Genies, Jinn, and Djinn. What is your wish?
“Tell me… what is your desire? What do you yearn for so desperately your soul aches? What… is your wish…?” – The Djinn from Djinn And Fire by Tamak Nako
Genie, jinn, djinn. All these names refer to a single race of beings. A race of beings that has brought immeasurable joy… and depthless despair. They shall be referred to as jinn within this text, but they are all one and the same.
There are some who think jinn are wondrous beings who fulfill any wish. Others, who believe that their wishes are always twisted into a horrific parody of the subject’s desire leading to unbearable torments.
There is truth in both of these.
Jinn are profoundly powerful, some would say godlike, and some grant wishes in the spirit with which they were asked… others will twist your words until you wish you’d died rather than met a jinn.
How do you tell them apart? You can’t, I’m afraid. Or, if there is such a method… it is not known to me.
So, any wish is made entirely at your own risk. However, it should be noted that many jinn who give twisted wishes usually do so to people who are morally… corrupt.
They seem to delight in turning an evil man’s greatest desires against him. But, make no mistake, they have done the same to the purest of souls.
Wizards have invested a great deal of time into the study of jinn, contracts with them, and summoning rituals. Sometimes, they even come out on top with carefully worded wishes.
But, although jinn are far from as evil as demons, I feel that I should repeat my warning when dealing with them. They are old. Far older than you, and immeasurably powerful.
How many wishes do you think they’ve given out? How many witty tricks do you think they’ve seen? To think for even a moment that you can beat such a creature at its own game is prideful at best. But, it’s been done before I hear you say!
And, do you know for sure that the jinni in question didn’t just feel like going along with it? We don’t know their motivations. Even now after all the years people have searched them out and all the wishes that have been made… we still don’t know what it is that jinn desire.
We don’t know what motivates them. What they feel. What they think. Nor even how they think.
Feel free to try to outsmart a centuries-old entity of cosmic power though. Maybe you’ll even succeed.
Unfortunately, so little is known of jinn that it’s hard to present any accurate or verified information whatsoever. And, as they seem to delight in misleading, tricking, and otherwise toying with people we can’t be sure of anything when it comes to jinn.
So, much of what I discuss here is unverified. Perhaps you will be the one to separate fact from fiction.
So, let’s dive right in.
Jinn are powerful, as I’ve said, so let’s go through a bit of what they’ve done. Let’s dig into just how powerful they really are. Do they even have any limits? Are they more powerful than the gods themselves?
Once again, we can never be sure, but it would seem that they do indeed have limits. Just very high ones.
There have been numerous instances of jinn proclaiming themselves unable to fulfill a wish. Usually, the wish in question is one that even a god couldn’t do. Such as wishing for all the gods to be dead, for the universe to be unmade, and generally wishes that involve the destruction of entities on a cosmic scale.
It should be noted that those who tried such wishes were usually later killed by gods or their servants. Only a madman would ask for any of this to begin with so I won’t bother to advise you against such folly.
But, while they’ve been unable, or unwilling, to grant such massive wishes… the wishes they have granted show at least some of their incredible power.
There are many who have wished to become immortal. To become invulnerable to all attacks. And, their wishes have been granted. Such people have since faded into fables, so it’s impossible to know if their wishes were truly granted as they may have died several thousand years later.
But, I believe that they survived. I believe that these wishes were granted fully. I think that they simply moved on to other planes or stepped out of the public eye. After all, if you can’t die perhaps it’s time to explore the cosmos with any wishes you might have remaining?
They have also granted massive amounts of wealth. So much gold that economies have crashed. Palaces so large that they were impossible to guard. And they have granted victory in countless battles. Often utterly destroying whole armies with disturbing ease.
There are even a few ancient texts that speak of jinn creating new gods. But, judging by the power of these ‘gods’ it seems more likely that they made people demigods and whether they became full gods or not was up to the person in question. Or, whether they were instantly killed or imprisoned by the current gods.
So, I think we’ve established that jinn are indeed powerful. Frighteningly, and unstoppably so.
It has often been said that the only thing that can defend against a jinni is another jinni.
Or, perhaps, a god?
So, why do these beings bother to grant wishes to ones such as us? Some say that they simply enjoy it. But, I believe there is more to it than that. What exactly, I cannot say.
Jinn often say that they come from a different plane, one that sounds incredible. They say it is a place of limitless wealth and grandiosity. There are many records of jinn speaking of their customs as well and while many are contradictory there are a few that are repeated often.
For example, jinn are said have massive palaces filled with servants and that they delight in finding the most exotic and incredible servants, as well as the rarest and most spectacular of creatures from all the planes and worlds.
And, it is said that to be seen treating anything they ‘own’, such as a servant or pet, poorly is frowned upon in jinn society. No. Frowned upon is far too weak of a word.
To do so is to be shunned, laughed at, mocked, and ridiculed for millennia.
Jinn grant wishes, so is it truly any surprise that they dote on their servants and pets? That to work for a jinni is to live a life of never-ending luxury. A life filled with anything and everything your heart desires.
I must admit, I’d quite like to work for a jinni if any of this is true.
Herbidius Finch (a wizard who at one point was granted three wishes by a jinni) asked the jinni an interesting question. With how much they spoil their servants… how do they keep them in line?
Thankfully for us, he recorded the answer:
“Ha! We grant them gifts so grand their hearts cannot go on without them! You speak of punishment? The need for obedience? All that is needed is to remove some small measure of a gift to bring them into line! Do not equate the gifts of a jinni with those of a mortal! Gold is nothing but clutter to us! Our servants obey, and they are rewarded. What need is there for a stick when their soul withers and dies without the presence of the many carrots?” – the Jinni.
I must admit, I’m rather skeptical about this. There’s no end of people who don’t seem like anything can bring them into line but a stout stick or perhaps an axe to separate their heads from their neck.
It’s a sad truth, but still a truth.
But, it has to be said that the jinni has a point. Anything we offer pales in comparison to what a jinni can gift freely as though it were nothing. Perhaps their gifts are truly all that is required to keep their servants in line… after all, what other creature could possibly know more about wishes and the heart’s deepest desires?
Jinn have also led us to believe that their society has classes much like our own. ‘Higher’ jinn are said to be more powerful, and it seems that personal power greatly weighs in on where a jinni falls within their society.
There are even said to be jinn princes, princesses, kings and queens, but what they rule over exactly… I do not know. Perhaps they spoil lesser jinn as they do their servants?
What wishes do such jinn grant I wonder?
There have also been several accounts mentioning a jinn god. He is said to be supremely powerful, tricky, and a master of chaos. Apparently, he set down rules for the jinn to follow, but it seems that he isn’t involved much with his people. Or, with anything really. I’ve not found a single mention of this god during The Great War. But, much was lost, so it’s not impossible he was involved in some fashion.
A strange thing given how jinn have a propensity to grant wishes and spoil those below them, I’d have thought their god would be rather doting. They speak of their god as though he moves through whichever world he chooses and grants wishes on a whim. Some speak of him as a wrathful, terrifying god never to be crossed. Others say he is whimsical, playful and delights in life like no other.
Perhaps he is all that and much more? Who knows?
So, given how incredible jinn can be you may be wondering how you find one despite the risks…
The answer is… you don’t. Jinn seem to act according to their own desires. They take the guise of other creatures, and sometimes even grant wishes without the person knowing it happened.
Jinn simply pop up and offer a wish or three or more. There doesn’t seem to be a fixed number.
They could be watching you even as you read this entry, wondering what you might wish for…
Of course, many people have attempted to find jinn, to varying degrees of success, and others have tried to summon them. Again, to varying degrees of success.
There are several methods of summoning, and while I’m certainly no wizard, there are two broad concepts to think of in relation to this.
One type of summoning ritual acts as an invitation of sorts. An offer to the being to be summoned to allow itself to appear where you wish it to and to form a contract by offering something it wants. Most summoning rituals are done this way, or so my wizard friends tells me.
The second type is a command and forces the appearance of the summoned being. Forcing such a thing is difficult to say the least and often produces… interesting results. Not to mention, it is certain to anger the summoned being. These forced summoning are usually followed by a type of forced binding rather than a mutually beneficial agreement.
Now, perhaps you’ve already figured out a few reasons why jinn are next to impossible to summon.
First off, let’s say you invite them. Why would they come? What can you possibly offer a jinni? What do you have that they would want?
I’d say it’s rather unlikely you have anything they desire. As such, most invitations are ignored.
As for the second type… may I just say good luck with trying to force a being of such power to appear the way you want it to? And, assuming it does, how exactly do you plan on not being blasted into meaty chunks?
Make no mistake. Jinn may apparently dote on their servants, a fact I cannot substantiate, but they will not suffer such annoyances. And, in the few times such a summoning has succeeded, even including the ones in which a binding was successful on some level… the result was disastrous.
You’ve just given the thing granting your wish an incredible desire to twist your words and bring about a horrifying fate for you.
Needless to say, I think it unwise to even attempt to do so.
Even if you fail utterly, they may appear simply to kill you for trying. There are easier ways to commit suicide.
- Nicholas Wolfram, Professor of Monsterology at Lestria University