| This article's content is suspiciously like some other page somewhere on the internet.|
Darkrai says to insert some Original Research at least so it's not a complete plagiarism: or he shall lock you into an eternal nightmare.
TAKEN WORD FOR WORD FROM WIKIPEDIA
Illithids, better known as Mindflayers, are antagonists in the Dungeons and Dragons roleplaying game.They are among the game's most well known and classic monsters,and are based on Lovecraft's mythos.
Illithids are malignant humanoids with cephalopod-like heads.They have four tentacles around a lamprey-like mouth, and require the brains of sentient creatures as part of their diet. An illithid who snares a living creature in all four of its tentacles can extract and devour its living brain.Their eyes are pale white, and they can see perfectly well in both darkness and light.
Their sense of hearing is slightly poorer than a human's; they have difficulty distinguishing between several sounds mixed together, yet they are good at discerning from what direction sounds came from. Their skin is purplish blue to gray-green and covered in mucus, and is very sensitive to sunlight. Though sunlight does not actually harm them, they loathe it with incredible ferocity.
One of their most feared powers is the dreaded Mind Blast, where the illithid emits a cone-shaped psionic shock wave with its mind in order to incapacitate any creature for a short amount of time. Illithids also have other psionic powers, generally telepathic in nature, although their exact effects have varied over editions. Other powers include a defensive psionic shield and powers of psionic domination for controlling the minds of others.
Illithids are hermaphroditic creatures who each spawn a mass of larvae two or three times in their life. The larvae resemble miniature illithid heads or four-tentacled tadpoles. Larvae are left to develop in the pool of the Elder Brain. The ones that survive after 10 years are inserted into the brain of a sapient creature. Hosts are determined in a very specific manner. Hosts generally are humanoid creatures that are between 5 feet 4 inches and 6 feet 2 inches. The most desirable of races for hosts are Human, Drow, Elves, Githzerai, Githyanki, Grimlock, Gnoll, Goblinoid, and Orc. Upon being implanted, the larva then grows and consumes the host's brain, absorbing the host's physical form entirely and becoming sapient itself, a physically mature (but mentally young) Illithid. This process is called ceremorphosis.
Illithids often experiment with non-humanoid hosts, but ceremorphosis involving other creatures usually fails, killing both host and larva. When an illithid undergoes ceremorphosis, it can occasionally take on some elements of the absorbed host creature's former mind, such as mannerisms. This typically manifests as a minor personality feature, such as a nervous habit and/or reaction (e.g., nail-biting or tapping one's foot), although the process that determines the type and number of traits so inherited appears to be stochastic. An adult illithid has even been known to hum a tune that its host knew in life. Usually, when a Mind Flayer inherits a trait like this, it keeps it a closely guarded secret, because, were its peers to learn of it, the illithid in question would most likely be killed.
This is due to an illithid legend of a being called the Adversary. The legend holds that, eventually, an illithid larva that undergoes ceremorphosis will take on the host's personality and memory in its entirety. This "Adversary" would, mind and soul, still be the host, but with all the inherent abilities of an illithid. Occasionally, ceremorphosis can partially fail. Sometimes the larva does not contain enough chemicals to complete the process, sometimes there is psionic interference. Whatever the reason, it has happened that ceremorphosis has ended after the internal restructuring, resulting in a human body with an illithid's brain, personality and digestive tract. These unfortunates must still consume brains, typically by cutting open heads (as they lack the requisite tentacles).
These beings are often used as spies, where they easily blend in with their respective host types.The illithid society also maintains a long-standing taboo related to deviations to or failures of the ceremorphosis process and hunt and destroy such exceptions. Occasionally Mind flayer communities are attacked (often by vengeful githyanki and githzerai) and their inhabitants must flee. This leaves the larvae unattended. Bereft of exterior nourishment, they begin to consume one another. The survivor will eventually leave the pool in search of food (i.e., brains). This unmorphed larvae is known as a Neothelid.
If the neothelid consumes an intelligent creature it will awaken to sapience and psionic abilities and grow to immense size, while retaining its memories of savage survival. In Complete Psionic, it was revealed that illithids have a step between larva and neothelid called a Larval Flayer, which looks like an overgrown tadpole. The existence of these beasts is a guarded secret among illithids, and it is considered impolite to speak of them.