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The infamous githyanki are a humanoid race of raiders and warriors who hail from the Astral Plane and who have a close affinity with red dragons.

Appearance

Githyanki are tall, gaunt humanoids with rough, yellow skin and russet hair pulled into a pair of topknots. Their eyes have a sinister gleam, and their ears are pointed and serrated in back. Githyanki are often clad in elaborate dress and armor.[citation needed]

Personality and alignment

Githyanki have a rigid training that allows their commanders to utter short, clipped commands that carry great meaning, allowing them to set up ambushes and plan attacks with brief, efficient communication.[citation needed]

Abilities and traits

Githyanki have psionic powers, a resistance to spells, and darkvision.[citation needed]

Ecology

Life cycle

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Diet

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Environment

Githyanki live on the Astral Plane.[citation needed]

Culture

Society

Githyanki were once humans, but aeons of enslavement to mind flayers transformed them. They developed psionic strength, and rose up under their supreme leader Gith to overthrow their masters. The race now dwells in the Astral Plane in huge, ornate castles, devoted to a powerful lich-queen (the lair has noncombatants equal to an additional 20% of the fighting population). It is said that the lich-queen devours the life essence of any githyanki who rises above 16th level.[citation needed]

Githyanki set up encampments on the material plane to raid human and mind flayer settlements (directing most of their hatred at the latter).[citation needed]

Religion

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Adventurers

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Language

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Equipment and clothing

Githyanki equipment is elaborate and baroque, with their clothing, arms, and armor decorated with feathers, beads, and precious metals and gems.[citation needed]

Githyanki adore their equipment some would say more than their own mates. Githyanki equipment is distinctive, and the race is protective of their work, exacting painful retribution on other races that dare to think themselves worthy of wielding githyanki gear. Many githyanki name their favored weapons, which are typically greatswords, bastard swords, or other heavy, bladed melee weapons.[citation needed]

A silver sword is a +1 silvered greatsword that, when unsheathed, resembles a blade of fluid quicksilver. Silver swords disrupt psionic powers. A githyanki can sever the silver cords of astral travelers. The normally insubstantial cord is treated as a tangible object. Some silver swords are further enchanted - the sword's antipsionic ability is considered equivalent to a +1, making most silver swords effectively +2 weapons. It is rumored that any githyanki is allowed but one silver sword, and, if it is lost, they must recover the blade at all costs or be killed by their superiors.[citation needed]

Names

Typical githyanki male names include Dhenirigan, Gerzenit, Izzussan, Nezethet, Ovyrgunget, Therigan, Vallo, Yahayta, and Zunyalta. Typical githyanki female names include Ahayzo, Ezethyr, Ishather, Kesskogan, Verilesh, and Zeryaltiss.[citation needed]

Allies and minions

Githyanki have a pact with red dragons. As a group, they often negotiate to use the dragons as mounts.[citation needed]

Enemies

In addition to their hatred of the mind flayers, the githyanki have a deep split with their cousins, the githzerai, and the two races only break off hostilities in the face of a mind flayer. This, however, is the closest thing the race has to a civil war - the githyanki are peaceful to other githyanki, and it is an unwritten rule that a githyanki never fights another githyanki.[citation needed]

History

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Notable githyanki

For a full list of githyanki, see Category:Githyanki.

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Variants

Githyanki units include a mix of:[citation needed]

  • Trainee: Fighter, Magic-User, or Fighter/Magic-User of level 1d3.
  • Gish: Fighter/Magic-User of level 4/4
  • Warlock: Magic-User of level 1d4+3
  • Sergeant: Fighter of level 1d4+3.
  • Knight: Paladin with reversed powers of 8th level.
  • Astral Knight: Paladin with reversed powers of 9th level.
  • Captain: 8th level fighter or 7th/6th level fighter/magic-user
  • Supreme Leader: 11th level fighter or 7th/8th level fighter/magic-user.
  • Astral Leader: Fighter/Magic-User of level 1d2+9/1d2+7. In addition to normal gear, astral leaders have 2d4 other random magic items.

Non-combat githyanki include:[citation needed]

  • G"lathk: Githyanki farmers who grow food in artificial chambers using plants acclimated to the astral plane, including fungi and aquatic plants.
  • Mlar:Magic-using architects who build structures for the githyanki.
  • Hr'a'cknir:Collectors and observers of astral energies who power githyanki civilization.

Publication history

AD&D 1st edition

The githyanki first officially appeared in the Fiend Folio (1e) (1981), having previously been published in the Fiend Factory column of White Dwarf #12 (April/May 1979).

AD&D 2nd edition

The githyanki were updated for Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd edition in the MC8 Monstrous Compendium: Outer Planes Appendix (1991) and reprinted in the Monstrous Manual (1993). They were revised again for the Planescape Monstrous Compendium Appendix (1994).

Player character githyanki were presented as an option in A Guide to the Astral Plane (1996).

D&D 3rd edition

The githyanki returned in Dungeons & Dragons 3rd edition in the Psionics Handbook (2001), which presented a psionic version of the githyanki, and in the Manual of the Planes (3e) (2001), which presented a non-psionic version. The non-psionic version was updated for Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 in the Monster Manual (3.5) (2003), and the psionic version in the Expanded Psionics Handbook (2004).

The githyanki captain and the githyanki soldier appeared in Monster Manual IV (2006).

D&D 4th edition

The githyanki appeared in the Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition Monster Manual (4e) (2008), which presented the githyanki warrior, githyanki mindslicer, and githyanki gish. The Monster Manual also provided rules for githyanki player characters. The githyanki reappeared in Monster Vault (2010) in the Essentials line, which again presented the warrior and mindslicer, as well as the githyanki raider and githyanki legionary.

The Plane Above (2010) presented the githyanki far wanderer, githyanki blackweave, githyanki ghustil, githyanki pyroclast, and githyanki sword stalker.

The githyanki corsair appeared in Dungeon Delve (2009), and the githyanki dreamslicer appeared in E1 Death's Reach (2009). Numerous other githyanki variants appeared in various issues of Dungeon Magazine.

D&D 5th edition

The githyanki returned for Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition in the Monster Manual (5e) (2014), which made them a subtype of gith alongside the githzerai. The Monster Manual presented the githyanki warrior and githyanki knight.

The githyanki was presented as a playtest character race in the Unearthed Arcana article Unearthed Arcana: Eladrin and Gith, before being officially released as a character race in Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes (2018), which also provided additional information on the gith and the githyanki. Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes additionally presented the githyanki gish, githyanki kith'rak, and githyanki supreme commander.

D&D miniatures

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Creative origins

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Reception and influence

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External links

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References