Unlike many of the other strange creatures populating myth and legend, numerous Domirans have actually seen the Grond. Myths of large, hulking creatures, neither man nor beast, have long been a part of Domiran, Mian, and Remeran culture. When Domiran soldiers began pushing north into the forests of the Upper Op, they found the Grond were very real. Conflict inevitably ensued, and many of the Grond were pushed northward, deeper into the forest. A few Grond tribes sided with the Domirans, and remain in human settled lands. Grond captured in battle or in the woods are popular slaves because of their great strength.
The first thing one notices about a Grond is the hair. Grond of both genders have sideburns and thick patches of reddish hair on the back, chest, forearms, and shins-in addition to the hairy areas on normal people. The rest of their bodies are also quite hirsute, although to a lesser degree than in furred animals. While popular myth inevitably describes the Grond as large and hulking, they are actually rather short, rarely exceeding 5 feet. Grond are, however, quite stocky and strong. Grond faces are rather ugly, and their canines larger than normal.
Grond live in small communities, hunting and gathering. Some groups occasionally farm small plots. Grond seem to be less social than humans, and a surprising number live scattered throughout the woods singly or in pairs. However, these Grond are still a part of the local tribe, joining in with the others for military and social functions. Before the Domiran incursion the only metals known to them were traded and raided from human woodland tribes to the south. Their language sounds guttural and harsh to human ears-and they can speak human languages only with some difficulty. There is no doubt that with experience a Grond can learn to understand human language, and many natural philosophers consider them to be human or nearly so, despite their strange appearance-pointing out that with a good shave a Grond could pass as a man-provided he kept his mouth shut. Many others consider them little better than beasts. Domiran law is conflicted on this point-Grond both slave and free are typically treated similar to human slaves by the law. While no match for the organized might of the Legions of Domir, Grond tribes consistently defeated local humans, thanks to superior woodcraft, individual strength, and excellent archery skills using longbows.
Grond must take the following advantages and disadvantages:
- ST of 12 or greater
- 2 ST points +20 pts
- Ugly -2 on reaction rolls -8 pts
- Can never speak human languages at better than Broken level (Reading and Comprehension unaffected) -5 pts
- Barbarian Race -1 to reaction rolls -2 pts
- Hard to Kill, lvl 2 +4 pts