I’m working on the Mythus Vocations—there are lots—when it occurs to me that the Mythus Gnolls need some explanation.
First thing; Gnolls are nuts. What you’d expect when Gnomes and Trolls interbreed? Now I’m well aware there is a sizable disparity in size, but keep in mind that the Skandian troll is a shape shifter and more than capable of changing his size. Need I mention that along with the shape shifting Trolls can also change their appearance? So you take a nice Gnomish maid, a rakish Trollish lad, and a pleasant spring day, and about 6 months later—a normal gnome gestation—you have a baby Gnoll.
Normally you wouldn’t really have that great a number of Gnolls, for girl Gnomes are crafty and quick to spot deceit, but the Gnolls of Ærth can breed, and they breed true. Though in later generations you do get those who are more Gnomish and Trollish, and more Trollish than Gnomish. But the most important thing to remember about Gnolls is, they’re nuts.
They are merrily nuts, gleefully nuts, outrageously nuts. But that don’t mean they’re stupid. When their thoughts are organized they are among the wiliest folks around. And even when their thoughts are scattered they are still among the smartest folk around.
Gnolls love to amuse themselves, and they especially love to rile up Orcs, Dwarfs, and Humans. Since the Orcs see Gnollish antics with a sardonic eye, Gnolls don’t really bother them as much as they do Dwarfs and Humans, though they do look a challenge.
Most often Gnolls are Entertainers and Mountebanks. They do like to pretend to be of another Vocation, and those who can shape-change—not all but a few—will take on the appearance of another species and impersonate a particular individual. It is a rare Gnoll that does not have the Mimicry Quirk, and they studiously practice that. Assuming that you could say that Gnolls do anything studiously.
Gnolls are usually Gnome size, though some be larger, and a few smaller. And those who can shape change can often be found in a larger or smaller form. For the most part they appear to be a blend of Gnome and Troll, though those of a later generation than the first more often appear to be something that remind one of a Gnome and a Troll, but more a unique appearance of its own.
There’s more to be said about Gnolls, but that’s what I have at the moment. A tip of the hat to Lord Dunsany who created the creature somewhat over a century ago now.