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The gith were a race of humanoids who had been enslaved by mind flayers for countless generations.[11] Some sages claimed that they were once descended from humans,[5][1][13][14] while others maintained that their original race was in fact unknown.[2][15][16] After breaking free from their enslavement, philosophical differences led to a bitter internal conflict, which divided the gith into two main different races at constant odds with each other: the githyanki and the githzerai.[2][7][17]

DescriptionEdit

Gith were tall and emaciated-looking humanoids.[2] They had pale yellow skin, sometimes with greenish or brownish tones. Their skulls were long and angular, with deep-set eyes, flattened noses, and long pointed ears. Typical hair colors included black, red, russet, and sometimes gray.[11][12]

SocietyEdit

The gith were an utterly sundered race. Divided by generations of conflict and ideological differences, the two main sects of the gith people regarded each other with nothing but contempt, hate, and wariness.[2][7] The intense hatred that divided the race was further exploited and amplified by the mind flayers themselves, who kept spies in both githyanki and githzerai communities tasked with stoking their ancient rivalries.[16]

However, a splinter faction of renegade githyanki and githzerai known as the Sha'sal Khou sought to overcome the differences between the two races and bring them together as a single people.[18] They worked secretly within the two races discouraging violence against each other in the hopes of becoming able to call their people simply "gith".[19][20]

Two other subraces existed among the gith:

LanguageEdit

Main article: Gith language

The githyanki and the githzerai each spoke their own dialect of the Gith language, which used a unique form of writing called tir'su. It was an alphabetical set of runes in which words were formed in circles instead of linearly, with the letters of a given word linked in a ring. Githyanki arranged the characters clockwise from the top, while githzerai arranged them counter-clockwise from the bottom. Sentences were formed by a series of these rings.[21][2][22]

HistoryEdit

OriginsEdit

The ancient origin of the gith was clouded in mystery. Even the name of that original race, which some referred to as "the forerunners",[15] was lost to time.[2] Some sources claimed that they were originally humans from a world called Pharagos,[23] located in an unknown crystal sphere that had been conquered by the illithids during the expansion of their empire, and who had been slowly altered by the mind flayers' genetic experiments.[14] Others claimed that they might have been created by the illithids themselves through mixing humanoid hosts with powers from the Far Realm.[15]

Githyanki-mind flayer

A githyanki attacks a mind flayer.

It had been suggested that the enslavement of the gith and the duergar happened during the early expansion of the mind flayer empire.[24] Whether the gith were human or some unknown humanoid race, centuries of servitude and selective breeding changed them considerably. In a practical sense, the gith were in fact made by the mind flayers.[16]

Although revolts were not uncommon among the mind flayers' slaves, for a long time they posed no challenge. However, over time some slaves developed some resistance against their masters' mind control and started secretly improving their psionic abilities. When they judged that the time was right, the forerunners, under the guidance of their leader Gith, revolted in an unprecedented uprising, causing a chain reaction that culminated in the death of countless elder brains and ushered the downfall of the entire illithid empire.[5][25][11] In less than a year, the devastation brought the mind flayers to the brink of extinction and forced the surviving enclaves into hiding, a downfall from which they never fully recovered.[26]

Civil War and SeparationEdit

Soon after conquering their freedom, Gith ordered the continuation of the war effort. The mind flayers were to be hunted down to the last one and the gith were to establish a new empire based on conquest. At this point, Zerthimon, a gith who had gathered a significant following during the fight for freedom, challenged Gith's leadership and her motives, arguing that she would end up leading the people into a similar tyranny that their former masters enforced.[11][7]

The githyanki and the githzerai were so profoundly scarred by their enslavement to the mind flayers that they forget they were one race, united. Having won their freedom, they wage war against each other with a hatred none can fully comprehend.
— Aristul the Yellow[2]

The disagreement led to a violent civil war among the gith. Zerthimon was killed and his followers, who called themselves "githzerai" (meaning "those who spurn Gith" in the Gith language[15]) retreated to Limbo in defeat, but not before dealing substantial damage to Gith's forces, which could no longer sustain a continuing campaign against the mind flayers.[11][7][25][13] This inner struggle gave sufficient time for the surviving mind flayers to retreat and hide in well defended underground locations.[27]

Gith led her surviving followers, who at this point started calling themselves "githyanki" (meaning "children of Gith"[11]), to the former illithid settlements in the Astral Plane until they could regroup and gather their strength in order to resume their plans of conquering the entire multiverse and exterminating both the mind flayers and the githzerai.[11]

Thus, the two divided races remained bitter enemies that constantly thwarted each other's plans. The githyanki divided their conquering efforts to include raids into githzerai strongholds. The githzerai, while also deploying missions to root out and destroy illithid settlements, maintained a steady effort to oppose the githyanki militaristic expansion.[28] This enduring conflict prevented either race from obtaining a decisive victory against the mind flayers and brought the conflict to a stalemate.[7]

Notable GithEdit

AppendixEdit

See AlsoEdit

AppearancesEdit

Adventures
Novels

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Doug Stewart (June 1993). Monstrous Manual. (TSR, Inc), pp. 152–156. ISBN 1-5607-6619-0.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 Wizards RPG Team (2014). Monster Manual 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 158–161. ISBN 978-0786965614.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Skip Williams, Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook (July 2003). Monster Manual 3.5. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 127–130. ISBN 0-7869-2893-X.
  4. Bruce R. Cordell (April 2004). Expanded Psionics Handbook. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 198–199. ISBN 0-7869-3301-1.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Don Turnbull (1981). Fiend Folio. (TSR Hobbies), pp. 43–45. ISBN 0-9356-9621-0.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford (May 29, 2018). Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes. Edited by Kim Mohan, Michele Carter. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 96–97. ISBN 978-0786966240.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford (May 29, 2018). Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes. Edited by Kim Mohan, Michele Carter. (Wizards of the Coast), chap. 4. ISBN 978-0786966240.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Jeff Grubb (1990). Monstrous Compendium Spelljammer Appendix 1. Edited by Mike Breault. (TSR, Inc.), p. 41. ISBN 0-88038-871-4.
  9. Bruce R. Cordell (April 2004). Expanded Psionics Handbook. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 11. ISBN 0-7869-3301-1.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Paul S. Kemp (June 2004). Dawn of Night. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 3, 7, 47. ISBN ISBN 0-7869-3225-2.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 11.6 11.7 11.8 11.9 Monte Cook (January 1996). A Guide to the Astral Plane. Edited by Miranda Horner. (TSR, Inc.), pp. 44–46. ISBN 0-7869-0438-0.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 Mike Mearls, Bruce Cordell, Robin Heinsoo, and Robert J. Schwalb (March 2010). Player's Handbook 3. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 9. ISBN 978-0-7869-5390-5.
  13. 13.0 13.1 Wolfgang Baur and Lester Smith (1994-07-01). “The Travelogue”. In Michele Carter ed. Planes of Chaos (TSR, Inc), p. 29. ISBN 1560768746.
  14. 14.0 14.1 James Wyatt (July 2003). “Incursion: Knights of the Lich-Queen”. In Erik Mona ed. Polyhedron #159 (Paizo Publishing, LLC), p. 6.
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 Chris Sims (August 2009). “Playing Githzerai”. In Chris Youngs ed. Dragon #378 (Wizards of the Coast), p. 80.
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 Richard Baker, James Jacobs, and Steve Winter (April 2005). Lords of Madness: The Book of Aberrations. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 72–73. ISBN 0-7869-3657-6.
  17. Mike Mearls, Stephen Schubert, James Wyatt (June 2008). Monster Manual 4th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 128–131. ISBN 978-0-7869-4852-9.
  18. 18.0 18.1 Christopher Perkins (November 2018). Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage. Edited by Jeremy Crawford. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 193. ISBN 978-0-7869-6626-4.
  19. Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford (May 29, 2018). Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes. Edited by Kim Mohan, Michele Carter. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 97. ISBN 978-0786966240.
  20. Christopher Perkins (July 2003). “The Lich-Queen's Beloved”. In Chris Thomasson ed. Dungeon #100 (Paizo Publishing), p. 98.
  21. Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford (May 29, 2018). Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes. Edited by Kim Mohan, Michele Carter. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 90. ISBN 978-0786966240.
  22. Christopher Perkins (July 2003). “The Lich-Queen's Beloved”. In Chris Thomasson ed. Dungeon #100 (Paizo Publishing), pp. 104–105.
  23. James Wyatt (July 2003). “Incursion: Knights of the Lich-Queen”. In Erik Mona ed. Polyhedron #159 (Paizo Publishing, LLC), pp. 38–39.
  24. Richard Baker, James Jacobs, and Steve Winter (April 2005). Lords of Madness: The Book of Aberrations. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 0-7869-3657-6.
  25. 25.0 25.1 Bruce R. Cordell (April 1998). The Illithiad. Edited by Keith Francis Strohm. (TSR, Inc.), p. 39. ISBN 0-7869-1206-5.
  26. Wizards RPG Team (2016). Volo's Guide to Monsters. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 71. ISBN 978-0786966011.
  27. Richard Baker, James Jacobs, and Steve Winter (April 2005). Lords of Madness: The Book of Aberrations. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 71. ISBN 0-7869-3657-6.
  28. Wolfgang Baur and Lester Smith (1994-07-01). “The Book of Chaos”. In Michele Carter ed. Planes of Chaos (TSR, Inc), pp. 72–73. ISBN 1560768746.
  29. Christopher Perkins (November 2018). Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage. Edited by Jeremy Crawford. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 209. ISBN 978-0-7869-6626-4.

ConnectionsEdit

Gith
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