There’s Always A Bigger Fish
As anyone unlucky enough to have an encounter with an aboleth knows, it is not likely one you will walk away from, of your own free will at least. The aboleth is a fearsome foe that has been terrorizing the minds of adventurers since the beginning of Dungeons & Dragons. These three-eyed amphibious fish creatures cannot only telepathically probe your mind and learn your greatest desires, they also secret a mucus poisonous to other creatures that can transform you into a slimy translucent-skinned abomination that can only survive in water. Oh yeah, and they can magically charm you into doing their bidding for them, pretty scary sounding right? What could possibly get worse than that? How about an aboleth that has survived for such a long time and in their old age and wisdom seek to do nothing more but protect and proliferate their brood? Now your players can live in fear of the deadly abolita!
Abolitas are aboleths that have lived for inconceivable eons, as an aboleth never truly dies. If their form is killed an aboleths spirit is returned to the Elemental Plane of Water where over time a new body is formed for them. When this occurs, their new body is however reduced to that of an abolittle, an aboleth tadpole the same as made by two aboleths mating. The abolittle are small a weak compared to their aboleth elders though they retain all the memories and knowledge they possessed in their previous form. An abolita has lived long enough to decide they must keep a single form for as long as possible and grow in power which they use to protect their brood so the abolittles may grow and get into the world and enslaving others quickly.
Because abolittles are recreated in the Elemental Plane of Water abolitas can generally find broods to watch over and nurture. They can usually be found in some hidden lair near places known for abolittle spawnings, and usually with a legion of creatures psychically enslaved to protect their home. This does not mean that abolitas aren’t found elsewhere. An abolita can reside anywhere aboleths may call home. In other planes an abolita may make their lair in some ancient depths known only to those brave enough, or unfortunate enough, to explore so deep. Any aboleth within the region of an abolita can sense its presence and aboleths about to give birth will seek them out for the purpose of leaving with them their freshly spawned brood. Most aboleths that leave their spawn with an abolita do not return for them but if they are relatively nearby are known to send some of the creatures they enslave to the abolita out of respect.
The abolita was thought up on the Help Action podcast. If you would like to listen to the episode that birthed this terrifying grandmotherly beast just click right here!