Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A Pack of Gnoll Slavers

Well, the blog is called "A Pack of Gnolls", right?  Gnolls are some of my favorite monsters.  Just plain nasty buggers: demon-worshipping, humanoid-sacrificing, hyena-men.  Their god wasn't tough enough to handle Yeenoghu, so now they worship that evil bastard. So I'm gonna start coming up with some unique gnoll packs for use in adventures.  Because, really, using gnolls just as random bandits along a road or in another bland dungeon room is just boring and doesn't really explore the full potential of their cruel, malevolent, sadistic nature.  

Azrebe's Fangs

This band of a dozen gnolls is led by Azrebe, a cunning and power-hungry gnoll who is currently in Yeenoghu's favor, thanks to the hundreds of slaves and sacrifices he has brought to the Abyss.  Entire villages worth of people have disappeared, leaving ghost-towns behind.  The few who escaped the mass slaughter and kidnappings are driven mad by the atrocities they witnessed.  

Azrebe has a magical knife that has Yeenoghu's blessing upon it.  Once per day, as a standard action, Azrebe can use the knife to sacrifice an innocent (typically a child) upon an altar built to Yennoghu; this action causes a portal to Yeenoghu's Realm in the Abyss to open, at the Gathering Gate. This portal can remain open for up to two hours, as long as Azrebe maintains it.  

Azrebe's primary lieutenant is a twisted, mad gnoll called Skar.  

The Fangs have been roving across the land now for months, never staying in one place for very long, unless they find a place that is soft and ripe for the taking.  Azrebe's primary concern is presenting as many slaves as possible to Yeenoghu, in hopes of receiving some kind of twisted, abyssal boon.  The Fangs will typically attack a secluded farm or homestead late at night, make a sacrifice to open the portal to the abyss, and then fan out in groups of two or three to find more victims to herd to the portal.  Once the portal is open, Azrebe must maintain it, so Skar takes the lead on finding more victims.  On the other side of the portal are gnolls ready to take the victims and torture them into submission.  Or sacrifice them.  Or eat them.  Or all of the above.  

From the Monster Vault: 
Azrebe is a Fang of Yeenoghu (p 145)
Skar is a Gnoll Blood Caller (p 144)
The other ten are Deathpledged Gnolls (p 144)

That's a Skirmisher, a Soldier, and 8 Brutes, so make sure to introduce some good terrain elements or something to keep combat interesting.  

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