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Air Genasi

Regions: Calimshan

Air genasi are fast and free-willed. Because the traits that identify an air genasi are subtle, many go unrecognized for what they are for many years and are sometimes mistaken for sorcerers. Those who are overtly different quickly learn to disguise their nature from common folk, at least until they are able to protect themselves and strike out on their own.

Air genasi are descended from outsiders native to the Elemental Plane of Air and humans. Most air genasi in Faerûn come from bloodlines established over nine thousand years ago by the djinn who founded what is now Calimshan. A few rare air genasi derive from djinn summoned in other parts of the world, and some are said to be born of a line founded by a powerful airmephit sorcerer who lived on the Great Glacier hundreds of years ago. The numbers descended from the servants of air deities such as Akadi, Auril, and Shaundakul are unknown, but likely to be very small. Legends tell of elves similar to air genasi, possibly descended from followers of the elven goddess Aerdrie Faenya, but it is likely that these legends are just confused reports of the avariels.

Air genasi revel in their unusual nature, although few ever try to locate the being who founded their bloodline, since most are long dead or banished back the Elemental Plane of Air. Because the Calimshan djinn bloodlines are so old and have suffered many crossbreedings, it is almost impossible to tell by normal means if two air genasi are from the same bloodline. As a result, all air genasi treat each other as “cousins,” although in an arrogant and competitive way.

Physical appearance

Air genasi look human except for one or two distinguishing features related to their elemental ancestor. Air genasi have the same life expectancy and age categories as humans. Some examples of these features are:

light blue skin
pale white skin
white hair
light blue hair
a constant slight breeze in their presence
flesh that is cool to the touch
voice that can be heard over any nonmagical wind
any sudden movement is accompanied by whistling wind

Outlook

Air genasi, like all the elemental planetouched, are proud of their heritage, regardless of others’ opinion of them. They know they are descended from powerful beings, even nobles of their kind. Outside Calimshan most people look upon such things with awe instead of fear, so the air genasi are used to being flamboyant with their abilities and expect a certain amount of deference from normal folk. Because they consider themselves children of the sky, air genasi move about a lot over the course of their lives. Air genasi want to see and taste the air in radically different places and consider settling in one place for any length of time to be confining.

Air genasi view air elementals as dumb brutes but see djinn and other intelligent air-outsiders as potential rivals for attention and power.

Relations with other races

Although they are arrogant about their own abilities, air genasi are smart enough to recognize the talents of the elven race (including half-elves), and they share a similar enjoyment of open natural spaces. They consider dwarves homebound and closed-minded, enjoying far too much the stony comfort of a cavern roof overhead. Gnomes are regarded much as dwarves, but the air genasi know that some gnomes love the open sky as much as the elves do, and these are tolerated.

Halflings wander as much as air genasi do, and so the hin are welcome traveling companions to the planetouched. Half-orcs are considered clumsy and brutish, but valuable allies in a fight, and so even the haughty air genasi choose their words carefully around these large halfbreeds. Humans are accepted, although air genasi consider a typical human’s readiness to settle on an unclaimed plot of land annoying and pointless.

Aasimar, tieflings, and other kinds of genasi are in the same boat as far as air genasi are concerned. All are touched by something out of this world, but since no other “taint” is truly as awesome and inspiring as the element of air, air genasi tend to treat these beings as limited but interesting distant relations.


Earth Genasi

Race : Regions: Mulhorand, the North.

Earth genasi are patient, stubborn, and contemplative in their decision-making. Marked at birth with obvious traits reflecting their heritage, earth genasi are often shunned by others, but their physical gifts make them able to defend themselves against most attackers. Their strength and girth means that they sometimes become bullies, attracting sycophants out of fear and respect for their power.

At least three-quarters of the earth genasi in Faerûn are the descendants of outsiders native to the Elemental Plane of Earth and humans. The rest are descended from earth deities or servants thereof instead of elemental outsiders. Most of the elemental bloodlines originate in the North, particularly near the Spine of the World, as natural portals to the Elemental Plane of Earth form there, allowing meetings between natives of both planes. The bloodlines spring up wherever worship of earth deities is common. It is thought that the Ludwakazar clan of shield dwarves deep in the Earthspurs in Impiltur and the Tobarin family of rock gnomes in the Great Dale have elemental blood, but both are mute on the question and neither would be a true earth genasi, but something quite different.

Earth genasi, like all elemental planetouched, are proud of their nature and abilities, but their pride is a quiet, confident sort rather than a boastful one. Earth genasi are pragmatic about their parentage, usually not going out of their way to learn their ancestry but not avoiding the topic either. Earth genasi have no special relationship with others of their kind, although they seem to prefer others who share their physical differences.

Physical appearance

Earth genasi are obviously not human, but have mostly human features except for one or two distinguishing traits related to their elemental ancestor. Earth genasi have the same life expectancy and age categories as a human. Some examples of these features are:

earthlike skin
eyes like black pits
eyes like gems
gravelly voice
very large hands and feet
iron gray hair
sweats mud instead of water
metallic sheen to skin or hair

Outlook

Proud of their heritage despite the opinions of others, earth genasi know they are born of beings touched by the might of the earth itself. Although they know the circumstances of their outsider heritage are rare and mark them as unlike anyone they might meet, each still feels a strong kinship to the earth itself. Earth genasi feel most comfortable when their feet are on the ground and prefer to go barefoot if appropriate for the weather and environment (earth genasi develop thick calluses easily and can even walk on gravel without discomfort). They are used to being treated differently, but have the strength to defend themselves if harassed. Earth genasi respect their earth elemental cousins for their strength but are usually indifferent to other earth elemental creatures.

Earth genasi like to stake out a piece of land as their own and defend it, which makes them particularly valuable homesteaders in frontier regions like the Silver Marches. A few unusual ones come down with a strange form of wanderlust, wishing to plant their feet on every nation’s soil before they die. Such a journey might takethirty years, but with methodical determination certain genasi have become famous fortheir long-distance travels.

Relations with other races

Earth genasi get along well with gnomes and dwarves but find elves and half-elves too weak and puny to be taken seriously. Halflings would almost be in the same category as elves except that they show a remarkable talent for survival, which the genasi respect. Oddly enough, most elves and half-elves appreciate an earth genasi’s ties to the land, even though the feeling is not reciprocated.

As earth genasi usually have human parents, they get along fine with humans. They have no bias for or against other kinds of planetouched, even the air genasi, whom they consider flighty but skilled. Half-orcs are intriguing to earth genasi, for they have the hot blood of a much stronger race tempered with human nature much as earth genasi do, so the planetouched consider them lesser but similar kin.


Fire Genasi

Regions : Calimshan, Chult, Lake of Steam, Unther.

Fire genasi are usually thought of as hot-blooded and quick to anger, and they have earned that reputation. Mercurial, proud, and often fearless, they are not content to sit and watch the world pass them by. Fire genasi have obvious physical traits that mark them as different from humans, and they are often the target of mistrust and persecution. Some fire genasi are able touse their quick wits to turn the tables on their tormentors, while others find that their barbed words only make their foes more angry. Many fire genasi are destroyed as infants by their own parents, who fear that they are demonspawn.

Most fire genasi in Faerûn are descended from the efreet that once ruled Calimshan. Planetouched of this derivation live all over the Lands of Intrigue, and some have traveled away from their ancestral homeland to escape the fear and prejudice that Calishites bear for genies. Chult, the Lake of Steam, and Unther also have a small number of fire genasi, for those lands bear volcanoes that sometimes act as natural portals to the Elemental Plane of Fire, allowing efreet and other fiery outsiders to make contact with humans. A large family of fire genasilike halflings was known to live in Unther, but the war with Mulhorand has displaced them and their current whereabouts are unknown.

Fire genasi are proud of their ancestry and consider themselves superior to normal humans, although the smarter ones don’t make an issue of it. Because the efreet-descended genasi of Calimshan have almost no chance of finding their original elemental ancestor (who have long since been slain, banished, or imprisoned when their empire was overthrown), they make no effort to do so and enjoy the gifts that ancestor’s blood has granted them. Fire genasi enjoy the company of their own kind and have been known to form elite groups of mages or fighters that hire themselves out on the basis of their skill and heritage. They have been known to adopt the fire genasi children of human parents as well.

Physical appearance

Fire genasi are obviously not fully human, having mostly human features except for one or two exceptional traits related to their elemental ancestor. Fire genasi have the same life expectancy as a human. Some examples of these features are:

charcoal gray skin
deep red skin
red or orange hair that waves like flames
eyes that glow when the genasi is angry
unusually warm skin
large red teeth
always smells like smoke

Outlook

The fire genasi are a proud people, knowing that they are born of great genies. They prefer to dress elegantly and flamboyantly, reveling in their differences and advertising their superior taste and abilities. Fire genasi respect their pure elemental kin, and most treat efreet and other large fire outsiders with a great deal of courtesy and respect, both out of a sense of the creature’s power and as a subtle gratitude for their own bloodline-granted talents. Because of their high opinions of themselves, fire genasi often elect themselves the leader and spokesperson of a group, even if they have no particular talents in those areas.

Fire genasi are impatient and don’t take well to pursuits that require a lot of time and study. They like to travel, if only to escape the presence of their enemies or people who frustrate them. Fire-genasi enjoy collecting treasure, preferring jewelry to bags of coins.

Relations with other races

Fire genasi consider themselves above all other races but accept humans because of their own human blood. Dwarves, gnomes, and halflings are too short to be taken seriously, elves are too focused on the long-term consequences, and half-orcs are too stupid. Earth genasi are too slow to act, water genasi too dispassionate, air genasi too flighty, and aasimar and tieflings too morose. Fire genasi quickly become impatient with the “failings” of other races and rarely make friends with anyone but humans or other fire genasi.



Water Genasi

Regions : Aglarond, Chessenta, Dragon Coast, Sembia, Vilhon Reach.

Water genasi are patient and independent, used to solving problems on their own and not afraid to take a lot of time doing so. At times they are fierce and destructive like terrible storms, but more often than not they present a tranquil appearance, despite whatever emotions run underneath that quiet surface. Because their elemental forebear usually has no interest in them, water genasi are often abandoned by their human parents and raised instead by aquatic creatures such as aquatic elves, dolphins, locathah, merfolk, sahuagin, or even aboleths. Water genasi usually leave their parents (real or adoptive) upon reaching maturity, taking to the open sea in order to explore, learn, and develop their own personality and place in the world.

Most water genasi are descended from a water elemental outsider such as a marid (water genie) or triton. A rare few are born of outsider servants of the evil water goddess Umberlee (although it is not known why these matings eventually produce water genasi instead of tieflings). Aquatic elves tell of a lost line of sea-elf planetouched descended from minions of Deep Sashelas, but these are not true water genasi, lacking a genasi’s human heritage.

Water genasi look human except for one distinguishing feature related to their elemental ancestor. Water genasi have the same life expectancy and age categoriesas a human. Some examples of these features are:

lightly scaled skin
clammy flesh
blue-green skin or hair
large blue-black eyes
webbed hands and feat

Water genasi feel that they are unique and superior to the humans who bore them. They have little or no interest in others of their kind—since they can wander both the land and the seas, they feel there is room enough in the world that water genasi need not crowd each other or even meet. Only in large communities of aquatic elves are two or more water genasi likely to spend much time together.

Outlook

Water genasi take pride in their special abilities and can be boastful if in the right mood. Tougher than humans and able to breathe water, these genasi sometimes view human sailors and naval merchants as vulnerable fools who are as likely to drown at sea as they are to get seasick. The people of the Sea of Fallen Stars are familiar enough with the stories of water genasi to recognize them and ignore their rude behavior.

Water genasi have the best of both worlds. They can walk on land for an indefinite time (unlike aquatic elves, whom they secretly pity) and can always retreat to the tranquil depths of the ocean. Often loners, they sometimes establish a home in a remote underwater cave, going for years without encountering another intelligent being. They feel a kinship to other aquatic creatures, particularly tritons and water elementals, who can easily outswim the genasi.

Water genasi tend to be neutral and therefore avoid extremes in politics, opinion, or career. Some find a quiet spot to call home, others enjoy riding the currents for months, allowing the water to take them places hundreds of miles away.

Relations with other races

Water genasi feel closest to their adopted race and indifferent to all others. Aquatic creatures and others who can naturally breathe water are treated less coolly (unless such a creature is a natural enemy of the genasi’s adopted race, such as a sahuagin-raised genasi confronted by a triton). They hold no special animosity toward fiery creatures or fire genasi, and see a similarity between themselves and flying creatures, although they are quick to point out that natural fliers have to come to rest on land eventually while they and other sea creatures can live in the water indefinitely.

They laugh at and ridicule aquaphobic creatures, and dwarves are frequently the target of their
jokes and pranks (almost always involving a dunking).