Gnolls are humanoids with hyena-like traits that are fierce and often considered monstrous to 'civilised' folk, standing an average 6' 6" (2 meters, with some reaching 7' or 2.1 meters). Gnolls garb themselves in crude, salvaged armor, they have glowing red eyes and tend to be lean of build. They prefer speed and stealth over brute strength - although they can still be plenty brutish and seem to possess supernatural strength. Most have 'crests' or mohawk like manes, but a few don't.
Gnolls age rapidly at first- reaching adulthood shockingly fast, then slowing down till it's nearly impossible to tell an adult gnolls age. It's only at the very end of their natural lifespan, roughly 30 years, that they begin to age again, old age consuming them within a year- if they are so fortunate as to live so long.
Gnolls are playable races in Argentum Regio, although you need to seek DM approval first and submit a suggested background explaining your gnoll PC's origins. Factors to consider will be:
- Family is important: Are you alone, and if so why? Gnolls value pack and company highly. Pick your family wisely.
- Are you demon or are you hyena? Do you embrace your demonic heritage, following fiendish instinct, or do you have the soul of a hyena, following natural instinct? Either way, you're a creature of instinct and intelligence.
- Who's the leader? Establish dominance or accept your place.
- Chase the thing! Hunt the thing!
- No matter how noble you are, you have fiendish blood in you. It's a battle for 'good' gnolls to resist their demonic instincts.
You will never be as civilized as these 'cultured' races (but you don't need to be).
To apply the gnoll subrace template, type 'Gnoll' into the sub race bar. This sub race is still under testing.
- Gnolls have a strong pack mentality - Gnolls of the same blood line will fight to the death for each other. They hate being solitary, preferring company- preferably at least two companions. When fighting together they work as a team, not as individuals, to bring glory to the clan, not to themselves. You'll never see a Gnoll trying to out do it's team mates and risk the success of the clan. However, more fiendish clans may attack weaker clans- survival of the fittest after all...
- Gnolls were made by Yeenoghu, the demon prince of ruin and butchery, by merging hyenas and fiends- and can choose which blood line to follow. Will they become demonic slavers, butchering and raiding settlements? Or will they become feral nomads, living a life closer to nature, avoiding direct conflict with civilized races?
- Fiendish Gnolls are things of nightmares and horror stories. They will devour entire farms, torture captives till they break completely- and if they refuse to break, they'll be torn apart by tooth and claw. Some victims go mad and become savage beasts, used like humans might use war dogs. A rare few become Gnolls in all but form, and act as wolves in sheep's clothing, infiltrating settlements and scouting the way for their Gnoll masters. These Gnolls have little use for crafting- they use the spoils of the hunt to garb and arm themselves. Better gear just proves their prowess in hunting.
- 'Natural' Gnolls act more like humanoid hyenas. They still hunt prey, but tend to avoid hunting intelligent species and incur the wrath of their victim's kin. They don't delight in torture, although individuals may still be cruel. They love to hunt, and may even set up trade agreements with local settlements, to trade fur and game for tools. That doesn't mean adventurers shouldn't be cautious around these 'friendly' Gnolls - Natural Gnolls may still attack anyone who they feel is a threat or has angered them- and they're not all that hard to anger.
- Gnolls are much like hyenas- they can eat almost entire corpses; bones, leather, sinew, organs, the lot.
- It's difficult to tell male from female gnolls- Neither is taller nor stronger than the other sex. Unless the female is pregnant or has teats swelled with milk (which doesn't last long as Gnoll pups grow quickly), you'll have to be careful with pronouns.
- Gnolls seem intimidating, all the time. Even the friendly ones- this is because of how they're raised. It's not that they're being hostile, but rather that they're testing the 'pack hierarchy', by testing how far they can push others around. This is simply a means of asserting dominance- a friendly Gnoll may never ask for anything, but rather demand. This often creates cultural misunderstandings.
- Gnoll pups start fighting each other at a young age. Often, they retreat into thickets, tunnels or other places were adults can't interfere. Then, the strong weed out the weak- often permanently.
- Gnolls can mimic the voices of the slain. They often use this skill to lure people to them.
- Gnolls have an innate affinity for learning Abyssal- it comes naturally to them, and even Gnolls who have never been taught it may find the language comes to them in dreams.
- Gnolls have a connection with hyenas, and often have a pack of hyenas that is considered part of the gnoll pack.
Argentum Regio Specific LoreEdit
- Cacklefiend Hyenas are commonly found with Fiendish Gnolls in other DnD planes- but have yet to be seen in Argentum Regio. It could be possible they have not been bred in this plane, so many of the rituals that use these demonic hyenas cannot take place.
- It's not entirely sure if the Gnolls are children of Yeenoghu is Argentum Regio, although still very plausible. It may be that the Gnolls 'fell through' from parallel/other planes (e.g. Faerun), or were created in this plane. Most Gnolls still believe Yeenoghu is their creator.
- Most Gnolls 'originate' from other continents. The clans and Gnolls in Arg-reg are descendants from gnolls 'imported' into Argentum Regio. This isn't 'common' lore, as most Gnolls can't or don't trace their clan history back that far and other races don't really care to study Gnoll history that deeply. However, it's still noticeable to any one from those continents that there appears to be slightly smaller Gnoll population in Argentum Regio.
Gnolls don't often have shamans or divine magic users, or rather they don't need them like how other races typically have priests and clerics. Their worship of deities is more often shown through action and deeds, not the practice of worship. Fiendish Gnolls may still worship Yeenoghu - as a prince of the abyss, Yeenoghu is not specific to either plane, but is anchored to the shared neighboring plane of the Abyss.
These worshipers of Yeenoghu carry out their deities will through butchery, savagery and cruelty. Demonic rituals are guided by 'demonic' inspiration.
Non-fiendish Gnolls may reject the gods altogether, associating them with their demonic 'divine' origins- what's the difference between a fiendish prince and and evil deity? Others may prefer to connect to nature, or other deities. Cherol and Nagealai as gods of hunting and of animals. Deeproot is also an option for more peaceful wild Gnolls. These non-fiendish Gnolls may 'worship through action' like their fiendish kin, or casually worship. Few Gnolls devote themselves to deity, and it's still rare to find clerics or shamans in Gnoll society, but less rare than in fiendish Gnolls society.
Gnolls of any religion can be zealous, even pious. A Gnoll who follows a nature deity may hunt down Undead and Aberrations with the same single minded ferocity a follower of Yeenoghu hunts it's victims.