|Average height||6 ft.|
|Subspecies||Alhoon, Ulitharid, Vampiric Illithid|
|Behind the Scenes|
|Universe||Dungeons & Dragons|
The mind flayer, also called the illithid, is an evil and sadistic being, humanoid in appearance, but with a four-tentacled octopus-like head.
These beings are feared throughout the Underdark for their telepathic abilities and usually are not without two or more slaves, mentally bound, to each individual mind flayer. Although they cooperate to achieve a goal, they will back away at the first sign that it is not something that will be self-profitable. They are capable of speaking Undercommon, but prefer telepathic communication and will attempt to mentally dominate any non-slave, non-illithid they meet. Some theorized mind flayers to be aliens from the future; another tale is that they are cursed inbred mutant offspring of humans from a distant world. However, more convincing evidence points to a more sinister origin in the Far Realm. They feed on the brains of sentient creatures and are thus feared. Their natural psionic abilities also make them respected in the eyes of the drow, beholders, duergar, and the other dominant races of the Underdark.
Mind flayer communities range in size from two hundred to two thousand, and that is counting only the illithids. Each mind flayer in the community likely has at least two slaves to do its bidding. In these communities, the number of slaves often far outstrips the number of mind flayers. For example, the illithid city of Oryndoll has a total population of 26,000, but mind flayers only make up for 3,450 of that number.
When problems arise or the mind flayers wish to discover some secret, they form inquisitions. These inquisitions are made up of a team of mind flayers, not unlike an adventuring party – each mind flayer gives their own talents and abilities to achieve the inquisition's goal. If a situation is too large for just an inquisition to handle, the mind flayer community puts together a cult. A cult is much larger than an inquisition and is spearheaded by two mind flayers who constantly vie for the greater power within the cult.
Some mind flayers undergo process called laceremorphosis, which makes them bigger, stronger and more powerful than regular mind flayers. They become Ulitharid or illithid-nobles, and posses six face tentacles instead of the regular four.
Although mind flayers willingly come together to achieve an end, they are always vying for more control in the community, but even then they are always beneath the elder brain. The elder brain is the heart of the community. Held in a pool of briny fluids, the elder brain consists of all the brains of the dead mind flayers in the community.