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Life Expectancy: Typical lifespan is 75 years. Maximum lifespan is 500 years. Homeland: Kregus Average Height: 2'8"-3'9" Average Weight: 120-160 lbs. Preferred Classes: Warrior, Thief, Druid (shaman) Preferred Alignment: Chaotic/Evil Preferred Weapons: Big, sharp and/or spiky ones Aggression Level: High Intelligence Level: Below Average Magic Rating: Low Strength Rating: Above Average Weak Against: Intelligence, Cold, Nature-based magic Strong Against: Non-nature-based magic, Heat, Edged Weapons Related Races: Ogre, Orc Allied Races: Orcs, Trolls, Ogres Enemy Races: Elf, Human
Goblin Physiology is an interesting and complex thing, with many points for an anthropologist to examine in detail.
Goblins tend to be short, broad-chested and stocky with long, gangly, thick-muscled arms ending in broad, long-fingered hands. Their body-shape roughly resembles, in miniature, that of a warty-skinned upright, fur-less four-foot gorilla. Still, despite the strength of the goblins ape-like arms, they are not likely to win an arm-wrestling match with, say, a strong dwarf or an ogre - nor would they try.
Their hair tends to be coarse and greasy. Their large, impish faces are dominated by wide jaws filled with sharp teeth, bearing a strong similarity to those of sharks. The teeth are used to gouge and tear at flesh, removing it in ragged chunks from food and opponents alike.
Goblin eyes tend to be dark with a hint of yellow. The more yellow in the eyes, the better night-vision a goblin has. Those goblins with pure yellow eyes become effective hunters, thieves, assassins and trackers.
The rare red-eyed goblins are always destined for the path of the shaman, as their ability to recognise spiritual energies is present in their eyes from birth.
Perhaps from centuries spent deep underground, or perhaps from some slight taint of chaos, goblin bones are extraordinarily dense and robust compared to, say, humans.
At birth, goblin bones are only as strong as, say, an adult human. However, if they survive their first fifteen years, the bone rapidly hardens to become incredibly resilient. The older a goblin gets, the tougher the bone.
Because of the bone density, goblin remains take many years to decompose; it is for this reason that when powerful Goblins die their family will make heavy clubs with their thigh-bones and armour from the rest. Goblin bone armour isn't as common as this practice would make one suspect: not many goblins live long enough for their bones to reach the appropriate density to become armour-worthy.
As a cultural note: drunken goblins have been known to have head-butting contests which can easily last for several minutes. When veteran Hardboyz get together to 'bash hedz' the matches can easily take upwards of fifteen minutes.
Goblin skin tend to be strangely pigmented, with typical colouration being a dull green, dirty brown, or rusty red hue.
The skin is thick and becomes gnarled, knobbly, warty and tougher with age - eventually reaching a consistency much like tanned or cured leather. Slow-moving goblin ancients don't have arthritis, they just have skin with very reduced elasticity.
There are very few pain receptors in goblin skin and flesh - it takes a serious injury before a Goblin's body will register the sensation. Fortunately, skin grows back quickly and often slightly more resilient as the goblin's own blood will have a slight tanning effect on his own hide.
Goblins have thick, slightly caustic, pungent smelling blood that is quite viscous and somewhat poisonous to most races.
Those who are unfortunate enough to imbibe the blood tend to become nauseous within a matter of seconds - faeries are particularly susceptible to these ill effects. Blood splashed on the skin will irritate, perhaps bring up a rash, and blood which reaches the eyes will act in a fashion similar to onions and teargas.
Goblin Immune Systems
A strange property of goblin biology is that they don't get sick or easily infected after injury.
Indeed in addition to their hereditary high pain threshold, the goblin body does not show signs of shock, which allows for the application of crude prosthetics.
Furthermore, the goblin body does not attempt to reject these foreign objects. If the goblins believed in Blood Transfusion, they would find a similar situation with regards to goblin-blood transfusions.
Additionally, goblins tend to be resistant to blood-vectored toxins, as their own blood tends to kill off competitors.
Goblin Life Cycle
Goblins reproduce sexually, bearing litters as opposed to individual children.
Female goblins lack a strong maternal instinct, and goblin children have to fight for food and life every step of the way, competing with their siblings for what food is dropped down by their parents.
Goblin family units are held together via ancestor worship, focused on the bones of the goblins which passed before them. In this way the goblins' domestic society manages to keep something of coherence about it.
Since the maternal instinct is nearly gone from the species, goblin children develop survival instincts and muscle a lot more rapidly than many other races. Females of the species tend to be slightly larger and rounder than the males, but are a little less muscular. As goblins become older and more resilient they build up even more muscle and frequently have a cushioning layer of fat between muscle and tough skin.
Goblins tend to reach basic physical maturity at around fifteen years and mental maturity at around twenty-five. Strictly speaking, they can live to be around five hundred, although no goblin has achieved such a lifespan in centuries - early and unnatural or violent deaths being prevalent in goblin culture.
Occasionally, through genetic throwback, a goblin will be born who is just that bit larger and brawnier than other goblins. It is not known why.
A Note Regarding Vampirism and Lycanthropy
Like their larger cousins, the ogres and trolls, the peculiarity of Goblin blood and metabolism renders goblinkind free of both the blessing and curse of Vampirism and Lycanthropy.
Mind you, being bitten by either of those species is going to hurt, even if it does leave a foul taste in the biter's mouth.
Goblins tend in general to be belligerent, fearless, and self-serving. They will often play the sycophant to those who are more powerful than them, waiting for a chance to take their place, whilst at the same time bullying those weaker than them.
The goblin horde has been united a long time by the twin motivations of pride and xenophobia: - Pride in the assumed superiority of goblinkind and its military prowess - A xenophobic disdain and dislike for other races
As a result, goblins make for treacherous allies for any but other goblins - and even then only if the goblins are working together against other non-goblins.
This is perhaps why the goblin military and navy rose to such prevalence as foundations of goblin society all those generations ago - the unity and semi-discipline of military service became a stabiliser in goblin society, allowing the Goblin King an apparatus through which to direct the hordes of Kregus in times of need.
Goblin Society consists primarily of the following sections: Goblin King; Shamans; Goblin Navy and Army; Tinkers; Buzyboyz; and Lowlifes.
The Goblin King
The Goblin King is traditionally the biggest and hardest goblin of all. He wears a big hat, carries a big stick, and can kill the largest enemies.
Typically, a Goblin King also epitomises the cruel cunning of Goblinkind, as it takes years to get big enough and hard enough to be able to challenge for the position - and it takes cunning and competence to survive that long in the dangerous tunnels of Kregus.
The Goblin King is feared and respected by goblinkind for being ded 'ard enough to take on the job in the first place, and clever enough to keep it for more than a week afterwards. There is something to be said for the goblins' form of meritocracy, despite its crude and brutal nature.
Apart from the mandate to rule won by strength, the shamans have contrived a symbology to back up a Goblin King's physical claim to the throne with a spiritual mandate - the King's hat. The ancient ritual of giving the king his hat both cements a King's position, and reinforces the influence and importance of the shamans within goblin society.
The shamans are the priests of Goblinkind.
Goblins follow a religion known as animism. They worship inanimate objects. A goblin's sword is his guardian god. A tree a food-god, hiding-place-god, or chair-father depending on how the goblin in question views the tree.
Goblins have little to no regard for life, putting more value on possessions. More possessions means more gods on your side. A bigger sword is a stronger god. There are no goblin heroes, only sword-gods that a goblin wielded to gain great victory.
The Goblin Military:
The Kingdom of Kregus prided itself on its army and navy, and the two forces worked well together.
At the time in recent history, when Larket annexed Kregus, it was the King's failure to create any kind of intelligence or espionage section within the military which lead to Kregus' forces being out-manoeuvred and Kregus' subsequent defeat.
History shows, time and again, there is no such thing as a 'fair fight' - the most clever, strong and ruthless win, and in the capture of Kregus, it was cleverness that won out for the humans.
The Army of Kregus follows a simple structure, with three main unit designations:
Shieldboyz are armed with tower shields and short stabbing spears. The shields are not pretty, but effective. The most basic form the shields take are thick-planked timber. Higher-ranked shieldboyz may get some kind of metal edging and reinforcement.
The training of shieldboyz is traditionally done under the auspices of goblin naval marines who drill the shieldboyz in the naval tactic used when shielding the cannon crew along the gunwales: the marines lock the tower shields together, hindering enemy arrows from finding their targets.
This defensive tactic is even more effective in the Kregus tunnels where arrows cannot be angled high enough to fall down over the shields, and must instead fly straight and ineffectually into the solid timber planks. The stabbing spears are for just that: once the shieldwall is close to the enemy, the shieldboyz press in, and jab the spears into whatever is on the other side. This is achieved through crescent-shaped cuts in the side of the shield, designed to let a spear-head past while providing leverage for a wide angle of attacks.
Dartboyz are armed with knives, gloves, blowpipes, and pouches containing bone darts. The darts are sorted by poison - some for paralysing prisoners-to-be, others with a fast-acting toxin obtained from certain fungi which can be easily found in the deeper caverns of Kregus.
The darts are small, and can easily slip through the slight gaps and chinks all armours suffer from, assuming good fortune or a skilled dartboy. While the darts lack stopping power, they are incredibly fast to reload, and all it takes between shots is a deep breath and a new dart placed in the pipe with a gloved hand.
Dartboyz primary bragging right stems from what distance they can hit an eye. Frequent contests of this nature occur during recreation times: the dartboyz will place skulls on a long table, and then take turns shooting darts at the empty sockets. Dartboy hierarchy is determined by accuracy.
The Goblin elite and veterans. Most, but not all, tend to be shieldboyz or naval marines who have lived and fought long enough to develop truly tough bones. They are larger, meaner, more cunning, and all-around more dangerous than the rank and file of the goblin army. The Goblin King's traditional guard consists solely of Hardboyz.
Naval Infrastructure is surprisingly similar to that of most human navies, and consists of the following unit designations:
Sailboyz tend to be those goblins which are not large enough to be Shieldboyz or a Goblin Marine, but are smart enough to leave their lowlife background behind.
They are responsible for all the basic duties of maintaining and assisting in the sailing of a ship.
These are goblins who were big enough to join the army as a shieldboy, but were also smart enough to qualify for training in naval warfare.
There is great prestige in being a Goblin Marine, and most shieldboyz in the army wish they were one.
Goblin Marines are trained in everything a shieldboy does, as well as ship-to-ship combat, boarding actions, and gunnery.
These are the Goblin Marine version of a hardboy, and some of the most dangerous Goblins in existence on account of the unique mix of goblin strength, endurance, and cunning they represent.
Goblins don't have doctors or healers.
The goblin worldview with regards to the Animus of objects hasn't yet resulted in a goblin stopping to say "Hey guys, what's say we apply some salve, put in a few stitches, and stop this arm from dropping off in a month's time".
Indeed, the typical Goblin response is "'ere, dat armzabit useless. Cutidoff and get'im to tha Tinkerz".
While the arm is usually then consumed, the injured goblin gets taken to the Tinkers' caves where the Tinkers... well, they tinker. A lucky goblin gets something useful out of the deal.
But even the unlucky ones are still 'joined' with their concept of 'god'. So what if their arm has been replaced with a device for picking noses? There isn't another goblin alive with a nose-picking-arm-god, now is there? That's right. Let envy consume them until they scream from the injustice.
These are goblins who are smart enough to form something of a merchant class. These goblins have the concept of Barter Economy down pat, and if there is any commerce to be found in Kregus, it's because some lowlife got creative.
General Commerce in Kregus is currently recovering in the aftermath of the Larket Occupation, although the odd shop is still open here and there to a goblin with the right stuff to swap.
These are goblins who aren't big or thick-boned enough yet to be in the army, aren't smart enough to make it in the navy, don't have the magical awareness to be a shaman, and lack the creativity to make it as a merchant.
Lowlifes that live long enough to get larger end up joining the army.
All goblins start as lowlifes when born. It is up to them to find the right god to bring them to glory
Goblin Hierarchy and Power Structures
The Goblin King is chosen in a very straightforward fashion: Those boyz that think they've got what it takes all walk into an Arena. The one that can convince the others of his mandate (usually by maiming or death) gets to wear the biggest hat-god of all.
The Shamans are by and large more concerned with the accumulation of gods: items that are large enough or filled with enough juju to have a strong animus, and thus compel the respect of other shamans and goblin society at large. A shaman is a hoarder of magical trinkets and assorted large bric-a-brac - not all of it useful. Consequently, Shamans tend to make their homes in the deepest, harder-to-access parts of Kregus to help keep sole control over their item-gods, and hire big tough goblin boyz to act as body guards.
Military Hierarchy is simple: the bigger and 'arder the goblin, the bigger the weapon-god he can claim and hold onto, and thus strength and endurance form the principal criteria for ranking.
Naval Hierarchy is a little bit more complex, as running a ship requires two things: Thinkin' and Fightin'. Ship captains have to show the ability to think before they get to fight for the position. However, once the minimum of cunning and nautical understanding is confirmed, the strongest applicant gets to wear the big captain's hat.
There is no hierarchy. The taint of chaos is strongest in those Goblins who become tinkers. All that matters to them is tinkering, and making goblins into 'gods' themselves through prosthetics of all shapes, sizes, and efficacy. A visit to the tinkers is pretty much all an injured goblin can look forward to if he doesn't get eaten. Goblin Medicine ain't pretty.
Goblins have a largely animistic worldview: they worship inanimate objects.
A goblin's sword is his war god. A tree a food-god, hiding-place-god, or chair-father depending on how the goblin in question views the tree.
More possessions mean more gods on your side. A bigger or enchanted sword is a stronger god. There are no goblin heroes therefore, only sword-gods that assisted a goblin in gaining victory.
As an extension to this belief, Goblins have little to no regard for life, and no fear of death, as they know when dead their bones will become gods in their own right. Thus, they put more value on getting bigger and stronger so their bones become stronger gods after death.
Shamans are the Goblins who can sense the spirit of item-gods, and can affect them through rituals and incantations.
It is said that the biggest item-god of them all is the world itself, but the concept of such a large god is too much for any but the shamans, who continue to craft rituals for this unnamed deity on behalf of goblinkind.
The goblins are mostly based in the vast warren of tunnels and caverns known as Kregus.
Rumour has it the Goblin's realm was first discovered by outsiders when some miners dug a tunnel too deep near Alithrya
The goblins couldn't tell you how long they've been around. They've had their ups and downs, and at one point were assisting the Archmosian Empire.
Most recently the goblins have come into direct conflict with humans after Larket successfully annexed Kregus. Larket withdrew its forces when Roldan disappeared and the Timelord Vuryal returned. With Vuryal's departure, Kregus was once more independent by default, and the fate of Kregus was once more in goblin hands.
A note on Goblin Literature
The Goblins haven't been much into record keeping outside of military records, and even those are temporary things kept for logistical purposes.
Goblins write in pictographs, typically using ink or blood on hides and skins. Hides are considered useful because, once records are no longer needed, they can be eaten or turned into clothing.
A Goblin King made famous for declaring war on the Giants - his legend has continued through oral tradition, and even today 'Nikk Off' is a common curse.
It is rumoured the shamans still search in secret for the legendary king-god, the 'Ever-Shredding Armour of Nine-finger Nikk', lost to them ages ago when they waged the epic war against the giants, who never even noticed it occurring. The armour stuck to the bottom of a giant's sandal for a while, only to be scattered across the world of Hollow.
Ever since the loss of the armor, shamans have presented new Goblin Kings with the King God-Hat: An immense and elaborate helm/crown used only for official king's business. A king's throne has special cranes, pullies, and levers to help keep the King God-Hat upright while the king is seated.
While his name is not widely known, he shall forever be famous as 'tha git king wot lost Kregus to a hyumin'. Not much of a legacy, but infamy is still fame of sorts.