Djinn are perhaps the most dangerous of all spirits to summon. Angelic and Infernal beings are powerful yes, predictable, and can be appeased. The Djinn, they're creatures of reckless abandon who are just as likely to obey your command as they are to incinerate you and the village unlucky enough to be your host.
Before The Queen's Rebuke it was commonplace for extraplanar beings to visit Tairos by their own volition or through summoning by mortal conjurers. Some, like divine beings and totemic spirits, were called upon to further the causes of altruism and peace. Others, such demons and Oblivion entities were called upon to grant one's deepest desires without regard for the costs. Djinn dwell somewhere in the middle - indifferent to the cause yet dedicated to the task... so long as it's entertaining or profitable.
Djinn begin their life within the fires of soul furnaces of the Miraz. Each of these furnaces is an ancient and powerful relic kept under the guard of these covetous, ambitious, and cunning lords. Each of the Miraz sit at the center of personal empires within a realm of flame, light, and scalding winds. This place is often simply referred to as the Elemental Plane of Fire in the old texts of the College of Magic though in other circles it is known as Durzakh or the Scorching Eternities. This place is home to burning objects the size of planets. They're called Core Stars or Star Hearts and are said to be the elemental mirror deep center of stars in the material realm (and, it is said, when a star dies in the material realm its twin in Durzakh perishes as well). Here, in the Scorching Eternities, their purpose is two fold. First, to fill this endless realm with the fire it needs to survive. And second, as an anchor for the metallic islands that exist here.
Many creatures call this burning realm home but the most diverse and perhaps most infamous are the Djinn. It is difficult to explain a Djinn to an outsider as their physical forms vary from humanoid appearances, to fiendish beasts, to even strange anthropomorphized animal beings. While their exact physical forms are too numerous truly catalog their natures all tend to have a great deal in common. Capriciousness. They are moody, quick to lose interest, and always seeking an indulgence to dedicate their fleeting attention to. In fact, only the youngest of Djinn freshly born in the Mirazi forges are capable of focusing on mundane tasks that offer no reward or promise of entertainment.
In fact, so legendary is the ephemeral attention spans that mortal summoners rarely call upon the Djinn in the same way they would angels or demons. Djinn do not abandon tasks they've been charged with out of malice or betrayal, it's simply a matter of boredom. The mortal realm offers so many unique experiences to enjoy that it becomes difficult for them to pass up. In most cases they fully intend on completing what they were called upon to do, they just expect to get to it later. The only way to keep them on task is under threat of torture/imprisonment (a very difficult thing to do) or to bribe them with a reward of such value or allure that they will rush to complete their task.
The only force that can reliably browbeat a Djinn into service are the Miraz. These powerful entities are the pinnacle of what a Djinn can evolve into. Their influence is far reaching and the threat they pose is easily the equal of a demi-god or demon lord. Such a being is capable of snuffing out the fire that fuels a Djinn, a fate akin to complete erasure. More commonly, they dim the flame inside their servants which robs their victims of joy and the ability to enjoy indulgences. And the only force that stands above the Miraz is the Paddisha, the Emperor of the Scorching Eternities who rules from the Ember Palace in the center of the City of Brass.
There is little commonality among the Djinn as far as physical appearances go. The only trait that can be counted on is their arms. Almost all of them possess four arms at birth and many keep those arms all through their existence.
Genetics and Reproduction
Djinn are certainly capable of sexual reproduction with mortal races. Such unions will often result in the birth of extraordinary specimens of the mortal partner who often manifest unique abilities and traits. However; Djinn are not capable of reproducing with each other. True Djinn can only be created inside the furnaces of the Miraz.
Growth Rate & Stages
Djinn are born physically mature and with a basic level of intelligence and education. They also have a strong bent toward subservience and submission. At birth they are given a specific task by their Miraz that once accomplished earns them freedom. After this freedom is granted their personalities will evolve, often along with their bodies. Their personalities will grow to enjoy indulging in pleasures, amassing treasures, and exploring new places. Their bodies will sometimes change once their freedom is granted (and their internal fire allowed to burn fully). The new form they may take can be anything from slight physical tweaks to their existing body to looking like an entirely different species
Ecology and Habitats
A djinn can live just about anywhere but they prefer warmth, humidity, beautiful vistas. They universally despise the cold.
Dietary Needs and Habits
Unlike angelic and demonic beings Djinn need to eat when they are not in the presence of their Star Hearts. Normally these massive extraplanar objects fuel the fire of the Djinn but when they are removed from light they must find alternative means of stoking their flame. That means food, massive amounts of food in fact. And the discerning palate of most Djinn mean that only the best will do.
The longer a Djinn lives the more power it will amass. The Miraz and the Paddisha will often grant servants who accomplish tasks successfully with rewards in the form of titles. These titles are not just noble signifiers but an investment of raw arcane energy. Djinn will gain new abilities and often new forms or enhancements to their existing form. Should a title be revoked the consequences are dire. Demoted Djinn will revert to an extremely weakened and diminished version of their past self as their internal flame recovers from the trauma
Geographic Origin and Distribution
Mostly within the Elemental Plane of Fire where they can be found on various different metallic islands. The largest concentration of them are located within the City of Brass. In Tairos they were frequently summoned by the old Skyriran nobility before the collapse. Now, a rare few can still be found in the wastelands of the Scorch.
Perception and Sensory Capabilities
Djinn are able to use dark vision to see in limited light. When they do so their eyes burn with unnatural fire. They're also able to sense precious metals and stones as well as perceive the value/quality of such items.
Civilization and Culture
The Miraz who created the Djinn will give them their name. Each Miraz has their own tradition for such but a name is required to complete the forging process. All Djinn must have their name before them can fully form
The Miraz, The Mirazi Court, The Court of the Paddisha, the guilds of the Brass City
Free Djinn adore beauty in all forms. Written word, physical appearances, works of art, music, and culinary delights. They consider themselves the greatest critics in all of creation and often they are right. Few species are as dedicated to the pursuits of joy and indulgence as the Djinn. While each will have their own personal view of what beauty is, they all seek it and they all respect each others tastes... to a point. Creatures they view as lesser in some way, even other lesser Djinn, will have to work hard to earn such respect.
Extravagance. Each will have their tastes when it comes to how to pursue love but no expense will be spared in the effort
The goal of any relationship involving a Djinn is the enhancement of pleasure. The Djinn are mercurial even at the best of times and most relationships tend to be whirlwind affairs that burn out quickly but those that last are the ones dedicated to mutual pursuits of joy. Long lasting djinn relationships are akin to a holiday that spans the planes of existence for eons without end
Average Technological Level
Djinn prefer magic over technology. They find complicated machines frustrating, banal, and uninteresting
Common Dress Code
Djinn are not known to wear many layers of clothing. They prefer light garments made of thin, unrestrictive materials. In their homes and places they're comfortable they are often nude. Whatever clothing they do wear, they favor color in all its hues.
Culture and Cultural Heritage
The Empire of Skyrir had a long history of conjuring Djinn. As their foothold over Tairos expanded they were more than able to offer rewards worthy of holding a Djinn's attention. When their empire fell many Djinn were left stranded in the Scorchlands. Such lost Djinn became the subject of nightmarish myths, devolving from conjured pleasure seekers into hungry monsters lurking amid the desert ruins.
Interspecies Relations and Assumptions
Djinn have no strong feelings about other extra-planar beings. They see most of them as rather boring though and overly dedicated to tasks that, as they see it, offer a pittance as reward. They do have a great fear of the extinguishing of the Core Stars. This is something that has been happening with an increasing frequency and much of Durzakh has become a still, cold, smoke-filled hollow. Unfortunately, they are not able to organize themselves long enough to explore the cause of the dying.
Cover image: by Matias Trabold Rehren
Absolutely fascinating! Love all the tiny details you added :) Also, I feel like I could identify as a djinn after reading this - on the "quick to lose interest, and always seeking an indulgence to dedicate their fleeting attention to" side.
Same! And thanks for taking a look, much appreciated!
:) Djinn have always been interesting to me, wanted to check out your twist on them.
I like the touches about djinn in this article. As someone who has their own take on djinn as part of their own world, I was immediately pulled into their description. I especially liked the elements of their original folklore and that of fantasy games being added into this interpretation.
Thanks very much for taking a look! Glad you enjoyed this take on Djinn too!