Planejammer Campaign Setting
The Illithid Adversary
When an illithid undergoes ceremorphosis, it can occasionally take on some elements of the absorbed host creature’s former mind, such as mannerisms. This typically manifests as a nervous habit and/or reaction, like nail-biting or tapping one’s foot. An adult illithid has even been known to hum a tune that its host knew in life. When a mind flayer inherits such a trait, it usually keeps it a closely guarded secret; were its peers to learn of such a trait, the illithid in question would surely be killed. This is due to an illithid legend of a being called the “Adversary.” The legend holds that an illithid larva that undergoes ceremorphosis will eventually take on the host’s personality and memory in its entirety. This “Adversary” would, mind and soul, still be the host, but with all the inherent abilities of an illithid.
The Adversary. This being was an illithid created from the host body of a man named Strom Wakeman, author of The Illithiad.
Wakeman, an enterprising trader and scholar of Underdark exotica, allowed himself to be captured by the illithids on one of his expeditions. Through the use of a non-magical mixture of various herbs that Wakeman named laethen, he was able to preserve his consciousness through ceremorphosis, and learned to use his psionic powers to keep from having to consume brains. Thus he worked against the illithid plots from within. The legend of the Adversary was born from his frequent sabotage, though the actual acts were never connected to him.