Goblin sprite example!

Goblins

Country: Southwestern Rune, Karnorc, Republic, El Quattor Grande
Life-span: 60 - 90 years
Avg. Height 4' - 5' (1.2 - 1.5 m)
Avg. Weight 70 - 100 lbs. (31 - 45 kg)
Proficiency: Quick Wit, Mechanical Know-How, Business & Industry

Goblins are short in stature but large in mind, and are well-known for their wit and cunning as well as their very impressive business-sense. There's a saying that “bargaining with a goblin is like challenging a master swordsman to a duel”. The idea is that you won't come out on top, and more often than not you'll 'barter' yourself into a worse position than the already outrageously overpriced one you were in from the beginning. Business is not a natural thing for goblins, by any means, but it is ingrained into their culture such that it's hard not to absorb its influence in day-to-day life.

Small size does not entirely limit them, however! Goblin mages can go toe-to-toe with nearly any other race, except in matters of Light and Dark Magic, and they are very well-known for being exceptional thieves (in actual robbery and in highway robbery, when it comes to selling goods) and even assassins… Their diminutive size is a hindrance when it comes to martial weaponry, and most can't wield larger weapons without tiring themselves more than is generally worth it. They make up for it with their impressive technical know-how, however, and many can pick up firearms from an early age with surprising ease.

As for crafts and trades, Goblins are hardly the most technically knowledgeable race on Aurora, but they approach technology in a way that even the master Dwarves cannot copy. Goblin technology is impressive and mostly functional, though it can be particularly slap-shod and prone to exploding just as much as working. Goblin Town itself is proof of this; a gigantic camp-turned-technological-wonderland where wooden buildings or even tents made from hide often have some giant mechanical monstrosity protruding from them as though it was just thrown there without any eye for aesthetic or care for safety.

Appearance

Goblins reach four to five feet tall at maturity, and are known for being rather thin and scruffy. Their skin ranges from light to dark brown with scattered patches of similarly-colored fur, and all goblins have pure white hair from birth. There are two reasons, however, that this is not a trait they enjoy: First, almost all Goblins wear masks to hide their faces from Aurora's 'prettier' races. This isn't for their own benefit but instead for everyone else's… Goblins have sunken, beady eyes with inset nostrils and needle-like teeth placed inside a mouth that rests in a half-open position. The second ties in to the first - when everyone's wearing a mask, it's hard to tell who is who in everyday life.

Most Goblins dye their hair an impressive array of vivid colors for both of the above reasons, from brilliant pinks to swirls of multiple colors. It can be a competition or game among Goblin friends to see who can pull off the craziest design or greatest array of colors in their hair and wardrobe. The more you stand out, the less you blend in! And when everyone covers their faces, you want to stand out.

Fashion

Goblin fashion is indicative of their culture - the fancier the material, the more the respect. Silk and other fine materials are highly valued, and flashy colors carry a similar reverence just like in hair tones. Rings and thick jewelry are a very popular accessory, the more of them the better, and most don't seem to have a good sense of when things become 'gaudy' or 'over-designed'. Gold is the most valued material in Goblin culture, and will be bought at an incredibly high price by their kind.

Similarly, every Goblin wants a different mask with a different aesthetic to try and stand out from the rest. Most are made of wood or fine metals, though the heavier sort can cause back problems and aren't often used. Each needs a set of slots for the eyes and usually a small grate for the nose and/or mouth. Goblins lift their masks when they eat, more often than not, but that's usually the only time you'll find them unmasked.

Culture

Goblin culture is incredibly materialistic, moreso than any other culture on Aurora. Social standing is almost always tied directly to how much money they've acquired, and even the 'royal family' follows the same standard. The richest Goblin has the title of King, and takes on the moniker 'King/Queen Gobble Gob I'. The trend continues down the line of the ten richest Goblins, from King/Queen Gobble Gob II all the way to King/Queen Gobble Gob X. The almighty zeny is extremely prevalent in their culture, such that it's nearly impossible for a Goblin to grow old in any of their settlements without picking up a few tricks.

Tradecrafts are seen as the end-all be-all of desirable occupations, notably gunsmithing and gadgeteering. Goblin smiths, tailors and other craftsman exist, but the most valued are those who can use gunpowder or fashion technological devices. Unlike the Dwarves and Humans who make use of magi-technology, Goblins exclusively prefer to work with metal and oil. Magi-technology is considered 'cheating' within their social circles, and while it won't be met with hostility it might get a roll of the eyes and a shake of the head.

Cities

Goblins are primarily located in Southwestern Rune, El Quattor Grande and the Republic of Schwartzvald in general order of population. The southwestern lands of Rune are specifically theirs, and while their home city - 'Goblin Town' - used to be part of a unified Rune, it's now a singular City-State. They trade with most every race in the Orbis of Midgard that they can, often seizing the better deal whenever possible, and use the materials that they import to further expand Goblin Town. Goblins are seen as industrious, if definitely quirky, by most of their neighboring races.

They also make up a large part of Karnorc, formerly known as Geffen. While Orcs outnumber them five or six to one in their own city, Goblins are still a very important part of Karnorc's infrastructure and industry. Their love of oil and steam suits the Orcs just fine, and they handle most of Karnorc's trade as well as helping to supply the Orcs with highly sought after firearms.

The Goblins in El Quattor Grande are actually a reminder of Rune's troubled history. In the distant past, many of Rune's 'uglier' races were viewed as nuisances and exiled en masse to the southern islands that now comprise El Quattor where they thrived - much to everyone's surprise. By the time the Republic made to settle and colonize those lands their industry was already booming, and when the residents of the islands grew tired of the police state that the Republic had created… It was Goblins who armed them with superior technology, more than any other race, and helped liberate them.

The Republic holds fewer Goblins, most of them factory workers or menial laborers. They once thrived there because of their tolerance for the poor environment and surprising work ethic, but after the recent Rune-Republic War they seem to be swarming back into Rune and the southern islands of El Quattor and away from the Republic in droves.

Government

As mentioned above, Goblinkind are ruled by the richest of them. He or she goes by the moniker of 'King (or Queen) Gobble Gob I', preceded by the other 9 richest goblins who are called King/Queen Gobble Gob II - X. Rather than an awkward system with ten monarchs, they all form a council that handle the important decisions by way of discourse and vote. The most important of those decisions is matters of trade, and the least important are matters of public safety and concern.

While Goblins in Goblin Town definitely don't live in a nation of anarchy, they do live in one of very loose regulation. The pursuit of greater technology and new knowledge is valued highly over that of ethics and morals. This is the reason most Goblin technology is unsafe, and why most of them don't seem to mind. Death and personal injury are the costs of doing business, and in a system without regulations there is a healthy amount of both. Those who don't perish in their pursuits are rewarded with fame and fortune alike!

Names

Goblins follow what could be called a whimsical naming structure wherein there isn't really such a thing as a surname. Everyone receives a unique name, with a few exceptions such as families with a preference for Humans' or other races' naming structures, and most of them tie in with Goblin culture. Names and surnames with words like 'gear' or 'spark' or much of anything to do with technology are incredibly popular. In addition, most names are kept 'short and sweet' so that they can be pronounced quickly. Most Goblins also prefer a sort of charm to their childrens' names, like a rhyming scheme or mirrored syllables.

Examples

Pukla Puki
Trixie Fixie
Dob Palecog
Biggs Wiggum

History

Goblin society has been very similar to how it is today for a considerable length of time. In the early days of Rune they were ostracized, much like Orcs and Kobolds, for being 'ugly' races that didn't suit the rest of the rising civilization's aesthetic. Many were exiled away to the southern islands of El Quattor, where they built their own early empire, and the land disdainfully set aside for Goblins in southwestern Rune is more or less territory that nobody else wanted due to its wild and untamed nature.

Early Goblinkind had to fight for survival nearly every day against wild beasts in a thick and dangerous wood, and many of their early tents and wooden structures still exist to this day. They've been built upon with metal and other patchwork, of course, but not because there's any tradition to uphold - more like it would be a waste of valuable material otherwise. Goblins were among the first to bring firearms to Rune, though not to very much excitement among its people, as well as the first to introduce modern weaponry like elemental grenades.

Race Relations

Dwarves

Goblins and Dwarves have what could be called a 'friendly' rivalry, though Dwarves are leagues ahead of their masked competitors in nearly every respect. With Goblins' refusal to embrace magi-technology as the new standard and insistence to remain working with materials like metal and oil, they're likely to continue dragging behind until the distance between them becomes too great to even call a 'fair fight'.

Orcs

Orcish kind are often endeared to Goblins, drawn to their diminutive size and vivid colors. The typical orcish warrior is likely to find a goblin cute or endearing, while a shaman or wiser sort might respect them more for their cunning and intelligence. Allied in their status as two of Rune's 'ugly' races, trade between them is non-stop… And Orcs are some of the few to have the privilege come out ahead, when it comes to Goblin dealings.

Kobolds

Kobolds and Goblins couldn't be farther apart in their ideals and practices, but they share an alliance that was formed long ago in Rune's earlier days. Like Orcs, they have a brotherhood in being 'ugly' races, though Kobolds have far less to gain from Goblinkind than the greener members of this triple coalition. As Kobolds have a disdain for firearms and gadgetry, the only thing Goblins can offer them is privilege to hunt on their lands. This is a privilege that the Kobolds enjoy, at least, because Goblin land is teeming with vicious animal life.

Humans

Humans are infrequent visitors to Goblin Town, but they come often enough. Most Goblins don't see Humankind as anything more than mooks to be oversold and underbought, but their relationship remains amiable in most cases. Adventurous Goblins in particular love to work with Human adventurers for their versatility and general knack with leadership. Rune, and especially its Humans, have been apologetic for their treatment of the diminutive Goblins in the past. That, it seems, is good enough for them.

Elves & Cubi

Elves and Cubi are held on more or less the same level of general disinterest to the majority of Goblinkind. Both races seem to have an even greater distaste for technology than even their Kobold neighbors, enough to turn their noses up. Cubi in particular seem to disapprove of Goblins' scraggly and tiny forms more often than not, though it's yet to lead to any hostility between the races. They simply don't see eye-to-eye, and neither are often willing to try.

world_setting/races/goblins.txt · Last modified: 2016/08/18 18:40 by karn