Grummle Bazaar (presumed)
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 adventurers' help with as this is very dangerous area. 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, and have forged one of the strongest ties possible between two sapient species on Pandaria.
The grummle were created during the reign of the mogu Emperor Tian. They were troggs changed using the powers of the waters of the Vale of Eternal Blossoms. Their arms were made stronger, their sense of direction and better, and their sense of smell more acute. They have strong cognitive skills: they know every mountain trail and never forget one. Grummles are intelligent, and are considered shrewd negotiators.
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. 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, 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. The main passageway established by the grummles, the so-called Burlap Trail, has been in use since the mogu times. 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.
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. 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. 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, and clearly understanding that being brave is not one of their strong sides, 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 their monastery and the wall supplied. The Burlap Trail became the lifeline of the Shado-Pan, and their guards were stationed in the major grummle settlements alongside the trail. 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.
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. Whatever is not sold at the market is organized into caravans to ferry them towards the west through the mountains. 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.
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, it is still considered to be extremely unlucky to try and ascend on the peak without grummle guides. Grummles from One Keg can transport people and supplies to the Neverest Basecamp in carts, 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, and offered basic amenities to the travelers. 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. 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. The Shado-Pan of the monastery sometimes also utilize the grummles as mountain guides and pack carrier to conserve the energy of travelers.
Mists of Pandaria
This section concerns content related to 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 and forcing the grummles to hire mercenary Guardians of the Peak to protect them. 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.
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. 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. Hozen also began preying on grummle caravans, killing or capturing grummles and looting their supplies and luckydos.
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. 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. 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.
Grummles interacting with outsiders are exclusively males. However, we do know that grummle females exist, even if they are scarce. 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.
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. The only known caravan master is Lucky Eightcoins. 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. The most important occupation for grummles is still that of packers. Their key equipment is the , 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. Central to their culture is the concept of luckydo, which is an object, person or place of good luck and fortune. It is said that a luckydos are their most prized personal possession. Most grummles carry several lucky charms with them, and many of them consider these important enough to name themselves after their favorite luckydo, the one that brings most fortune to them (perhaps by being the most pungent smelling one). 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. It is said that a grummle always trusts his nose above everything else. They are highly suspicious of luck they can't smell, since they believe that can easily turn out to be someone else's luck. The opposite of a luckydo is a luckydont (sometimes spelled luckydon't).
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. 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. Their wool is used to create clothes and incense. Their various body parts and accessories are sources of luckydos and amulets.
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. 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 , 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.
- Lucky Eightcoins <Caravan Master>
Notes and trivia
- 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.
- The large backpacks on their backs are called grummlepacks.
- It's unknown what a grummle's eyes look like, since they are always obscured by the grummles' hair or headwear. However, the geoset consisting of a grummle's hair can be toggled off in WoW model viewer, thus revealing the unseen depiction of the model's eyes.
- Grummles are called "Sherpa" in the game files, likely referring to the eponymous Himalayan people living on the borders of Nepal and Tibet, renowned for their skill in mountaineering.
- 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 quest from Mists of Pandaria beta called , which mentioned more details about grummles, such as their skulls being as hard as granite or that they never sweat. However, the quest did not made it to live servers.
A grummle pirate in Hearthstone.
- ^ a b c d e f Mists of Pandaria Bestiary
- ^ Unity at a Price
- ^ a b c Li Li's Travel Journal, part 9
- ^ Mists of Pandaria Press Tour. MMO-Champion (2012-03-19). Retrieved on 2012-03-19.
- ^ The General and the Grummle
- ^ a b c The Mogu and the Trogg
- ^ a b Brother Lintpocket#Quotes
- ^ Quote by Madam Lani
- ^ The Duel of Thunder and Strength
- ^ a b Merchant Qiu#Quotes
- ^ a b c Lucky Eightcoins#Quotes
- ^ a b Preview:Kun-Lai Summit
- ^ Together, We Are Strong
- ^ a b c
- ^ a b
- ^ a b Guardian of the Peak#Quotes
- ^ a b
- ^ Quote by Yoona
- ^ a b Dejected Grummle Trader#Quotes
- ^ Vol'jin: Shadows of the Horde, chapter 21
- ^ Quote by Zaiyu
- ^ a b
- ^ a b
- ^ Quote by Brother Oilyak
- ^ The Hozen Ravage
- ^ Quote by Brother Rabbitsfoot
- ^ Cousin Gootfur#Quotes
- ^ Full Flask#Quotes
- ^ Mount Journal entry for Black Riding Yak