The githyanki (pronounced: /gɪθˈjænkigith-YÆN-kee[9] or: /gɪθˈjɑːŋkigith-YANG-kee[10], meaning "followers of Gith" in the Gith language[1]) were a once-human race of Astral Sea-dwellers.[2]


All githyanki children possessed minor telekinetic abilities, but only a few worked to develop them. Githyanki generally preferred magic over psionics.[citation needed]


Githyanki society was martial, with both males and females training heavily in magic and combat. Although they were loyal to each other, they were also fiercely individualistic. Raiding illithid strongholds was considered a rite of passage.[1]

Dwelling in the timeless Astral Plane, the githyanki inhabited numerous fortresses constructed from materials imported to the plane as well as cities built atop god-isles, the vast stone corpses of deceased deities. Their capital and largest city, Tu'narath, was built on the god-isle of a deceased power known only as the One in the Void.[citation needed]

The githyanki used a unique form of writing called tir'su. It was an alphabetical set of runes in which words were formed in circles instead of linearly, with the letters of a given word being linked in a ring clockwise from the top. Sentences were formed by a series of these rings. Much as runes were given a mystical significance, the Githyanki employ the tir'su when creating magical wards and symbols.[citation needed]


The ancestors of the githyanki were once human slaves of the illithids, a race devoted to mentally dominating sentient humanoids to work as the backbone of their vast empire. It was believed these original human slaves were transformed through selective breeding. After eventually developing mental resistance to their masters' mind control, the slaves revolted, thus causing the fall of the illithid empire.[citation needed]

Not satisfied with the destruction of the illithids alone, the war spread to any race that could potentially enslave them again. At the Pronouncement of Two Skies, the once-slave race splintered into the githyanki and the githzerai, the latter of whom was hated by the githyanki because their betrayal allowed the surviving illithids to retreat to isolated subterranean strongholds. The two races were at war ever since.[citation needed]




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  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Wizards RPG Team (2014). Monster Manual 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 158–160. ISBN 978-0786965614.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Mike Mearls, Stephen Schubert, James Wyatt (June 2008). Monster Manual 4th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 128. ISBN 978-0-7869-4852-9.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 Skip Williams, Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook (July 2003). Monster Manual 3.5. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 127. ISBN 0-7869-2893-X.
  4. Bruce R. Cordell (April 2004). Expanded Psionics Handbook. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 198. ISBN 0-7869-3301-1.
  5. Doug Stewart (June 1993). Monstrous Manual. (TSR, Inc), p. 151. ISBN 1-5607-6619-0.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Doug Stewart (June 1993). Monstrous Manual. (TSR, Inc), p. 153. ISBN 1-5607-6619-0.
  7. Don Turnbull (1981). Fiend Folio. (TSR Hobbies), p. 43. ISBN 0-9356-9621-0.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Bruce R. Cordell (April 2004). Expanded Psionics Handbook. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 11. ISBN 0-7869-3301-1.
  9. Frank Mentzer (January 1985). “Ay pronunseeAYshun gyd”. In Kim Mohan ed. Dragon #93 (TSR, Inc.), p. 26.
  10. J. Paul LaFountain (1991). Monstrous Compendium: Outer Planes Appendix. Edited by Timothy B. Brown. (TSR, Inc.), p. 5. ISBN 1-56076-055-9.