Excerpts 04/08/2005

Lords of Madness Excerpt
By Bruce R. Cordell, Jennifer Clarke-Wilkes, JD Wiker

Aberrations and more await you within the pages of Lords of Madness! With this D&D accessory, you can learn more about aboleths, beholders, mind flayers, neogi, grell, Tsochari, and more. Additionally, PCs who wish to hunt these creatures can add new feats, spells, magic items, and grafts to their list of options. (Plenty of choices abound, so be prepared to start making even tougher decisions on what your character should do or get next!) Our sneak peek of this book includes a look at chuuls, beholder magic, mind flayer goals, neogi defilers, grell anatomy, Tsochari, half-farspawn, some sample feats, and a couple of prestige classes.

Mind Flayer Goals

Elder brainpool

Mind flayer society is unique in that illithids know their destiny is to dominate the universe. Illithids are not foolish enough to believe that the future cannot be changed, however, so they are not complacent. They know that the githyanki and githzerai in particular might inadvertently alter the future by destroying the illithid race.

Elder brains excel at seeing the big picture. They take a long view that exceeds most races' lifetimes. Their active schemes might involve plans that won't reach fruition for decades or centuries. This sort of long-range planning makes it nearly impossible for outsiders to deduce what a group of mind flayers is planning. Sometimes, the mind flayers themselves don't entirely understand why the elder brain instructs them to do certain things.

In the short term, though, mind flayers work toward a few recognizable goals.

They oppose and kill githyanki and githzerai wherever and whenever they locate them.

They establish links to nonillithids who can be of service to them while scouting others as potential targets for raids.

They seek to maintain a steady influx of brains for nourishment.

They expand their knowledge in every area. Only through knowledge can they make accurate predictions about the future.

They seek to undermine burgeoning empires on the surface.

Illithids don't see surface empires as direct threats to their eventual rise. Rather, they interfere with growing empires experimentally. In this, the whole surface world is their laboratory. By meddling in surface politics to bring about governmental collapse, mind flayers hope to learn what pitfalls to guard against when erecting their own empire.

The longest-range and most ambitious plan of all is to find a means of extinguishing the sun. Mind flayers aren't harmed by sunlight, but they hate it and avoid it at all costs. If the world could be plunged into darkness, the illithids could expand from their subterranean lairs onto the surface, where all the best brains are to be found.

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