Spelljammer enthusiasts were given another carrot in a recent preview of Dungeons & Dragons' next book. Later this month, Dungeons & Dragons will release Tasha's Cauldron of Everything, a new rules expansion that provides over 20 new subclasses, new magic spells, a ton of new magic items, and more rules for DMs. Last week, IGN released a preview of Tasha's Cauldron of Everything, which included a look at the Far Realm, a plane with unique rules that will be covered in the book. The Far Realm was briefly mentioned in the Dungeon Master's Guide as a place outside the known universe, filled with entities that are "too alien for a normal mind to accept without strain." Horrific creatures swim through the nothingness of the plane, and unspeakable things whisper "awful truths" to anyone that dares to listen. Basically, the Far Realm is something pulled straight out of an HP Lovecraft fever dream.
The Far Realm is also the original home of most aberrations, including mind flayers and beholders. IGN's preview included a new image from Tasha's Cauldron of Everything, which apparently depicts a mind flayer stronghold amidst a sea of undulating globules with ever-morphing mouths and eyes. The surprising thing about the image isn't that the mind flayers apparently have strongholds within the Far Realm, they also access these strongholds via nautiloids, the dimension-hopping flying ships first seen in the Spelljammer campaign setting. Nautiloids are used by the mind flayers to kidnap slaves and food for colonies, although the ability to make nautiloids is seen as a lost art. Notably, a nautiloid ship appears in the opening cinematic of Baldur's Gate 3, attacking a Faerun city before hopping through planes while pursued by dragon-riding Githyanki.
While nautiloids aren't exclusive to Spelljammer, their appearance in Tasha's Cauldron of Everything certainly seems to be an Easter egg for those hoping that the bizarre campaign setting (where players use magic to fly entire ships through rainbow-colored phlogiston to reach various planetary systems) will make a comeback. Dungeons & Dragons has confirmed they are working on bringing back three existing campaign settings in the next couple of years, and the design team keeps dropping little crumbs for Spelljammer enthusiasts. From the appearance of a spelljamming ship (helmed by a mind flayer captain) in Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage to the appearance of a crashed nautiloid ship in this year's Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden, it seems like Dungeons & Dragons definitely wants players to remember that there's a bigger world out there beyond just the Forgotten Realms.
Tasha's Cauldron of Everything comes out on November 17th. Pre-orders are live on Amazon now with a 40% discount.
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