The Let's Play Archive

Master of Magic

by nweismuller

Part 49: Regarding Gnolls

Regarding Gnolls

The early history of the gnolls is unknown to me- it seems they never had any real contact with any race of Myrror, and such Arcanian texts as survive in our lore show no mention of them that I can find. In appearance, they are a tall lanky race covered in short dun or brown fur, with features much like that of some manner of dog. They are very tall, with their males as tall as the goatkin amongst the beastkin and their females taller yet, though they are thinner and less sturdy than the beastkin. This is not to say they do not have great strength of arm, for their females especially are very mighty. Though like dogs in many ways, their females still have but two breasts.

The gnolls we have met are yet nomadic, with little civilisation or culture, but perhaps there are some who have learned civilisation elsewhere. The tribe we met has a concept of discipline and obedience, mustered as the followers of a chief female warrior who is admired for her cunning, her charisma, and her skill in battle. Though well-equipped, they did not have the resources to forge their own gear, and had to recover it from sealed armories. Their males and young are strictly subordinate to their adult females. What is clear enough is that, though they have a certain instinctive cunning, their true intellect is fairly limited, and even in civilisation they would have no very great capacity for advancement. It is notable that even their priests appear to have no real skill in magic.

Their spiritual beliefs, simple as they are, revere the gods that created the world and the ancestors that came before them. Their gods are identified by various names- Gurrath, Yawog, Hiyaar, but lack any description or attributes I have been able to learn whatsoever, leaving their beliefs frustratingly vague. The deeds of their ancestors are better-recorded, and their priests tell tales of the mighty ancestors of their past and memorise the bloodlines of the members of the tribe.

Gnolls are unruly and little-civilised, and may find dwarven society odd and difficult, but there is little one could call real hostility in them towards our people. Such friction as might exist would be more a matter of accident and happenstance than widespread resentment.