The Gnobo are a race of space-faring humanoids active throughout the known galaxy. They evolved from a rugged, territorial animal called the Shatterback – a hardy, horned beast perfectly adapted to their arid, mountainous homeworld.
Even as they expanded out into the galaxy, this rugged and territorial streak continued unabated. The Gnobo are seen as uncultured, brash and quick to anger by other space-faring races, but – of course – things are never so clear cut.
Gnobo are roughly physically analogous to humans. However, the high gravity of their home world means pound-for-pound they are stronger; this makes them formidable melee fighters. Gnobo arguments are often settled by tests of strength; meaning a Gnobo bar can be a hazardous place to relax. Their society is an unusual matriarchy. Male Gnobo are taken at birth and kept away from The outside world. These collectives of males undergo a strict regime designed to remove independent thought and replace it with a sense of slave-like duty to the females. Once males reach the age of ten they are allowed out into society for use for a number of prosaic tasks; refuse collection, crop harvesting and civic construction to name but a few. Female Gnobo, meanwhile, are more free to choose their fate but are frequently channelled down certain routes due to family arrangements, obligations or debts.
Above: The Gnobo League Insignia
The Gnobo League maintains a small standing army and navy to defend their borders. This armed force is dwarfed in size by the various mercenary brigades originating from the annals of Gnobo history. These brigades are obliged to defend the Gnobo League from outside aggression, but in times of peace are free to pursue whichever contracts they please. This has led to participation in several conflicts and skirmishes throughout the galaxy; only adding to the already fierce reputation of Gnobo warriors.
The Gnobo people take part in business with all of the enthusiasm brought to battle by their warriors; traders and brokers are known for their hard-bargaining and hunger for profit. Several high profile smugglers, fences and fixers throughout the Rim are Gnobo; a fact that contributes to the glut of stereotypes and preconceived perceptions levelled at them by the rest of the galaxy. With regards to galactic politics, the League is officially neutral.
Unofficially it is more complicated than that. The fact that enough resources can buy highly effective Gnobo mercenaries means brigades (who are endorsed and sometimes part-funded by the League) end up fighting for the highest bidder. This two-faced behaviour makes for awkward diplomacy between the Gnobo and any civilisation under attack from their hired guns. The Hirudin, frustrated by their cowardly Trinax thralls, are known to use Gnobo space and ground assets in times of conflict.
The most famous feat of Gnobo coordination led to their war against the Illayko. A lightning offensive almost took them all the way to victory, but their advance was checked at The Battle of Ompolor VII. With their war effort stalled, the various brigades descended into arguments and acrimony. This period of chaos allowed the Illayko Defence Force to counter-attack and re-take lost ground. A peace deal was signed soon after, to the resentment of Gnobo and Illayko alike.
The one race who they never work for are the Wun’Tux. Gnobo are targeted just as frequently as any other race by the Wun’Tux; their strength and hardiness makes them valued slaves.The Gnobo mercenary brigades take turns at guarding their more vulnerable border worlds from Wun’Tux raids.