As Helm’s light illuminates the courtyard, the figure of Zarlag is seen near the gatehouse. He has a female in front of him and looks to be kissing her. Nearby is the figure of the bowman who had tried to escape by jumping off the balcony, he looks to be frozen in mid stride, halfway through the courtyard.
As the group watches, Zarlag’s head pulls away from the female, there is a mass of something in his mouth…a brain, its fluids falling away as Zarlag sucks it into his distended mouth. Zarlag’s lower jaw seems to unhinge as several small tentacles wrap around the brain and pull in inside his mouth.
Zarlag turns and darts away, you clearly see a cloak carried over one shoulder, a cloak he did not have before, most likely The Embrace, the item he wanted you to help him get, and you succeeded.
The females body falls into the water of the courtyard, floating face up, her jaw looks to be torn open. The frozen bowman also collapses to his knees, he seems to be disoriented.
The group rushes down to capture the disoriented bowman and gaze on the corpse of the woman. The woman looks to be an elf, slender and dressed in adventuring gear but different than the other mercenaries. You are not sure if she was the 7th member you saw in Zarlag’s magic image, but it is a good guess she was. Her jaw is torn open, and ragged bits of flesh, sinew and the end of her spine have been pulled out of the roof of her mouth.
The bowman is tied and moved to the bedroll room for questioning, he is slowly returning to consciousness. The group moves into defensive positions with guards on the balcony and Tiberious looking out the back window of the room.
Tiberius tells an ominous story, “I think that, Zarlag, was an Illithid…a mind flayer. They are powerful evil creatures that feast on the brains of victims. They usually have an octopus looking head though….not sure how he disguised himself. Those things are insanely evil….I have only heard stories…..”
He is asked about the wound on the female it looks almost surgical and there was no spurting blood until the victim fell away from the mind flayer, then blood sprayed from major arteries
Tiberious theorizes that the mind flayer had convinced its victim not to bleed
Mind Flayers are one of the most evil monsters in the world of D&D. Fortunately for the humans on the surface, when you are chaotic evil, it is really hard to work together. In the lore, they have taken over countless worlds.
Tiberius continues , "Mind Flayers it is rumored once ruled an entire galaxy, and several connecting planes. Until they encountered a war like race of insects whose brains they could not control. As the Illithids lost world after word, they turned their human thralls into ultimate fighting machines. The insect invasion was halted and the insect race driven mostly extinct.
But the thralls were now so powerful that they themselves rose up and defeated the illithids. The war was so brutal that both sides were decimated. Somehow these creatures ended up far below the surface of the Oerth.