Alien Species

The Aboleth is a revolting fish-like amphibian found primarily in subterranean lakes and rivers. It despises all non-aquatic creatures and attempts to destroy them on sight.


An Aboleth resembles an enormous prehistoric fish, measuring some 20 feet in length from snout to tail, with four 10-foot-long tentacles sprouting from behind its massive head. Its rubbery skin is blue-green with regular grey splotches running along its sides. The pink belly of the creature is interrupted by a lamprey-like mouth and four pulsating organs that secrete a foul-smelling grey slime.

They have both male and female organs, and breed in solitude, laying 1-3 eggs every five years. These eggs grow for another five years before hatching into full-grown Aboleths. Although the young are physically mature, they remain with the parent for about ten years, obeying them completely.


Aboleths are cruel and highly intelligent, making them very dangerous predators. They know many ancient and terrible secrets, after inheriting their parents' knowledge at birth, and assimilating the knowledge and memories of all they consume.

They are smart enough to refrain from immediately attacking land dwellers who draw near. Instead they hang back, hoping their prey will enter the water, which they often make appear cool, clear, and refreshing with their powers of illusion. Aboleths also use their psionic abilities to enslave individuals for use against their own companions.

Culture and society[]

Aboleths have their own language, and can speak Undercommon and Aquan.

Aboleths are utterly self-centered as a race; they know they were among the first beings in existence, and see all else as theirs. Their enmity towards other races stems in part from their perception that these "upstart" races have stolen what is rightfully the Aboleths'. All that stops them from conquering the surface is their weakness on land (though an Aboleth is always a fierce opponent) and the fact that they would rather enjoy themselves than waste time subduing feeble creatures such as humans.

Aboleth cities are vast affairs of bizarre and alien architecture, located deep underwater. The Shape of Water is the largest known Aboleth city. This is where the leaders of the race reside and hold council.

Aboleths have no gods. While they acknowledge the presence and power of gods, they have memories of a time long before any modern gods were worshipped and recall such Gods' birth and often demise within their own lifetimes. They are not concerned with an afterlife since they intend to live forvever, considering death a failure. They do have a certain respect and reverence for the ancient beings known as the "Elder Evils".

Monster Manual descriptions[]

2nd Edition[]

The Aboleth is an amphibious creature that dwells in underground lakes and caverns. Intelligent, it hates most land-going life and seeks methods to enslave or destroy the beings of the surface world. The race is extremely long-lived and has collected a great deal of knowledge more ancient than man. It is perhaps better that men do not know these ancient secrets, for these are rumored to be more horrible and foul than could be thought possible.

An Aboleth has a slime covered fish-like body with a large fluke-like tail which propels it through the water. It has a blue-green mottled gray in color with a pinkish tan belly. It has blue-black slime-producing organs on either side. Set in its head are 3 long, slit-like, purple-red eyes, one above the other. Over the eyes are protective ridges. Four 10-foot long tentacles grow from the top of its head, and its toothless mouth is located on the underside. On land, an Aboleth pulls its obscene mass about with its 4 tentacles.

In combat the Aboleth attacks with its 4 tentacles for 1-6 points of damage each. Any creature struck by its tentacles must save vs. spells or the creature's skin will change into a clear, slimy membrane in 2-5 rounds. This change can be stopped if a cure disease spell is cast on the victim. Once the change is complete, the membrane must be kept damp with cool water or the victim will take 1-12 points of damage each turn because of intense pain. A cure serious wounds spell will change the membrane back to normal skin.

The Aboleth is highly intelligent and can create very realistic illusions with audible and visual components if it concentrates and does nothing else. It can also try to enslave other creatures 3 times per day. This ability can be used only against a single creature up to 30 feet away. The victim must save vs. spells or be filled with desire to serve the Aboleth. Enslaved creatures will not fight for the Aboleth but will attempt to follow any other telepathic commands. If an enslaved character is separated from the Aboleth by more than a mile, a new saving throw may be made each day. This charm can be broken by remove curse or dispel magic spells or the death of the enslaving Aboleth.

In water, an Aboleth will secrete a cloud of mucus a distance of 1 foot all around its body. Any creature drawn into the mucus must save vs. poison or it will inhale the stuff and be unable to breathe air, suffocating in 2-12 rounds if it tries to breathe. However, the Aboleth uses its mucus to give its slaves the power to breathe water. Thus, its slaves will have the ability to breath water, as a potion of water breathing, for 1-3 hours. The mucus may be dissolved by soap or wine.

There are reports of huge underwater cities built by the Aboleths those they enslaved. But these reports, along with the stories of their vast stores of knowledge, have never been proven.

Alternate universes[]