|Classification||Gnollus sapien azerothi|
|Species Type||Hyenid Gnolls|
|Environment||Primarily Eastern Kingdoms but showing in Kalimdor|
|Average Height||7 ft|
|Related Species||Antagarichan Gnoll|
|Organization||Packs and tribes|
|Affiliation(s)||Independent, The Scourge, Axis of Awful|
|Leaders||Varies by tribe|
|Genus||Gnollus (Somarinoa, 2014)|
|Subgenus||sapien (Somarinoa, 2014)|
|Species||azerothi (Somarinoa, 2014)|
"Grrrr... fresh meat!"
The Gnolls are a species of hyenid gnoll indigenous to the Alterac Mountains and the Redridge Range of the Eastern Kingdoms of the planet of Azeroth, though in recent years they can be found on the continent of Kalimdor as well. An extremely aggressive species, they often quarrel amongst themselves and infighting is common.
Although they are relatively intelligent when compared to most other beasts, they are not very bright at all by human standards. Their lack of reasoning has led to lethal battles over such ridiculous and petty things as "whose shadow is larger". It is generally believed that should they ever stop tearing each other apart long enough to unite, they could easily overthrow any other Azerothian race of equivalent strength; luckily their inability to do this lessens their overall threat.
The Ironforge Dwarf Brann Bronzebeard has speculated that they may be descended from a hyena Ancient Guardian. This however has not yet been proven.
Gnolls are known for their beastly cunning, ferocious tempers and penchant for infighting. They enjoy fighting — almost too much. Naturally indigenous to the former national territory of Lordaeron, specifically the Alterac and the Redridge Mountains, they have spread throughout all of the Eastern Kingdoms and have begun to be found on Kalimdor as well.
Those of the same tribe tend to possess a similar appearance, with manes of either a reddish-brown, black, greenish-gray or a yellow hue, while their closely-set eyes' irises range from pale blue to a bloodshot red. In wet conditions, they will give off a distinctive musky odor.
Opportunistic carnivores by nature, they consider any and all other creatures as potential food items, including their own. It is this overwhelming hunger, not gold nor magic, that motivates them in all that they seek to accomplish. Also because of this ravenous thirst they lack love for other races, preferring to eat them rather than work with them. Because of this alliances are only temporary and will last no longer than how long the other races in the allegiance can keep the Gnolls well fed or keep them cowed with displays of force, which Gnolls will cower from.
Gnolls will occasionally hire themselves out as mercenaries, either as individuals or in small packs up to five members. Lazy and feral creatures, they have very little in the way of natural industry. They are capable of a limited crafting sans metal work. They also do not naturally mine or farm, preferring a nomadic subsistence lifestyle. With this in mind however, they are well known to mine for others, such as Van Cleef's Defias Brotherhood.
Like Goblins, these Gnolls tend to attack when they possess the advantage of numbers, using group tactics and physical strength to overwhelm and knock down any foe. The possess little actual discipline in battle without a strong leader, but with one they become able to maintain ranks and fight as a unit almost automatically. They do not usually prepare traps but will use ambushes and try to flank, all the while taking special care to seek the most favorable conditions possible for them (examples being cover, darkness, or advantageous terrain) while laying in ambush.
Because of their average intelligence, they can be easily duped by promises of either food or treasure (but mostly food).
Gnoll society is organized entirely around might. The strongest and deadliest Gnolls ascend in the tribal order to become the leaders, while the weaker Gnolls soon become food for the rest. This lifestyle means the average Gnoll tribe is always in a state of tension- the slightest sign of weakness in those leading can cause the tribe to turn upon itself in a frenzy of violence. It also prevents the Gnolls from organizing for very long into anything more than a tribe. Gnoll society displays a limited specialization. Brutes are the largest and nastiest Gnolls, made stronger by their privileged position in the food chain. Gnoll assassins are noted for their intelligence and use complex weapons such as bows and poisons. Gnoll poachers act as scouts and hunters for the Gnoll tribes and use weapons taken from prey. Gnoll wardens have developed a magical connection with nature and use their powers to keep the other Gnolls in line.
Gnolls do well as hunters or warriors. Their inborn aggression and decidedly cruel nature drive them to pursue their quarry for the sheer pleasure of the capture and, usually, the kill. Gnoll spellcasters tend to be shaman with strong elemental and warlike tendencies. Occasionally a Gnoll might join an adventuring party in pursuit of a common enemy. Sometimes a Gnoll is ousted from Gnoll society and must make his way in the world outside. Adventuring bands who value aggressive, persistent hunters and warriors may allow a Gnoll to join them. Gnoll characters may take up with either Alliance or Horde, depending on which group has been their primary enemy. (More often than not, though, they join the Horde.) A few operate independently, hiring themselves out as mercenaries to the highest payer. Gnolls are strong-limbed and fierce, but they are poor planners with little forethought and deficient leadership qualities. The Defias Brotherhood have been known to ally with Gnolls occasionally.
Gnolls are extremely violent creatures. They have been known to pick lethal fights with each other over such insane arguments such as who has the longer shadow. Many wonder how these pugnacious creatures ever stand each other long enough to breed. They only gather in large groups when the opportunity for battle or plunder arises. They make vicious, if unreliable mercenaries, as they will go anywhere they can be offered a good fight. It is believed by some that if the Gnolls were ever to put aside their differences long enough to band together into a single group, they would make a formidable army. Lazy and feral, Gnolls prefer to pillage and steal what they want rather than working for it. The largest, strongest Gnoll in a group is known as the Brute. He is the de facto leader of the tribe, and all others submit to him. Brutes are allowed to take the best loot from raids, leaving what they don't want for the others to fight over.
There is a possibility that Gnolls eat other sapient races (see Little Timmy) and Gnoll mobs sometimes say the line "More bones to gnaw on."
While most Gnolls use melee or ranged weapons, some can use shamanistic or even warlock magic. Their favored weapons are maces (or other blunt weapons) and crossbows. They prefer blunt weapons because they break bones, as marrow is considered a delicacy, and because they are easy to make. When dealing with magic, Gnolls prefer the nature and lightning schools. Smaller Gnolls and runts are used as assassins and scouts because of their agility.
Gnolls are known to build small settlements with permanent structures (Gnoll Huts) and to mine gold. Gnolls have been seen using complex mining techniques such as railcarts and have been seen in extremely remote and dangerous locations mining gold. They have been sighted in the Jangolode Mine, allied with the Defias brotherhood.
Many Gnolls can be seen wearing a round crest with a paw print in the middle. This symbol is seen in many tribes and its exact meaning is unknown to other races. Gnolls are known to wear leather and metal armor and always wear clothes.
Gnolls speak Low Common, though some speak with a broken Common. Gnolls learn the languages of those they interact with. These are the languages spoken by the races most likely to interact with Gnolls: Common, Darnassian, Orcish, Thalassian, and Zandali. The language Gnoll is a language known by the skeletal mage, Chauch-eta, however, it is apparently no longer spoken by Gnolls or is another name for their dialect of Low Common. A few Gnolls knew Common as a primary language, or least a broken Common. However, this appears to be uncommon in recent times.
Gnolls' main stomping grounds are the Eastern Kingdoms. Recently, they have also been seen in Kalimdor, though usually under the employ of one of the goblin cartels or pirate groups, although a few independent Gnoll tribes have been seen in Feralas. A Gnoll seer named Sayge travels with the Darkmoon Faire as well.
- Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos
- Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne
- World of Warcraft
- World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade
- World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King
- World of Warcraft: Cataclysm