Aboleth, Ancient

Family: Aboleth

Huge aberration (greater), any chaotic alignment or unaligned

Armor Class 18 (natural armor)

Hit points 189 (18d12 + 72); Wound Threshold 48
Speed 10 ft., swim 40 ft.

STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
25 (+7) 7 (-2) 18 (+4) 22 (+6) 19 (+4) 20 (+5)

Saving Throws Con +9, Int +11, Wis +9, Cha +10
Skills Arcana +11, Deception +10, History* +16, Insight +9, Nature* +16, Perception* +14
Damage Resistances psychic
Senses darkvision 120 ft., passive Perception 24
Languages Deep Speech, telepathy 240 ft.
Challenge 16 (15,000 XP)

SPECIAL TRAITS

  • Amphibious. The ancient aboleth can breathe air and water.
  • Mucous Cloud. While underwater, the ancient aboleth is surrounded by transformative mucus. A creature that touches the ancient aboleth or that hits it with a melee attack while within 5 feet of it must make a DC 17 Constitution saving throw. On a failure, the creature is diseased and poisoned for 1d4 hours. The diseased creature can breathe only underwater.
  • Legendary Resistance (3/Day). If the ancient aboleth fails a saving throw, it can choose to succeed instead.
  • Probing Telepathy. If a creature communicates telepathically with the ancient aboleth, the ancient aboleth learns the creature’s greatest desires if the ancient aboleth can see the creature. The target of this effect can make a DC 19 Charisma saving throw to resist, becoming immune to the ancient aboleth’s Probing telepathy for the next 24 hours if successful.

ACTIONS

  • Multiattack. The ancient aboleth makes three tentacle attacks.
  • Tentacle. Melee Weapon Attack: +12 to hit, reach 15 ft., one target. Hit: 16 (2d8 + 7) bludgeoning damage. If the target is a creature, it must succeed on a DC 17 Constitution saving throw or become diseased. The disease has no effect for 1 minute and can be removed by any magic that cures disease. After 1 minute, the diseased creature’s skin becomes translucent and slimy, the creature can’t regain hit points unless it is underwater, and the disease can be removed only by heal or another disease- curing spell of 6th level or higher. When the creature is outside a body of water, it takes 6 (1d12) acid damage every 10 minutes unless moisture is applied to the skin before 10 minutes have passed.
  • Tail. Melee Weapon Attack: +12 to hit, reach 15 ft., one target. Hit: 17 (3d6 + 7) bludgeoning damage.
  • Greater Enslave (3/Day). The ancient aboleth targets one creature it can see within 30 feet of it. The target must succeed on a DC 19 Wisdom saving throw or be magically charmed by the ancient aboleth until the ancient aboleth dies or until it is on a different plane of existence from the target. The charmed target is under the ancient aboleth’s control and can’t take reactions, and the ancient aboleth and the target can communicate telepathically with each other over any distance. Whenever the charmed target takes damage, the target can repeat the saving throw. On a success, the effect ends. If a target is charmed by the ancient aboleth for a week, this effect can only be removed with the use of a greater restoration spell, or similar effect.
  • Psychic Twisting (Recharge 5-6). A chosen creature within 60 feet of the ancient aboleth must succeed on a DC 19 Intelligence saving throw or take 63 (14d8) psychic damage and be incapacitated until the end of its next turn. On a successful save, it takes half as much damage instead and is not incapacitated.

BONUS ACTIONS

  • Compulsive Strike. The ancient aboleth uses an effect similar to the compulsive strike spell (see Grimoire).

LEGENDARY ACTIONS

The ancient aboleth can take 3 legendary actions, choosing from the options below. Only one legendary action option can be used at a time and only at the end of another creature’s turn. The ancient aboleth regains spent legendary actions at the start of its turn.

  • Detect. The ancient aboleth makes a Wisdom (Perception) check.
  • Tail Swipe. The ancient aboleth makes one tail attack.
  • Psychic Drain (Costs 2 Actions). One creature charmed by the ancient aboleth takes 14 (4d6) psychic damage, and the ancient aboleth regains hit points equal to the damage the creature takes.
  • Mind Shock (Costs 3 Actions). One chosen creature within 60 feet of the ancient aboleth must succeed on a DC 19 Intelligence saving throw or be stunned until the end of its next turn.

LAIR

Aboleths’ domains are usually subterranean lakes, linked to the rest of their kind by long submerged tunnels.

Inside its lair, the aboleth can take a lair action on initiative count 20 (losing all initiative ties).

  • Devotee’s Call. The aboleth teleports a devotee (consenting or enslaved target) inside its domain to another location of its choice in its domain. By default, the devotee is a creature of the GM’s choosing with a CR less than or equal to 4.
  • Enslavement. A creature within 120 feet of the aboleth must succeed on a DC 16 (for an adult aboleth) or DC 19 (for an ancient aboleth) Charisma saving throw or fall under the aboleth’s control until the aboleth’s next lair action. Any creature that succeeds on the saving throw or for whom the effect ends becomes immune to the aboleth’s Enslavement for the next 24 hours.
  • Read Intentions. Until its next lair action, the aboleth benefits from a +2 to AC and a capped bonus of +2 to its saving throws (see Grimoire, Living magic: Capped Bonus).

REGIONAL EFFECTS

The presence of an adult or ancient aboleth is felt in nearby caverns, in a 2-mile radius. The air becomes particularly humid and brackish, with a waft of something viscous. Intruders constantly feel an unpleasant and oppressive sensation, as if they were being watched by a cruel and malevolent being.

  • Inane Prophecies. The adult or ancient aboleth can make mysterious writings appear at will on the walls of its domain. Guests of the domain can understand the texts, but if any other creature tries to read them, they’ll require a DC 16 (for an adult aboleth) or DC 19 (for an ancient aboleth) Wisdom saving throw, receiving long-term madness on a failure.
  • Master of Their Domain. The aboleth can cast the control weather, dream, mirage arcane, and stone shape spells once per day each. Its spellcasting ability is Intelligence (spell save DC 16 for an adult aboleth, DC 19 for an ancient aboleth).
  • The Drink of Slaves. The first time a creature drinks water within an aboleth’s domain, it seems undrinkable and can induce vomiting. However, some prisoners persist, pushed by thirst and despair. As they continue drinking this water, their body grows accustomed at the same time as their mind is enslaved by the abyssal master. The following table provides an overview of the body’s acceptance and the mind’s degradation. The following saving throws are made once per day, when the first drink of water is taken each day.
Drinking Attempts Vomiting Constitution Saving Throw Servitude Wisdom Saving Throw
1st DD 21 DD 5
2nd DD 18 DD 10
3rd DD 15 DD 15
4th DD 12 DD 20
5th DD 9 DD 25
6th DD 6 DD 30
7th The water is delicious! Automatic failure

An aboleth’s disciples can carry this water. If the container is ritually prepared, it will keep its properties until the aboleth’s death; if not prepared, the effects subside after 3d10 days or the aboleth’s death.

Similar to nightmarish cetaceans, ancient aboleths are ancestral creatures among the most fearsome in Eana. They’re not as powerful, influential, or mobile as some other creatures of legend, but have a near-infinite patience and their skill in plotting is second to none. Their plans and influence can stretch over decades and be so subtle none suspect their involvement. Worst of all, the extent of their enslaving power is such that they can command pawns throughout the entire world.

Aboleths are aquatic, tentacled aberrations that look like a mix of cliones, cuttlefish, sea anemones, and none of them all at once. Aboleths are nightmares of the deep, covered in a dangerous mucus and possessing the ability to invade dreams. They prowl dark waters and hatch terrible plans that threaten the future of the entire world.

Origins of the Aboleths

On the surface, aboleths are all but unknown, while they are as mysterious as they are feared in the Netherworld. It’s difficult to gather and analyze information concerning them. The texts they leave behind are written in Deep Speech, a language that has nothing in common with other tongues on Eana, neither in its structure nor phonemes.

It’s possible to gain information from the chuuls’ sacred chants and the walls of their temples.

Their perspective is biased, just like subterranean or surface-dwelling cults looking for salvation in the worship of Blackwater. These groups are aware of some facts and details, but rarely see the whole picture.

There are also ruins marked by their presence. These are cultural sites for chuuls and humanoids, sometimes including an adult aboleth’s palace from where it dispenses revelations.

The Travelers brought many creatures to Eana through their portals, the ateaks. These beings, some of which are intelligent, learned to adapt to their new environment but frequently represent threats to natural balance as the druids see it. Bringing aboleths to Eana was certainly the Travelers’ worst mistake, and they paid for it with the annihilation of their civilization at the hands of a meteorite summoned by the aboleths that fell in the region currently known as the Eolian Isles.

Masters of Plots

Nowadays, aboleths roam vast networks of aquatic underground tunnels. Endless canals constructed with magic or servants’ hands-particularly the chuuls-allow them to swim between the depths of Cyfandir and Acoatl. Aboleths avoid acting in person: they dislike doing so, and their bodies are scarcely adapted to it. They make use of individuals’ curiosity, greed, ambition, and despair to tempt them and coax them into carrying out beneficial actions.

The Aboleths’ Memory

Aboleths preserve their memory in a nightmarish sanctum they access when dreaming. They deposit all their memories there, as well as most of those of their devoured victims. All this information is then shared among their whole kind. If one of them dies, their knowledge is not lost.

Psychurges enter this memory sanctum through their dreams, leading them to sometimes believe this place has no physical presence. Yet it does exist, deep in the Netherworld somewhere near Acoatl, under the Karakin sea.

The aboleths also use this site to keep in contact with Blackwater and are able to create new vessels (see Aberrant creatures: Category III Aberration, or Vessel).

One might speculate that destroying the memory sanctum would sever the bond to Blackwater and end its pernicious influence. Unfortunately, the energy emanating from this place is so strong that humanoid minds are almost invariably shattered and plunged into madness. To win, it is therefore necessary to have both precise information to find it, and sufficiently advanced knowledge about aberrations to resist their powers.

Seemingly Infinite Knowledge

Aboleths and their servants sometimes appear omniscient, reinforced by their solemn demeanor.

They’re certain the stars will align for them, and that their victory is inevitable. What they reveal may be unnerving, sometimes disheartening. Some fall into despair when they’re made aware of the sheer vastness of the unknown.

The greater aberrations’ power is real and their knowledge far from a ploy. These creatures are experts in History and Nature thanks to their access to the memory sanctum of their kind, and the bond they keep with Blackwater’s cosmic entity. They hold a depth of knowledge far greater than most of Eana’s inhabitants.

Their knowledge is not absolute, however, and their propensity for certainties can even make them naive in a way, in contrast to the potency of their intelligence. These beings are so sure of the depth of their knowledge of the world that they may delude themselves. The leeway to take advantage of this is tiny, but sometimes even a single grain of sand is enough to tip the scales.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

The Creatures Rulebook for the Fateforge Role-Playing Game Copyright © 2021 Studio Agate.

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