A Person You Can Read About

Eau Claire, Wisconsin, United States
Making things that you can see. Unless you're blind.


Gnolls and Beastmen (And Magical Alignments)

Gnolls have always fascinated me. These hyena-hominids are prevalent in fantasy worlds and I rather like them, so I'm going to try to find a spot for them in my own fantasy run.

Gnolls are a species that fall into the category of Mythics I, consisting of four-limbed, typically humanoid-with-animal-traits types, as well as some other odd near-humans. Gnolls come in four distinct varieties, and produce a certain type of beastmen when bred with humanoids.

Common (Spotted) Gnoll are the most prevalent of Gnoll species, easily identified by their dirty yellow-to-brown fur, covered with dark spots and rough manes across their head and back. Living in large nomadic bands, they live in scrubland and wilderness, in groups of ten to thirty individuals, ruled over by a matriarchal "Alpha". The females are the highest ranking in the group, followed by males, then children. Female Spotted Gnoll are notable for their size, aggression, and endurance in battle. Their only inherent magical power is the ability to heal themselves in battle, although some Spotted Gnoll shamans have the ability to see premonitions and control weather to a limited degree. It's worth noting that female Spotted Gnoll have a pseudophallus that can be used much in the same manner as the male's penis, used to assert dominance over others. Their culture is violent, heirartical, and unpleasant for those who study them.

Striped Gnoll are less common than their spotted cousins, and slightly smaller, only a little larger than a standard human on average. Identified by their silver-gray fur with striking black spots and long
, smooth mane down the head and back, they are
harder to find than Spotted Gnoll, living either alone or with a mate or two. Unlike Spotted Gnoll, Striped Gnoll are magically powerful, able to influence creatures and weather to their will. Their shamanic powers extend towards asking spirits for help and healing others, as well as themselves. They are typically very even-tempered and some are quite well-educated. Striped Gnoll are becoming more and more common as city dwellers or students in schools of magic. Striped Gnoll often also excel in shapeshifting magics.

Brown Gnoll are roughly the same size as the typical human, with thick, long and shaggy brown fur, gray or tawny faces, and striped limbs, they certainly are an awkward sort of creature. They live in small clans of five to ten individuals, led by a male alpha who won the right to lead the clan in battle. They are not as magically adept as Striped Gnoll but share the Spotted Gnoll's affinity for healing and premonitions. Because of their rarity, Brown Gnoll are rarely seen or studied, and Spotted Gnoll are aggressive towards Brown Gnoll to a genocidal degree, for unknown reasons.

Aardgnoll were considered by many to be either a joke, a myth, or long extinct until recently, when a clan of Aardgnoll were observed hunting. Their dwellings are hard to find, as they will scatter themselves over a large plot of territory, keeping to mated
pairs and children to a single burrow. They are considered to be low in
intelligence, as they have not been observed building complex shelters, weapons, fire, or clothes. A territory of Aardgnolls often carries fifteen to twenty individuals, spread out over a square kilometer, who will all either hunt or forage in groups, and independently depending upon the situation. They are easily set apart from other Gnolls by their size, only the height of a typical dwarf or gnome, with yellowish to gray striped coats and large, kittenish ears. Some Aardgnoll show a magical proefficiency specifically in the art of healing others.

Anyways, Gnolls are pretty hip, and they are considered to be related to a group of Beastmen known as Bultungin who transform into hyena.
Now, as far as Beastmen  go, a
ll Beastmen carry four traits.
  1. They are humanoid in base, most often Human or Elf, although it is argued that this has less to do with actual numbers, but simply because Human and Elves are far more common than any other Humanoid.
  2. They are capable of taking on at least three different, distinct forms. These are known as Humanoid, Beast, and Monster for short.
  3. They all have a proefficiency at some sort of magic.
  4. And finally, all Beastmen are capable of having both beastmen and humanoid children.
Humanoid is their base form, where they appear as a normal humanoid. In beast form, they are entirely an animal. And in Monster form, they are often some combination of both, and an enhancement upon each. Werewolves in Monster form are much larger than a human or a wolf is,
not to mention faster and stronger. Kitsune in Monster form are beautiful and often times wreathed in flames.
As far as magic goes, basic elemental magic is the most common, and they are often linked to a single part of the magical world. I'm till working on Magical Alignments, but all magic falls into categories, as seen below.

Life/Creation, Death/Destruction = Energy Spectrum - Used to determine the sort of energy in magic, all magic contains this power. Magic can be used to create, or destroy, or both.
Sun, Moon, Stars = Stellar Triad - Linked to otherworldly abilities, such as healing, psychic powers, precognition, and physical force. Also, undeath is linked to these.
Body, Mind, Soul, Heart, Aether,  = The Self - Otherwise known as *the* pentagram in magic, these five elements are the elements of a magic user themselves. Soul, Heart, and Aether are sometimes presented as their own triad.
Fire, Earth, Water, Air = Basic Elementals - What it says on the tin.
Metal, Plant, Energy, Weather = Combined Elementals -Combinations of basic elementals lead to these, but Fire and Wate don't mix, magic-wise.
Chaos = Fey magic. Volatile, unpredictable, immensely powerful. Avoid it.
Void, Drain, Entropy = The Nonmagics are the most powerful of them all. The Void destroys matter. The Drain destroys magic. Entropy destroys life. So on, so forth. These magics are forbidden by almost all. The damage done by this magic is irreversible, permanently scarring reality itself.

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