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Ilsensine: Psi & Omega

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Zadara the Titan's picture

Few of those, who cultivate the discipline of the mind known as psionics ever deal with the horrible creatures knows as ‘illithids’. Even fewer have ever spoken to an illithid priest or even an Elder Brain. And none beside me have found out the terrible truth underlying that accursed race. The truth, you see, is that Ilsensine does not exist. Not yet anyway. One unfortunate day there will be a gathering of minds, a conclave of every single illithid, ulitharid, elder brain and whatever new forms have come into being. From this gathering will arise the entity that will name itself Ilsensine. Even while their crude physical bodies will rot away, all that is illithid will merge into one point of consciousness, the very apex of their evolution. Power and knowledge beyond all that the universe has ever known will be concentrated within that final singularity of thought. Truly, we are lucky that our lives are so short, for these dreadful events shall come to pass at a time, when the stars of the Prime have already dimmed, when the fogs of the Ethereal are being drained away and the Outer Planes are collapsing in upon themselves. When the End is coming. – Sirrash the Farsighted

Indeed, the god of the illithids, Ilsensine, is the omega point of their race. It is all that they are, it is all that they once were. It is all that they can ever become. Every single action taken by the lowliest mindflayer, all scheming of the Elder Brains, all evolution in mind and body leads to that ultimate moment, when the entirety of illithid existence becomes one, when all potential is realized, when at last omnipotence is more than just a word.

Of course the crude brain matter as the illithids of the present possess is far below the awesome singularity of thought that is Ilsensine. A being of pure thought, like one would find on the astral, only incredibly more advanced. A cosmos of consciousness bound within an infinitely small point, transcending the bounds of the Multiverse itself. Ilsensine exists Outside, in the Far Realm, where no laws of the bound cosmos apply, where existence itself is a matter of perception. Why would it adhere to the primitive notion of brain and physicality in that place? No, ordered into fractal patterns of thought soaring through infinite dimensions Ilsensine exists there, twisting the nature of the mad Unbound to serve as matrix for itself.

Only Ilsensine’s existence on the exterior of time itself explains, how the illithids of today can know of it, pray to it, and, perversely, receive guidance from it. The godbrain’s power reaches any point in time, for the Flow holds no meaning to it. And thus it has created for itself a representation on the planes. The ‘Caverns of Thought’ planars call the place, where It touches the Inside, where the great deception resides, the ‘god’ claiming to be Ilsensine. It is the medium through which the illithids were brought into being, through which the laws of the cosmos are subverted and used against itself.

For ALL psionic powers draw upon the might of Ilsensine. The inner energy of a living creature is great, but fashioning the grand constructs of energy and thought and time as so many psions do would bleed them dry of power, even kill them just like the kiss of a succubus, if that was all they employed. Indeed the illithids do possess great might, but if it wasn't for the power of Ilsensine, the price they would have to pay for it would be unbearable even to them. So in the same way that Elder Brains reach out through the feeble medium of material brain-matter to their future god for guidance through the streams of time, every singly illithid can make of thoughts and neural patterns a call to the Omega, to grant it the power it will once possess. And Ilsensine pushes Inside that energy, enabling the illithid to bring about all the terrible feats of psionics we know about.

This also is the reason, why all works of the mind woven by an illithid crumble apart the moment it dies unlike sorcery, which can survive millenia or even into eternity. With the end of an illithid’s existence also ends the potential to become part of the final singularity that is Ilsensine, it’s thread cut off forever. As all possibility in the infinite sea of all that can be, that the illithid will once come to possess the power it has already made use of, ceases to exist in the instant of death, all powers made manifest or even incarnate are terminated immediately. Only items, in which a part of the creator's mind has been imbued continue to possess power for its particular splinter of potential continues to exist also.

What about psions of other races, you may ask. Among them there are two kinds, one of which is indeed truly free of all ties to magic, gods or the unfathomable entity that is Ilsensine. All they do is powered only by their own force of life and spirit and they suffer terribly for every single feat of mental strength*. Others have opened the door to the Outside on their own and have become favoured by what awaited them there. It may be, that humans, gith and others have their very own omega points, from which to draw power. That they also make use of the infinite potential awaiting them at the end of time. If this is the case, then conflicts between the mortal parent-children, gith, humans and illithids, may be projected into the future or even be caused by the conflict between the different singularities of thought. There might well be war on the Outside, a war for final supremacy, of mutual annihilation and enslavement. The consequences of Ilsensine triumphing in this are too terrible to imagine. For if that was the case, it would always have won and reality would be rewritten in the image of It.

Of course it may be an even more disturbing line of contemplation to think, that maybe there AREN'T multiple omega points, but only one - Ilsensine. Oh the forces of irony must be laughing, if Githyanki and Githzerai, united only in their hatred for the mindflayers, have become part of their greatest enemy's future god, are drawing upon the very source of power of their mortal enemies. To what madness does a psion open himself with every manifestation? Whose power truly is at work, when a telepath enslaves the minds of others? Should this be the truth or become the truth, wouldn’t then being a psion be a crime against humanity worse than all that of demonologists and necromancers together? Or might the Omega still be malleable, the godbrain split into schizoid parts for all the sentient races, warring in between them?

Whatever the truth, it is clear that there is no threat worse than that of the illithids. Too long we have let them run their schemes. Too long has their highest intelligence guided them through the steps of creating itself. Too long they have enslaved us in past, present and future. We must end this. Ilsensine cannot be allowed to come into existence. Nothing less than the irrevocable and total annihilation of the illithid race can ensure our continued existence. To all of you content with foiling minor schemes every few years I say this: It is the singular goal of our order to bring the genocide begun by Gith to an end. With finality. -- Speech of Marras the Grey, Illithid Slayer, before the High Council of the Order of the Broken Skull

Gray Richardson's picture
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Ilsensine: Psi & Omega

There is a great short story by Isaac Asimov called "The Last Question." Do you know it? If not, go out and read it. It is an awesome story. And it is short. It is the story of the last computer at the end of the universe, when entropy has maxed out and the universe has decayed into heat death. The computer has been thinking on the answer to the "Last Question" for about ten trillion years and has finally come up with the answer.

This Ilsensine article reminds me of that story. Partially because an Ilithid Elder Brain shunts a great portion of its mass into the Astral Plane, and in Asimov's short story it mentioned that a goodly portion of the matter of the Last Computer was shunted into hyperspace to solve problems related to both gravity from so much mass and to allow signals to process at faster than light speeds. The description of it all was really cool.

On a side note, Frank Tipler wrote a book called The Physics of Immortality (Doubleday, 1994) concerning his "Omega Point Theory" that in the far future life will spread throughout the universe and that the computational power of the universe will approach infinity, and that assuming the universe will collapse in a "Big Crunch" (an assumption that recent cosmological measurements do not support) that the computational power of the universe can be used to perform infinite computations, and that this sum of all knowledge has theological implications which he equates with "god." He predicts an Omega Point for humanity.

I neither advocate for or against his theory, I am just mentioning it because it is an intriguing idea and it reminds me of this idea of Ilsensine as the sum of all Illithid knowledge. As the Ilithid race dies out and adds its collective neurons to the seething cerebral mass that is Ilsensine, there is an inherent tragedy involved in this image. Ilsensine is the god of a dead race. Sitting at the end of time with no other options available to it than to mess with the past.

This image of Ilsensine as the Ilithid Omega Point is also evocative of Lovecraft's cosmic horrors (like Azathoth who dwells at the center of the universe, or Yog-Sothoth who lies outside of time).

The idea that Ilsensine lies at the end of time waiting and thinking is just creepy and really gives me the willies. Now that's an Ilsensine I can get behind! Laughing out loud

Zadara the Titan's picture
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Ilsensine: Psi & Omega

I think I read a synopsis of that story in Michio Kaku's Hyperspace, but I should read the full story sometime. I'm familiar with other versions of the omega point theory mostly through similar sources (and should get the whole picture there as well - once at some point I have the time for it:p)

My own main inspiration were (beside your comment) Dan Simmon's Hyperion books, which I gratuitously ripped off, then put into the cauldron of skull, mixed with a number of similar nice things and stirred.

ripvanwormer's picture
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Ilsensine: Psi & Omega

Intriguing. Frightening.

Very suitable for a dark psionics-oriented campaign.

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