|A xvart, as depicted in Dragon #339 (2006). Art by Steve Ellis.|
|Alignment||Usually chaotic evil|
|First appearance||White Dwarf #9 (1978)|
A xvart is small humanoid creature.
Xvarts are a cruel, cowardly race that occupy a place in humanoid society somewhere between goblins and kobolds. They often act as intermediaries between kobolds and goblins, usually dominating and taking their aggression on the kobolds.
Rats and bats help guard their camps. Xvarts will often ally themselves with wererats, helping to shelter the shapeshifters and aid them in their schemes. Xvarts who become infected with the wererat curse are greatly respected among their kind. Some xvart tribes ally themselves with goblins, although they avoid worgs, which will eagerly eat a xvart's pet rat.
Xvarts live in hilly, cavernous regions, in caves or remote forests. Xvarts are found in the Bandit Kingdoms, the Bone March, the old lands of the Horned Society, the Pomarj, the lands surrounding Verbobonc, and the eastern Vesve Forest.
Typical physical characteristics
Xvarts are blue-skinned humanoids with vivid orange eyes and receded hairlines. They are 3 feet (0.9 m) tall and usually wear loose cloth doublets.
Xvarts are usually chaotic evil.
Xvarts live in tribes led by the strongest and cleverest member. They prefer to hunt for their food, but will steal livestock or crops from human farms if hunting goes poorly. They rarely risk violent raids unless a powerful leader or cause unites them.
Although weak individually, they are extremely prolific, and are almost always encountered in large groups.
Xvarts worship Raxivort, a xvart from Oerth who achieved his godhood after betraying his former master, the demon lord Graz'zt. Raxivort teaches that the xvarts will one day rule all the small creatures of the world, using fire and the sword as tools to this end.
Xvarts speak Goblin. The more intelligent xvarts also speak the kobold dialect of Draconic.
In the 4th edition Monster Manual 3, xvarts (called "xivorts" in that book) are said to have been originally gnomes enslaved and experimented on by the fomorians. They escaped to the Plane of Shadow thanks to a pact with a coven of hags, where they mutated further, their skin becoming deep blue in order to blend better with the shadows of the plane. Since then, many have spread back to the Feywild and the Prime Material Plane.
The xvart, originally spelled "svart," was created by Cricky Hitchcock and first appeared in White Dwarf Magazine #9. It is probably inspired by the svartálfar of Norse mythology.
The xvart, created by Cricky Hitchcock, first appeared as the "svart" in White Dwarf #9 (October 1978).
The xvart first appeared under its current name in the first edition in the original Fiend Folio (1981). In the article "Hey, Wanna Be a Kobold?" by Joseph Clay in Dragon #141 (January 1989), kobolds, xvarts, goblins, and orcs were presented as player character races along with two new character classes the "Shaman" and the "Witch Doctor". In 1983, Xvarts appeared in the adventure module, The Sentinel, by Graeme Morris.
The xvart's first second edition appearance was in the Monstrous Compendium Fiend Folio Appendix in 1992.
The xvart made its third edition debut in Living Greyhawk Journal #1 (September 2000), in "Enchiridion of the Fiend Sage." Xvarts played a key role in the RPGA Living Greyhawk adventures River of Blood (2000) by Erik Mona and Dragon Scales at Morningtide (2000) by Sean K. Reynolds. The xvart later appeared in Dragon #339 (January 2006), where it was also presented as a playable character race.
The xivort appeared in fourth edition in the Monster Manual 3 (2010).
- Clay, Joseph. "Hey, Wanna Be a Kobold?" Dragon #141. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, 1989.
- Hitchcock, Cricky. "Fiend Factory." White Dwarf #9. Games Workshop, 1978.
- Holian, Gary, Erik Mona, Sean K. Reynolds, and Frederick Weining. Living Greyhawk Gazetteer. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 2000.
- Mearls, Mike, Greg Bilsland, and Robert J. Schwalb. Monster Manual 3. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 2010.
- Reynolds, Sean K. "Creature Catalog IV: Campaign Classics." Dragon #339. Bellevue, WA: Paizo Publishing, 2006.
- -----. Dragon Scales at Morningtide. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 2000.
- -----. "Enchiridion of the Fiend Sage." Living Greyhawk Journal #1. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 2000.
- Turnbull, Don, ed. Fiend Folio. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, 1981.
- Williams, Skip, et al. Monstrous Compendium Fiend Folio Appendix. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, 1992.