The Gnolls wiki last edited by Deadknight on 11/26/13 08:34PM
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Gnolls are a race of fantasy creatures that generally resemble humanoid hyenas. They tend to be around seven to eight feet tall with reddish-brown fur - either mono-colored or spotted, clawed hands, and grey-colored skin. They're usually depicted as vicious and feral nomads who practice a pack mentality, and will kill and pillage other races without warning or provocation.
Gnolls first appeared in Lord Dunsay's 1912 story "How Nuth Would Have Practised His Art upon the Gnoles" in The Book of Wonder. Afterwards they reappeared in Margaret St. Clair's The Man Who Sold Rope to the Gnoles, and ultimately found a place in Gary Gygax's Dungeons & Dragons franchise.
Gnolls were first termed by Gygax as being a cross between gnomes and trolls, surmising this from Lord Dunsay's accounts of them, although this correlation doesn't seem to have been entirely substantiated. Overall, Gnolls are now commonly portrayed as humanoid hyena-like creatures, with the gnome/troll relation carrying little weight.
In Middle English, the word noll referred to a stupid or very drunk person.