Monsters of Weyland -- Bugbears and Gnolls

Beasts both fair and foul roam the wilderness of The Western Barony. Some are organized, banding with others of their kind to menace the travelers, farmers, and ranchers who populate the land. Two of the most prominent of these monsters are bugbears and gnolls. 

Gnoll by MarkTarrisse on DeviantArt:

Welyand is literally surrounded by gnolls. These nomadic, tribal, dog-like creatures roam both the Great Grass Sea and the desert wastes to the south. They routinely raid settlements on the edge of the Barony, killing inhabitants, stealing valuables, and taking slaves. They are savage, seeming to delight in slaughter, especially of elves. Most contact with gnolls are with war bands, raiding groups, or the like. These bands are often led by the largest and strongest gnolls; some have maintained such a constant presence they have their own standards and sigils, such as the Dead Dog or the Flayed Elf. Rumors persist of gnoll villages, but if they exist they are far away from the Barony. Some also blame the vicious behavior of the gnolls on their displacement from their lands in Weyland centuries ago by the Elves of Cadiz and repeated reciprocal savagery from Weyland’s inhabitants, but such soft hearts are no less likely to end up on the end of a spear.

Bugbear by robadimat on Deviant Art:

Bugbears are stealthy brutes and thieves. Roaming about in small bands or working alone, they menace outlying farmsteads and ambush travelers using stealth and ambush. They’ve been known to sneak into ranch homes, killing the inhabitants as they sleep, and taking everything of value. Worse, they occasionally steal children, selling them into slavery to the neighboring gnoll tribes. Bugbears are vicious and strong combatants, smashing skulls with clubs or morningstars, but they often flee when they loose the advantage. Many bugbears hide in the Var Balas — the broken canyon lands that lie in the northwestern part of the Barony — though they can be found throughout the lands of Weyland. 

In larger settlements, bounties are routinely paid by local authorities for gnoll scalps or bugbear heads. Though it must be said it’s hard to tell a gnoll scalp from that of a human or halfling after a few days.

While bugbears and gnolls are a constant, known threat, stories tell of darker beasts — goblins and orcs — that live underground, inhabiting the lost dwarven cities and venturing out only at night to menace the unwary and drink human blood. Those are likely just wive’s tales, however.


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