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Gruul Clans

The Clans

Jace had never seen, or for that matter smelled, A Gruul war party at all. Their armor was made from animal hides and bones. and their weaponry was heavy pieces of scavenged city rubbish. Their skin was alive with tattoos. etched with a combination of magic, ink, and, face supposed. a considerable amount of pain. Each of them was a hulk of muscle. and RuricThar was the largest and mightiest of them all.
  A shattered gang from a once respected guild.



Before and for a short time after the signing of the Guildpact, the Gruul Clans were a wild and noble guild charged with maintaining the wild places on Ravnica. They were supposed to keep civilization in check. Civilization and the other nine guilds, however, overran every wild place on the plane. This changed the Gruul. As the wilds were torn down, so too were the Gruul's responsibilities taken from them. The Simic claimed jurisdiction over nature's future. The Selesnya preached about nature in order to bring it into its conclave. With their responsibilities taken over by others, they were seen as outside of the Guildpact and the Azorius began to write them out of the law. Outside the law, the Boros were not required to protect them and the Orzhov were free to enslave them. The Gruul decentralized, lacking any sort of real leadership. Now the guild is nothing but a loose affiliation of clans. They have been exploited and ignored. They take any reason to cause chaos, any reason to destroy a symbol of civilization. Most Gruul hold contempt for those outside the Clans, referring to them as "cobble roaches".


Although no Gruul clan leader has ever managed to dominate or unify all the clans, one Gruul clan leader is spoken of in reverential tones: Borborygmos. An unusually massive cyclops and the savage leader of the Burning Tree clan, Borborygmos "smashes his enemies into paste, then uses that paste to polish his boots," as the saying goes. Borborygmos has defended his position as the Gruul's mightiest clan leader for several decades now and has killed many upstarts. But although he's still an extraordinary warrior, Borborygmos is beginning to show his age. The challenges to his leadership have become more frequent and his victories more narrow.


As a collection of disparate clans, the Gruul have no single leader and no headquarters. But the Gruul respect strength and are willing to follow a strong individual who points them in a direction they want to go anyway. For several decades, that position has been held by the mighty cyclops Borborygmos, chief of the Burning Tree clan. His nihilistic anger inspires the rest of the Gruul, so when he calls on the other clans to join a raid, they usually agree. Even the fractious Gruul can see the benefit of banding together. The clans sometimes gather at Skarrg, a ruined palace in the rubblebelt adjoining the Tenth District.
The Gruul aren't satisfied with just smashing things. They continue to smashing other things with the things they just smashed.




Led by Borborygmos and is the most fearsome and powerful. This clan is also the largest and most diverse, having branches in several districts of Ravnica. The fear and awe inspired by Borborygmos himself allows this clan to keep a strong reign over diverse and geographically separated members. The symbol of the Burning Tree clan has come to be regarded by the Ravnican populace as the symbol for the entire Gruul guild.


The leader of the Ghor clan, Ruric Thar, is a two-headed ogre who rules his clan with barbaric cruelty. He also claims to be the only Gruul warrior to face Borborygmos himself and live, although one of his heads is hideously deformed as a result of the battle. Of all the clans, the Ghor execute the most frequent and savage assaults on Ravnican citizenry. The clan typically creates encampments close to heavily populated Ravnican districts. Ruric Thar likes to terrify the "cobble roaches," as he calls them, with the boisterous, blood-gurgling sounds of his clan's chaotic assaults.


The Scab clan is made up of a variety of races, including minotaurs, centaurs, ogres, and goblins. They are easily distinguished by their beastly looking scars and body mutilations. Scab clan warriors despise pretentiousness and false airs. They believe that the body is the outward form of the spirit, and that the more maimed the appearance, the more authentic the warrior. The Scab have engulfed or destroyed several clans in recent years, but the leader of the clan, a corpulent giant known as Narbulg Nine Fingers, has not yet deigned to challenge Borborygmos or the Burning Tree.


The Bolrac clan is made up of large lumbering brutes, primarily cyclopes, ogres, trolls, and giants. The clan's leadership changes almost daily, since brutal battles for supremacy are as common as meals. The word "bolrac" is an old Ravnican word meaning "heavy hammers," and the Bolrac specialize in bringing down massive structures using mauls and battering rams. The only thing the Bolrac love more than destroying something smaller than them is toppling, crumbling, and then destroying something that was once larger.


The Slizt clan is a clutch of sly, stealthy, mostly viashino warriors, although they have been known to accept the odd "pinkskin" (human). This clan has survived in the Rubblebelt by using three tactics: stealth, high ground, and ranged attacks. The Slizt settle in the highest portions of ruins and ambush foes with a flurry of arrows from above. Other Gruul clans regard the Slizt as skulkers and cowards, but all are cautious when entering areas with elevated ruins. The home ground of the Slizt clan is The Husk, an area at the center of the Rubblebelt that has many large and ancient structures that have somehow remained standing for many generations.


The Zhur-Taa clan, also known as the "skull bleachers," is the only Gruul clan that claims to follow "the old ways." The Zhur-Taa are very close to their beasts; their shamans are adept at summoning and training beasts for war-companions and mounts. The Zhur-Taa worship the Utmungr, "gods of the deep earth," and await the awakening of an ancient boar god who will mount a fiery rampage and raze the over-civilized world once and for all. The Zhur-Taa stack large piles of skulls, humanoid and animal alike, as offerings to these believed gods. Their Zhur-Taa leader, Nikya of the Old Ways, is a powerful shaman who, it is said, can summon massive vines from the ancient layers of Ravnica's crust.



"If the other guilds want a war, they should know we've been ready the whole time."
— RuricThar, Ghor-Clan chiefetain


As long as you are strong enough to survive in among the Gruul, you are welcome, no matter what secrets haunt your past. The rites of becoming Gruul, whether you have come from outside the guild or are marking your entrance into adulthood, center around being buried alive. When you enter the shallow grave, the person you were before is dead. Your past wrongs and errors are forgotten, but so are your past accomplishments. No matter how well you proved yourself in battle before, when you rise from the earth you are untested. The clan leaders recognize you only when you earn glory in battle as a Gruul.

A Gruul warrior


A Gruul insignia, a hunting trap, an herbalism kit, the skull of a boar, a beast-hide cloak, a set of travelers clothes, and a belt pouch containing 100 silver.  


You are intimately familiar with areas of the city that most people shun: ruined neighborhoods where wurms rampaged, overgrown parks that no hand has tended in decades, and the vast. sprawling rubblebelts of broken terrain that civilized folk have long abandoned. You can find a suitable place for you and your allies to hide or rest in these areas. In addition, you can find food and fresh water in these areas for yourself and up to five other people each day.  



With several battles under your belt, you have demonstrated service to your clan and earned the recognition ofyour peers. You have the right to tattoo your body to commemorate your triumphs in battle and demonstrate your loyalty to the Gruul. You don"t yet have authority over others, but when you go into battle with your clan, your fellow warriors fight near you, acknowledging your prowess. Your clan chieftain knows your name and might decide to single you out, offering you an opportunity to prove yourself by performing a special task. Depending on the nature of the task, the chieftain might send ld4 anarchs along to help you.


When you reach th is level of renown,you develop a rapport with the beasts that haunt the rubblebelts. When you are in a rubblebelt area, you can summon one beast to be your mount: a batterboar, a ceratok, or a raktusk. It doesn't fight for you unless you have magic or another ability that can control a beast. In addition, when you carry out a raid on the guild's behalf, a druid of your clan gives you a Gruul charm (described in chapter 5) at the start of the raid.


You are a hero in your clan, and your reputation extends to other clans as well. You can count on the aid of your clan in most situations. Your clan's druids cast spells for you, and you lead a warband that consists of 3d4 anarchs plus three berserkers or ogres. Your chieftain keeps an eye on you, aware that you're a potential challenger for leadership of the clan.


You can now rightfully challenge your chieftain in single combat for leadership of the clan or take the warriors loyal to you and form a new clan.



What the guild offers its more loyal and trusted members. Upon reaching that status, members may be given one of the following gifts.






Rules that members must adhere to.

Species and Races

Species and races typically associated with the Boros


Centaurs are fairly common on the city-plane of Ravnica, where they associate mainly with the Selesnya Conclave and the Gruul Clans. Gruul centaurs are wild savages who revel in battle and destruction; they are larger than their Selesnya cousins, and though they are also part horse they have huge racks of elk-like antlers as well.


Much like giants, cyclopes are enormous bipedal creatures very similar to humans in form. What distinguishes cyclopes is the large, single eye in the center of their foreheads. They are few in number and possess great size and power. They are brute, solitary creatures who live in desolate mountains and swamps. Ravnican cyclopes are spread among the guilds. Most are under the leadership of the Gruul Clans, befitting their violent temperament and savagery.


An elemental is a sentient being composed of elemental energy. The most common varieties are those of the classical elements, expressing themselves as Air Elementals, Fire Elementals, Earth Elementals, and Water Elementals. Associated with the Gruul Clans, wood-kin are plantlike elementals that share the ferocious nature of their guildmates. They resemble gnarled tree trunks with humanoid heads and limbs. Older wood-kin petrify as they age.


Giants are massive creatures resembling gigantic humans. Most are known for being dimwitted and violent. They are not to be confused with creatures from other races that by magical or artificial circumstances have grown to giant sizes


Goblins are usually portrayed with low intelligence and poor judgment, but often demonstrate a certain ingenuity and affinity for artifacts. Like elves, goblins seem to be abundant in the Multiverse. Only among the Gruul Clans, their fellow outcasts among the folk of Ravnica, do goblins find much respect. The clans of the Gruul are multiracial, and goblins can be found in any of them. Gruul goblins tend to be berserkers or shamans.


Humans are probably one of the most prevalent species in the multiverse. They are four-limbed bipedal primates of the mammalian class.


Troll is a mainly represented large, bestial, ill-tempered humanoids that usually dwell in forests and have regenerative powers. Many Ravnican trolls live oppressed existences, being hunted by faeries or experimented on by the Simic Combine. They are part of the Gruul Clans and the Golgari Swarm


Wurms are traditionally large limbless terrestrial reptiles. These wurms have an endoskeleton, reptilian scales or plates, and a saurian head similar to a dragon's. The wurms of Ravnica most often are found wreaking havoc in the Gruul wilds or have been trained by the Selesnyan Conclave. The Gruul Clans used three types of wurms to wreak havoc: the ruination wurm was a giant creature capable of easily wreaking a building. The streetbreaker worm was lightly smaller than the ruination wurm, but was no less destructive; it would burrow underground, before bursting onto the surface and causing massive destruction. The streetbreaker was more segmented than the ruination wurm, with an angular, draconic head. Finally, the Gruul used the battering wurm. This species was segmented, similarly to the streetbreaker, but it was more insect-like; it had small, vestigial legs on some of its segments.

Rubblehulk by Raymond Swanland

An elemental Root-kin


Azorius Senate

"Our world is diseased and the Azorius are the plaguebearers. Once they are destroyed, Ravnica will regain its primal essence."

Culk of Rakdos

"The Rakdos know fear is power. They hold no power over the Gruul."

Orzhov Syndicate

"A guild of ghosts and liars. Best not to have pockets for them to pick."

Selesnya Conclave

"A Selesnyan would coddle a wolf, teach it to fetch sticks, and call it a dog. We prefer to starve the wolf, let it hunt for its food, and make a stronger wolf."

Boros Legion

"We respect the Boros! So their heads adorn our pikes instead of plugging the gutters."

Izzet League

"While the Izzet fiddle with their theories and cower at the feet of a dragon, the strong carve up the world."

House Dimir

"Weaklings clad in menacing shadow. Hold the Dimir up to the light and you'll see them for the pale, scrawny wretches they truly are."

Golgari Swarm

"The Golgari know that to tear down this city, you start at the foundation. But their hearts have been deceived by whispers of power."

Simic Combine

"The Simic enjoy twisting nature, but they will not enjoy it when nature twists back."

"Gruul territorial markings need not be legible. The blood, snot, and muck used to smear them are unmistakably Gruul."

Illicit, Gang


Skills held important by the organization which it both teaches and may require as part of the promotion process.

Standard Skills


Professional Skills


Combat Styles

Combat Style Style1
Combat Style Style2
Combat Style Style3

A Grull clansmage  


Magic related to, or often times exclusive to a particular guild which can be taught to members for a small fee. Not all spells are available right away, many might be reserved for more skilled, loyal, and/or trusted members.

Folk Magic







Nylea, God of the Hunt

Xenagos, God of Revels

Rhonas, God of Strength


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