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Mind Thrall of Akh'All (Takh-vhol)

by Geoff Gander

Armour Class: 5
Hit Dice: 8+3*
Horror Rating: 9
Move: 120' (40')
Attacks: 1 bite, 2 tentacles, 1 mind warp, or 1 weapon
Damage: 1d6, special, special, or by weapon
Number Appearing: 1-2 (1-6)
Save As: MU 8
Morale: 10
Treasure Type: F
Intelligence: 18
Alignment: Chaotic

The Mind Thralls of Akh'All, known by most Outer Being worshippers who have
encountered them as Takh-vhol (literally, Mind of the Dark), are considered by many to be the living will of Akh'All on the Prime Plane (whereas the Zhochal are often considered to be His eyes and ears). In many temples devoted to the worship of the Outer Beings, these creatures can be seen leading ceremonies, and interpreting the will of Akh'All to His maddened clergy. They also commonly direct the defence of such temples against invaders.

They are highly intelligent, humanoid creatures, with clammy grey skin, a vaguely octopoid head. Their eyes are large, bulbous, and a pale yellow in colour (although some have been seen to possess red eyes), with horizontally slitted pupils. Surrounding their relatively small mouths are four tentacles, each of which measures roughly one foot in length, and which protrude outwards from their mouths. These they use to strike their prey. Their sinewy arms and hands end with three long, bony fingers.

In combat, a takh-vhol may bite an opponent, doing 1d6 damage due to the many rows of sharp teeth present in its mouth. Alternatively, it may strike up to two times against one opponent with its tentacles, provided the intended victim is within one foot of the creature (usually this attack is used if the takh-vhol manages to grapple its opponent), or if the victim is prone. If a tentacle hits it will then penetrate to the brain, draw it forth, and the monster will devour it. It will take from one to four rounds for the tentacle to reach the brain, by which time the victim will be dead due to internal trauma. The other physical attack available to the takh-vhol is the use of melee weapons, in which they are often fairly proficient, preferring stabbing or piercing weapons. They tend not to possess very much brute strength, relying instead on dexterity.

The major weapon of the takh-vhol, however, is its mind warp, a wave of telepathic force capable of assailing any single mortal mind within 60 feet, and all minds within five feet. Anyone affected by this attack must save vs. Death Ray (modified by Intelligence) or suffer as follows:

Mind Warp Effect Table

Opponent's Intelligence Save Modifier Damage Sustained
3-6 -2 4d6 damage, opponent is also feebleminded
7-10 -1 3d6 damage, opponent is rendered insane
11-14 0 2d6 damage, 50% chance opponent stunned 1d8 rounds
15-17 +1 1d6 damage, 25% chance opponent stunned 1d4 rounds
18 +2 1d4 damage, 10% chance opponent stunned 1d2 rounds

Magic users add an additional +1 bonus to their saving throws (on top of any given for high Intelligence), and clerics add +2. A helm of telepathy provides a further bonus of +2 when worn. Those who make their saving throws will be able to act unimpeded that round, although the takh-vhol may use its mind warp against them to following round, if it desires.

Not being native to the Prime Plane (the takh-vhol are believed by scholars to have originated in one of the Outer Beings' prison dimensions many millennia ago), and being wholly devoted to their blasphemous overlords, the takh-vhol are, like many other servitor races of the Outer Beings, immune to sleep, charm, and hold spells. Being what they are, however, takh-vhol are vulnerable to those spells designed to counter the Outer Beings and their servants, as well as the substance known as evilbane essence; any contact with the latter substance will inflict 1d6 points of damage upon them.