Grues are an enigmatic species of alien humanoids that inhabit the darker places in Vosca. They are tall and lanky, with thin bodies and a sort of blue fur with the texture of felt that covers their flesh. Their faces are hidden behind masks made of a very resilient substance. The masks have no mouth, but two eyeholes drilled in them, behind which large bloodshot eyes are visible. Their limbs are abnormally long, with their hands hanging to their knees, and each finger on their hands terminates in a nine-inch long claw made of the same substance as their masks. The eyes behind the mask always bear a tormented, terrified expression.
Biology & Habits Edit
The Grues don't seem to eat or sleep, which makes sense given that their masks don't seem to be removable and have no mouths. They must either not require sustenance, or receive it through some other method than drinking and eating.
The Grues seem to be able to move their bodies in ways that human musculature would not allow. They might not have bones or muscles at all, they are described as resembling dolls moved by unseen hands, which has frightening implications in and of itself. In combat, their physical capabilities (particularly their speed and dexterity) are impossible for humans to match. They can fight on the ground or crabwalking on all fours as well as they can when standing, and coupled with their enormous skill and speed, to say nothing of the Grue Toxin, doing battle with them at all is a fool's errand.
Grues have the bizarre ability to become immaterial when in the dark. Their bodies become insubstantial and they can teleport between shadows instantly, regardless of distance. They can still interact with things in the material world if they want to, but they cannot be hurt or killed while in the dark. Interestingly, Grues cannot actually see in the dark any better than humans. This may be why they choose to emerge from the shadows to kill their prey.
When Grues perish, their bodies crumble into a powder that can be refined into a drug called "Mask." Mask's effects are supposedly hallucinogenic, disassociative, and anesthetic, much like modern PCP.
Grues come in multiple varieties. More developed ones seem to have more bony plates of the same material as their masks, covering more of their bodies. Super Grues seem to command packs of two to three regular Grues, and Alpha Grues command two or three such packs themselves. This means that an Alpha Grue may be accompanied by as many as fourteen other Grues, a force that could probably wipe out a small town in a single night.
Grues are not emotional creatures. They do not respond to intimidation or manipulation, and even when being helpful (something that rarely happens) they are not very nice about it. They cannot speak, and might not be able to understand speech either. Some theorize they may be connected to Yog-Sethis, God of Silence, but that is unsubstantiated, and the Sethite Zells don't believe it either, because the Grues do not respond to Sethite rituals either.
Grues do seem to be obedient to some sort of force, however, as Karthack has demonstrated an ability to "deal" with Grues by sacrificing living things to the dark in special vaults built into their houses. In return for making these sacrifices, the Grues leave them alone. Flowers, small animals, and other living things may be sacrificed in this way to keep the Grues away.
Grue Toxin Edit
The Grue Toxin is a poison excreted by the Grues' claws. Even a scratch can be fatal, resulting in a drawn out screaming death. The symptoms are similar to that of septic infection, but more rapid in onset and more painful. The sensation of Grue Toxin has been described as "molten lead poured through the veins." When an individual dies by Grue Toxin, their body immediately crumbles into dust, possibly similar to the dust that Grues crumble into when they die. The implications of this are probably dire.
Capturing Grues Edit
Capturing Grues is not an easy task. Since the lightest scratch from one can be lethal, and unless they are kept in the light they can simply vanish. Keeping them prisoner is also a very difficult task once captured, since they must be kept in the light at all times, restrained in such a way that they cannot kill anybody, and other Grues will inevitably try to rescue them, meaning that security must be even tighter on the outside than on the inside.
Zoph Escher, supposedly, has three Grues in captivity.