Alhoon (dNetHack)

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An alhoon, L, is a type of monster that appears in dNetHack and notdNetHack. An alhoon is a mind flayer that became undead as a result of attaining lichdom and shares traits of both monsters: the cold touch, spellcasting, regeneration and life draining of the lich, and the flight, tentacle attacks and intelligence-draining of the mind flayer.

An alhoon has a cold touch attack, a brain-eating tentacle attack, two life-draining tentacle attacks, and will attempt to cast one arcane monster spell during each of its rounds. Alhoons possess fire resistance, cold resistance, sleep resistance, poison resistance, and stoning resistance.


Alhoons are not randomly generated, and are always created hostile.

Only two alhoons are generated in a normal game, and both appear in the depths of the Neutral Quest: one is created on the middle throne within the third level of the Lethe Gorge, and a second is placed in the tower on the second level of the Gulf of N'Kai. Each one guards the Second and Third Keys of Neutrality.

Alhoons never leave a corpse upon death.


Alhoons, also called illithiliches, are a form of illithid that originate from Dungeons & Dragons, where they first appear in Advanced 2nd Edition booklet "Book One: The City", released as part of the Menzoberranzan boxed set for the Forgotten Realms setting in 1992. They are further detailed in 1998 supplement "The Illithiad"

Alhoons are outcasts from illithid society for delving too deep into the study of wizardry: Illithids consider psionic potential integral to their identity: they typically communicate through psychic means by projecting thoughts and feelings to each other, and upon death have their brain extracted upon death and taken to the pool of an "Elder Brain", which also hosts illithid larvae. This brain acts as a vast library of knowledge that other illithids can call upon, and becoming a part of its collective of brains represents a form of immortality to them.

The study of arcane magic and other forms of magic is frowned upon, since magical energy cannot be absorbed by the Elder Brain, but is otherwise tolerated insofar as it allows illithid society to better understand their enemies. Illithids that are outcast for going too far with these studies will often seek immortality through undeath instead, turning to lichdom. When discovered near illithid communities, alhoons are mercilessly hunted down.

Encyclopedia entry

Alhoons superficially resemble their living kin; however,
their skin is dry and wrinkled, free of the ubiquitous
mucous that covers living mind flayers.
[ The Illithidae, Bruce R Cordell ]