Emps

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Emps
Emp
Emp, from Ultima VII manual
Only appearance: Ultima VII

Emps are a sapient race of diminutive simian creatures living in a village among the Silverleaf trees of the Deep Forest. They appear in Ultima VII.

Description[edit]

Shy and gentle, emps live a pacifist lifestyle, abhorring violence and maintaining a strict vegetarian diet in line with their prohibitions against killing, even going so far as to build their dwellings out of dead wood that had naturally fallen from the surrounding trees.[1] While generally difficult to approach, the scholarly monk, Taylor, discovered that the tiny creatures had a great fondness for honey, and could easily be persuaded to abandon their natural anxiety around humans if presented with a chance to sample some. While it is not known how much contact Taylor ultimately had with the emps, the monk did give them their common name, believing that the beings possessed empathic powers.[2]

Nesting only in the branches of the rare Silverleaf tree, the emps came up against the threat of deforestation when it was discovered that Silverleaf root could be rendered into a gourmet dish. As demand for this delicacy swept across the taverns and restaurants of Britannia, the emps' natural habitat dwindled, and in light of this, the elder Salamon would eventually ask the assistance of the Avatar in petitioning the chief logger of the trees to cease in harvesting them.

While the cutting of Silverleaf trees was eventually halted, the emps eventually all succumbed to the strange sicknesses that attacked the "gentler" races of the multiverse during the time of the Imbalance. Lord British, while briefly encountering the Avatar in the Realm of Dreams during the hero's adventures on Serpent Isle, reported that the entire emp race had been stricken with a mortal affliction that severely dwindled their numbers and threatened the creatures with outright extinction.[3] It is ultimately unknown whether or not the emps survived this calamity, although no remnant of them was found during the days of the Avatar's return in Ultima IX.

Lore[edit]

This extremely peaceful creature lives in the forest. It shuns violence to such a degree that it is doubtful it will want to have anything to do with any humans it comes into contact with. Some emps possess a remarkable degree of intelligence and magical capability. Emps are so named for their empathic abilities. So sensitive are they to the pain and discomfort of other living things that they subsist on a diet of such foods as milk and honey.

Notable examples[edit]

Sketch of an Emp
  • Trellek: a young emp with a touch of wanderlust who desired to join the Avatar in their quest, but eventually was forced to decline due to the desires of his mate; helped the hero nonetheless by crafting a whistle with which they could summon the wisps.
  • Salamon: an elder emp who enlisted the Avatar's help to convince the logger, Ben, to stop the harvest of Silverleaf wood.

Trivia[edit]

Emps have some superficial similarities to Fuzzies. In particular, both races are small-size hairy humanoid, and both are proficient in magic.

References[edit]

  1. Taylor. The Forest of Yew (Ultima VII - in-game).
  2. Morris, Andrew P.. Key to the Black Gate (Ultima VII). Origin Systems, Inc.: 1992. Pages 26.
  3. Lord BritishUltima VII Part Two UsecodeUltima VII Part Two. "emps, cataclysm, illness."