||Astral or prime
||Exceptional to genius (15-18)
||Individuals R; Lair H
||2-8 (away from lair)
||12, 96 on Astral plane
||Per class and level
||Per class and level
|No. of Attacks:
||Per class and level
||Per weapon type
||Possible spell use, possible magical weapon
||M (6' tall)
||Average to elite (8-14)
||Per class and level
|| = Int
Githyanki are an ancient race descended from humans. They dwell upon the
Astral plane but will often leave that plane to make war on other races. They are
engaged in a lengthy war with the githzerai.
Githyanki are strongly humanoid in appearance. They are approximately of human
height but tend to be much more gaunt and long of limb. They have rough,
yellow skin and gleaming black eyes that instantly betray their inhumanness. Like
many demihuman races, their ears have sharp points and are serrated at the back.
Dress for the githyanki is always an elaborate affair. Their baroque armor and
weapons of war are decorated with feathers, beads, and precious metals and gems.
Githyanki speak their own tongue, and no others.
The githyanki have had long years to perfect the art of war. Their very
existence attests to their battle prowess. Each individual githyanki has a character
class and level from which are derived such things as THAC0, armor class, spell
The armor for each githyanki varies according to class. Mages and illusionists
have AC 10. Fighters and fighter mages have differing armor -- AC 5 to AC 0
(6-1d6). Knights have AC 0.
Githyanki have Hit Dice according to their class and level, and their hit
points are rolled normally. Their THAC0 is determined per class and level, as well.
Fighters, fighter/mages, and knights may receive more than one attack per
round -- other githyanki have one attack per round.
Githyanki knights are evil champions who take up the causes of the githyankis'
mysterious lich-queen. Githyanki knights are very powerful and highly revered
in their society. Githyanki knights have all of the powers and abilities of a
human paladin except these are turned toward evil (e.g. detect good
instead of detect evil, command undead
instead of turning undead, etc.).
Githyanki mages, fighter/mages, and illusionists will receive all the spells
available at their level of experience. Spells should be determined randomly,
keeping in mind that they are by nature creatures of destruction—offensive spells
should be favored.
The githyanki soldiers use arms and armor similar to humans, however these are
normally highly decorated and have become almost religious artifacts. A
githyanki would likely show greater care for his weapons and armor than he would
toward his mate. Half of the githyanki fighters, fighter/mages, or knights that
progress to 5th level receive a magical two-handed sword +1
, the remainder using normal two-handed swords. Githyanki fighters of 7th
level and above are 60% likely to carry a long sword +2
. Knights of 7th level and above will always carry a silver sword
-- a two-handed sword +3
that, if used astrally, has a 5% chance per hit of cutting an opponent's
silver cord (see The Astral Plane , DMG
, page 132), but mind barred
individuals are immune. A supreme leader of a lair will carry a special silver sword
that is +5 with all the abilities of a vorpal weapon
that also affects mind barred
Githyanki will never willingly allow a silver sword
to fall into the hands of a nongithyanki. If a special silver sword
should fall into someone's hands, very powerful raiding parties will be
formed to recover the sword. Failure to recover one of these highly prized weapons
surely means instant death to all the githyanki involved at the hands of their
All githyanki have the natural ability to plane shift
at will. They will rarely travel anywhere besides back and forth from the
Astral plane to the Prime Material plane.
History provides some information on the githyanki -- their race is both
ancient and reclusive. Sages believe they once were humans that were captured by
mind flayers to serve as slaves and cattle. The mind flayers treated their human
slaves cruelly and the people harbored a deep resentment toward the illithids.
For centuries these humans increased their hatred but could not summon the
strength necessary to break free. So they waited for many years, developing their
power in secret, waiting for an opportunity to strike out against their masters.
Finally, a woman of power came forth among them, a deliverer by the name of
Gith. She convinced the people to rise up against their cruel masters. The
struggle was long and vicious, but eventually the people freed themselves. They had
earned their freedom and become the githyanki, (which, in their tongue, means
sons of Gith).
These astral beings progress through levels exactly as a human would. However,
there has never been a githyanki that has progressed beyond the 11th level of
experience and very few progress beyond 9th. When a githyanki advances to 9th
level, he is tested by the lich-queen. This grueling test involves survival in
one of lower planes for a number of weeks. Failure quite obviously results in
death. Githyanki that reach 12th level of experience are immediately drawn out of
the Astral plane and into the presence of the lich-queen where their life
force is drawn to feed the ravenous hunger of the cruel demi-goddess.
Githyanki dwell in huge castles on the Astral plane. These ornately decorated
castles are avoided by all other dwellers on the Astral plane for the githyanki
are infamous for being inhospitable to strangers.
A githyanki stronghold will be ruled by a supreme leader. This leader will be
a fighter/mage of 10th/8th level or 11th/9th level. The supreme leader is the
undisputed overlord of the castle with the power of life and death over all who
dwell there. A typical leader will be equipped with 2-8 random magical items in
addition to the weapons described above.
All castles have a retinue of 20-80 knights of 9th level that serve as the
supreme leader's elite shock troops. They are fanatically loyal. There will also
be up to 1,000 githyanki of lesser status.
Githyanki, having the ability to plane shift
at will, often travel to the Prime Material plane. These treks across the
planes often lead to the formation of underground lairs used to mount surface
raids, though their hatred is more often directed against mind flayers. Outside the
war with the githzerai, these raids are conducted largely for the perverse
pleasure of the kill.
A typical githyanki lair on the Prime Material plane will contain the
|One supreme leader
||11th-level fighter or 7th/8th-level fighter/mage
||8th-level fighter and 7th/6th-level fighter/mage
||mages of 4th/7th level
||fighters of 4th/7th level
||fighter/mages of 4th/4th level
|20-50 lower levels
||determined randomly using the table above, of 1st-3rd level
On the Prime Material plane, githyanki have a pact with a group of
. These proud creatures will act as mounts and companions to the githyanki.
When encountered on the Prime Material plane and outside their lair, a githyanki
group will typically consist of the following:
||4th to 7th-level mage
|Five lower githyankis
||fighters of 1st-3rd level
Such a group will have two red dragons as steeds, transporting between four
and six githyanki per dragon. The dragons will fight for the safety and
well-being of the githyanki but will not directly risk their lives, fleeing when the
battle is turned against them. Just what the githyanki offer the red dragons in
return for these services is unknown.
An interesting aspect of githyanki society is the apparent bond between
military leaders and their subordinates. This bond allows a leader to give his men
short, almost senseless commands (to human standards) and actually relay complex
and exacting messages. Although this has no actual affect during the melee
round, it often leads to more effective ambushes and attacks and allows complex
military decisions to be relayed quickly.
Githyankis have similar ecology to that of humans. However, the Astral plane
does not offer the same type of environments as the Prime Material plane, so
their cultural groups are much different. In a society where farmers and tradesmen
are unnecessary, more unique, specialized groups have evolved.
The g''lathk, (admittedly nearly unpronounceable in human tongues) are the
equivalent of farmers. Due to the barrenness of the Astral plane, the githyanki
are forced to grow food in vast, artificial chambers. They rely upon a variety
of fungi and other plants that require no sunlight to grow. The g''lathk are
also experts in aquatic plantlife, sometimes tending gigantic water-gardens.
Not all magic-using githyanki ever attain the power and self-discipline
necessary to become wizards. Some use their magical talents in the field of
architecture and construction. The mlar are such individuals, focusing their creative
energies toward designing and constructing the buildings and structures used in
day-to-day life in githyanki society. The mlar have developed their jobs into
an art form.
The Astral plane has many strange energies moving through it. Some of these
energies are obvious to the senses, such as heat and light. Others are not so
easily observed. There are many psychic and strange astral energies that humans
generally are not aware of. Being a psychically aware race, however, the
githyanki cannot only sense these energies, but harness them too. The hr'a'cknir are
the collectors of those energies. They are similar to the mlar, in that they use
innate magical powers to perform their crafts.
More than humans, githyanki are hunters and predators. They will typically
engage in raiding and plundering seemingly for the joy they derive from it. It is
likely that the long centuries of enslavement of their race has caused the
githyanki to bully those weaker than themselves.
Unlike humans, though, the githyanki never war amongst themselves. The split
of the githyanki and the githzerai (q.v.
) is the closest thing the gith races have known to civil war. Githyanki never
battles githyanki. It is the unwritten rule of gith society and is never
broken. This, too, may be an effect of the race's enslavement.