Genasi are a race of humanoids with elemental power in their blood. There are three ways this occurs: a member of some mortal race spends extended time near a source of elemental power, like on one of the elemental planes or near a rift to such a plane; a humanoid is born in the midst of a powerful elemental influence like a hurricane or a raging forest fire; or a genie of one of the elemental planes procreates.
A water genasi, Babenon Dosal, fathered Jester Lavorre, who would eventually become a member of the Mighty Nein and play a notable role in the story of Artagan, one of the Archfey. Starting in 820 PD Babenon was part of the Zadash cell of the Myriad, and he left his leadership role there in roughly 839 PD to settle down with Marion Lavorre.
Genasi are a hardy race, and they all tend to know the Primordial language in addition to Common, but beyond that the appearance and abilities of genasi vary widely and depend on their elemental heritage. There are four major subraces of genasi, one from each of the major elemental planes.
Air genasi are either descended from the djinn or from a humanoid exposed to the energies of the Elemental Plane of Air, and the most common humanoid race of parents of air genasi (at least in Tal'Dorei) is halflings. They tend to have mercurial moods. Physically, they may be more lightweight than they appear, and they typically have light blue hair and eyes. They also usually have light blue skin, but pale, almost alabaster skin is also known, and some display odd patterns in their flesh. Air genasi are constantly surrounded by a faint breeze that affects their hair and clothing. Some have breathy voices with a faint echo.
Air genasi can hold their breath indefinitely while conscious, can cast Levitate once per day without using material components, and tend to have greater dexterity than other genasi.
Earth genasi are descended from either the dao or humanoids exposed to the energies of the Elemental Plane of Earth, and the most common humanoid race of parents of earth genasi is dwarves. They tend to be circumspect. Their heritage can manifest physically in a variety of ways, from constantly having dust falling from their bodies to having skin resembling pebbles, various metals, dark gems, or crystals.
Earth genasi can move across difficult terrain made of earth and stone without expending extra movement, can cast Pass Without Trace once per day without using material components, and tend to be stronger than other genasi.
Fire genasi are descendants of either the efreet or humanoids exposed to the energies of the Elemental Plane of Fire, and the most common humanoid race of parents of fire genasi is tieflings. They tend to be more intelligent than other genasi, but also more hasty in judgment and in action. They do not hide their genasi heritage, which can show in skin tones of coal black, ash gray, or flaming red, and hair that is either fiery red or actual flames. In the throes of extreme emotion, their eyes may flare and their hair may writhe.
Fire genasi are resistant to fire damage and have darkvision that extends to 60 feet, seeing poorly lit things in shades of red rather than grey. They can cast the Produce Flame cantrip, and if they reach 3rd level they can cast Burning Hands as a 1st-level spell once per day.
Water genasi are descended from either marids or humanoids exposed to the energies of the Elemental Plane of Water, and the most common humanoid race of parents of water genasi is humans. They tend to be wiser than other genasi, and take pride in their independence. Most have large, blue-black eyes, and they often have blue or green skin that is persistently moist.
These genasi have a swimming speed of 30 feet, can breathe both air and water, and innately know the Shape Water cantrip. If they reach 3rd level, they can cast Create or Destroy Water as a 2nd-level spell once per day. They are resistant to acid damage, as famously demonstrated by Babenon Dosal.
Genasi in Society
Genasi are rare in Tal'Dorei, and they are most common among the Ashari—presumably air genasi in Zephrah, earth genasi in Terrah, and fire genasi at Flamereach Outpost—and near other sources of elemental power. In common society they are treated somewhat rudely, at least outside of Niirdal-Poc, where there is a sizable genasi population.
Both sailors and pirates on the Menagerie Coast are interested in using a genasi's elemental abilities on the ocean.
In the plains of Xhorhas outside of the Kryn Dynasty, there are air, fire, and water genasi born to those who pray for Kord, the Stormlord's blessings. These genasi typically serve as shamans. Xhorhassian earth genasi, on the other hand, are typically born and live in the Vermaloc Wildwood.
Very few if any genasi are born within the Kryn Dynasty, and as such the Kryn do not know much about them. Therefore Kryn scouts received orders to bring any genasi they find to Rosohna to learn about them.
Those high up in the Cerberus Assembly are fascinated with genasi, to the extent that a genasi may be press-ganged into joining the Assembly or face death or exile. Most genasi accept the offer; however, those who do not often join the Myriad. Oremid Hass is an earth genasi and among the highest-ranking members of the Assembly.
- Babenon Dosal, alias The Gentleman, a water genasi rogue, long a prominent figure in the Zadash cell of the Myriad, father of Jester Lavorre, most recently living with Marion Lavorre
- Oremid Hass, an earth genasi wizard, Archmage of Cultivation for the Cerberus Assembly, and Headmaster of the Hall of Erudition in Zadash
- Farriwen Breeze, an air genasi monk who joined the Darrington Brigade
- Senokir, a fire genasi jeweler in the City of Brass in the Elemental Plane of Fire
- Ornna, a presumed fire genasi who performed in the Fletching and Moondrop Traveling Carnival of Curiosities
- Dorian Storm, an air genasi bard and member of the Crown Keepers
- Fy'ra Rai, a fire genasi monk and member of the Crown Keepers
- Elam Genar, an earth genasi friend of Fy'ra Rai in Niirdal-Poc in 843 PD
- Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 171.
- Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 28.
- Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, pp. 170–172.
- Though the transcript says "the planes touched", it is possible she is describing the genasi as "the planes-touched [people]" rather than describing an event. See "The Gift Among the Green" (Ex06) at 1:06:47.
- See "The Oh No Plateau" (Ex02) at 1:08:05.
- See "Fleeting Memories" (2x14) at 47:24. The Gentleman states that he's lived and worked in Zadash for fifteen years. The episode takes place in 835 PD.
- See "Critical Role Campaign 2 Wrap Up" (Sx56) at 4:03:58.
- Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, pp. 171–172.
- See "The Nameless Ones" (Ex01) at 10:17.
- Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 172.
- See "The Adventures of the Darrington Brigade" (Sx49) at 24:41.
- See "Fleeting Memories" (2x14) at 48:26.
- Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 170.
- Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 43.
- Fan art of Farriwen Breeze, an air genasi, by Stephanie Brown (source). Used with permission.
- Fan art of Fy'ra Rai, a fire genasi, by HeartofPack (source). Used with permission.
- Fan art of Babenon Dosal drinking acid, by GalacticJonah (source). Used with permission.
- Fan art of Oremid Hass, by @tshortik (source). Used with permission.
- Fan art of Dorian, by LornArt (source). Used with permission.
- Genasi on the Forgotten Realms Wikia (Forgotten Realms lore is not canon to Critical Role)