Ad Astra Per Arcana
Githzerai Racial Traits:
+2 Dexterity, +2 Wisdom, -2 Intelligence Githzerai are incredibly quick and agile, and they trust intuition more than logic.
Medium As Medium creatures, githzerai have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
Githzerai base land speed is 30 feet.
Darkvision out to 60 feet.
Naturally Psionic Githzerai gain 3 bonus power points at 1st level. This benefit does not grant them the ability to manifest powers unless they gain that ability through another source, such as levels in a psionic class.
Psi-Like Abilities 3/day – inertial armor, psionic daze, catfall, concussion blast. Githzerai of 11th level also gain plane shift 1/day. Manifester level is equal to 1/2 Hit Dice (minimum 1st). The save DCs are Charisma-based.
Power Resistance (Ex) A githzerai has power resistance equal to his/her Hit Dice +5.
Automatic Languages Common, Gith. Bonus Languages: Abyssal, Celestrial, Draconic, Slaad, Undercommon
Githzerai hunt within the wild chaos of Limbo, and grow thin but hardy crops within the islands of stability they create with their mental powers. They live about twice as long as humans. It isn’t specified if they lay eggs or give birth to live infants.
The githzerai are distrustful toward all other races. They hate githyanki and illithids above all else. They have a bitter rivalry with the slaadi who share their home plane, but will cooperate with the froglike monsters against common threats.
Githzerai primarily live in fortresses, monasteries, and cities on the plane of Limbo, though they also maintain fortresses on the Prime Material Plane. Foreigners in githzerai settlements will find themselves constantly watched and scrutinized, and they are never permitted outside of prescribed areas unless accompanied by a githzerai escort.
Shrak’kt’lor is the largest city of the githzerai, with a population of around two million. It is the military center of the race. In the background of the computer game Planescape: Torment, Shrak’kt’lor fell due to a division in the beliefs of the githzerai there, and the city drowned during a githyanki assault.
The Floating City is the spiritual capital of the githzerai, home to Zaerith Menyar-Ag-Gith, the immortal wizard-king who rules the githzerai people. Zaerith is served by spies and infiltrators, so the Floating City is a center for both the magical arts and the roguish arts.
Arsanith is a legendary githzerai monastery deep within the chaos. All those who have glimpsed enlightenment are welcome there, even githyanki.
Sanzerathad is another githzerai settlement, this one barely surviving in the chaotic wilds.
Zerth’Ad’lun is a monastery that teaches the art of zerthi or zerthin, in which monks are said to be able to peer into the future.
Typical physical characteristics
Githzerai resemble humans, but they’re slightly taller and thinner. Their features are sharper, their faces are longer, and their eyes range from gray to a catlike yellow color. They stand a little over six feet tall and weigh approximately 160 pounds. Their skin is rough and yellow (occasionally shading to brown or green) and their hair is russet, although males commonly shave their heads or retain only a single braid in back, with carefully controlled facial hair. Females often keep their hair in tight buns or braids. Their ears are pointed.
Githzerai are pragmatic to a fault, but unlike their githyanki cousins they are not evil. They are usually chaotic neutral, neutral, or lawful neutral. As focused as they are, some find it difficult to see them as chaotic, but while they are fiercely loyal to their race and their leaders, theirs is the loyalty of free beings, not the servility of slaves. They prize individual freedom above all else.
“Better the heartfelt devotion of a free soul than the grudging obedience of a slave” is a common githzerai saying.
The githzerai are a severe people. They dress in somber colors, eschew jewelry, never smile, and care nothing for art or music. They’re a closed-mouthed, xenophobic people, seldom trusting other races with their secrets. Seldom will they use two words when they can make do with only one. Beneath their stoic facades, though, fierce passions burn: their hatred for illithids and their githyanki cousins, and their desire to protect their race on their adopted home plane. To the githzerai there are three truths: the githyanki and illithids will be their mortal enemies forever; no one will ever be permitted to threaten the survival of their people; and no one will ever enslave them again.
Rrakkma bands (rrakkma means “vengeance” in the githzerai tongue) are bands of warriors who roam the planes, searching for and destroying illithids.
Gith-attala, loosely translated as cousin-hunters, are githzerai devoted to hunting githyanki.
Monastic traditions unite the githzerai race, emphasizing rigorous training for their bodies, minds, and souls.
Githzerai seldom worship any gods. When their ancestors were slaves, the only “higher” beings they were permitted to know of were their illithid masters. The gods their ancestors worshiped before then are long since forgotten. In the present day, they primarily seek inner enlightenment rather than relying on other beings to grant it to them. They believe that by mastering the chaos of their plane they can create perfect internal order, which will lead them to enlightenment. They honor the immortal wizard-king of their race, but do not worship him.
Githzerai do revere the spirits of their ancestors. Of those, the greatest of their ancestors is Zerthimon, who some believe dwells in the realm of the spirits, leading his people to greatness through visions. Others believe he may return one day to lead them in person. Zerths are a major religious sect led by fighter-mages who preach Zerthimon’s return, believing they will be the first chosen to assist him when he comes.
Githzerai see religion as an entirely personal choice, and do not seek to impose their beliefs on others. They rarely worship any deity, but some few may revere deities such as Zuoken (most commonly), or sometimes Kord or even Vecna.
Githzerai speak Tir, a language they share with the githyanki.
Githzerai history was the same as githyanki history until shortly after the ancient illithid empire was thrown down under the leadership of the legendary heroine, Gith. When Gith announced an Eternal Crusade that would lead her people to conquer the planes in an fanatic attempt to exterminate the illithids once and for all, however, many of the githyanki dissented. The most vocal among these was the war hero Zerthimon, who said that no war could end the illithid threat forever. Instead, the people should retreat into introspection, seeking to learn more about themselves so that they could grow in wisdom and strength. He claimed that Gith had become a tyrant no better than the illithid slavemasters she replaced. For a time, Gith tolerated Zerthimon’s dissent, but her hand was forced when the loyalists of Gith came to blows with Zerthimon’s followers, and a civil war erupted that vastly reduced the githyanki population and reduced at least one world to ashes. Gith and Zerthimon met in single combat, and some say Zerthimon fell that day, while others say he triumphed and elected to spare Gith’s life. In the end, neither faction was able to continue the war any longer, and the githyanki retreated to the Astral Plane, while Zerthimon’s followers, the githzerai, retreated to Limbo.