GRUE (GRUE VULGARIS)
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.
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
being eaten by a grue was to simply abstain from wandering into the
dark places. But if one felt the undying urge to do so, they should
attempt to bring some light-bearing object with them for protection,
such as a
lantern. Many adventurers, however, still refuse to listen.
DESCRIPTION OF THE GRUE
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
devoured) to see its huge, luminous eyes which burn with a frightening
and red fire. While spontaneous combustion (and the fear of it)
from venturing to the light of day, it has been extremely difficult to
description of these beasts other than their fangs. From the scattered
of various grue sightings over the years, a description can be
black hairy creatures are noted for their enormous white, slavering
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.
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.
TYPES OF GRUES
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.
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 AND LIGHT
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
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
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.
GRUES AND FROTZ
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
GRUE BREEDING / CHILDREN
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
found in the bark of trees, or half-chewed corpses of luckless
travelers would be found along dark forest trails.
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
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
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.
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
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.
the Great Monster Uprising of the Second Age of Magic, there were two pivitol events related to grues:
- 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.
- 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.
OTHER GRUE FACTS
EXCERPT FROM "INTERVIEW
WITH A GRUE"
are excellent grue snacks.
High human dandruff levels cause some grues suffer from allergies.
Grue fangs are coveted by magicians for use in various conjurations.
- Grueskin is a sturdy material, and useful when bleached.
Grues have made an appearance in the popular game, "Grue, Fire, Water."
- The Grue is one of the face cards in the popular game Double Fanucci.
Grues suits have been fashioned, allowing humans to tread grue-infested
grounds (at least temporarily, until the capable beasts discover the
impurities of the disguise).
- The wearer of the Pheehelm was able to to sense movements of grues telepathically without seeing them.
Johann Sebastion Flathead composed a piece
titled, "Air on a Grue String."
- There was a band named "Grue in Chains"
- Grue sun block is a completely useless product.
As carrots are good for eyesight, there is a saying in the Great Underground Empire: "A carrot a day keeps the grues away."
- The grue was the inspiration of a popular adventurer search engine known as Gruegle.
- The second day of the week (Grues Day) has been named after the grue.
are certain whistles, which only grues can hear, that are capable of
summoning them when blow. One of these was implemented into the Frobozz Magic Swiss Army Amulet.
- Possibly the only grue to publish a book, was Frogo Gruble, who had the intention to misled ignorantly stupid adventurers.
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.