Gnolls are humanoid hyenas locked in an unending battle against invading demonic forces.

The gnoll homeland has the unfortunate luck of being located near a number of permanent portals to the Plane of Demons. For as long as the gnolls can remember, they’ve been engaged in a constant fight against them, trying to hold them back from overrunning the rest of the world.

The war against the demons is a constant tug of war. Sometimes the gnolls have the upper hand for decades at a time, and sometimes the demons have them on the ropes.

What is the status of the war currently? Are the gnolls successful in their efforts, or are the demons making inroads into the world?

Demon Hunters

Gnolls are widely regarded as the foremost demon hunters in the empire. Any gnoll that wishes to join in the fight is welcomed and trained in the art of hunting demons. Demons are incredibly varied foes, so the demon hunters form units that are specialized against certain types.

Demon Portals

An unknown number of permanent portals to the Plane of Demons exist in the world. The longer they remain open, the more demons can pass through them and establish a foothold in the Material Plane.

Demon portals can be either claimed or unclaimed. A claimed portal has a demon overlord that leads an organized group of demons. Demon overlords are dedicated to expanding their influence in the Material Plane and build strongholds on both sides of the portal as they gain ground. Claimed portals are incredibly dangerous, as the overlord can initiate a coordinated attack at any moment.

Unclaimed portals are more chaotic and have no overlord controlling them. Demons usually enter unclaimed portals individually or in small groups, satisfying their own personal desires. Unclaimed portals are unlikely to see a coordinated attack, but are more likely to have individual demons slip by unnoticed.

The Breaker

Gnolls pay homage to The Breaker, the gnoll that was first able to permanently destroy a demon portal. She led a group of elite demon hunters into the Plane of Demons and destroyed the overlord controlling the portal. The Breaker taught the surviving demon hunters how to destroy the portals, then sent them back into the Material Plane before destroying the portal from the other side, remaining behind.

All gnolls respect the legend of The Breaker and tell stories about her to this day. Some believe she has obtained godhood, while others believe she has learned the secrets of immortality.

But whenever a demon portal suddenly closes without warning, everyone knows The Breaker is still at work, bringing the fight to the demons.

Gnoll Traits

You gain the following abilities as a gnoll.

  • Ability Score Increase. You gain a +2 and +1 bonus to two different ability scores of your choice, or +1 to three different ones.
  • Age. Gnolls reach adulthood around the age of 15. They age faster than humans and rarely live longer than 70 years.
  • Size. A gnoll’s size is Medium. Female gnolls tend to be taller and stronger than males.
  • Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
  • Bite (Minor Feature. You have powerful jaws and sharp teeth. Your bite is a natural weapon, which you can use to make unarmed strikes. If you hit with them, you deal piercing damage equal to 1d6 + your Strength modifier, instead of the normal bludgeoning damage for an unarmed attack. Your natural weapons are not weapons, but attacks with them are considered weapon attacks. This means that you can use your natural weapons for effects like the paladin’s divine smite, but not abilities that target weapons specifically.
  • Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and Abyssal.

Major Features

Choose two of the following major features. You can exchange one major feature for two additional minor features.

  • Cackling Laughter (Magic). You know the vicious mockery cantrip. When you reach 3rd level, you can cast the hideous laughter spell once with this trait, requiring no material components, and regain the ability to do so when you finish a long rest. When you reach 5th level, you can cast the crown of madness spell once with this trait and regain the ability to do so when you finish a long rest. You don’t require material components for these spells. Charisma is your spellcasting ability for these spells.
  • Command the Legions. As a bonus action, you can order one ally of your choice within 30 feet of you to use their reaction to make a single melee attack against a target within their reach. They must be able to see or hear you. You can’t use this ability again until you finish a short or long rest.
  • Press the Advantage. When you reduce a creature to 0 hit points, you can use a reaction to move up to your speed and make a melee attack against another creature within reach.
  • Surge. You move surprisingly fast for a short period. During your turn, you can choose to activate this ability as a free action. When you do so, your speed increases by 30 feet and you don’t provoke opportunity attacks this turn. Once you use this ability, you can’t use it again until you finish a short or long rest.

Minor Features

Choose one of the following minor features, or three if you only chose one major feature.

  • Brave. You have advantage on saving throws against being frightened.
  • Darkvision. You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can’t discern color in darkness, only shades of gray.
  • Deadly Attacks. When you score a critical hit with a melee weapon attack, you can roll one of the weapon’s damage dice one additional time and add it to the extra damage of the critical hit.
  • Demon Hunter. You can cast the detect evil and good spell once with this feature and regain the ability to do so after a long rest.
  • Fluent. You can speak, read, and write two additional languages of your choice.
  • Grim Laughter. You gain proficiency with the Intimidation skill.
  • Leadership Skills. Whenever you make a Charisma (Persuasion) check related to inspiring or leading others, you can add twice your proficiency bonus instead of any other proficiency bonus that may apply.
  • Trained Tools. You have proficiency in two tools of your choice.
Section 15: Copyright Notice

Ancestry Awakened: Copyright 2021, Pirate Gonzalez Games: Author Timothy Gonzalez

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