Tiny tricksters of the forest, these minuscule, winged creatures tend to pull pranks on any unwary traveler coming through their territory. While often confused with faeries, imps have no connection to animal spirits or the courts of the fae, and have very different appearances depending on what Realm - and often what forest - they hail from. Each variant of imp has a specific forest that most dwell within, and hidden civilizations found within.
Average Lifespan:: Immortal; but prone to accidental death. Thus, average lifespan is around 100 years.
Average Height:: 5 inches
Average Weight:: A few ounces.
Location Found:: Abroad; mostly in forests or jungles, places where there are tall trees and thick vegetation.
*all statistics based on averages; extremes in any direction, or found in odd locations, are always allowed.
Relations Long have the faerie and the imp been confused with one another; but from the ancient heart of Heartwood Forest to woods abroad, both species view each other with intense dislike. Historians used to mistakenly regard the faerie and imp as having come from one species, split asunder by grudge and war; that they have been fighting for as long as Time has lived. Though this has been found to be untrue - as the two species are not related in the slightest - both are still at war. Whenever faerie and imp encounters occur, they readily attack, often with gusto reserved just for this purpose.
Hybrids The various imp varieties may hybridize with one another easily, rendering appearances of all kinds. It is not unheard of for an imp of one type to take a pairbond of another, though living in climes entirely unsuited to one or the other often spells disaster for them or their children. Hybridization with other species - especially faeries - is immensely frowned upon.
Species info credited to Bucketorandomness, Aehryn, and Blazeh/Verridith.
Appearance Imps are small, humanoid creatures with flightworthy wings and horns that grow to about the size of a human hand, but there is a variety of appearance based on what Realm they come from. These variants will be described in detail below.
Evylon; Heartwood Forest: These imps are the most physically similar to the elves they live beside. Pointed ears and high cheek bones are common, usually accompanied by large, upward slanted eyes. Their skin is usually found in shades of green, while their hair is anywhere from a silvery tone to the color of newfallen snow. Most Heartwoodian imps sport wide, insectoid wings, though crossbreeding with other types of imp in the past has resulted in numerous other types less commonly found. The horns of this variety are often thin and emerge straight up from the skull. Clothing they wear is usually made from the Tr'nertha tree's delicate petals, leaves, and other flora native to Evylon. Colorful garb is seen as a mark of status, and low-ranking imps who wear such hues may face ridicule and punishment from higher ranked peers.
Felnova; Song Forest: These are generally the largest of the imp varieties, sometimes growing as tall as eight inches or more with great wingspans that carry them easily through the air. They may be found with a variety of blue and purple skin tones, often clashing with the tunics they've fashioned from Necrobloom petals and other poisonous plantlife. Their hair is usually found in shades of reds, pinks and oranges, though other colors are not unheard of, and the horns are known to extend behind them in elegant, branching curves. Ears typically appear ragged, and scars are commonplace, especially on their wings; these wings are commonly feathered, though some may sport either partial or full webbing. Strong jaws are more common than high cheeks, but their eyes are wide and round.
Kurai; Bonemask Woods: These Kuraian imps are the most clever, fashioning hoods on their tunics to keep themselves safe from the acid rain that falls regularly. Most have skin tones in shades of red or pink, serving as camouflage in the scarlet light of the moon; their clothes are often crafted of darklilly petals for their dark coloration. Tiny ears hide easily within dark hair and horns that mimic rams' as they grow. The jawlines of these imps are impressively sharp, and their eyes are slanted distinctly downward, giving them a saddened look as they fly on batlike webbed wings.
Lizzarkyth; Windbone Wood: The majority of Lizzarkythian imps have white or silver hues for their skin tone; thus, they tend to dress in clothes fashioned from bright petals or dyed leaves. However, unlike their Song cousins, the Windbone imps have purely insectoid wings that are often twice their size. They are also host to a strange phenomenon where scales seem to take over their extremities, making for a rudimentary armor. Windbone imps have typical pointed ears and exaggerated mouths, but their hair is often found in shades of brown, blond, or golden yellow that distracts from their smaller eyes. The horns they sport are a strange set of plated, rather flat spires, often decorated with bone chimes and brightly-colored beads.
Millirand; Rynorel Forest: The Rynorel imps are known to be the darkest in color; their skin is naturally found in blacks and deep browns, with wispy, pale-colored hair that nearly cover the nubs of horns found nestled there. For flight, they use webbed wings, and they typically cover themselves with Lue flowers when they can find them. When they can't, they simply weave grasses together to form appropriate coverings. Their ears tend to lay flat against their skulls, often being mistaken as missing altogether.
Ristell; Imperial Forest: These imps are hearty and robust, easily the strongest of the imp variants. They have become rather nocturnal to avoid the blistering heat during the Ristellan day, and their tunics are made from the broad leaves of the Spiritstealer plant and similar flora, harvested from the Polar River nearby. Pale yellows and tans dominate their skin tones, and their hair is found in a variety of metallic, light-colored hues. The small feathered wings are also frequently used to keep the sun off during the day, whenever they aren't hiding amid the trees.
Xaeri; Lightgrove: The final variant of imps is known to sport the most intricate of insect wings found in every shape and size. They often garb themselves in the remains of Boombark seedpods, providing for a tough exterior that acts almost like armor, along with the assorted findings of animal fur, feathers, and bones. Their horns often twine together into complicated knots or spirals atop heads of brightly-hued hair. Their skin tones range from dusky silvers to pinks and purples, and are often easy to spot in the shady forest they inhabit.
Culture Although there is a variety of cultures to consider, each variant of imp worships Zeldrima - if they choose to worship a god at all. No matter where they are, however, an imp will do their best to play pranks on those wandering through their territory either physically or with illusions. The groups' myriad cultural traits are listed below.
Evylon; Heartwood Forest: These imps are the most likely to help a traveler on their way after a harmless prank. It is thought that Evylonian imps are the kindest of their kind, and the most apt to get along with neighboring races; they are also quite cautious, and are likely to send up a prayer to Zeldrima before attempting something risky.
Felnova; Song Forest: The most aggressive of the imps, those within the Song Forest are quick to assume that someone is an enemy and slow to help any who have not yet proven they are innocent. However, they will gladly help any who they witness being attacked or even bothered by one of the faeries also living within the forest. In homage to Zeldrima, these imps like to live on the edge of everything and often find themselves doing things that others would have avoided. More impressive scars are even seen as a type of status symbol among them, since Zeldrima must have shown favor to let the individual come so close to death without actually dying.
Kurai; Bonemask Woods: These imps are known to have the most deadly pranks should their victims overreact, but are also the most cautious in avoiding danger to themselves. They live near patches of darklilies, and sometimes a victim will run into their midst and suffer the consequences. Usually, the imp will apologize by purposefully scratching themselves on a thorn for Zeldrima, though never to the point of deadly injury. They are the most secretive and are apt to use their illusions more often than other types of imps. Kuraian imps are the most cunning and are one of the most difficult to find; but they won't fly during a rain, so looking then is the best chance one has of finding them.
Lizzarkyth; Windbone Wood: These imps will often dance their way in celebration of Zeldrima. Occasionally, they'll make use of their illusion arts to make it seem as if the skeletons around them are coming alive, and take great delight in particular of frightening young lizards with dragonlike skeletal images, though these are rarely anatomically accurate. Though Lizzarkythians often avoid areas where these creatures are found in great number, imps are usually extremely excited to have a living thing make its way into their territory. Because of this excitement, it is dangerous to walk into their territory without something to trade your way out of it.
Millirand; Rynorel Forest: Contrasting sharply with their Heartwoodian relatives, these imps do not get along with their elven neighbors, often playing malicious pranks on them or their wildlife charges. They are the least likely to show any kind of devotion to Zeldrima, perhaps because she is so widely known among Millirand natives. The quickest to arms, it is difficult to keep them calm if a prank is not received well by travelers.
Ristell; Imperial Forest: Ristellan imps are most likely to swoop in and physically harass travelers; these imps often perform freefall stunts to almost taunt Zeldrima and get the goddess' attention, especially before performing especially risky feats. They don't take kindly to strangers, but those they can recognize as being from the Realm are generally guided back out of the forest, even if it takes a bit of time and patience to deal with the pranks along the way.
Xaeri; Lightgrove: These imps are known to carry totems made to Zeldrima and are somewhat superstitious when it comes to their luck. Their pranks are the most subtle and usually involve some mix of hand-made creation flung about with the addition of illusions. They are the most patient of the imps and difficult to bring to any conflict unless their luck can be guaranteed.
Abilities No matter where they're from, imps are all gifted in magic, especially illusions. There doesn't seem to be a difference in ability based on origin point, so this is a constant in the imp. These creatures are also known to make some of the most effective weapons available to their size; their tiny blow darts and spears don't look like much, but beware - many carry paralytic or poisonous agents, to whom which imps are immune to. It is a blessing, then, that Imps are not prone to large-scale war, but when they do join the fray, they are cunning strategists to be reckoned with.
There is also a rare gift found in imps who have managed to age for hundreds of years near elves and their knowledge. These imps are able to bring the spirits of the dead to life once more as shimmering silver creatures, most often smaller animals such as cats or birds. Strong-willed imps may use this parody of summoning to bring about bears or even the souls of dragons or wolves, though there are dangers some of these summoners may not see until it's too late. More intelligent creatures and carnivores that are summoned are more likely to turn on their summoner, slaying them in brutal and beastly ways for attempting to control them.
One day, as Death wandered the Realm unseen, he happened upon an elf walking down a road, and cursing. As Death observed from a distance, delighting in the elf’s misfortune and wondering what had caused it, the elf sat upon the ground, took off his boot, and dumped a small pebble upon the road before continuing on.
A mere pebble? What harm could a mere pebble do, to cause such torment? he wondered as he gazed at the offending speck of stone, and deftly seized it with the tips of his claws. After a moment, he resumed his travels, still clutching the pebble, but this time, he paid close attention to the mortals scattered upon the Realm. Here and there he found them cursing some mishap or another. A pebble in a shoe, a stubbed toe, pricked fingers, a speck of dirt in an eye, insect bites and stings, all manner of small annoyances.
Death grinned to himself, and withdrew, taking the pebble with him. Once he had reached a remote spot, he took clay from the ground, and fashioned a tiny figure, small enough to fit in a human hand. He took the pebble, and fashioned it into a heart. Then, with one great claw he drew a single small drop of blood from his own flesh, and let it drip upon the tiny figure. Clay became flesh, the stone heart filled with malice, and thus the first imp was made.
You will be my gift unto the Realm and its people. May you ever be a pebble in a shoe, a thorn in their flesh, a constant torment they will never be free of, he intoned before releasing the imp into the Realm to unleash small torments upon the people of the Realm. As time passed, he made more imps to join the first, until there were too many to ever be eradicated despite their small size and tendency to get into more trouble than they could handle.
As the imps spread, and caused no end of problems, Death watched, and was pleased.
This Ancient First is an imp with pale green skin, long tapered ears, and small, black horns. He has bright blue eyes and very long white hair tied in places with thick bands, handing uncut so long that it trails upon the ground when he walks. His most striking feature, however, are his six translucent wings - wings that appear to be a mixture of batlike and insectoid, painted in colors of tans and creamy whites.
Proud as an imp can be, Diraydnili enjoys wearing fine clothing in blues, greens, whites, browns and silvers - sometimes a mix of all of the above. He crafts his own tiny clothing, though does not often accent it with jewelry, save for the odd earring and ring on occasion. When he wants to, he can cover himself completely with his wings, which he does often if some mischief or another tears, stains, or otherwise ruins whatever garb he had chosen to wear.
The First Imp is proud and arrogant, and exceedingly mischievous, often to the point of putting his own life in danger. He is very quick, and cunning, and has - thusfar - been able to evade death, though he has been injured several times (usually by being stepped on or knocked into).
Classification: vexing type of imp. Location: generally found in sky-continents.
Enemies of all things that fly, the gremlin is a type of wingless imp that envies those that may touch the clouds. Small, with large ears, thin noses and long, pointed fingers, they resemble most a humanoid bat without the wings. Their tails are long and ratlike, tipped with a non-venomous barb, and their hides may come in a variety of browns, greys, blues and even purples. They love to decorate themselves in feathers and other bright objects, and enjoy stealing bits of fabric and jewelry to further enhance their less-than-appealing looks.
Because of their envious nature, gremlins often steals from those with wings. They take the buckles off of dragonsaddles, steal feathers and jewelry from avians, and soil the prey of gryphons and roc'a. The dragons of Stroen'na, being less peaceable than the avians they live beside, hate them entirely and have vowed to hunt any and all that may come across their path.