Clan of the Blind Star

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Clan Origins

In the beginning, there was hunting, and laughing, and war. We walked on all of our paws instead of just two. We subsisted on the scraps that were given to us, and there was almost always hunger in our bellies. We knew little else, save the cruelty of our keeper, Zul-Han. In that moment, though, it was enough.

In time, another came to us, one by the name of Ankha. She treated us fairly, and made sure there was always enough to eat. We did not hunger in her presence, and for that we will always be grateful. One day, she fed us so well we changed. On that day, we went from simple dogs of war to a force of anger and destruction few in the world have witnessed. It was glorious. That was also the day the Ankha left us, but most were too thirsty for blood to notice.

Her silence lasted through the end of the goblin war, when our numbers grew small and our bellies growled once more. It lasted through our repopulation and regrowth to a force even greater than the first feeding. It even lasted through some gnolls leaving the first pack. Their reasons were many, but their goals were singular: to live their lives as they saw fit. Though few gnolls had their own names at this time (ancient gnoll could best be described as very, very broken common), some were distinguished by the noises they tended to make on the battlefield. One such gnoll was Thock, so named for her most favorite attack: a crushing blow to the skull that could split a grik’s head clean in half.

Thock was fairly average for gnolls of the time; there were stronger gnolls and more clever gnolls. There were bigger gnolls, and louder gnolls too. She never saw herself as a leader, nor did she particularly want to leave the pack. This all changed, however, when she started hearing a small noise wherever she went. It was not particularly loud, but if followed her wherever she went. At first, she thought it was just a bird or a bug or something not worth her attention. As more and more time passed, however, it was clear the noise was not going away. It didn’t help that no one seemed to understand her struggle. Most just shrugged, almost as though Thock was speaking a different language.

After days, weeks, and months, the noise persisted. Over this time, Thock noticed a few things. First, the noise seemed to have a familiar rhythm and cadence to it. Second, despite its intrusion into her life, it had a warm, almost welcoming quality. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, when she was between the waking world and her dreams, the noise became almost like a voice. Eventually, Thock started to pick out words and phrases, with, “travel north,” “great blessing,” and, “gnarled root,” among them. She was not sure about the third thing, but a great blessing and getting a break from the noise seemed like as good a reason as any to go, so given the nature of clan life at the time, she simply stood up and went.

Most of the pack didn’t notice. A few had already left for their own reasons, and Thock was no different. Her favorite hunting partner stood up to go with her, however, and Thock gladly accepted the help. She did her best to explain the situation, but this is a story her partner had already heard countless times. Though her friend did not understand her words, she was unwilling to let her favorite hunting partner die alone in the wilderness, so she shouldered this duty.

The two traveled for what felt like months. They were guided only by Thock’s dreams and a northern star. They traveled from the mountains where the pack was camped, then through a harsh desert. They traveled through a savannah where the food was plentiful, but so were the humans. They didn’t stay long. Finally, they found themselves at the edge of a great forest, teeming with strange sounds and smells and life. Thock couldn’t help but let out a yelp of excitement. This was the place she’d seen in her dreams! Soon, their quest would be at an end.

They traveled deep into the forest, hacking through plants and animals alike. Eventually, they came to a number of trees with strange, yellow-colored roots. As soon as Thock saw this tree, every other desire and sense she had fell away. This was the place. She dropped to her knees and started to eat the root. The taste was bitter, and immediately caused her mouth to go numb. At first she couldn’t keep the root down, gagging and choking. Through sheer force of will, however, she swallowed a big gulp. Not long after, she collapsed into a stupor on the ground. Her friend was immediately by her side, and is worried she might have poisoned herself. It is only after Thock mutters a feeble response affirming all was going according to plan that her friend finally relaxed. She sat Thock up against the tree and waited.

With her eyes closed but her mind open, Thock started to have visions. First, she saw the vast blackness of space. She traveled through it, light as a feather but quick as an arrow. Next, she saw the star that has guided her along this journey. She came closer and closer, until the light was almost blinding. Finally, she saw a savage, but feminine figure sitting calmly on the star. The figure’s face is obscured by the light, but Thock always swore it is smiling.

A voice emanated from the star, one that was immediately familiar to Thock. “Hello my child. You have done well to find me.” Thock couldn’t comprehend the words spoken by this being, but understood its intentions from the very depths of her existence. The voice continued, “you may not know me, but I helped create you. My name is Ankha, and I want to help you grow strong. I will never give you an order, but my voice will always be there to guide you, should you choose to listen.”

Three days and three nights passed before Thock awoke from her trance. As soon as she landed back on this world, a devious smile crossed her maw. Ankha had shared much with her, and Thock knew she had much work to do. First, she would preserve gnoll life and gnoll culture. This would always be her guiding principle. Second, she took the title of Gnarlgagg, so named for the root that gave her the voice, and the fact that she nearly choked on it upon the first taste. Third, she vowed to prepare others to walk the path she has taken, and began to gather all the root she could.

Finally, after a few more days of meditation, she returned to gnoll society, ready to offer guidance and leadership. Other gnolls were obviously wary of her, but immediately recognized the power she wielded. She would never be welcomed into gnoll society the same way again, always greeted with a combination of fear and reverence. This suited her, however, as it helped her more easily identify those who also heard the call. Those who did not fear her were a telltale sign of the call. In this way, her hunting partner became the second member, taking the title of Gnarlhaal.

Though most do not heed the call, this signals the start of the Clan of the Blind Star. The clan persists to this day; members can be identified by four key elements. A staff to help them carry the weight of the knowledge they hold. A hooded mantle for meditation, that they may cover their eyes and enjoy the root and find refuge from the world. A star and a special symbol on each piece of garb they adorn themselves with; this represents their connection to Ankha. Finally, and most importantly, a deep love and reverence for gnoll culture. They may not be the strongest gnolls physically, but they have their own strength; they will be the harbingers of the end times.

Blind Star's Purpose and Leadership Structure

Our mandate is to serve as shepherds for the gnoll race. We will preserve the past, savor the present, and forge a path to the future for all gnolls. Though we may not always be the best fighters, we will always be the best gnolls. Cross us at your peril; cross gnolls and face your doom.

The clan's power structure is diffuse by design. All are touched by Ankha, and all work to preserve gnoll strength in preparation for the end times. With that being said, particularly influential members may be given nicknames or have especially elaborate clan accouterments as a symbol of status.

Current Members

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