Well, it has been quite some time since I took some time to look at the various clans and groups of a set of monsters and to try to determine a link between them and across their storylines. So far I have looked at the following:
Today, I wanted to take a second to glance at the various clans of gnolls. For this rundown, I’m only going to look at the gnolls in the Eberron setting of DDO. This is mainly because I haven’t really run into the Stormhorns so I really don’t know much at all about the gnolls in that mountainous region of the Forgotten Realms. So with that said, we have the following clans of gnolls:
1). Windlasher Gnolls-Sands of Menechtarun, Ruins of Gianthold, Vale of Twilight
2). Firebrand Gnolls-Sands of Menechtarun
3). Mountain Gnolls-Mount Reysalon
4). Droaam Gnolls
5). Friendish Gnolls
So basically we have five different clans of gnolls that we typically encounter throughout our adventures in Eberron. In general, the first time our characters will encounter gnolls will be in the Sands of Menechtarun. Within the Sands of Menechtarun, we typically encounter three different clans of gnolls: Windlasher, Firebrand, and Fiendish gnolls. The Windlasher gnolls occupy a large chunk of the desert at the entrance to the Sands of Menectharun. They also have established some type of relationship with the lich of the Wizard King, Raiy-um. As a result, you will encounter these gnolls and their hyena pets in the Chamber of Raiy-um, Chamber of Kourush, and the Chamber of Rhamet. It also appears that the Windlashers do not associate themselves with their gnoll counterparts, the Firebrands. They tend to live in thatched huts and they can summon forth electric spells and air elementals. What is really interesting about the Windlashers is that they have branches out in the Ruins of Gianthold and in the Vale of Twilight. In fact, the Windlasher gnolls in the Vale of Twilight are the strongest of the clans (but of course the Vale of the Twilight is also the higest level as well). This makes me think that the home base of the Windlashers is the Vale of Twilight and that they have expanded to Sands of Menectharun and the Ruins of Gianthold. I can see this being the case, with the alignment of the two planes (Lamannia and Shavarath) allowing the forces of devils to come and invade their area. It makes sense that the gnolls would want to retreat to other areas and establish alliances with other stronger forces (the Wiz-King for example who is also intimately linked to the demon queen..and we know demons are the arch enemies of devils). The Windlasher gnolls in the Gianthold or also probably trying to establish a foothold to protect their clan, aligning themselves with the Stormfist Camp, again securing the alliance of other powerful entities to deal with the devils if it came to that.
So then what about the Firebrand gnolls who are also located in the Sands of Menechtarun? These gnolls have intimately aligned themselves with the Demon Queen. They typically inhabit the surrounding areas the Burning City, in the mountainous regions of the desert. They are only located in this region and they are powerful in fire based spells and in summoning fire elementals and mephits. They seem to be segregated from the other clans of gnolls and I can’t really associated them with the other clans in the game as of yet.
The next clan of gnolls are the powerful mountain gnolls in Mount Reysalon. These gnolls have armor and weapons that look very similar to the Firebrand gnolls but they are much more powerful. They are only located in this area. It is possible that these gnolls could be an offshoot of the Firebrands, but I don’t think so. These gnolls are just too strong and they are too independent to be associated with their weaker kin in the desert.
The next group of gnolls are those that serve the Daughters of Sora Kell. These gnolls also dress like those of the Firebrand, but these gnolls are aligned with the great Hags of the monstrous nation of Droaam. They are pretty powerful and are primarily support/spell casting enemies in the Droaam army. These gnolls are not associated with those from the Sands of Menectharun or from Mount Reysalon. Again, we have another source of independence going on :).
The last group of gnolls are the fiendish gnolls. These gnolls are located in a few places, including the Sands of Menechtarun and the Vale of the Twilight. Although these gnolls have been enhanced with fiendish blood, the ones in the desert do associate themselves with the rest of the Firebrand gnolls while those in the Vale of Twilight seem to be more independent or to being forced to server the devil army.
There is another source of gnolls that are found in the Shroud that heal Arraetrikos. These gnolls appear as Windlasher spellcasting gnolls and so I’m assuming that these gnolls are those who decided to leave the Windlasher clan to join up with Arraetrikos and his devil army in hopes of getting some of that glory. However, I am unsure of their true allegiances.
So the gnolls the in game are interesting to try to tease and link to together. The Windlashers are extremely interesting because they tend to span across quite bit of Xen’drik. Watching this clan and how they spreadout in the future will be interesting.
Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting out in the wilds of Eberron!!