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Monster ENCyclopedia: Quickling

Don’t blink or you’ll miss this entry in the Monster ENCyclopedia series. Malicious and often murderous, these tiny fey will turn you into a pincushion for their miniature daggers. If you are unlucky, the poison in your wounds will knock you out. This time we’re taking a look at one of D&D’s fastest moving creatures, the quickling.

Monster ENCyclopedia: Quickling
This is a series of posts about specific monsters from D&D's history. Each entry takes a look at the origin of one D&D creature, and tracks its appearances and evolution across different editions. The pool of potential creatures for the letter Q is limited, with perhaps three dozen ‘Q’ creatures in D&D’s forty-four year history. The quickling has appeared in most editions, and was an obvious candidate for this instalment.

Origins and development
The quickling’s first appearance is in the AD&D Monster Manual II. Although Gygax was the author for that book, in this ENWorld post he credits Lawrence Schick with the concept.

Quicklings are chaotic evil offshoots of brownies. Legend has it they dabbled in forbidden magic and this changed them into malicious creatures who treat other humans and demihumans with malevolence. They are small (2’ high), slim humanoids who get their name from their exceptional speed (96”) — eight times faster than a typical human.

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Monster Manual II (1983)

Because quicklings are so fast, they are hard to see. There appears to be a typo in the text, as it states that quickings are “90% likely to be visible when moving” despite describing them as a “blur”. Presumably this is intended to be “90% likely to be invisible when moving”. The text also says that they are totally invisible when motionless, which seems just a little odd if they gain their invisibility from their speed. Perhaps they vibrate so fast they vanish?

Their extreme speed (and high dexterity) grants them several other advantages. Quicklings have excellent armor class (AC -3) and gain the saves of a 19th-level cleric. They are impossible to surprise. In combat they can attack three times each round, and they usually make use of this opportunity to wield their needle-like daggers.

Quicklings all have a small number of spell-like powers, usable once per day: dig, fire charm, forget, levitate, shatter, and ventriloquism.

Usually found in groups of 4-16, quicklings dwell in dark woodlands and wild areas. A typical quickling has just 1½ HD, but any group will have at least one member with 3 HD. Groups of more than ten will have two 3 HD lieutenants and an even more powerful 4½ HD leader. Most leaders have a poison which causes targets to save after each dagger strike, or fall into a narcotic slumber.

Quicklings are very intelligent, and speak their own language as well as those of brownies, pixies, and halflings. Many also speak common. Conversation with a quickling is challenging as they speak too rapidly to be easily understood.

The accelerated pace of quicklings’ lives means they become adults by the time they are two and die at age twelve to fifteen.

There are not many quickling encounters in 1st Edition adventures. REF3: The Book of Lairs details an encounter with a group of sixteen. These quicklings have joined forces with fifty giant spiders, and have even learned to speak the spiders’ language. These allies have taken over a small village and blocked all paths to it with thick webs. The heroes of the story are hired to deal with this situation.

Unfortunately, this is a frustrating encounter. It spends a lot of time explaining why the heroes’ plans won’t work: the webs blocking the path can’t be burned because they are special and also wet; the heroes can’t escape from holes created by the dig spell because the surrounding ground collapses; attacking the quicklings is a poor choice because they are keeping the villagers hostage and immediately kill them. At least the stat block here confirms that the Monster Manual II had a typo -- quicklings are 90% invisible even when moving.

Dungeon #19 includes the adventure Encounter in the Wildwood, where the protagonists are two cyclopskin (Chinpot and Tuggut), a boggle (Nik-Nik), a quickling (Zazzafizzlezizzle) and four needlefolk. Zazzafizzlezizzle is secretly the brains of the operation, although he lets the cyclopskin believe they are in charge. The heroes stumble into this adventure by being ambushed as they pass through a forest glade controlled by the group.

2nd Edition
The quickling next appears in the MC5: Monstrous Compendium Greyhawk Appendix, where it is listed as “brownie, quickling”. The illustration is similar to the Monster Manual II depiction, and the text has been updated. Quicklings are described as small and slender, with sharp, feral features. They have pale blue skin and silvery white hair. Quicklings have cruel, yellow eyes, and exceptionally large ears which extend to a point above their heads. They favour bright clothes decorated with silver and black and never wear armor or clothes that might slow them down.

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MC5: Monstrous Compendium Greyhawk Appendix (1990)

In combat, quicklings are unchanged in abilities, attacking up to three times per round, and using a small selection of spell-like powers. Leaders still have a sleep-inducing poison. If quicklings are in an area with lots of cover, their 90% chance of invisibility while moving climbs to a full 100%.

Quicklings are savage hunters and cruel killers dwelling in twisted places -- by groves of wicked-looking trees, near cursed springs, or in overgrown areas steeped in ancient chaos. The text confirms that quickling speech sounds like a meaningless stream of noise unless the speaker takes special care to slow down. It also confirms their short lives, noting that no quickling has lived past the age of fifteen without powerful magic.

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Dungeon #56 (1995)

A quickling named Angwarnggaxx is the main villain in the adventure The Bigger They Are… in Dungeon #56. He delights in cruel practical jokes, and lives with his giant spider pets in a wooded area where dangerous brambles and other unusual plants grow. He makes use of ventriloquism to try to lure the adventurers into a trap. Judging from the contents of Angwarnggaxx’s storage room, quicklings eat cheese, acorns and dried meat, which is consistent with “omnivore” in the Monstrous Compendium entry.

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Monstrous Compendium Annual Volume Two (1995)

The quickling was reprinted in Monstrous Compendium Annual Volume Two, with only minor editing changes to the text. This appearance is accompanied by the creature’s first colour picture.

3rd Edition
The quickling managed to evade publication in any printed WotC source for all of 3rd Edition, but did appear in The Tome of Horrors from Necromancer Games, based on a conversion first published in the Creature Catalog here on ENWorld. The quickling also appeared in two Living Greyhawk adventures, BDKA5-03: The Mad Mage and GEO8-01: Prince of Oytwood published three years apart. The two versions appear to have been developed independently, although they share some common inspiration.

The version in BDKA5-03: The Mad Mage is likely influenced by the Tome of Horrors quickling, making use of some identical ability names (“Special Daggers”). This quickling is a small fey creature with only 3 hit points. It has a speed of only 60 ft (twice as fast as a human), but gains a number of special abilities which are equivalent to the earlier benefits of super-speed, including permanent haste and invisibility. Any quickling -- not just leaders -- might have the aforementioned special daggers which can induce sleep. Quicklings have an updated list of spell-like abilities: dancing lights, daze, levitate, shatter and ventriloquism.

The quickling in GEO8-01: Prince of Oytwood is a unique individual with class levels as a scout, rather than a “vanilla” quickling. The abilities given here feel slightly closer to 1st/2nd Edition. For a start, the quickling has a speed of 240 ft., which is a more impressive eight times faster than a typical human. A quickling on the move has a blur of motion effect which gives it the equivalent of displacement. They have a poison use ability which makes it clear that it is what’s on their daggers, rather than the daggers themselves that induces sleep. When static, this version of the quickling gains natural invisibility until it moves, attacks or casts a spell. The list of spell-like abilities matches the list in The Mad Mage, which in turns is suspiciously identical to the Tome of Horrors list.

4th Edition
The first glimpse of a 4th Edition quickling is found in the preview book Wizards Presents: Worlds and Monsters, which notes that quicklings live under the command of the fomorians in the “Underdark of the Feywild”. A black and white picture shows a hairless, feral creature with pupil-less eyes, a sunken, almost emaciated torso, and broad three-toed feet. This quickling keeps the long pointy ears and it is wielding the characteristic daggers in each hand.

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Wizards Presents: Worlds and Monsters (2008)

An article Dragon #362 expands upon the relationship between fomorians and quicklings noting that the tiny fey are the most numerous of the Dark Hands, the network of elite spies and assassins who serve each fomorian tyrant. The Dragon article, subtitled Tyrants of the Feydark is incidentally the first time the name Feydark is used for the Underdark of the Feywild.

For the first time, quicklings appear in the core Monster Manual, which presents them as fey creatures native to the Feywild, and doesn’t focus on how they may have been created. The bulk of the description deals with quickling tactics -- they like to set ambushes, and kill creatures for food, treasure or sport. They prefer to attack weaker opponents in a group first, and will flee in a “chorus of nerve-grating laughter” if their adversaries prove too strong.

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Monster Manual (2008)

Stat blocks are provided for a quickling runner and a quickling zephyr. Both are small, evil fey humanoids wielding short swords (not the characteristic daggers, after all), and they both have a lot of hit points (96 and 82), compared to earlier editions. The runner has a quick cuts ability that lets it attack twice as one action, and fey shift and maintain mobility which prevent the quickling from taking opportunity attacks or being immobilized. The higher-level zephyr gets blinding speed which makes it invisible, does extra damage with combat advantage, and has unstoppable allowing the quickling to ignore difficult terrain and even, delightfully, to run across liquid surfaces. It manages to do this despite only having a listed speed of 12, twice that of a human.

Quicklings are much more common in this edition of D&D than previously, and feature in a number of printed adventures including H3: Pyramid of Shadows, which notes that quicklings are arrogant enough to disregard the possibility of opportunity attacks when fighting, P1: King of the Trollhaunt Warrens where they are working with a pair of feymire crocodiles, Dungeon Delve, Revenge of the Giants and the 4th Edition version of Tomb of Horrors. The adventure One Dark Night in Weeping Briar contains a new variation, a quickling jack, but this is just a slightly upgraded version of the quickling runner from the Monster Manual

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Dark Heart of Mithrendain, Dungeon #157 (2008)

The evil fey are also prominent in the online Dragon and Dungeon magazines of the 4th Edition era. Dark Heart of Mithrendain in Dungeon #157 has the PCs defend the Feywild city of Mithrendain from a sinister plot. A group of quicklings is working for the lamia Jelvistra, who is behind the scheme.

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Dark Heart of Mithrendain, Dungeon #157 (2008)

There are also adventures featuring quickings in Dungeon #161 where they are guarding a treasure room with some harpies and in Dungeon #166, where the quicklings cause chaos by releasing a number of caged beasts trained for gladiatorial combat, including a chimera.

One of the two quicklings in The Oasis of the Golden Peacock in Dungeon #169 has voyeuristic inclinations. He is described as spending hours watching an eladrin and dryad who are lovers. Secretly the quickling would like nothing more than to court the dyrad himself, so once combat breaks out, he won’t do anything to help his eladrin ally. The other quickling in the adventure occupies his time playing dice games with a satyr.

The GenCon 2010 tournament adventure Curse of the Gray Hag has a quickling named Toifil working as a spy and tracker for the Gray Hag. This quickling has the ability to manifest a projection of his mistress although it isn’t clear how he does this.

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Dungeons & Dragons comic #8, (2011)

IDW’s Dungeons & Dragons comic line which ran concurrently with 4th Edition features an adventuring party known as Fell’s Five adventuring in the Nentir Vale, in comic #8 they are trapped in the Feywild, and an encounter with a band of quicklings ensures. From the dialog we learn that the diet of 4th Edition quicklings includes brains.

5th Edition
In James Wyatt’s Wandering Monster column The Fair Folk, quicklings are summed up as malicious, evil sprites known for moving faster than the eye can follow. They use tiny swords and sometimes a sleep poison. Wyatt’s column was writing during the extended development and testing of 5th Edition and often served as a good indication of how a creature would end up represented. Not so much in this case, as it turns out.

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Volo’s Guide to Monsters (2016)

The quickling did not make it into the 5th Edition Monster Manual, and had to wait for Volo’s Guide to Monsters where it gets a dedicated page. Although it is closer in appearance to the 1st and 2nd Edition quickling, its cruelty and malicious nature has been dramatically toned down. Rather than murder, these quicklings delight in mischief, from tying bootlaces together to planting a stolen item in someone’s bag. If they can sow discord by attracting blame to someone else, so much the better.

Described as small, slender miniature elves, with feral features and cold, cruel eyes, quicklings dwell wherever unseelie fey hold sway, primarily in the Feywild. Their sped up internal clocks mean that they never live longer than fifteen years and they find the mortal realm ponderously slow. The speech of ordinary creatures sounds like meaningless mooing to quicklings.

A little more resilient than their ancestors, 5th Edition quicklings have 3d4+3 hit point, and a speed of 120 ft, which is four times faster than a human. They have darkvision out to 60 feet. Despite now being less murderous quicklings remain chaotic evil. They speak common and sylvan. In battle, they benefit from blurred movement, evasion and multiattack. This gives them three dagger attacks, but there is no mention of any sleep inducing poison.

Quickling speed
So just how fast can a quickling run? Probably the easiest way to estimate this is to compare the speed of a quickling to the speed of a human. This varies depending on the edition we use; for 1st and 2nd Edition, quicklings moved eight times faster than humans. In 3rd Edition, they either moved twice as fast, or eight times as fast. In 4th Edition they were just twice as quick as humans. 5th Edition compromises with quicklings moving at four times human speed.

Human footspeed peaks at around 40 km/h (25 mph) depending on how you measure it. A quickling moving at eight times this speed would be travelling at 320 km/h (200 mph) which is the same as a diving peregrine falcon or a modern high-speed train, or almost three times faster than a cheetah.

Quickling relatives
Dragon #239 theorises that wicked leprechauns, described in The Dragon’s Bestiary: The Little People, were warped by the same magic that turned brownies into quicklings.

Dungeon #162 details icelings, described as “ice-covered and winged” quicklings. These are high-level opponents, living in the colder parts of the Feywild. Just as quicklings function as spies and assassins for their fomorian leaders, icelings are the servants and spies of the archfey of the Winter Court.

Quickling gods
In Dragon #155, the article The Folk of the Faerie Kingdom details the greater goddess Rhiannon, Queen of Faeries, and suggests that quicklings were originally buckawn who rebelled against Rhiannon, stole a book of dark magic given to her by the elves, and learned secrets which turned them into evil outcasts.

By the time we reach DMGR4: MonsterMythology, published two years later, this has changed. The sylvan pantheon presented in that book includes Titania and her dark sister known only as the Queen of Air and Darkness, and it is now she who generated the dark magical forces that transformed Titania’s beloved brownies into quicklings.

In 5th Edition, the relationship with with the Queen of Air and Darkness is revisited. It is said that the quicklings were once a lazy race whose lateness offended their Queen once too often. She shrank the quicklings and sped up their metabolism, so that they would no longer be late.

Quicklings and other monsters
In general, quicklings avoid contact with other creature unless it suits their own evil plans. However, they have been known to occasionally make deals with imps and quasits, or with powerful spellcasters (MC5: Monstrous Compendium Greyhawk Appendix).

Quicklings are known to ally with demon drakes (Dragon #146) and will even ride them into battle. Most demon drakes speak the quickling language. Nightshades, elemental spirits of poisonous plants, are detailed in FRQ3: Doom of Daggerdale. They also speak the language of quicklings, indicating some sort of relationship.

Frosts (detailed in MC11: Monstrous Compendium Forgotten Realms Appendix) are neutral good fairies who war constantly with quicklings.

In 4th Edition, as well as acting as spies and servants of the Feydark’s fomorians, quicklings might also be encountered with eladrin or feymire crocodiles (Monster Manual, P1: King of the Trollhaunt Warrens), blackroot treants (Dungeon Delve), frost giants and hell hounds (Revenge of the Giants), harpies and banshrae (Dungeon #161), satyrs and spriggans (Dungeon #169), greenvise vines and spectral panthers (Monster Manual 2), korreds (Manual of the Planes), cyclopes (Underdark), or wood woads (Curse of the Gray Hag).

Quicklings seem to work well with spiders across editions, from giant spiders in REF3: The Book of Lairs and Dungeon #56 to blade spiders in Dungeon #157.

Quicklings and magic
According to Dragon #90, the hold person spell does affect quicklings. Dragon #164 includes the seeking sword spell. This creates a blade of force that moves fast enough to hit even quicklings several times per round. The swordmage class detailed in Arcane Power has a quickling stride utility spell, which grants extra movement, but other than the name, this has nothing to do with quicklings.

The Sage Advice column in Dragon #212 deals with the thorny issue of a player using polymorph self to change into a quickling, and wanting to gain a speed of 96 and three attacks each round. The Sage argues that because these abilities are a result of the quickling’s magically accelerated metabolism, the DM is well within his or her rights to rule that a polymorphed character does not gain these benefits.

The ring of the little people, detailed in Dragon #187 makes the wearer immune to the spells and magic powers of most faeries creatures, including quicklings. From the Ashes mentions that a harp of charming might be found in the possession of quicklings. Adventurer’s Vault details quickling boots that give the wearer a bonus to acrobatics and athletics and extra movement during combat.

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The Unfingered Hand, Forged of Darkness (1996)

The Ravenloft accessory Forged of Darkness details a sinister candle holder called an unfingered hand which is made from a severed hand. Only a greenhag can create an unfingered hand, and one of the other components is the heart of a quickling. Once the candle is lit, its owner gains the benefits of haste but at the cost of rapid ageing.

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Quickling with an evil eye, Dungeon #405 (2011)

In Dragon #405, the Baleful Ritual of the Evil Eye is described. The process of embedding an evil eye takes many hours and is extremely painful, and is usually a punishment imposed by the fomorians on their prisoners. However, quicklings view it as a blessing and will gladly accept the modification.

The Birthright line was cancelled before the second monster supplement Blood Spawn: Creatures of Light and Shadow saw print, but it was released in electronic format a few years later. The book focusses on denizens of the Shadow World, a plane parallel to Birthright’s world of Aebrynis. The Shadow World is part feywild and part shadowfell and counts quicklings as members of its Unseelie Court.

As a campaign setting launched during the quickling-light 3rd Edition, it isn’t surprising that the fey also do not feature much in Eberron. Dungeon #178 notes that quicklings (the 4th Edition variety, given the publication date) form part of the population of Taer Lian Doresh, a feyspire located in Eberron’s faerie realm of Thelanis.

Forgotten Realms
The Forgotten Realms Campaign Set notes that quicklings live in the Cloak Wood north of Candlekeep. They can also be encountered in the Elven Court woods around Shadowdale (FRE1: Shadowdale). Dragon #172 mentions that in the forests of the North, the shapeshifting witch Elsura deals firmly with quicklings who mistake her cat form for an easy meal.

There is an unusual outcast quickling living in Kovel Mansion in FRC1: Ruins of Adventure. He is not malicious or hateful and wants only to be left alone. He can be bribed with gold to provide information.

In the 4th Edition Moonshae isles, quicklings have moved into the burrows once occupied by halflings in the heartland of Gwynneth. Neverwinter Campaign Setting places quicklings in the dark fey enclave locate in the woods near New Sharandar.

Since they were official residents of Oerth in the MC5: Monstrous Compendium Greyhawk Appendix, it isn’t surprising that quicklings are also mentioned in other 2nd Edition Greyhawk products. According to From the Ashes, quicklings are residents of the Menowood within Idee, and throughout the Gnarley Forest in locations where the trees are dense. They have also been seen in the Screaming Valley, an area they would not normally inhabit.

WGR5: Iuz the Evil notes that in the village of Dora Kaa in the Fellreev Forest, the insane mage Zemyatin counts a group of twenty quicklings as his close allies. Why they are allied with a crazy wizard is unknown, but the appearance of Zemyatin talking to his invisible companions makes him look as mad as he really is. It is these quicklings who appear again in BDKA5-03: The Mad Mage, to give us one of the 3rd Edition versions covered above. The quicklings are still accompanying Zemyatin, and we learn that their leader is a female quickling named Kae Nairie who sits on the crazy mage’s shoulder.

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Crypt of Lyzandred the Mad (1998)

In the Crypt of Lyzandred the Mad, a quartet of quicklings is randomly guarding a room containing rings of sands, each of which causes magical ageing at a different rate. The quicklings have no reason to be here, but the entire premise of this adventure is that the Crypt is a random dungeon, so they don’t really need one. The quicklings wear human-sized white gold rings as bracelets.

The other Living Greyhawk adventure with a 3rd Edition quickling (GEO8-01: Prince of the Oytwood) has a quickling named Quimble acting as a guide through the Oytwood in the Grandy Duchy of Geoff.

Planes of Chaos mentions that quicklings and spriggans serve as proxies for the Queen of Air and Darkness in her realm on the plane of Pandemonium.

Quicklings and many other evil fey can be found in the forests of the domain of Tepest (Servants of Darkness). They also dwell in the Shadow Rift, more specifically in the Northern Rift, where they live alongside the Arak and other fey (Ravenloft Gazetteer: Volume V).

In the 5th Edition Adventurers League adventure The Mist & The Wood (or rather in the adventure’s optional expansion) quicklings are part of the fey population of a section of the Quivering Forest which is transported from Faerûn to Barovia. This transition has left the resident fey unhinged.

The nature of the unique vessel known as the Spelljammer was one of the initial mysteries of the setting. The Legend of Spelljammer boxed set provided perhaps too much detail of what was essentially a large mobile dungeon. One of the buildings on the Spelljammer is the Communal Church of Wildspace. It is led by an elderly satyr and provides shelter to all manner of outcasts, including a number of quicklings.

Quickling miniature were released for 4th Edition, with a quickling runner in the Demonweb set of Wizards of the Coast pre-painted plastic miniatures, and for 5th Edition, in the WizKids Tyranny of Dragon set.

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D&D Miniatures: Demonweb #49 (2008), image from Pre-Painted Plastic Minis Gallery

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Icons of the Realms: Tyranny of Dragons #3 (2014), image from Pre-Painted Plastic Minis Gallery

Computer games
Quicklings have appeared in at least one computer game: 1988’s Pool of Radiance. This isn’t a particularly convincing depiction of a quickling, but in fairness, the only available reference picture at that point was in the Monster Manual II and this is not dissimilar, except for the addition of a shield.

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Pool of Radiance (1988), image from Blogging the Oldies

The author of the blog from which this picture comes notes that quicklings in the game were “very very deadly”. However, the clue corner section of The Role of Computers in Dragon #159 hints that quicklings in the game can be put to sleep.

Quickling names
Angwarnggaxx, Kae Nairie, Quimble, Toifil, Xixxit, Zazzafizzlezizzle.

Comparative statistics
For 4th Edition, the quickling runner statistics were used for the comparison.
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Monster Manual II, p103-104 (August 1983)
Dragon #90, “From the Sorceror’s Scroll: Hold that person!”, p16 (October 1984)
REF3: The Book of Lairs, “Quicklings”, p55-56 (September 1986)
Forgotten Realms Campaign Set, Cyclopedia of the Realms, p31 (July 1987)
Pool of Radiance video game (June 1988)
FRC1: Ruins of Adventure, p16 (August 1988)
FRE1: Shadowdale, p26 (May 1989)
Dragon #146, “Dragon are Wizards’ Best Friends”, p17-18 (June 1989)
Dungeon #19, “Encounter in the Wildwood”, p33-36, 58 (September 1989)
Dragon #155, “The Folk of the Faerie Kingdom”, p37 (March 1990)
MC5: Monstrous Compendium Greyhawk Appendix (April 1990)
Dragon #159, “The Role of Computers”, p53 (July 1990)
Dragon #164, “Pages from the Mages, part VI: Arcane Lore”, p63 (December 1990)
Dragon #172, “Lone Wolves”, p99 (August 1991)
The Legend of Spelljammer, The Grand Tour, p28-29 (August 1991)
MC11: Monstrous Compendium Forgotten Realms Appendix (December 1991)
DMGR4: Monster Mythology, p117 (April 1992)
From the Ashes, Atlas of the Flanaess, p55, 68, Campaign Book, p30, 42 (October 1992)
Dragon #187, “Bazaar of the Bizarre”, p22 (November 1992)
WGR5: Iuz the Evil, p58 (March 1993)
FRQ3: Doom of Daggerdale, p31 (September 1993)
Planes of Chaos, The Book of Chaos, p90 (July 1994)
Dragon #212, “Sage Advice”, p84 (December 1994)
Monstrous Compendium Annual Volume One (December 1994)
Dungeon #56, “The Bigger They Are…”, p32-36 (November 1995)
Monstrous Compendium Annual Volume Two, p24 (December 1995)
Forged of Darkness, p12-13 (January 1996)
Dragon #239, “The Dragon’s Bestiary: The Little People”, p52 (September 1997)
Servants of Darkness, p3 (February 1998)
Crypt of Lyzandred the Mad, p38-39 (October 1998)
Blood Spawn: Creatures of Light and Shadow, p80 (January 2002)
The Tome of Horrors, p218 (November 2002)
Ravenloft Gazetteer: Volume V, p105 (May 2004)
BDKA5-03: The Made Mage, p11-12, 19, 24 (2005)
GEO8-01: Prince of Oytwood, p11-12, 27, 34, 41-42, 49-50 (2008)
Wizards Presents: Worlds and Monsters, p41, 43 (January 2008)
Dragon #362, “The Eye of Madness: Tyrants of the Feydark” (March 2008)
Monster Manual, p215 (June 2008)
Dungeon #157, “Dark Heart of Mithrendain”, p104, 109, 119-121 (August 2008)
H3: Pyramid of Shadows, p19-20 (August 2008)
Adventurer’s Vault, p129 (September 2008)
P1: King of the Trollhaunt Warrens, p50, 56-57 (October 2008)
D&D Miniatures: Demonweb set, #49/60 (November 2008)
Dungeon #161, “The Temple Between”, p23, 42-44, 46 (December 2008)
Manual of the Planes, p135 (December 2008)
Dungeon #162, “Winter of the Witch”, p58-59 (January 2009)
Dungeon Delve, p108-109 (March 2009)
One Dark Night in Weeping Briar, p6-7 (March 2009)
Arcane Power, p55 (April 2009)
Dungeon #166, p38-39 (May 2009)
Monster Manual 2, p205 (May 2009)
Dragon #376, “Realmslore: Sarifal” ,p64 (June 2009)
Dungeon #169, “The Oasis of the Golden Peacock”, p34, 46-47, 49-50 (August 2009)
Revenge of the Giants, p114-115 (September 2009)
Underdark, p61, 96 (January 2010)
Dungeon #178, “Explore Taer Lian Doresh”, p78, 83 (May 2010)
Tomb of Horrors, p30-31, 70-71 (July 2010)
Curse of the Gray Hag, p4, 18-19 (August 2010)
Dungeons & Dragons comic #8, (June 2011)
Neverwinter Campaign Setting, p170 (August 2011)
Dragon #405, “Character Themes: Born from the Feywild” (November 2011)
Wizards of the Coast website, Wandering Monsters: The Fair Folk (November 2012)
Icons of the Realms: Tyranny of Dragons set, #3 (August 2014)
DDAL04-02: The Beast, The Mist & The Wood, p2, 5 (April 2016)
Volo’s Guide to Monsters, p187 (November 2016)

Other ENCyclopedia entries
Visit the Monster ENCyclopedia index for links to other entries in this series.

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I know these series only cover D&D iterations, but it can be noted that this monster (including a few others in the ENCylopedia) have carried over into Pathfinder, and since it shares a system design very close to 3rd Edition, would be worth noting.

Back in the day, my semi-regular group's high-level PCs had fallen into a bit of a rut, they'd all gotten terribly high DEX and would win initiative and blow up the monsters before they could do anything. Not too earthshaking or brilliant, just the +3 (or 4? with a 19?) reaction/attacking adjustment being a bit much for the d6 used for initiative.

So, in one dungeon, I tossed in this room with permanent darkness 2' over the floor, and quicklings zipping in and out through miniature 2' tunnels. The whole dungeon had vents haunted by Will-o-whisps, who would show up when anyone was getting killed to feed on their dying life force. The final battle with the literal boss, an arcanadaemon, had it using glassee & project image from behind a solid wall to rain spells on the party, then retreat into a prismatic sphere once they figured it out. Adversarial-DMing kid stuff.

Anyway, only time I ever used the Quickling.


Another excellent addition to the ENCyclopedia - and this one came so quickly after the previous entry! I could get used to this pace!


I love quicklings too, and have ever since my party ran into some journeying overland in Pool of Radiance.

In a 2nd Edition game I played in, we captured a quickling messenger of one of the big bads. After questioning him, we discussed what we should do with him, but that was cut short when our curious wizard cast haste on him. The DM ruled that the poor quickling just basically exploded at that point.

It annoyed me to no end that there was, for some reason, no official version of the quickling in 3.x. In one of my games, I had an evil-infested forest, and I grumpily had to go find unofficial stats for the creatures.


First Post
Quicklings are kinda cool. I recall they made for a pretty nasty encounter in AD&D 1e.
I wasn't too fond of their 4e version, though. Too slow & too ugly.

My guess/wish/idea for the next entry: Remorhaz!
(Mostly because my memory of the awesome 13th Age Bestiary version of them is still fresh; it features stats for their entire lifecycle from squib swarm to remorhaz queen!)


I was a bit of a spoil-sport back in my 1E days, and couldn't help but see the math of the Quickling.

A move of 96 meant 960 feet per minute, since it used 10 foot squares and one minute rounds. Triple that outdoors, where squares became 10 yards (30 feet).

That's 16 feet per second, or about 10.4 miles an hour. It goes up to 32 miles an our outdoors, which is far more respectable, but hardly terrifying.

Unless, of course, you're a poor D&D humanoid who moves at 120 feet per minute, or 2 feet per second. That's about 1.35 miles an hour, or about 4 mph outdoors.

Yeah, in AD&D Humans ran the hundred yard dash timed with an hourglass. :)


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Forgotten Realms:

In a cave just outside the small village of Maldobar there was a quickling named Tephanis that served as a messenger/lackey to two barghest whelps (Ulgulu and Kempfana) in the Dark Elf book Sojourn. He tangled with Drizzt at least once, and continued to be a thorn in his side by allying with some of Drizzt's enemies - the barghests, Caroak the Winter Wolf, and a human bounty hunter named Roddy.

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