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Aberrations are a category of creatures consisting of alien or otherwise biologically aberrant beings.[1] Aberrations did not originate in Exandria;[2] some originated or were otherwise associated with the Far Realm,[3] some from the Netherdeep,[4] and some are dreamed into being deep beneath Exandria by Tharizdun, the Chained Oblivion[5] and other Elder Evils.[6]

Types of aberrations[]

History[]

Marquet[]

Following Gruumsh's catastrophic attack on Cael Morrow near the end of the Calamity, the drowned city contained a rift to the Netherdeep, from which various aquatic aberrations emerged.[29] An aboleth and its spawn, corrupted by ruidium, could be found in Cael Morrow, and the aboleth was convinced it was the manifestation of Alyxian, the ancient human champion.[30] Within the Netherdeep, one of the forms Alyxian may take is a huge, bloated aberration.[31]

Tal'Dorei[]

Arriving through a portal from the Far Realm, aboleths and other aberrations conquered the Underdark beneath the Bladeshimmer Coast and drove their slaves to build their capital: Salar, the Unseeable City. They slowly began expanding toward the surface, and their psychic energies gradually produced the azuremite of the Crystalfen Caverns.[32] The underground city of Yug'Voril was established during this era.[33]

The final battle of the Calamity, in far-off Wildemount, sent shockwaves through Exandria and unintentionally collapsed much of the underground cavern network of Gwessar, bringing about the fall of the aboleth civilization there.[34]

Following the Divergence, when the drow of Gwessar were trying to carve out a new life underground, they found themselves surrounded by shapechanging and mind-manipulating aberrations, causing mass paranoia. By 812 PD, the underground drow of that continent were on the verge of collapse. Neighbors slaughtered each other in the streets. The drow elite turned increasingly authoritarian and ordered the royal guard to violently quell the mass riots. Some drow commoners, desperate to end their suffering, offered themselves over to the aberrations and were transformed into doppelgangers.[35]

Some members of Vox Machina encountered an aboleth in their pre-stream adventures, when they slipped into a subterranean river system beneath Emon.[36]

K'Varn - KageSatsuki

Fan art of K'Varn, by KageSatsuki.[art 1]

For several months in 810 PD, a beholder named K'Varn was able to dominate both the illithid colony of Yug'Voril and the duergar Emberhold. Lady Kima of Vord and Vox Machina delved into the Underdark to stop this threat, and temporarily allied with an illithid exile named Clarota to kill K'Varn. Clarota and the illithid colony then attempted to kill Vox Machina and Kima, but the adventurers killed Clarota, heavily wounded the elder brain, and escaped with the Horn of Orcus.[37]

One member of Vox Machina, Scanlan Shorthalt, had an Aberration Bane Longsword.[38] In the Pathfinder system, which the Critical Role home game used, bane weapons are more likely to hit a particular type of creature and also deal significantly more damage to such creatures.[39]

Wildemount[]

Vokodo - Jacob Grimoire

Fan art of the Mighty Nein making offerings to Vokodo, by Jacob Grimoire.[art 2]

A morkoth named Vokodo, fleeing horrors in the Astral Sea, took up residence on the island of Rumblecusp in the Lucidian Ocean. He caused a number of rifts in the space around the island, and erased the memories of people who happened upon the island, including Keyleth's mother Vilya, so as to control them and get them to gather treasure for him. In 836 PD, when the followers of the Traveler were invited to Rumblecusp for Traveler Con, Vokodo was dispatched by the Mighty Nein, who were connected to the Traveler.[40]

The Mighty Nein encountered chuuls on multiple occasions in their sea adventures related to Uk'otoa.[41][42]

The Final Battle tshortik

Fan art of the battle against the Somnovem Omega, by @tshortik.[art 3]

After the second of those fights the Mighty Nein found a Scroll of Protection set to protect against aberrations,[43] which Caleb used to great effect against Lucien and the Somnovem.[44]

Society[]

Tal'Dorei[]

In Tal'Dorei, aberrations are perceived as the most irredeemably evil and most intelligent of the monstrous races. Anyone who attempts diplomacy with any aberration tends to become food or their thrall. Aberrations, in turn, consider Exandria's creatures to be nothing more than food or potential property. They are in constant conflict with the drow and duergar of that continent's Underdark.[2]

As of 812 PD, a remnant aboleth brood that survived the destruction of Salar, below Emon, hopes to conquer the surface world by collapsing the Pillars of the Earth.[2] (It had apparently not made a major advance by 843 PD.) Long exposure to the aberrations' psychic energies created veins of azuremite, which can be mined and refined into suude, a drug that affects spellcasting.[34]

Every dark elf in Tal'Dorei knows the dark whispers of the aberrations.[2] Unsurprisingly, adventuring drow in Tal'Dorei tend to hold a violent hatred of aberrations, and some even turn dramatically from the darkness of Lolth to become paladins of Pelor, the Dawnfather,[45] who is revered among those who hunt aberrations.[46]

Wildemount[]

The Harbingers of the Core are aberrant cultists who gather in the lands of Blightshore and worship creatures born from the dreams of the Elder Evils.[47]

The dracolich Oracs the Enduring is known to have aberrant minions, helping to guard the dungeons beneath Ghor Veles.[48]

Notable aberrations[]

Clarota-by-Nadz-Salvo

Fan art of Clarota, by Nadz Salvo.[art 4]

  • K'Varn - Beholder who found and unsealed one of the Horns of Orcus, used it to control Yug'Voril and the Emberhold, and was slain by Vox Machina and Lady Kima of Vord
  • Clarota - Mind flayer arcanist who was cast out from Yug'Voril, worked with Vox Machina to free his old colony from K'Varn, and was reunited with the colony briefly
  • Vokodo - Morkoth who controlled the Vo community on Rumblecusp until he was slain by the Mighty Nein and Vilya
  • The Somnovem, Neo-Somnovem, and Somnovem Omega - Former humanoids warped into aberrations in the Astral Sea
  • Overseer Durrom - Leader of the aboleth brood that survives in the ruins of Salar[49]

References[]

  1. See D&D: Monster Manual, 5th ed., p. 6.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 121.
  3. See "K'Varn Revealed" (1x10) at 4:38:34.
  4. See Call of the Netherdeep, pp. 155–164.
  5. See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 28.
  6. 6.0 6.1 See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 285.
  7. See "The Story of Vox Machina" (Sx06) at 8:20.
  8. See Call of the Netherdeep, pp. 134–135. See also p. 124.
  9. See "K'Varn Revealed" (1x10) at 2:29:45.
  10. See "The Second Seal" (2x47) at 0:24:45.
  11. See "K'Varn Revealed" (1x10) at 1:19:21.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, pp. 285–286.
  13. See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 287.
  14. See Call of the Netherdeep, p. 197.
  15. See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 68.
  16. See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn, p. 103.
  17. See Call of the Netherdeep, p. 65.
  18. See "K'Varn Revealed" (1x10) at 2:25:25.
  19. See "Strange Bedfellows" (1x03) at 1:28:16.
  20. See "Into the Greyspine Mines" (1x02).
  21. See Call of the Netherdeep, p. 200. See also p. 156.
  22. See "Rumble at Rumblecusp" (2x105) at 4:32:07.
  23. See "Talks Machina: Campaign Wrap-up" (Sx31) at 31:20.
  24. See "Trial of the Take: Part 4" (1x21) at 12:50.
  25. See Call of the Netherdeep, p. 208.
  26. See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 215.
  27. See Call of the Netherdeep, p. 209.
  28. See Call of the Netherdeep, p. 210.
  29. See Call of the Netherdeep, p. 5.
  30. See Call of the Netherdeep, pp. 123–124. See also p. 134.
  31. See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn, pp. 177–178.
  32. The caves predate the Age of Arcanum, and the veins of azuremite were formed from "millennia" of exposure to the aberrations' psychic energies before the final battle of the Calamity. See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 86.
  33. See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 71. "Thousands of years old" may imply something earlier than what was described as "early Age of Arcanum." The Crypts of Thomara are "early Age of Arcanum" and alternately described as "thousands of years" old or "well over 1500 years, if not longer."
  34. 34.0 34.1 See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 86.
  35. See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, pp. 122–123.
  36. See "The Story of Vox Machina" (Sx06) from 8:00 through 8:27.
  37. See the Kraghammer and Vasselheim arc.
  38. See "Denizens of the Moonbrush" (1x61) at 26:14.
  39. See "Bane" at d20PFSRD.com.
  40. See the Family Ties arc.
  41. See "The Second Seal" (2x47) at 24:45.
  42. See "The Chase Begins" (2x112) at 3:51:19.
  43. See "Dark Dealings" (1x112) at 3:45:02.
  44. See "Long May He Reign" (2x140) at 1:50:09.
  45. See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 24.
  46. See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 24.
  47. See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 58.
  48. See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 154.
  49. See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 96.

Art:

  1. Fan art of K'Varn, by KageSatsuki (source). Used with permission.
  2. Fan art of the Mighty Nein making offerings to Vokodo, by Jacob Grimoire (source). Used with permission.
  3. Fan art of the battle against the Somnovem Omega, by @tshortik (source). Used with permission.
  4. Fan art of Clarota, by Nadz Salvo (source). Used with permission.

External links[]

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