Thegithyanki are skilled wielders of arcane magic and psionics, although unlikemany other races they have no tradition of practising divine magic. Githyankiclerics are rare indeed, and are never encountered within githyanki fortresses;their lich-queen demands total obedience and loyalty from her people.
Githyanki spellcasters aredivided into two approximate groups. The gish, or ‘skilled’, do not limitthemselves to the pursuit of magic alone. They often study swordplay as well,saving their spells for those that enhance the fighting ability of themselvesand others. I am aware that one of my estimable colleagues on this venture hasalready covered this caste, however, and so instead I shall focus on the othergithyanki magic-users, collectively known as warlocks.
Warlocks are for the most partfocused solely on magic. They may be wizards or sorcerers, and most scholars ofgith culture assume that the majority of them are wizards. That is not to say,however, that that is entirely accurate, because we simply do not know. Onlythe githyanki truly know, and they’re not telling. Their wizards learn magic ina manner much the same as any other wizard; they scribe scrolls and spellbooks.Students of the history of magic may be entertained by the notion that inabsence of any official history of the githyanki, it is quite likely that ananalysis of their spellbooks might help to fill in some of the blanks. We couldlearn what spells the githyanki wizards favoured at various periods. Of course,critics might respond that the only valuable lessons they could teach would bethat one period of githyanki history is much like any other; namely a phase ofprotracted warfare against the githzerai and illithids, as well as generalhostility to any other race.
Githyanki sorcerers are afascinating phenomenon, insofar as they prove another corroboration for thedraconic influence theory of sorcery; like kobolds, there is evidence of astrong link between githyanki and dragonkind. However, the link is not one ofevolutionary similarity. Rather, the githyanki’s ancient covenant with the reddragons appears to have given the githyanki the gift of sorcery. Quite how thisappeared is uncertain. Githyanki refuse to mate with any creatures other thangithyanki, and as such this does cast a shadow of doubt over the idea of thegithyanki having the blood of dragons. That said, dragons are capable of polymorphingthemselves into humanoid form, and the possibility exists of some talent forsorcery having been introduced in this way. Be that as it may, I have found noaccounts of githyanki / red dragon crossbreeds. If they existed, it is quitelikely that they took pains to conceal or disguise themselves for fear ofxenophobic reprisals. Githyanki sorcerers tend on the whole to make better gishthan wizards; and indeed their ability to loose more fireballs, lightningbolts and magic missiles means they’re often more likely to succeedin the warlock’s career than their wizardly counterparts too. The chiefadvantage the wizards hold, I think, is their rapid acquisition of spells andability to adapt their spell selections with abandon. Such mastery over thestuff of magic itself makes wizardry the path of choice for many githyanki.
Thegithyanki are primarily a military race, and their spell creation and namingprocesses reflect that. Their spells are designed with two purposes in mind;the location and destruction of their enemies, and the exploitation of theastral plane. A githyanki spellcaster rarely attaches his own name to hiscreation, preferring instead to let his work speak for itself. Instead, thespell’s title is often as clipped and harsh as the language they speak.