The nobles of illithid society, ulitharids (loosely meaning "enlightened ones", or "noble devourers" in Undercommon) possessed extraordinary gifts of strength, and a vile, malicious intellect. They were treated as minor godly beings by their normal mind flayer brethren.
The tadpoles that became ulitharids appeared normal, but were changed by some unknown force. The unique nature of the altered tadpole was not apparent until it underwent the process of ceremorphosis, where the usual procedures of morphological alteration to the host body were altered and the resulting mind flayer displayed a pair of unusually long mouth tentacles not seen in other illithids.
Ulitharids also exhibited psychological changes in addition to the physical, demonstrating a harsher, more spiteful temperament than other mind flayers. Ulitharids were also extremely rare within mind flayer enclaves: between 1-in-25 and 1-in-100 illithid tadpoles would develop into an ulitharid.
According to Volothamp Geddarm, ulitharids were also key to the expansion of illithid society, as they are the caste of mind flayers capable of eventually metamorphosing into elder brains; an ulitharid that grew sick of fighting its parent elder brain for power would take a substantial part of of the colony to a new area, whereupon its brain would be placed in a new or reclaimed brain pool and be merged with the brains of other illithids to become a larval elder brain, capable of supporting illithid larva and expanding their empire. The only restriction on this process was that the ulitharid could not die of old age, as their brains would be too decrepit for the process. To that end, an ulitharid often carried an extractor staff, a device that would allow it to remove its own brain when the brain pool was ready, which would also recycle its body into psionically-active sludge that would assist the new elder brain in adapting to its pool, and could serve as a useful melee weapon in a fight.
Their formidable mental powers were their greatest weapon. Wielding mind blasts, charms, the power of suggestion, and the ability to dominate the mind of both man and beast, they were extremely dangerous to face in combat. They also possessed the powers to shift planes and create dimension doors.
The ulitharids formed the elite nobility of mind flayer society, with their rarity supporting the reverence they received from other illithids, who viewed them as a blessing and second only to the elder brain. Their ego reflected their privileged position, as they viewed common mind flayers as lesser beings, nearer to illithid-spawned abominations like urophions.
- Cephalossk, high priest of Ilsensine in Oryndoll in the late 14th century DR.
- Extremiton, leader of the mind flayer colony in Undermountain in the late 15th century DR.
- Thalynsar, an ulitharid from Ch'Chitl turned illithilich.
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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