Goblin


Goblins are a race of goblinoids, numerous throughout Exandria.

Appearance[edit | edit source]

Goblins are short green-skinned people who typically have thin, dexterous fingers and strong, nimble legs.[11]

History[edit | edit source]

During the Calamity, the evil god of war and conquest, Bane, the Strife Emperor, revealed himself to the dranassar, a strong, cunning, multitudinous race of humanoids then living in what is now Xhorhas. Many of them, enthralled by Bane's power, followed him willingly, and their capital of Ghor Dranas became the seat of the Betrayer Gods' power. Those who opposed him were bent to his will and were corrupted first. When Bane needed skirmishers, he twisted some dranassar slaves into goblins; for other roles he created hobgoblins and bugbears. As the war raged on, even those loyal to him were corrupted to fill the ranks.[12][13]

Bane and his goblinoid legions repeatedly clashed with Melora and her followers, and she finally defeated him in the south of the continent now called Tal'Dorei. The goblins left behind there have run wild across the Rifenmist Peninsula and even into the rest of Tal'Dorei for centuries.[14]

In the first centuries after the Calamity, the goblinkin tribes of Xhorhas were mostly confined to that region of Wildemount: Uk'otoa guarded the waters to the south for the Ki'Nau, and the surviving dwarves of Grimgolir prevented any tribes from moving to the west.[15] However, around 535 PD, Gruumsh-worshipping goblins stormed the Lushgut Forest and desecrated Sepesca, the Ki'Nau's holiest of burial temples, where Melora's blood was said to have spilled before the Divergence. The Ki'Nau fled and the site was left in ruins.[16]

Curse of Strife[edit | edit source]

Though Bane was defeated by Melora in one of the final battles of the Calamity and banished beyond the Divine Gate,[17] goblins affected by the curse of strife are still susceptible to Bane's influence. The effects are unpredictable, causing some to become uncontrollably aggressive, others to become obedient soldiers, and yet others to become solitary criminals.[18]

Society[edit | edit source]

Goblins have a long traditions of isolated life in forests and mountain caves. Many city-dwelling goblins reside in large houses holding at least three generations of family, including all the distant relatives of the family tree. Due to their relatively small size, goblins can also easily integrate into settlements with significant gnome or halfling populations, "whose residences and furniture are already appropriately sized".[19]

Tal'Dorei[edit | edit source]

Many people of Tal'Dorei fear goblinoids because they believe that the race as whole manifest the curse of strife, which makes them prone to aggressive and violent behavior.[18] Some humans, dwarves, and elves of Tal'Dorei treat the endemic goblins like vermin, and look down on them for never having formed any society more organized than a temporary raid camp.[12]

The Iron Authority is a highly regimented society in which hobgoblins are on top and goblins are second-class citizens who are clearly relegated to servant roles, though they are still afforded citizenship and a certain level of goblinoid respect.[17]

Wildemount[edit | edit source]

Xhorhas[edit | edit source]

Thanks to the power of Luxon beacons, goblinkin in Xhorhas are commonly free of the curse of strife. Goblins are common in the region; they are a common sight in Rosohna[20] and are a major part of the population in several of the Kryn Dynasty's main settlements, like Asarius, Urzin, and Jigow. One of the villages of Igrathad, Broonbobah, is a goblin settlement composed of clusters of huts and rickety, tall, wood structures.[21]

There is a common but mistaken belief that, like the goblinkins' curse of strife, orcs and half-orcs are afflicted by a similar "curse of ruin" from Gruumsh. As a result, the union of orcs and goblinkin is still strictly taboo among Xhorhasian nomads because the elders fear the madness that would afflict a soul with both curses. As a result, despite many orcs in Xhorhas living among goblins (notably in Jigow) or other goblinkin, most half-orcs in Xhorhas have human or drow blood.[22]

Menagerie Coast[edit | edit source]

In the Lushgut Forest, the Vinewreathed Enclave is a society led by bugbear druids of Melora who have used her magic to free their goblin kin of the curse of strife.[23]. They are slowly developing friendly relations with people living in the northern reaches of the Menagerie Coast, such as in Gwardan. But in the larger southern cities, goblins are a rare sight, and most people's familiarity with goblins extends only to terrifying stories of (still-cursed) goblins they hear from travelers.[20]

Dwendalian Empire[edit | edit source]

Goblins in the Empire form small tribal groups that try to avoid the attention of the Righteous Brand. As in the Republic of Tal'Dorei, goblins in rural areas still suffer under Bane's curse and are treated like vermin. Nomadic goblin camps moving through the nearby Cyrios Mountains often encroach on the farming community of Felderwin in the dark of night during harvest time. Goblins in cities may be viewed with suspicion or even fear, but most city folk have less experience with goblin raiders and accept that not all goblins are evil.[24]

Greying Wildlands[edit | edit source]

Nomadic clans of northern goblins form hunting parties and ride winter wolves in the Crystalsands Tundra.[25] Goblinoid bands have also claimed parts of the Rime Plains, though goblins have not been mentioned specifically.[26]

Blightshore[edit | edit source]

Goblins make up 15% of the population of the rough-and-tumble harbor city of Rotthold, second only to humans (30%).

Marquet[edit | edit source]

The Duneburrow goblins of the Marquesian deserts have a fearsome reputation.[20]

Known goblins[edit | edit source]

Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]

In the Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting described goblins as an inherently violent race, which was later revised in the Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn.

  • In the Dividing Plains the Ravagers were lawless warbands of goblinoids and orcs devoted to Gruumsh who delighted in murdering innocents.[28] Goblins only joined the Ravagers as slaves—spoils from orcish raids of goblin nests. Those who show exceptional skill were forced to drink a concoction called skullfire that burned any remaining reason from their minds and made them obedient and murderous.[29]
  • The Herd of Storms sometimes had to defend itself from hordes of goblinoids,[30] presumably including goblins.
  • Hungry goblin scavengers threatened yeomen of the Bladeshimmer Shoreline outside of Emon's walls.[31]
  • Ice goblins had been known to organize into hordes that can be threatening to Lyrengorn's wyvern riders.[32]
  • The peoples of the Mornset Countryside fended for themselves against godless hordes of goblinoids.[33]

Trivia[edit | edit source]

Sam Riegel has played two characters whose call to adventure started with violent deaths of mothers at the hands of goblins. The seminal event of Scanlan Shorthalt's life was seeing his mother being killed by a goblin,[34][35] and Nott was herself killed by goblins and magically reincarnated by their ally Isharnai as a goblin.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Monster Manual, 5th edition, p. 165–166.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Volo's Guide to Monsters, p. 119.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, Chapter 4: "Character Options", p. 175.
  4. "In Love and War" (2x57).[citation needed]
  5. "Agreements" (2x61) at 2:47:59.
  6. "Homeward Bound" (2x48) at 1:13:56.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 "Curious Beginnings" (2x01) at 21:18.
  8. "The Fancy and the Fooled" (2x97).[citation needed]
  9. 9.0 9.1 "Feral Business" (2x52) at 1:13:11.
  10. "Arrival at Kraghammer" (1x01) at 2:22:50.
  11. Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn, Chapter 4: "Character Options", p. 158.
  12. 12.0 12.1 Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, pp. 125–126.
  13. Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, Chapter 4: "Character Options", p. 173.
  14. Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 76.
  15. Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, Chapter 1: "Story of Wildemount", p. 19.
  16. Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, Chapter 3: "Wildemount Gazetteer", p. 75.
  17. 17.0 17.1 Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 79.
  18. 18.0 18.1 Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn, Chapter 2: "Allegiances of Tal'Dorei", p. 39.
  19. Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn, Chapter 4: "Character Options", pp. 158–159.
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, Chapter 4: "Character Options", p. 174.
  21. Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, Chapter 3: "Wildemount Gazetteer", p. 141.
  22. Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, Chapter 4: "Character Options", p. 178.
  23. Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, Chapter 3: "Wildemount Gazetteer", p. 67.
  24. Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, Chapter 4: "Character Options", p. 173. See also p. 84.
  25. Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, Chapter 3: "Wildemount Gazetteer", p. 113.
  26. Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, Chapter 3: "Wildemount Gazetteer", p. 115.
  27. Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, Chapter 5: "Adventures in Wildemount", p. 250.
  28. Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 52. See also p. 20.
  29. Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 137.
  30. Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 102.
  31. Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 86.
  32. Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 69.
  33. Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 72.
  34. "Arrival at Kraghammer" (1x01) at 6:51.
  35. "A Bard's Lament" (1x85) at 2:07:35.

Art:

  1. Official art of a goblin, by Nguyen Minh Hieu from Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn, page 158. This file is a copyrighted work. Its use in this article is asserted to qualify as fair use of the material under United States copyright law.

External links[edit | edit source]