Quicklings are jerks, plain and simple. I’m not talking about in-game (in the game they’re slice-happy, murdering psychopaths); I’m talking at the player vs. GM level. (Is there a word between in-game and metagame? Supragame? Anyway…) These things cover 120 ft. in a round—probably 24 squares if you use a battlemat. With Mobility, Spring Attack, evasion, uncanny dodge, and a miss chance on top of that. When they stand still? Invisible. And if they hit? Blue whinnis poison—better not fail these saves, or it’s Con loss and nighty-night. So quicklings are a pain to fight, and they will happily to run (very fast) away to fight another day soon. You are going to hate these guys.
A browsing of published adventures bears this out. In these, the quickling is almost never a mastermind, but he’s often a second-in-command, sniper, spoiler, assassin, or otherwise a persistent irritant. And in these modules, quicklings evince an ecumenical willingness to fraternize with other evil folk that is striking for one of the fey. Orcs, evil wizards, demons, giants, hags, minotaurs, spirit nagas, you name it—quicklings serve whoever will let them exercise their bloodthirsty desires. So you can feel free to pair quicklings with pretty much any evil creature in the Bestiaries…at least for a week or two, until they become sick of each other.
Also, food for thought: Something is seriously wrong in the land of the fey. Gnomes, svirfneblin, and mites have lost their status. Gremlins teeter on the brink. Menaces like redcaps and bogeymen stalk the dark places. And one imagines that the quicklings’ unique power set came with a tradeoff—their wings, most likely. There are many mysteries happening in the Lands Over and Under the Hill. Explore them!
Adventurers are ambushed by grigs, who after much bluster and many threats suddenly apologize shamefacedly for their actions. They are all on edge after weeks of being stalked by a quickling who delights in amputating his cousins’ grasshopper hind legs. Noble souls volunteering to help them would be amply rewarded.
No amount of speed will free you from a spider’s web. The quickling Cinderwick learned this the hard way when he ran smack into the snares of a clan of araneas, ettercaps, and giant spiders. A fast talker as well as runner, he convinced the spiderfolk to spare him, provided he lure twoscore travelers to their lair. Eager to be free, he works ceaselessly to attract victims with dancing lights and ventriloquism, accompanied always by the intelligent jumping spider that has orders to devour him if he tries to renege on his deal.
Convinced he is a better blade then the bravos in the streets, a quickling has been scarring and murdering fencers in Martine. This outrages his partner, a cultist of Wise Ajax the Barber Demon, and the two are currently not speaking. They share the same sewer lair, though, and following the quickling will lead one into encounters with envyspawn, an iron cobra trap, and the cultist himself.
—Pathfinder Bestiary 2 227
This post goes out to Dutch superfan Wesley, aka Sincubus—the quickling is one of his favorites. Thanks for the support!
For the record, we last visited Martine here.
For more on quicklings and other fey, I once again recommend Vince Garcia’s “The Folk of the Faerie Kingdom,” from what may be the best issue of Dragon Magazine ever, #155. I read my copy so much the cover fell off. He suggested quicklings were brownies cursed for using necromancy. And apparently Monster Mythology (which I still need to get) had them as brownies transformed the Queen of Air and Darkness.
Sorry this post is going up so close to midnight. It’s been an eventful evening in my neighborhood.