Grummle

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Grummles
Messenger Fishtail.jpg
Classification

Small Humanoid

Faction/Affiliation

Independent, Mogu (formerly)

Character classes

Warrior, Mystic, Merchant, Messenger

Racial capital

Grummle Bazaar (presumed)

Racial leader(s)

None[1]

Racial mount

IconSmall Yak.gif Yak

Homeworld
Area(s)
Primary language(s)
A grummle always trusts his nose above all else.
Messenger Fishtail[3]

The grummles are the humble wanderers of the mountains of Pandaria. They make good guides and can carry many times their own weight. They have a trade route that stretches across the zone called the Burlap Trail, which they will need players' help with as this is very dangerous area.[4] The grummles regularly trade with the pandaren, bringing essential supplies to the Shado-Pan forces guarding the great Serpent's Spine wall, and for a happy-go-lucky people they take this task quite seriously. Such trade endeavors were established long ago,[5] and have forged one of the strongest ties possible between two sapient species on Pandaria.

Background

A typical grummle.

The grummle were created during the reign of the mogu Emperor Tian. The Emperor needed trusted messengers and deliverymen, so he took a group of troggs[6] and used the powers of the Vale of Eternal Blossoms to shape their flesh into its current form. The Emperor's flesh-shapers improved the troggs' physique in multiple ways, primarily further strengthening those capacities of the troggs which were already strong at that point. At the end of the flesh-shaping emerged the grummle species as we know it today. They are short humanoids with large and strong arms, incredibly sensitive noses, and skulls hard as granite. They can carry five times their own weight, they never sweat, and have excellent smelling as well as outstanding tracking and climbing skills.[7][3] They have strong cognitive skills: they know every mountain trail and never forget one.[6][8] Grummles are intelligent, and are considered shrewd negotiators.[9]

After their creation, the grummles were put into use as a servant species of the mogu. They were settled in the mountainous region of the Kun-Lai Summit. Kun-Lai, originally populated by mountain hozen, pandaren and jinyu, had been captured by Emperor Lei Shen after a legendary duel with Xuen, the White Tiger.[10] Lei Shen and his successors invested in the region heavily, including building the great wall, the Serpent's Spine at its western reaches, as well as creating the Valley of Emperors, the burial place of the mogu dignitaries.

Since northern Kun-Lai is mountainous, featuring the highest peaks of the whole continent (Mount Neverest and Kota Peak), and the trails through the mountains are twisty, windy, cold, dangerous and unforgiving,[1][11] the mogu were eager to use the grummles to navigate these roads, transporting supplies from the farmlands in the east and south of the region to the wall.[6] The main passageway established by the grummles, the so-called Burlap Trail, has been in use since the mogu times.[12] Beyond this, grummles were also used as messengers and deliverymen throughout the expansive empire. Surpassing these official functions, the ingenious grummles also started acting as merchants and traders, roles that they have kept all the way until today.[13]

When some twelve thousand years ago, during the rule of Emperor Lao-Fe the pandaren slaves of the Mogu Empire erupted into open rebellion against their masters, the other enslaved races of Pandaria soon joined them in their revolution, and the grummles were no exception. Legends imply that already before the revolution the grummles had deliberately sabotaged mogu efforts at gathering intelligence about the brewing storm.[6] The grummles' stand by the other slave species had key importance on the outcome of the war. Not only did they provide their services to the rebels, they also stopped doing the same for the mogu. This meant that mogu messages and supplies were undelivered, and thus their armies in the field starved while full garrisons of troops set idly, oblivious to the events.[14] After the final overthrow of the mogu regime at the end of the bloody civil war, the grummles joined the newly founded Pandaren Empire.

The Burlap Trail

The grummles had to find their role in this new world order. Considering themselves to be packers and explorers but not fighters,[15] and clearly understanding that being brave is not one of their strong sides,[16] they looked for protection. As a solution to this situation, a longstanding agreement was worked out with the Shado-Pan, in which the monks would guard the trade routes of the grummles and the grummles would keep the their monastery and the wall supplied.[1] The Burlap Trail became the lifeline of the Shado-Pan,[17] and their guards were stationed in the major grummle settlements alongside the trail.[18] The grummles would move perishable goods from the farmlands to the Shado-Pan strongholds, and also find opportunities to trade with the denizens of Kun-Lai. This arrangement proved to be stable and the source of much prosperity to both sides.[1]

At the eastern terminus of the Burlap Trail, north of the Kun-Lai Pass, one finds the largest known grummle settlement, the Grummle Bazaar. This marketplace is the primary meeting point of the pandaren farmers of the southern plains and the grummle packers traversing the mountains. Pandaren merchants travel here to trade with the grummles, and even though the roads are not easy and the grummles are known to be good negotiators, enterprising traders can expect to make a reasonable profit for their efforts.[19] Whatever is not sold at the market is organized into caravans to ferry them towards the west through the mountains. The only known caravan master is Lucky Eightcoins. Caravans are usually lead by trail guides, who act as armed guides and are also relatively capable warriors. They also contain dedicated trail yakkers, handling the yaks of the caravan and also providing limited healing services. Apart from these specialists, the rest of the caravans are made up of packers, carrying the heavy payloads of goods. Before leaving, the caravans are blessed by the organizers, who also try to lift spirits by lighting incenses alongside the road.[20]

The first leg of the Burlap Trail leads northwest from the Grummle Bazaar through the foothills of the large mountains of Kun-Lai. The first major stop is the Pandaren-ran inn, One Keg, nested at the base of Mount Neverest. The inn is a departure point for expeditions up the mountain. Although the grummles marked the most viable path up the mountain with flags,[21] it is still considered to be extremely unlucky to try and ascend on the peak without grummle guides.[22] Grummles from One Keg can transport people and supplies to the Neverest Basecamp in carts,[23] however the Seeker's Folly – with its continuous snow calamities – can only be accessed on foot.

The most dangerous section of the Burlap Trail is the area around the Burlap Waystation. The station itself is an unexceptional outpost set up by the grummles on a small hill roughly halfway between One Keg and the Kota Basecamp to the west. It used to be protected by the Shado-Pan,[24] and offered basic amenities to the travelers.[25] However with the war in Pandaria, the station's area is now under constant attack by the mountain hozen.

The last grummle outpost on the Burlap Trail is the Kota Basecamp, found at the northeast foothills of the second highest mountain in Pandaria, Kota Peak. The camp is almost exclusively populated by grummles. This place is most known for the Kafa'kota blend, a pleasant, refreshing and sobering drink.[26] It is made of berries harvested on Kota Peak.

The last leg of the Burlap Trail, yet again in relatively safe terrain, is the route between Kota Peak and the Shado-Pan Monastery. Grummles are allowed to enter the monastery to trade with the Shado-Pan, who are usually friendly to them.[27] The Shado-Pan of the monastery sometimes also utilize the grummles as mountain guides and pack carrier to conserve the energy of travelers.[28]

Society

Grummles interacting with outsiders are exclusively males. However, we do know that grummle females exist, even if they are scarce.[29] Kinship seems to be a strong organizing influence for the grummles. Many grummles encountered along the Burlap Trail and beyond have a first name relating to male kinship – brother, cousin, uncle and nephew. Because of this Lorewalker Cho believes that they are all related.[7]

The grummles do not have a central government, but many of them are integrated into various business networks. Caravan masters organize trade and handle business alongside long trade routes.[1] Enterprising grummles also form ventures, such as the Keenbean Kafa Co. ran by Uncle Keenbean. Grummles seem to have a credit system running at the Grummle Bazaar, paying later to ranchers for yaks delivered by intermediaries.[30] The most important occupation for grummles is still that of packers. Their key equipment is the  [Grummlepack], the large backpack used to ferry around goods. Grummles also provide services for a number of locations throughout the Kun-Lai Summit, including the Temple of the White Tiger and the Shado-Pan Fallback.

Grummles are highly superstitious, and rely heavily on luck and fortune to succeed in their ventures.[1] Central to their culture is the concept of luckydo, which is an object, person or place of good luck and fortune.[31][32] It is said that a luckydos are their most prized personal possession.[33] Most grummles carry several lucky charms with them, and many of them consider these important enough to name themselves after their favorite luckydo,[34] the one that brings most fortune to them (perhaps by being the most pungent smelling one).[3][7][35] These objects are usually small, and always smelly – grummles believe that they can distinguish between good luck and bad luck through their uncanny smelling ability.[36] It is said that a grummle always trusts his nose above everything else.[3] They are highly suspicious of luck they can't smell,[37] since they believe that can easily turn out to be someone else's luck.[38][7]

In many ways, yaks are in the center of grummle culture. They either buy their yaks from ranchers, or capture wild yak themselves using lassos.[39][40][41] They accompany the grummles on their treks through the mountain as beasts of burden. They carry carts, and they can even be trained to independently carry messages over longer distances.[42] Their wool is used to create clothes and incense. Their various body parts and accessories are sources of luckydos and amulets.[43]

Yaks also form the staple of grummle cuisine. A specific grummle way to prepare a yak is to make a lukewarm yak roast broth. Yak milk is praised for its nutrients and can be used to help the recuperation of injured persons.[44] Goat meat and milk are also used frequently by grummle cooks. Steaming goat noodles is a grummle specialty dish prepared from mutton and goat milk. Grummles also have a sweet tooth – they love their "crunchies and munchies", as they call them. The most famous grummle dessert is the  [Grummlecake], which is also supposed to help travelers with the acclimation to the mountain air. According to Li Goldendraft, grummles hold their brew quite well; the trick to outdrink one is to not stop, and with luck they will pass out before you do. This affinity for alcohol is a trait shared with dwarves, who also happen to be a different offshoot of the earthen.

Mists of Pandaria

Because of the mantid swarm, the hard pressed Shado-Pan had withdrawn its protectors from the Burlap Trail to the Serpent's Spine, leaving the trail undefended[45] and forcing the grummles to hire mercenary Guardians of the Peak to protect them.[46] The closedown of the Shado-Pan Monastery meant that the grummles delivering supplies to the monastery were denied access to the building and the Shado-Pan even refused to trade with them.[47]

Yaungol warriors from the Ruqin tribe started attacking caravans returning from the Burlap Trail, robbing them of their luckydos. Later the trail came under a full yaungol blockade.[48][49] Meanwhile the mountain hozen leader Ook of Dook declared a ravage. The Broketooth and Knucklethump tribes descended on the poorly defended Burlap Waystation, and razed it to the ground.[50] Hozen also began preying on grummle caravans, killing or capturing grummles and looting their supplies and luckydos.[51][52]

The grummles hired adventurers to take care of these threats. Adventurers entered the Ruqin tribe's fire camp, retook the luckydos stolen from the grummle caravans, and significantly thinned the ranks of the yaungol.[53][54] The adventurers also proved to be very effective against the hozen. Instructed by the Brothers Rabbitsfoot and Yakshoe, they were able to inflict serious damage to both the Broketooth and Knuckethump hozen and free many of the captured grummles before finally eliminating the hozen chief, Ook of Dook himself. These victories secured the Burlap Trail and brought an end to the ravage.[55][56][57] Moreover, the grummles at Kota Base Camp were able to find a way to tame a yeti and used it to wreak havoc among the Ookin tribe of mountain hozen.[58]

Notes & trivia

Concept art
A grummle pirate in Hearthstone.
  • Grummles traveling Kun-Lai Summit by night prefer to ride the dark-haired Black Riding Yak to remain unseen, though they remove the bells from its caparison first.[59]
  • The large backpacks on their backs are called grummlepacks.[60]
  • It's unknown what a grummle's eyes look like, since they are always obscured by the grummles' hair or headwear.
  • Grummles share the same model skeleton and animations as pygmies. This skeleton was also later reused for the models of Jastor Gallywix and Harlan Sweete.
  • The grummles featured in a story told by Lorewalker Cho in the Mists of Pandaria beta, but it was removed before release.

Speculation

Questionmark-medium.png
This article or section includes speculation, observations or opinions possibly supported by lore or by Blizzard officials. It should not be taken as representing official lore.

It's never been explained how the troggs who were made into grummles ended up on Pandaria. Prior lore indicates that the first troggs were sealed away by the Titans in the vault of Uldaman for their brutish nature and would not be set free for thousands of years; on top of that, actual troggs never appear in Pandaria. One possible explanation is that a group of troggs tunneled their way to Pandaria prior to the Great Sundering and the mogu made use of them some time after they arrived. Alternatively, there may have been earthen on Pandaria who were turned into troggs by the Curse of Flesh, only to be transformed by the mogu afterwards.

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f Mists of Pandaria Bestiary
  2. ^ Unity at a Price
  3. ^ a b c d Li Li's Travel Journal, part 9
  4. ^ Mists of Pandaria Press Tour. MMO-Champion (2012-03-19). Retrieved on 2012-03-19.
  5. ^ The General and the Grummle
  6. ^ a b c d The Mogu and the Trogg
  7. ^ a b c d The Humble Grummle
  8. ^ Quote by Brother Lintpocket
  9. ^ Quote by Madam Lani
  10. ^ The Duel of Thunder and Strength
  11. ^ Quote by Merchant Qiu
  12. ^ Quote by Lucky Eightcoins
  13. ^ Preview:Kun-Lai Summit
  14. ^ Together, We Are Strong
  15. ^ N [88] Traffic Issues
  16. ^ N [88] Instant Courage
  17. ^ Preview:Kun-Lai Summit
  18. ^ Quote by Guardian of the Peak
  19. ^ Quote by Merchant Qiu
  20. ^ N [88] Roadside Assistance
  21. ^ N [88] Seeker's Folly
  22. ^ N [88] Instant Courage
  23. ^ N [88] Comin' Round the Mountain
  24. ^ N [88] The Rabbitsfoot
  25. ^ Quote by Yoona
  26. ^ N [88] Shut it Down
  27. ^ Quote by Dejected Grummle Trader
  28. ^ Vol'jin: Shadows of the Horde, chapter 21
  29. ^ Quote by Brother Lintpocket
  30. ^ N [88] Back in Yak
  31. ^ Quote by Lucky Eightcoins
  32. ^ Quote by Brother Oilyak
  33. ^ N [110 Daily] A Time to Reflect
  34. ^ N [88] The Broketooth Ravage
  35. ^ The Hozen Ravage
  36. ^ Quote by Brother Rabbitsfoot
  37. ^ N [88] Fresh Needle Scent
  38. ^ Quote by Lucky Eightcoins
  39. ^ N [88] Back in Yak
  40. ^ N [89] Pick a Yak
  41. ^  [Yak Lasso]
  42. ^ N [88] Trouble Brewing
  43. ^ N [88] They Stole My Luck!
  44. ^ N [90 Daily] Fallen Sentinels
  45. ^ Quote by Zaiyu
  46. ^ Quote by Guardian of the Peak
  47. ^ Quote by Dejected Grummle Trader
  48. ^ N [88] Traffic Issues
  49. ^ N [88] A Grummle's Luck
  50. ^ N [88] The Rabbitsfoot
  51. ^ N [88] No Pack Left Behind
  52. ^ N [88] Bros Before Hozen
  53. ^ N [88] Traffic Issues
  54. ^ N [88] A Grummle's Luck
  55. ^ N [88] Breaking Broketooth
  56. ^ N [88] Thumping Knucklethump
  57. ^ N [88] The Leader Hozen
  58. ^ N [88] The Burlap Grind
  59. ^ Mount Journal entry for Black Riding Yak
  60. ^ N [88] No Pack Left Behind