The Gates of Genas, the only entry into the island stronghold of the Genasi
Genas came into existence almost one thousand years ago, before the rise of the Galaryn Empire. At that time, the great power of Theidra was the Empire of Haelath. The Genasi were wanderers with no home. The Haelathi were hostile to the elemental humanoids living in their midst, believing them to be escapees form the elemental chaos who would bring destruction down on them. They were more correct than they knew.
It was only after fleeing Haelath that the Genasi first took to piracy. They found their ability to commune with elements greatly beneficial to a life at sea, but the life of merchant traders appealed to few. Even so, many of them still longed for a homeland.
It was the earthsoul Genasi who first suggested the plan, but the idea spread and soon a great meet was held. In the fifty years since their expulsion from the Empire the Genasi had among them amassed quite a fleet, and it was decided that they should create a haven for their kind and their kind alone. So, working together, the watersoul and earthsoul Genasi carved off part of the southern peninsula of Theidra. They then carved it into a hollow ring with a single opening, and with the aid of the other Genasi, they set about forming different parts of the island to suit the tastes of the different types of Genasi.
What they did not foresee – or perhaps they did and didn’t care – was the effect of this on the landscape of Theidra. When Genas was carved away from the landmass, the land collapsed down toward the sea, creating a steeply sloping landscape running from the sea up to newly formed mountains. This changed the flow of rivers and the fall of rain, and soon the lands of Haelath began to dry. Within a century, Haelath was a place of desert and scrub, and those people who did not leave fell pray to barbarian tribes from the west, or simply starved.
During the Psionic War, the Genasi allied with the Eladrin and other Arcanists. Where many tieflings embraced the new Psionic theory of origin, the Genasi reveled in the believe that they were children of the Elemental Chaos, the power of nature made flesh. Joining the Arcanists also gave them the opportunity to pillage the Gulf of Bael Turath without restraint or fear of reprisal. The sack of Vor Turath, a joint effort by several Corsair lords, fetched vast riches, as well as vengeance for their defeat at the hands of Turath centuries earlier. When the Arkhosians demanded peace, the Genasi refused, secure in their natural fortress and thrilled with the spoils of their renewed piracy.
Genasi live most of their lives on the move. While Genas provides a haven, it is the permanent home of only a few Genasi. Most prefer a life of wandering and adventure. Genasi are a common sight in mercenary bands, or Corsair raiding parties, and even respectable merchant ventures, so long as the chance for excitement is in the offering.
Culturally, the Genasi hold a deep resentment toward the three great powers of Theidra. The Turathi they resent for the defeat inflicted upon the Genasi so long ago, and they blame the Turathi for allowing the Kalashtar a voice for their insane theories. The Arkhosians have always been rivals of the Genasi for control of sea lanes, and it was largely to defend against Genasi Corsairs that the Arkhosians raised the Scorpions Tail in the first place. More than that, though, the Genasi do not approve of the Arkhosian’s manipulation of elemental power, a power they see as uniquely their own. As for the elves of Ulaeviel, conflict on the seas has always been a factor in relations between the two peoples, but it was the Crusade that truly earned the elves the hatred of the Genasi, and it was largely because of this hatred that the Genasi refuse to make peace with the Psionics.