Gronn

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Gronn
Gronn Skullcracker TCG.jpg
Faction/Affiliation
Racial leader(s)

Main universe:
 Gruul
 Cho'gall
Alternate universe:
 Gruul
 Grommash Hellscream

Homeworld
Area(s)
Average height

20 feet[citation needed]

The gronn are a race of immense, brutal giants native to Draenor. They are members of the Breaker faction, descendants of the magnaron and the ancient colossals and are themselves the ancestors of the ogron, ogres and orcs. However, they show little love for their ogre offspring, ruling over the ogre clans of Outland with an iron fist.

Adolescent gronn are known as gronnlings.[1]

History

Early history

As the stone giant Grond battled the Sporemounds, pieces of the battling leviathans fell to the earth and gave rise to new types of creatures. From Grond came the colossals and elementals, while from the Sporemounds many unique beings arose, the genesaur greatest among them. After Grond's death at the hands of the Sporemound Botaan, the colossals continued their war against the Evergrowth and Botaan's minions for thousands of years, but over the millennia these battles took their toll on the stone giants. Just as the colossals had risen from pieces of Grond, new creatures called the magnaron emerged from the remains of fallen colossals. After the colossals sacrificed themselves to kill Botaan in a massive explosion, spores from the plant creature's body, teeming with the Spirit of Life, drifted back to Draenor's surface and clung to the hides of the magnaron, weakening their bodies. Some of the magnaron devolved into half-flesh, half-stone giants known as gronn. Due to the lingering effect of the spores, a small number of gronn continued to degenerate into the ogron and in turn the ogres and finally the orcs.[2]

The magnaron, gronn and ogron were known collectively as the Breakers, and though different in many ways, their common ancestry united them against the plant-like Primals, the descendants of the Sporemounds. For many long ages, the two factions engaged in sporadic battles with one another, neither side ever managing to destroy the other.[2]

The Gronnslayer

Slaag, a typical gronn.

By the time that the arakkoan Apexis empire fell, the children of stone had grown in number and spread across the land. Small populations of gronn roamed the world. They lived in solitude, for no place on Draenor could sustain the hunting needs for multiple gronn at once. When they met, they often fought to the death over territory. The ogron, who feared their gronn ancestors and viewed them as gods, frequently offered up the sick, weak and elderly members of conquered ogre clans as living sacrifices to appease the gronn and keep them from attacking ogron territories.[3]

One day, a group of arakkoa led by Yonzi sought to claim a ruined Apexis settlement in Talador, a place now occupied by ogron. As they found it impossible to barter with the creatures, the arakkoa instead began teaching the ogron's ogre slaves the arts of arcane magic in the hopes that they would rebel against their masters. One of the first to master this new power was named Gog. He strode forth, empowered, but not to fight the ogron: instead, he targeted the gronn, whom all ogres revered and feared as deities. Though stunned, the arakkoa could not argue with the results. Gog did not only kill one gronn with his magic, but several. By his fifth, stories of his deeds were known to all captive ogres on Draenor, erasing their fear of both gronn and ogron and leading to a bloody war in which nearly every ogron tribe fell to their ogre captives. Thus, the Gorian Empire was born.[3]

Rise of the Horde

Thousands of years later, the Orcish Horde marched across Draenor. Warchief Blackhand tasked the orcish Frostwolf, Thunderlord and Whiteclaw clans with wiping out Draenor's gronn, ogron and magnaron, as well as the ogres that had refused to join the Horde. The Frostwolves and Whiteclaws saw no honor in hunting the giants down and held most of their warriors back, but Chieftain Fenris and his Thunderlords did not shy away from the task and reveled in the slaughter of their ancient enemies.[4]

One of the few gronn to escape the onslaught was named Gruul, who far surpassed the rest of his kind in brute strength and cunning. He lorded over a small number of ogres and gronn in Gorgrond, and from his remote lair in the mountains he fended off multiple Thunderlord assaults. Casualties grew so great that Fenris eventually abandoned the attacks.[4]

The Dragonkiller

Gruul battles Deathwing.

Years later, the black Dragon Aspect Deathwing and his minions swooped down on Gorgrond in search of a safe place to store his eggs. However, Gorgrond was still home to Gruul and the gronn who had survived Draenor's slow decay. The giants were highly territorial, but the calamities that had befallen Draenor caused them to join forces in order to survive. Gruul and his followers had no intention of allowing intruders to conquer their home and ferociously fought back against the dragons. Deathwing saw them as little more than pests and ignored them while the rest of his dragonflight fought the giants, but while the Aspect was distracted, the Sons of Lothar arrived in Gorgrond in search of the Skull of Gul'dan. The Alliance forces were deeply unsettled by the battles between the gronn and the dragons, for Gruul and his minions had taken to impaling their enemies' corpses on spikes. The gronn nearly attacked the Sons of Lothar, but Khadgar and Turalyon convinced them that the Alliance was also the enemy of the black dragonflight and managed to strike a bargain with Gruul: he would give them safe passage through Gorgrond, and they would help him defeat Deathwing. The gronn and the Alliance prepared an ambush at the largest cache of Deathwing's eggs, and the Sons of Lothar destroyed as many of the eggs as they could. When Deathwing and his followers appeared, Gruul scaled Gorgrond's mountains to battle the Dragon Aspect with his bare fists. Meanwhile, Khadgar used his magic to rip apart the metal plates bolted to the Aspect's spine, causing him so much pain that he dropped the Skull of Gul'dan and was forced to immediately flee back to the Dark Portal. As the gronn and the dragons continued to fight each other, Khadgar and the Sons of Lothar collected the Skull of Gul'dan and hastily retreated from Gorgrond, fearing that Gruul would turn on them after the dragons were defeated. When the fighting in Gorgrond was done, Gruul reasserted his dominion over the land, and his battle with Deathwing would cause him to be known as the Dragonkiller.[5]

The Burning Crusade

TBC This section concerns content exclusive to The Burning Crusade.

Today Gruul the Dragonkiller is worshipped as a deity by the ogres of Blade's Edge Mountains, the twisted remnants of Gorgrond after Draenor was shattered into Outland. His powerful sons ravage both the spires of their home and the plains of Nagrand. Gruul's unparalleled strength and experience in battle would pose a serious threat if he ever chose to attack Horde or Alliance forces in Outland.[6]

Azeroth

Some gronn have since been brought to Azeroth. Skullcrusher the Mountain, the "Chosen of Cho'gall" serves the Twilight's Hammer in the Twilight Highlands, while Enslaved Gronn Brutes serve the Twilight forces in Grim Batol. At some point, the then-Warchief of the Horde Garrosh Hellscream captured a Nagrand gronn named Oggax and brought him to the Brawl'gar Arena in order to test the fighting prowess of the recently arrived Ji Firepaw and an adventurer of the Huojin Pandaren.

Warlords of Draenor

WoD This section concerns content exclusive to Warlords of Draenor.

On an alternate Draenor, the gronn have largely been enslaved by the Iron Horde. Garrosh Hellscream knew that the surest path to breaking the gronn lay in subjugating their great father, Gruul, who has been put to haul pallets of fuel to the furnace in Blackrock Foundry, one of his hands being replaced with a hook as a mockery of the Shattered Hand clan's warrior traditions.[7] Grommash, Warchief of the Iron Horde, found a way to weaponize the gronn, strapping great cannons to their backs using harnesses engineered in such a way that the gronn hardly notices the weight and can fire the cannons at will.[8][9]

A number of "wild" gronn still remain in the wastes of Gorgrond, where they fight alongside the rest of the Breakers in their eternal war with the Primals. In Gorgrond, the Burning Blade clan resurrected several ancient gronn alongside Gorgorek, the former magnaron alpha.[10]

Description and culture

Gronn are half-flesh, half-stone giants. During the early days of Draenor, these massive predators stalked the edges of the wilds, terrorizing lesser life-forms and devouring anything they could find. Though only moderately intelligent, gronn are exceptional hunters, using the jagged spikes protruding from their skin as weapons to kill their prey while their rocky plates function as armor to protect them from other dangerous creatures.[2]

Described as monstrous, cyclopean and as "terror incarnate", the gronn show little love for their ogre offspring, lording over the ogre clans with an iron fist. Though they are not famed for their intelligence, it is undeniable that the gronn wield devastating power. The ogre lords are the only ogres known to retain some of the physical traits of their gronn progenitors, such as the bony, calcified protrusions on their head and back, as well as a portion of the gronn's immense size and strength.[11]

Gronn blood is black in color.[12]

Notable gronn

Main universe
Name Role Status Location
Boss  Gruul the Dragonkiller Great father of the gronn, ruler of the Outland ogres Deceased-Killable Gruul's Lair
Combat  Durn the Hungerer Son of Gruul, scourge of the Spirit Fields Killable Spirit Fields, Nagrand
Combat  Goc Son of Gruul, master of the Bladespire ogres Killable Blade's Edge Mountains
Combat  Gorgrom the Dragon-Eater Son of Gruul, master of the Bloodmaul ogres Killable Boulder'mok, Blade's Edge Mountains
Combat  Grulloc Son of Gruul, guardian of a sack of unknown contents desired by Baron Sablemane Killable Cursed Hollow, Blade's Edge Mountains
Combat  Maggoc Son of Gruul, warden of the eastern mountain range Killable Razor Ridge, Blade's Edge Mountains
Combat  Oggax Used by Garrosh Hellscream to test the might of Ji Firepaw and the Huojin Pandaren Killable Brawl'gar Arena
Combat  Skullcrusher the Mountain Chosen of Cho'gall Killable Twilight Citadel, Twilight Highlands
Combat  Skulloc Soulgrinder Son of Gruul Killable Soulgrinder's Barrow, Blade's Edge Mountains
Combat  Slaag Self-exiled son of Gruul, master of the Gordunni ogres Killable Barrier Hills, Terokkar Forest
Combat  Thuk the Defiant Held captive in an ethereal stasis chamber Killable Bash'ir Landing, Blade's Edge Mountains
Alternate universe
Name Role Status Location
Boss  Gruul Great father of the gronn, enslaved by the Iron Horde Killable Gruul's Lair, Blackrock Foundry
Combat  Durn the Hungerer Son of Gruul, enslaved by the Warsong clan Killable Grommashar, Nagrand
Combat  Durp the Hated Enslaved by the Iron Horde in the Pit Killable The Pit, Gorgrond
Combat  Duurg Unleashed by Azuka Bladefury after awakening Gorgorek Killable Gorgorek's Rest, Gorgrond
Combat  Gagrog the Brutal Savage gronn whose skull is wanted by Gazmolf Futzwangler Killable Earthshaker Gorge, Nagrand
Combat  Goc Son of Gruul, enslaved by the Iron Horde Killable Iron Approach, Gorgrond
Combat  Gogluk Guardian of the Iron Worldbreaker Killable Path of Glory, Tanaan Jungle
Combat  Grondo Mad gronn wandering the Crackling Plains Killable Crackling Plains, Frostfire Ridge
Combat  Grulloc Son of Gruul, enslaved by the Thunderlord clan Killable Grulloc's Lair, Frostfire Ridge
Combat  Maggoc Son of Gruul, enslaved by the Thunderlord clan Killable Thunder Pass, Frostfire Ridge
Combat  Rolkor Slave who has seemingly broken free from his captors Killable Gronn Canyon, Gorgrond
Combat  Skog Mother and/or father of the gronnlings at Frostwall Killable Frostwall, Frostfire Ridge
Boss  Skulloc Son of Gruul, enslaved by the Iron Horde Killable Blackhand's Might, Iron Docks

Trivia

  • The teaser site for The Burning Crusade featured a description of the gronn nearly identical to their bestiary entry, but also described them as being "the immortal demigods of the ogre race" and mentioned that there are said to be only seven gronn in all of existence.[13]
  • Gronnstalker's Armor, the tier 6 hunter set, is themed around the gronn.
  • Ettin used placeholder gronn models during the testing phases of Cataclysm.
  • It's a little known fact, but old gronn grottos make for great farming soil.[14]

Gallery

Patch changes

  • MoP Patch 5.0.4 (2012-08-28): Classification changed from humanoids to giants.
  • TBC Patch 2.0.3 (2007-01-09): Introduced.

References