Looking upon a kval, one might be convinced it is a wicked, wingless imp. It stands only about one-foot tall, has goat-like horns, bright orange cat-like eyes, and a long, spade-tipped tail. Its skin is pale blue, and its simian mouth is full of sharp teeth. It even smells of fire and brimstone. Perhaps its most alarming feature, however, is its large and disproportionate hands. This minuscule, wiry-looking creature has hands the size of a full-grown man’s, with three clawed fingers and a thumb. The hands, which appear far too heavy for the creature to wield, are actually capable of grasping and using Small-sized weapons. This creature is amazingly strong for its size.
Kval voices are deep and sinister, and often carry a thick abyssal accent. They hiss loudly when scared or angry.
Kval are the youngest of all the races in Gorpandia, having only come into the world in the last few years of the Third Age. A portal opened on the south eastern end of the Barlow Mountains and the Kval just came pouring out. They quickly spread across the continent, fighting evil wherever it could be found. Though thousands of them came out (and continue to come out) they aren’t a very populous race, so they’re not seen too commonly.
The secret of the kval’s strength is their incredible density. While standing only about a foot tall, a kval weighs over 100 lbs. It seems to be made of matter not common to this world. When badly injured, a kval bleeds a shadowy and insubstantial ooze that is toxic to all life. Dissection of these creatures is difficult, as their ichor penetrates nearly any barrier. From what can be ascertained, the kvals have many sack-like, though unidentifiable, organs, a skeletal system that seems to be composed of a dark metallic compound, and a fragile crystalline structure in their head that likely serves as a brain. Unfortunately, a kval’s body decomposes very quickly, leaving an indelible black stain only one day after death.
Kvals have unusual eating habits and will consume just about anything in large quantities. One peculiar habit that many find particularly disturbing is their propensity to devour fallen foes. A kval can consume an entire Medium-sized corpse in just a few hours, bones and all. While many find the act to be particularly ghoulish, the fact that kvals only find evil creatures to be palatable provides a small measure of solace.
Kvals have no sexual organs or any means to reproduce, though seem to spontaneously generate in naturally occurring demiplanes in which great evil is contained. As the evil wanes, the population of kvals increases. The frequency is exponential, so that by the time the demi-realm collapses, most of the rift imps entering the mortal world are brand-new or only a few days old. While very naïve at this young age, they are fully grown and functional adults. Kvals are immortal creatures that never show signs of age. Unfortunately, their unquenchable thirst to destroy evil often brings about their demise in less than a century after entering this realm.
Relations With Other Races
Kvals initially have trouble fitting in with other races. They can be ripe with bad habits and rash behavior. Kvals are also prone to a dark sense of humor that others may find tactless and crude. Another difference is that kvals care little for notions of love or romance, as they simply cannot relate. However, a kval can also be passionate, witty, caring, and inspiring. Once one gets to know a kval, it is much easier to overlook its sinister qualities and admire its fierce spirit. Many who manage to befriend a kval also find a life-long companion.
Consequentially, kvals get along well with elves and dwarves, especially those with strong convictions against evil. Their sinister countenance often relegates them to the company of benign halforcs and other, less-comely, non-evil, races. Kvals have trouble relating to the “prettier” races such as gnomes who often share a reciprocal disregard. Gnomes seem to harbor an innate fear of these creatures, and have trouble making friendships. Kvals do not typically get along with muses; each tend to see the other as an agent of evil masquerading as an ally of good.