Children of the Cosmos

by Travis Stout (Dragon #297)

Throughout the multiverse, a vast number of planes embody the forces of good and evil, law and chaos, and other primordial forces. At the heart of these planes lies the Material Plane, where most campaigns take place. Outsiders of every stripe roam this plane, and many interact with the Material Plane's native inhabitants. Although it's uncommon, some of these interactions produce children, and those children produce children. Outsider blood is powerful, and its influence can last through several generations, bestowing its special gifts upon the outsider's descendants. These descendants are referred to as planetouched, and they are a breed apart from the other inhabitants of the planes. This article presents six new planetouched for you to add to your campaign: axani, cansin, and four new para-elemental genasi.

Order And Entropy

When someone mentions the planetouched, the first beings that come to mind are aasimar and tieflings, the descendants of celestials and fiends, respectively. Strongly tied to their respective alignments, aasimar and tieflings, for better or for worse, are encountered more frequently than other planetouched.

Good and evil comprise only one axis of alignment. Law and chaos are equally powerful and compelling forces, and there are a number of outsiders that embody these forces just as celestials and fiends embody good and evil. Planetouched descended from lawful or chaotic outsiders are called axani and cansin, respectively. Axani have the blood of lawful outsiders coursing through their veins, most often a lawful neutral outsider like a mercane or an axiomatic humanoid (described in Manual of the Planes), but sometimes a lawful celestial (such as an archon) or fiend (such as a devil) produces an axani descendant. This happens most often when most of the axani's mortal ancestors are strongly opposed to the good or evil component of the outsider's alignment. Cansin, on the other hand, are descended from chaotic outsiders, like slaadi or chaos beasts. Such instances are rare, and the fact that they happen at all highlights the nature of chaos itself. Like axani, however, sometimes a chaotic celestial (such as an eladrin) or fiend (such as a demon) spawns cansin descendants instead of, or in addition to, aasimar and tieflings.


Axani typically have overly neat, orderly appearances. They favor simple but elegant clothing and hairstyles. They are often quite attractive, with well-formed, symmetrical features. Some axani have a metallic tint to their skin or hair, but this is rare. Like elves, Axani have no facial or body hair. As their lineage indicates, most are lawful neutral, with lawful good and lawful evil as roughly equal minorities. Neutral axani are extremely rare, and chaotic axani are almost unheard of. Axani are drawn to the ordered, principled life of the monk, but any profession with a structured environment, such as soldiering, suits them.

Racial Abilities: Axani have the following traits:


Children of randomness and entropy, cansin are most often descended from the inhabitants of Limbo, the plane of chaos. Cansin generally appear disheveled and disorganized. Their clothing is mismatched, their hair is mussed, and their caps perch at odd angles. Cansin typically have at least one, but possibly several, minor physical traits that reflect their origins. Some have eyes that randomly change color (not necessarily in sync), others have slightly irregular features, and still others carry around an aura of randomness that causes strange things to happen in the cansin's presence. This aura does not affect dice rolls in any way, of course, but it can affect insignificant events such as chance meetings, minor accidents, and strange but harmless occurrences. Naturally, most cansin are chaotic, but their very unpredictability makes neutral and even lawful cansin more common than good tieflings, evil aasimar, or chaotic axani.

Racial Abilities: Cansin have the following traits:


By far the most common breeds of genasi are those descended from the four primary elements of air, earth, fire, and water. Slightly less common are para-genasi descended from the mixed blood of two types of elemental outsiders. For example, if the daughter of a mortal and an efreeti has a child with a djinni, that child's descendants might include smoke para-genasi as well as fire and air genasi. Because such unions are less common than those that create the standard genasi, however, para-genasi are comparatively rarer than the four genasi described in Planetouched and Genasi.

Dust Para-Genasi

Dust para-genasi tend to be morbid and sarcastic. They are most often neutral, but many of them have a slightly chaotic bent. They are pale and gaunt, with hollow cheeks and dark circles under their eyes. They usually have at least one or two traits that hint at their ancestry, such as perpetually dry skin or a cloud of dust that clings to them wherever they go. They almost always dress in black, and more often than not they wear funeral garb, even when such garb would be highly inappropriate.

Racial Abilities: Dust para-genasi have the following traits:

Ice Para-Genasi

Ice para-genasi are cold, emotionless beings. Like most genasi, they tend toward neutrality. They appear human, but their features are often sharper and more chiseled than normal, and their skin is paler than the norm for their race. In addition, they have one or two minor supernatural traits that hint at their heritage, such as breath that frosts in even the hottest weather or frost-caked hair. They prefer loose, light clothing in whites and pale blues, even in cool climates.

Racial Abilities: Ice para-genasi have the following traits:

Magma Para-Genasi

Ponderous but powerful, magma para-genasi combine many of the traits of their earthen and fiery ancestors. Like all para- genasi, they tend toward neutrality. They are usually short and stocky, sometimes to the point of resembling tall dwarves. They usually have dark skin, and they typically possess traits that mark them as unusual, They might have a reddish glow to their skin or eyes, feel unusually hot to the touch, or have hair that ripples like fire. They tend toward simple, utilitarian clothes, which often seem disturbingly close to smoldering.

Racial Abilities: Magma para-genasi have the following traits:

Ooze Para-Genasi

Ooze para-genasi are repulsive and slimy (both physically and in personality). They are most often neutral, but they have a slight tendency toward evil. They are usually heavyset, with flabby bodies and sallow skin. Most exhibit a small number of traits that hint at their ancestry, such as greasy skin or unusually flexible limbs. They wear dark earth tones, and their clothing is often soiled and foul smelling. They are, on a whole, utterly revolting.

Racial Abilities: Ooze para-genasi have the following traits:

Smoke Para-Genasi

Smoke para-genasi seem crude and lazy. They tend toward neutrality, like all genasi and most elementals. Smoke para-genasi are tall and lanky, reflecting their heritage of air and fire. They tend to have dark skin and hair, and like other genasi have one or two unusual traits, such as hair that billows like clouds of smoke or the faint whiff of something burning clinging to them. They prefer loose clothing in dark colors and heavy fabrics.

Racial Abilities: Smoke para-genasi have the following traits:

Steam Para-Genasi

Bossy and egotistical, steam para-genasi often see themselves as inherently superior to other creatures, including other para-genasi. They tend toward neutrality, like their elemental forefathers. Steam para-genasi are usually tall and slim, and often weigh less than their appearance suggests. Like other para-genasi, they have one or two unusual traits, such as wisps of mist constantly clinging to them or a grey tone to their skin or hair. Their clothing is usually loose, flowing, and gauzy.

Racial Abilities: Steam para-genasi have the following traits:

Other Planetouched

While the eight new planetouched presented here expand upon the themes presented by aasimar, tieflings, and genasi, this is by no means an exhaustive list of planetouched races. There are countless planes of existence, many outlined in Manual of the Planes, any of which could form the basis for new kinds of planetouched. DMs might wish to use these planetouched as a starting point to design such outlandish creatures as positars, with ancestry tracing back to the Positive Energy Plane, or tenebrians, with a distant relative from the Demiplane of Shadow. When you are dealing with outsiders and their kin, the only limit is your imagination - and sometimes not even that!

Planetouched Races
Races of Faerûn
Character Creation