The Grishaverse
The Grishaverse

Grisha are humans who practice the Small Science. They are traditionally divided into three orders, Corporalki, Etherealki and Materialki, with each order being further divided into specialized types.


Grisha were historically considered witches.

The name "Grisha" is a diminutive of the name Grigori and is derived from the original Sankt Grigori, who trained the first Corporalki in Ravka.

In stories, Yaromir Lantsov, the first Lantsov king, prayed to the Saints to help defend his country against Fjerda and Shu Han. A group of monks who could transform into beasts arrived to fight, but had to endure the obisbaya ritual to return to their human forms after the battle. Those who survived and became the king's holy soldiers were the Priestguard. Some claim the first Priestguard were Grisha, and the animals they became were the first amplifiers.[1]


Often, principles such as "like calls to like" are used to explain Grisha power. Most Grisha see their abilities as extensions of the natural world, which is why they do not call their power "magic", but the Small Science. For example, Inferni cannot produce fire but manipulate naturally occurring combustible gases, and Durasts do not create metal: rather, they simply have the ability to alter it.

Grisha who practice the Small Science are said to be "fed" by it, rejuvenated by channeling their particular element. For this reason, Grisha age at a slower rate than non-Grisha, with the strongest and rarest of them living for centuries. Conversely, Grisha who don't use their powers for extended periods of time are said to grow weaker. This is due to their powers being an ability like sight or communication: without a need for it, the power gradually becomes less effective.


Most Grisha gain their ability at a young age. In Ravka, children are tested by Grisha examiners as soon as their powers are detectable and, if present, are subsequently sent to train in the Little Palace. Although the conditions for the inheritance of Grisha powers is not clear, there are cases of children manifesting the same abilities that their Grisha parent has, or one of them if both parents have special abilities. (In the case of Shadow Summoners, for instance, it is known that their power has preference over other Grisha abilities in their bloodline, and there are no cases of Shadow Summoners unrelated to that family).

When a Grisha represses their abilities they tend to develop some type of sickness that makes them stand out from others. In Alina's case she became sickly and gaunt, while in Jesper's case he developed a gambling addiction. Shu Han uses this knowledge to capture Grisha for their experiments.



Ravka relies on Grisha for safety against their enemies. The Second Army is made up entirely of Grisha and was formerly led by the Darkling, as well as by the Sun Summoner for a brief time. Though the Grisha fight most of Ravka's wars and inflict the most damage upon enemies, they are considered witches or corrupt sorcerers and regarded with suspicion and distrust by many humans, including those who serve in the First Army.

Upon the rise of the Sun Summoner, a tentative alliance formed between the First and Second Armies, who have contempt for each other still. Both armies served under the official but somewhat superficial command of King Alexander III before Nikolai Lantsov inherited the Ravkan throne. 

Ravka also recruits Grisha from other countries, mainly people from Fjerda, Novyi Zem, and the Wandering Isle.


Grisha in Fjerda are considered witches and are hunted by drüskelle.

Novyi Zem[]

In Novyi Zem, Grisha are referred to as zowa, meaning "blessed". There are teachers in the west where many zowa are sent to train.


Grisha in Kerch are usually sold as slaves or indentures, used in brothels or for other purposes.

Shu Han[]

Grisha in Shu Han are experimented upon, being used for projects such as the khergud program.

Wandering Isle[]

Grisha in the Wandering Isle are killed for their blood, which is considered a cure-all.



Main article: Corporalki

The Order of the Living and the Dead


Main article: Etherealki

The Order of Summoners


Main article: Materialki

The Order of Fabrikators


  • In the Russian language, Grisha is a diminutive of the name Grigori. One of the most famous owners of this name is Grigori Rasputin, a charlatan born to a family of poor coachmen, who eventually became a counselor of the imperial family and during his lifetime was popularly recognized as a mage and saint.
  • Two Grisha have a better chance of having a Grisha child, but the child can also be born without powers. Grisha sometimes have trouble conceiving.[3]


  1. King of Scars, chapter 9
  2. Tailors' abilities blur the lines between Fabrikators and Heartrenders, so they do not fall neatly into either Order.
  3. "Two Grisha have a better chance of having a Grisha child, but there's no guarantee. Also, Grisha sometimes have trouble conceiving." Leigh Bardugo on Goodreads.


v  d  e
Main Characters Kaz BrekkerInej GhafaJesper FaheyNina ZenikMatthias HelvarWylan Van EckKuwei Yul-BoJan Van EckPekka Rollins
Minor Characters JoostAnyaEmil RetvenkoCouncilman HoedeGeelsBo Yul-BayurPer HaskellTante HeleenJordie RietveldSpechtRottyJarl BrumCornelis SmeetAdem BajanColm FaheyAditi HilliAlys Van EckMarya HendriksZoya NazyalenskySturmhondGenya SafinDunyasha LazarevaAnikaPimKeegRoederKarl DrydenJellen Radmakker
Locations KetterdamThe BarrelHellgateIce CourtDjerholmBlack Veil IslandKerchFjerdaRavkaNovyi ZemShu HanWandering Isle
Groups The DregsDime LionsBlack TipsStadwatchGrishaDrüskelleThe MenagerieHouse of the White RoseMerchant CouncilCouncil of TidesKhergud
Events HringkällaHellshowQueen's Lady PlagueKomedie Brute
Miscellaneous JurdaJurda paremKeftaIndentureDjelGhezen