Players take on the roles of loyal Thanes to the good King Hrothgar, carousing in the vast and fabulous Mead Hall of Heorot, but powerless to defeat the terrible monster Grendel who nightly attacks their feasting — until a fearless warrior from Geatland arrives to save them: a hero named Beowulf.
The game takes place over four rounds, each representing one night of feasting. During the feasts, players draft cards to collect valuable gold coins and healing balms, receive the honour of Heorot, and sing songs to the glory of Hrothgar in the hope of being rewarded with one of his gifts.
At the end of each feast the next Grendel and Feast cards are revealed to determine who Grendel attacks, inflicting ‘scratches’ on one or more of the players.
After the fourth feast, Beowulf arrives and defeats the monster Grendel, and Hrothgar rewards Beowulf for finally ridding Heorot of Grendel’s terror, but Beowulf is generous, and shares these gifts with the players who he considers to be the most honourable.
But, before the true hero of Heorot can be celebrated, the player who suffered the most at Grendel’s terrible hand is laid to rest by his comrades, and his gold coins buried with him.
The surviving player with the most gold coins is celebrated as a true hero of the Danes — by Beowulf, Hrothgar and everyone at Heorot!