[video] Mike Mearls on the Illithid Spelljamming empire

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Re: [video] Mike Mearls on the Illithid Spelljamming empire

Post by Jaid » Tue Dec 26, 2017 8:26 pm

AxesnOrcs wrote:
Jaid wrote:could've swore brain pools were made by basically a whole bunch of illithid sacrificing their brains at the same time into a pool, and then all the brains kinda merge into an elder brain. i wouldn't exactly describe that as being a completely separate species... they'd definitely at the very least be closely related.
I think Mearls is saying that in 5e they are now a separate species instead of the conglomeration of brains it's been since 2e.
oh, ok.

well, in that case, my money is on "something something <insert demon lord name here>" as the explanation for where they came from. someone at WotC these days really likes making things come from demon lords one way or the other.

that said, i don't particularly care for the current dev team, so i'm perfectly happy ignoring whatever they come up with. so far, they haven't really made any lore changes that i like that i can think of, so i'll probably just be ignoring this one as well, whatever it turns out to be.

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Re: [video] Mike Mearls on the Illithid Spelljamming empire

Post by AxesnOrcs » Tue Dec 26, 2017 8:34 pm

Jaid wrote:
AxesnOrcs wrote:
Jaid wrote:could've swore brain pools were made by basically a whole bunch of illithid sacrificing their brains at the same time into a pool, and then all the brains kinda merge into an elder brain. i wouldn't exactly describe that as being a completely separate species... they'd definitely at the very least be closely related.
I think Mearls is saying that in 5e they are now a separate species instead of the conglomeration of brains it's been since 2e.
oh, ok.

well, in that case, my money is on "something something <insert demon lord name here>" as the explanation for where they came from. someone at WotC these days really likes making things come from demon lords one way or the other.

that said, i don't particularly care for the current dev team, so i'm perfectly happy ignoring whatever they come up with. so far, they haven't really made any lore changes that i like that i can think of, so i'll probably just be ignoring this one as well, whatever it turns out to be.
Reminds me of the Paizo aboleth flowchart.
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Re: [video] Mike Mearls on the Illithid Spelljamming empire

Post by Dread Delgath » Sun Dec 31, 2017 6:01 am

AxesnOrcs wrote:
Jaid wrote:
AxesnOrcs wrote:
Jaid wrote:could've swore brain pools were made by basically a whole bunch of illithid sacrificing their brains at the same time into a pool, and then all the brains kinda merge into an elder brain. i wouldn't exactly describe that as being a completely separate species... they'd definitely at the very least be closely related.
I think Mearls is saying that in 5e they are now a separate species instead of the conglomeration of brains it's been since 2e.
oh, ok.

well, in that case, my money is on "something something <insert demon lord name here>" as the explanation for where they came from. someone at WotC these days really likes making things come from demon lords one way or the other.

that said, i don't particularly care for the current dev team, so i'm perfectly happy ignoring whatever they come up with. so far, they haven't really made any lore changes that i like that i can think of, so i'll probably just be ignoring this one as well, whatever it turns out to be.
Reminds me of the Paizo aboleth flowchart.
:lol: I need to make a flowchart for "editions previous to 5th". :mrgreen:
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Re: [video] Mike Mearls on the Illithid Spelljamming empire

Post by Big Mac » Tue Jun 12, 2018 3:48 pm

Jaid wrote:
Thu Dec 21, 2017 2:16 am
Big Mac wrote:If illithids really could come back, from the future, you would think that they would warn themselves not to create Gith. :)
my personal assumptions:

the illithids from the astromundi clusters are the originals. people don't generally leave the sphere because reasons, but we know the illithid seem to have developed there including their very own creation myth that *isn't* "we came from the future to escape a huge disaster", and certainly the illithid of the astromundi cluster are not fully developed into the illithid of elsewhere (for example, they still have gods, which most illithid elsewhere have stopped worshipping, and iirc no explicit mention of brain pools or reproduction via parasitic tadpoles). furthermore, they've got a society of human slaves that are just barely beginning to develop psionic powers. why, hello there ancestors of the gith races, how are you today? anyways, the illithid from the astromundi cluster would eventually abandon the sphere via planar travel (with difficulty) on account of other major spoilers in the astromundi cluster (maybe the disaster they were fleeing wasn't the gith rebellion, and it would certainly explain their later obsession about extinguishing suns in other spheres), but wouldn't know the location of their home sphere because you can't just leave astromundi so they don't know where it is on any chart, and they don't know much about the sphere in the current timeline either for the same reason (they likely don't even realize how different the illithid of astromundi are, if they even know there are illithid there at all).
Jaid wrote:
Thu Dec 21, 2017 2:16 am
as to why they don't try to alter history, maybe they figure in their current version of history they're a major empire found on pretty much every world in the known spheres and many more besides, so yeah... the gith rebellion sucked... but there's plenty of good stuff that they're risking if they try to change their own past. also, i'm pretty sure it's implied that the gith rebellion chased them back through time anyways (possibly without fully grasping what they were doing, so that the gith don't have the same "we came from the future" origin story), so it's not like they would really get rid of the gith anyways.
That's true. :)

I want to user the Thoon Illithids (from Monster Manual V) and having "Astromundi Illithids" and "Regular Illithids" would create three types of illithids that could interact in different ways. :twisted:

I was under the impression that the Illithids of Clusterspace might still reproduce via sexual reproduction (meaning that they would still be male and female in some way but would have illithid-like heads). I might be remembering wrong on that, but if they had not yet become asexual, conversion to asexual creatures might be seen as a way to prevent extinction. A female illithid would have to give birth to a set of young and look after them, while the tadpole thing means you can just dump spawn and leave them to get on with it. And conversion to tadpoles that transform humanoid bodies means that a "cattle" race gets to do all the work of creating those bodies. The illithids can just come in and the end and steal 18 or so years of "work" on that body.

Actually the idea that elder brains could come along (or be created by mind flayers and then come to dominate their communities) is an interesting one. If "Astromundi Illithids" stole the idea from Clusterspace (there is a merged race of people that has become a hive mind in the sphere) then that might even fit in with the Astromundi Chronicles legend. :D
Jaid wrote:
Thu Dec 21, 2017 2:16 am
edit: oh, and uhhh... i'm pretty sure skull and crossbows is canon, and iirc it's pretty clear on the thri-kreen empire being super duper older than anything else.
Perhaps that's right.

To be honest, the idea that there could be an Arcane Age for Spelljammer, where nautiloid fleets dominate most crystal spheres is what interests me. If it's after the thri-kreen empire, I'm cool with that. I just like the idea that there are lost illithid routes between the spheres and maybe some artifacts dating from that era. I'm not that hung up on the exact order of things, so if another empire has to come and go before the illithids can have one, that would not stop me using the basic idea.

Actually, in some ways, it makes sense for an illithid empire to not be the first empire, as we know that illithids need "cattle" bodies to take over. If illithids had to transport millions of humanoids, that would make things logistically impossible. What you really want is for them to be able to identify planets with a good number of humanoids on them, where they can come in and try to take over.

If the elves remembered the illithid empire, it would be more important for them to have created a large well armoured navy that can prevent illithids from carrying out slave raids on elven worlds. And if Gith and her forces were able to destroy 90 percent or more of the illithid empire, that would drastically reduce the number of nautiloids flying around and leave the Elven Navy with a lot less of a threat to justify their size.

If an era for an illithid empire predated the Crown Wars, you could even have drow elves and other elves fighting against illithids together, before the decent of the drow. So this is something I would love to see expanded upon in a way that would fit in with Paul's timeline. :)
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Re: [video] Mike Mearls on the Illithid Spelljamming empire

Post by Big Mac » Tue Jun 12, 2018 4:03 pm

night_druid wrote:
Thu Dec 21, 2017 12:10 pm
To be perfectly honest, I don't care for an all-reaching illithid empire that controlled the whole Prime Material. It clashes with the established lore of every published campaign setting. Name one that mentions illithids dominating the whole world at some point in the past; the closest is the Realmspace world of Glyth but not FR itself. The only places that I know where the illithid empire is mentioned is in Planescape and a few generic, illithid-centric products. I think WotC realized this and did a "course correction" with the illithid backstory in Lords of Madness. Personally I'd have the illithid empire being from an alternate prime material, perhaps one that's now largely uninhabitable. The illithids in the prime material in which Krynn/Toril/Oerth occupy are refugees that escaped their home plane.
I wouldn't play it as the illithids literally controlling every world, but the idea of them dominating almost all of wildspace is something I actually think is great.

Imagine a time when there was much less spacefaring traffic and groups like humans, gnomes and halflings are not even in wildspace yet.

You could have a small number of illithid nautiloids flying around and raiding planets and setting up colonies that try to take over worlds.

Not wanting to have the illithids be able to take over the likes of Krynn, Toril or Oerth is fine, because we know there is history of illithids on those worlds. If we extrapolate from Dragonlance, Forgotten Realms and Greyhawk canon we can infer that invasion attempts would have failed there. The yaggol, for example are what is left of a failed attempt at an illithid take over of Taladas.

I think that smaller celestial bodies (like asteroids) would be a lot easier for illithids to invade.

Planets like Falx could be examples of worlds that managed to escape the Gith counterattacks.

There is also the fact that, when you look at all the celestial bodies in a crystal sphere, some worlds look a lot less useful than others,

So, you could, for example, not have the illithids bother invading airworlds or fireworlds. I'm also not sure how good illithids are at swimming. So perhaps it is possible to imagine a scenario where a large powerful illithid empire thinks it has control of all the useful worlds in a celestial body and is able to blow ships out of the sky if they head to the few planets they do not control. (Essentially, take the pre UWI Elven Navy and swap the ships for nautiloids. ;) )
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Re: [video] Mike Mearls on the Illithid Spelljamming empire

Post by ripvanwormer » Tue Jun 12, 2018 5:24 pm

AxesnOrcs wrote:
Tue Dec 26, 2017 7:35 pm
I think Mearls is saying that in 5e they are now a separate species instead of the conglomeration of brains it's been since 2e.
I'm pretty sure they're still a conglomeration of illithid brains in 5e. Volo's Guide to Monsters says (on page 72) "When a mind flayer grows old, becomes infirm, or is grievously injured, the elder brain absorbs it—another form of immortality, as the mind flayer's mind dwells within the hive mind forever after."

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Re: [video] Mike Mearls on the Illithid Spelljamming empire

Post by ripvanwormer » Tue Jun 12, 2018 5:46 pm

Big Mac wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 3:48 pm
I was under the impression that the Illithids of Clusterspace might still reproduce via sexual reproduction (meaning that they would still be male and female in some way but would have illithid-like heads).
Illithids were hermaphrodites in early 2e. You don't need to have separate males and females to have sexual reproduction.
If an era for an illithid empire predated the Crown Wars, you could even have drow elves and other elves fighting against illithids together, before the decent of the drow. So this is something I would love to see expanded upon in a way that would fit in with Paul's timeline. :)
The Crown Wars ended in -10,000 DR (3rd edition begins in 1372 DR). Vhostym, from Paul S. Kemp's novel Dawn of Night, is ten thousand years old and remembers a time "not long after the revolution that had freed his people from their illithid tyrants" (i.e., Gith's rebellion).

According to Dawn of the Overmind, the illithid empire lasted for thousands of years. "In the long millennia of their ascendance, they crafted a suitable seat for their empire. A thousand years of engineering produced the disc known as Penumbra."

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Re: [video] Mike Mearls on the Illithid Spelljamming empire

Post by Big Mac » Tue Jun 12, 2018 7:20 pm

AxesnOrcs wrote:
Tue Dec 26, 2017 6:34 pm
night_druid wrote:
AxesnOrcs wrote:ok so, Mearls is saying the Elder Brains are a separate species from the Illithids that control them? Instead of them being conglomerations of Illithid brains that control them?
To be fair, that's been that way back at least as long as Lords of Madness (3e), if not back to the Illithiad (2e). I always took the Elder Brains as being more of a hive mind/afterlife for illithids, not unlike the Eldar Infinity Circuits in Warhammer 40k. A kind of super-computer where illithids put their consciousnesses when they die to live out eternity in some sort of VR system, and may consult for information, but individual illithids being, well, individuals creating their own plots of and schemes. Each illithid has their own schemes, minions, and the like, occasionally working together but just as often working against one another. Basically each one is akin to a mob boss.
As far back as the Illithiad, which I think is the earliest mention of elder brains, they varied from mental despots to combination library and librarian. It wasn't until Lords of Madness that elder brains turned into mental despots with some allowing varying degrees of independent thought.
The other thing about this is that illithids steal the brains of the original bodies their tadpoles are implanted into and also steal some of the thoughts of some of the victims they consume.

So an elder brain gets the information from many illithids and many many more humanoids. There is no way that it could be on the same sort of level as an individual illithid.

The other thing to remember about elder brains is that they routinely eat immature illithid tadpoles. The only ones that get to be implanted in host bodies are the ones that can survive long enough to be chosen.

So an elder brain is eating baby illithids and dying illithids. That does not seem like "the next stage of illithid life" to me. It seems a lot more like an apex predator.
AxesnOrcs wrote:
Tue Dec 26, 2017 6:34 pm
I also prefer the VR afterlife that the illithids believe.
I was under the impression that VR afterlife was always a fiction told to illithids in order to encourage them to return illithid bodies/brains for consumption by the elder brain.
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Re: [video] Mike Mearls on the Illithid Spelljamming empire

Post by Big Mac » Tue Jun 12, 2018 7:26 pm

AxesnOrcs wrote:
Tue Dec 26, 2017 7:35 pm
Jaid wrote:could've swore brain pools were made by basically a whole bunch of illithid sacrificing their brains at the same time into a pool, and then all the brains kinda merge into an elder brain. i wouldn't exactly describe that as being a completely separate species... they'd definitely at the very least be closely related.
I think Mearls is saying that in 5e they are now a separate species instead of the conglomeration of brains it's been since 2e.
I have no recollection of any sort of rules for illithids creating elder brains.

I would like to see some, especially as the illithid empire has been on the back foot and new elder brains would be required to expand.

I would also like to see some Pool Helms that actually contain elder brains, so that there was a canon way to take an elder brain from one world to another.

I would also like to see an adventure where one faction of illithids attack and destroy a rival elder brain and replace that elder brain with a new one.
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Re: [video] Mike Mearls on the Illithid Spelljamming empire

Post by ripvanwormer » Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:08 pm

Big Mac wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 7:26 pm
I have no recollection of any sort of rules for illithids creating elder brains.
When a group of mind flayers found a new community (as described in The Illithiad, pages 74-75), the colonists prepare a brain pool. They must do without an elder brain for perhaps two or three generations until enough of its eldest members die to make an elder brain (in the meantime, all they need to reproduce is a pool of brine for their tadpoles to swim in; the presence of an elder brain is not required). My impression is that they just keep linking brains together until a critical mass is reached and the brains awaken into a single gestalt sentience. Within a few years, the personality of the new elder brain firmly establishes itself from the gestalt of those brains that make it up; the ganglia of each brain grow out to intertwine with one another and form a single, unified mass (The Illithiad, 43: "the personality of each elder brain develops during its first few years as a sentient creature and is controlled by the original illithid minds forming its nucleus." Page 16: "the elder brain actually suborns individual egos to the gestalt consciousness that suffuses its mass of tangled, fibrous tissues."). From then on, the brain of every deceased member of the community is removed and added to the elder brain, which absorbs the additional tissue, intertwining it with the existing brain matter and annihilating the personalities of its new additions (all the while reassuring the living members of the community with the pretty fiction that the deceased illithid retains an individual personality, living in bliss with its ancestors to guide its descendants forever). It remains apparently ten feet in diameter (perhaps it doesn't become a true elder brain until it reaches that size, which would give us a rough idea of how many illithid brains it takes to make a single elder brain) because its additional mass is shunted into the Astral Plane.

It's still canon in 5th edition that the brains of deceased mind flayers are added to the elder brain, so I assume everything still works as The Illithiad described and they're not a separate species.
I would also like to see some Pool Helms that actually contain elder brains, so that there was a canon way to take an elder brain from one world to another.
Elder brains aren't supposed to be mobile. For the most part, the elder brain stays in the community where it was created. If mind flayers want to make a new elder brain on a new planet or asteroid, they can. Illithids away on a mission for an extended period of time can build an elder brain transceiver (The Illithiad, page 83), a large egg-shaped structure attached to eight small wading pools by tentacle-like cables. When one illithid sits in the egg, eight others sit in the pools and use their collective powers to communicate with their elder brain. No maximum distance is given, but I would assume it extends at least to the edge of a crystal sphere; if they communicate through the Astral Plane, they might be able to use it anywhere in the multiverse (aside from the Phlogiston).

In theory a group of mind flayers could create an elder brain on a nautiloid, but there'd be no reason to unless they wanted to remain on the same ship for generations. For the most part, the crew of a nautiloid will return to a home base, which is where their elder brain will live.

As I mentioned above, illithids need only a pool of water to breed. The elder brain is arguably more of an encumbrance in the reproductive cycle than a benefit, since it devours the weakest tadpoles. This might make the community as a whole stronger, but it also makes it less populous. Without it, more would survive. A new illithid colony would thus reproduce quickly until the new elder brain is born, at which point the elder brain's predation helps stabilize the population growth.

However, in the adventure "Blood Feud" in TSR Jam, the elder brain of a community destroyed by the githzerai is able to escape with other refugees in reduced, mobile form. Other elder brains could do this, but it isn't something most would consider ideal, since it had to give up much of its power and some of its knowledge when it left the bulk of its mass behind.

More in this thread.

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Re: [video] Mike Mearls on the Illithid Spelljamming empire

Post by night_druid » Wed Jun 13, 2018 12:00 am

Big Mac wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 4:03 pm
I wouldn't play it as the illithids literally controlling every world, but the idea of them dominating almost all of wildspace is something I actually think is great.
<Looks at BM's avatar>Of course YOU would. ;)
You could have a small number of illithid nautiloids flying around and raiding planets and setting up colonies that try to take over worlds.
Thing is, that's not what they talk about when they talk about the Illithid Empire. The context is generally illithids holding sway over pretty much the Prime Material (with only a few pockets outside their control). Their power craft worlds like Perumbra, and was so great that even the Bloodwar paused as the demons & devils considered joining forces to stop the illithids. Its hard to reconcile how they could have such power, and control the world Glyph, yet not conquer the whole of the Radiant Triangle. In a way, I think they oversold the Illithid Empire to the point that trying to reconcile this uber empire with the lore of established settings is almost silly.
Not wanting to have the illithids be able to take over the likes of Krynn, Toril or Oerth is fine, because we know there is history of illithids on those worlds. If we extrapolate from Dragonlance, Forgotten Realms and Greyhawk canon we can infer that invasion attempts would have failed there. The yaggol, for example are what is left of a failed attempt at an illithid take over of Taladas.
There's really no evidence of invasion attempts, either. The closest is some notes about illithids fleeing Glyth to found an illithid city on Toril. Note that the beholder invasion of the Land of the Lions is well-documented.
Planets like Falx could be examples of worlds that managed to escape the Gith counterattacks.
The illithid cities came after Falx's dramatic climate change and orbital bombardment. So one possible scenario has Falx being "destroyed" during the war, with the illithids settling the ruins after the great cataclysm.
So, you could, for example, not have the illithids bother invading airworlds or fireworlds. I'm also not sure how good illithids are at swimming. So perhaps it is possible to imagine a scenario where a large powerful illithid empire thinks it has control of all the useful worlds in a celestial body and is able to blow ships out of the sky if they head to the few planets they do not control. (Essentially, take the pre UWI Elven Navy and swap the ships for nautiloids. ;) )
I have to imagine as smart as illithids are, I have to imagine they'd figure a use for just about every type of world imaginable.
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Re: [video] Mike Mearls on the Illithid Spelljamming empire

Post by ripvanwormer » Wed Jun 13, 2018 5:45 am

night_druid wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 12:00 am
Thing is, that's not what they talk about when they talk about the Illithid Empire. The context is generally illithids holding sway over pretty much the Prime Material (with only a few pockets outside their control).
The 2nd edition sources were mainly presented as in-character myths and legends, so it's hard to say what is true and what isn't. But here's what they say:

A Guide to the Astral Plane, page 44: "In a time before most of the prime worlds known today were born, when the gate-towns of the Outlands all went by different names, when beings that could recall days before the creation of then-bejeweled Sigil still existed, the illithids held an ancient empire. This great empire stretched throughout many prime worlds, infested both Astral and Ethereal, and threatened the borders of many of the Outer Planes. The mind flayer dominion was so powerful that vast planar armies marshaled to defend their respective realms. Even the fiends paused in their eternal Blood War long enough to determine if the illithids would attack the Lower Planes as well. Despite the fact that most tomes of historical lore make no mention of it (for truly ancient was this time, and older still the roots of the illithid empire) never has there been a time since then when the entire multiverse has been so vexed by a single threat."

Thoughts about this:

1. It's an in-character text called A Glimpse Through the Mists, and A Guide to the Astral Plane says "the book's sources are occasionally suspect, and it often presents as fact that which others call legend."
2. It's likely somewhat exaggerated.
3. It says the empire stretched through "many" prime worlds, not pretty much all of them.
4. It presents the empire as so ancient that many of the present worlds didn't even exist yet. It's deep in prehistory, too old to interfere with the timelines of most settings. That wouldn't be difficult on Oerth, where we know very little of what happened beyond a thousand or so years ago, though it would have to be very ancient to precede Toril's timelines.

The Illithiad, page 38: "Past all knowledge of present worlds, before the crowning of Ra, when the Outer Planes were yet in flux, and while the elemental planes remained untarnished by counter-contamination, the illithids held an ancient empire. Boundless, illithid influence enfolded worlds without number; mind flayer domination infested the Astral, the Ethereal, and even threatened the borders of the Outer Planes themselves! Vast planar armies marshaled to defend their respective realms, and even the eternal Blood War was stayed for a time to assess the illithid threat."

Thoughts:

1. Again, this is an in-universe text, in this case called The Planetreader's Primer.
2. It's clearly based on the information in A Guide to the Astral Plane, but even more exaggerated.
3. "Worlds without number" is a lot but still not necessarily the same thing as all or most of the Prime Material Plane.

Dawn of the Overmind, page 10: "It is difficult to imagine the raw power of a race that held several crystal spheres—and even few alternate planes of existence—entirely within its psionic grip. The resources commanded by such a race stagger the imagination."

1. This source is not presented as an in-universe legend, so it's intended to be accepted as fact.
2. Several crystal spheres is impressive but not the same thing as all or most of the Prime Material Plane. These spheres weren't necessarily anywhere near the Radiant Triangle.
There's really no evidence of invasion attempts, either. The closest is some notes about illithids fleeing Glyth to found an illithid city on Toril. Note that the beholder invasion of the Land of the Lions is well-documented.
Note that it's canon (within the Chainmail setting) that the illithids ruled an empire in Western Oerik for a time.

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Re: [video] Mike Mearls on the Illithid Spelljamming empire

Post by night_druid » Wed Jun 13, 2018 1:01 pm

ripvanwormer wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 5:45 am
The 2nd edition sources were mainly presented as in-character myths and legends, so it's hard to say what is true and what isn't. But here's what they say:
True, but I still think they massively over-sold the illithid empire to the point that it would be very difficult for it to live up to the hype. And I still believe it clashes with too many worlds' history. In a way, that's why I think they reconned the story in Lords of Madness to set it not in the far past, but far future. Which created a whole host of new problems. ;)

The illithid empire is something I used to love, but slowly lost interest in. It clashes with setting histories, its too big to be particularly useful, and as a whole illithids clash with D&D. They're rather specialized to a particular style of campaign, and way too danged powerful and intelligent individually to put them in groups larger than a half-dozen. An empire of them would be like a galaxy full of Lex Luthors. ;)

But again, personal tastes. I don't mind illithids in general, but I think SJ overdid the illithids without really considering how individually powerful they are (the cities of Falx, the empire at Astronumdi). I sorta think the cities on Falx should be 2,000 & 1,000 illithids each, for example, with slave populations swelling the overall city size to metropolis levels.
2. Several crystal spheres is impressive but not the same thing as all or most of the Prime Material Plane. These spheres weren't necessarily anywhere near the Radiant Triangle.
Glyph, which we knew was ruled by illithids at least 10,000 years ago. :P
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Re: [video] Mike Mearls on the Illithid Spelljamming empire

Post by ripvanwormer » Wed Jun 13, 2018 3:22 pm

night_druid wrote:
Thu Jan 01, 1970 1:00 am
2. Several crystal spheres is impressive but not the same thing as all or most of the Prime Material Plane. These spheres weren't necessarily anywhere near the Radiant Triangle.
Glyph, which we knew was ruled by illithids at least 10,000 years ago. :P
We know they ruled Glyth around 12,000 years ago, but we also know they rule it today. I think that Realmspace was likely not one of the "several crystal spheres" ruled by the mind flayers at the height of their empire. Glyth might not have been part of that empire at all, or it might have been considered a distant colony on the empire's frontier, far from their center of power (Penumbra was their Coruscant and Glyth was their Tatooine). Realmspace might have been either too distant or too powerful for them to have done more than colonize a single world in. The same is true with Greyspace, where we know they conquered a gith kingdom though this might not have coincided temporally or spatially with the interstellar empire they're remembered for.

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Re: [video] Mike Mearls on the Illithid Spelljamming empire

Post by ripvanwormer » Fri Jun 15, 2018 1:53 am

ripvanwormer wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 3:22 pm
The same is true with Greyspace, where we know they conquered a gith kingdom though this might not have coincided temporally or spatially with the interstellar empire they're remembered for.
I feel like this deserves a citation. I'm talking about "Underground Scenarios" in Dragon #294 and "Exiles from the Vault" in Dragon #298, which claim there had been an empire of gith forerunners called Zarum located in what is now Western Oerik. "The dreaded mind flayers conquered Zarum and enslaved the gith, taking them to the Outer Planes to serve the illithid empire. The gith later rebelled against the mind flayers and overthrew them."

Other sources dispute the idea that the gith originated on Oerth. Dungeon #100 names the gith homeworld as Pharagos. So I use the term "canon" loosely, but there's a published source that has the illithids invading Oerth during the time of their ancient empire. It's possible that the ancestors of the gith races originated on a number of different worlds.

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Re: [video] Mike Mearls on the Illithid Spelljamming empire

Post by night_druid » Fri Jun 15, 2018 10:47 am

ripvanwormer wrote:
Fri Jun 15, 2018 1:53 am
Other sources dispute the idea that the gith originated on Oerth. Dungeon #100 names the gith homeworld as Pharagos. So I use the term "canon" loosely, but there's a published source that has the illithids invading Oerth during the time of their ancient empire. It's possible that the ancestors of the gith races originated on a number of different worlds.
Some speculate Glyth is the gith homeworld, given the similarity in names. Given we can't really pinpoint a human homeworld (unless you count Earth ;) ), a orc homeworld, or the like, its entirely possible gith don't really have one. Alternatively, what we know as the "gith" could be an amalgamation of several races, with genetic material from three or more races intermingling. Similar to a large population of humans with half-orcs, half-elves, tielflings (pre-4e), assimar, and genasi minorities intermingling for hundreds of generations until you can't distinctly identify half-orcs or half-elves in the population, but everybody has some minor trait of all of the minority populations. Pointed ears, small tusks, unusual features, etc.
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Re: [video] Mike Mearls on the Illithid Spelljamming empire

Post by AuldDragon » Fri Jun 15, 2018 4:54 pm

night_druid wrote:
Fri Jun 15, 2018 10:47 am
Some speculate Glyth is the gith homeworld, given the similarity in names.
The sooner people stop doing this the better. 90% of these "similarities" are not etymologically similar.

I swear there was some early material that indicated Gith were originally humans, but I can't remember where.

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Re: [video] Mike Mearls on the Illithid Spelljamming empire

Post by ripvanwormer » Fri Jun 15, 2018 7:11 pm

AuldDragon wrote:
Fri Jun 15, 2018 4:54 pm
I swear there was some early material that indicated Gith were originally humans, but I can't remember where.

Jeff
It says that in a lot of places, including the original Fiend Folio.

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Re: [video] Mike Mearls on the Illithid Spelljamming empire

Post by Jaid » Fri Jun 15, 2018 7:55 pm

as i've said before, i consider the astromundi cluster to be the origin of both the illithid and the gith, but it's hardly canon :P

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Re: [video] Mike Mearls on the Illithid Spelljamming empire

Post by shesheyan » Fri Jun 15, 2018 10:37 pm

Such insolence !
I have no problem imagining a mind controlling race can dominate the know univers!
Prepare to die you foolzzzzz !

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Re: [video] Mike Mearls on the Illithid Spelljamming empire

Post by GMWestermeyer » Mon Jun 18, 2018 2:12 pm

Big Mac wrote:
Thu Dec 21, 2017 1:20 am
GMWestermeyer wrote:
Big Mac wrote:
  • The illithids are the first race to have a spelljamming empire,
Not sure who this fanboy Mearls is, but he is wrong, the Thrikreen predeate the illithid empire according to canon.
Oh, come on Paul. Do you really have to throw childish insults at Mike Mearls? There are a ton of positive vibes in that video and you had to pick the one thing that you don't like and be rude about him because of it.

That was a video about the illithids, so he could still insert a thrikreen civilisation into an earlier part of the timeline if he wanted to, but you know full well that the 2e Spelljammer canon is badly organised and that it would be very easy for someone to overlook something that was never properly written down in any canon SJ product. Many of us have slightly different interpretations of how things are supposed to work.
I thought I was being funny, not insulting... I mean, to me, this kid is a new comer to the game. We were debating the Illithid Empire on the SJML when this guy was still in high school, I suspect. (I should have remembered tone doesn't translate well digitally)

But sure, of course he could change it, and I was not seriously upset that he was unaware of an obscure historical reference from one adventure from an obscure game setting. Hell, I would have been friggin' shocked if he was aware of it, and if he limited D&D's creative works as if that was ironclad canon I would seriously question his sanity.

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Re: [video] Mike Mearls on the Illithid Spelljamming empire

Post by GMWestermeyer » Mon Jun 18, 2018 2:28 pm

ripvanwormer wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 3:22 pm
night_druid wrote:
Thu Jan 01, 1970 1:00 am
2. Several crystal spheres is impressive but not the same thing as all or most of the Prime Material Plane. These spheres weren't necessarily anywhere near the Radiant Triangle.
Glyph, which we knew was ruled by illithids at least 10,000 years ago. :P
We know they ruled Glyth around 12,000 years ago, but we also know they rule it today.

How do we know this? I mean, from what i can see this is right, but it's not when they first rule Glyth, we just know some of them fled Glyth around this time? unless you have a citation i don't know of it (he says, hopefully... :))

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Re: [video] Mike Mearls on the Illithid Spelljamming empire

Post by GMWestermeyer » Mon Jun 18, 2018 2:30 pm

What this thread highlights, to me, is that we could really use a an indepth article on the Gith, one references all of the different sources they have appeared in. Sort of like what I did with my OA/SJ work...

I don't have time right now but surely someone else is feeling both obsessive and scholarly about the Gith? :D

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Re: [video] Mike Mearls on the Illithid Spelljamming empire

Post by night_druid » Mon Jun 18, 2018 2:36 pm

GMWestermeyer wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 2:28 pm
How do we know this? I mean, from what i can see this is right, but it's not when they first rule Glyth, we just know some of them fled Glyth around this time? unless you have a citation i don't know of it (he says, hopefully... :))
There's an entry from Grand History that notes illithids fleeing Glyth settled on Toril. Might even be in Drizzt's guide to the Underdark, too, but both sources are at home.
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Re: [video] Mike Mearls on the Illithid Spelljamming empire

Post by GMWestermeyer » Mon Jun 18, 2018 2:49 pm

night_druid wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 2:36 pm
GMWestermeyer wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 2:28 pm
How do we know this? I mean, from what i can see this is right, but it's not when they first rule Glyth, we just know some of them fled Glyth around this time? unless you have a citation i don't know of it (he says, hopefully... :))
There's an entry from Grand History that notes illithids fleeing Glyth settled on Toril. Might even be in Drizzt's guide to the Underdark, too, but both sources are at home.
I'll try to remember to check Drizzt. I'm reluctantly using Grand History as i revised the timeline. I'm still annoyed I wasn't thanked, since I'm quite certain he used some of my work.

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