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Avlis Races: Gnolls

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Avlis Races: Gnolls

PostAuthor: Orleron » Wed Jan 05, 2005 3:13 am

Gnolls
Gnolls are dog-headed humanoids that tend to live in roving packs that prowl the forests and plains of Avlis. Their creation is a mystery, but it is rumored to have something to do with a strange pact between the god Maleki and the god Xenon, who rules lycanthropes. Being among the most primitive races of the world, gnolls subsist on what they can find in their nomadic existence. A few have grasped the benefits of civilized society and try to make inroads there, but for the large majority, gnolls live a rugged and cruel existence.
Personality: Gnolls have a pack mentality. Their lives revolve around a pecking order established early on among their packmates and family. When traveling away from other gnolls, this behavior plays itself out with friends and acquaintances that the gnoll makes among the other races. Some are surprised and alarmed at the threatening gestures and rough housing that goes on when a gnoll first meets a new companion, but soon enough the racket stops when the pecking order has been established to the satisfaction of the gnoll.
Gnolls believe that pecking orders and tests of strength with threats peppered all in between are the keys to survival. To other races, this makes them appear course and cruel, but among themselves they have a highly developed sense of loyalty, as well as friendship. Their motives are primitive, based on getting enough food, water, shelter, and warmth to make it to the next sunrise, and they are not above taking what they need from those weaker than themselves, because they see this as a natural part of life. Along those same lines, gnolls respect power and will listen to those who demonstrate their power with threats and displays.
Physical Description: Average gnolls grow to between 6 and 7 feet tall. Females are generally shorter, rarely reaching 6 ? feet. They are covered with fur that can be course, or shaggy in texture, with short textures common in those who crop their fur, and have colors ranging from dark browns and blacks, to rusty reds, to sandy blondes. Gnolls are not known to groom themselves too often, and they generally avoid water, so their real fur color can be distorted by dirt and grime picked up from their wanderings. Gnoll eye color is always brown.
Gnolls do not have modesty issues about wearing clothes, but they will wear whatever garments are needed for protection, as well as ornamentation. Bead necklaces and primitive jewelry made out of shells and bones are commonly worn by females, and given to pups as presents. Most of their garments are scavenged from garbage of other races, though the few gnolls who do embrace society are known to buy items from merchants.
Relations: By most, gnolls are seen as scavengers who prowl the lands looking to take advantage of the sick and the weak, as well as scrounging for food and item leftovers that are thrown out. Elves seem to find them distasteful, and will try to drive them off their lands. The Romini find them dangerous, but are known to tolerate gnolls so long as they do not get attacked by them. When gnolls come into contact with other nomadic races, like roving bands of ogres or goblins, they may fight over resources. There are also gnolls who have chosen to live among humans, orcs, and other civilized races in their cities, and if they demonstrate acceptable behavior they are known to be able to make decent livings.
On a personal level, gnolls are territorial and hierarchical. Upon meeting a new person, they immediately seek to find out who is dominant, either by challenging them to a match of strength, or by outwardly play-fighting them. This can lead to bad situations when ?attacking? something that is not used to gnolls.
Alignment: Gnolls tend to be lawful. They have a highly developed sense of society and order for such a primitive race, but their motives can often be selfish, such as the desire to reach the top of the pack. This can make them tend towards lawful evil.
Gnoll Lands: Gnolls have no country or base of their own. Packs will travel and roam through all countries and nations of Avlis where the terrain is easy enough to walk on. They usually avoid mountains, but have no trouble with forests and planes, and are equally at home in jungles.
Religion: Gnolls think little about religion unless something happens that demonstrates its power to them. For the most part, they venerate the pack leader who controls everything in their lives. They are not known to have ties to Maleki or Xenon per se, but will worship these gods if given reason to.
Language: Gnolls have their own language of barks, grunts, howls, yips, and other sounds. It is extremely difficult for non-canine races to pronounce. Luckily, gnolls who spend time around civilized society can usually speak common, though in a very thickly punctuated and accented fashion.
Names: Gnolls have difficult names to pronounce. All individuals have a given name that they receive at birth, as well as a pack name. Gnolls who abandon or switch packs will always carry their old pack name with them. Unlike civilized societies, where some last names are better than others, pack names are not like this. They simply designate which group the gnoll is from, without conveying any kind of prestige. Pecking order within a pack determines prestige.
Male Names: Ark?al, Ark?kruy?ek, Bar?bark, B?auw, Brrr?Ick, Brrr?Ark, Grak?auk, Grrr?ark, Urau?auk, Uroo?ak
Female Names: Arlooloo, Arau, Aararlo, Bauau, Bauauloo, Groo, Grrrauauloo, Urlau, Urooo, Urlolauau
Pack Names: Ark?ark?araou, Ark?barau?aou, Ark?grrrak?aou, Ark?ululuak?araou, Ark?uroloau?aou
Adventurers: Gnolls are very loyal to their packs and do not take pleasure in separating from them, however accidents and disasters may sometimes leave them abandoned and alone. If this happens, they tend to latch onto other groups who happen to be working towards other goals, and will loyally adopt the mission of that pack in return for companionship. Sometimes the depression of being alone can have negative affects, causing the gnolls to strike out on their own for malicious purposes.
"Truth has no form."
--Idries Shah

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