Empire Wiki
The Waste Paper Merchant


Portobello Road Market


Collects and Sells all paper products thrown away in London


Trouble Ahead

Crumple, The Waste Paper Merchant is one of the least important and most derided members of the Hobgoblin community. He is a figure of fun among his fellow merchants at the Portobello Road Market and is often seen as a merchant of last resort for visitors to the Market.


Crumple claims to be able to access any piece of paper thrown away in the entirety of London. Tissues, Chip Wrappers, Shredded Documents, Newspaper, Loo Roll, Memos, Mimeographs, Take Out Curry Menus, Bad fan fiction, anything at all that is made of paper product and thrown in the bin (or any other device for disposal) is at his finger tips (and his fingertips are frequently made of such product so it all works out). He can also travel through any trash bin in the city. At first this would seem to be enormously useful, except that the mind utilizing this power is childish, cringing and easily intimidated by everything (Like Mome Wraths).


Our Heroes first met Crumple after being warned by a dream version of Professor Palindrome that it would be important to save him.

Once they arrived at the Purtobello Road Market, they managed to save him from a pair of giant green pigs in bowler caps. Crumple indicates they work for "who they work for" and he owed them oodles (what oodles are he did not elaborate on). He declared undying loyalty to the Motley and assisted in the investigation with the Blackmasks.

Towards the end of the investigation it is revealed he helped set up the Whitechapel Rippers for the kidnapping with the Blackmasks. He claimed "The Fish-Woman" made him do it.

Crumple continued to assist the motley, until the Market was attacked by Lord John Slatterly and John Appleseed. In an elaborate and drawn-out "death scene" he confessed that he had been reporting to someone else in the empire about the comings and goings of our heroes and warned Nellie Whistle (who he said was "always [his] favorite") about the coming of "the Jamais Vu". Whatever that means.

He is later seen as a captive of the Invaders who are using him to comb through the trash of the empire.