Gnolls are monsters and a species in the Dungeons & Dragons universe. They are a cruel, violent and warlike race of canine humanoids that are usually chaotic evil in alignment (while not necessarily evil, their craving of the hunt and primal bloodlust make the race lean towards chaotic evil by reflex).
Gnolls are usually between 7 and 8 feet tall, weighing around 250 to 320 pounds, and use armor made of horn, metal, or leather. Their whole bodies are covered in reddish-brown fur which becomes shorter as it surrounds their faces and clawed hands to reveal grey colored skin. Their pelts vary from mono-colored to spotted and their eyes are either yellow or black. Gnolls start fighting among one another at a very early age and as soon as they can walk, many crawl into places away from the eyes of adults where they engage in vicious, often lethal fights.
Gnolls are generally depicted in the game world as feral nomads who kill and pillage without warning. Victims of these attacks should expect no mercy from their Gnoll raiders and those who are not killed are taken as slaves where they are to be brutalized and abused till their dying days. To ensure utter loyalty from slaves most packs have specialized slavers known as spirit breakers who make it their business to break the will of a slave through repetitive torture (both physical and mental). Gnolls take torturing of slaves to as an art.
The process wrecks on a slave's mind by the spirit breakers is often irrevocable. Those captives who do not submit are eaten often in front of other slaves as yet another form of torment. Slaves who accept their fate live very short and harsh lives, which are ended by them being devoured by Gnolls. Few victims are lucky enough to be rescued and those that are may take months to shake the traumas from their shattered psyche and recover.
For all the savage nature of Gnolls, there is one aspect to their way of life that is not repulsive: Gnolls place a very strong value on family, respecting blood ties perhaps more than any other aspect of a relationship. Even though Gnolls within a pack frequently fight with each other for dominance, these battles, if not lethal, are quickly forgotten after their resolution. And in most situations, Gnolls of the same bloodline are loyal friends and reliable allies to one another. These bloodlines are almost always traced maternally, through the female line.
This loyalty to family is especial during combat, either with rival Gnoll packs or other races. Gnolls who fight side by side regularly throw away personal glory in order to help their brethrens.
When a Gnoll is separated from clan and family their instinctive need for such blood ties may lead them to form a surrogate pack from those whom they choose to befriend. To these unlikely allies the Gnoll is as loyal and faithful as they would their own brothers or sisters, embracing outsider Gnolls as if they are family.
Not all Gnoll packs embrace their reputation for savagery: Few Gnolls refrain from such utter depravity of their mainstream species. These clans are also nomadic just like majority of Gnolls but they rarely engage in bloody raids unless seriously provoked. Though they retain the natural Gnolls' primal aggression and bloodlust they take no joy in wanton barbarity, preferring hunting and tracking over outright slaughter. In some cases these 'deviant' Gnolls might even come to befriend or at least peacefully interact with the members of other races, offering their services as trappers or hunters. It should be noted, however, Gnolls prefer their own kind and except when on business rarely visit neighboring villages dominated by members of another race. Also should be noted, is that These deviant Gnolls still have their Gnoll blood run in their veins, meaning they are still aggressive and can be quick to anger, so visitors should be careful not to offend them.
Gnolls have also appeared in many videogames, noticeably World of Warcraft.
They worship the demon lord Yeenoghu.
- Gnoll huntmaster
- Gnoll claw fighter
- Gnoll marauder
- Gnoll demonic scourge
- Deathpledged Gnoll
- Fang of Yeenoghu
- Gnoll Gorger
- Gnoll Packlord