The githyanki are a yellow-skinned humanoid race from Charos; the realm of Madness. It is believed they were developed or magically evolved from the race of elves. They have a bitter hatred toward the race of beings called Ilithids.


All githyanki have yellowish-brown ski, with patterns of brown spots, almost lizard-like. No two patterns are alike. The Githyanki wear ornate baroque style armor, encrusted with many jewels. They are a martial race, both sexes train with swords from the time they are very young.


All githyanki children possessed minor telekinetic abilities, but only a few worked to develop them. Githyanki generally preferred magic over psionics.


Githyanki society was martial, with both males and females training heavily in magic and combat. Although they were loyal to each other, they were also fiercely individualistic. Raiding illithid strongholds was considered a rite of passage.

Dwelling in the world of Charos, the githyanki inhabited numerous fortresses constructed from stone, iron, and bronze. Their capital and largest city, Narath, was built on a mountainous island surrounded by a sea of lava.

The githyanki 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 being linked in a ring clockwise from the top. Sentences were formed by a series of these rings. Much as runes were given a mystical significance, the Githyanki employ the tir'su when creating magical wards and symbols.



The ancestors of the githyanki were once humanoid slaves of the illithids, a race devoted to mentally dominating sentient humanoids to work as the backbone of their vast empire. It was believed these original human slaves were transformed through selective breeding. After eventually developing mental resistance to their masters' mind control, the slaves revolted, thus causing the fall of the illithid empire. The slaves were led by Gith; a legendary figure among the Githyanki. Unfortunately, Gith was murdered by a Githyanki priest named Zerthimon, and the race split into two sub-races the Githyanki; who were the followers of Gith, and the Githzerai; who were the followers of Zerthimon.

Not satisfied with the destruction of the illithids alone, the war spread to any race that could potentially enslave them again. The Githzerai were hated by the Githyanki because their betrayal allowed the surviving illithids to retreat into isolated subterranean strongholds and rebuild part of their empire on Charos. The two races have been at constant state of war ever since.