They were capable of consuming a creature's mind and memories, subsequently entering the body and using it as a new host. Normally, it then used the host's body to lure others into its illithid creators' hunting grounds. Once in control of its host, an intellect devourer could only be removed by a protection from evil and good spell. However, this process killed the host unless the original brain was restored within a few seconds. Alternatively, a wish spell could restore the host's brain while the creature still inhabited the host, forcing it out.
Illithids bred intellect devourers by subjecting the brain of a creature (usually a thrall) to a ritual in which the brain started sprouting legs. During this process, the newly created aberration passed through a larval form called ustilagor before reaching its final adult form.
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Gnome ceremorph • Gnome squidling • Mindwitness • Mozgriken • Tzakandi • Uchuulon • Urophion
Brain golem • Cranium rat • Nyraala golem • Illithidae • Illithocyte • Intellect devourer • Mind worm • Neothelid • Nerve swimmer • Oblex • Oortling • Ustilagor