Golden Palace - Ascension
Grizh'naw the Charred
The last of the Bloodmane pack, a savage beast in search of a new home…
Grizh’naw stands at 7 feet 6 inches, weighing about 300 pounds. He has one eye, which is dark and deepset. The other is covered in burn scars. His fur is dark grey with black patches and a deep red mane dyed with the blood of victims. He is 27 years old (gnolls rarely live past 30).
Gnolls are renowned for how quickly they develop from infancy into warring savages. Many point to it as proof that they are of demonic descent. Raised to defend against fey crossings (magical creatures crossing into this plane from the feywild) which occur frequently in primal areas in Western Maralest, gnolls must learn to fight at a young age. But Grizh’naw surprised even his Bloodmane pack (named for the practice of dying their manes with the blood of victims) when he, at the age of two, cleaved the head off a goblin during a raid – and henceforth became known as Grizh’naw the Cleaver.
From that day onward, Grizh’naw the Cleaver rose to prominence within his pack, and after Dagnir the Black was killed, he was the natural choice to ascend to dominance, even at the age of 19 (gnolls rarely live past 30). Grizh was the largest and swiftest in his pack, and he had obtained more kill trophies than any other in Bloodmane memory. On the night he was declared leader, howls of “Grizh’naw the Chosen!” echoed into the night. Stories had been told of late that Grizh was the chosen gnoll of Yeenoghu, the Demon Lord of Gnolls and bestial embodiment of savage butchery. Bloodmane was thriving with abundant bloodhunts and a growing family under his leadership.
Then one afternoon, after a hunt, Grizh’naw returned home to find many, including his new litter, decimated. The assault was by an alliance of goblins and ogres. The Cleaver unleashed a fury like never before and led his pack in battle, howling in vengeance. But after the massacre, they were severely outnumbered. The flames fanned higher and brighter, and the howls grew fainter until The Chosen was fighting alone. The last of the Bloodmane. And that’s when he saw it. A fey crossing… a bright light… a numbing sound… and then a shroud of darkness out of which emerged a being unlike any he had witnessed before. A man in charcoal robes and a face like a canine, with piercing blue eyes. The man was running, and Grizh’naw knew he had no choice but to follow. He had to run… for the first time in his life. He had to find a new pack.
Grizh’naw had lost an eye and suffered severe burns to his face during the massacre at Bloodmane. Once they had reached a safe distance, the enigmatic figure applied ointment to the burns and bandages to the wounds. His name was Vesmir, and he no longer resembled a canine. Just a human. Nevertheless, Grizh’naw pledged his loyalty to the man. Would the Demon Lord disapprove? Where was Yeenoghu during the decimation of his family? Things would be different now. Grizh’naw was no longer The Cleaver – he had run from battle. And he was no longer The Chosen – if this was his destiny, he wanted no part in it. No, he was now Grizh’naw the Charred.