|Area||Central Lowerdark (Lower Darklands)|
|Ruler|| The Encephalithid,
elder brain of the city and leader of the Elder Concord
|Population|| Population 7,344 free
(mind flayer 59%, half-illithid 40%, other 1%); 16,550 thralls (lizardfolk 40%, troglodytes 25%, duergar 12%, grimlock 9%, human 7%, quaggoth 5%, drow 2%)
Inhabitants of Oryndoll
Locations in Oryndoll
Obsessed with hoarding exclusive knowledge, the tendrils of Oryndoll writhe throughout the Underdark and into the surface world. No place is beyond the reach of this mighty and terrible city of mind flayers.
Oryndoll squats beneath the Shining Plains about 90 miles northwest of Ormath, at a depth of slightly more than 26 miles. This city is one of the most powerful and fearsome in the Underdark, and its reach extends far beyond its area of immediate influence. Scouts and agents from Oryndoll can be found nearly anywhere in the Underdark.
- Nurr’Korzahg-LE mind flayer
- Tharcereli-LE mind flayer psion 18 Creedmaster of the Loretakers
- Cephalossk-LE mind flayer cleric 18 of Ilsensine, Creedmaster of the Venerators and high priest of Ilsensine.
Mind flayers of the Ariser and Tamer creeds are the primary defenders of Oryndoll—not that the city needs many. A typical patrol consists of 1 to 3 mind flayers (often body tamers), 6 to 10 thralls such as lizardfolk or troglodytes, and 2 or 3 half-illithids or intellect devourers trained to identify and disable spellcasters and psionic characters.
Oryndoll’s illithids are fixated not merely on collecting knowledge, but on having exclusive access to it. Once they collect a significant body of information, they destroy all record of it and kill anyone else who knows it, literally wiping that piece of knowledge from the face of Faerûn. Knowledge of the city’s location is also assiduously guarded in the same manner. Though many individuals in the Underdark know the city’s location, anyone who spreads the word on the surface court an early and horrible death. Oryndoll possesses an unusually rich religious culture and is favored among mind flayer cities because an avatar of Ilsensine has appeared here twice—once during the duergar revolt (known as the Thrall Uprising) and again during the Time of Troubles.
Both appearances were followed by bursts of ingenuity and change in social order and psionic practices, leading to the current panoply of creeds in the city. In the event of attack, the mind flayers here are well prepared. Special crystals bearing various defensive spells are scattered in a 20-mile radius around the city, and 2 miles above and below. The elder brain constantly uses telepahty to scan 5 miles in all directions around the city. It knows of every intelligent creature that passes in or through this territory and alerts its Venerator caretakers when seditious or unexpected minds enter its telepathic radius. Third, the many thralls in the city’s upper level are battle ready at all times and responsive to their masters’ every thought. This thrall army can mobilize and coordinate with chilling efficiency, thanks to the efforts of Tamer vigileators. The thralls of Oryndoll are all held in place by the overwhelming mind control of thousands of illithids. This exceptionally invasive form of slavery is so ingrained in the culture that the mind flayers do not understand how lesser creatures can live productively without them.
Oryndoll, like many mind flayer cities, lacks the bristling fortifications of a duergar realm or the dark grandeur of a drow city. Its upper layer consists of a sprawling troglodyte warren, and the only tip-off a casual visitor to that area might receive about its true purpose is the odd mixture of lizardfolk and troglodytes within it. Less obvious are the thralls of other races, which are kept sequestered in the obscure reaches of the area. Hidden spiral staircases wind down 150 feet to the main illithid city below, where most of the mind flayers live and work in ring caverns—ringed tunnels that encircle a central open, hemispherical plaza. In most cases, such a plaza features a shallow basin filled with water or nutritive slime. The illithids often gather around in these caverns for social purposes, although one is dedicated to a thriving slave market. The ring caverns interlock, connecting the various “neighborhoods” of the city together. Beneath the ring caverns lie the Undervaults, which are accessible by teleportation magic or psionic effects, or through digging. Here the harvested information is stored in pools called Thought Basins that are full of encephalic fluid. The elder brain is located at the center of the Undervaults, an arrangement that limits even the illithids’ access to their elder brain. However, the Venerators and Loretakers all have access to the elder brain through magic items, even if they don’t have the psionic disciplines necessary to teleport there when desired. The city of the Loretakers contains several sites of import to mind flayers, but there are understandably few attractions here for the nonillithid.
THE Grotto Of Sared ThoughtsEdit
This central cavern in the Undervaults contains the pool that houses the Encephalithid, the elder brain of Oryndoll. The Encephalithid’s pool is formed of petrified brains and surrounded by stone sculptures of writhing tentacles. The elder brain is attended constantly by a dozen or more mind flayers of the Venerator creed.
The encephalic fluids in the Thought Basins are psionically imprinted with knowledge taken from the rest of the world. To access this knowledge, seekers must use magical or psionic abilities, such as a detect thoughts spell, or a similar mind-reading ability. But unless such a seeker can understand the illithid cataloging system carved into the walls, which is written in the mind flayer script known as qualith, any information so gained is random and not necessarily intelligible. Nonillithids found here are killed immediately and with considerable prejudice.
This ring cavern plaza has a raised central platform on which slaves are bought and sold. A variety of creatures pass through this area: clerics of Lathander, giants, free duergar, and even a rare githyanki or two. On occasion, nonillithid visitors to the city who blunder into this cavern have been horrified to discover that the mind flayers regard anything too weak to defend itself here as a potential thrall—or meal. Mental intrusion is commonplace in this room, since the illithids always want to check out the merchandise. Any slaves who exhibit mental defenses are objects of great interest.