Tuesday, July 6, 2021

The Unfriendly Skies - Mind Flayer Variants - The Appearance of the Bothrians A Mindflayer Variant (Well At Least In Our OSR Campaigns)

 So there's been a bunch of talk going on over here at Casa De Fabiaschi regarding Mindflayers & more specifically the fate of planet KB 2420. This exoplanet was invaded by a mindflayer variant back in 2019 & we've not done that much with it since. The heroes had gotten to the exoplanet & then we stopped because two of our number passed. So the planet is still sitting out there being invaded by astral gating in Nautiloid ships! The colonists on the planet were in total confusion!  Remember this is back in 2019, so these are two year old campaign notes. The first thing we started doing is going old school with Dragon magazine 150! This is all going to tie back into our on going Ben Laurnence's Through Ultan's Door & Bruce Heard's Calidar Campaign Setting game. 

So are these mind flayers or something else?! These things are taken directly from the 'Sunset World' article by Stephen Inniss. This article lays out the foundation for an early 1989 article that highlights some of the ins & outs of a type of mind flayer. The article goes into an exploration party with Githyanki mercenaries who pernitrate the supposed home world of the flayers. 
In point of fact this world simply another fantasy realm ala Greyhawk  invaded by the Flayers. This same issue of dragon also gives us a huge monster ecology of The Dragon's Bestiary Stephen Inniss which ties directly into the 'Sunset world' by the same author. 
These two articles set the stage for a wonderful 3.5 book by Paradigm Concepts, Inc. Unveiled Masters: The Essential Guide to Mind Flayers (2002). Now even though this is 3.5 D&D book its one of the best of the lot along with Paradigm Concepts, Inc Drow PC race book. 

What does this have to do with the OSR?! Everything because we dive back into Evolved Grottos & Griffon's  Teratic-Tome by Rafael Chandler. Why?! Because we get  the Bothrians yet another Flayer variant or at least they are in our  campaigns. They are described as thus; 
"FREQUENCY: Uncommon NO. ENCOUNTERED: 1-4 SIZE: M (6' tall) MOVE: 120 ft ARMOR CLASS: 6 HIT DICE: 7+5 ATTACKS: 3 DAMAGE: 1d4+poison or by weapon TAZ: 12 SPECIAL ATTACKS: Spells SPECIAL DEFENSES: None MAGIC RESISTANCE: 90% LAIR PROBABILITY: 55% INTELLIGENCE: Genius ALIGNMENT: Lawful evil TREASURE: Personal, cache; in lair, purse, a few gems, a few objects, a few potions. LEVEL: 8 XP: 2450+10/hp Elegant and formal, the bothrians are a mild-mannered race of beings that seek only to enjoy the good things in life -- to carefully slice flavorful meat and sip chilled wine while listening to music and watching their victims scream as the skin is carefully peeled away from the muscle. Slender humanoids with octopoid features, their smooth, moist skin ranges in hue from violet to bright green, and changes slightly with mood. Most bothrians favor damp climates, and are typically found near pools where they can soak when the mood arises. Their tentacles undulate while they speak, and many of them have pierced, tattooed, or otherwise decorated their appendages to indicate status."

The Botherians regard the changes that have taken place with the main mind flayer race as 'disturbing'. Elder Brains of the Botherians not only retain the ability to create astral plane hopping nautiloid style ship variants. They also have several other flayer occult technologies that have been lost. 

All of this ties back into a discussion that was going back in April of 2021 over at the Piazza website on the reappearance of the nautiloid Spelljammer ships in fifth edition D&D here. 

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