The Granok are a boisterous race of battle-tested, hard-drinking mercenaries from the planet Gnox who lead the Exile Free Companies. Banished from their home planet after a bloody war with the Dominion, the Granok spent the last few centuries lending their considerable combat skills to anyone in the galaxy willing to pay their price. Since finding common cause with the Exiles, these soldiers-of-fortune have made the long journey to Nexus and have sworn to defeat the invading armies of the Dominion no matter what the cost. Rowdy, reckless, and unyielding, the Granok are always leading the charge into battle—they are absolutely vital for the Exiles' continued survival on Nexus.
Today, most Granok are battle-tested, hard-drinking mercenaries. They lead the Exile Free Companies, which serve as the de facto Exile military, but — will still work for anyone in the galaxy willing to meet their standards and pay their price - in other words, no Dominion need apply.
- 1 History
- 2 Homeworld
- 3 Appearance & Physiology
- 4 Culture
- 5 The Seven Stone Nations
- 6 See Also
- 7 Media
- 8 Sources
Several hundred years ago, Granok civilization on planet Gnox was fairly primitive. With only the most rudimentary levels of technology, the Granok lived in small, isolated tribes scattered across the surface of their homeworld, following a simple, stoic philosophy known as the Way of Stone. The tenets of this philosophy were simple - the world might shift around them, but the Granok were as immutable and unchanging as the living stone from which their bodies were hewn. So it had been for tens of thousands of years, and so it would ever be.
Their lives were relatively simple and uncomplicated. They grew crops, crafted armor and weapons, and heartily enjoyed the brewing and drinking of beer. They were skilled warriors, but not warmongers. If they fought each other, it was more than likely in a good-natured tavern brawl where both combatants laughed if off with a hand shake and a peace offering of a newly filled tankard. They had what they needed on Gnox, and it was on Gnox they were going to stay.
Until the Dominion arrived.
Seeing great potential in the Granok’s size and strength, the Dominion sent the Mechari to Gnox to facilitate their assimilation into the empire. They offered the Granok tribal chieftains gifts of knowledge and technology, asking only that they kneel and swear eternal loyalty to the reigning Dominion emperor in return.
Enraged by the insolence of these mechanical beings, the chieftains and their warlords immediately refused, making it abundantly clear that the ambassadors should leave their planet and never return. When the ambassadors suggested it would be in their best interests to reconsider, the Granok answered by smashing them into smoking piles of scrap.
Within a few hours, the emperor received news of his ambassadors' demise. Infuriated, he decreed the Granok were a dangerous, uncontrollable race that should be eliminated for the good of the empire. War was declared on planet Gnox, and the mighty Dominion Legions were deployed from planet Cassus.
The Dominion arrived on Gnox in overwhelming force in 1221 AE, assuming they would quickly eradicate the Granok tribes. But the empire severely underestimated the resiliency of the Granok warriors. Although their weapons were primitive, they were fearless and unrelenting on the field of battle - and their war machines were sturdily built and surprisingly destructive.
The war dragged on for months, with both sides taking heavy casualties - but soon the superior technology and weaponry of the Dominion began to win out over the powerful, yet primitive armaments of the Granok warriors. Unfazed, the tribal chiefs stoically accepted their imminent death, proud that they had walked the Way of Stone until the bitter end.
However, there were some amongst the Granok who disagreed with the chieftains. A young warlord named Durek refused to accept death and defeat, believing that the Granok were capable of defeating these alien invaders. In a series of daring raids, Durek led war parties into Dominion camps, stealing weapons, armor, and other powerful military technology. Within a few weeks, the growing ranks of Granok insurgents began to turn the tide, using the confiscated Dominion weaponry to win a number of key battles. Without the advantage of superior technology, the Dominion soon found themselves on the losing side of the war. Battered and bloody, the Legions were eventually driven off Gnox and back to planet Cassus.
After the war ended, Durek and his followers returned victorious to their tribes, armed to the teeth with Dominion weaponry. But instead of being greeted as heroes, they were met with coldness and hostility by the Granok chieftains, who regarded their use of Dominion technology as a betrayal of the Way of Stone. Durek was branded as the Stonebreaker, and his host of brave, battle-hardened warriors were exiled forever from planet Gnox.
Using the Dominion spacecraft they had captured, Durek Stonebreaker and his followers took to the stars. Forming into loosely structured Free Companies, they began to ply their trade as off-world mercenaries, making a name for themselves as tough, relentless fighters who could be counted on as long as the price was right. As they traveled the galaxy as soldiers of fortune, the Free Companies retained a deep-seated hatred for the Dominion and looked forward to the day when they could settle the score in blood.
During their travels, the Granok mercs often teamed up with the wandering group of human rebels from planet Cassus. When news of Nexus arrived, the Granok joined with the humans, the Mordesh, and the Aurin, agreeing to serve as their standing military when they arrived on the new world. Now, with the arrival of the Dominion on Nexus, the Granok look forward to cracking some skulls and teaching the Dominion another painful lesson.
The Granok who remain on Gnox continue to shun contact with the rest of the galaxy, including the Dominion (which, to date, has never returned). The Way of Stone drives them to survive against the odds in their traditional fashion, and any Granok who try to move beyond these cultural restrictions are admonished, exiled, or put to death, depending on the nature of their transgressions.
The Granok homeworld is the planet Gnox, located near the galactic core world Cassus. This proximity was one reason the Dominion attempted to conquer the planet hundreds of years earlier, while the resilience and fighting spirit of the Granok themselves are one of the main reasons they failed.
Life on Gnox evolved from silicon-based organisms, including analogs of more typical carbon-based birds, fish, reptiles, and insects - and like the Granok, these creatures are colloquially said to be made of "living stone."
Appearance & Physiology
Granok bodies are covered in dense, living stone. They average three meters in height and display exaggerated sexual dimorphism. The color of their stony skin can be most any color, but tends towards the grey of granite or the earthier hues of sandstone.
With the aid of the Aurin, some Granok cultivate plants on their bodies in order to emulate hair. This is a relatively new practice only adopted since they joined the Exiles. Much of the flora used for such decorations originates in the greenhouse of the Gambler's Ruin. Granok are also known to carve motifs into their skin in order to display affiliation or personal aesthetics, a tradition that predates written history on Gnox.
Granok are a robust, long-lived species, and have been known to live 800 years or longer.
The Granok are a race of geomorphs that meld mineral and organic biological systems into a powerful and durable hybrid. Granok skin is comprised of closely-joined and segmented stone plates. The joints where these plates meet one another are remarkably flexible, allowing for unexpected elasticity and agility. The specific composition of Granok skin varies slightly based on genetic and environmental factors, and this also influences its specific pigmentation. Their sense of touch is roughly equivalent to a human's.
Internally, Granok possess a stone-like skeletal structure that supports their heavy bodies quite well. Musculature and organs are made up of a substance similar in many respects to dense clay, though specific coloration and cellular structure vary depending on function. Granok blood, if one might call it such, is a thick semi-liquid substance rich in nutrients and minerals.
Though Granok are capable of sustaining wounds that would kill less hardy species, they scar easily and their natural healing times are correspondingly longer. Scars generally consist of deep pits, gouges, or holes in the skin. The internal structures harden over time as the subject heals, eventually assuming the color and hardness of normal Granok skin.
Their nutritional requirements are similar to other organic creatures, though they are more concerned with ingestion of specific minerals than with proteins or fats. Though it has yet to be confirmed, it appears that Granok digestive systems can synthesize organic compounds, such as alcohols, sugars, proteins, and fats, into analogs that can be absorbed.
Granok are differentiated along gender lines, and their mode of reproduction is largely mammalian in nature. Despite a number of myths and outright falsehoods regarding Granok methods of procreation, it must be bluntly stated that the process is remarkably similar to that of other sentient species.
Granok are loud, crass, and jovial. They have a general disregard for anything not directly related to drinking or fighting—which can lead to conflicts with the more practical or sensitive members of the Exiles. Despite their abrasive tendencies and drunken aggressions, the Granok are loyal to the core—fearlessly defending their allies no matter what the odds.
Granok voices are low and gravelly. They are generally boisterous and abrasive, prone to telling raunchy stories and exaggerated tales of their exploits in battle.
The Granok like to fight, period, but enjoy it even more when they have good reasons for kicking ass, whether it be for cash or personal vendetta. They harbor a deep hatred of the Dominion and take their role as the backbone of the Exile Free Companies very seriously.
Granok have one name of one or two syllables, often heavy on consonant sounds.
- Examples: Jekra, Krull, Grem, Durek, Baxa
Granok do not engage in heavy industry, only building things necessary to conquer and defend their territory—such as siege engines and defensive bulwarks. They often make their own weapons and armor. They also continue to work as mercenaries when not on duty with the Exile Free Companies.
The only things held sacred by the Granok mercs are gold, steel, and alcohol, though on Gnox, they once followed a rigid code of conduct called the Way of Stone. The strict military discipline of the Free Companies has largely replaced any lingering religious tendencies.
Granok communities are known as holds. Their leaders are known as chieftains—an anachronism from their more primitive origins—although most prefer the shortened term Chief. Brewmasters are also highly respected members of the hold, and their taverns are usually filled with raucous Granok mercs drinking beer and telling war stories.
The Seven Stone Nations
The Granok are devided into seven tribes known as the Stone Nations. An overview of these nations can be found below.
The Bloodshard Nation
The Granok of the Bloodshard Nation pride themselves as thoughtful warriors. As a nation, they never act rashly or out of turn. Though other nations consider them to be reactionary, a Bloodshard defense has never been overcome and they were the only nation to never lose a hold to the Dominion during the War of Gnox.
- Affectations: Paint their bodies and apply camouflage, especially when at war.
- General Demeanor: Quiet, taciturn, and spiritual.
- Predominant Stone Colors: Black Jasper, Limestone, Red Granite, Red Jasper, Slate, Yellow Limestone.
- Where: The Copper Plains, the Brass Hills, the Savannah of Rust.
- Notes: Utilize powerfully-built hand ballistae in combat. Prefer to employ stealth and infiltration rather than direct assaults against enemies.
The Cindercrag Nation
Fiery and passionate like the lands they choose the live in, the Cindercrag believe their ancestors were forged in the molten core of Gnox. They tend to act impulsively when roused, though their rash actions are often preceded by extensive rumination on the wrongs they’ve suffered and the justices they will ultimately mete out. Judge Kain was a member of the Cindercrag Nation before being exiled from Gnox.
- Affectations: Jewelry and affectations crafted from volcanic stone and glass. Charcoal body art.
- General Demeanor: Tend to be sullen and brooding, with fiery tempers and dispositions.
- Predominant Stone Colors: Alabaster, Amethyst, Black Jasper, Limestone, Slate, Yellow Limestone.
- Where: Prefer to dwell in regions of excessive volcanism, such as the Obsidian Plateau and the Molten Peaks.
- Notes: Known to use fire and melted ore/stone as weapons in combat. Have developed and employed gunpowder for explosives.
The Claymantle Nation
If there’s a Granok nation that can be considered jovial and optimistic, especially when compared to its sibling nations, it is the Claymantle. These affable Granok prefer to dwell in lands where the ground is soft and water is plentiful, and they are always celebrating something. Even as they suffered tremendous losses during the War of Gnox, their confidence never wavered, and they buoyed the morale of their comrades in arms to great effect.
- Affectations: Clay beads, piercings. Use clay to augment/build up their features and looks, sometimes into frightening visages.
- General Demeanor: Considered to be the friendliest and most hospitable Granok on Gnox.
- Predominant Stone Colors: Greenstone, Limestone, Moss Stone, Slate, Topaz, Yellow Limestone.
- Where: Swampy environments, such as the Loamy Expanse and the Sink.
- Notes: Known for their brewing skill and primitive alchemical methods.
The Deepore Nation
Second only to the Grimrock Nation in size and population, the Deepore Granok prefer to live in and beneath the northern mountains of Gnox. They are miners and metalsmiths, and their weapons are some of the finest arms available on the planet. Deepore swords, the metal of their blades folded thousands of times, are prized above all others by Granok warriors.
- Affectations: Known to smooth and polish their skin. Prefer metal jewelry of all types, especially steel and silver.
- General Demeanor: Stubborn and unyielding to a fault. Occasionally vain and self-obsessed.
- Predominant Stone Colors: Amethyst, Limestone, Red Granite, Slate, Topaz, Yellow Limestone.
- Where: Live in the northern mountain chains (the Iron Mountains, Heaven’s Anvil) of Gnox.
- Notes: Specialize in mining and metalwork. Some of the finest swordsmen among the Granok.
The Grimrock Nation
As the largest of the Granok nations, the Grimrock led the charge against the Dominion during the War of Gnox. They are also bound heavily by Granok tradition, including the Way of Stone, and are zealous in their enforcement of the ancient laws. Durek Stonebreaker was a member of the Grimrock Nation until he and his mercenaries were exiled from Gnox.
- Affectations: Carve their skin with runes and symbols. Wear their battle scars with pride.
- General Demeanor: Brave and impulsive. Incredibly trustworthy. Traditionalist.
- Predominant Stone Colors: Alabaster, Black Jasper, Limestone, Moss Stone, Slate, Yellow Limestone.
- Where: Southern flatlands of Gnox (the Gray Plains, the Granite Span, the Slab Steppes).
- Notes: The largest of the Granok Nations. Fearless warriors who combine skill with brute force to destroy their enemies. Suffered the most casualties of any nation during the War of Gnox.
The Ironshale Nation
The smallest of the Granok nations is that of the Ironshale. Despite their relatively small population, the Ironshale are some of the fiercest warriors on Gnox. Had the war against the Dominion gone on much longer, the entirety of the Ironshale Nation might have faced destruction through attrition. Members of the nation prefer to dwell in southern woodlands and tundra, and they make excellent hunters.
- Affectations: Twisted/braided iron torcs, ritual scars, heavy armor.
- General Demeanor: Easy to smile, quick to anger. Once their ire is roused, they are unforgiving and will never admit defeat in the face of death.
- Predominant Stone Colors: Alabaster, Greenstone, Limestone, Moss Stone, Slate, Yellow Limestone.
- Where: Extreme southern regions of Gnox (the Petrified Wood, the Frozen Vale, Solitude of Stones).
- Notes: Prefer heavy blunt weapons in combat. The least populous of the Granok nations.
The Sandwaste Nation
The nomadic Sandwaste Nation is comprised of numerous Granok clans that endlessly wander the deserts of Gnox. They are famously insular, rarely associating with others – including other Granok – unless it is to trade or make war. Despite being aloof, the Sandwaste Nation rose to zealously defend their planet against the Dominion attackers during the War of Gnox.
- Affectations: Colorful stones and gems, copper jewelry.
- General Demeanor: Suspicious of outsiders.
- Predominant Stone Colors: Limestone, Red Granite, Red Jasper, Sandstone, Slate, Yellow Limestone.
- Where: Gnox’s arid and desert regions such as the Sandwaste, the Gravel Barrens, and the Parch.
- Notes: The Sandwaste Nation is made up of numerous nomadic clans. It has only a single established Hold, the location of which moves periodically and is kept secret, even from other Granok.
For in-game lore entries see the Granok entry in the Galactic Archives.
And the game journal.