Mongrols (dog soldiers)


Mongrols are hyena-headed, evil humanoids that wander the plains of Arrasia in loose tribal packs. Due to their feral, dog-like features and ferocious temperaments, they are often referred to as dog soldiers. They are dirty creatures, with mangy gray and white or reddish-brown fur and a large, matted mane, which they adorn with the trinkets taken from those they have killed. They stand about 7 feet tall, weigh 275 to 325 pounds, and have dark eyes.

Mongrols are of vicious temperament and they constantly snarl, snap, squabble, and fight amongst themselves, usually over possessions or food. Like Naberru, who created them and to whom they give their fealty, they are spiteful creatures, full of hate and evil, and they have little regard for any forms of life, even those of their own kind. When mongrol packs meet, they will usually fight, although it is not unknown for a particularly strong leader to unite several packs and make war on their enemies. Fortunately for the people of Arrasia, however, these are chaotic affairs and usually end in betrayal, in-fighting and murder.

Although mongrols have wicked teeth, they prefer to wield weapons of steel and use their strength in combat. However, they are ill disciplined when fighting and even during combat can be found snarling and arguing amongst themselves. Only the emergence of a strong chief - called a stud - can maintain the ranks and see them fight as a unit, when they become a formidable force and are especially feared.

Mongrols speak their own language, which consists of barks, growls and yelps. They seldom bother to learn any other languages, and probably couldn't even if they wanted to.

Mongrol Homelands
Mongrol camps tend to be fleeting in nature, rarely staying in the same place for very long, being either driven out by the local authorities, or riven with internal acrimony and strife. For the duration of their stay, however, the camps are ramshackle affairs, with rough huts made from whatever is at hand, or old, poorly patched up tents. Sharpened pickets often surround the camps to form a defensive barrier and guards constantly patrol for any signs of danger.

From their camp, the mongrols launch raids against nearby settlements or attack travelers and merchants on unprotected roads. Their attacks are usually swift and deadly, but once over it is common for the mongrols to fall into petty squabbling and fighting over whatever goods and slaves they have plundered, with only the tribal stud guaranteed a share.

Mongrol Politics and Society
Mongrol packs are dominated by their stud and shaman, who control the everyday and spiritual needs of the pack respectively. A constant tension exists between the stud and shaman as they vie for supremacy and the snarling and snapping of their powerful jaws indicative of the ongoing power struggle. Despite this, both are regarded as equally important by the pack, who know they cannot survive for long without them and though outright conflict between internal factions is common and bloody, a new stud or shaman will always quickly emerge to continue the cycle.

Mongrol packs vary greatly in size - from 50 to 500 - but tend to average around 200 or so. The larger the pack, the greater the tension and conflict, which can often lead to a bloody split. Mongrols tend to prefer going about their business at night, though this is to be better able to pass undetected than because of any dislike of the sun or bright sunlight, which they are perfectly comfortable with. Small bands tend to scout ahead and report back to the stud, who will gather a war pack when prey is to be had.

Although mongrols kill and eat their prey, they also take the better specimens as slaves, either to serve their own pack or to be sold later - usually to dark elves or some other foul race. Those enslaved by mongrols face a life of hardship and misery, and many will not survive for long if they are not soon sold. They also represent good sport for the mongrols, who enjoy watching gladiatorial combat between their mightiest warriors and the strongest (or, for real fun, the weakest) of those that are forced to serve them.

Mongrols are widely feared by small communities who are easy prey for their aggressive war bands. Mongrols tend to avoid large-scale conflict, preferring instead to use surprise to overwhelm their enemy. However, their natural spite and aggression make them formidable foes, even when they are largely outnumbered.

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