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In the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game, ixitxachitl (pronounced iks-it-chih-tull, although iks-it-ZATCH-i-til, ik-zit-zah-chih-tull, and ish-it-SHACH-itl are all used[1][2]) are a race of intelligent, aquatic beings that resemble small manta rays with barbed tails. They have an evil disposition and worship evil powers. They love to hunt marine humanoids, whom they then sacrifice or devour.

Publication history[]

Original Dungeons & Dragons (1974–1976)[]

The ixitxachitl first appeared in Dave Arneson's 1975 Blackmoor supplement, which described them as chaotic clerical philosophical creatures resembling manta rays with a flat, blanket-like form. The text also introduced the "vampiric" variant.[3]

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st edition (1977–1988)[]

The ixitxachitl appeared in first edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons in the original Monster Manual (1977).[4] The adventure C2 The Ghost Tower of Inverness (1979) includes an ixitxachitl lair encounter. The ixitxachitl was one of the creatures featured in Monster Cards Set II (1982). "The Ecology of the Ixitxachitl" by Ed Greenwood was printed in Dragon #85 (May 1984).[5]

Dungeons & Dragons (1977–1999)[]

The ixitxachitl appeared in the Dungeons & Dragons Master Rules set (1985),[6] and the Dungeons & Dragons Rules Cyclopedia (1991).[7]

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd edition (1989–1999)[]

The ixitxachitl appeared in second edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons in Monstrous Compendium Volume One (1989),[8] which was reprinted in the Monstrous Manual (1993) along with the vampiric ixitxachitl and the greater vampiric ixitxachitl.[9] The ixzan ixitxachitl appeared in Night Below: An Underdark Campaign (1995),[10] and reprinted in Monstrous Compendium Annual Volume Three (1996).[11]

Dungeons & Dragons 3rd edition (2000–2007)[]

In "Profiles" in Dragon #276 (October 2000), Skip Williams explains the decision not to include the creature in the third edition's Monster Manual: "And gone is the ixitxachitl. Not such a great monster, but I've always loved the name." The ixitxachitl and vampiric ixitxachitl appeared in the third edition Monster Manual II.[12] A vampiric ixitxachitl named Axihuatl, a priest of Demogorgon, is one of the main antagonists of an adventure outline in the book Elder Evils (2007).

Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition (2008–2014)[]

The ixitxachitl appears in the Demonomicon supplement (2010), including the Ixitxachitl Demon Ray and the Ixitxachitl Priest.

Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition (2014–present)[]

The ixitxachitl and vampiric ixitxachitl appeared in the fifth edition adventure module Out of the Abyss (2015).

Physical description[]

There are two main types of ixitxachitl, average and vampiric (the latter of whom are not undead, like humanoid vampires, but an ethnicity). Vampiric ixitxachitl are smaller than normal ixitxachitl and have energy drain and fast healing abilities, similar to vampires. Regardless of type, ixitxachitl are aggressive and tend to live for only a short time in an area, stripping it of plant and animal life while living there.


Ixitxachitls live in labyrinthine lairs carved by creatures they've enslaved, and groups of ixitxachitls are led by clerics or vampiric ixitxachitls, who keep others in line using intimidation. They are most often found in oceans, but they can also lair in rivers that run to the sea.

Once they've become established in an area, ixitxachitls wage war against other intelligent creatures that trespass. Those that they capture are used as slaves – including humanoids who have means that allow them to breathe underwater – and slaves can outnumber ixitxachitls two-to-one in large settlements.


Ixitxachitls often worship the demon prince Demogorgon.[13]

Use in campaign settings[]

Forgotten Realms[]

The ixitxachitl are one of many races described in the accessory Sea of Fallen Stars (1999). Drizzt Do'Urden's Guide to the Underdark (1999) covers ixitxachitl in great detail, as one of the nine main civilizations of the Underdark. Dungeon #79 (March 2000) has an adventure title "The Akriloth", which features an ixitxachitl city warring with a merfolk city. The adventure Cloak & Dagger (2000) features a rogue ixitxachitl priest named Vyqinak, who is transformed into a vampire. The ixzan appeared in Lost Empires of Faerûn (2005).[14]


According to Greyhawk Adventures (1988), ixitxachitl reside in the Turucambi reefs of the Oljatt Sea.


In the Mystara setting, ixitxachitl are known as devilfish. The Master Rules entry for devilfish is reprinted in the Dungeons & Dragons Rules Cyclopedia, and the 2nd Edition Monstrous Compendium Mystara Appendix (1994) confirms that "devilfish" is simply the Mystaran name for ixitxachitl.


The accessory Children of the Night: Vampires (1996) dedicates five pages to Myxitizajal, a greater vampiric ixitxachitl.

In other media[]

In the Spellfire collectible card game, card #55 of the Powers expansion set is an ixitxachitl.


  1. A pronunciation guide for the Sahuagin and Ixitchitchitl
  2. Dungeons & Dragons FAQ
  3. Arneson, Dave. Blackmoor (TSR, 1975)
  4. Gygax, Gary. Monster Manual (TSR, 1977)
  5. Greenwood, Ed. "The Ecology of the Ixitxachitl." Dragon #85 (TSR, 1984)
  6. Gygax, Gary, Frank Mentzer. Dungeons & Dragons Set 4: Master Rules (TSR, 1985)
  7. Allston, Aaron, Steven E. Schend, Jon Pickens, and Dori Watry. Dungeons & Dragons Rules Cyclopedia (TSR, 1991)
  8. Cook, David, et al. Monstrous Compendium Volume One (TSR, 1989)
  9. Stewart, Doug, ed. Monstrous Manual (TSR, 1993)
  10. Sargent, Carl. Night Below: An Underdark Campaign (TSR, 1995)
  11. Pickens, Jon, ed. Monstrous Compendium Annual Volume Three (TSR, 1996)
  12. Bonny, Ed, Jeff Grubb, Rich Redman, Skip Williams, and Steve Winter. Monster Manual II (Wizards of the Coast, 2002)
  13. Sargent, Carl. Monster Mythology (TSR, 1992)
  14. Stout, Travis. Lost Empires of Faerûn. Wizards of the Coast, 2005