"I have indeed heard the tales of the so-called civilized gnolls, and wish to put them to rest. There can be no such thing. While there can always be individual exceptions, you will rarely see a gnoll sitting at a high table with court manners, or sitting in a university hall such as your own with the intent to learn about literature.
"However, what sparked the tales can be found to be true. While most gnolls are savages who worship the evil gods, there are also tribes of gnolls who shun the dark paths and seek their own destiny apart from their racial patron. These tribes are often unfriendly - as many do not bother distinguishing between tribes of gnolls and attack all they see - but they are also not necessarily hostile.
"These tribes do not seek to raid and pillage, but have sought to embrace their primal nature as hunters. They do not kill or eat the Talking Races, but stick solely to the animals of the plains and the forests. Some even trade pelts and hides to small villages and towns, often in exchange for repairs to their weapons and armor.
"One town and tribe have even gone further, with the gnolls settling among them. The gnolls are still hunters, but have engaged also in herding. Some even join the village watch! But their manners are not civilized. They remain primal and untamed. They demand or order rather than request, and seek challenge in any who would order them in turn. Their table manners are attrocious, and it is only with much brawling were they forced to use proper sanitation."