What is an Elder Brain? | Games Rants
Gaming News

What is an Elder Brain? | Games Rants

This article contains spoilers for Baldur’s Gate 3Baldur’s Gate 3 has proven to be a landmark success under developer Larian Studios, and the game’s respect for its Dungeons and Dragons source material has even begun to ignite new interest in the original tabletop game. A modern take on the classic CRPG genre set in the world of Faerun, Baldur’s Gate 3 sets itself apart through a unique scenario that explores a darker corner of its universe.

An incredible amount of concepts have been adapted from the Forgotten Realms and beyond within Baldur’s Gate 3, but the game’s main plot follows the circumstances of an Illithid invasion. A highly evolved species of parasitically reproducing psionic humanoids with cephalopod-esque features commonly called Mind Flayers, Illithids are one of the most terrifying monsters to be found in the planes of Dungeons and Dragons. Now at the forefront of Baldur’s Gate 3’s narrative, one of the most important aspects to the lore of the Mind Flayers has become key to the Absolute Crisis: Elder Brains.

RELATED: Baldur’s Gate 3: Withers’ True Identity Explained

The Dungeons and Dragons Origins of Elder Brains

Elder-Brain from D&D 5e

The actual race of Mind Flayers have been around since the first ever Dungeons and Dragons edition, but the concept of Elder Brains only came about along with the title of Illithid in Second Edition. Beginning as an enigmatic antagonistic force rumored to dwell in underground cities, the development of an Illithid culture centered around a central Elder Brain brought real depth to the eldritch race of alien creatures. An Elder Brain is an entity that acts as the god and center of an Illithid city, composed of a mass of the brains of deceased Mind Flayers and combining all of their psionic power.

The core of Illithid civilization, Elder Brains are also known for being intimately linked to the species’ reproductive cycle, but insight into the creation of Elder Brains didn’t even come until Fifth Edition. When a special ceremorphosis process takes place within a Mind Flayer colony, a Ulitharid, the superior natural leader variant of an Illithid, is born into dominance over the rest. The Ulitharid will grow its influence within the colony before departing with its followers and ultimately removing its own brain to complete the formation of a new Illithid colony.

Baldur’s Gate 3’s Elder Brain Plays a Key Role

dnd illithid

With Mind Flayers now playing a bigger role than ever, it’s no surprise that an Elder Brain ends up being central to the ultimate reveal of Baldur’s Gate 3‘s narrative. Found at the end of Act 2, the god known as the Absolute is shown to actually be a powerful Elder Brain under the control of the Chosen of the Dead Three. Possessing godlike psionic ability, the entity known as the Netherbrain allowed the game’s main antagonists to create a false god capable of manipulating the entire population of Faerun.

The Netherbrain may have been controlled by Ketheric, Orin, and Gortash through the Crown of Karsus’ influence prior to their defeat by the player, but the evolved Illithid is shown to be more than just a tool during the game’s finale. Immediately unleashing havoc upon being freed from its enslavement, the Netherbrain acts as an arrogant and megalomaniacal force of a final boss that displays a disturbing insight into the mind of an Elder Brain. Bringing the final form of one of the most disturbing Aberrations to life in an unprecedented way, Baldur’s Gate 3 has likely cemented itself as one of the truest adaptations of Dungeons and Dragons for years to come.

Baldur’s Gate 3 is out now for PC, with a PS5 version coming September 6 and an Xbox Series X/S port also in development.

MORE: Baldur’s Gate 3’s Biggest Illusion of Choice is a Blessing in Diguise

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *