Ilxendren was originally introduced in the 2nd Edition boxed-set adventure Night Below, along with the subterranean fresh water variant of the ixitxachitl, the ixzan. To a certain extant, Ilxendren represents the most dangerous threat to Demogorgon’s mortal power base, for unlike that tanar’ri power, Ilxendren shares many traits and elements with the devil fish themselves.
Ilxendren (PDF Version)
(The Demonray, the Great Ray, the Dark Ray)
Lesser Power of the Abyss, CE
Portfolio: Cruelty, mutation, vampirism, revenge
Domain Name: 207th Layer/Lake of Shadows
Allies: Blibdoolpoolp, Istishia, Piscaethces
Foes: Callarduran Smoothhands, Dagon, Deep Sashelas, Demogorgon, Eadro, Eldath, Ilsensine, Panzuriel, Persana, Psilofyr, Trishina, Umberlee, the dwarven and gnomish pantheons, the drow pantheon
Symbol: Glowing red almond-shaped eyes and blue barbed tail or blue, barbed manta tail on a black manta shape with two glowing red almond-shaped eyes on its wings
Wor. Align.: LE, NE, CE
Little is known about the Demonray Ilxendren (ill-KSEN-dren) prior to his revelation to the ixzan, freshwater relatives of the ixitxachitl. He is a fell being who dwells within a shadowy, noisome lake in the Abyss, surrounded by devil fish as he hunts prey careless enough to enter his domain. His cruelty is surpassed only by his arrogance, and he instills these traits in his followers, encouraging them to kill and slaughter in his name.
Ilxendren’s history is mysterious, with no recorded mention of his existence or worship prior to a millennium past. His alliance and deference to Piscaethces the Blood Queen has led to some speculation that he may have been elevated to godhood through her actions, although his connection to Blibdoolpoolp may represent a similar action from that deity of kuo-toa. His lack of involvement in the Blood War, and his alliance with a power of Baator makes an origin among the tanar’ri unlikely; most sages lend credence to the view that he was once a greater vampiric ixzan, regardless of how he actually achieved his divine status. His hatred of a number of tanar’ri powers has given rise to the belief he felt betrayed by one of them in some way prior to his ascension.
Outside of his alliances with Piscaethces and Blibdoolpoolp, Ilxendren has no known allies. He keeps himself isolated from most other beings, swimming through his dark lake in the Abyss and hunting any creatures other than devil fish he finds in the waters. He holds great hatred for the likes of Demogorgon and Dagon, seeking to subvert their worshipers among the ixzan and ixitxachitl as a means of revenge for some unknown wrong. He has so far been mostly successful with the ixzan, but has had only limited success with the more populous and less isolated ixitxachitl. Once the Dark Ray’s faith takes hold in an ixzan community, the orthodoxy holds that they are the creation of Ilxendren, and any who dispute this are branded dangerous heretics and hunted down, regardless of the actual truth of the matter. Such tactics have generally failed when attempted within ixitxachitl communities.
Ilxendren is a very active power, often communicative his will directly to his followers using visions and empathic feelings. He enjoys sending avatars to the prime material plane to engage in wanton cruelty, even occasionally gathering a group of vampiric or mutant devil fish to follow him on marauding attacks on newly discovered settlements and communities. More often, however, he will appear and wreak havoc on a community of devil fish as punishment for their lack of aggressive action, or just to enjoy the capriciousness of the act. Such attacks rarely destroy the communities, and are commonly seen as a culling of the weak. An added benefit is that such attacks typically elevate a handful of members to vampiric or mutant status.
Ilxendren’s Avatar (Wizard 28, Fighter 22, Priest 18)
Ilxendren appears as an enormous manta-like ray with a long, barbed, blue-tipped tail. His almond-shaped eyes burn with an internal red flame and his mouth is filled with razor-sharp teeth. His tough, rubbery skin is thick and covered in bony protrusions along his spine. He uses spells from the schools of abjuration, alteration, invocation/evocation, and necromancy, and the spheres of all, chaos, charm, combat, divination, elemental earth, elemental water, healing, necromantic, protection, sun, and weather.
AC 0; MV 3, Sw 24; HP 171; THAC0 −1; #AT 4
Dmg 4d4×2/2d6 + special ×2 (bite/tail)
MR 25%; SZ H (15-25 foot wingspan)
Str 18/50, Dex 17, Con 18, Int 19, Wis 18, Cha 16
Spells P: 10/10/9/9/6/4/2, W: 6/6/6/6/6/6/6/6/6
Saves PPDM 3; RSW 3; PP 4; BW 4; Sp 4
Special Att/Def: On a successful bite, the Dark Ray drains two energy levels from a creature with no saving throw allowed to avoid the effect. Any creature struck by his tail must make a saving throw versus poison; if the check is failed, the target suffers an additional 2d8 points of damage. While he is able to attack different targets with his bite and tail, he cannot split up his two bites or tail attacks between different targets. His tail and body are flexible enough to strike creatures anywhere within melee range of his body. He can forgo his tail attacks once per day to fire 1d6+6 barbs at a single creature. These barbs deal 1d6 points of damage. Any creatures struck must make a saving throw versus poison take an additional 1d6 points of damage.
Once per day, Ilxendren can cast cone of cold, enervation, ice storm, and wall of ice. He can levitate himself for 1d6+4 rounds every turn if he desires, and breathes both air and water. Ilxendren can summon a 16-HD water elemental once per day. The elemental has maximum hit points, and serves him unconditionally for 6 turns.
Ilxendren is immune to poisons and nonmagical weapons and suffers half damage from all bludgeoning attacks and all cold attacks. He gains a +4 bonus to all saving throws against illusion/phantasm spells, as well as spells of elemental earth and water. However, he is vulnerable to fire, and suffers a −2 penalty to his saving throws against such attacks.
Ilxendren favors manifesting his power as a whip-like sting of water, dealing the same damage and poison chance as his avatar’s tail attack. He can strike any creature in a large body of water, as well as any creature within five feet of the surface of such a body of water. He is also able to manifest as a cone of cold, ice storm, Otiluke’s freezing sphere, or wall of ice if he so desires. Finally, he can grant random mutations in any non-spellcasting ixzan that especially please him, and can confer vampirism or, very rarely, greater vampirism, upon any ixzan or ixitxachitl he desires.
Ilxendren is served by all varieties of carnivorous rays, skates, and fish, except sharks, as well as dragon turtles, hezrou tanar’ri, quasits, strangleweed, vardig, wastrilith tanar’ri, water elementals, water mephits, and water weirds. He does not express his favor through the discovery of any particular objects, but his displeasure can be seen in sudden destruction of major coral colonies and deep icy chills that flow through the water surrounding a follower.
Clergy: Specialty priests, wizards
Clergy’s Align.: CE
Turn Undead: SP: No; W: No
Cmnd. Undead: SP: Yes, at level −4; W: No
All specialty priests (including specialty priest/wizards) of Ilxendren receive religion (ixitxachitl) as a bonus nonweapon proficiency.
Beyond the underdark enclaves of the ixzan, the Church of Ilxendren is little known. Ixzan society is theocratic, with the precepts of the Demonray’s faith governing interactions among ixzan and with outside forces. Most ixzan nations are governed by oligarchies composed of powerful priestly, wizardly, and vampiric individuals, although it is not uncommon to find a community dominated by a single priest of exceptional power. Over the last half millennia or so, Ilxendren has been actively expanding into ixitxachitl society, having successfully converted many of that race’s nations to his faith. Most still favor demonic powers, as do a scattered selection of isolated ixzan communities, but the Demon Ray’s clergy teaches that such heretics must be destroyed if they refuse to convert. Ilxendren’s faith is on good terms with both the kuo-toa of Blibdoolpoolp and aboleths of Piscaethces the Blood Queen. While they are usually the junior partners of ixzan-aboleth alliances, while they dominate the kuo-toa, assisting them with magic while the gogglers take the majority of any risk. Outside of these relations, the ixzan of Ilxendren harbors no specific animosity towards any other faith; they ally or battle others as needed. By contrast, the ixitxachitl who follow the Demon Ray still harbor their strong racial animus towards all other oceanic races, and rarely ally with any. They believe it is their manifest destiny to destroy or dominate any other races beneath the waves. That said, they may still ally themselves with other evil creatures for a period, but such alliances are temporary and likely to be betrayed as soon as an appropriate opportunity presents itself.
Temples dedicated to Ilxendren are most often submerged step pyramids built of black or white stone using slave labor. These great buildings are usually at least 100 feet tall, with at least four layers to them. They usually don’t have stairs to the peaks like other buildings of these types do, unless the Ilxendrenar priests have a significant population of slaves who need them. In some locations, especially shallow underdark lakes, the tops of the pyramids may rise above the surface, although this is generally uncommon, and only occurs when the community can get a significant amount of non-aquatic slaves. Very rarely, the Ilxendrenar clergy will construct a floating island temple that consists of an inverted pyramid below the surface of the water, with a smaller ziggurat rising into the air from the wide base. All such temples are hollow and contain multiple chambers of living quarters for the clergy and storage rooms for holy relics, based around a central cylindrical shaft that opens on the top of the ziggurat, allowing access to the interior. At least one subterranean escape route will always exist, with the exit well concealed hundreds of yards away from the pyramid and the tunnels trapped against intruders.
Novices in the service of Ilxendren are known as the Untempered. Full priests of the Demon Ray are known as Holy Fanged Ones. Collectively, the clergy of Ilxendren are called the Vitanarate. In ascending order of rank, the titles used in the Church of Ilxendren are Vir, Vinar, Devinar, Vitan, Devitan, and Vitanar. There are no higher titles than Vitanar, which is used by the highest religious authority in the hierarchy. Vitan is typically the highest rank non-vampiric clergy can attain, and usually only greater vampires can become the Vitanar. Specialty priests of Ilxendren are called darkrays. Only a small number of Ilxendren’s clergy are priest/wizards (8%), with the vast remainder being single-classed specialty priests (90%). A tiny number of wizards (2%) manage to muscle their way into the hierarchy, usually by being powerful enough that the priests can’t stop them easily. The clergy is fairly evenly divided between males (52%) and females (48%), although ixitxachitls tend to be weighted more towards males. Ixzan and ixitxachitl communities do not commingle except when proselytizing to the unconverted; otherwise each race considers itself the true breed of devil fish. The majority of Ilxendren’s priesthood is ixzan (85%), although the ixitxachitls (15%) are a growing portion. Only 3% of the clergy are vampiric, and mutant ixzan may only become members of the priesthood in certain communities that allow it.
Dogma: Terror and fear are the tools of power. Use them to weaken and destroy your enemies, and dominate your environment. Take slaves of the weaker races and use them to build great works to honor the Demon Ray. Teach other creatures of the superiority of the Children of Ilxendren through pain and torture. Plot to visit revenge on those who have harmed you. Take pleasure in their pain and revel in your success. The Blessed of Ilxendren are known by their unique features; they are the elite stingers of the Demon Ray. The immortal life-drainers are holy ones, and it is their right to rule.
Day-to-Day Activities: Faithful of Ilxendren spend their days much as other devilfish do, by plotting against their political and social rivals in order to undermine their power and enhance their own. The more powerful a member of Ilxendren’s clergy becomes, the more they rely on minions and spies to gather information and plant rumors, and they strictly enforce loyalty by executing traitors. When not politicking, they favor religious or magical study and experimentation in order to better hone their skills. In some communities, the clergy oversees a wide variety of non-priestly duties and roles, which they aim to perform with brutal efficiency.
Important Ceremonies/Holy Days: The Church of Ilxendren has no regular holy days, but worship of the Demon Ray infuses many aspects of their life. The installation of a new leader is always cause to celebrate, with feasts of slaves common among the well-to-do members of the community. Such feasts inevitably become an orgy of violence as living slaves are brought into the dining chambers and the devil fish get drawn into a feeding frenzy. Followers of Ilxendren feel that the greater the terror felt by their victims, the greater the blessing the Demon Ray will visit on their community. Sacrifices are most often drawn from the greatest rival or enemy the community faces; aboleths are never the victims, and kuo-toa are only sacrificed if the devil fish believe it won’t get back to the goggler communities.
Major Centers of Worship: Beneath the Marching Mountains north of Calimshan on the world of Toril, lies the Ziggurat of the Abyss, within the ixzan city of Malydren. This temple is the heart of the city, dominated by the Vitanar Zekaqux Netherhaunt. As part of the ruling oligarchy known as the Xendreth, he directs the activities of the city with the seven other members of the council. The primary balance of power in the city is divided between Zekaqux Netherhaunt and the greater vampiric wizard Phiaqiv the Lifeleech, who dominate the council; however, at his appearance in Malydren during the Time of Troubles, Ilxendren raised another ixzan to greater vampiric status. This individual, known as the Ghost Ray, has hidden himself from the others, and it is unknown how his existence will affect the power structure in the city. Of special note is that, unlike most ixzan communities, mutants in Malydren are able to become both priests and wizards; it is likely this is a special boon granted by the Demon Ray when he first appeared in the city centuries ago and elevated Zekaqux and Phiaqiv to greater vampiric status.
Along the shallows of the Turmish coast in the Sea of Fallen Stars on Toril lies a theocratic nation of ixitxachitl that embraced the Word of Ilxendren in 875 DR. This nation, known as the Xedren Reefs, consists of a number of holy cities constructed in caverns beneath sea elven ruins, and all are subservient to the Vitanar in Xedras. Every one hundred years, the Vitanar is required to step down if the ixitxachitl haven’t dominated their neighbors and their Vitanar Guard are sent off to their death. However, the head of the last honor guard chose not to sacrifice himself; instead Qyxas has led a small group of followers to create a schism in Ilxendren’s church. His heterodox philosophy preaches that the ixitxachitls should learn all they can about their enemies, and destroy them from within, revealing the revenge only at the moment of their destruction.
Deep beneath the northern portion of the Nyr Dyv on Oerth is a great freshwater lake called the Deep Dyv. This lake is home to a thriving community of ixzan, based around the city of Oryxdren. Within this city lies the Inverted Maelstrom, a four-tiered ziggurat of just over 100 feet in height; the topmost layer just breaks the surface of the lake and features a large statue of Ilxendren surmounting it. The city is ruled by a council drawn from the heads of the ten guilds in the city, although the Master of Slaves, a vampiric ixzan wizard, and the Master of Shrines, the Vitanar Aphorix, wield the most power. Most of the other guilds are effectively subservient to one or the other, with the Masters of War and Breeding being the only ones with a modicum of independence.
Deep within the illithid world of Falx lies a large freshwater lake, well outside the normal travel and trade routes of the mind flayers. This lake, known as the Mistwash, is an unusually warm body of water, constantly shrouded in dense, low-lying fog, making navigation above the surface nearly impossible without aid. Below the waterline lies a large nation of ixzan, with at least three large cities and dozens of smaller settlements, built primarily with the slave labor of a large population of scrags. The capital and namesake of the nation is the city of Qzorvik, ruled by the Vitanar Izix from the temple of Ilxendren known as the Shadow Mount, a six-tiered ziggurat nearly breaching the water’s surface from a depth of 200 feet. When first discovered, the illithids attempted to enslave or eliminate the ixzan, but encountered far stiffer resistance than anticipated. Given the difficulty, and non-strategic location of the lake, the mind flayers chose to leave the devil fish to their own devices rather than waste more resources on them.
Unbeknownst to the humans of Frontier, a nation on Greela in Greyspace, the largest rock making up their nation is actually home to a small city of ixzan deep below the surface. How they got there is unknown, although their legends speak of a great whirlpool sent by Ilxendren which transported them to their current home. Ruled jointly by a mated pair of greater vampiric ixzan, this city has recently become aware of spelljamming when a scouting party discovered an unknown riverway that lead to a surface lake from which they happened to spot the passage of the Spelljammer itself. They returned to the city with news of this apparent sign from Ilxendren, and now plan how to gain access to the great ship.
Affiliated Orders: The Vitanar Guard is a small corps of a dozen or so vampiric priests of 6th level or higher who guard the Vitanar in autocratic Ilxendren theocracies. These vampiric devil fish are fanatically devoted to their Vitanar (Morale 18), and upon the death or replacement of the Vitanar, they leave their temple to make suicidal attacks on foes of their faith, attempting to take as many enemies into death as they can. Upon the succession of a new Vitanar, a new corps of Vitanar Guards are created from loyal underpriests, being transformed into vampires in the process.
Priestly Vestments: None. Ixzan and ixitxachitl priests do not need to use holy symbols to cast their spells and wear nothing to distinguish the priests from other members of their race.
Adventuring Garb: None.
Specialty Priests (Darkrays)
Requirements: Wisdom 13
Prime Req.: Wisdom
Weapons: Any (natural weapons typically used)
Major Spheres: All, chaos, charm, combat, elemental earth, elemental water, healing, necromantic (reversed only), protection, sun (reversed only)
Minor Spheres: Divination, weather
Magical Items: As clerics
Req. Profs: None
Bonus Profs: Intimidation (Strength or Charisma)
- Darkrays must be ixzan or ixitxachitl.
- Darkrays are allowed to multiclass as darkray/wizards.
- At 2nd level, darkrays can cast command (as the 1st-level priest spell) once per day.
- At 4th level, darkrays can cast charm person (as the 1st-level wizard spell) or cause light wounds (as the 1st-level priest spell) once per day. This cause wounds ability can be used at range, targeting a creature up to 30 feet away. An attack roll is still required, however.
- At 6th level, darkrays can cast watery fist or airswim (as the 2nd-level priest spells) once per day.
- At 8th level, darkrays can cast enervation (as the 4th-level wizard spell) once per day.
- At 10th level, darkrays can cast cause critical wounds (as the 5th-level priest spell) once per day at a target up to 30 feet away. A normal attack roll is still required to affect the target.
- At 12th level, darkrays can cast energy drain (as the reverse of the 7th-level priest spell restoration) once per day at a target up to 30 feet away. A normal attack roll is still required to affect the target.
Barbs of Ilxendren (Pr 1; Alteration)
Range: 30 yds.
Casting Time: 4
Area of Effect: 1 creature
Saving Throw: Special
With this spell, the caster is able to fire barbed darts from their tail, in a similar manner as some mutant ixzan. A total of 1d3+1 darts, plus one every three levels (to a maximum of 1d3+5 at 12th level) can be launched, and they all must target the same creature. A normal attack roll is required for each; those that hit deal 1d3 points of damage, and removing them deals an additional point of damage. The darts may be fired above or below water with no penalty. At 6th level, the caster may make the darts poisonous; a creature struck must make a saving throw versus poison or suffer an additional 1d6 points of damage. At 12th level, this poison can be made into a deadly variety; those failing a saving throw versus poison die immediately; a successful saving throw has no effect. In all cases, only one saving throw is required, regardless of how many darts hit.
Airswim (Pr 2; Alteration)
Sphere: Elemental (Air, Water)
Range: 10 yds.
Duration: 1 turn + 1 rd./level
Casting Time: 5
Area of Effect: 1 creature
Saving Throw: None
This spell allows the targeted creature to “swim” through the air as if it were water. The creature moves at their normal swimming movement rate, and winds are handled much as water currents are. This spell does not allow water-breathing creatures to breathe air, but they can converse normally, cast spells with verbal components and the like. Tools and equipment that require water to function are unaffected by this spell and do not function out of water.
Waves of Ice (Pr 3; Invocation/Evocation)
Sphere: Elemental Water
Range: 30 yds.
Casting Time: 6
Area of Effect: 1 creature
Saving Throw: Special
By means of this spell, the caster is able to send waves of freezing water towards a foe with a few flaps of its wings. These waves travel too quickly to freeze the water in transit, but upon contact with a solid object, they flash freeze the water. Targets suffer 1d4+2 points of damage, plus an additional 1d4+2 damage at every even level (to a maximum of 7d4+14 damage at 12th level). A successful saving throw vs. spells halves the damage, and allows the target to avoid the secondary freezing effect. Those who fail their save find their arms and torso bound tightly in ice. Bound creatures float towards the surface at a rate of 50 feet per round. While able to direct their direction of ascent with their feet, they are otherwise unable to move any significant distance. The ice encases creatures for one round per caster level before melting enough for the target to slip free; in addition, the creature bound may attempt a Strength check on the round following the binding with a −1 penalty to break free; checks may be made each round with a cumulative +1 bonus on every second round. Only Large creatures and smaller may be bound with this spell, but all suffer damage if targeted, regardless of size.