Gnolls are moderately-sized hyaenid Beastfolk with canine heads, long necks, hunched postures and digitigrade legs. They are covered in a spotted brindle coat and have a mane running along their heads and their necks, which is usually range from ginger through brown to black (though it does turn grey or white as they get older) and is worn long and in braids by the females. Females tend to be significantly bigger than males.
Gnoll is almost impossible to understand by outside races, being a series of yips, barks, clicks and yelps. Many Gnolls though also know at least rudimentary Common due to the nature of their lifestyle. However, most people with usually only hear a chorus of sadistic cackling laughter as a member of the pack smashes in their skull.
Native to the Central Plains, the Gnolls have survived mainly as scavengers, bandits and highwaymen attacking caravans crossing the vast open wilderness. Heavily matriarchal to the point where it would even make a New World Harpy seem equality-focused, Gnoll men tend to be timid (by comparison) and submissive to the women, who tend to be hyper-aggressive and have a gigantic harem of men. Part of this reverence comes from the double-edged sword of Gnoll biology - females being extremely dominant in their society but also there being an extremely high rate of death in childbirth, especially for the child and for first-time mothers purely because of the mechanics of how their reproductive systems work. As such, women who can bear children and especially multiple children and survive are revered as almost godlike, eventually evolving into the hyper-feminist misandric society they now have. Gnolls have a tendency to see other races as inferior, and specifically have a generational hatred of Heartland Lesser Catfolk and New World Harpies due to them traditionally using the same hunting grounds, leading to frequent territorial wars between them. They tend to live in close-knit packs, usually centred around a "Queen", her harem, often her siblings and any surviving parents, and their various descendants; and they tend to live a nomadic existence from easily-portable tends and not stay too long in one place. They also tend not to really care about modesty, wearing only whatever clothes are practically necessary and often armour and jewellery made of bones; their weapons also tend to be made of bone and wood. As such they tend not to deal well being brought into "civilised society", not that the numerous rumours about them help the very rare occasions something along these lines happens.
Bone Wearers and Flesh Eaters
Though Gnolls are not necessarily evil, their customs are seen as barbarian, savage and evil by many cultures. Eating the dead, both of their own people and of enemies, is seen as perfectly normal due to their society not liking waste and seeing the dead as not sacred and their bodies are just meat and bone. Armour and weapons are often made of the bones and belongings of corpses, and it is not uncommon to see Gnoll Queens wearing the skull of one of their parents as a helmet, though they are not at all unwilling to scavenge metal tools, weapons and armour from caravans they have destroyed - or travellers they have killed. Drinking blood is also not uncommon for similar reasons, and in fact one of their delicacies is a form of wine using blood as an integral ingredient. While they have invented fire as a culture they tend to use it as a weapon more than as a tool and prefer to eat their meat raw to the point of still bleeding. As such, Gnolls encountered in their natural habitat are almost always accompanied by the smell of blood, be it fresh or congealed in their fur. This has not helped their fearsome and terrifying reputation.
Brutality in Action
Gnoll raiders tend to assemble into large warbands that roam the edges of the civilized world, striking out at weak or poorly defended targets. A Gnoll raid is a brutal thing, but those who are slaughtered in the initial assault are the lucky ones. Those that survive or foolishly throw themselves on the pack's (very limited) mercy and surrender are taken as indentured servants, forced into lives of servitude to masters who are just as likely callously murder them for minor inconveniences as they are to force them to perform menial and demeaning tasks just to be allowed to eat. That being said, Gnolls are not totally without reason, and while they do tend towards violent sadism and wanton destruction they are actually very intelligent and capable of rational thought, though what classifies as "rational" to them may be up for debate. Many packs have also domesticated Dire Coyotes and other non-sapient inhabitants of the Plains to help them hunt, and are more than willing to set them on unsuspecting victims if the need arises.