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Worker Philosopher Patriarch
Climate/Terrain: Any Any Any
Frequency: Rare Very rare Very rare
Organization: Hive Hive Hive
Activity Cycle: Any Any Any
Diet: Carnivore Carnivore Carnivore
Intelligence: Average (8-10) Exceptional (15-16) Supra-genius (19)
Treasure: U W H
Alignment: Neutral evil Neutral evil Neutral evil
No. Appearing: 1-10 1-2 1
Armor Class: 5 5 (0) 10
Movement: Fl 12 (D) Fl 12 (D) 0
Hit Dice: 5 7 9
THAC0: 15 13 11
No. of Attacks: 11 11 0
Damage/Attack: 1-4(x10)/1-6 1d4(x10)/1-6 0
or by weapon or by weapon
Special Attacks: Magical items Magical items See below
Special Defenses: Nil Nil See below
Magic Resistance: Nil Nil Nil
Size: M (4' diameter) M (4' diameter) G (30' diameter)
Morale: Elite (13-14) Champion (15-16) Fanatic (17)
XP Value: 2,000 5,000 9,000

The grell is a fearsome carnivore that looks like a giant brain with a vicious beak and 10 dangling tentacles, each 6 feet long. Some grell are rogues, while others live in family units. The "civilized" grell is a hive or colony creature, much like an ant or a bee, but far more intelligent, arrogant, and dangerous.
Grell have a weird language composed of bird-like squawks and chirps, combined with tentacular motion and a limited telepathy with other grell. Other creatures cannot learn the grell language, and they would not deign to learn the language of "lesser beings" (a synonym for "food" in their language).

Combat: The grell's most common strategy is to use its natural levitation ability to hide in the upper reaches of large chambers. It can then drop silently on a victim, who suffers a -3 penalty to surprise rolls when attacked in this way.
A worker grell attacks with all 10 tentacles; each one that hits grips the opponent (the grip can be broken with a successful bend bars/lift gates roll). For each hit, the victim must roll a saving throw vs. paralysis, with a +4 bonus, or be paralyzed for 5d4 rounds. With two tentacles gripping the prey, the grell can lift it up toward the ceiling and devour the prey when desired. A grell automatically hits paralyzed prey each round.
Soldier grell often use weapons, including the tip-spear and the lightning lance. The tip-spear is an edged metal head which fits on the tip of a tentacle and is held there by suction; the weapon causes 1d6 damage if used to slash, 2d6 if used to impale. Victims hit by a tip-spear must make a saving throw vs. paralysis, as if hit by a tentacle. The lightning lance delivers 3d6 points of electrical damage to those hit with it, though a successful saving throw vs. spells halves the damage. A lightning lance starts with 36 charges; it can use one per round.
Any hit against a tentacle (AC 4) renders it unusable, but subtracts no hit points from the grell's total. Grell regenerate lost or damaged tentacles in 1-2 days, and are immune to electrical attacks.
Grell use strategy and tactics in their battles, and can attack more than one opponent each round. They are intelligent enough to allocate their tentacle attacks in an advantageous way. They use their beaks only against paralyzed prey.

Habitat/Society: Grell have a distinct hierarchy. Each hive is led by a patriarch, who gives orders to the philosophers, who direct the soldiers and workers in their every day tasks. A hive occupies an underground complex, or travels by ship.
Supposedly, all grell answer to a mysterious Imperator, a grell of great power who can unite all the grell for a common cause; to conquer a realm, a territory, or even a world.
A grell mates but once in its 30-40 year life span. The female later lays a clutch of 2d4 eggs. Young are born active and self-sufficient, but with only 1 Hit Die. They gain 1 Hit Die every two months until they reach adulthood.

Ecology: Arrogant and vicious, grell hunt their territories to exhaustion, then move on to more fertile places.
A grell's paralytic poison cannot be extracted from the creature's body, but parts of the monster's body can be used for spells or items relating to levitation or electricity.

Soldier/Worker: These are the common grell that form the bulk of a hive or a raiding party. Occasionally, a grell will become separated from its fellows; these become rogues. Rogues carry no weapons, collect no treasure, and avoid sunlight.

Philosopher: These grell serve as intermediaries between patriarchs and workers/soldiers. Some lead lesser grell in combat, and there is one philosopher for every 10 lesser grell encountered. Some philosophers (20%) wear powerful rings of protection, giving them AC 0. About 10% of philosophers can cast spells as 2nd-level wizards.

Patriarch: Each hive has a patriarch, a huge, sedentary mass of flesh that directs the lesser grell. If the patriarch is taken to a ship, it can dig its many tentacles into the ship and animate it, even make it fly to other worlds.

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