Dungeons & Dragons Is Adding a New Kind of Mind Flayer

Dungeons & Dragons' next adventure may show what happens when a gnome is forcibly transformed into a mind flayer. Last month, the Gallant Goblin posted a video showing off miniatures from WizKids' upcoming line of miniatures inspired by the upcoming adventure Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden. The video included miniatures of a Gnome Ceremorph and a Gnome Squidling, which basically resemble pint-sized versions of mind flayers. While no context is given, it seems likely that Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden will include gnomes who are in the active process of being transformed into a mind flayer.

Longtime Dungeons & Dragons fans know that mind flayers reproduce through ceremorphosis, a process in which a mind flayer tadpole attaches itself to a host body's brain and then forcibly transforms it over the course of several days. The process is an incredibly painful and agonizing one, and occasionally results in unexpected mutations or changes. We don't know whether the gnome squidling or gnome ceromorph are just unexpected mutations or if these creatures are simply in the middle of ceromorphosis itself.

The existence of gnome mind flayers is actually a fun little nod back to the D&D online community. In 2019, D&D Beyond posted a video in which host Todd Kenreck discussed gnome mind flayers with Chris Perkins when speaking about the abyssal chickens that appear in Baldur's Gate: Descent Into Avernus. The gnome squidling was originally conceived by Todd and Meagan Kenreck, several creators like Richard Whitters and Max Dunbar drew pictures of the gnome mind flayers in action during a fun Twitter thread last year. During the interview, Perkins declared that he had figured out how to add gnome mind flayers to an upcoming D&D product and that it would happen in the next two years. It looks like Perkins was serious about his promise and that the gnome mind flayers appeared a year earlier than expected.

We'll find out more about the terrors of gnome flayers when they appear in Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden, which will be released next month. You can also get a sneak peek of the gnome mind flayer in action in D&D Beyond's weekly streaming show Silver and Steel, which airs weekly on their Twitch channel.