The Gnole (Ap."Gnôl";An."Ghnúle";Av."Salkirûki";Or. "Shalgongi",lit."Savanna-Goblins") were a primitive race, most likely of Orc-kind, that inhabited the wide Savannas of Haradwaith and Far-Harad to the Utter South.They were uncivilized and lived in small nomadic packs as hunters who knew no metallurgy and had little actual culture, though they seemed to know some superstitious Witch-craft.They were shunned by most men, though in the domains of the Dark Lord they were sometimes recruited as Warriors.These "tamed Gnole" were more civilized and most knew a mannish language or two and were able to coverse in it, though mostly heavily accented or gibberish.These even adapted to metal armor and weapons and proved able soldiers, though still at best used as Scouts and Trackers.
They also distinguished themselves from Northern Orcs by the their peculiar more-canine, often Hyaena- or Jackal-like features and their thick hairy hides or pelts, sometimes even tawny or striped, though each pack seemed to have it's own pattern.In fact Northern Orcs even referred to their southern kindred as "Jackals" (Or."Hûwar").Yet they still much resembled Orcs as they were smaller than common men, night-active and squat and sported sharp claws and fangs.
The Savanna-Orcs actually are an attempt to adapt a D&D Gnoll-like race to a Middle-Earth setting.Gnolls are possibly inspired by Jackal-headed deities, Beastmen and Were-Jackals and -Hyaenas from egyptian and sub-saharan Mythology though in D&D they are considered crossbreeds of Trolls and Gnomes.