Oryndoll, the City of Loretakers, was a large underground mind flayer citystate in the Lowerdark of the Darklands. Oryndoll was one of the earliest illithid cities on Toril and was highly famed for its inhabitants rampant collection of exclusive knowledge. Its wealth of knowledge rivaled even Candlekeep's great library. The mere mention of the city struck fear into most Underdark denizens of southwestern Faerûn. This city was the birthplace of both the duergar and tren races as well as the tzakand, urophion and mozgriken ceremorphs.[1]



Oryndoll was located in the Underdark beneath the Shining Plains.[4] It lay ninety miles northwest of Ormath and 90 miles northeast of Lheshayl.[1] It was slightly more than 26 miles beneath the surface.[3]


The city was difficult to reach from other places in the Underdark because of its depth, but since the Mindstalker Wars, many tunnels were made that breached into the tunnels of Old Shanatar. Many of these eventually served as slaving routes for the drow of Guallidurth. There were also tunnels that led to Barakuir, the Underspires, Undraeth, the Savage Frontier, Anauroch, Cairnheim, Guallidurth, and Tellectus.[1]


The city was divided into three major sections on top of one another.

Thrall Caverns
This was the upper level of Oryndoll, and was where all the thralls were kept.[1]
Ring Caverns
This was the middle level, and was deep below the thrall caverns.[1]
Undervaults of Ilsensine
This was the lowest level of Oryndoll.[1] Harvested information was psionically imprinted and stored in the encephalic fluid of pools called the Thought Basins. The elder brain was located at the center of the Undervaults.[3]


The Crown WarsEdit

In -11000 DR, the enclave of Oryndoll was founded by refugees from the Realmspace planet of Glyth.[1][5]

The Founding TimeEdit

From -8100 DR to -8080 DR, the Mindstalker Wars between Oryndoll and the shield dwarves of Shanatar took place. This was started when Oryndoll launched attacks on the eastern subkingdoms of Shanatar. Their attack on Barakuir successfully destroyed the subkingdom. The illithids made Clan Duergar of Barakuir into thralls and took them back to Oryndoll. These later became the duergar. By the end of the wars, the illithid had been pushed back, but the dwarves of Shanatar never reached Oryndoll.[1][4][5]

Between -8100 DR and -4000 DR, the illithids worked heavily on breeding Clan Duergar to make them psionic, loyal, and capable in preparation for another all-out war against Shanatar. They succeeded in everything but breeding in loyalty.[1]

Around -4000 DR, the duergar rose up against the mind flayers, plunging the city into chaos. Only the appearance of an avatar of the deity Ilsensine was able to save the city.[2] The duergar resettled in the Northdark.[5]

The Age of HumanityEdit

In -1850 DR, the duergar launched attacks upon the drow of Undraeth, Oryndoll, and eventually the dwarves of Deep Shanatar.[5]

In an unrecorded year, illithids from Oryndoll ventured out into the Underdark and established a colony at Tellectus.[1]

The Present AgeEdit

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.[1]

Around 1374 DR, the Council of Oryndoll learned of a lost fragment of an avatar of Ilsensine somewhere in Sembia (actually buried in a sandy cave on Sembia's coast). The Council hoped to sooth the god's anger by recovering the fragment and sent their scout Z'dusk to retrieve it. In turn, Z'dusk hired the Stray Thoughts company in Sembia, and perhaps other adventurers and mercenaries, to hunt for the fragment, describing it as only a psionic artifact of unspecified nature and powers, for a 25,000 gp reward. However, rather than pay up, Z'dusk and the Council intended to slay whoever got it first and take it from them.[6]

In 1384 DR, the War of Gold and Gloom came to an unexpected end in the abandoned halls of Barakuir. The crusaders of the Great Rift discovered a collection of ancient runestones while the fighting between the Army of Gold and the Army of Steel was raging. The runestones depicted the betrayal of Clan Duergar by the illithid of Oryndoll. This discovery made the loretaker illithids unleash a horde of thralls on the embattled armies. The army of thralls was shattered, and most of the duergar were killed. Half of the gold dwarves were also killed. This conflict united the the remnants of the gold dwarven and duergar armies against the illithid of Oryndoll. The combined army then marched west into Old Shanatar to reclaim a lost bastion of Deep Shanatar to use as a base against a possible illithid invasion.[5]


In 1370 DR, there were approximately 6,000 mind flayers, 400 of them were ulitharid. There was of course, also an elder brain named Encephalithid. There were also 8,000 ceremorphs in the city of Oryndoll. These were mostly tzakandi, but also included urophions and mozgriken. The city also had 11,000 thralls which were lizardfolk, troglodytes, tren, duergar, and many other races. There were also around 200 golems, most of which were nyraala golems, though a few brain golems were also in the city.[1]

In 1372 DR, there were approximately 3,450 mindflayers, and 12,550 thralls, ceremorphs, and golems.


The currency of Oryndoll was priceless knowledge, lost lore, and exclusive information. Illithids bought and sold lore in several different ways, among them were rare tomes, crumbling scrolls, and feeblemind-spelled thralls with information placed into their minds. Lore was only sold to non-illithids at ten times the regular price and had to be approved by the Elder Conclave, though exclusive information was disallowed.

Internally, many illithids bought, bred, and sold thralls, as well as made ceremorphs. Fewer illithids traded externally compared to most other hives.

"Mindgates", which were jarred and jellied eyeballs, served as the physical currency of Oryndoll. The value of a jellied eyeball was determined by the degree of sentience of the race it was taken from. Human eyes generally ranged from nine to twelve gold pieces, though some were known to reach eighteen gold pieces. The value of a mindgate was determined by the psychic residues in the eyeball.[1]


Two bodies governed the city of Oryndoll. The Encephalithid was the elder brain of the city. There was a council called the Elder Concord, that consisted of the Encephalithid and the nine Creedmasters in the city. Every Creedmaster was an ulitharid and they were all equal on the council. This changed, however, with Ilsensine's return during the Time of Troubles. This new appearance in Oryndoll upset the balance of power that had been in place and gave the Creedmaster of the Venerators the most power in the Elder Concord. He was called Cephalossk, the spawn of Lugribossk.[1]


Oryndoll's military consisted mainly of thralls, led by vigileators. Officers were divided into military offense and defense, policing actions, and intelligence.[1]

This city was a nigh-impenetrable fortress. Oryndoll was heavily defended with different traps, psionic wards, magical defenses, and fortifications, many of which were focused on other species.[1]

They also had egg-shaped glass balls called resonance stones scattered throughout the Underdark for twenty miles around. When a humanoid walked within twenty feet of one, they would become terrified for a minute or more. They were able to be activated and deactivated by illithids.[1]

One of the most important defenses was the Encephalithid itself. It was able to detect non-shielded minds for five miles in every direction and also speak directly to others through innate telepathy. It was also able to scry through dominated thralls.[1]

The mind flayers also frequently patrolled their territory with squads commanded by vigileators, and they had urophions that were psionically protected by the Encephalithid as sentries in the tunnels just on the edge of its influence. The environs of the city also had at least twelve packs of gholbrorn psionically dominated by illithids and separated into four hunting schools controlled by the Nourisher Creed. They were used to chase down those who tried to enter the region uninvited. On top of the above, major tunnels were also defended by three vigileators, a dozen or more elite thralls, and two tzakandi.[1]

The most important defense was the invisible bulwark. To put it into simple terms, it was a repository for psionic energy that mimicked a mythal. It was used by individual illithids with the Encephalithid's permission to augment their psionic powers, heal themselves, gain immunities to magical and nonmagical effects, and detect the presence of undead and other intruders.[1]

Locations in OryndollEdit


Simplified Map of Oryndoll

Inns and TavernsEdit

The Skull Cup
This was an inn in the northwestern Ring Caverns.
The Spinal Tap
This was a tavern in the Southern Ring Caverns.

Fest HallsEdit

The Succulent Encephalon
This was a feasthall or eatery in the eastern Ring of Caverns.
The Breeding Pen
This was in the southwestern Ring Caverns, and was where illithid went to breed their thralls. Other illithid would come here to feel things that their thralls can feel that illithid normally could not.[1]

Shops and BazaarsEdit

The Brain Brokerage
This was a rare brain market in the southwestern reaches of Oryndoll's Ring Caverns.
The Slave Suk
This was a slave market located in a natural cavern at the heart of the Ring Caverns, at an intersection of three tunnels.


The Cenotaph of Maanzecorian
This was once a small house of worship in the Undervaults of Ilsensine.
The Grotto of Sacred Thoughts
This was a vast natural cavern in the heart of Undervaults of Ilsensine.


The Flowstone Tapestry
This was a natural rock formation of sparkling calcite.
The Amphitheater
 This was located in the nexus tunnels, which connected five separate ring caverns in Oryndoll. This was the largest gladiatorial arena in the city, and had several features in it that other arenas in the hive normally did not possess. Illithids that pitted their thralls against one other would stand on opposing twin platforms, and entertained an audience of up to one thousand illithids at once. The arena also had crystals spread throughout the stands that were specially attuned to enable the audience to feel the sensations of the thralls channeled through the illithid competitors during combat.[1]
The Lost Ring
This was a Ring Cavern that was abandoned at the advent of the Time of Troubles.
The Void Pool
This was a seemingly unremarkable pool of water in the northeastern Thrall Caverns.

Organizations in OryndollEdit

Loretaker Creed
This Creed was responsible for the organizing and translating knowledge brought to the city.
Creative Creed
This Creed was for the scientists and the inventors.
Tamer Creed
This Creed controlled much of the city's martial and nonpsionic might.
Nourisher Creed
This Creed was responsible for breeding thralls, and also for supplying the city with a fresh supply of brains.
Abysmal Creed
This Creed was special for torturers.
Influencer Creed
This Creed's purpose was to find secrets and change opinions through indirect methods.
Gatherer Creed
This Creed was in place to promote immigration.
Ariser Creed
This Creed focused on plundering and/or invading surface lore houses.
Venerator Creed
This Creed was for the religion of Ilsensine.
Errant Thoughts
Military organization that was associated with the Tamer Creed.
Military organization that was associated with the Loretaker Creed.
Lore Filchers
Military organization that was associated with the Influencer Creed.

Notable inhabitantsEdit

  • Encephalithid, the elder brain of Oryndoll.
  • Cephalossk, the most powerful ulitharid in the city, Creedmaster of the Venerator's Creed, high priest of Ilsensine.
  • Tharcereli, the second-most powerful ulitharid in the city, Creedmaster of the Loretaker's Creed.
  • Syrzan, led the slave revolt in Menzoberranzan during the War of the Spider Queen.
  • Cernd Shattermind, a failed dwarven ceremorph who lived in Iltkazar under heavy watch.
  • Ralayan, an alhoon member of the Twisted Rune.
  • Mullivan, an adventurer that tried to cleanse the mind flayers from Calimshan and Tethyr.