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Gruul the Dragonkiller
Gruul loading Screen.png

Race:

Gronn

Title(s):

The Dragonkiller
Father of the Gronn

Occupation:

Overlord of the Blade's Edge Mountains

Affiliation:

Himself, Breakers, Illidari

Relatives:

Grulloc, Goc, Maggoc, Skulloc, Slaag, Durn the Hungerer, Gorgrom the Dragon-Eater

Status:

Deceased

Gruul, known as the Dragonkiller, was an overlord of the gronn and master of the Blade's Edge Mountains, ruling with an iron fist. He earned his title and the eternal enmity of the Black Dragonflight after slaughtering many members of their dragonflight who had come to Draenor in order to aid the Horde of Draenor. Gruul was worshiped as a deity by the ogres and ogron for many years, and his powerful offspring ravaged both the Blade's Edge Mountains and the plains of Nagrand. Gruul's unparalleled strength and experience in battle made him one of the most dangerous creatures to ever traverse Outland.


History

Early life

Gruul was born long before the advent of Draenor's mortal races. As a member of the long-lived and brutal Gronn, Gruul fought in the eternal war between the Breakers and Primals to destroy Draenor's invasive plant life. Gruul emerged as the greatest of the Gronn, and was unchallenged in his primitive, yet effective leadership, being possessed of great cunning and intelligence among his kind.

Rise of the Horde

As the Orcish Horde rose to prominence on Draenor, the Orcs led a campaign to purge their ancient Breaker enemies. After the fall of Shattrath City, the Old Horde intensified this effort and tasked the Frostwolf, Whiteclaw, and Thunderlord Clans with wiping out Draenor's giants. Though the Frostwolves and Whiteclaws saw little honor in the effort and held most of their forces back, the Thunderlord Clan in particular reveled in the slaughter of their ancient enemies. The gronn, ogron, magnaron, and ogres were all ruthlessly targeted, and managed to hunt the Magnaron and Ogron to extinction. Gruul was an exception, who lorded over a number of ogres and gronn in Gorgrond. From his lair in the mountains, he fended off numerous Thunderlord assaults, drawing more ogres and gronn to his side. Ordinarily, Gronn were solitary creatures who often battled to the death over hunting grounds. Yet the calamities that had befallen Draenor and the numerous Orc attacks had caused a change in Breaker behavior, who now banded together to survive. Casualties grew so great that the clan's chieftain Fenris Wolfbrother eventually backed off. Gruul was one of the few gronn to escape the Horde's onslaught.

Beyond the Dark Portal

Years later, on Azeroth, the Orcish Horde had fought two wars against the Humans and their Alliance. After the Second War, the tide turned decisively against the Horde. Seeking a means to replenish his diminished Dragonflight, the infamous Dragon Aspect, Deathwing, made an offer of partnership with the Horde of Draenor. Having discovered the Dark Portal and Draenor, he felt sure that few of Draenor's denizens would dare challenge the dragons. Thus, the bargain was struck and the Orcs would have the assistance of Black Dragons in return for agreeing to transport Deathwing's progeny to Draenor. Deathwing would travel to Draenor personally and hid many clutches of his eggs all over the world.

Gruul battling Deathwing

However, Deathwing had made a serious miscalculation by leaving some of his eggs in Gorgrond and Frostfire Ridge. The gronn living in the area were not pleased by this potential challenge to their sovereignty. The gronn were not alone in their hatred for the black dragons, for the forces of the Alliance Expedition came to Gorgrond seeking the Skull of Gul'dan that Deathwing carried. In an unlikely turn of events, the Gronn and the Alliance made a temporary agreement to work together to confront Deathwing. Gruul himself led the gronn, their ogre servants and the Alliance in a campaign to wipe out the invaders trying to take their land. The gronn proved too much for the outnumbered black dragon guardians to handle. The Alliance destroyed the Black dragon eggs while nearly every dragon was torn from the sky by the incantations of the Bladespire clan and then impaled by Gruul on the stone spires of the mountains. This slaughter incurred the wrath of Deathwing himself, who arrived to challenge the one who had destroyed so many of his children.

Gruul engaged Deathwing in a brief but titanic battle as the two colossal giants engaged in a fierce bout, each combatant wielding the primal powers of the earth in their bodies. Though Gruul was mighty and managed to trade blows with the dragon, he was ultimately no match for the mad aspect's power, and verged upon defeat until the Alliance archmage Khadgar cast a spell on Deathwing that disassembled some of the dragon's armor plating, causing him severe damage. Deathwing retreated from the mountains to heal, while the Gronn eagerly began devastating what remained of the Black Dragonflight on Draenor. The Alliance recovered the skull of Gul'dan and quickly withdrew from the mountains, fearing Gruul's wrath once their victory died down.

The Burning Crusade

In the years following Deathwing's defeat in Gorgrond, Gruul's stand against the Dragon aspect and massacre of his offspring earned him the title 'The Dragonkiller.' Gruul's power expanded in all directions and became legendary as the gronn began controlling more and more former Gorian territory and clans. The destruction of Draenor and subsequent transformation into Outland made it possible for the gronn to at last turn the tide against their smaller brethren, and seized control of large portions of the sundered world. With his power over the Ogres growing, Gruul became personally invested in the reigning Ogre King. When the previous ogre king was dethroned by the Bladespire clan's Maulgar, he granted the Ogre Lord his personal favor and named him as his chief enforcer. At some point, Gruul made the decision to ally with the new Lord of Outland, Illidan Stormrage. To what extent is uncertain, but it likely allowed him to remain as singular overlord of the Blade's Edge mountains without interference.

By the time of the Invasion of Outland, Gruul's power had become almost unassailable. He and his sons were worshipped as living gods by the Ogres as they had not been since the ride of the Gorian Empire. Ironically, the ultimate threat to Gruul's power came from the very Ogres he now dominated. In the high mountain summits away from the gronn, the enlightened Ogre settlement of Ogri'la had watched with disgust at what the once-proud ogres had been reduced to as slaves of Gruul, and began an underground resistance movement against him. By stoking tensions underlying the current gronn-dominated ogre society, the Ogri'la wisemen were able to convert a great many of gruul's subjects to their cause, spreading a message of ogre unity and brotherhood. This did not sit well with Gruul, who sent out his seven sons to take personal control of the ogre clans of Outland. This ended up backfiring as his sons were now much more open targets for the Ogri'la, and taking them out severely crippled Gruul's grip on Outland. Eventually, all seven of his sons were killed by the Ogri'la, the Alliance, and the Horde.

Gruul himself commanded from his cavern lair deep in the mountains. As his sons fell and the Ogri'la turned his ogre clans against him, Gruul withdrew to his lair again as he had done so in the past. Yet this time, his assailants would not be stopped. With his sons dead and no further Gronn to help him in battle, Gruul was at the very last defeated.

Legacy

Gruul's death would be reported but a single day before the Black Temple fell, making him the last of Illidan's subordinates to be killed. Gruul was well-known to both the Orcs of Garadar and Outland's surviving Draenei populations. The Dragonkiller remains to this day as a symbol of might, cunning, and unrelenting brutality.

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