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Vilkauti (Gnoll)

One of the bipedal hyena-like peoples known as 'Gnolls', Vilkauti is a cool-headed, mild-mannered and overall somewhat playful character. While not the most adamant warrior, he is a stalwart companion to the last.

0 · 484 views · located in Rivenmarch

a character in “Through Monstrous Eyes”, as played by Vio-Lance

Description

Racial Description: (This is rather lengthy; scroll down to the bold line if you wish to skip to Vilkauti's character sheet itself.)
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The term "Gnoll" is almost an umbrella word for a species description. While the word by itself would suffice for any of the many kinds of gnolls inside the family of them, it wouldn't provide enough information about the tribe or society. By saying 'Gnoll', one clarifies only that the species they are referring to is bipedal, hyena-like, and overall, concidered a pest nine times out of ten. Though, there are actually three major kinds of gnolls out there.

General traits of all Gnolls - Gnolls are are omnivorous; they will eat anything they can get their hands on, but do prefer fresh meat above all. Gnolls are mostly a deep brown, ranging from colors of dirt to red clay. Most are splotched, covered in darker brown, or black spotting across their bodies. A very unique trait to gnolls is hyper-evolution. What takes other races of the world millennia to develop, gnolls can evolve in just a few thousand years. They've been around for quite some time, some elves and dwarves even say that they can remember when the beasts started appearing. Most gnolls are frowned upon, some even captured, and tortured, some tamed, and kept as pets. Although above all, gnolls are hated by the elves the most, as both races tend to prefer the forests and woodlands of the realm. They constantly seem to be 'hassling' the elven people. Gnolls have fairly moderate lifespans, their lives just slightly more brief then humans. Gnolls live to around sixty, although some have been recorded to be seventy, or seventy-five (in gnoll societies that keep records).

Gnoll Tribes and "Societies" - A list and description of the different kind of gnolls that exist.

Central Land Gnolls;

Physical Description - Also called "Common Gnolls", or "Garden Gnolls", these are what everyone imagines when they hear about a 'gnoll'. They're short, stumpy, and mean as hell-fire. They stand anywhere from 3'9, to 4'5, and weigh heftily in those areas, up to one-hundred lbs. Their little hunch-backed bodies are lined with brutish muscle, and their mouths are filled with stilettos; perfect for filleting any kind of meat, irregardless if it has bones or not. Their powerful jaws can crack even troll skulls, and their teeth are infinitely replacing as soon as broken or lost. Their entire body is short and mild-featured, with reverse-jointed legs. Their fur is thick, usually messy and ill cared for, and they don't have but short, barbarically styled manes for hair, sometimes dyed red or orange to attract attention in battle. Most seen are male; there don't seem to be many female gnolls out and about.... not that there is much difference. Their body form is detrimentally the same, although they do have a small duo of mammary glands. Most have shorter muzzles, and unclipped tails. They are also somewhat larger than the males, but not by a terrible lot.

Personality Traits and Behavior - Having the depth of a puddle, many can guess how short minded these brutes are.... Very. Their intelligence varies, although as famous explorer Walter Wiggins stated, "Smart enough to use magic - not smart enough to wear their trousers right way 'round.", which about sums it up. Even their smartest and brightest can only figure out simple math and logistics... which doesn't say much. And with wits alack, muscles pick up the slack. Highwaymen, brigands, bandits, thugs and thieves encompass the vast majority of their population. The smart ones become mercenaries, or even pirates. There is little making peace with them, and you can only hope to futilely pacify them, as they are quite stubborn, and simple-minded.

Males tend to do most of the thugging. Females are usually kept at camp, raising children, cooking food, or whatever needs to be done... although it seems their primary use is reproduction. Their way of life is primal, and there isn't much more to it than that. There are very few boundaries or limits. It's about as close to animal behavior as one could get. The most advanced gnoll encampments have minor agriculture at best... but most are founded near major road systems; closest to their prey; travelling merchants. They prefer to dwell in grasslands, or wooded areas. These societies are often run by an alpha - whom is more than likely a shaman, or druid.

They look on the other types of gnolls as estranged family. They're generally less hostile towards them, but show no favor if it's their caravan they happen to be raiding.


Religion - Central Gnolls favor shamanism, although a select few are minority worshipers. They don't seem to have a unanimous religion.

Territory - These gnolls often encompass the vast majority of the land, and have minor differences for such. Ones occupying the woodlands might have darker fur, or the ones in grasslands might have a golden tint to their hair. Their camps are spread all across the kingdom... and they have no castle, nor fort or king.

Unique Traits - Despite being rather dim, these creatures have quite the affinity for nature-based magics. They are also the most physically powerful of their race. Their hands seem to have foregone the fifth finger, in favor of four very strong fingers, that provide a rather crushing grip. Despite being lackluster in common, some can speak dwarven.

Northern Gnolls ;

Physical Description - [i]Commonly known as mountain gnolls, or civil gnolls these folk actually deserve to be called such. Much more civilized than their more common, brutish relatives they even look the part. Standing slightly taller than their counterparts, roughly 4'3 to 4'9, and weighing much lighter, only to eighty-five pounds. They've even lost their hunch-back, and can stand straight up. Their bodies have stretched to meet this slightly taller format, becoming less densely muscled, and even somewhat lithe. Their faces are not nearly as brutish, but are still quite animalistic, and still deeply resemble hyenas. Their mouth is filled with less deadly looking teeth, which is a compliment for what could still probably remove skin by gentle rakes... obviously their expanded diets shown by their slightly advanced dental evolution. Northern gnolls are usually well kept, and by some definition; pretty. They have styled manes of dark colored hair, and keep themselves clean. Surprisingly, there is little sexual dimorphism between males and females, and even experienced peoples can have trouble telling the sexes apart. The only real difference is that females usually are overall larger.


Personality Traits and Behavior - As their name implies, these gnolls generally are much more human-natured. They do have a much higher intelligence level as well, and can vary just as much as a person can. They actually have individual personalities. While not scholars or anything drastic, these civil minded creatures can usually comprehend advanced logics quite well. Though, most are viewed not much better than their counterparts, they actually are quite like the lesser species of the world. They are wonderful plainsmen, great hunters and excellent trackers. And while still having the ferocious bite and growl of their brutish brothers, they can be quite passive, and care-free as well. Their rather blunt however, and rarely shy or avoiding. They nary are embarrassed, or even offended.

There is a lot more sexual equality among the Northern Gnolls . In fact, there is sexual equality. There are as many males seen doing a job as their are females, and there seems to be no favor to anything. Speaking of, the act of 'sex' is quite casual amongst most peoples. Almost viewed as a form of recreation. Most towns have farmers, hunters, and every other role needed to be a thriving culture. Their society is somewhat as balanced as many of the 'good' races of the land... and they try to be good. They have free open trade with all races, and even welcome them into their towns. However, many are frustrated with the continual treatment of their people; their brothers and sisters as pets, slaves, and brutes to dwarves especially. They grow restless, and tired...and some are even willing to fight.

Their societies are often run by a town offical, as their is no real kingdom for the Northern Gnolls.. mostly because there is a lack of leaders- due to the threat of dwarves overtaking. Most settlements are large towns, which have everything from blacksmiths to seamstresses.

They look on other gnolls as family, although they hold them at arm's length. They're like Uncle Larry- you're related to him, but you don't always claim that in public. [/i]

Religion - Like their brethren, there is no dominate religion among the Mountain Gnolls. Shamanism is still present, but deity worship is far more common.

Territory - As their name implies, these gnolls favor the hilly plains primarily to the north of their brothers in the common-land. While that encompasses most of their homeland, it's not uncommon for them to be seen travelling the lands.

Unique Traits - Northern gnolls are one of the weirdest species - their rapid change over time has lead to some very 'interesting' traits. 'Females' as they are referred by the populace actually are hermaphroditic; and have both sets of genitalia. As if this were not strange enough, males of the species are capable of bearing young as well... although details of this process are ill talked about. This is believed to be the cause of their sexual equality. Northern gnolls are also the only ones without reverse jointed legs, also making them the tallest of their species. Due to being a bit warmer in their climate, their fur has thinned lightly. Some have even taken to trimming their hair short.

Desert Gnolls;

Physical Description - A race of gnolls shrouded in the mystery of their lands, these gnolls are seldom seen, or heard of, although there is no doubt they exist. Deep within the deserts these furred beings live, looking much like their northern counterparts. They stand slightly shorter than them; due to still having reverse-jointed legs, yet no hunched back. Their average height ranges from 3'11 to 4'4, and weigh closer to seventy pounds on average. Their bodies, like the northern gnolls have stretched and grown to become less stocky; adapting a more lean form. But not else can be said about their appearance... as few have ever seen their bodies bare. Their tail curls deeply back towards their body... and male and female is quite ambiguous as well... Mostly because of their way of life. Both genders spend their life garbed deeply in robes with hoods or masks, and few dress more sparsely. Their fur is lighter, to help reflect the hot desert suns... what isn't by their garments.

Personality Traits and Behavior - A vague as their appearance, not much can be learned from observing their behavior... however, nearly all of their kind are very kind and peaceful... very passive. Nearly all of them, male and female speak in monotone voices, and have similar personalities. They seem to be rather intelligent and very logical, having the strength of mind where their brutish brethren have strength of arms. But their entire society is very quiet, and very ill heard of. So very much, that some doubt that they are gnolls at all.

The Desert Gnoll's lifestyle is based heavily on religion, although it's unclear what religion exactly, it's obviously borderline a cult. Everyone in the town is a follower. Everyone. Those of different religion are converted, or somewhat shunned from the rest of the town.... A large mystery encompasses the entire race as a whole.

They look on the other gnolls as brothers and sisters... almost as bloodline family.


Religion - As stated above, ALL of the Desert Gnolls follow one cult-like religion. Natasdog, as the worshipers call the deity is supposedly the creator of all things, both good and evil. Those created good thusly go to a sacred sanctuary when they die, much like a haven, meanwhile, the wicked die, and their corpses turn to ash, and their soul to dust. The Desert Gnolls look on their past, believing the evil sin created by their ancestors wash down onto them, making them impure in Natasdog's eyes. Thusly, they devote their lives to doing right, hoping to gain the favor of their religious deity again. Most live as monks, or priests would.

Territory - The desert only has one large town of these folk...and there is no ruler. Only the lone Paladin at the church. He is the one whom decides what is right, and what is wrong, what is good for the people, and what will harm them. Yetevelo the Righteous is a firm, good-hearted leader, and respects those both inside and outside his religion for their bravery for even stepping onto the desert's sand. There is a rumor that he has been granted eternal life, and is over three-hundred years old.

Unique Traits - Aside from being one of the most religious races in the world, there is not much about these Gnolls that make them... gnolls. They're not brutish... they're not strong. They're the furthest away from animalistic as a gnoll could be. And their bodies have changed partially to show that. Aside from reverse-jointed legs, their fur has grown very short, and their face shrank. Their face is almost humanoid in appearance.


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(Back to Vilkauti!)

Name: Vilkauti

Age: 15

Gender: Male

Race/Species: Gnoll (Northern)

Physical Description:
Vilkauti is a young, but grown Northern Gnoll in all of their rather modest glory. He stands at a brisk 4'3, being at the very bottom of his races's height, and weighing a mediocre seventy pounds. Kauti is little, and slender, his body looking taller than it actually is. His fur is a deep tanned color, a mix of grey and deep brown to create a dusty, hollow brown. His fur is spackled and speckled with black blotches that paint his arms, shoulders, and thighs, while his belly is a gentle, lighter tone of fur than what is on the rest of his body. The fur around his elbows and knees is slightly thicker, obviously for padding when crawling. His shoulders are narrow, and set the tone for his upper body... his chest small, pecks gently furred, and moving to a gently flat, furry belly. His abdomen is narrow and his hips are wide, giving him quite feminine curves... which, given the negotiable only slight difference in genders, one might infer accidentally that he is female.... Although, it's a common mistaken in the north. Kauti pays it no mind. The girlish curve continues down his legs, unto his moderate sized foot-paws. Kauti's hind-end is cutely adorned with a curled, unclipped tail, that does not, actually, wag when happy. Also, Vilkauti has multiple laceration scars on his wrists, where a too-tight rope dug past his fur into his flesh.

Kauti's head is covered in a stylishly messy frazzle of sandy blonde hair, which meshes nicely with the charcoal coloring of his muzzle and nose. Behind the lovable wet nose and mouth full of dagger-sharp teeth lie his sharp brown eyes, and pointed ears. His facial features are somewhat sharp, and just barely masculine for his race.

Image

Personality

Personality:
Vilkauti is quite an easy going 'vicious' monster, if any monster at all. While he is far from a charming gentleman, he isn't obnoxious, or spiteful. He acts rather level-headed, and calmly. He treats everything with a casual approach, and doesn't flip off the handle easily. His elastic personality allows him to be mild-mannered for quite some time, and he usually tends to solve problems before they start. He's pretty sarcastic, and very playful around his friends, and jokes off even somewhat serious situations if he feels the time is right. He knows how to get serious; but doesn't like to be all work and no play. He'll even joke with his enemy. Overall, he just acts casual at about everything he tilts his hand at. Getting worked up doesn't help the situation very much.

Likes:
Metalsmithing
Swordsmanship
Being treated as an equal
Musics from string instruments, particularly the violin
Elegant clothing
Fresh, meaty food-stuffs

Dislikes:
Cloth 'Armor'/Robes
Being treated as a lesser
Alcohol
Deep, fast-moving water-system
Tight Clothing

Fears:
Drowning
Burning
Magic Users

Sexuality/Romantically:
Vilkauti's sexual orientation is pansexual. Like many Northern Gnolls, he is gender blind, and doesn't care what bits you do or don't have between your legs... he much more cares about your personality; how you treat others, how you view yourself. Vilkauti is not currently seeking a mate/lover, however, is open to one.

In Combat:
Vilkauti handles fighting seriously, unlike anything else he does. While he's not furious, viscious and all around some kind of barbarian, he knows where he needs to keep his mind focused in order to make sure he's not careless. He fights rather defensively, working more to protect his allies, more than harm his foes. This gnoll has an unprecedented gift of controlling his temper, even when blade to blade with an adversary.

Equipment

Armor/Clothing:
Vilkauti's normal apearal isn't very fancy or eye-catching. His torso is covered by a small steel breastplate, which leaves about half of his midriff exposed... or would, if he wasn't wearing a loose leather garment underneath. The chest-plate offers greater protection to his more vital organs; heart and lungs. However, since it is only a breastplate, his back isn't protected by the steel. His right shoulder alone has a steel pauldron, that matches flush with his breastplate. A long, steel elbow-gauntlet reaches up his right arm as well, while a simple leather vambrace sits on his other arm. His waist and feminine hips are protected by a loose, light steel fauld, to which his light steel leggings are attached to by means of garters. The leggings fall only to the top of his knees; from which, his front-plated, thigh high leather boots come up to meet them, giving his lower body the protection it needs without sacrificing mobility.

Weaponry:
Vilkauti's choice weapon is a medium length, slender sword. The blade is straight, and is dual edged. It is very similar to a jian, or a pedang style blade. The light, nimble sword is made from high-grade steel, and forged in his homelands. It is great for thrusting, as well as swinging, and it's light weight, medium length and broad, curved handle make it sword-fighter's dream to wield. The hilt is made from iron, and has a soft leather wrap around the grip. Three silver filigree bands decorate the leather grip. The sheath is made from iron, painted red, and garnished with a silver mouth, and tip, while the sword's cross guard is silver as well. A golden tassel hangs gently from the pommel of the weapon.

Fighting Style:
Vilkauti's fighting style is heavily based on maximizing movement. His armor is made of female parts to give him the most flexibility, and the least amount of weight, while still offering decent protection. Vilkauti will continually dodge attacks, or parry them; mitigating their effect, and tiring his attacker, until it is time for him to make a counter-attack. Or, if he's on the offensive, he can use the very motion for a brutal offensive as well. By utilizing a combination of fencing, and common swordplay, Kauti is able to strike relentlessly and effectively with seamless jabs, thrusts, swings and slashes, all that flow like water together. This uses all the bends of his body; particularly his wrist, elbow and even his shoulder movement to attack from every angle with jabs, while still giving moderately powerful, yet deadly swift slashes using a spin of the wrist, or the extension of the elbow. The moves are very flamboyant, and encourage many spinning, twirling, and very mobile attacks that keep the foe guessing where the next attack will come from, and what kind of attack it will be. All the while, his other arm is open, which is commonly used for nicely placed punches, or grabbing exposed plates of armor, or the hilt of opponent's weapon - anything that could give him leverage in a fight.

History

HISTORY OF THE GNOLLS:

It's most notable that gnolls were around even with the earliest races of folk. Dwarves and elves were the first to encounter them... and the meeting was far from friendly. Ever since, gnolls were labeled barbaric, and thuggish. These of course, were the only kind of gnolls around at the time (central), and they were indeed more viewed as pests. Time after time again, gnolls were caught in strife with the early peoples, and came closer and closer to extinction. It was at this time, roughly five-thousand years ago that two heroes to the gnoll peoples took to care of their own tribes, and migrated towards the hills and deserts respectively. This act, in what very simple gnoll records is recorded, is call the "Journey to New Place. " This is where the gnolls would create their own paths in life, shape how they evolve, and why it was different. Thusly, since the gnolls that stayed in the central area did not travel, their appearance stayed sentimentally the same, and no real drastic change occured.

Gnolls of the North - The gnolls of the north were lead away by the first female alpha ever to take lead of people. Acording to simple texts, she was called Ackleze of Twin Selves. Ackleze was a great seer, and had seen what would come to their peoples over the coming years; nothing but hardships and trials that their brutish brothers would seldom pass. She amassed her followers... her friends, family and those whom believed she was right, and lead them away from their kin. They roamed the lands for years, before settling down in the hills of the northern lands, where they would be closer to their dwarven foe, yet undisturbed. Ackleze determined that unless the gnolls changed quickly, that they would find themselves doomed as their brothers would be south of them. She began to organize the more educated of her group to teach the uneducated. A gradual pass of gnoll-knowledge that would accumulate over the years. From speaking common to actually understanding common sense. The process was slow, and eventually would turn to a mildly educated race. Simple-minded peoples.

A few more hundreds of years, and they would actually be learning from other races. There was a brief time where, yes, the simplistic gnolls bartered with adventurers, or travelers. Seldom was it gold or currency... but rather information and services. A gnoll would show where the best hunting areas were, while the traveler would tell them how to sew a shirt, or show them what vegetables grew where. And the gnolls would slowly evolve into a moderately intelligent race, on the level of goblins or orcs... although much more passive.

This time of peace however, was bound to end. After a few rogue attacks on caravans and villages, the free-peoples decided that these gnolls were still too dangerous. The dwarves in particular pushed that their kind be eradicated. And thusly, they were. Bounties were put upon gnoll's head's. No particular one... just if you could prove you killed one. This pushed their already slim race to the brink, and the survivors were mostly female; all of the male warriors had been killed defending their homestead. There was question if they could repopulate, males being as sparse as they were.... And had it not been for Ackleze's ancestor, that probably would have been the case. Granted with a 'special addition', her ancestors could reproduce homosexually, which in turn, passed the 'addition' down the line of northern gnolls. Offspring of these gnolls were either male, or hermaphroditic, like their fathers. Pure female offspring was truly rare. Male was the more dominant trait.

And over the next thousands of years they were trialed with the opposite problem they had faced years ago; too many males, not enough females. Again, it seemed the race of gnolls would smother itself out... but again adapted and overcame their trial, resulting in two males being able to conceive children....Details of this process can be learned from one of the northern gnolls themselves. Although, surprising to the homosexual reproduction, this would in turn produce regular male and female offspring; rarely hermaphrodites. Many races around the world find the concept of homosexual love appalling, much less offspring generated by it. Others... couldn't care less, and just wanted the Gnolls dead.

By now, the northern gnolls had evolved much past their hunch-backed brethren. Their legs had become forward jointed, and longer, due to their rising need of mobility. Their hunched backs straightened to give them more height, allowing them to even make rather nice forms of clothing. Their feet-paws are slightly elongated, to fit better in boots and shoes, although most of the population still forgo these additions. The intelligence of these peoples are still below average... yet much higher than their central-land dwelling kin.


The Desert Gnolls -
Contrary to their belief, the Desert Gnoll's trek didn't start religious, but rather to seek shelter from the harshness that was taking over their land. These fierce hearted gnolls were lead by Tannerhide the Scarred, thusly called so because of his deeply burnt flesh, and patchy fur. These gnolls would further their lives in isolation, trekking to the deserts where they would finally stop near the Blessed Oasis... forming a society there. Like the gnolls of the north, these folk too began to expand their knowledge... but due to their isolation, grew much slower.... at first.

These gnolls, however, found a ruins deep within the desert sands of a past society... and the many texts that lie within. Very few able to read, the gain of this knowledge was also quite slow... until there were gnolls in the streets, preaching of doom and destruction. The texts they'd stumbled upon where that of ruined temple... and told many terrible things. Being the only thing these gnolls knew, they took it to be true, and began to save themselves as soon as possible. Their isolation carried on... and what started as a journey to find peace became a journey to find salvation. Believing that they were fated and bound to the desert, few dared to go outside it's reaches.

These gnolls evolved physically as well... though, differently. Their hunched backs quickly disappeared to minimize the surface area that sun would hit. .. but their reverse-jointed legs would persist, as they wouldn't need as much speed as their northern counterparts. Their claws elongated; allowing them to puncture holes in cacti to drain water from them, or to pluck fruit from the tops of their limbs... all without getting pricked.

Otherwise, not much is known about the desert's gnolls. Their text of history are archived, and since they are rarely traveled, this history is faster and faster buried by the sands....

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Vilkauti's History -

Vilkauti, being a norther gnoll, is one of the civil ones you see traveling about... which is indeed rare. Very few of his people journey out anywhere. With heavy racism against them, he finds few havens that are very much NOT havens.

As a younger gnoll, Vilkauti grew up with a mother and father, his father a blacksmith, while his mother a hunter. He was not abused, or had any sad tale to tell. His childhood was quite good actually. He had caring parents that would raise him well. He took a tad bit more towards his father, although he would partake in hunts with his mother frequently as well. He was not formally educated, like the rest of the northern gnolls, and knew only what his experience granted him. He knows knowledge of metals, and of blacksmithing. He is also a skilled tracker and hunter. He is familiar with medicinal and edible herbs.

In the latter years of his childhood, into his becoming of an adult, Vilkauti was captured by an dwarven mining team after venturing too far into the caves around his homeland. He was taken captive, and forced to work in the mines as a result. He was treated as the 'pet' of the mine's foreman, and generally was treated rather ill. Where the miners would return home after a day's work, Vilkauti would stay behind in the cave, locked to a post. The details of his job were also undefined... however, the miners were not cruel beyond keeping him for trespassing. He was not beaten, nor starved. He was treated as a miner, although one that essentially lived in the mines. As the mining project was finished, just a few long months later, he was released, after countless attempts at escape was made. He even scarred his wrists trying to free himself from binds. From that experience, he can generally say he more than dislikes dwarves for their overcontrolling personality.

But living in a cave wasn't all bad. Not only did Vilkauti learn about metals and rocks, mining, smithing, and all the wonders that a mining crew had to teach, but he also formed a rather solid grasp on dwarven and common tongues. It also made him realize how small his world was... and decided that he wanted to see the world with his own eyes. Now becoming an adult, Vilkauti would only live in his village for a few more years, spending time with the local guards and mercenaries, learning how to defend himself. One person, in particular, a woman in his village named Saschi was a martial artist, and a very skilled user of the blade. She and Kauti formed a tight, family-like bond as she passed on her way of fighting.

As the young gnoll would develop into an adult, he would set off. Saschi would stay behind, and look after his family while he would explore the lands. Although, Kauti vowed that he would return to his village to live out the rest of his life... once he'd gotten his fill of adventure. Now he roams the lands freely, saying to be mercenary. Although, most of the lands he roams are monster infested, and generally have little use for mercenaries.

So begins...

Vilkauti (Gnoll)'s Story

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The Plains East of Town, in Rivenmarch

The soft darkness of gloaming had finally taken the land, engulfing those without flame in the ebony air - when the soft chirping of insects and whispers of the night-winds were the loudest. It was near approaching the late watches, and the moon rose higher and higher, shaded by the abundance of clouds. The night was dull and shadows were non-existent, due to overbearing dark. No right man or woman would be caught dead at this time; their senses numb, and their minds afraid...

The modifier 'Man' would need to be more heavily implied.

As the night still belonged to the gnolls... or at least this gnoll.

Vilkauti kept his mouth closed as he approached the road sign, defined through his eyes by those highly sensitive orbs in his hyena-like skull. The black paint on mahogany wood was even darker than he himself could make out. But he didn't need to know what the words were. The gnoll knew exactly what the crude arrow was pointing to: Town; people, pets, shops.... and xenophobia. People would stare. Women would cry out, men would reach for their blades, and children would flock to their mothers, seeking comfort. Mocking mutters of 'Animal' or 'Beast' would be uttered more than once, and he knew the town watch would be on him in only a few minutes, spears raised as if he'd threatened the whole town.

Just an average day for a gnoll.

But this day was not destined. Vilkauti would unsling his pack from his back, resting it against the sign, and rummaging through the crude satchel. There was enough supplies to withhold him- he'd not show his face to these 'fair' folk, nor would need to be shunned from yet another town. He knew that his kind had no kind reputation... or what those people thought were his kind. But he could do little to change their mind. Yet these facts compiled did nothing to dampen the throbbing hyena heart that beat underneath. Closing up the satchel, and throwing it over his shoulder, and looking back up the sign. The gentle rolling plains surrounded the town, and although a detour would elongate his trip, he'd not wished to risk another foul incident of rebuttal. So, instead of taking either one of the trodden dirt paths unto the road, he took a sharp right, dipping into the tall grass, which almost overwhelmed the short gnoll. He began to descend gently into a valley, his steel skin clanking lightly as he traversed down with his unsure footing. He'd go around the town, and simply avoid all of the contact that he could.

Vilkauti kept the corner of his yellow pearls locked into the town, from which he could see the illuminated windows and fire of braziers. He could even see the dull sheen of flame-light reflecting off the mail of the night-watch. It made him all the more worried. Most towns hardly had three or four town watchmen... but this little hamlet had more than that in the form of night-watchmen. The gnoll had no map; and had no way of knowing how close he was to a castle or kingdom... he had been in the woods belonging to the elves previously, passing through his kin's territory with little trouble. He knew, however, this made it more dangerous for him as well now that he'd left them. If common gnolls had been spotted near or in this village, he'd probably be attacked on sight! It made his feet plod a little further away, adding more distance between him and the town. He was sure he was invisible to the naked eye, as far away as he was, and having no light. But that didn't put his mind at ease.

But the gnoll had been so busy with his eyes locked on the civilization, his ears failed to warn him of the dangers that lurk in the field that only his head rose above....

It happened so fast that the gnoll couldn't even react enough to save himself. A strong, tall human stepped out in front of him, the grass rustling as he planted his feet firmly in Vilkauti's path. The gnoll could see him, a broad grin on his face. The man just stood there, and there was moment of curious silence from Vilkauti. The man didn't wear armor... or at least not platemail. He figured a traveler, a man like himself, camping out in these very fields. But as Vilkauti went to bow, he heard more movement in the tall weeds around him... and before he could even vocalize anything, two others lurched out from either side of him. One had in his hand, a thick silk rope, which found it's way tightly around the gnoll's throat, instantly straining his breathing, and pulling his head back. The other began to wrestle his struggling hands away from his neck. Vilkauti could barely breathe, much less speak his peace.

"Whadd'we got, boys?" The man that had first stepped into Kauti's path asked, reaching to the ground, and pulling a lantern towards his face. The metal striker sparked the bright, oil-soaked rag to life, illuminating their faces. All humans, and all men.

"Jus' loik we t'ought. A 'noddah onna does dog-f'ings from da woods. Pr'olly 'ere t' take Farmer Breck's livestock 'gain." Another spoke. "'E must be a dumb one, 'ough. 'e dinnae'ven bring frien's to 'elp."

"Dunno! Thus'ns, real tall fer one'o those stinkers... An' woul'ja look at that! 'E figured out 'ow t' put armor on! Ain' 'e cute." the third, the one restraining his throat mocked.

Vilkauti threw his head back and forth, trying to shake his dome in disagreement, but he was already feeling light-headed.

"I says we plug 'im a few toims inna guts, an' leave 'im out 'ere for the buzz'erds. " The second piped up again, drawing a knife. "Crops'll do real noice den, I bet." Added, tapping the steel plate across Vilkauti's torso with the blade's tip.

"Leave 'im fer a warnin' fer the rest o' 'em, I say. Maybe those damn thing's'll catch th' hint?" The one restraining him spoke again. "Last thing we need is more of 'em in m' Paw's fields."

"Maybe. We could prob'ly get a few silvers for 'is armors, if they don't smell like th' rest o' this fleabag. Hard pressed t' find a blacksmith that can work on crude steel loik that though. 'is sword'll go for a new few pieces too!" The first said, moving closer, and really looking him over, particularly his armor and blade. Vilkauti's vision was dimming now, his eyes fluttering as his muscles began to un-tense, and the voices began to scramble as his mind slowly blanked.

Of course to him, his unconciousness didn't last long.

Vilkauti slowly came to, the light shining sharply through his eyelids, and stirring his suffication induced nap. His reaction was swift, darting upright, and looking around, hey weary eyes wide, his vision fuzzy. He was... in a cage? What happened to him?

The gnoll looked around, taking in the other cages in the room... which seemed to be some kind of display room. He heard voices. Human ones. Common dialect. The memories of the night before slowly washed over him. The binding... the choking... didn't they say they were going to kill him? This wasn't the afterlife, was it?

Slowly, the gnoll took himself in... sure enough, his sword and armor both had been stripped from him, and nowhere in sight. They at least had the decency to give him a loincloth, however. He figured that they decided his bits and bobs probably would've not been pleasant to see bouncing around as he moved around.... not that he could've done so very easily anyway. His cage was barely ten feet by ten feet. There was definitely not plenty of spacious movement room. The dark iron bars surrounded him, as he slowly pushed himself to his feet, having to stay hunched over in the cage uncomfortably. Finally, he just decided to squat down, resting on his feet, and propping his elbows on his knees. He couldn't see people directly, yet he heard their voices. Perhaps.. some were growing closer? Nonetheless, there was nothing the gnoll could do... but wait... and cook up unpleasant things to say to whomever he saw next.