Dreadhowl Keska Grimfur (a.k.a. Gun Dancer) (She/Her/Hers)
With unmatched physical discipline, she has perfected a body designed for raw speed and agility. She was not a born warrior. Her talents are as a scout, lightly armored and light on her feet. From the time she was a young cub, running was a way to clear her head and calm the aggressive urges that come naturally to her race. She has always loved competitively running against others but has found there to be few that can match her speed and agility. Because of this, she sought more challenging ways to get from point A to point B. Climbing walls, jumping across roofs, sliding under cars--nothing stood in her way. It’s not enough just to be athletic. She has to keep your eyes and mind sharp, to gauge distances, crawlspaces, and the shortest possible route even if it involves some death-defying feat of acrobatic skill. She can keep an entire landscape in mind, analyzing paths and routes of escape, even when everyone else just sees walls. This may not be raw brain power but a natural instinct of the surrounding environment. In her spare time, she runs.
She has extensive cybernetic implants. This includes having mechanical legs which have greatly enhanced her speed and agility.
She is sensitive to the sunlight and thus generally avoids being out in the sun. She loves being outside, but does so during the twilight or night hours. Sunlight is painful to her eyes.
Acrobatics +28, Athletics +16, Computer Use +12, History +12, Perception +16, Sleight of Hand +10, Stealth +22
These pistols were given to her by Qhall and she has never asked him where he acquired them because she is a little bit afraid to know. But she is grateful for the gift and treasures them for both their functional and sentimental value.
Her mother died when giving birth to her. Her father was alive and present in the Clan. She was raised by the community of female gnolls as is the custom for rearing orphaned cubs. She has two older brothers. The oldest brother is 17 years older than her and the second brother is 8 years older than her. It is generally believed that her mother’s age was the reason that she died in childbirth, but her brothers blamed her. When her mother died, there was no female to take charge of the family line and thus it lost social rank. The males within the family are one rank beneath her, bringing them to a position of low power when they had previously enjoyed moderate power. This conflict within her family led to her leaving the Grimfur Clan when she reached adulthood (8 years old) and seeking out another Clan. She joined a small Clan with little influence over the region: Clan Bloodmane.
Once within the new Clan, she knew that she needed to establish her line and her connection to the Clan. Thus, she took a mate from a low ranking member with bloodline connections within the Clan. His name was Herne Bloodmane.
Their relationship was short lived as she miscarried the pregnancy. She did not choose to remain in a mate relationship with Herne Bloodmane after that. She could not help but fear that she was cursed or otherwise unfit. The miscarraige caused her a great deal of suffering and self doubt, making her feel as though she had nothing to offer the Clan.
Breeding didn’t feel like an option to her and she began to believe that she would be forced to leave yet another Clan. She got into a scuffle with another low member in the Clan and the Dreadhowl witnessed their fight. The Dreadhowl saw potential in her and decided to give her training to serve as a Fang for the Clan. She spent the next two years serving her Clan as a hunter and gatherer. She believed that this made her useful and it avoided her fear of pregnancy.
While out hunting for the Clan, she was pulled into a rift and found herself in the Mundane World. Unlike most gnolls, she was able to survive within the city because she could keep her aggressive urges in check. She made her living by savaging the city. Her constitution allowed her to eat most anything she found and her ability to fight allowed her to defend herself when the need arose.
While living on the streets of Seattle, she encountered the cthulhu gang and out of necessity even worked for them for a time. This led to her meeting Qhall. While she is fully aware of his self serving nature, she has still come to respect and admire him. He is both powerful and capable when leading his people. His adherence to the law has won her respect more than anything else. Despite her inability to understand his willingness to put his personal needs before the needs of his people, they have become friends and allies. Her connection with Qhall has given her Clan access to getting cybernetic enhancements. They pay for these by performing work for Qhall or by trading with magical items.
After living within the Mundane World for a year, she met another gnoll who had been pulled through a Shadow Rift. She took the younger female, Gnara Riverpaw, under her wing and helped her survive in the strange place they found themselves. Keska quickly fell in love with Gnara and her spirit of determination for herself and their race. She has since been supporting Gnara in her efforts to build the Riverpaw Clan and establish a safe haven for gnolls within the Mundane World.
The Riverpaw Clan was established into the Gnoll Caves when Keska was 22. This is the only known Clan of gnolls within the Mundane World and because of this, Keska believes that protecting and building this Clan is even more important than it was with any other Clan she was a part of. As Gnara’s protector and guardian in this world, no one was surprised that she was named Dreadhowl for the Riverpaw Clan.
She was afraid, but she knew her duty. Thus, she took a new mate, Ishkr Emberfang. Together they have had a daughter whom they are raising together. Her name is Sovra Grimfur. If this daughter survives, she will become the heir to Dreadhowl.
After having established a Clan together, Keska and Gnara found that they cared more for each other then most. This has led to them becoming Life Mates, a couple that stays together for purposes other than breeding.
She chose to learn the native language of this world because being able to speak with others is the first step in being able to establish alliances and discern the motives of other groups. It is an essential skill for the survival of the Clan.
Qhall helped her earn her GED through an online program. After that, she went on to get training in computers which she also did online. She did this to gain a better understanding of the Mundane World.
While in the Shadow Realm, she worked for her Clan as a Fang, a hunter and gatherer. Once in the Mundane World she began working as a mercenary, taking jobs and making money where she could. Now she serves her Clan as the Dreadhowl, the clan's war leader. She continues her work as a mercenary as a method to earn the Clan money as well as to make vital connections within the Shadow Kind community. Her work as a mercenary earned her the handle Gun Dancer. There is no formal academy or dojo where one acquires the title. It is obtained through the school of hard knocks, its warriors emerging with a prowess exceeding the others—a natural grasp of the skill as if never needing to be taught. She can examine a target in an eye blink and determine the perfect point in which to inflict the greatest harm. In addition, she has developed a harmony with the surrounding environment, always analyzing her situation for the best cover and field of fire. This allows her to avoid hits while still maintaining her concentration on a target. She rarely remains still in combat, continually moving from cover to cover, always with a vital enemy weakness firmly locked in her crosshairs.
She has helped Gnara build the Riverpaw Clan. She feels that this is her greatest achievement in life. Others consider her abilities in battle to be unmatched and this is generally considered her area of highest achievement.
Failing to bring a pregnancy full term is the same as loosing a major battle in a war as far as she is concerned. What makes the female form powerful is their connection with the creative forces. She questions the validity of her connection to that force. Sometimes she wonders if she was some kind of mistake and should have been born male.
Loosing her first pregnancy was a very traumatic event for her, causing her to question her very identity and purpose within her Clan. Because of this, she has many negative feelings towards her being a mother and has only become one because she trusts that she can count on Gnara to aid in raising her cub properly.
- She judges others by their actions and their devotion to their codes or laws.
She follows the rules, respects hierarchy and believes in power given by society. She believes in honor, following traditions and being trustworthy. She has faith in societal rules because they are how you create a functioning society where everyone acts in the way you expect. Order and structure keeps the Clan safe and protected.
She cares about others and acts in ways that help and benefit them. While she will put those in her Clan before everyone else, she is compelled to help even those outside her Clan. She protects the innocent, defends the weak and goes out of her way to help other people.
She always does the right thing as expected by her Clan. She will always follow the rules, tell the truth and help out others. She likes order, trusts and believes in positions of power and she aims to be a good Clan member.
She believes in societal rules because they benefit everyone. If everyone followed their own rules there would be chaos and people may end up hurting each other. The structure of the Clan is what keeps the Clan members safe.
She has a high sense of justice. If someone doesn’t follow the Clan Law, they should be dealt with by the Clan. She becomes angry when people get away with breaking the rules, even when it is not the Clan rules that are being broken. She has little respect for those that are willing to break the rules of the group they have committed themselves to. Those are not people that can be trusted. Justice demands that there be evidence for the crime. She will not act against another until their crimes can be proven.
She holds herself to the same standard that she holds everyone else. She very rarely, if ever, breaks the rules. She will only do so in exceptional circumstances and will hold herself accountable to the Clan for breaking the Law. Whenever she breaks the rules she feels very uncomfortable doing so.
She is not a big picture, world view person. Thus, she has no opinion of the cultures of others. As long as they are not impacting the Clan, they are of no concern to her. She is not interested in changing the laws or beliefs of other groups. Let them do as they will as long as they are not causing harm to others. However, she does believe strongly that a person should uphold the laws and customs that they have committed themselves to.
She is more lawful than good. Whenever she is faced with a situation that puts these two values at odds, she is more likely to decide in the direction of the Clan Law. There are times that individuals must suffer in order to preserve the Clan, but this has the priority because without the Clan, the individuals will die.
- Breaking the law
- harming the innocent
Her primary motivation is to ensure the survival and growth of the Riverpaw Clan.
- Fair: acting without cheating or trying to achieve unjust advantage.
- Loyal: giving or showing firm and constant support or allegiance to a person or institution.
- Empathetic: the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.
She can be inflexible and dogmatic in her beliefs. She is arrogant and self-righteous. She is unable to understand the mentality of putting the individual before the welfare of the group when the individual cannot survive without the group. Thus, if one must ever choose between the good of an individual and the good of the Clan, one should always choose the good of the Clan because it is the good of the individuals.
Despite being a good character and feeling empathy for others, she still enjoys knowing that others are afraid of her. This is a sign of her power and her strength. Let others cower before her.
She has adopted a number of abnormal superstitions from her Clan’s Shaman, Gnara. She has taken up the habit of watching the stars and keeping a star map. She has come to believe that the stars do speak of the fate of the world and hold omens for the future.
Achieving the Dreadhowl rank has made her known within the Shadow Kind community. If on contract, she can raise her prices based on reputation alone. She has been given authority and influence over underlings. She has advantage on Charisma (Intimidation) checks with other gnolls.
She finds interacting with people thrilling. They invigorate her, and she finds confidence and motivation when surrounded by those paying attention. She is often the leader in a situation, or she desires to be said leader. When young, she quickly found that words and actions would gather the interest of others, encouraging her to continue the practice. She can’t stand remaining still or in isolation. She has to get out and needs to engage with other people.
She is frequently accompanied by hyenas or giant hyenas from the Clan.
Towards Deld Toothbreaker
Networking is essential to getting the things that the Clan needs in order to be successful. This has led Gnara and Keska seeking allies. Deld Toothbreaker has become an important ally and friend. She often struggles to understand his views regarding law and order, but recognizes that he is interested in ensuring the success of the Shadow Kind in the Mundane World. He can be relied upon.