From the middle of Dungeons and Dragons: Monster Manual I, comes a confusing and downright odd entry, the Ixitachitl. An evil aquatic monster with the sensibilities of a cleric. And they come in vampire form too!
“… a race of intelligent rays which dwell in shallow tropical seas. They are of evil disposition, and clerical in nature.”
Let’s get real, its a sting ray. The Manual invests good print explaining their societal hierarchy. They hide in colonies of shallow water with sting ray guards protecting sting ray treasure. There are even vampire-types that regenerate and drain energy from their victims.
What makes the Ixitxachitl silly other than its name, is its purpose in the D&D universe. Adventurers wade in shallow waters and encounter large leathery sting rays and they happen to be clerics? Should the heroes starts spearing the water, hacking them with swords? And appearing up to 100 in count, is it going to turn into mass slaughter?
The D&D universe has its share of aquatic beasts to entertain out from the mainland. I’ll take my share of blame not being imaginative enough to give the vampire sting ray a place in sessions. The intelligent sting ray with a difficult nomenclature and a complicated society was too silly to take seriously.
Trivia: Pronounced ish-it-SHACH-itl, although iks-it-ZATCH-i-til or ik-zit-zah-chih-tull are both used. (wiki)