Heck, the Granok are more Exiles by practice than anything. The Granok that we know aren't lending their support to the Exiles for nothing; these are mercenaries by trade, first and foremost. At a glance, you could easily see these men and women fighting alongside whichever of the two factions paid better. They certainly don't care about Nexus in particular. But they do care about a lot more than beer and a good scrap, and when you understand the race a bit more, that punch-drunk attitude starts to look a little thin.
The Granok got involved on the galactic stage when the Mechari stumbled across them as potentially useful tools for the Dominion. While it's not explicitly stated whether this was before or after the Draken were a part of the empire, I'm tempted to believe it was after; the Draken were acquired when the Dominion was only 300 years old, and I suspect that the Granok's beef is more recent. That has implications for the Draken, but we're on Granok right now.
Everyone knows what happened next. The Granok responded to the Dominion's offer in the worst possible fashion. The Dominion decided to respond by showing the Granok exactly what they were capable of doing, and the Granok fought back with primitive weaponry... which went about as well as you would expect. Movies aside, you can't put a bunch of guys with bows against the most advanced military force in the galaxy and genuinely expect the guys with bows to win.
To be fair, we actually don't know what the Granok fought with. For all we know, they were launching nukes and sending in the equivalent of modern infantry. Whatever it was, the Dominion considered it about as dangerous as a group of sticks and stones. So a group of Granok stole into Dominion camps, started stealing weapons, and started tipping the balance of power back in favor of the Granok.
We're told that the Granok began turning the tide, but I suspect we're seeing only part of the picture. Realistically, I don't think it's too much to assume that if the Dominion had wanted to, they could have blown the entire planet to hell. What really happened was that the war became too costly to be worth pursuing, and regardless, the point was made. The legions withdrew, and the Granok who threw their lot in with the insurgence were banished.
Consider that for a moment. Your race is visibly losing a war against someone more powerful, so you break a rule to ensure your race's continued survival. When you won -- when every living being on your planet owes you everything -- you get thrown out for breaking the rules.
You might say that the Granok so exiled no longer care for their culture, but that can't be right. Remember, these were the Granok with the advanced technology of the Dominion. If they didn't want to leave, no one could make them. And they still voluntarily packed up and left, heading out for the stars after being exiled. There wasn't a second war, just the one.
That's what gets me. It's not that the Granok we know are exiled; it's that they accepted that exile when they could have fought it. No one could have forced them, but they left. Whatever the traditions of the Granok are, this is a group that respects them enough to leave their homeworld forever.
Of course, the exiled members are just mercenaries now, working for the highest bidder... except they're not that either. Ostensibly, sure, that's what they're aiming at, but the fact is that there are a lot of pirates out there who can bid higher than the Exiles ever could. If service was what they wanted, they could have just signed on with the Dominion in the first place. Instead they're leading militias on Nexus, helping the Exiles form a military presence to beat back the Dominion.
So imagine this for a moment. You're a soldier. You're fighting a superior foe, one you can't beat in an even confrontation. Someone comes up with a plan to beat your enemy... but you have to violate laws you feel are sacred to do so. It will mean exile even if you win, but it will mean victory. And you do what's necessary and accept the punishment.
Now you are still a soldier. But you can't go toe-to-toe with your enemy any longer; they're too large to fight with your numbers. What you need is a reason to strike against that foe without bringing the full wrath of your opponent upon you. So you embrace a mercenary lifestyle, loudly discussing that all you care about is the money... while taking secret glee in how much damage you can inflict upon your hated enemy at every opportunity.
And now you've got a chance to score a real coup. Nexus doesn't matter to you, but it matters to the Dominion. They want this more than anything. If you can be right there at the forefront, you can make sure they never have it.
You gave up your world to make sure, in the end, that the Dominion will never get what they want ever again.
As always, feedback is welcome in the comments below or via mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Next week, I had a wonderful reader question that deserves a whole column: Why is housing important?
Here's how it is: The world of Nexus can be a dangerous place for a tourist or a resident. If you're going to venture into WildStar, you want to be prepared. That's why Eliot Lefebvre brings you a shiny new installment of The Nexus Telegraph every week, giving you a good idea of what to expect from both the people and the environment. Keep your eyes peeled, and we'll get you where you need to go.