Gnarl

If the enemy had a taste for hunting, the Gnarl would be their coursing hound, a fast stealthy tracking dog capable of short, deceptive bursts of speed. Of course, the enemy doesn’t hunt – and the Gnarl are something other than animals. As the creeping influence of dark magic has turned simple soldiers into relentless revenants, so the same quality manifests in these once-were canines.

Image Attribution Birdkisses, DeviantArt
Image Attribution: Birdkisses, DeviantArt. Used with permission.

Gnarl

Race  Undead
Resistance  Ordinary (60)
Traits  Armored (I), Natural Weapons (I), Undead (I)
Accurate 10 (0), Cunning 5 (+5), Discreet 15 (−5), Persuasive 9 (+1), Quick 13 (−3), Resolute 11 (−1), Strong 7 (+3), Vigilant 10 (0)
Abilities  Berserker (novice), Curse (novice), Feint (novice)
Weapons  Bonesharp Rake 4 (short, deep impact)
Armor  2
Defense  +5
Toughness  10   Pain Threshold  —
Equipment  None
Shadow  Dark yellow-brown, like infected pus, streaked with crimson and black (thoroughly corrupt)
Tactics  Gnarl hunt in pairs, bolting fast and hard at their prey and then exploding into a blood fury (Berserker) with their vicious claws and frothing maw. Amidst rough or overgrown territory, or in the midst of battle, they use confusion and obstruction to gain advantage (Feint) on the enemy. Most often found as shock troops for the enemies army, they also appear loose and wild, running amok. Up close, the almost hypnotic swirl of their features distracts and confuses their enemy (Curse), leaving them wrong-footed and open to the Gnarl’s savage raking attacks.

Appearance  A Gnarl looks like a lean and hungry hunting hound, with dark, blood-matted fur. They stand about a meter tall and weigh around 50 kg. While someone might mistake them from a distance as a wild dog, they have little in common up close. A Gnarl’s features swim and shimmer like some fever dream, a scary mess of glowering yellow eyes and sharp teeth. If the features ever settle, it seems like too many eyes glare from above the tight flesh of the muzzle and the mount hangs loose and broken, yet bites like a bear trap. The gnarled and leathery flesh hugs achingly tight around sinew and bone (Armored); while the Gnarl’s claws grow long and sharp, like knives (Natural Weapons, deep impact).

Environs  Gnarls travel with armies of the enemy, running ahead to worry enemy scouts and take down the unwary. Where free of service, they favor rough ground or loose undergrowth, bounding with power and speed to take down prey before they have a chance to react. Most remain in Alberetor, though a few have found a home in the forests that beard the edges of the Titans.

Predation and Treasure  Gnarl revel in the hunt. The eat to survive, consuming the flesh of the living as do all Undead.

Gnarl have no treasures or personal possessions. When associated with an army, they lack any specific territory, so no debris of their predation remains. Loose and wild, they cover a vast range, constantly seeking out the next meal – so, again, remains of their prey might be scattered far and wide. Generate possessions or treasures based on whatever those unfortunate might have owned before falling foul of the Gnarl.

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