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Xvarts (pronounced: /zvɑːrtzzvartz[8] about this audio file listen), also known as Xivorts[2] or Svarts,[9] were a race of small blue humanoids.


Xvarts were relatively small, standing at around 3 feet (0.9 m). They had blue skin and large yellow eyes.[2] Xvarts often wore simple cloth doublets, preferring greens and blues.[4] Some xvarts had dark patches of hair, often receding.[5][2]


Xvarts were cowardly and easily intimidated.[4] They were of average intelligence.[4][5] Xvarts were generally hateful creatures.[10] Their short, miserable lives led them to despise most creatures and take out their angst on anyone and anything they could; but they particularly enjoyed tormenting larger creatures, in particular goliaths and half-orcs.[2]

However they enjoyed somewhat better relationships with gnomes and halflings, having been frequently recruited as spies and minions by evil members of those races.[2]


Xvarts were weak as individuals, so they often attacked in large groups. Ambush tactics were the xvarts preferred form of attack. They would often attack sleeping opponents if given the opportunity. Xvart raiding parties sometimes took prisoners to torture or hold for ransom.[4]

Commonly used xvart weapons were short swords, daggers, darts and nets.[2] Xvart "net casters" would try and restrain larger opponents allowing the blade wielding xvarts to swarm their opponent.[2][2]

Some xvarts were able to tap into a type of shadow magic which they used in combat as well as to protect their homes.[2] A small minority of xvarts had shaman powers[2][11] or were witch doctors.[11]


Xvarts were most likely to live in hills or caves. Tribes are often made up of around 100 xvarts. Each tribe had a leader and roughly 3 lieutenants.[4]

Xvarts had little interest in coins and currency. Making deals with xvarts often meant having to trade goods or services.[12]

While the males hunted and pillaged, the females would care for children and basically run the tribe. Xvarts were normally conceived in the spring and the autumn. Offspring were born in pairs and were cared for until they were around 7 years old. At this point they were considered adults and assumed their role in the tribe.[4]


Xvarts had no known formal religion, but the reference to xvart tribal shamans does indicate that they may have had some kind of spiritual beliefs.[5]

Interracial Relations[]

Xvarts were naturally drawn to shadow creatures. They were often used by evil gnomes or halflings as minions.[2]

Xvarts feared humans and would only attack groups of humans if they had a considerable numeric advantage.[4]

Xvarts considered themselves above kobolds in a racial hierarchy and would bully kobolds whenever possible.[4]

Xvarts had a hatred of large creatures like ogres and giants. They particularly loathed goliaths and half-orcs.[2][13]


Xvarts were once gnomes. They were captured by fomorians and enslaved in the Shadowdark. Over many generations the creatures were warped by fell magic and slowly began to adapt to their surroundings.[2]

As part of a bargain with a cabal of hags, a number of xvarts escaped the Shadowdark and slipped into the Shadowfell. This led to these xvarts becoming even more disfigured and unlike their gnome ancestors.[2]

Eventually many of the creatures found their way back into Toril and into the Feywild, though some are still slaves to the fomorians.[2]

Around 1479 DR,[note 1] a band of xvarts were brought to the sewers beneath Baldur's Gate from the Feywild by the gnome illusionist Rothryn Toth in order to pillage the city on his behalf. [7]

A population of xvarts had established a significant presence in a region of the Sword Coast near-south of Baldur's Gate in the decades after the Time of Troubles. There they established a village in the mountains west of Nashkel and carried out raids on local farmers, taking a particular interest in their cattle. They also allied themselves with a nearby population of gnolls and took up residence in a group of caves close to a fortress of theirs, providing troops to aid in its defense.[6]

Pawns of Raxivort?[]

In the 15th century DR, Volothamp Geddarm presented an alternative interpretation of Xvarts in his book Volo's Guide to Monsters.

In this tome, Volo asserted that xvarts are not a natural race, but rather magical clones of the lesser demon prince Raxivort created through the power of the Infinity Spindle. According to Volo's research, Raxivort had gained his powers through the artifact, but at the cost of angering his former master, Graz'zt. The vengeful demon prince had responded by letting it be known that Raxivort was the new bearer of the Infinity Spindle, thus making him a target for all entities that might desire the Spindle's power. Ever since then, Raxivort has lived a life of constant hiding and migration, creating colonies of xvarts to obfuscate attempts to divine his location.

It bears mentioning that Volo is known for his creative interpretations and willingness to take dramatic license, which makes this interpretation's accuracy a matter of some debate.


See Also[]


  1. The date stated here was determined by this process; The Rats in the Undercellar adventure describes xvarts to be living beneath Baldur's Gate. The adventure says to refer to Murder in Baldur's Gate for more information on the adventure's setting. The Murder in Baldur's Gate adventure is set after 1479 DR.


In older editions of D&D, Xvarts appeared in very few Realms-specific sources. This is probably partly because Ed Greenwood considered Xvarts to be redundant creatures with no unique or interesting characteristics.[14]


Dungeon #217, "Rats in the Undercellar"Dragon+ #12, "The Barber of Silverymoon"
Video Games
Baldur's Gate


External Links[]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Mike Mearls, et al. (November 2016). Volo's Guide to Monsters. Edited by Jeremy Crawford, et al. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 199–200. ISBN 978-0786966011.
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 2.19 2.20 2.21 Mike Mearls, Greg Bilsland and Robert J. Schwalb (June 15, 2010). Monster Manual 3 4th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 208. ISBN 0786954902.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Sean K. Reynolds (January 2006). “Creature Catalog IV: Campaign Classics”. In Erik Mona ed. Dragon #339 (Paizo Publishing, LLC), pp. 64–65.
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 4.12 4.13 4.14 4.15 Tim Beach, Donald J. Bingle, Al Boyce, Vince Garcia, Kris Hardinger, Steve Hardinger, Rob Nicholls, Wes Nicholson, Norm Ritchie, Greg Swedberg, and John Terra (1992). Monstrous Compendium Fiend Folio Appendix (MC14). (TSR, Inc). ISBN 1-56076-428-7.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Don Turnbull (1981). Fiend Folio. (TSR Hobbies), p. 96. ISBN 0-9356-9621-0.
  6. 6.0 6.1 BioWare (December 1998). Designed by James Ohlen. Baldur's Gate. Black Isle Studios.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Tim Eagon (August 2013). “Rats in the Undercellar”. Dungeon #217 (WOTC).
  8. Frank Mentzer (January 1985). “Ay pronunseeAYshun gyd”. In Kim Mohan ed. Dragon #93 (TSR, Inc.), p. 30.
  9. Cricky Hitchcock (1978). White Dwarf #9. (Games Workshop), p. 8.
  10. Joseph Clay (January 1989). “Hey, Wanna Be a Kobold?”. In Roger E. Moore ed. Dragon #141 (TSR, Inc.), p. 42.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Roger E. Moore ed. (January 1989). “Orcs Throw Spells, Too!”. Dragon #141 (TSR, Inc.), p. 27.
  12. Tim Eagon (August 2013). “Rats in the Undercellar”. Dungeon #217 (WOTC).
  13. Tim Eagon (August 2013). “Rats in the Undercellar”. Dungeon #217 (WOTC), p. 13.
  14. Ed Greenwood, Alan Zumwalt, Don Turnbull (November 1981). “Fiend Folio Findings”. In Kim Mohan ed. Dragon #55 (TSR, Inc.), p. 7.