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Born deformed, Grendel's mother was told he would not survive. However, the boy grew much in size and strength but not in mind. He was also afflicted with a contagious mold that would spread to anyone he touched. His mother, to protect him from the villagers, fled with him to Grime's Graves to raise him. By 873, he was as tall as two men and almost as wide as such. With still the mind of a child, Grendel wished to play, although his method of play proved to be too fatal for others. Not knowing his own strength, he killed cattle in a village near Brisleah Farm, infecting their corpses with his mold.
As he left the village, he left a trail of mold to the Brisleah Farm church where he "played" with the soldiers of the Finnmarking raider Hrothgar. Again, he unknowingly killed them and infected them, although he only wounded Hrothgar, who crawled away to die. Revealing his name to his victims, he stated his plan to return and left for the night. After he returned the next night, he was attacked by the Viking shieldmaiden Eivor Varinsdottir of the Raven Clan, who was investigating the mysterious circumstances of the soldiers' death. Being dealt a killing blow, Grendel called out to his mother before succumbing to his wound.
Grendel's story was adapted into an epic poem by Abbess Wulfhilda, though at the request of Eivor, she omitted the Viking's involvement in the ordeal and instead made the story about heroes and glory. Wulfhilda named the hero of the story Beowulf after her, while Grendel and his mother were depicted as the villains.
Personality and characteristics
Grendel had the mental capacity of a child but the appearance of a giant. Like all children, Grendel only wished to play. Grendel's contagious mold he was afflicted by, covered his hands and a section of his face.