grue lurking in darkness (c.1067~1247)
    dog-like grue (<884 GUE)
    grues surround adventurers (c. 900s GUE)
    slavering grue (c. 900s GUE)   
    lurking grues (c. 900s GUE)
    grues in the darkness (c. 900s GUE)
    grue terrified by light (c. 900s GUE)
    hairy, bulky grue (948 GUE)
    Antharian grue arms (c. 1157~1247)
    grue shrine (Skull of Yoruk) (c. 960~1067)
    grue shrine, before wreckage (hi-res)
    grue shrine, wrecked by Brog
    grue nest (c. 960~1067)
    grue in its natural habitat
    one-eyed grue (1647, Shanbar)
    two-eyed grue (1647, Shanbar)
    three-eyed grue (1647, Shanbar)
    forest grue trap (1647, Forest of the Spirits)
       (A) / (art1) / (art2)


The grue is a one of the sinister, lurking presences fashioned by the fallen Implementor Belegur, and is the most ferocious creature known to adventurers. The vicious carnivorous (and enchanterivorous) beasts is always lurking the dark places of the earth, including nearly every subterranean passage, where they are rarely disturbed. In the Great Underground Empire, a grue is as common as a sinus infection, occupying every dark corner, although a grue tends to inflict more grievous and less localized harm in the long run.

These horrid creatures are always hungry. The grue’s favorite diet is either adventurers or enchanters, but its insatiable appetite is tempered by its horrible fear of light (its only fear). Dwelling exclusively in the darkest of darkness, it was once rumored that no grues had ever been seen by the light of day, and only a few had been observed in their underground lairs. But a few specific instances of magical influences over the course of history have caused them to overcome this fear. Apart from these sparse exceptions, grues shelter themselves from all light, waiting to feast on adventurers who venture into their dark territory without a light source. From the deaths of brave and adventurous souls seeking treasure in the unlit regions of the Great Underground Empire, to the snacking on the infant without a nightlight, it is obvious that their menace has taken its toll on the populace.

Many have sought to keep these ravenous predators at bay. The Frobozz Magic Company created a spray-on substance called Frobozz Magic Grue Repellent. This managed to do the job well enough, albeit for a matter of about thirty seconds. But adventurers needed something that would last through an entire day.

It has been declared by the Surgeon General of Greater Borphee, that the best way to avoid being eaten by a grue was to simply abstain from wandering into the darkest of dark places. But if one felt the undying urge to do so, they should make every attempt to bring some light-bearing object with them for protection, such as a lantern. Many adventurers, however, still refuse to listen.

Usually these vicious-looking creatures have been described by sounds heard in the darkness: slavering and gurgling through their uncontrollable tendencies to do so, gnashing teeth, and the scrabbling and scratching of claws.

Of those who have seen grues, few have survived their fearsome jaws to tell the tale. In the darkness, an adventurer may be left unattended just long enough (before being devoured) to see its huge, luminous eyes which burn with a frightening yellow and red fire. While spontaneous combustion (and the fear of it) prevents grues from venturing to the light of day, it has been extremely difficult to obtain a description of these beasts other than their fangs. From the scattered reports of various grue sightings over the years, a description can be assimilated.

These huge black hairy creatures are noted for their enormous white, slavering fangs which are long, razor-sharp, and numerous, reaching impressive lengths in the adults and are perfect for tearing into any kind of meat, although its favorite delicacy is adventurers. The sharp claws with razor-like fingers have a single eye on the middle knuckle.

Although having eyes on both their faces and knuckles, the number of eyes seems to vary between breeds. The two-eye breed seems to be the most common, although there have been reports of a single-eyed and a triple-eyed breed. Where these eyes are located cannot be determined with accuracy, as only the eyes were seen through the darkness.

The fish-mouthed face is topped with pointed ears, and its fetid hot breath exhausts the smell of rotting meat. Save the head, its entire body from long, hirsute arms, to huge feet are covered with sickly fur (which they frequently shed). Toxicologiests believe that grues are black and black and red and black and purple.

Despite their bulk, grues are capable of executing nimble and deft balletic moves, which are useful to quickly elude any sliver of light.

Apart from the Common Grue, there seem to be several different types of grues. Water Grues, found primarily in the depths of the Great Sea, rip flesh from their victim's bones and chew them up into little bits. The Borphee and Antharian grues had similar accents, especially when pronouncing words ending in "gzk" and "kkgrk."

The Antharian grues specifically have large, gray and scaly forearms, and have been the only known grues to speak the human tongue. Although those in Gruedome are quite proud of the tradition that no one has ever seen a grue and lived to tell about it, the Antharian grues have interpreted this to mean that as long as no one turned on any lights, they might be safe. One of these particularly merciful creatures named Amy Sue Grue, was kind enough to host a conversation with a human without devouring him, shared the details of her life, and even assisted the adventurer. However, because of the very strict rules about grue sightings, those that saw a grue hand would have their ears boxed in return. Retributions do not get serious until a human sees the arm up to the elbow.

Forest Grues, spotted in the Forest of the Spirits lay trap adventurers in snares (hidden beneath leaves), leaving them hanging until darkness to meet a gruesome death.

Grues have excellent vision, far exceeding that of possibly any other race. The darkness-loving monsters are terrified by any sudden illumination, even that which would be virtually undetectable by the human eye. They hate the light, it murders them. Even the smallest, faintest light starts as a tickle, but then quickly begins to burn and hurt their eyes severely. Though stalwart and otherwise fearless, they will quickly flee, howling with terror as they fling up their arms to protect their squinting eyes, dashing away in every direction in a cacophony of surprisingly shrill screams, even busting holes in the walls when no other portal of escape presents itself. The only traces that may remain is an odor of charred fur and a trace of smoke hovering in the air. Those that struggle against the light, find the burning sensation to get worse and worse until they lose consciousness and expire in a smoking pile of stinking fur. Exposures to certain types or intensities of light will cause spontaneous grueish combustion, leaving only a greasy slick on the ground.

It is debated how grues are able to survive undetected without being trapped in a dead end by a wandering adventurer with a lantern. While grues are quite capable of bashing through walls, this seems to be an incredibly rare method of escape. The most common explanations includes an adept skill at magical teleportation, or the ability to squeeze through tunnels humans are unable to see.

It has been observed that when a baby is threatened, the mother-instincts of a female grue are strong enough to overcome its overwhelming fear of light long enough to devour the intruder.

FROTZ spell has marvelous effects on the grue, basking every inch of the beast, every limb, every claw, every hair with screaming light. Since the invention of this spell, enchanters have almost never come into encounters with grues. In fact, many have found it amusing to watch the once gruesome beast gurgling in an agonized roar reaching a deafening pitch, tearing at its glowing fur, waving its arms in terror, and diving for a shadow that suddenly was not there. There is no shelter, no place to hide. Crazed and confused, the radiant grue will flail in circles, smashing through walls in its search for darkness. Although the normal grue may immediately combust, those burdened by FROTZ gradually burn, filling the air with the potent odor of burning hair as coilins of smoke swirl from the white glow, becoming darker and thicker.

Grue mating rituals only happen every seven years. One night of passion, and seven years to pay. These moments seem to be usually spent in designated Grue Breeding Grounds, one of which has been found beneath the White House.

Grue children are born from eggs which the female lays. After birth, the baby survives on its mother’s milk. Grue milk is dark brown, with little icky things lurking in it. The fumes are enough to make one queasy. The little beasts are easily distinguished, as many mothers are fond of dressing their toddlers in swaddling clothes complete with a blue or pink baby bonnet. The long, slavering fanged toddler is not to be underestimated; they are easily able distinguish humans as a food source and capable of tearing off limbs to devour with surprising efficiency. Human fingers are the favorite of grue children. The cry of a baby grue is a hideous, plaintive wail reminiscient of a subway screeching to a halt; the most intense screams able to shake entire caverns, dislodging dirt from the ceiling.

Grues hold annual conventions. (Please see the entry entitled 'Grue Convention' for more information.)

Grue fashion is rare, but seems to be present to represent certain stages of life. For example, the mother grue has been seen wearing a calico apron, and toddlers dressed in swaddling clothes with bonnets. Besides these, the only other grue wear has been a lone salesman in a secret part of the Underground, who wore a guise, complete with mask, as protection light.

The religious observances of grues has been well-debated and remains inconclusive. These hideous beasts appear to have an adoration for powerful magical objects. In 948, the grues stole the Skull of Yoruk from the White House and later it was enshrined in the Grue Breeding Ground beneath the house where it was locked inside a steel ball so it could not be stolen. In 966, it was discovered that in a natural amphitheater cavered out of the underground rocks, the grues possibly worshipped a Cube of Foundation, which they regarded with awe.

The grue is certainly the most evil-tempered of all creatures, having an eternal ravening hunger and a nasty, mean, and brutish disposition. When dealing with them, discretion and good intentions often count for nothing. To say they are touchy, even with their own kind, is a dangerous understatement. "Sour as a grue" is a common expression, even among the creatures themselves. As in addition to their other nasty habits, they are cannibalistic and have no problem devouring one another.

When adventurers are not present, the grue makes horrible and unsettlingly gurgling noises, moving about purposefully, intent upon its business. When they are present, grues enjoy devouring them with unmentionable enjoyment. Greedily and selfish, they grunt, gurgle and snap at each other as they fight over the best parts. When their prey manages to escape, grues become furious, emitting terrible cries of anger.

Grues have a bad memory for faces and are not known for their curiosity. When presented with an appetizing meal, they make no excuse to dawdle. Grues use gnarly trees to scratch themselves with, leaving patches of dark, wiry hair stuck in the bark. Although they have exceptional vision, grues have a bad memory for faces.

The grue was fashioned by the Implementor Belegur, who loved this evil beast above all others.
They were named after the only comprehensible word uttered by them, “Grooooooo.” Since its creation, those daring enough to go wandering into the dark and uncharted regions have been burderned by this constant irrepressible danger.

Entharion the Wise took up his legendary blade Grueslayer (c. 0~41 GUE), and set about to eradicate all grues from the face of the world. It was thought that the entire devilish race was exterminated, but remnants escaped. A handful went to dwell within the darkest and thickest forests where no human would dare to venture, but the majority hid in the most obscure parts of the underground, in bottomless pits far away in other lands. One of the primarily places was a huge cluster of bottomless pits beneath Aragain Village (later rebuilt as Flatheadia). It was for this reason that Belegur sought revenge upon Entharion and his entire progeny to be.

Although a few still existed in captivity (such as Pseudo-Duncanthrax, who enslaved a single grue as a housepet in the 660s), these hairy monsters were repressed and hidden from the populace. But throughout the years, several sightings of these hairy monsters were told. For occassional patches of their dark, wiry hair would be found in the bark of trees, or half-chewed corpses of luckless travelers would be found along dark forest trails.

Besides several isolated incidents in the seventh century, there were virtually no grue sightings until 883 GUE and were otherwise beleived to have been extinct. Regardless, the Frobozz Magic Grue Repellent Company was able to scare the populace into making it one of FrobozzCo's fastest growing divisions. Old hags during those years still delighted in scaring children by telling them that grues still lurked in the bottomless pits of the Empire and would one day lurk fortha gain. Unfortunately, this vastly discounted story was no fabrication.

On Curse Day of 883 GUE, uncountable hordes of grues which had escaped the blade of Entharion were accidently released from the incredibly quantity of bottomless pits beneath Flatheadia Castle by a peasant who would eventually become the First Dungeon Master. Innocently seeking a brass lantern on the far side of the cavern, this adventurer tossed a Frobozz Magic Anti-Pit Bomb into them. As the pits filled up, a legion of dark and sinister grues welled up and lurked quickly into the shadows. Unhindered by the darkness, they quickly spread to every area of the Great Underground Empire and beyond.

More packs of grues were forced out of the remaining bottomless pits sometime in the intervening years between 883 and 948 GUE, when Implementor Bruce Daniels worked for weeks to fill in almost all the remaining bottomless pits in Zork.

In 948 GUE, a pack of grues stole the Skull of Yoruk from the trophy case (it had been recently placed there by the Second Dungeon Master) in the White House. In 950, a different pack of grues gained possession of this skull and had it enshrined in the Grue Breeding Grounds beneath the White House. The skull was stolen shortly later by Brog the Brogmoid, who had arrived from the future.

The Aragain Brothers Circus was a trainer of real live grues.

In 957 GUE, grues played a minor role in the tale of the demon Jeearr. During his control of the area surrounding Egreth Castle, Jeearr was using infernal machines to breed mutated grues that were not afraid of light. Luckily for mankind, these grues were never released into the world at large.

Between 957 and 966 GUE, the Great Terror had a tremendous and strange influence upon the grue population dwelling closest to Dolo Finis, his dwelling place. Firstly, almost all of the grues infected by him grew an immunity to the sun enough that they could freely venture in the daylight as long as they kept to the shadows. In order to force victims into darkened buildings where they could devour them completely free of fear, these grues hurled storms of rocks at passing adventurers, hoping they would seek shelter indoors. Some huge grues, tall and powerful, were able to show incredible determination and began to challenge the sunlight, lumbering from the shadows into the brightness of the street to consume.

In 966 GUE, it was discovered that one grue lair was, for many eons, the resting place for one of the Cubes of Foundation (which they presumably worshipped). In order to recover the fire cube, the Head of the Circle of Enchanters was forced to temporarily turn himself into a grue as part of a quest that would eventually result in the end of the First Age of Magic.

During the Great Monster Uprising of the Second Age of Magic, there were two pivitol events related to grues:
  1. The cryptic Grand Wizard, Implementor One was dedicated to inventing new and painful “incentives” for the Programming Grues under his command deep beneath the earth in the Frobozz Co. Ethereal Server Host command center. 
  2. A horde of gremlins infiltrated the offices of the Implementors and tweaked with their great machines. This sabotage permitted grues to go out into the light and sunbathe for less than a day.

In 1647 GUE, it was reported that the Mayor of Shanbar had captured a grue in a cell.

Those who have dared to venture into the future by the means of the Phee Hourglass have reported that grues were seen stowing aboard some sort of flying metal ship which later took off into the sky.


As only a single page of Andrew Zilber's book, "Interview with a Grue" has renamed, sometime between 883 and 949 GUE, little is known about this man's interview with the sinister monster.

The air in the room lay deadly still, thick with the stench of a Grue in confinement. I could make out just his faint profile in the darkness, the barest glint of his razor claws, the faintest gurgle of his fetid breath. I took a step closer, and was about to introduce myself, when suddenly the gurgling grew louder--and then a sort of gnashing of great teeth-- and then a sort of gnashing of great feet--and lo!--the hulking bully drew a gleaming bone from his jaws, and tossed it to the floor with a grunt. It clattered at my feet, and as I looked down, I saw that it still bore a delicate silver bracelet, wrapped around what once was a slender arm. 

   At that moment, I prayed to the Implementors that of all my assignments as a journalist, this would be only my most repugnant, or perhaps my most difficult -- but, please Yoruk, make it not my last.