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Alpine Imp, The. An inhabitant of the Impic Alps in southern Zamonia, the common Alpine Imp may generally be numbered, like the Gulch Troll and the Glacier Gorgon but unlike the Troglotroll or the Avalanche Ogress, among the so-called guileless mountain demons, in other words, mountain-dwelling spirites devoid of evil intent.

Although innocuous in manner, the Alpine Imp is condemned to relative solitude by its repulsive appearance. Yet the true extent of its ugliness cannot be detected. Providence has been kind enough to conceal Alpine Imps in a growth of matted hair so dense that their physical characteristics can only be guessed at. The sight of a clean shaven specimen would be more than the eye could endure. Alpine Imps usually vegetate among the highest peaks of the Impic Alps and can climb like chamois equipped with the arms of a chimpanzee. There is a popular belief that they can even walk on clouds, but this unscientific conjecture may safely be consigned to the realm of legend.

Alpine Imps are trusting and affectionate by nature, but their feelings are seldom returned - a circumstance that has led to their gradual extinction. They make a habit of landing on mountaineers' rucksacks from a great height. Having done so, they give full vent to their affection by letting out a blood-curdling scream. This behaviour accounts for the fact that any climber who has ever encountered an Alpine Imp never scales another mountain and becomes a deep-sea diver or a mine superintendent.

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