A Rough Guide to Goblins
Racial Realms = None
Minimum Features = Green Skin, Pointed Nose, Pointed Ears
Prohibited Realms = Knowledge, Strength, Purity
Element = Any
Goblins are a numerous if short lived race with Green skin and pointed features. They are found throughout the land in areas of forest, swamps and low mountain passes. They live in primitive tribes living off of other cultures or as ‘servants’ to more powerful creatures. As a race they are considered to be lowly creatures, fond of poor humour and cruelty. The race as a whole is not inclined towards evil, but they are easily lead and unsavoury masters have cast them in the role of villain.
Much like the Orcs the history of the Goblin race is one of endless oppression with no significant contributions to civilisation as a whole.
Goblins do not concern themselves with their origins, but amongst those who study such things it is believed that they may have evolved from a Danari servant cast, corrupted in some way during the fall of the Danari Empire. Other theories suggest they evolved from a degenerate sub-species of Fay. What ever the truth the Goblin race existed in the lands west and south of Danar by the time of the first Dwarven war journals early in the second age.
Goblins never found their place in the world. They came into conflict with the Elves and Dwarves very early, over land disputes and relations have never recovered. Because Goblins can be easily coerced they became the fodder of choice for every low rent sorcerer or mountain troll in need of minions. Again and a again historical texts tell of goblins being massacred in their thousands by the forces of good / their masters / each other. If not for their rabbit like breeding cycle the entire race would have ended millennia ago.
Absolutely nothing of interest has happened involving the Goblins. At the most tenuous of stretches the re-emergence of the ‘High Fay’ may shed some light on the true origin of the Goblin race. Unfortunately Goblins are not really interested.
Outlook & Attitude
Goblins have an askance view of the world similar to the Fay. They do not have a good understanding of cause and effect or the concept of actions having consequences. What would be a minor tendency to vagueness and being naughty is twisted by malevolent masters into the more sinister cruelty they are know for. Removed from this cycle of abuse goblins become much less anit social (though still some what darker than the Night fay).
It is believed that Goblins are lazy and stupid which is not the case. Their ‘fay’ nature gives them a very simple view of the world, uncluttered by thoughts of consequences and responsibility. It gives them a relaxed, uncaring view of all things which other take for slow wits or ignorance. They can be so oblivious to their circumstances that they can find themselves in real danger without realising it.
They have quick cunning minds and are creative with their hands. They love gadgets and trinkets and puzzles. They are not great strategists or long term planners (attention span is an issue), but in short term endeavours they can be quite ingenious. The most skilled individuals have parleyed this trait into useful careers amongst the other races. They make proficient urban thieves and are equally at home in the woods taking the duties of scouts and rangers (if not out and out bandits!). Some Goblins become skilled craftsmen of small complex artefacts.
Unlike the Orcs (in whose company they often find themselves) Goblins are content, or at least uncaring of the oppression they endure. The Orcs blame the other race for their situation the Goblins don’t blame any one. They are mostly oblivious to all but the most immediate and personal matters. The other races think them mad, but being controlled by others removes the responsibility from the goblins to look after themselves. This is not an arrangement Goblins consciously understand, just a natural equilibrium into which they can drift. This is how Goblins so often end up the minions of evil men.
Goblins are green skinned, although the hue can vary from olive drab to almost florescent. Most have long pointed ears and noses to match. Cross species breeding has made these features less extreme amongst the more civilized (not so inbred) tribes. They tend to a small stooped frame, but this can vary greatly between tribes. Goblins often appear dressed in ragged or thread bare clothing stolen from (or discarded by) the other races who share their native habitat (Wood Elves, Dwarves, Orcs, etc). Even with such little choice they favour earthy colours, subdued greens where they can. Cosmopolitan Goblins who make their way in the human cities tend to be overcome by the sartorial choices available to them. They often assemble their wardrobe from a hotch potch of anything which catches their eye.
Likewise equip themselves with the spoils of other races (it is not that Goblins are in capable of making fine artefact’s, but they lack the drive to develop industry). Weapons are generally small and pointy and armour is light. When they are able to chose things for themselves they select clever inventive things.
Goblins do not have much in the way of a culture. They gather together in tribes, but this is often for survival rather than a need to herd into social groups. Goblins can be found throughout the lands. By preference they favor the natural surroundings of forest, swamps and low hills. They are usually removed from these areas by the other races who choose to make such areas their homes. The tribes follow a weird, primitive structure very loosely akin to a Fay night court (even the smallest clan having a King, etc.). Their mystical needs are catered for by shamen of many faiths. Because of their ‘difficulties with long term planning every thing is badly organized, from defense though maintenance to food supply.
They function as scavengers livng around the edges of other civilizations. For this reason Goblin tribes will often be found attached to other more powerful humanoid groups. Goblins are often allied with Orcs, orges and trolls. By preference they serve in the armies of upwardly mobile tyrants or budding dark lords. Although Goblins are considered slightly mad, masochistic even, there is some sense in these arrangements. In addition to the protection inherent in having a more powerful ally it means someone else is responsible for organizing their daily lives, even if it is done at the end of a whip and results in their deaths!