Friday, October 21, 2011

Gnoll Bowers and Slave-Pits

Gnolls are not noted for a wide range of architecture and this is in part due to their tough constitutions and nomadic lifestyles. Gnolls are prone to reap the profits of slave labor so often times their homes will be a stolen place or slave built, left to their own means there are still some distinct features of gnollish habitation.

Gnoll Bower
The simplest dwelling of Gnollish construction is the bower. To the unwary a bower may appear to be a large pile of brush and tree limbs from a rearward approach, form the front it's nature as a habitat is obvious. A gnoll bower is a large tear drop sapped structure is viewed from overhead; the large front side of a gnoll bower is open and high enough for a gnoll to stand upright with in and often has a small fire-pit set just outside the front of the bower. As one moves into the bower it gets lower and deeper with the furthest back spaces reserved for the the young and a dominant males mates to pile in and sleep. Treasures will be displayed hanging a short distance inside the bower or buried in the mid portion depending on how much treasure the gnolls that sleep within have and how confident they are that their reputation will deter thievery among their brethren.

Gnolls deal with slave simply they dig a pit (or truthfully have the slaves dig a pit) and push in slaves to spend the night covered in rags and stinking hides. If a pit remains in place long enough it will eventually be roofed as appropriate for the climate. Gnolls are prone to abuse the slaves within a pit and will push in a wild animal on occasion or refuse to feed any slaves until they fight among themselves until there is a death among the slaves.

Slave pits are used for gladiatorial arenas of sorts as well If two ranking gnoll warriors challenge each-other to a duel and it isn't immediately fought it's not uncommon for the combat to be fought inside an emptied out slave-pit. The fight need not be to the death and the victor is the one who can climb out; Matters of justice are often resolved in the same manner. Once in a rare while a handful of gnolls will leap into a slave pit in a challenge between themselves as to who can retrieve the most hands or heads the quickest.

If gnolls feel they aren't in need of the slaves in a pit and don't have the time to butcher them they will fill the pit in or set it ablaze.

Animal pens are similar to slave pits but are only dug deep enough into the ground as will keep animals from escaping readily.

Skin and Wattle Huts

Gnolls in need of larger dwellings for matters of safety and climate will construct large huts built of a wooden frame and cover it with layers of wattle and skins. sometimes these huts will be dug several feet into the ground so only the roof need be constructed.

Thorn Fence
Gnolls do not tend to raise walls around their camps (unles they set slaves to the task) but make use of a variety of fencing. The simplest form will be piles of thorn bushes or saplings with branches trimmed to points guarding approach to the camp.

Gnoll Larders
A gnollish larder is a large basket set hanging in a tree. This basket is often so large 4 or more slaves will be needed to carry it when the tribe is on the move.

Gnollish Watch-Tower
A gnollish watch-tower is nothing more than a larder basket set securely and close to a tree trunk where a young gnoll warrior will be made to keep watch sitting within the old larder basket.