Posted on April 2, 2010 by Robert A. Howard
A Brief History of Gnolls is the first in a series of books planned by Skirmisher Publishing that explores the mythology surrounding classic fantasy monsters such as Orcs, Ogres, Goblins and Trolls. In this edition, Paul Haynie delves into the literary origins of the Gnoll, a creature born perhaps somewhat accidently within the last century. To be clear, this booklet is almost purely academic. So if you are looking for inspiration on using Gnolls in your game, this is likely not the product for you. If you’re interested in how this creature came to be added to our fantasy lexicon, however, this is an interesting, albeit short, read.
The PDF has two illuminating essays that detail the origin of the term “Gnoll” and the its path through the years — and various editions of Dungeons and Dragons and popular online games — to become the half-hyena creature that we all know so well today.