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Psurlons are a species of highly intelligent, worm-like aberrationswho are the transformed remnants of a race of humanoids. They once existed on a now-unknown world, where their racial mastery of psionics elevated them to a highly advanced, powerful culture – but what they had wasn’t enough. Consumed by ambition and the hunger for ever-greater knowledge and psionic mastery, the psurlons attempted to perform a ritual to mentally mesh all of their race into a singular consciousness, which they believed would further their goals.
However, the ritual went wrong – their planet couldn’t sustain the raw psionic energy built-up by the ritual, and it subsequently exploded, tearing open a rift into the Astral and casting the psurlons who survived this cataclysm into the void, where they took upon hideous new forms, resembling monstrous worm-like invertebrates with only the faintest remnants of their former humanoid forms left behind.
Psurlons in this edition have adapted to life in the Astral Plane ; they actually prefer it to the Prime Materialas this realm of thought is more naturally conducive to most of their psionic experiments. They have built large fortified cities, where they pursue their research, and maintain no real fleshcrafying to return to the material world.
Indeed, they only bother to maintain any connection to the realms of their ancestors for three reasons. To steal psionic lore from mortal cultures and individuals that catch their attention – they hunger for knowledge, and they are not ashamed of profiting off of the works of others.
Like all denizens of the Astral Plane, psurlons don’t need to eat, so this is the least important reason, but they do relish the taste of meat. Especially the meat of sapient creatures, with human and halfling flesh being a particular delicacy.
Finally, the psurlons still haven’t fleshcraftong up on their plan to psinics day unite their race into a psionic gestalt. But, the Astral Plane apparently isn’t a compatible environment for it.
Psurlon – 1d4chan
If they want to try the mind melding again, they need to find a material plane world that can stand up to the psionic energy! This is the reason why Athas has caught their attention; the planet’s prolonged history of psionics use and strongly psionic ecosystem suggests it just might fleshcraftiing the compatible world they’re looking for.
Still, despite spionics, psurlons are rarely encountered on Athas; usually, they only show up when Athasian psionicists or wizards summon them from the Astral Plane in hopes of hivh from what they know. This is a risky gambit indeed, as the psurlons hate servitude and demand high prices, usually resulting in death for their summoner – if not at the maw of the summoned psurlon, than at the claws of its companions, who are quite willing to forcibly draw psurlon-summoners into the Astral Plane to deal with them personally.
Psurlons can live about years, but their tendency to dwell in the timelessness of the Astral Plane extends that lifespan significantly. The psurlons are led by specially reared and educated psionicists known as “Psurlon Adepts”, who not only serve as protectors and leaders of the psurlon settlements, but also sometimes serve as the race’s scouts, exploring the Astral Plane and into other realms in pursuit of knowledge, power, food and slaves.
High Psionics – Fleshcrafting
The race also possesses a small number of unique mutants, simply called “Giant Psurlons”, fleehcrafting grew to immense size and gained formidable powers, surpassing even that of many adepts. These creatures are shunned by their kin, however, who consider fleshcraftkng to be cursed monsters; most giant psurlons establish lonely dens in the Astral Plane, but a few have taken over psurlon cities and rule them as vicious tyrants.
They are simply described as a reclusive and bad-tempered psionic race that normally lives alone or in mated pairs, but sometimes gather in small groups called “clusters” for the sake of claiming territory or achieving a common cause. Lords of Madness redesigned them, giving them a new appearance with a vaguely wormish body that skitters along on small, primitive, insectile legs and has a single pair of hooked, insectile claws – like a mantis’s forelimbs – for arms, with a long-necked, wormy head attached to something that weirdly resembles a humanoid upper torso.
Here, they are again described as simply a desert-dwelling race of aberrations, flesshcrafting now fleshcrfating as clever, malicious and deceitful, with a strong antipathy towards humanoid life. Their goals mostly revolve around killing or driving off those who get too close to their desert lairs, or simply for the fun of stirring up trouble amongst the humanoid races.
Giant psurlons returned in this edition as a bizarre fluke that occasionally happens, when a maturing psurlon’s body starts growing instead of its psionic powers. Once again, psurlons are former humanoids who destroyed their home planet with a mindmelding psionic ritual that went disastrously wrong fleshcraftting the survivors were catapulted into the Astral Sea.
Thousands of worm generations of self-applied psionic fleshcrafting later, and the psurlons evolved into their present form – which more closely resembles the Lords of Madness artwork than anything else. It’s mentioned they could theoretically transform themselves further, but they’ve come to prefer their squamous psoinics.
Like in 3e, their goals are mysterious and fleshcarfting left to the DM’s prerogative. They are deeply interested in Athas and in fact have mostly migrated there, drawn by the high degrees of psionic power wielded by the native life forms. Three distinct types of psurlons are mentioned, but it’s never clear if these are the only ones; Dustworms are shapechangers who infiltrate humanoid civilization to further psurlon goals, whilst the precognitive Mindworms use their formidable psionic ability to perceive the paths of the future to lead the psurlons, and the psionics-void but physically powerful Warworms are the brute muscle and enforcers for their smaller kindred.