Scott Marlowe, fantasy author

Scott Marlowe

Author of the Alchemancer and Assassin Without a Name fantasy series

Races of Uhl: Imps

Each Friday for the next so many weeks I'm going to highlight some aspect of Uhl, the fantasy world in which I set my novels. Posts will include details on Uhl's people, places, races, and more.

Rounding out my quartet of goblin types are imps. Imps are the most prolific of goblinkind. Ironic, then, that I have yet to use them in any of my novels or shorts. In many ways they are the canon fodder of any goblin army. But they're not sheep. They may not be as cunning as haureks and certainly not as strong as gaugaths, they nevertheless have their strengths. Read on to learn about these qualities and more.


The most prolific of goblins are imps. Neither the smartest nor the brawniest, their greatest strength is their sheer numbers which they use against their enemies to harry, frustrate, and finally overwhelm them. They delight in setting traps and ambushes and have gained general notoriety as wicked creatures who delight in the spread of chaos and misery.

Unlike other goblins, imps abhor sunlight. Even the light from the moon and stars annoys them to the point where they will venture out from the Underland only when the prize is grand or the whip at their backs too painful. And if the whip fails to properly motivate them, they are easily bribed by healthy quantities of haurek ale. Imps are excellent miners and hard workers when presented with the right incentive.

Just like their larger brethren, they are extremely superstitious, and look upon events which seem out of the ordinary to be signs of things to come. Their own shamans and witch doctors, who practice their own form of crude, goblinish sorcery, are held in the highest regard.

Imps take slaves as needed, especially when they are in need of someone well-versed in some particular skill. It is rare, but not uncommon, for them to come up from their underground lairs on moonless nights of their own free will in order to raid towns and villages in search of slaves, plunder, and food. When a particular slave is no longer needed, imps prepare an extravagant feast with the slave as the main course.

Dwarf-like in stature, imps have none of a dwarf's thickness. Instead their limbs are bone thin, their necks are scrawny, and they have only the leanest of musculature. Impen eyes are white without pupils and provide them little in the way of eyesight. Instead their hearing has grown super-sensitive, compensating for their other sense's shortcomings. They typically do not wear heavy suits of armor, preferring the greater mobility advantages of loose garments or nothing at all. In battle and on raids, they wield small swords, axes, and blow guns from which they shoot poisoned darts.

View my gallery of goblins on Pinterest.

Read more about the people and places of Uhl at the World of Uhl.



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