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Monster Minute: Genies

Persian JinniGenies in Real-World Mythology
Genie, djinni, or jinni in Arabic culture is a supernatural being who come from another world in parallel to our own world and are one of three sentient creations of Allah (the other two being man and angels). According to the Qur’an, jinn share one thing with mankind, and which angels lack: free will. The Qur’an also says that jinn form civilizations and cultures just like humans but are made of “smokeless fire”. And much like humans, they can be good or evil.

In Arabic, the word “jinn” is used to describe all genies as a collective, including sub-types, and comes from a root word which means “to hide” or “be hidden”. Prior to Islam, jinn were any spirits lesser than angels and were even worshiped by Persians. Types of jinn include shaitan (devils), ghul (ghoul), marid (water genie), jinni (supernatural being) and ifrit (infernal genie).

Marid and JanniGenies in D&D
In the world of D&D, genies are humanoids with features which suggest their elemental nature, but are capable of shape-shifting into other forms. They have their own civilizations and societies on their native plane. Because genies have amazing supernatural powers and magics, wizards and mages are very fond of summoning genies to grant wishes or to perform insurmountable tasks.

Types of genies include:

  • Efreeti – genies from the plane of fire, said to be made of bronze, basalt, and solid or congealed flames.
  • Janni – weakest of all the genie types and are formed from all four elements, they cannot live without spending time in the material (our) plane.
  • Marid – genies from the plane of water
  • Djinni – genies from the plane of air
  • Qorrashi – Spirits of cold and ice. They are distant cousins to the djinn.
  • Dao – genies from the plane of earth
  • Kahayal – Genies from the plane of shadow

The djinn and efreet were both monsters found in the original white box D&D set released in 1974, and were published again in AD&D first edition along with the dao, jann, and marid. It wasn’t until AD&D 2nd ed, that word “genie” was used as a classification for these monster types. The D&D Monster Manual v3.0 republished the djinni and efreeti, expanding on their statistics. Other v3.0 source books republished the dao and mariad, while new jinn types such as the janni, qorrashi, and khayal were created. The source book Savage Species outlines the janni, djinni, and efreeti as playable character races. So far only the djinn is the only published genie in the D&D 4e and can be found in the Monster Manual 2.

Genies in Eberron
All dao, marid, and djinn come from the remote plane of Lammania, the Twilight Forest – the realm of raw and wild nature. Lammania genies are chaotic in nature. The most common type in the Twilight Forest is djinn, while the dao and marid are rare. The djinn found in Stormreach are typically bound to a place or object by magic until they perform their tasks. Efreeti are the kind of genies that are often summoned by marilith demons and have powers over fire and flame.

Xen’drik most famous djinni is Zawabi, who rules over an oasis just north the Menectarun desert. Zawabi is bound by potent magic to this Refuge, but he is still powerful enough to provide protection, for those who live there, against the savage gnolls, the drow cults of Vulkroom, and the growing forces of the Demon Queen Lailat.
Zawabi