"No ancient lore ties the Gnolls to the Heart of Morragor. But it's a powerful ancient artifact in a city of gold - what's not to covet? Possession is eleven-tenths of the Gnoll code." -Storm
Gnoll legends trace the origin of their species to the demon prince Yeenoghu. Known as the Beast of Butchery and Ruler of Ruin, Yeenoghu sought to spread his hand across the mortal world by creating an army that would sow discord and terror across civilized lands. His demons numbered too few and could not remain in the mortal world indefinitely. But Yeenoghu took a few of his mightiest and most savage demons and fed them to a pack of mortal hyenas. The essence of the demons fused with the animals, and their children were the first of the gnolls - fierce humanoid creatures combining the traits of cunning hyena and vicious fiend. Yeenoghu charged the gnolls to spread horror in his name, bathing the lands in blood and bringing suffering to all things unfortunate enough to cross paths with the Children of Yeenoghu. Through this butchery, they earn a place of honor in the domain of the demon prince.
This is the tale gnoll mothers tell their pups and the story the scourge uses to exhort his troops. Whether it is truth or mere legend, it is easy to see the inspiration for the myth. A gnoll looks much like a humanoid hyena and shares many traits with the animal, including its haunting laughter. And the strength and savagery of these creatures is enough to suggest demonic blood; the typical gnoll band strikes without fear or mercy, tearing into enemies with the fury of fiends incarnate. All gnolls share certain traits. There is a strong, instinctive bond between gnolls of the same bloodline. Gnoll clans can and do fight one another, and they see struggles for dominance within a clan, but pack mentality is a powerful force within gnoll life. This is reflected in battle: Gnolls are pack hunters who work together to bring down their prey, ganging up on an enemy instead of striving for individual glory. Beyond this, gnolls are shaped by two forces: the primal nature of the hyena, and the pure malevolence of the demon.
Gnolls served as soldiers in the Age of Demons, and savage gnolls still roam the Demon Wastes and other wild lands. However, in the region of Droaam, gnolls turned their backs on their barbaric past. The scourges gathered together at Znir and shattered the great statue of their demon lord; together, the clan leaders pledged to find a new path for their people and to stand together. Droaam is a dangerous land, and, if not for this alliance, clans would likely have been enslaved by giants, oni, or other powerful creatures. But thanks to the Znir Pact, the gnolls have become a stabilizing force respected by all the warlords - a force that has considerable influence in the young nation. Although they prefer the company of their own bloodline, the gnolls of Droaam consider all gnolls to be united under the Pact, and they know that it is this unity that has allowed them to prosper in Droaam. They maintain the strong pack instinct found in all gnolls, but they have extended this loyalty to the entire pact.
Gnolls are primal creatures, and instinct plays a powerful role in their lives. Pack and family bonds are important to them, and while they might squabble to establish lines of dominance, between such challenges gnolls are steadfast allies. In battle, gnolls are strong team players, and they set aside any thought of personal glory to assist an ally. When separated from their own kind, gnolls seek a surrogate pack and are loyal to those they choose as friends. Gnoll behavior seems aggressive to other creatures; a gnoll is more likely to demand an answer than ask a question. Among gnolls, this sort of intimidation isn’t considered a hostile act; it is a way of establishing strength. Gnolls are natural predators, and they love the thrill of the chase and the challenge of the hunt. Most prefer the wilds to civilization, but some adapt and come to see the city as another sort of jungle. Gnolls are natural scavengers, and they love to collect trophies of their victories and experiences; these can range from grisly remnants to simple objects that remind them of an event. Tales say that gnolls were born of the blending of beast and demon, and this is something that should be kept in mind with any gnoll character. The ferocity of the fiend lies within even the noblest gnoll, and this could manifest in many ways.