"In a time far away...
In a land long ago...
A warrior would roam
from place to place
Not too long would he stay
For his soul called him fro
And because most folks
Just couldn't stand his face."
Thus we are introduced to Groo, in his first appearance in print.
Groo is being chased by soldiers, determined to kill him many times over. And then start getting really nasty.
Groo hides, and tries to think why soldiers would be chasing him.
He remembers how, many years ago, he left his guard post with some friends for some brews, bawdy women, and cheese dip. While in a bar of bad reputation, he accidentally lets everybody know that the High Priest of Zumu is also in attendance. The scandal! The shock! He takes being excommunicated so seriously... But what if it isn't him out to kill Groo?
He remembers that time that Princess Canaria sent him out to deliver a letter to her beloved Prince Tercios. As he rides out through the forest, he meets his old friend Taranto again, who is also waiting for the Prince. Groo thinks this convenient and naps behind a tree as they wait. The sounds of battle wake him, and he jumps straight into his natural habitat - the fray. As everyone lies dead, he realizes that the people he just fought were prince Tercios and his men. Finding the Prince among the bodies, he delivers the letter, a warning from the princess that there is an ambush waiting for him. The princess has so touchy ever since...
He decides to try and find out who it is, but needs money. Some villagers employ him to take care of a band of soldiers camped outside of town. As he runs down to fight them, he finds it is his old friend Taranto, from the bar, and the woods. He greets them, and asks what luckless fool they are armed so heavily for. "Guess" is Tarantos reply, and the story ends with Groo hiding again, reconsidering his friendship with Taranto.
This is followed by a short tale about 'the Sage', who uses his age and wisdom (and plenty of wise sayings) to assist some hunters in getting their resilient prey, with interesting results.