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Shadow Grue

by Beau Yarbrough
(Based on the monster from the Zork games and an OD&D write-up by Geoff Gander)

Medium-size Magical Beast

Hit Dice: 4d8 (18 hp)
Initiative: +6 (+2 dexterity, +4 improved initiative)
Speed: base 30 feet
AC: 14
Attacks: 2 claws or 1 bite
Damage: claws 2d4+2; bite 3d4
Face/Reach: 5 ft. by 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: See invisibility
Special Defences: Darkvision 60 ft., light sensitivity Special Qualities:
Abilities: Str, Dex 15, Con, Int 6, Wis 15, Cha
Skills: Intuit Direction, Listen, Move Silently,
Feats: Alertness, Blind-Fight, Improved Initiative
Climate/Terrain: Plane of Shadow, unlit underground areas
Organisation: Solitary
Challenge Rating:
Alignment: Usually neutral

Shadow grues are dangerous predators that silently move from their dens on another into darkened areas on the Material Plane. Natives of the Plane of Shadow, shadow grues have only been seen there, although even then, reports are hazy at best, as the grues flee any illumination investigators bring with them or slay those who rely on some other means to navigate in the gloom. From examining victims of their attacks, these silent creatures are apparently bipedal and roughly man-sized, with two clawed paws and a vicious set of jaws. Those who have relied on darkvision and encountered shadow grues bear out this theory. Dead grues melt into a pool of clammy shadow stuff which vanishes inside a minute and instantly when exposed to light.

On the Material Plane, grues are typically encountered in unlit underground regions, which their silence and ability to navigate in complete darkness makes into a killing field for them.

Most beings who have heard of them, though, know how to keep them at bay: light. Light equal to or greater than candle light will drive them away, shifting back to the Plane of Shadow immediately. Magical light equivalent to a light spell pains them enough that they must make a successful willpower saving throw to return once the light is extinguished. Shadow grues are able to see from their plane to the Material Plane, waiting for darkness before shifting over.

While shadow grues can (and do) leave the Material Plane at will, they can only cross back from the Plane of Shadow after 1d12 minutes + 1 minute per hit point of damage taken.