There are several different goblin races on Erde including rock goblins, sea goblins, and kobolds. Most of the “civilized” peoples of Erde know the forest goblins best.
Goblin folk are small people, four to five feet tall, with rangy limbs and pot bellies. They are obviously carnivorous, sporting sharp, pointed, cat-like teeth. They also have cat-like eyes, ears, and claws, though their claws are not fully retractable. Most goblin races are covered in a fine, downy fur.
Kobolds are more canine: their teeth are not as sharp but their jaws are more powerful, and their claws do not retract. They are larger and stronger than their cousins, and live almost exclusively beneath mountains. Like Duerfar, kobolds are delvers and miners. If they can stop warring with their kin long enough, they trade ores and gems for finished goods.
Rock goblins are smaller and meaner. They live in large groups and will raid anyone nearby. Anyone. They routinely take on mountain trolls and will swarm lone giants. They are clever and deceptive and have a natural earth-based magic that makes them formidable enemies. Their only saving “grace” is that they live exclusively in craggy mountains, and they do not leave their territories once established.
Sea goblins live only in coastal areas, preferring rocky ground to sand or marsh. They are expert fishers and divers, and will cultivate kelp forests and oyster beds. Sea goblins keep seals and sea lions as pets, and are sometimes confused for selkies. They are sometimes allied with the mer-folk and sometimes bitter enemies.
A tribal people, goblins form tight knit communities built around family and kinships. Most goblins are patriarchal, ruled by the strongest and most capable man. At the same time they are matrilineal, tracing kinship through the women. In this way the sexes generally remain equal in social power. Goblins do not form pair bonds. Instead, they create more or less stable family groups with three to five adults.
Goblins prefer radial symmetry, and they usually work in threes, fives, and sevens. Their homes, camps, and artwork all show this preference for circles, and even their family groups show their preference for odd numbers.
The other races of Erde generally consider all goblins to be unintelligent and barbarous, barely more than savage animals. This does the goblins a profound disservice, as their empire once stretched the length of the Kältheim Mountains. Most goblins are unaware of their own gloried history, but a few lore-keepers remember. Perhaps one day the goblins will rise again.
This work by Jean Headley is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.