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Kobolds

Country: Western Rune, Midel, Al de Baran
Avg. Height 3.5 - 4 ft (1 - 1.2 m)
Avg. Weight 60 - 80 lbs (25 - 35 kg)
Life-span: 60-90 years
Wild Kobold Proficiency: Survivalism, Hunting, Self-Sufficiency
Civil Kobold Proficiency: Scouting, Research, Study

There are two sorts of Kobolds in the modern world, commonly referred to as 'Wild' and 'Civil'. Be careful not to get ahead of yourself and refer to the latter as 'Civil-IZED', however, as this can be seen as a racist remark and is an unfortunate scar from Rune's past. Regardless of their typing, all Kobolds are known for their keen senses in sight, smell and even hearing. They make the finest scouts of any of the races for that reason, combined with how easily they stay underfoot and fit into areas that many would be unable to go.

Wild Kobolds are either decently-sized nomadic tribes or much smaller groups of thieves and highway robbers that practice their 'trade' on the roads between Karnorc, Glastheim and Midel. No matter the circumstance they have a much more savage look to them than their Civil cousins, with fur more tousled, expressions more wild and features more canine-like. Wild Kobolds are commonly characterized as 'vicious', but that isn't entirely their fault.

Civil Kobolds are generally meek and quiet little creatures, found most often in the cities of Midel and Al de Baran. They dress fancifully and seem to enjoy trying to look 'human', complete with things like canes and fancy jewelry. Despite a lack of skill with magic that isn't in the Spirit Element, they make excellent researchers in magical and just about any other field that can be studied by way of texts and scrolls. Their sharp eyes make them surprisingly excellent candidates for these jobs, and combined with an above-average memory they become a formidable force in the realm of libraries and academies.

Appearance

Kobolds are short, bi-pedal, dog-like creatures that typically come in two varieties. The original and older sect of Kobolds are the tribal nomads that roam the western wilds of Rune as well as Goblin lands. They oft wear war paint that stains their blue fur red or green and have a far more 'canine' appearances to their muzzle and limbs. These folk are known as 'Wild' Kobolds, the sort who have not and will not adapt to modern life and maintain a life of self-sufficiency and give and take from the wilderness.

A newer group of Kobolds deemed 'Civil' or 'Civilized' are a more recent addition; they are fortunate souls who began as little more than pets and entertainment for wizards. Originally amounting to court jesters that were taught magic despite Kobolds' inability to properly harness it, they have grown over time and generations into surprisingly apt scholars and researchers… Though their racial limitations remain, and many are still unskilled at properly harnessing mana.

Regardless of their type, all Kobolds share similar features! Every kobold has a forward hunch due to their skeletal structure, and their ears vary like a dog's from floppy to pointed. They have a single row of sharp teeth in their mouths and a typical canine nose with similar eyes. Kobolds are covered in fur that generally ranges from light brown to black, but can also grow in a peculiar tint of blue.

Fashion

Wild Kobolds dress themselves in whatever they can find or harvest, often winding up in leathers and hides or crudely crafted splintmail. They use primitive tools and weapons, generally sticking to blades, spears and bows over all else. Wild Kobolds abhor firearms and all manner of modern technology, finding it both loud and impossible to wrap their heads around. Their place is a sad one in society, and at present they are a slowly dying part of Rune's darker side of history.

Civil Kobolds have it a little better, and are usually either researchers or proper scouts. The former dress in robes and tiny clothes while the latter often wear finely-crafted armor and feathered hats. Many Civil Kobolds are fond of jewelry and canes, preferring to look as fanciful as possible (or perhaps to fit in better). There is still a stigma within Rune, sans Midel, that they are little more than wizards' little toys or pets, but it's slowly dying out. These Kobolds, at least, are thriving moreso than their wilder kin.

Culture

Wild Kobolds have little culture to speak of that isn't nomadic and mostly based on oral retellings of stories and great hunts. They move through what tiny portion remains of their land in western Rune, near to Midel, and frequently dip into Goblin territory where they're allowed to hunt. Few tribes remain, though each has its own Chief, as well as a Storyteller and usually a small group of Shamans.

These Kobolds take great pride in their honed skills and keen senses, and nearly all have a tense or grand story about a terrifying hunt or the stalking of difficult prey. Wild Kobold Heroes are great hunters and great leaders who stood up to Rune's oppressive historical figures alike, the latter of which are held to a higher honor for their martyrdom. Wild Kobolds are not a deeply magical people, for they can't harness it incredibly well, but their Shamans do practice Spirit Magic to some degree.

Civil Kobolds congregate in Midel and the wizardly city of Al de Baran, immersing themselves in the culture there and electing to resist their wilder urges. Their culture is that of modern Rune's, of hustle-and-bustle and busy life. Those in Al de Baran often assist members of the Wizard's Guild with study, and more recently have even been held on the same level as them rather than being treated like second-class citizens. Their willingness and spark to learn went unrecognized for some time, but that has been amended.

In Midel, Civil Kobolds are more often scouts and governmental figures. The former operate within the local militia more often than not, Tensard's Lions, and put their sharpened senses and fast fingers to work making sure that the areas around the city are safe and secure. Midel is the only place a Kobold holds any governmental position, and there are in fact several there who oversee magical, economical and societal matters.

Cities

Wild Kobolds have no city to call home, and are nomadic. They roam the western wilds of Rune, between Midel and Glast, generally staying near the shoreline. Several tribes also brave the thick and dangerous woods of Goblin territory.

Civil Kobolds have no town of their own, either, and generally reside as citizens in either Al de Baran or Midel. They're rare in the former and uncommon in the latter; easily Aurora's least represented race in day-to-day life. Some Civil Kobolds do live in other cities, of course, but they are very few and far between.

Government

Wild Kobolds have a Chief and a Storyteller who rule over the tribe until they are slain or die of old age. The Chief's responsibility is to settle disputes, read the lay of the land, decide where the tribe will move next, and finally to participate in hunts and prove his worth. The Storyteller is predictably a lorekeeper of sorts, tasked with remembering and occasionally putting to writing the many legends and myths of old hunts and heroes alike. There's no more 'government' than that, though Shamans are more valuable than typical hunters due to their rarity. Their treatment is still almost exactly the same, however they are not required to hunt.

Civil Kobolds are some of the government in Midel, taking roles as treasurers and peacekeepers. They keep the peace more with word and law than tooth and claw, seeing surprising success in most matters that require it.

Names

Wild and Civil Kobolds share similar surnames, generally simple and basic. They can be as rudimentary as one simple word or something more like a Dwarf's Clan Name, but with a distinct wild 'theme'. Wild Kobolds follow Native American or African first naming structure, while Civil Kobolds follow typical Runian names.

Examples of a Wild Kobold Name:
Chike Shadesnout
Okoro Flower
Cha'tima Bloodtooth

Examples of a Civil Kobold Name:
Jafe Leafpaw
Davis Greensnout
Mary Apple

History

Kobolds' history is one of Rune's darker side. Though almost all of it is a matter of deep regret now, there's little that can be done to make it up to those affected. When Rune was young, its 'prettier' races held a certain disdain for Goblins, Kobolds & Orcs. They exiled many of them onto boats destined for the southern islands of El Quattor and promptly forgot about them, while offering those who remained plots of land that none of them wanted. These unwanted lands were less than desirable for a reason, either barren or incredibly dangerous, and so began a difficult struggle to eke out an existence for the Kobolds and their kin.

As Rune grew larger in power, they targeted Kobolds as well as Orcs for their inferior intellect (compared to Goblins) and general ignorance about the resources on their land. Acres and acres of territory was bought for what amounted to nothing, especially from the Kobolds, and over the years the lands in which they could roam unpunished became tinier and tinier. Shrinking territory meant a shortage of supplies, and a shortage of supplies turned many Wild Kobolds to theivery and robbery along the many roads and highways of Rune.

Rune struck back, of course, ignorant or perhaps turning a blind eye to its own two-faced nature. Kobolds were cut down for their apparent mis-deeds, and their numbers continued to shrink until Rune's government finally became aware of the larger scope of the problem and tried to take steps to correct it. In the meantime many Kobolds who sought to learn of modern culture were brought into Rune's cities, especially Geffen and Al de Baran, and treated as pets or jesters who were taught magic for the purpose of entertainment. Blissfully unaware of this fact, it wasn't until years later that their purpose finally became clear and many lashed out in anger.

Efforts to salvage what remained of the Wild Kobolds proved hopeless, as relations were already tense and those still roaming the wilds took this as another trick. Wild Kobolds remain ostracized and occasionally violent to trespassers on their territory for this reason, and as of now have not been soothed in any shape or form. Their Civil brothers have been lucky enough to find some semblance of respect in Al de Baran, and moreso in Midel, and carry on the legacy of the Kobold into new frontiers.

Race Relations

Wild Kobolds

Goblins

Wild Kobolds appreciate the land that Goblins have offered them and make use of it frequently. They are the only race with which relations are not tense and angry, though Wild Kobolds have what amounts to zero interest in the Goblins' technology and smelly town. It might be better for both parties that way.

Orcs

Wild Kobolds' land is between Karnorc and Midel, so they see Orc visitors to it fairly often. The Orcs were taken advantage of just as much as them, in Rune's past, and so they share at least some vague kinship in that matter. Orc and Kobold hunters will occasionally work together on prey that neither could handle alone, but such contact is rare. Both are more keen to leave one another alone.

Everyone Else

Wild Kobolds are fiercely protective of their small territory and tend to react to any of Rune's 'pretty' races violently. They won't always attack, but harsh words and orders to leave are more common than not. Most travelers and adventurers are warned to stay out of their territory.

Civil Kobolds

Dwarves & Goblins

To a Civil Kobold, Dwarves and Goblins alike are dedicated smaller Humans who produce works of wonder. They're fine traders and generally kind, which is all that could be asked for. Midel has its share, though there are few in Al de Baran, but they are welcome.

Orcs

Orcs are rather brutish, though they do have lucky Shamans with more magical affinity than the warriors of their race. Kobolds have no such blessing, and that can bother many of them, but what can be done?

Humans

Humans are generally kind, and at least recently treat Civil Kobolds with the same respect they would treat their other peers. They have been unkind in history, but in theory their unkindness is what now allows the Civil sorts to grow and thrive. An interesting conundrum.

Elves & Cubi

The most skilled races with magic on Aurora, and the source of great envy among most of Koboldkind. Whether that manifests in the form of jealousy or more in the form of selecting a role model differs from person to person.

world_setting/races/kobolds.txt · Last modified: 2016/08/18 20:27 by karn