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Ilsensine, also called the Tentacled Lord[3] or the Great Brain[2] was the patron deity of the illithids and believed by some to be their creator.[1] It was also the patron of evil mages and psionicists who dominated the minds of others.[7]


Ilsensine possessed infinite tentacles of infinite length that stretched to all planes. It usually manifested itself like a glowing disembodied emerald-color brain that trailed countless ganglion-like tentacles stretching into the dark.[10][11]


A symbol of Ilsensine, world domination of the mind flayers.

Ilsensine was cold and calculating, using magic and its psionic strength in a merciless combination to manipulate events as it saw fit. It used its psionics to gather information as well, pulling it from the minds of all mortals within the Prime Material Plane and beyond.[11]

Divine Realm[]

Ilsensine resided in a realm within the Deep Caverns called the Caverns of Thought. The maze-like structure was permeated by psionic energy that grew stronger the closer one moved toward its center, slowly turning its occupants mad or into zombies.[8][1] In the Great Wheel cosmology, the Caverns of Thought were located in the underground of the Outlands. The tunnels often intersected with the domain of the beholder deity Gzemnid.[1]


Symbol of Ilsensine.

Illithids did not exactly worship Ilsensine, but rather revered its mental capacity. Some elder brains viewed Ilsensine as the culmination of what they aspired to be and often envied it.[11] It also represented unity between the illithids and universal knowledge. Some of its followers sought to attain this sort of union by dominating or even replacing existing deities of knowledge.[4]

Besides illithids, any who sought to dominate and enslave the minds of others may have felt drawn towards Ilsensine. It offered power and control to those faithful to it, along with access to the Mind domain of divine magic. Its clerics were known as accomplished slavemasters, using both magic and psionics to control living and undead slaves alike.[7]

Ilsensine's clergy normally organized themselves into the Venerator Creed.

  • Oryndoll: Was a holy site of Ilsensine, due to the Encephalithid being the deity's avatar twice. Ilsensine's clergy was powerful in city, and controlled many shrines as well as a full temple to the deity.[2]


Ilsensine made itself known in the Realms immediately following the duergar uprising against the illithids in approximately −4000 DR. The city of Oryndoll nearly collapsed from the resulting chaos, and only the sudden appearance of an avatar of Ilsensine saved the city from tearing itself apart. Since then, the mind flayers of Oryndoll developed a highly religious culture, along with many innovations in the field of psionics.[13]

In 1358 DR, during the Time of Troubles, Ilsensine adopted as its avatar the elder brain in Oryndoll, stimulating illithid society. The illithids created new technologies, new psionic items, and more psionic disciplines, as well as renewed their assaults on surface lore holdings.[14]


Main article: Category:Temples to Ilsensine



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  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Colin McComb (October 1996). On Hallowed Ground. Edited by Ray Vallese. (TSR, Inc.), p. 136. ISBN 0-7869-0430-5.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Eric L. Boyd (November 1999). Drizzt Do'Urden's Guide to the Underdark. Edited by Jeff Quick. (TSR, Inc.), p. 83. ISBN 0-7869-1509-9.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Bruce R. Cordell (April 1998). The Illithiad. Edited by Keith Francis Strohm. (TSR, Inc.), p. 53. ISBN 0-7869-1206-5.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Mike Mearls, et al. (November 2016). Volo's Guide to Monsters. Edited by Jeremy Crawford, et al. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 80. ISBN 978-0786966011.
  5. Bruce R. Cordell, Christopher Lindsay (April 2006). Complete Psionic. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 11. ISBN 0-7869-3911-7.
  6. Eric L. Boyd, Erik Mona (May 2002). Faiths and Pantheons. Edited by Gwendolyn F.M. Kestrel, et al. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 221. ISBN 0-7869-2759-3.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Bruce R. Cordell (April 2004). Expanded Psionics Handbook. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 222. ISBN 0-7869-3301-1.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Richard Baker, James Wyatt (March 2004). Player's Guide to Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 148–149. ISBN 0-7869-3134-5.
  9. Bruce R. Cordell (April 1998). The Illithiad. Edited by Keith Francis Strohm. (TSR, Inc.), pp. 40–41. ISBN 0-7869-1206-5.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Carl Sargent (May 1992). Monster Mythology. (TSR, Inc), p. 68. ISBN 1-5607-6362-0.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Richard Baker, James Jacobs, and Steve Winter (April 2005). Lords of Madness: The Book of Aberrations. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 71–72. ISBN 0-7869-3657-6.
  12. Jeff Crook, Wil Upchurch, Eric L. Boyd (May 2005). Champions of Ruin. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 90. ISBN 0-7869-3692-4.
  13. Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 213. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  14. Eric L. Boyd (November 1999). Drizzt Do'Urden's Guide to the Underdark. Edited by Jeff Quick. (TSR, Inc.), p. 75. ISBN 0-7869-1509-9.


Miscellaneous Monster Deities

Deities of the Post–Second Sundering Era
Ao the Overgod
Faerûnian Pantheon
Akadi | Amaunator | Asmodeus | Auril | Azuth | Bane | Beshaba | Bhaal | Chauntea | Cyric | Deneir | Eldath | Gond | Grumbar | Gwaeron | Helm | Hoar | Ilmater | Istishia | Jergal | Kelemvor | Kossuth | Lathander | Leira | Lliira | Loviatar | Malar | Mask | Mielikki | Milil | Myrkul | Mystra | Oghma | Red Knight | Savras | Selûne | Shar | Silvanus | Sune | Talona | Talos | Tempus | Torm | Tymora | Tyr | Umberlee | Valkur | Waukeen
The Morndinsamman
Abbathor | Berronar Truesilver | Clangeddin Silverbeard | Deep Duerra | Dugmaren Brightmantle | Dumathoin | Gorm Gulthyn | Haela Brightaxe | Laduguer | Marthammor Duin | Moradin | Sharindlar | Vergadain
The Seldarine
Aerdrie Faenya | Angharradh | Corellon | Deep Sashelas | Erevan | Fenmarel Mestarine | Hanali Celanil | Labelas Enoreth | Rillifane Rallathil | Sehanine Moonbow | Shevarash | Solonor Thelandira
The Dark Seldarine
Eilistraee | Kiaransalee | Lolth | Selvetarm | Vhaeraun
Yondalla's Children
Arvoreen | Brandobaris | Cyrrollalee | Sheela Peryroyl | Urogalan | Yondalla
Lords of the Golden Hills
Baervan Wildwanderer | Baravar Cloakshadow | Callarduran Smoothhands | Flandal Steelskin | Gaerdal Ironhand | Garl Glittergold | Nebelun | Segojan Earthcaller | Urdlen
Orc Pantheon
Bahgtru | Gruumsh | Ilneval | Luthic | Shargaas | Yurtrus
Mulhorandi pantheon
Anhur | Bast | Geb | Hathor | Horus | Isis | Nephthys | Osiris | Re | Sebek | Set | Thoth
Other gods of Faerûn
Bahamut | Enlil | Finder Wyvernspur | Ghaunadaur | Gilgeam | Lurue | Moander | Nobanion | Raven Queen | Tiamat