Gnoll witherling

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A gnoll witherling, Z, is a type of monster that appears in EvilHack and Hack'EM. It is a zombified form of gnoll that behaves the same as zombies of other species.

A gnoll witherling has a claw attack that can inflict the withering property it is named for, as well as a brain-eating bite attack that can cause a zombifying illness. Gnoll witherlings possess cold resistance, sleep resistance, poison resistance, drain resistance, and a vulnerability to fire.


Randomly generated gnoll witherlings are always created hostile, and may appear in small groups.

A gnoll witherling may revive after being destroyed if it leaves a corpse.

Gnoll monsters killed by zombies or their infection will arise as gnoll witherlings.


The gnoll is a creature that appears in various types of fantasy media, and is generally portrayed as a human-hyena hybrid or a form of humanoid hyena. The term originates from 1912 short story collection The Book of Wonder by Lord Dunsany, with one short story titled "How Nuth Would Have Practised His Art upon the Gnoles".

The gnoll of Dungeons & Dragons is introduced in the first boxed set of the game, and gnolls are described in Book 2: Monsters and Treasure as a "cross between Gnomes and Trolls (...perhaps, Lord Sunsany did not really make it all that clear)". These early gnolls were stated to be similar to hobgoblins with +2 morale, while a gnoll king and his bodyguard fought similar to trolls without regenerative power. The 1st Edition Monster Manual for Advanced Dungeons & Dragons and all subsequent material describe gnolls as aggressive desert-dwelling nomads that resemble humanoid hyenas, and actively raid and plunder other settlements; it also introduces Yeenoghu, the demon god of gnolls who many of them serve and worship. This portrayal of gnolls is the basis for their appearance in EvilHack.

Witherlings are undead creations that gnolls create to serve in their warbands, using abyssal energy in dark rituals and invoking the power of Yeenoghu. They are shriveled and emaciated hyena-headed beings with skeletal bodies and claws like sharpened horns; they are only capable of using simple weapons such as clubs, and many of their teeth are missing, but the remaining teeth are tough enough to pierce flesh. As undead, witherlings lack intelligence and tactical ability and simply try to relentlessly slaughter opponents with their claws, weapons and fangs - they are used as the vanguard for most gnoll warbands, attacking first to slow or harass prey before the core forces overrun the area.

Witherlings still retain the tribal loyalty of other gnolls, lashing out if nearby gnolls are incapacitated; unlike most undead creations, they are also not driven by an unnatural urge to consume, leaving more for their fellow gnolls to devour. The first witherlings were created by Yeenoghu to be used against Orcus, and other types have appeared since: witherling death shriekers are bigger, stronger and fiercer, versions with devastatingly loud screams and howls that can empower other undead and damage foes enough to send them flying; witherling rabble were the results of failed rituals by necromancers or cultists, and are quite nimble but also very fragile; and horned terrors are creations spawned from the preserved bodies of minotaurs that run down foes with with devastating charges, and represent Yeenoghu's spite towards Baphomet, the demon god of minotaurs - the minotaur race views horned terror as blasphemous monstrosities.

Encyclopedia entry

The gnoll witherling shares its encyclopedia entry with other gnolls:

We are born and we die.
No one cares, no one remembers,
and it doesn't matter.
This is why we laugh.
[ The Gnoll Credo, by J. Stanton ]