Content of the article: "Help designing an abandoned illithid city"
If you're an Heroi de Natto, you may want to skip this. Following the great post by u/dlollolb (https://www.reddit.com/r/DnDBehindTheScreen/comments/i3jt3s/the_gray_gourmet_society_8_highlevel_recurring/), I've planned my next mini-campaign. Premise, a mind flayer arcanist is living all alone in an abandoned illithid city in the underdark and is obsessed with the idea of love, so he kidnaps humanoid pairs, observes and studies them for a while and then eats their brains. So the heroes have to rescue a couple kidnapped on their wedding day. Travelling to the city should take a couple of sessions and then three or four exploring the city until they get to the mind flayer's lair. The city itself should be a mixture of dungeon and pointcrawl, and be all but abandoned, with the following inhabitants. 1) the illithid and it's minions. 2) opportunistic denizens. Very few and pretty much occupied fighting against themselves. 3) loving couples being studied by the bbeg. Pretty much impervious to anything except themselves.
Now here's the part where I need help. 1) what sort of creatures may be serving an illithid? Any good resources for me to look at? 2) how should an abandoned city look like? Any graphic inspiration would be great. I'm thinking R'lyeh or the city in At the Mountains of Madness with the caveat that the mind flayer had tried to make it look like a lovers' paradise and made something even more horrific, like Death in the Discworld. Not that the couples that it is herding mind. 3) any interesting lair actions to mess up with the PC's mind? I'm thinking something like China Mieville's moths, with incredibly vivid dreams and heightened emotions (everything causes fear, for instance) but also ways to get them lost of making them forget about their goals or whatever. For context, I'm thinking about a 5-6 level party of four with a few retainers. What do you think? Thanks in advance!
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