The githyanki are a once-human species of Astral Sea-dwellers. All githyanki children possess minor telekinetic abilities, but only a few work to develop them. Githyanki generally prefer magic over psionics.
Githyanki society is martial, with both males and females training heavily in magic and combat. Although they are loyal to each other, they are also fiercely individualistic. Raiding illithid strongholds is considered a rite of passage.
Dwelling in the timeless Astral Plane, the githyanki inhabit numerous fortresses constructed from materials imported to the plane as well as cities built atop god-isles, the vast stone corpses of deceased deities. Their capital and largest city, Tu’narath, is built on the god-isle of a deceased power known only as the One in the Void.
The githyanki use a unique form of writing called tir’su. It is an alphabetical set of runes in which words are formed in circles instead of linearly, with the letters of a given word being linked in a ring clockwise from the top. Sentences are 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 human slaves to the illithids, a race devoted mentally dominating sentient humanoids to work as the backbone of their vast empire. It is 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.
Not satisfied with the destruction of the illithids alone, the war spread to any race that could potentially enslave them again. At the Pronouncement of Two Skies, the once-slave race splintered into the githyanki and the githzerai, the latter of whom is hated by the githyanki because their betrayal allowed the surviving illithids to retreat to isolated subterranean strongholds. The two races have been at war ever since.
Of interest are the Teachings of Zertimon