Genasi


Genasi are a race of humanoids with elemental power in their blood. There are three theories on how it can occur: descendants born by the members of the mortal race who spent an extended time near a source of elemental power, like on one of the elemental planes, or near a rift to such a plane;[3][4] a humanoid who born in the midst of a powerful elemental influence like a hurricane or a raging forest fire; or a genie of one of the elemental planes procreates.[5]

Description[edit | edit source]

Genasi inherit the features of their parent ancestry, but skin of water genasi becomes shinier, hair of fire genasi resembles crackles of flame, and eyes of air genasi "glitter like gemstones".[3]

Some genasi are delighted by "the attention their uniqueness garners them. But for others, even the most benign interest" is a painful reminder of their difference from the general population.[3]

Genasi, in the majority, have an abundance of body tattoos.[6]

History[edit | edit source]

According to one account, the genasi began wandering all across Exandria long before the Calamity.[7] Dorian Storm, an air genasi, once referred to an ancient time as "[b]efore my people fell", but did not go into greater detail.[8]

A water genasi, Babenon Dosal, fathered Jester Lavorre, who would eventually become a member of the Mighty Nein and play a notable role in the story of Artagan, one of the Archfey. Starting in 820 PD[9] Babenon was part of the Zadash cell of the Myriad, and he left his leadership role there in roughly 839 PD to settle down with Marion Lavorre.[10]

Dorian Storm and Fy'ra Rai are genasi members of the Crown Keepers, an adventuring party that responded to an elemental crisis in Emon in 842 PD.

Subraces[edit | edit source]

Genasi are a hardy race, and they all tend to know the Primordial language in addition to Common, but beyond that the appearance and abilities of genasi vary widely and depend on their elemental heritage. There are four major subraces of genasi, one from each of the major elemental planes.[11]

Air genasi[edit | edit source]

Air genasi are either descended from the djinn[2] or descendants of humanoids who were exposed to the energies of the Elemental Plane of Air.[3] It is believed that the most common humanoid race of parents of air genasi (at least in Tal'Dorei) are halflings.[4] They tend to have mercurial moods. Physically, they may be more lightweight than they appear,[12] and they typically have light blue hair and eyes. They also usually have light blue skin,[13] but pale, almost alabaster skin is also known,[14] and some display odd patterns in their flesh. Air genasi are constantly surrounded by a faint breeze that affects their hair and clothing. Some have breathy voices with a faint echo.[13]

Air genasi can hold their breath indefinitely while conscious, can cast Levitate once per day without using material components, and tend to have greater dexterity than other genasi.[13]

Earth genasi[edit | edit source]

Earth genasi are descended from either the dao[13] or humanoids exposed to the energies of the Elemental Plane of Earth.[3] It is believed that the most common humanoid race of parents of earth genasi are dwarves.[4] They tend to be circumspect. Their heritage can manifest physically in a variety of ways, from constantly having dust falling from their bodies to having skin resembling pebbles, various metals, dark gems, or crystals.[13]

Earth genasi can move across difficult terrain made of earth and stone without expending extra movement, can cast Pass Without Trace once per day without using material components, and tend to be stronger than other genasi.[13]

Fire genasi[edit | edit source]

Fire genasi are descendants of either the efreet[13] or humanoids exposed to the energies of the Elemental Plane of Fire. It is believed that the most common humanoid race of parents of fire genasi are tieflings.[4] They tend to be more intelligent than other genasi, but also more hasty in judgment and in action. They do not hide their genasi heritage, which can show in skin tones of coal black, ash gray, or flaming red, and hair that is either fiery red or actual flames. In the throes of extreme emotion, their eyes may flare and their hair may writhe.[13]

Fire genasi are resistant to fire damage and have darkvision that extends to 60 feet, seeing poorly lit things in shades of red rather than grey. They can cast the Produce Flame cantrip, and if they reach 3rd level they can cast Burning Hands as a 1st-level spell once per day.[13]

Water genasi[edit | edit source]

Water genasi are descended from either marids[13] or humanoids exposed to the energies of the Elemental Plane of Water. It is believed that the most common humanoid race of parents of water genasi are humans.[4] They tend to be wiser than other genasi, and take pride in their independence. Most have large, blue-black eyes, and they often have blue or green skin that is persistently moist.[13]

These genasi have a swimming speed of 30 feet, can breathe both air and water, and innately know the Shape Water cantrip. If they reach 3rd level, they can cast Create or Destroy Water as a 2nd-level spell once per day. They are resistant to acid damage,[13] as was demonstrated by Babenon Dosal.[15]

Society[edit | edit source]

Genasi are exceedingly rare across Exandria. Most of them live among the Ashari of Tal'Dorei or in the Elemental Planes.[16]

Those who were born with an elemental ancestry in the Ashari communities, or reached them in the search for guidance, commonly get proper education and training to reveal and understand their full elemental potential.[3]

Genasi who were raised outside the Ashari often grow up with "all the aspirations and prejudices" nested in the culture of their region, where the unique traits of genasi establish them as "pillars of their communities" (e.g., "baker who instinctually understands the will of her oven's fire"). Cultures that are more prone to superstition usually reject people with elemental powers, making them "targets of scrutiny, fearmongering, or jealousy". Ostracized by their community, genasi are frequently driven to leave their homelands and "seek a place where they truly belong".[3]

Tal'Dorei[edit | edit source]

Genasi are rare in Tal'Dorei, and they are most common among the Ashari—presumably air genasi in Zephrah, earth genasi in Terrah, and fire genasi at Flamereach Outpost—and near other sources of elemental power. In common society they are treated somewhat rudely,[4] at least outside of Niirdal-Poc, where there is a sizable genasi population.[7]

Genasi sometimes find homes with the solitary giants of Tal'Dorei, who do their best to detach themselves from the lives and problems of humanoids; the giants are generally rather welcoming to genasi who share their elemental affinity.[3]

Menagerie Coast[edit | edit source]

Both sailors and pirates on the Menagerie Coast are interested in using genasis' elemental abilities on the ocean.[2]

Xhorhas[edit | edit source]

In the plains of Xhorhas outside of the Kryn Dynasty, there are air, fire, and water genasi born to those who pray for Kord, the Stormlord's blessings. These genasi typically serve as shamans. Xhorhassian earth genasi, on the other hand, are typically born and live in the Vermaloc Wildwood.

Very few if any genasi are born within the Kryn Dynasty, and as such the Kryn do not know much about them. Therefore Kryn scouts received orders to bring any genasi they find to Rosohna to learn about them.[2]

Dwendalian Empire[edit | edit source]

Those high up in the Cerberus Assembly are fascinated with genasi, to the extent that a genasi may be press-ganged into joining the Assembly or face death or exile. Most genasi accept the offer; however, those who do not often join the Myriad.[16] Oremid Hass is an earth genasi and among the highest-ranking members of the Assembly.[17]

Marquet[edit | edit source]

The Wyvernwind family is native to Marquet,[18][19] leading the air genasi people who are fractured and scattered across Exandria.[20][21]. As of the end of 842 to the middle of 843 PD,[22] the family resides in a nomadic floating city called the Silken Squall last known to be located near Aeshanadoor.[23]

Notable genasi[edit | edit source]

Depiction of a person with fire elemental ancestry, by Nikki Dawes from Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn, page 154.[art 1]

Air genasi

Earth genasi

Fire genasi

Water genasi

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Genasi on D&D Beyond
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, Chapter 4: "Character Options", p. 171.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn, Chapter 4: "Character Options", p. 154.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 28.
  5. Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, Chapter 4: "Character Options", pp. 170–172.
  6. Hannah Friederichs' comment on Tumblr about Dorian's tattoos..
  7. 7.0 7.1 Though the transcript says "the planes touched", it is likely she is describing the genasi as "the planes-touched [people]" rather than describing an event. "The Gift Among the Green" (E1x06) at 1:06:47.
  8. "The Oh No Plateau" (E1x02) at 1:08:05.
  9. "Fleeting Memories" (2x14) at 47:24. The Gentleman states that he's lived and worked in Zadash for fifteen years. The episode takes place in 835 PD.
  10. "Critical Role Campaign 2 Wrap-Up" (Mx10) at 4:03:58.
  11. Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, Chapter 4: "Character Options", pp. 171–172.
  12. "The Nameless Ones" (E1x01) at 10:17.
  13. 13.00 13.01 13.02 13.03 13.04 13.05 13.06 13.07 13.08 13.09 13.10 13.11 Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, Chapter 4: "Character Options", p. 172.
  14. "The Adventures of the Darrington Brigade" (OSx35) at 24:41.
  15. "Fleeting Memories" (2x14) at 48:26.
  16. 16.0 16.1 Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, Chapter 4: "Character Options", p. 170.
  17. Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, Chapter 2: "Factions and Societies", p. 43.
  18. Dorian first set out on his adventuring from Marquet. "The Draw of Destiny" (3x01) at 1:17:12. Also note that Dorian speaks Marquesian, per "On the Trail of a Killer" (3x04) at 3:35:40.
  19. "A Woodworker's Quandary" (3x08) at 1:45:43. When the group made History checks on the Wyvernwind family, Matt remarked that Chetney would not know anyway as he is not from Marquet.
  20. "A Woodworker's Quandary" (3x08) at 1:39:11.
  21. "A Woodworker's Quandary" (3x08) at 1:39:16.
  22. "A Woodworker's Quandary" (3x08) at 1:46:54. In the summer of 843 PD, Cyrus was last informed of its location seven month ago
  23. "A Woodworker's Quandary" (3x08) at 1:46:54.
  24. Call of the Netherdeep, "Introduction: Answering the Call", p. 11.
  25. Take a dive into the new dynamic character building for Rival NPCs in Call of the Netherdeep. Watch as both the leader Ayo Jabe and her party change and adapt to every crucial moment in your campaign. (@Wizards_DnD) on Twitter: "Feb 10, 2022".

Art:

  1. Depiction of a person with fire elemental ancestry, by Nikki Dawes from Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn, page 154. This file is unofficial Fan Content permitted under the Wizards of the Coast Fan Content Policy. Not approved/endorsed by Wizards. Portions of the materials used are property of Wizards of the Coast. ©Wizards of the Coast LLC.

External links[edit | edit source]