Working with Aboleths

Aboleths have an identity problem. ¬†They seem to be obviously Lovecraftian in nature, but the writers of the various edition Monster Manuals have done everything in their power to make them just mundane underwater monstrosities. Conceptually, they have always been one of my favorite D&D monsters. I’ve used them in many adventures and campaigns, and have had a lot of issues reconciling what I want an aboleth to be with how they are presented in the manuals. So I’m going to try to rectify that now. Here are a couple ideas.

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Ecology of the Displacer Beast

The following excerpts are from the journal of Jason Canderman, of the eight-man Canderman-Dodder Expedition, which was documenting the newly-discovered ruins of an ancient Hithan pyramid. This journal was found by a group of nine explorers (three of whom met their fate later by the same creatures described within). Based on the following excerpts, we recommend bringing a full regimen of prepared soldiers before the next expedition is attempted.

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Ecology of the Grick

Coiled beneath the stones and brush, it waits. It hears voices approaching – high-pitched, playful voices. Voices it recognizes as younglings from the community down the river. It opens its beak, pointed tongue running along the edge of its sharp lips. It knows it is in a bad position to strike, but cannot risk moving now, as the voices are close now, and would hear the stones above it shifting. It feels excitement welling – it hasn’t eaten in a week, since eating the meat off the bones of a deer, and fresh man-meat is always preferable to deer. The voices are only a few feet away now, voices filled with joy and glee, unaware of what lies beneath the stones they play atop…

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