CHARACTER REVEAL: Gyloof
CHARACTER REVEAL: Gyloof
Gyloof, Eldest Son of House Gullion, Slave Overseer
Gyloof was never comfortable with either the out-and-out evil nature of those around him or the chaotic, unpredictable tendencies of many of his family, elders or peers; how could anything be achieved if the unexpected always had to be considered? In his mind everything took too long to acquire or was too expensive, too unwieldy or not the desired result. There had to be a better way to succeed with less effort to do what needed to be done. This wasn't a line of thought that the worshipers of the Great Mother were inclined to permit and Gyloof, even as a young drow, had to keep almost all of what he believed to himself (no small task when everything around him raised his ire because it cost his family and therefore him more than it ought to). Eventually he found a way to explore his ideas and entered himself into a remote drow monastery when he came of age.
He did this without telling any of his family save the Matron Mother, whose initial anger was tempered when Gyloof explained his hopes and aims. He would spend time learning the ways of the drow monks, hone his own fighting prowess and then return to oversee the family's slaves. One of the biggest problems other families had with slaves was that they occasionally organized themselves into a rebellion which, at best, meant either the house lost workers as a result of the deaths of the rebels or, at worst, the family was killed by the insurgent (who then escaped). Gyloof reasoned that by having a clearer understanding of a structured approach to life he would be less likely to fall foul of organized schemes and plans of escape. The Matron Mother agreed and Gyloof disappeared from the family home.
A lawful approach to life is difficult for any drow because the usual inclination is to step on other dark elves in any way possible to rise through the ranks. The monastery was different because all respect was due to those above you and shadowy killings were dealt with severely. Gyloof suffered at first, frequently unable to restrain his un-drow-like strength when faced with tiresome tasks and stinging rebukes. His outbursts were never so great that the elder monks wished to remove him, yet weren't so infrequent or punishment-worthy that the whip marks upon his back didn't cause near-constant pain.
Gyloof learned much from the monastery: how to push someone so far that they became compliant without breaking; how to intimidate when seeming to be charming; how to punish painfully yet not lethally; how to marshal your own energies and maintain control at the same time as achieving your aims and desires. The power this approach gave to an individual in a chaotic society seemed limitless.
After enough seasons to gain a strong grounding in these ordered ways, Gyloof returned to his family with the ability to defend his views mentally and physically. He was taller, stronger, better prepared and planned than any of his peers or competitors. While never going to achieve rank through magic or outright chicanery, Gyloof grew into an invaluable member of the family, one who quelled unrest, established acquiescence within the slaves and workers, and allowed energy to be used elsewhere, He was known for strength and power in an unphysical world. It was his success at getting and keeping slaves that allowed Maelora to have a constant supply of energy for her plans. But Gyloof never made show of this; he just knew he had become indispensable to the Matron Mother, taking her rewards and admiration whenever and however it came.
Gyloof's control over the slaves is a straightforward but effective one. He has installed a competitive system that rewards the successful without overtly punishing the unsuccessful excessively (at least by drow standards). At any time he has three "Regimental Sergeant Majors" running three separate groups. This position cannot be held for more than six lunar cycles and is one of ultimate accountability for all those underneath you. Each is allowed to select five subordinates, each of whom leads five subordinates, each of which lead a gang of up to 10 workers.
This means that at any one time, a structure is in place to control almost 850 slaves through a mixture of, to most humanoids, barely recognizable rewards and severe penalties.
For the penalties are harsh; if Gyloof finds out that any crime, misdemeanor or disagreement has been committed by a slave - including fighting - then that slave is subjected to their crime ten-fold or has to face Gyloof himself. On top of that, the slave who is the next level up the chain of command is summarily killed for not being able to control their gang. This killing is undertaken by the next level of command. If Gyloof feels it is necessary, he will then personally dispatch that gangmaster, reminding all slaves quite clearly and explicitly who controls the set up. This severe but practical approach means crime in general and rebellions specifically are almost unheard of and swiftly dealt with when the hint of either arises. Gyloof regularly scans each level of command with his drow circlet of thoughts, including striding through the slave pens subjecting random slaves to his scrutiny and plucking out individuals who he feels aren't concentrating sufficiently on appropriate thoughts.
Gyloof 's physical ability is of legendary, near mythical, status amongst the slaves of all houses and most of the drow of many of them. He never wears any kind of clothing except for simple monk's robes and a cloak and only ever carries one weapon; his whip, "Mother's Caress." Nevertheless, he roars into fights with a seemingly otherworldly ability, using his hands and feet to stun, disable, render unconscious and kill outright any challenger at the same time as plucking missile weapons out of the air and immediately hurling them back at opponents before crushing them under his blows.
Workers are a valuable commodity and Gyloof usually delivers non-lethal damage, which often gives newly-arrived slaves an ill-judged, misplaced sense of security as if he is a soft touch. This is an out-and-out error, as the first slave in a new batch who fails to perform is used to demonstrate. In front of every other slave, they are matched against Gyloof in an unarmed contest. The fight is to unconsciousness, a rule to which Gyloof vehemently adheres to (these are always one-sided events in the drow's favor in any case). The loser is then restored to wakefulness and sacrificed immediately to the Great Mother. Gyloof has yet to lose such a match, a fact known by all long-term slaves.