Old Skool Gamers SoW Campaign
Yeenoghu - Demon Prince, Demon Lord of gnolls
Yeenoghu is a Demon Prince, the Demon Lord of Gnolls, and the bestial embodiment of savage butchery. His personal weapon is his dreaded triple flail, created from the bones and skin of a slain god. Yeenoghu commands the obedience of ghouls, ghasts, and wights (mainly through his subjugation of the entity known as the King of Ghouls). His worshipers sometimes paint his eye on their weapons and armor so that their patron can see the atrocities they commit in his name.
Yeenoghu combines the worst features of a gnoll and demon in one immense form. Standing 12-foot-tall, his body is gaunt and lanky, and patches of yellow fur stained with brown spots cover him. Leprous gray skin and suppurating wounds mar his body, revealing the corruption of his flesh and spirit. His head is a large, anthropomorphic hyena’s, with glowing red eyes and a toothy maw from which spills strings of drool. He is often depicted wielding a three-headed flail.
Like all demon lords, Yeenoghu has a long list of enemies and rivals, and a short list of allies and compatriots. He was not originally revered by gnolls, but gained their worship by stealing the portfolio of Gorellik, their original patron deity. His greatest enemy is Baphomet, the Demon Lord of Minotaurs and the Prince of Beasts. Their enmity has stretched back so far that both demon lords have forgotten the origins of their feud. Graz’zt manipulates Yeenoghu on occasion into battles of Graz’zt’s choice; Yeenoghu does not realize he is being used, but loves battle enough that he would hardly care if he did.
Despite Yeenoghu being the “Demon Lord of Gnolls,” he accepts worship from other races, notably humans, as well. The infamous Maure family from the world of Oerth is a prime example. However, thanks to the meddling of the Succubus Queen Malcanthet, the Maures were eventually laid low and Yeenoghu counted Malcanthet as one of his most hated enemies.
Because of his subjugation of the King of Ghouls, Yeenoghu also has also induced the ire of Orcus, the Prince of the Undead. However, the two did seem to have come to a mutual understanding and for a time, the duo managed to imprison Baphomet in Orcus’ layer of Thanatos.
A few believe Yeenoghu to be related to Karaan in some way.
Nezrebe is a 9-foot-tall albino gnoll who serves Yeenoghu directly, leading armies into the Seeping Wood on Yeenoghu’s layer to expand his realm.
Realm As a demon lord, Yeenoghu rules the 422nd layer of the Abyss, aptly and unimaginatively named Yeenoghu’s Realm. It is a salt-swept wasteland bordering a foul ocean in which lurk gnolls, hyena-like creatures, and various carrion-eating undead. Before Yeenoghu took over the layer, it was known as the Savage Searing, ruled by the fallen Celestial demon lord known as Azael. Even before Azael, the layer was realm to the obyrith Lord of Storms and Tempests, Bechard.
Yeenoghu himself lives in a mansion the size of a city pulled by thousands of slaves, which slowly makes its way across the layer.
Dogma Yeenoghu embodies killing and butchery. Seeking power over his rivals and the gods themselves, the Beast of Butchery commands his followers to show no mercy over their opponents. Yeenoghu welcomes to his worship any who exult in death and slaughter.
Worshippers Yeenoghu is revered by both gnolls and ghouls, as well as power-hungry humanoids of other races, such as Tieflings. He acts as the patron for gnolls, wishing to see a material world where other humanoids are simple slave labor or food. However, with his own conquests in the Abyss requiring direct attention, Yeenoghu also attracts other followers who seek power, often corrupting them into supporting his undead armies.
One such Abyssal conquest was the White Kingdom, a layer devoted to ghouls and other undead. After Yeenoghu subjugated Doresain, King of Ghouls, the hungry dead began revering him as well.
Clergy The typical ceremonial vestments of Yeenoghu’s priesthood are dark brown robes accented by mangy yellow furs. The robes are never cleaned, becoming fouled with blood and reeking of dead flesh over time. Clerics of Yeenoghu have access to the domains of Chaos, Demonic, Evil, and Fury. According to some sage’s historical reports and references, Erythnul grants Yeenoghu’s clerics their spells, with Yeenoghu acting as a go-between and a loyal servant, at least, until the chance for him to achieve godhood himself is within his grasp.
Temples Yeenoghu has few formal shrines or temples. His unholy sites are rocks in the wilderness smeared with blood and feces and crude paintings. In the Abyss his temples are more elaborate, taking the form of five-sided, six-tiered ziggurats covered in corpses and swarming flies.
Rituals Followers of Yeenoghu perform living sacrifices in remote wilderness regions beneath the light of the moon, eating the living flesh of their victims raw, sacrificing blood to their master. Cults bring back sacrifices to their lair and mutilate them with sharp knives, collect their blood, and consume it with hallucinogenic herbs. They look for omens in the viscera of their slain enemies. Cultists of Yeenoghu never bathe.
The worship of Yeenoghu is closely tied to the phases of the moons. During the darkness of the new moon, gnolls seek as many captives as possible to slaughter in a cave representing Yeenoghu’s own otherworldly den, with a chorus of terrible howls adding to the atmosphere of the ritual. At this time, the matriarchs of the tribe pray for Yeenoghu to make a personal appearance, hoping he will arrive to sire half-fiendish young, but realistically they are likely to at best receive the boon of a lesser demon, who will lead the tribe for a time and sire half-fiends to lead in his place after he returns to the Abyss.
One of the most terrible of Yeenoghu’s rites is the Corruption of the Soul Consumed, in which live captives are fed to cacklefiend hyenas, who give birth to lesser demons formed from the corrupted souls of the sacrifices they devoured.
Artifacts The Triple Flail is Yeenoghu’s signature weapon, its handle said to be carved from the thighbone of a god Yeenoghu slew and wrapped in that god’s flesh. Rusty barbed disks dangle from chains affixed to it.
Myths and Legends One myth claims that Yeenoghu created the gnolls himself by feeding demons to a pack of mortal hyenas. These hyenas gave birth to the first gnolls. Another myth claims that Yeenoghu helped to breed the very first Tieflings, but other demons lay claim to this as well. His blood would run pure in the veins of such creatures, granting them abilities well above the normal of that race.
History Yeenoghu might have begun his soul’s existence as a mortal gnoll, or he may be a demon born who finds the gnollish race to his liking.
Almost a thousand years ago, Yeenoghu and Baphomet orchestrated an invasion of Prime plane, opening vast portals in the forests of the Elsir Vale and lands beyond. Armies of demons, gnolls, and minotaurs poured into the forests, burning them and slaughtering wood elves by the thousands. An army of elves and other fey creatures, as well as the dwarves, allied with Bahamut and his dragons, managed to defeat the demonic alliance after a long war. The portals were sealed shut and cities were built to guard them, but have been lost over time. Yeenoghu and Baphomet became enemies, each blaming the other for their defeat. Sometime shortly after, either as punishment to the Prime or through damage done via tears in planar magic, ‘the change’ happened, and the ancient primordial magic began vanishing, leaving the Prime, with a diminished pool of magic.
SESSION 38: Damakos learns that he may be born of princely blood, and that his mother was raped by Yeenoghu himself. How could this be possible, as the war was eons ago? Damakos was told to find a deva woman named, Amyria, and that she may hold key answers to his true heritage.