Windsoul genasi, also known as air genasi, are one of the five main "manifestations" or subraces of the genasi race. The name "windsoul genasi" usually refers to genasi for whom the manifestation is their primary one, though like all of the genasi manifestations it is possible for genasi of another subrace to learn how to manifest it.
Most genasi are descended from djinn, air genies, though other origins exist, and the touch of the elemental power of wind and air shapes the genasi physique. Like all genasi, the exact appearance of a windsoul genasi varies from individual to individual but all windsoul genasi have szuldar, typically light blue in color. Many also have blue or gray ice crystal spikes crowning their head as well as silvery-hued skin. Compared with other genasi, those of the windsoul manifestation are often slightly quicker, but also somewhat physically weaker.
However, just as the wind may vary in strength and temperature, so do windsoul genasi vary in appearance and a few have other distinguishing features. Some have light blue or pale white skin instead while others manifest actual hair, often similarly colored. Other strange features may include unusually cool flesh, a voice that carries over the wind, a whistling sound that follows quick movement, or even a slight breeze that seems to follow the genasi.
Because the traits that identify an air genasi are sometimes subtle, many go unrecognized for what they are for many years and are sometimes mistaken for sorcerers, although their inherent arrogance and disregard for their appearance fools people into believing they are charlatans at natural magic. Those that are overtly different learn quickly to disguise their nature from common folk, at least until they are able to protect themselves and strike out on their own.
Windsoul genasi are fast and free-willed, even for other genasi, and in some ways represent many of the stereotypes about genasi in general. For instance, while most genasi see one another as parts of a larger family this is particularly true for windsoul genasi and the bloodlines of many windsoul genasi are so old and so untraceable that windsoul genasi, as a whole, tend to view one another as cousins - even windsoul genasi they've never met before. Likewise, though this bond of kinship is strong, it is also highly competitive, another trait which is typical of all genasi, but particularly true for windsouls.
Like all genasi, windsoul genasi are proud of their heritage and are more than happy to indulge in spectacular shows to awe those unfamiliar with their race, a characteristic that can sometimes be off-putting to others or make windsoul genasi overconfident. Windsoul genasi see themselves as the inheritors of the sky, the wind, the very air of the world. Before the Spellplague and the subsequent conquest of Calimshan by genasi, most windsoul genasi who dwelled within the southern land's borders were not so fortunate and instead were subjected to fear and prejudice.
Windsoul genasi are even more prone to rapid changes of mood than other genasi, moving carelessly from one mood to another at a whim. Windsouls have a tendency to hold strongly to a single emotion for a strong period of time, only to let go of it as quickly as they acquire it, moving on to another. Similarly, windsoul genasi find it difficult to form long-term attachments to others and are often seen as loners or drifters. The benefit to their mood swings and emotional inconsistencies however is an increased adaptability, and windsoul genasi take most things in stride.
Windsoul genasi, regardless of whether or not they're actually related, tend to view all other members of their subrace as part of a larger extended family. However, in spite of this, windsoul genasi are still fiercely independent and view one another through a competitive lens. Unlike the members of some races, who might feel inclined to help others of their race, windsoul genasi feel no such compunction and see the weakness of other genasi as a reaffirmation of their own worth.
The powerful drive and strong willed nature of windsoul genasi makes them in some few cases, excellent leaders. These charismatic individuals band together form mercenary companies, arcane cabals, or mercantile groups. Some of these groups, made up entirely of windsoul genasi, even take windsoul genasi from human parents to raise them amongst their own kind. Since many such groups fall apart within a year these children often end up living with just one or two of the band and develop a sense of community that, prior to the transplantation of Akanûl during the Spellplague, was fairly unusual amongst genasi.
Magic and religionEdit
The vast majority of windsoul genasi feel a strong pull to the elemental energies of the world, more so than even most genasi and particularly favor spells that involve the air domain. Those genasi who become wizards usually specialize as evokers or conjurers.
Like most genasi, windsouls do not have any one deity they predominantly cling to but many of the race seek out deities who hold sway over the winds and air. Many windsoul clerics, for instance, worship the primordial Akadi, and she is perhaps the most commonly worshiped being amongst windsouls, in large part due to her association with air elementals other than djinn and the belief that she is herself the ancestor of some windsouls. Other such beings of the wind worshiped by genasi include the gods Sseth, Sheela Peryroyl, and Valkur. Not all worship deities of the wind however and in Amn many also worship Selûne, goddess of the moon.
Some genasi feel particularly drawn to the elven god of the skies, Aerdrie Faenya. This is particularly true for windsouls who feel strong ties to avariels and other Tel'Quessir. Aerdrie's genasi worshipers end to act as protectors of avian creatures and vital links between the avariels and other races.
Auril, the Frost Maiden, also holds sway over a large number of windsoul and some believe the goddess spawned a lineage of genasi, marked by their unusual pale blue skin. Some of her worshipers are sadistic zealots, relishing in the power of their cold-touched magic. Prior to the Spellplague, many genasi worshiped Shaundakul, whose faith was on the upswing before the disaster. Like Auril it is believed Shaundakul is responsible for one of the many windsoul lineages, having taken a human lover long ago in Myth Drannor. His male descendants are marked by a pale, white beard.
For some genasi who enjoy destruction for its own sake, Talos has a vast appeal. In the land of Calimshan, where many windsouls live, the god is worshiped by the name of Bhaelros,, where he is often worshiped. Outside of the desert land evil druids and rangers are often drawn to him and acquire a talent for large-scale battle magic. These worshipers tend to be boastful and proud of their ancestry, even as they commit atrocities, giving the manifestation as a whole a poor reputation across the land.
Relations with other racesEdit
Although windsouls can be arrogant and proud, most have enough wisdom to recognize the strengths of other manifestations and races, particularly the Tel'Quessir, with whom, with the exception of drow, they share a love of open spaces. Windsoul genasi do not care much for dwarves, however, who they feel are overly closed-minded and too comfortable in their stony, subterranean homes, a view which carries over to most gnomes as well, with the exception of those who favor the surface world.
Halflings, as fellow wanderers, are often welcomed as companions by windsouls. Though windsoul genasi tend to view half-orcs as brutes they value and respect the strength of the race and choose their words carefully amongst its members. Humans are generally accepted although windsouls view the human tendency to settle down unfavorably. Of the other planetouched windsouls have little overall opinion, though they tend to view their own touch from an outside plane as superior to that of tieflings, devas, or even other genasi.
While some windsoul genasi stem from other lineages a great deal are descended from the djinn who once ruled over the land of Calimshan and who have recently returned to power in the wake of the Spellplague. These djinn often took human concubines and from these unions were born half-elementals, who eventually had children of their own - children who were windsoul genasi. When the djinn were overthrown many of their number and their descendants were slain or driven to another plane but many others went into hiding.
With the Spellplague this status quo changed and many of the hidden genasi scattered throughout Calimshan rose to serve Calim, a powerful djinni noble from the ancient times of djinn rule over the desert land. These windsouls quickly overwhelmed the human population of the land, enslaving those who were not killed or did not flee. However, the windsouls quickly found an enemy in the firesoul genasi led by the efreeti Memnon, Calim's ancient rival, and as such the land of Calimshan was quickly embroiled in an endless war between the two elemental armies, which continues to rage to this day, with humans and other races caught in the middle.
It was also during the Spellplague that the nation of Akanûl first appeared on the face of Faerûn, being transplanted from the distant continent of Shyr on Abeir. This genasi-dominated nation has a disproportionate number of windsouls, due in part to its terrain and large number of earthmotes, which has an influence on secondary manifestation acquired by young genasi children. However, while windsoul genasi are common, they do not vastly outnumber other manifestations, which are also common in the land.
The djinn then began to think of the windsouled as children, instead of bastard races, due to their loyalty to Calim. The djinn themselves had no real intention in ruling Calimport, but decided it to be a good stronghold for their plans to free Lord Calim. They then began acting as the vizars, led by Shahrokh, to the genasi ruler of Calimport, Marod el Araphan. They did this to ensure that things would not get out of hand under the rule of genasi, as they were "children", and to see to it that Lord Calim come back. When Shahrokh learnt of the location of the book Calim was trapped in, Marod was killed by his own son Cephas as the djinn had fled the city on Shahrokh's orders.
Because of their nature as planetouched, windsoul genasi have no true homeland from which they originally come, but like many genasi they are more common than other planetouched. In particular windsouls can be found in Calimshan and Akanûl, though the race is found throughout all of the Lands of Intrigue, the Western Heartlands, and the Sword Coast as well.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Rob Heinsoo, Logan Bonner, Robert J. Schwalb (September 2008). Forgotten Realms Player's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 11. ISBN 978-0-7869-4929-8.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 19. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Reynolds, Forbeck, Jacobs, Boyd (March 2003). Races of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 114. ISBN 0-7869-2875-1.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 Reynolds, Forbeck, Jacobs, Boyd (March 2003). Races of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 115. ISBN 0-7869-2875-1.
- ↑ Rodney Thompson “Ecology of the Genasi”. Dragon #367 (Wizards of the Coast), p. 17.
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 6.8 6.9 Reynolds, Forbeck, Jacobs, Boyd (March 2003). Races of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 116. ISBN 0-7869-2875-1.
- ↑ Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 98. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
- ↑ Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 90. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
- ↑ Reynolds, Forbeck, Jacobs, Boyd (March 2003). Races of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 114–115. ISBN 0-7869-2875-1.