Illithid House

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Just Surviving Illithid House Copyright © 1999 by Torsten Bernhardt

The habits of the illithids are enough to make even an experienced adventurer blanch, and they find themselves hunted on countless Prime worlds. With a blood feud with the githyanki and githzerai that has been going on for untold millennia and a foul reputation with everyone else, a secret place far from peery eyes is needed, even in an otherwise permissive place like Sigil.

Illithid House was founded years ago in the Lady's Ward by Bartiphaes (Pr/H illithid (ulitharid)/ HD 11+8/Harmonium/LE), who came to Sigil on a mission for its elder brain some time ago and never left. Bartiphaes fell in with Riporin Hartfjord (Pl/M human/HD 1/Fated/NE), a Taker who was looking for a means to gain the riches that he believed he deserved. The union was a productive one for Bartiphaes and a lucrative one for the human. Hartfjord had been trying for some time to open mines in the plane of Mineral, but tsnng resistance had always been a problem. Illithid resistance to the tsnngs' magic was enough to let them crush all opposition, and today Hartfjord has more mineral wealth than even he can dream of. In return, the illithids get a small part of the mine's production, a home base in Mineral, and Illithid House.

Hartfjord's estate in the Noble's Quarter of the Lady's Ward extends for a dozen blocks, and he is busily buying out estates from lesser nobles that have fallen on hard times. In this way he has obtained a patchwork of estates and homes throughout the Lady's Ward. Fully one of five of these is given to the illithids, and these are what it known as Illithid House, which is more a network than a single edifice. The individual houses are connected by psionic portals (created through the Imprint psionic circuitry metapsionic science [the Illithiad]) to other safe houses. A large portion of Hartfjord's estate is also given over to mind flayer activity, and this is where Bartiphaes lives with its closest compatriot Ilixion (Pl/H illithid/HD 8+4/LE), who somehow entered the body of a troll at ceremorposis and managed to retain the troll's strength, claws and regenerative abilities while not losing any of its own abilities.

Illithid House is a secret place where members of the race can relax with their thralls safe from githyanki and githzerai intrusion, where all the comforts of home are to be found. Information is exchanged, plots hatched, psychic damage healed, meals provided, and a genial atmosphere (for illithids) exists. Performance eating activities happen every month or so and fresh brains from various sources are available. Bartiphaes has been trying for some time to begin an Elder Brain in the main house, but all attempts so far have failed.

Locations of the houses are exchanged only through telepathy, and only after an extensive mental scan has assured the sender that the receiver is indeed another illithid. As the mind flayers teleport in and out of the houses, they are never seen to enter or leave. The majority of Sigil doesn't know about Illithid House, and that's fine with its residents.

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