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Grimlocks were a race of monstrous humanoids that lived in the Underdark. They were savage humanoids that had dwelt within the depths of the world for hundreds of years. As such, they lost their sight in the lightless depths and replaced their ability to see the world around them with an acute sense of smell and echolocation.
Grimlocks were humanoid creatures and had slightly scaled, gray skin that was usually scarred from hunts through constricted passageways. Centuries of living in darkness left the entire species blind and vulnerable to light. Perhaps the most striking feature of a grimlock was the complete absence of eyes or eye sockets. Blank skin stretched across the upper face, giving grimlocks a shadowed, masked visage.
Well-adapted for combat thanks to their natural extremely hardy and possessed a high awareness, grimlocks were nonetheless extremely unorganized in battle. They were poor targets of subjugation in efforts to form an enthralled fighting force as well, due to their fear of foreign races.
Grimlocks ate any raw flesh they found. Their populations were often decimated when they feasted upon the meat of creatures that had succumbed to disease.
Grimlocks preferred to keep to themselves, but their isolation was often disrupted when mind flayers raided their packs looking for slave fodder or, as more often was the case, their mushroom fields were razed and their water cisterns drained by drow. This left the grimlocks starving and desperate, and they were forced to raid surface communities in order to survive. For this reason, grimlocks were hated by surface dwellers.
Grimlocks tended to have intense distrust toward any race other than their own. They acted xenophobically to other races, as they were fed upon by mind flayers, enslaved by both drow and mind flayers alike, and subjected to extreme depravity by aboleths.
In the Underdark of Faerûn, some groups of grimlocks worshiped individual medusae, considering them as minor deities. The power of a medusa's gaze was beyond the grimlock's ability to comprehend (as they were blind), so it seemed divine to them. More enlightened grimlocks, however, tended to worship Shar, the goddess of darkness.
Many wild grimlocks were born in an extended series of caves that they called the Fingerhome. The caverns of the Fingerhome extended throughout the upper, middle, and lower Underdark.
The language of the grimlocks was a dialect of terran and undercommon. Some chose to learn abyssal and other evil tongues in order to gain power for themselves by making sinister deals.
One tribe of grimlocks resided in the Cavern of Cloven Heads, a small cave that five thousand years prior was the site of a battle between a rear guard of dwarves of Clan Black Axe and a group of drow refugees led by Menzoberra the Kinless (the Lolthite priestess who founded Menzoberranzan). This tribe abandoned their nomadic ways and settled the surrounding caverns. Within the Cavern of Cloven Heads lay a monstrous boulder engraved with runes. Surrounding the boulder are the riven skulls of hundreds of drow. This discovery matched fragmentary legends regarding the grimlocks' lost ancestor mound, so they now revere this mound as such. This mound was actually an ancient dwarven cairn of the Black Axe Clan. The inscriptions on the boulder were Dethek runes that related the legend of the "Brave Beards." The rock itself lay atop the spot where the last defender of the dwarven rear guard, Dorn Black Axe, literally sank into the floor of the cavern.
Grimlocks were the descendants of humans of Uthgardt ancestry from the Golden Eagle and Red Pony tribes. Long ago, in 576 DR (the Year of the Sunless Passage), these barbarian tribes vanished into the Underdark by way of a passage that leads down from beneath One Stone, the Uthgardt ancestor mound located in the easternmost Moonwood. After years of wandering in the lightless passages of the Underdark, these barbarians evolved to become the current grimlocks. They retained twisted vestiges of their ancient traditions, including a depraved form of ancestor worship that involved consumption of the aged and weak while they still lived.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Wizards RPG Team (2014). Monster Manual 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 175. ISBN 978-0786965614.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Skip Williams, Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook (July 2003). Monster Manual 3.5. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 140–141. ISBN 0-7869-2893-X.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 James Butler, Elizabeth T. Danforth, Jean Rabe (September 1994). “The Thunder Peaks and the Storm Horns”. In Karen S. Boomgarden ed. Elminster's Ecologies (TSR, Inc), p. 24. ISBN 1-5607-6917-3.
- AD&D 1st edition
- AD&D 2nd edition
- Tim Beach, Donald J. Bingle, Al Boyce, Vince Garcia, Kris Hardinger, Steve Hardinger, Rob Nicholls, Wes Nicholson, Norm Ritchie, Greg Swedberg, and John Terra (1992). Monstrous Compendium Fiend Folio Appendix (MC14). (TSR, Inc), p. 33. ISBN 1-56076-428-7.
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- Bruce R. Cordell (1998). The Illithiad. (TSR, Inc), p. 88. ISBN 0-7869-1206-5.
- Lloyd Brown III (November 1999). “Primitive PCs: Seven Monstrous New Heroes”. In Dave Gross ed. Dragon #265 (TSR, Inc.), p. 48.
- Eric L. Boyd (1999). Drizzt Do'Urden's Guide to the Underdark. (TSR, Inc). ISBN 0-7869-1509-9.
- D&D 3rd edition
- Skip Williams, Jonathan Tweet and Monte Cook (October 2000). Monster Manual 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 28, 114. ISBN 0-7869-1552-1.
- D&D 3.5
- Skip Williams, Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook (July 2003). Monster Manual 3.5. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 140–141. ISBN 0-7869-2893-X.
- Bruce R. Cordell, Gwendolyn F.M. Kestrel, Jeff Quick (October 2003). Underdark. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 0-7869-3053-5.
- Andrew Finch, Gwendolyn Kestrel, Chris Perkins (September 2004). Monster Manual III. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 0-7869-3430-1.
- Mark A. Hart (January 2005). “The Ecology of the Grimlock”. In Erik Mona ed. Dragon #327 (Paizo Publishing, LLC), pp. 58–61.
- D&D 4th edition
- Mike Mearls, Stephen Schubert, James Wyatt (June 2008). Monster Manual 4th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 148. ISBN 978-0-7869-4852-9.
- Eric L. Boyd (2001-08-29). Part 8: Grandfather Tree. Mintiper's Chapbook. Wizards of the Coast.
- Eric L. Boyd (2002-01-30). Part 10: Chronicler's Compendium. Mintiper's Chapbook. Wizards of the Coast.
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