God Era, building up their civilization on Ráglauth, and wiping out those of others around them. They came to dominate their world (which is really just a moon of Ghífthauk). In the Lith-Crillion Era, they began secretly spreading to other worlds. These were groups that became independent immediately after arrival. After several generations, even the elder brains had pretty much forgotten about their Ráglauth heritage. Some believe that these colonization efforts were done as part of Ilsensine's Grand Plan to dominate Nawirrûs first by infiltration, then by union of all illithids under one great power. The masterminds of Suellk believe they are the chosen power to do this.

Illithid came to be light sensitive from their post-Dawn Era beginnings on Ráglauth. This moon is a cloudy and rain mini-world that sees far less than light than worlds like Bal-Kriav and Ghífthauk.

One of the strongest illithid populations is the Suellk. Their size, aggression, and need for nourishment is such that they have devastated the populations of moons and worlds.

Racial Traits
TraitDescription
Infused Law Illithids are almost always lawfully aligned. This trait comes from them having genetic material of the Lith-Crillion.
Racial as illithid
Energy Composition
TypeAverage %
Life Energy51%
Psychic Energy24%
Negative Entropy11%
Unholy Energy6%
others8%

References:
  1. Bruce R. Cordell, The Illithiad. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 53.
Related Information