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Playing Gnolls
by Keith Baker

Most gnolls are fierce and feral predators dedicated to the wanton destruction favored by Yeenoghu, their dread demon prince. But some gnolls reject their heritage and the demonic heritage that is their legacy to become adventurers. As shunned as other such renegades by most civilized lands, these gnoll heroes nevertheless pursue more noble causes and seek to push back the tide of darkness that constantly threatens to consume all in its path.

Gnoll legends trace the origin of their species to the demon prince Yeenoghu. Known as the Beast of Butchery and Ruler of Ruin, Yeenoghu sought to spread his hand through the mortal world by creating an army that would sow discord and terror across civilized lands. His demons numbered too few and could not remain in the mortal world indefinitely, but Yeenoghu took a few of his mightiest and most savage demons and fed them to a pack of mortal hyenas. The essence of the demons fused with the animals, and their children were the first of the gnolls -- fierce humanoid creatures combining the traits of cunning hyena and vicious fiend. Yeenoghu charged the gnolls to spread horror in his name, bathing the lands in blood and bringing suffering to all things unfortunate enough to cross paths with the Children of Yeenoghu. Through this butchery, they earn a place of honor in the domain of the demon prince.

About the Author

Keith Baker has been an avid fan of Dungeons & Dragons since grade school. His life took a dramatic turn in 2002 when he submitted the world of Eberron to the Wizards of the Coast Fantasy Setting Search. In addition to developing the Eberron Campaign Setting and Shadows of the Last War, he has worked for Atlas Games, Goodman Games, and Green Ronin.

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