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The ecolo gy of the ixitxachitl


by Ed Greenwood
From the Ramblings, Volume { of the
sage Nenemith:

A curious creature indeed, the ixitxachitl.


Found in colonies of sometimes as manv as
a hundred or more in shallow, tropical seas,
ixitxachitl typically lair in well-concealed
grottos or tunnels in the midst of coral reefs.
They worship the Prince of Demons, De-
mogorgon, and from him gain the use of
clerical spells, with some creatures rising in
ability to the equal of a patriarch
Although they are very seldom encoun_
tered by humans and humanoids who travel
in or on the seas, the ixitxachitl are a nu_
merous race and rule large areas olthe
coastal salt waters ofo,rr world, relying on
their aggressive nature and their m"gial
powers to build an undersea empire f
sorts.

mented occasion a dragon turtle. The


- from
creatures range far their lairs in search
offood, and often battle sahuagin, locathah,
and especially tritons and mermen. The
superior organization and tactics of these

our world, they have all but eradicated


aquatic elves in warm seas, and the tritons
',ave largey found
it easier to make their
bodes in deeper waters, and only venture
in armed bands into shallower u..u. u
result of ixitxachitl activities therein. ^.
Because of the enmity between Orcus and
Demogorgon, intelligent marine undead

"recruits" for their armies, by use of the


an.imate dead spell, but are unable to magi_
caly contro or influence undead be.aus."
the influence of Orcus against them offers
too much resistance.
In batte, ixjtxachitl swoop rapidly at
opponents from opposing directions and
lev-els, seeking to confuse prey by striking
at
it from two or more sides at once. In this
led by any ixitxa-
ed "vampire"
and personally
influential indi-
viduals in ixitxachitl society.i The most

24 Mny lga
powerfully endowed of the servants of De- the mcnrbers ol an ixitxachitl colony to- Sometimcs ixitxachitl will cooperate with
mogorgon (which are the social leaders of sethe and keeps them, as a group, strongly other aquatic creatures such as sea hags, or.
ixitxachitl society) hang back until the loyal to Dernogolgon In fact, it is said (by even sahuagin or locathah, for mutual gain,
single most powerful opponents are identi- those who should know) that ixitxachitl as a and have been known to hire or train crea-
fed, whereupon they attack with spells
*
species are more ferve ntly attached to De- tures (such as sea lions) to work for them.
These powerful spell-users typically swoop mogorgon's wishes and aims than any othcr Sharks can seldom be thus used by rheir
together with two or more other ixitxachitl, species of creature on this plane of existence cousins the ixitxachit, for sahuagin have
so that the target will find it difficult to we occupy. long employed sharks in their battles
escape their attacks. Vampiric ixitxachitl are more feared by against the rays, and sharks seem to have
Sometimes ixitxachitl burrow into other creatures than even the most powerful acquired a dislike for the "dark rays"
bottom-sand, leaving only their eyes uncov- of the non-vampiric ixitxachitl leaders, - or
perhaps they merely recall ixitxachitl flesh
ered, to escape dangerous foes; but more because of their lethal bite which saps a as tasty.
often they do this to lie in wait for speedy victim's very life force, and because of their More details of ixitxachitl life are few, not
prey, which they then ambush. ability to heal wounds that they suffer On well documented, and understandably
In a manner simiar to the way that very rare occasions, vampiric ixitxachitl difficult to augment, but research on this
sharks do, ixitxachitl can sense vibrations become leaders or lieutenants of a colon subject, notably by my esteemed colleagues
for great distances underwater, by means of and such creatures are said by many to be Ramazith, of Baldur's Gate, and Alauthym.
receptors on their backs and tails the the most dangerous undersea denizens of of the Moonshae Isles, continues.
-
shock waves of explosions, lor instance, thei r size.8
they can "hear" from miles away.' They Fiercely independent, ixitxachitl cannot Notes
have a form of speech by which they can be subdued and will fight to the death ifnot 1. Ixitxachitl gain spell bonuses for wis-
communicate openly with one another, and stunned or otherwise immobilized. They are dom just as clerical spell-casters of other
with some sahuagin that have learned at fearless in behavior (but not reckless or races do, and can use any magic items not
least the rudiments of their strange tongue. imprudent), cunning in battle, and prone to specifically prohibited to clerics that can be
nd those ixitxachitl with access to the collect treasure ol all sorts, to bargain with worn and operated without hands. Most
proper spells can also communicate magi- and in hopes of finding items of magic, such items either have, or can be modified
cally with other creatures Ixitxachitl have a which the leaders take possession of. They to operate through, mental commands
second form of language that they use value most highly those magic items which rather than audible command words. An
among themselves (and with some other they can employ; ixitxachitl have been seen opponent using ESP could learn such com-
marine creatures, such as sahuagin), which wearing rings on their tails and wielding mands from the mind of an ixitxachitl while
is best descrbed as "touch-telepathy." This rods, staves, and the like that they hold in the commands were actually being made,
is a form of limited mental exchange possi- their clenched jaws If they come across but not at any other time, since the com-
ble only between creatures the ixitxachitl items of magic that they cannot themselves mands would not then be part of the con-
are actually touching, usually with their use, they will hide them away, to keep them scious surface thoughts of the creature.
tails. Groups of ixitxachit sometimes swim from the grasp of other creatures and possi- Note also that ixitxachitl can employ their
in "stacks," fins beating in unison, one atop bly to use as a bargaining tool clerical spell powers without components of
another, belly to back. This is believed to be
a form of this mental communication (trans-
mitting emotions or general thoughts), and
not mating or courting behavior. I I 5 I
The "devil rays" (as they are sometimes
mistakenly called) all appear externally
identical to other creatures, but ixitxachitl
can apparently distinguish sexes and indi- 3
viduals readily at a distance. Each creature
6
mates once a yea\ at varying times (there
are no "seasons" as we know them beneath
re surface of the tropical seas). The process
is initiated by a female, which chooses
son',etimes aggressively
-
a male partner.
SURVIVAL FORCE 25mms 4S I
-
By this method, some sages argue, the
Blister Packed in Groups of 3
females deliberately attempr to breed to
improve the race.6
Cer(ain ixitxachitl continue ro gruw in
SF.I MERCENARY SURVIVORS I $3OO

strength and power upon becoming adults. SFIA MERCENARY SURVIVORS II $3OO
It is from this group that a colony's leaders SFt MUTANTS & HUI{ANOIDS I $3oo
and decision-makers come but only those
-
that are accepted by their fellows
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lowed to live long enough to attain this SF3 SP FORCES MILITARY I $3OO 6
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unsatisfactorf by whatever standards the
ixitxachitl use (perhaps disrespect or disloy- St4 KILLER KID & cUN MOLLS $3oo
altv for Demosorgon is a factor), are set SF5 WARRIORS OF THE
upon by the group and slain before they
ll;nt' a chance to force themselves into
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thc same time, this process seems to help Columbus, Ohio 43299
rnsure thc unity of purpose that
binds

DRAGoN 25
any sort (althougF. verbal andlor somaric 3 Nenemith refers to them as ,,so-called,, and seem to be able to smel other crcatures
components may well be part of some rit_ vampires because this variety of ixitxachitl at a distance of 1 " or less. Thev can smell
uals); these spell powers are considered
blood, lamp oil, or other foreign substances
rnnate once they are bestowed by Demo-
released into the water at up to 4,,distant
gorgon, and do nor need ro be triggered by
from the source, depending upon warer
an external object or force However, ,'in-
currents. The norma, color-sensitr,e r,sion
nate" does not mean unlimited; as with
of an ixitxachitl exrends to rhe limit of com-
normal clerics, ixitxachitl can use each of
parable (average) human vjsion in the same
their spells no more frequently than once ster Manual: level draining and regenera_ crrcumstances, being governed by u,ater
per day. tion. They do not assume gaseous (o, urry conditions
other) form, and they do not infect their - in pitch darkness, or the murk
of disturbed sedimenrs, visibility can be
2. Any ixitxachitl with the spel ability of victims with vampirism. In an environment reduced to zero, and it can range up to half
a Sth-level cleric (or higher) can use ani- that is already watery it is reasonable to a mile or more in clea calm water lit by a
mate dead and will prefer to do so upon assume that they are not affected by holy
creatures ofits own type. Ixitxachitl do not
bright sun.
wate since the holy water cannot be
have skeletons like humans, humanoids, "splashed" on them; if an attacker reeases
and other higher vertebrates do; their
6 The life cyce of ixitxachitl is still
hoy water in the vicinity of a vampiric poorly understood, but can bc summarizerJ
"bones" are unconnected pieces ofcartilage ixitxachitl, the fluid woud disperse inro the as follows: Six months after mating, a fc-
that cannot be animated like a human skele- surrounding sea water and be diluted im_ mae gives birth to a singe young, of 1-l
ton can be. The bodies ofdead ixitxachitl mediately anyway.
can be animated as zombies, however; these
HD. Ir is born in ful conrrol ol its phvsical
facuties (including regeneration, if it is
creatures have AC 7 , MV 6",2 HD, and 4.If an attacking ixitxachitl employs a
e normal 3-12 bite damage. These zom- vampiric), but does not acquire spel ablity
touclr-effect spell (such as cause light (or level-draining ability, if vampirc) until
oies do not have cleric spell ability and wounds), the spell will only take effect if a
cannot employ magic items or take indepen_ reaching adulr sizc in I -3 monrhs thercafrer,
normal bite attack succeeds. If the bite The speed with which ir srows to maturiry
dent action of any sort; their principal attack does not hit, the cause wounds spell
function is to add numbers to an ixitxachit depends upon available footJl a young ixii-
(or whatever) is not dissipated ancl remains xachitl in a reativcy smal coony with an
attacking force. As specified in the animate "stored up" until a hit is scoreci. Once an adequate food suppy will mature (l*1 or
dead spell description, these zombies are ixitxachitl has decided to usc such a spel, 2*2 HD and full porl,ers) in 1 monrh. In-
subject to the commands of the ixitxachitl its effects will be felt by the first eligible creases in spcll capabiity and hit djce, lor
that cast the spell
have any other power- but ixitxachitl do not
over undead of any
victim; the creature cannot withhod the those rare individuals able to attain them,
spell when ir does score a hit, with the in- come at the rate of 1 level of spell use evcrv
sort. Ixitxachitl zombies can be turned or tent ofusing it against a different rarget in a six monrhs and/or I hir die every ycar
destroyed by other clerics as usual, and any latcr attack.
cleric attempting to affect them gets a *1 thereafter, so that it takes an adcitional
bonus to the die roll for turning. three years for a leader type (Bth level spel
5. Ixitxachitl also have 9,, infravision ability, 4,4 HD) to reach ful maturitv. The

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characteristics that produce vampiric or (B.B HD, Bth-level clcric spell abiliry, and C As noted in the Monster Manual,
lcader-type ixitxachitl are apparently nor usually wcaring or possessine at least onc ixitxachitl usc "evil clerical spells " Follow-
hcredirary (else there would be greater type U magic item, as per rhe Monsrcr ing is a suggcstcd ist of spells lrom which to
abundance of such creatures), but are Manua). If a colony conrains at least B0 choose, including some which ae reversed
passed on randomly and infrequently. Most individuals, one or two of them will be forms of "eood" spells:
ixirxachitl live for 30 years or so, but some guard types with vampiric powers (6.6 HD, lst level 2nd level
are known to have livcd for 10 times that 6th-level cleric spell ability), bur the leader 1 Cause far Chant
long, of the group will stil be "ony" a normal 2 Cause l. w Find traps
(non-vampiric) ixitxachitl with 4.4 HD and 3 Curse Hold person
7. All ixitxachitl have an appreciation Bth-level spell ability 4 Darkness Silence 15'r.
(partly inborn, partly learned) for their 5 Detect good Speak w/animals
race's allegiance to Demogorgon Each of Appendix 6 Detect maeic Spiritual hammer
them has at least thc spel ability of a 1st- A. The suggested experience point values 7 Prot. from good
level cleric, and rhcv give Demoeorgon full lor ixitxachitl, as given in Appendix E of B Putrefy food & drink
credit for endowing thcm with this special the Dungeon Masters Guide, can be
power Their actions wll be governed by amended and expanded as follows if more 3rd level 4th Level
l)emogorgon's wishes and orders
-
or what detail is desired or needed. In these calcula- 1 Animate dead Cause s. w
the ixitxachitl believe these to be They are tions, the use of minor spels (1st, 2nd, or 2 Bestow curse Poison
oblivious to fear (of the non-magical sort) 3rd level cleric ability) and the abiity of 3 Cause blindness Prot f. good 10' r.
and fanatical, but not personallv foolhardy. regeneration are counted as specia,l abilities. 4 Cause disease Tngues
Those that attain higher evels of spell abil- The use of major spells (5th, 6th, or Bth 5 Continual darkness
ity prefer to let lesser ixitxachitl do the dirty level cleric ability) and the ability ofenergy 6 Dispel magic
work and perish, should matters come to level drain are exceptional abilities.
- instead of themselves.
that
- These special Max. cleric D In the vast majority of cases, ixitxa-
ypes will always "run away to fight anorher HD spell ability XP value chitl make saving throws as clerics The
day" rather than impetuously put their lives Normal ixitxachitl: only exceptions to this are for creatures of
on the line, and they often pass grudges on 1r1 lst 28,2/hp 4'4 HD or more, when a save vs. breath
to young members of a colony, so that cer- 1.1 2nd 28,2/hp weapon is called for
tain individuals, heraldic devices, and types 1,1 3rd 2\-2/hp - and that doesn't
happen very often underwater. In those
of creatures will be recognized and attacked 1-1 5th 65r2lhp instances, the creatures save as fighters,
with particular savagery, or pursued tire- Leader types: since the saving throw vs that attack form
lessly, by encountered ixitxachitl. 3,3 6th 125'4/hp at the level in question is lower for fighters
4-4 Bth 165.5/hp than lor clerics. The appropriate saving
B. Whenever a colony of ixitxachitl con- Vampiric ixitxachitl: throws are as follows:
tains 100 or more individuals, one of rhem 2-2 1st 105.3/hp Level
will be a eader type wrth vampiric powers 2,2 2nd 120 - 3/hp HD for s.t Saving throws
2-2 3rd 120.3/hp 1*1 2nd 10 13 1+ 16 15
2-2 5th 160-3/hp 2r2 3rd 10 13 14 16 15
CAST YOUR OWN 6*6 6th 700-B/hp .) +.1 4th 9 12 13 15 1+

FANTASY FICURF,S
B.B Bth 1700-12/hp 4-+ 5th 9 12 13 13 1+
6.6 Bth 7 10 11 12 t2
B. As put forth in Note 1 above, ixitxa- B.B 10th 6 9 10 9 11
SPECIAL OFFER chitl with exceptional wisdom are entitled to
bonuses in the numbe r of cleric spells they E. Ixitxachitl cannot function or survive
can acquire and use. Those members of a in a waterless environment. As with other
coony that have high intelligence will pos- aquatic creatures, they can be effectively
sesswisdom scores ranging from 4-16 kept at bay 6y an airy water" spell or similar
(DMG, p.79), and any creature with wis- magic. Except under the conditions outlined
dom of 13 or higher will get at least one on page 75 of the DMG, they cannot hir
bonus spell (PH, p.11). Thus, a leader type characters or creatures able to be struck
with Bth level cleric spell ability and wisdom only by magic weapons.
of 16 would have spells usable amounting to
59 FATASY ARMIES
ve 1st level, five 2nd leve, three 3rd level, F. The generaly accepted pronunciation
and two 4th level spells. of the name is "ick-zi-sah-chittle." g

hm"# oRcs il
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DRAGoN 27