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Ganks, also known as Gank Killers, were a bloodthirsty, bipedal sentient species. Members of the species usually wore high-tech battle armor from head to foot, so to most non-Ganks their physical appearance remained unknown. Under the armor Ganks were hairy and powerful, with yellow, squarish faces and beady eyes. They sported cybernetic implants that allowed them to communicate with one another silently. Ganks were rarely seen alone, as they moved around in packs and worked together to accomplish their aims. They relished opportunities for violent mayhem and massacring others, a joy that only embellished their reputation as bloodthirsty killers.
Among the many mysteries surrounding the Ganks was the name of their true homeworld, since most members of the species resided on the Hutt-controlled industrial moon known as Nar Shaddaa. There they often were found working for Hutts—acting as mercenaries, bounty hunters, bodyguards, and assassins. They were infamous throughout the galaxy for their role in the Gank Massacres, when they were hired by Neimoidian traders to protect them from the ravages of the Porporite species, who were intent on gaining access to ryll spice. The Ganks wiped out the Porporites and then mounted a full-scale campaign of conquest against neighboring groups until stopped by the Jedi and the Galactic Republic.
Biology and Appearance
The Ganks were a sentient humanoid species of fur-covered carnivores. The typical member of the species had a face that was squared-off and yellow in color, the expression trapped in a perpetual snarl that non-Ganks found unattractive. Small, mean-looking eyes peered from above the maw, and ears facilitated the sense of hearing. The head sat atop a thick neck, which emerged from between broad, strong shoulders. These capped two thickset, powerful arms, which terminated in hands with five fingers each. In contrast, their legs were relatively short; over all, the average member of the species stood 1.6 meters tall. Their heavy build afforded Ganks great strength, yet they were also spry runners. They augmented their bodies with cybernetics, making them a species of cyborgs. These implants allowed Ganks to engage in silent communication with their fellows.
Society and Culture
Among members of other species, precious little was known about Gank culture well into the days of the New Republic. The exception was that the Ganks were fabled for their violent and ruthless nature; even the slightest perceived insult was enough to throw a Gank into a violent rage of retaliation. Outsiders similarly knew little of the organization of Gank society, or whether they had any central rulers at all. What was well known was that the Ganks were a war-loving and regimented species, whose members enjoyed occupations that allowed them to fight and shed blood, such as that of assassin, bodyguard, bounty hunter, and mercenary. They were in particular demand by the Hutts, who had enough Ganks on retainer to constitute a small army. Their warlike ways and physical strength ranked the Ganks among the galaxy's most redoubtable fighters. The species had no compunctions about premeditated murder, which lent them the nickname "Gank Killers."
Ganks rarely left any flesh exposed, so few non-Ganks had any idea what they truly looked like. They wore mechanized battle armor into combat. A typical suit consisted of cobbled-together pieces, such as a prolate spheroid-shaped helmet with small holes at the front and two thin poles emerging from each side. Other elements included pauldrons, a chestplate, a belt, a loincloth, pants, a holster, knee and elbow pads, gloves, knee-high boots, and small sheaths tied around the wrist to accommodate combat knives. From their necks some Ganks hung a variety of objects, including old teeth. They otherwise had access to technology on par with the rest of galactic society, such as vibroblades.
Few species in the galaxy modified themselves with cybernetics as readily as the Ganks. It was completely unknown for an adult Gank to have eschewed all implants; Ganks commonly had several. Like so much about the Ganks, the reason for their obsession with altering their bodies with technology was a mystery, but it undoubtedly aided them in their mercenary professions.
Among the Ganks, more cybernetics meant greater prestige, and highly successful veterans were often more machine and wire than flesh and bone. Particularly well-augmented Ganks were dangerous foes, as their strength, speed, and reflexes had been artificially boosted to vastly superhuman levels. Such was their obsession with cybernetic technology that Ganks would accept contracts offering payment in high-tech implants and artificial limbs in lieu of gold or credits. This reliance on technology did have one particularly notable drawback — Ganks were unusually susceptible to ionization weaponry, which could effectively shut down the cybernetic portions of their bodies. Because of this, Ganks rarely utilized ionization blasters and grenades, and they often found being shot at by such weapons more disconcerting than blaster fire.
Ganks rarely traveled alone; they preferred to work in packs to achieve their goals. Although their society was divided into clans, they worked mostly in small groups of between two and five. Indeed, they worked so well together that sentientologists hypothesized that Ganks possessed at least basic telepathic abilities that allowed them to remain in constant communication with one another. However, no scientist was ever able to spend enough time in close proximity to a group of Ganks to prove or even provide evidence for the theory. Ganks tended to kill any outsiders who approached them—including nosy anthropologists. An exception was the Senior Anthropologist and Shi'ido shape-shifter Mammon Hoole, who used his species' natural shape-shifting ability to infiltrate a pack of Ganks long enough to determine that they communicated through cybernetic implants, thus granting them an edge over other possible bodyguard candidates for the wealthy Hutts of Nar Shaddaa, a moon of the Hutt homeworld, Nal Hutta.
Ganks communicated verbally as well; some spoke Galactic Basic Standard. They also communicated through gestures and sounds, such as laughing when amused, shrieking when frightened, grunting when in pain, and screaming when injured severely. A terrified Gank betrayed itself through the eyes.
The Ganks' original homeworld was unknown to outsiders. However, at some point in their history, members of the species voyaged to Nar Shaddaa, which, over time, became their adopted home. There they took to working for the Hutts as assassins, bodyguards, bounty hunters, guards, and mercenaries. Their lust for blood, their affinity for working together as an effective team, and their ability to communicate with each other through mechanized means made Ganks prized assets of many a Hutt gangster, so Ganks were frequently seen on the moon as part of Hutt entourages.
The Ganks became infamous for their violent ways during the Gank Massacres, which erupted in 4800 BBY. At the time, Neimoidian merchants discovered ryll spice on the planet Ryloth and cornered the market in its distribution. The monopoly agitated the Porporite species, for whom ryll was highly addictive, sending them into homicidal rages upon its consumption. Neighboring factions, including the Neimoidians themselves, hired the Ganks for protection from the Porporites and to eliminate the threat they posed. The Gank clans committed genocide on the spice-addicted species, completely wiping them out. Encouraged by their success, the Ganks then embarked on a full scale war against the Galactic Republic. Their uprising was put down in 4775 BBY by the Jedi and their Republic allies after Supreme Chancellor Vocatara sent a force of juggernaut war droids and the Rocket-Jumper Elite Advance Unit to stop them. The Neimoidians' use of Gank mercenaries rather than bounty hunters also constituted the first significant challenge to the dominance of the Bounty Hunters' Guild. In response, some guild members took a page from the Ganks and worked for whomever paid the most, eventually fracturing the guild as more hard-line members quit in disgust.
As early as 3999 BBY, the species had come to be known as "Gank Killers" due to their penchant for killing other sentients without remorse. During the Cold War, a period of unrest between the Sith Empire and the Galactic Republic, the word "gank" was used as an insult in general galactic parlance. The species remained closely associated with the Hutts, although one group of Gank mercenaries moved into Imperial territory and geared up to pillage Empire-aligned planets. When the Sith Empire spotted them, they dispatched an operative to negotiate with the Ganks and persuade them to leave peacefully, thus avoiding hostilities between the Empire and the Hutts. The name "Gank Killer" remained current into the Clone Wars, when the Besalisk restauranteur Dexter Jettster punned that the sliders he sold at his diner on the planet Coruscant had "no additives or Gank fillers."
By the latter years of the Galactic Republic, most Ganks lived in the lowest levels of Nar Shaddaa. According to a legend that arose during the period and remained popular among Jedi Padawans, a group of fourteen Ganks once confronted the Korun Jedi Master Mace Windu, surrounding him with blasters drawn. Windu simply placed his hand on his lightsaber, looked each Gank in the eye, and said, "It's your decision." They dropped their weapons and turned themselves in to their would-be opponent. Some Jedi thought the tale apocryphal, but it became an integral part of Windu's mystique among the members of his order.
RPG D6 Stats
(The Ganks are not recommended to be available as a Player Character Species.)
Attribute Dice: 12D
Skill Bonus: At character creation only, for every 1D of beginning skill dice placed in Intimidation and Willpower, the character gains an extra 1D in that skill.
Cyborg: All Ganks are cyborgs, and each one often possesses several different cybernetic implants. A Gank begins play with up to two cybernetics that cost a total of up to 5,000 credits.
Size: 1.6 meters tall
Behind the Scenes
The Ganks made their first appearance in the Dark Horse Star Wars comic, Dark Empire. Their description comes from Wookieepedia, while their D6 RPG stats are conjectural based on RPG stats created by FFG.