The aboleth have been invigorated by the presence of the Elemental Chaos and Abyss that offers new allies to fight a war that for a while appeared to be siege-based and dependent on changes in water. Now the aboleth plan an offensive based on sallies and counter-attacks hidden under the illithid.
- The cultivation of failed servitors (or skum in Deep Speech) has given the aboleth a new weapon, while their fragility poses little threat to illithids, those approaching the lake-cities risk annihilation or aboleth control as they drive their former victims before them. The mere presence of skum has served to break sieges as their psychic dissonance enhances slime mage attacks.
- Water archons have been recruited to the aboleth cause by invocations and portals to the Elemental Chaos and their presence presents the illithids with an unappetising problem. The water archons can strike and retreat where there is water, cutting a swathe through massed illithid thralls and pulling them down to their doom.
- Worse still, the aboleth have encouraged Dagon cults among some kuo-toa and these have led to devastating attacks on illithid thrall strongholds. The aboleth help them by summoning kazrith demons whose hit-and-run attacks and tunnelling under key structures causes mayhem in thrall settlements. Punitive raids by the illithids are frustrated by the supremacy of the kuo-toa in their environment.
- Bladerager trolls were created to destroy aboleth slaves and to sacrifice against the aboleth who lurk in the shallows. Illithid-made bladeragers often display razor-edged crystals as well as broken blades and spikes and spear-heads taken from captives or thrall-forged. The bladeragers are often transported in chains and loosed upon their intended enemies with devastating results.
- The presence of a maw of Acamar amid some illithid raiders has provoked alarm among those few survivors; that some illithid scholar turned to a star pact for power is no surprise. That the maw of Acamar appears to tolerate the illithid instead of just consuming them and their thralls worries many right-thinking individuals - if such terrible power can be harnessed against the aboleth, who is safe?
Both sides are threatened by the duergar; vengeful former slaves of the illithid now loyal servants of the Nine Hells who have learned from their illithid captors. The duergar are set against both sides but will make certain the illithid suffer since they are often in direct competition with the mind flayers and more than a few grudges have been passed down through duergar tradition. The appearance of demonic allies among the aboleth has made them a target as well yet the duergar are smarter than to fight a war on two fronts.
The neogi have also escaped servitude under the illithid and intend to avoid that fate once more. As a result they will trade with anyone including allies from both sides. The slave markets are visited by both drow and kuo-toa; yet the neogi keep their customers at arms length while subtly sabotaging illithid expansion by a combination of proxies, treachery and magic. On one thing everyone agrees, the neogi cannot be trusted.