[Alright, alright, while technically not completely within the scope of our guidelines, we had to accept this pitch. Eric lives behind his keyboard in Sydney Mines, Nova Scotia. He loves most things geek, his favorite fantasy author is Terry Pratchett and his favorite beer is beer. He would be very good at doing things if only he was any good at doing. Check him out on Twitter @webstravaganza.]
By Eric Lortie
Everyone loves an underdog. And why not? It’s nice to see people beat the odds, or at the very least come out swinging when they have no real hope of succeeding. Take mad scientists or vampires, for example. At their height of their power they’re unstoppable. But towards the end of things, when there’s an angry mob with torches and pitchforks headed their way, narrative causality insists that once they reach this point they’re pretty much doomed.
But what about the people who serve these poor, doomed madmen? What about the servant to the underdog? You’d think they’d rank pretty low on the totem pole of survival. What about the Igors? Every megalomaniacal nutjob with a castle and an affinity for lightning must have one. And at the end of the day, when the mad scientist falls out of a window, or when the vampire is a pile of ill-prepared dust, do you ever see any dead Igors laying around? Certainly not. For a race of creatures with limps and lisps, they can also be quite sneaky when needed. How many times has a vampire, exceptionally supernatural creatures of the night that they are, been caught unaware by calling for his or her Igor only to hear “Yeth marthter?” from directly behind them?
Igors are very durable. They know their way around a graveyard and a sewing kit. Many of them go so far as to install backup organs because: “One never knowth what thorths of troubleths one will find themthelves in.”
The Igors, like all good servants, live by a code. An Igor has never been quoted as saying: “Where am I going to find a brain at thith time of night?” But their servitude only goes so far. When the aforementioned mob is coming across the drawbridge and The Master is lamenting his woes at living in a world that wants them dead, this is the moment when an Igor will always be found silently limping away and muttering: “We belong dead? Excuthe me? Where doeth it thay ‘we’?”
Igors have limitless advantages over the remainder of the undead. Not strong enough? That lumberjack just died, he had huge muscles! Problem solved. But it’s their minds, really, that put them ahead of everyone else in the game. In a world of lightning rods and windmills, they’re working on genetic engineering. (It involves really tiny stitches). Their ability to sneak up on vampires when summoned puts them leagues ahead of your garden variety supernatural ninja.
Finally, and most importantly, they are legion. In countries where you can’t spit without hitting a spooky castle, everyone employs an Igor. And with the exception of the scars, they all pretty much look alike. So how many Igors exist? No one knows, except the Igors. And they’re certainly not going to tell you. Every Igor is the son of an Igor, brother to many Igors and cousin to more Igors than they can remember without checking their diary.
Why change a winning formula?