The true origins of the genasi are lost to history. Most likely they are the result of generations of interaction between humans and elemental beings. These humans spent so much time in close contact with genies and other elemental beings that they became infused with the essence of the Elemental Chaos and their offspring were born with the power of the elements in their blood. Eventually enough of these children were born that they became a true breeding race and the genasi people were born. Other stories to explain the genasi also exist, some of them very dark indeed, but this is the one that has the most support and is considered closest to the truth. The four type of genasi do seem to represent the four elemental genies and so most people accept this story as the truth.
Genasi are divided into four distinct sub-races, Ifrit, or Firesoul genasi, are quick tempered and passionate. Oread, or Earthsoul genasi, a slow to anger and slow to change. Sylph, or Windsoul genasi, are quick witted and breezy. Undine, or Watersoul genasi, are agile and adaptable. Each is the living embodiement of one of the four fundamental elements. However, each also carries in their heart a small sliver of chaos that has prevented them from becoming a power in their own right. Most genasi would rather form their own enclaves within larger societies then try and build a uniquely genasi culture.
Physically the genasi are unlike any other race. Although they are humanoid in form, their skin comes in shades similar to those reflecting their elemental nature. Thus oread skin runs in color from the light brown or sand to the dark gray of granite. Ifrit skin is composed of shades of red and yellow while sylphs can range in color from the blue of a cloudless sky to the white of a passing puffy cloud to the dark gray of an approaching storm and undine skin colors run from light blue, to bluish green to jet black. Genasi also have patterns of elemental lines etched along their skin from birth. Each pattern of lines, called szuldar, is different and genasi are able to detect subtle variations in patterns that nobody else can. Genasi are proud of their szuldar and often wear clothing or get tattoos designed to draw attention to and accentuate them.