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For another meaning of "Kholo", please see Kholo (language).

Gnolls of the Mwangi Expanse refer to themselves as kholo,1 and their culture focuses on the pragmatic. They view efficiency as a moral imperative, eschew concepts like honor, and employ ruthless ambush tactics and terror to ensure their victory in battle. Such tactics make them inherent enemies of many of their neighbors, though their culture extends a degree of respect to strong foes.2


The natural lifespan of a Mwangi Expanse kholo is more than 100 years, though on average most live to the age of 60.2


Kholo society is divided into clans typically numbering between 100 and 200 people comprising 10 to 20 distinct families. They are led by a matriarchal council of each family's elders, which in turn names a chief elder to lead them. This elder is advised by the clan's bonekeeper, who mediates with the clan's ancestors and gods, and storyteller, who serves as the clan's historian, sage, and linguist.2

While gender roles vary between clans, kholo women generally act as warriors and hunters while kholo men are often their clan's artists, caretakers, and gatherers. While leadership is typically reserved for women, men can become a clan's bonekeeper or storyteller.2


Kholo are named at birth after a type of bone, plant, or animal, though naming a newborn Kholo "Hyena" is frowned upon as narcissistic arrogance. Kholo ceremonies grant additional names descriptive of their personalities as they mature.2


Kholo revere their ancestors, starting with a grand endocannibalistic feast upon the death of one of their own. Consuming the dead is considered a sacred act, with the bones transformed into artwork and weapons; many gnolls carry an ancestor's bone to consult with them for advice. Such rituals rarely include outsiders, and only those whom are admired and whose prowess the clan seeks to employ.2

Among deities, kholo primarily worship Calistria and Shelyn in the names of Elder and Younger Sister, while Nethys is worshiped as the Brother and patron of bonekeepers. Kholo rarely worship Lamashtu, a popular deity among gnolls in other parts of Golarion, and reserve invoking her for only the most dire of situations.2


  1. "Kholo" is used as both the singular, plural, and adjectival form.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 Laura-Shay Adams et al. (2021). "People of the Mwangi". The Mwangi Expanse, p. 111–112. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-64078-340-9