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Alhoons were magic-using outcasts from mind flayer societies who had defied the ruling elder brains to achieve a limited form of lichdom. Only the most powerful mind flayer mages could achieve true lichdom and were known as illithiliches;[1] however, many in the Realms did not make this distinction.[3][4]

An undead mind flayer. Horrible creatures with heads that look like an octopus. Between their psionic powers and wizard spells they're deadly opponents.


Alhoons looked liked they had in life except that their skin possessed none of the wet, smooth, slimy texture of living illithids, instead, appearing dry, wrinkled, and cracked as a result of the powerful magic resistance that had prevented a perfect conversion to lichdom. They had to work hard to keep their skin hydrated—such as by taking frequent baths or by consuming liquids—or else it would begin to dessicate.[4]


Many Alhoons had been wizards or sorcerers in life, and thus combined these abilities with with their innate skill at psionics and the formidable resilience of a lich to become truly dangerous beings.[4]


The powerful combination of arcane magic and psionics wielded by alhoons led them to become a threat to the established order of the Underdark and beyond as of the mid-to-late 14th century DR.[4] They were ignored, feared, and hated by mortal illithids for their rejection of the illithid circle of life, culminating with the physical and psychic merging with an elder brain.[citation needed]


Due to conflict between Netheril and the race of phaerimm. In −339 DR, Netherese sorcerer-kings Ioulaum disappeared from Netheril as phaerimms' lifedrain spells were causing his life-sustaining magic, Ioulaum's longevity, to fail. Ioulaum embraced lichdom and established a lair in the depths of the Northdark.[citation needed]

The first illithiliches are believed to be the students of Ioulaum recruited from the nearby mind flayer city of Ellyn'taal that called themselves Alhoons. Ioulaum’s intentions for recruiting mind flayer students became clear when he created an undead elder brain from the minds of his illithid students and then merged his own sentience into it. Most of his illithilich apprentices were destroyed in this arcane ritual, but a few escaped and spread the secret of illithilich creation to mind flayer communities throughout the Realms Below.[citation needed]

Ioulaum's last human apprentice, Tabra, thought the mind flayer students had betrayed their master and murdered him. To avenge her master she cast the now perfected Ioulaum's longevity spell in midst of the city of Ellyn’taal and slaughtered the last few of remaining mind flayer inhabitants.[6]

In 1369 DR, the alhoon who dwelt within the ruined Myth Drannor and its Dwarven Dungeons were driven out by members of the Cult of the Dragon and their red dragon dracolich ally, Pelendralaar.[5]. In the same year, alhoons were known to have taken up residence in the abandoned drow city of Telnarquel.[7]

Notable Alhoons[]

A regular lich (left) and an alhoon (right).



Undermountain: StardockPool of Radiance: Attack on Myth Drannor
The Nether ScrollDissolution
Referenced only
Pool of Radiance: Ruins of Myth DrannorSilverfall
Video Games
Referenced only
Pool of Radiance: Ruins of Myth Drannor
Organized Play & Licensed Adventures
Stardock Under Siege

Further reading[]