It was the Shadow Lord himself that first unleashed these fearsome wolfmen upon the continent of Quon. Though gnoles are able to speak the common tongue, albeit in broken form, they have no unique customs or culture of their own. Never taking up weaponry, these ferocious beasts rely solely upon tooth and claw guided by animalistic savagery to render their enemies bloodied and lifeless heaps. Some have gone so far as to speculate that the gnoles are the former vikings of the northlands, their bodies controlled by dark sorcery.
At night these ferocious beasts grow stronger, automatically regenerating their health. Nevertheless, they are hunted by brave adventurers at all hours, in order to obtain the gnole's coveted claw, which can be worth up to 10,000 gil if used in the right situations.
Gnoles (more commonly written as: gnolls) share many similarities to the were-hyenas of African bushman folklore. As well as the tall dog men (known as cynocephales) catorgoized by early European explorers. Their association with hyenas was more then likely due because of a hyenas tendency to dig up and eat human corpses. The Gnole originates from modern fantasy literature, specifically in the short story “How Nuth Would Have Practiced His Art Upon the Gnoles”, found in the collection of short stories: The Book of Wonder (1912) by Lord Dunsany (Edward Plunkett). These creatures were evil, cunning inhumans that were not described in much detail outside of collecting emerald and living in a house of some kind; the art accompanying the work portrayed them as giant ape-like creatures. The term gnole more then likely comes from the Middle English word noll meaning a troublemaker or hooligan. Gnoles in other representations are shown to usually be a half-man, half-wolf species of humanoid, with savage and aggressive tendencies. These creatures were the likely inspiration for the Gnoll in the Dungeons & Dragons Fantasy RPG game. Gnoll may be a typo of Gnole, intentional or unintentional, which first appeared in Dungeons & Dragons- original edition (1974). These Gnolls were bipedal hyenas that were savage and wore gear made from horn, leather, and metal. This version's name origin was meant to be a merging of Gnome & Troll. Regardless gnoles have become a staple in many fantasy rpgs and MMORPGs. As far as Final Fantasy goes they were first used in Final Fantasy IX and recently introduced in Final Fantasy XI in the Wings of the Goddess expansion.