Agents of the forces of darkness, Goblins are prolific as they are sinister. Able to breed and thrive in the worst of conditions, it is said by many that they are more vermin than true living creatures.
Created by the dark god Onûs as a cosmic insult to his peers, Goblins are the hideous result of the merging of demonic blood with the innocent forms of a long forgotten race of the Blessed Living. The groaning, hideous voice that laughs in the night, beckoning children to their death and devouring on cattle and the bodies of the slain, Goblins are among the purest examples of evil in the world of Sidereus. They come in many breeds and sizes, but one thing unites them all – an insatiable desire to do evil and bring suffering to others.
While easily mocked due to their insignificant abilities, Goblins are the blight of the farmer and the woodsman. They are prolific breeders – rapidly filling the areas they inhabit with more of their kin, and overwhelming the local ecology – ultimately pushing it to its ruin.
There are a number of different subtypes of Goblinoids in the Sidereus universe. These various types have evolved in particular ways best suited to their environment and purpose. The information listed below requires Goblin Lore 1+ unless otherwise noted. Foe Hunter (Goblin) and Creature Lore 3+ would provide a similar amount of information. Information listed as [Common Belief] is available to any character, as it reflects the general opinion of commoners and other individuals who lack specialized information.
Blight Goblins are the weakest, least dangerous, and most prolific of the Goblin peoples. They have a green to dark green coloration to their skin, and have been known to have tones of yellow and brown in their complexion as well. They occasionally grow horns, but for the most part they are distinguished by their large, pointed ears and commonly jagged teeth. Named for their effect on the local ecology of any region they inhabit, Blight Goblins are notorious for plaguing farmers, raiding merchant caravans, and serving as slaves in the armies of larger – more dangerous creatures. Blight Goblins tend to inhabit swamps, subterranean caves and catacombs, and similar areas.
Slaughter Goblins are also commonly referred to as “Hobgoblins”. These creatures are possessed of a wicked intelligence. They are logical thinkers, and commonly develop sophisticated tactics for dealing with those who would attack their settlements. Many adventurers have been surprised by a Slaughter Goblin ambush, thinking so little of the creatures that they did not prepare appropriate defenses for handling their attacks. While Slaughter Goblins do not typically raid farms or attack villages in the same manner as their less-deadly Blight Goblin cousins, they have been known to raze whole cities to the ground, providing impressive competition for the lingering threat of Blood Orc raids in many regions. Slaughter Goblins tend to inhabit mountainous areas, dense forests, and occasionally deserts or plains.
Shadow Goblins are also commonly referred to as “Bugbears”. These creatures are villainous and sadistic to an extreme. They revel in causing pain, and it is said they are able to smell fear from other creatures at range. Significantly larger than Blight or Slaughter Goblins, Shadow Goblins are terrifying to behold. Their eyes reflect natural light, causing an alarming display as they advance in the darkness. Thick, rubbery hides of dark greens, black and even purple betray their naturally damage-resistant skin. With wicked fangs like their smaller kin, Shadow Goblins have no trouble breaking bone and tearing flesh as they devour other humanoids for food – as they often do.
Despite the many variations that can be found in Goblin physiology, there are a number of stark similarities that are vital for any individual who wishes to hunt the creatures to understand. As all Goblins were created as the result of a merging between the ancient race the Kethin and demonkind, all Goblins share a fear of Holy energy and a loathing of those who use it.
Blight Goblins tend to be slight of build, in a manner not dissimilar from Elves. As such they have a weaker constitution, but their infernal lineage prevents them from becoming ill from common disease or being affected by poisons. Slaughter Goblins, or Hobgoblins, are more rugged, similar in stature to humans. Their culture also encourages physical prowess, resulting in a species of Goblin that is – on the whole – stronger and more physically adept than their weaker cousins. Shadow Goblins, or Bugbears, are actually larger than most humans and approach the size of small trolls. On average, a Shadow Goblin stands a full nine feet tall, making them a terrifying sight to behold. Despite their rather titanic build, they are surprisingly agile and quick on their feet.
All Goblins have highly evolved senses, giving them an uncommon awareness of their surroundings. Among the various types of Goblins, it is the Shadow Goblins that possess the keenest senses. It is well known that Shadow Goblins have a sense of smell that rivals that of the Chatûl. Combined with their sinister intellect, these physiological gifts make Goblins incredibly dangerous creatures.
One of the major differences between the various Goblin types is physical strength. Blight Goblins are relatively frail and do not possess a great deal of physical strength. Slaughter Goblins are athletic by nature, develop muscle mass quickly, and are much more physically durable than their Blight Goblin cousins. Shadow Goblins are stronger, hardier and deadlier than either of the two other types – a fact that is evidenced by the significant difference in size and body mass. A Shadow Goblin is easily a match for any well-trained Arxus warrior.
Common rumors suggest that the Goblin races are comprised entirely of males. These rumors are entirely false. Goblin females of all types exist, and in some cases they are as vicious and dangerous as the males. Blight Goblin females typically lean toward nature magic, preferring to stay out of combat and calling on the power of nature to defend themselves. Slaughter Goblin women commonly study the arcane arts. For some reason unknown to scholars, Hobgoblins look upon reading with moderate disdain – considering it work for females. As such, female Hobgoblins are known to become priests and mages, supporting their tribe at range with spells and sorcery. Shadow Goblin females are almost universally relegated to the role of raising the young in a tribe. Shadow Goblin females tend to be significantly smaller than Shadow Goblin males, only reaching a height of about 7 feet on average. Shadow Goblin females are almost universally left to care for the camp when the males are away on raids or engaged in warfare.
All of the various Goblinkind breed very quickly, allowing them to be very prolific and something of a nuisance to the races of the Blessed Living. The average gestation period for all Goblin types is around three months, which coupled with a rapid rise to physical maturity; means Goblinoids reproduce with the same speed as many kinds of vermin.
Even more amazing still is the Goblinoid ability to digest nearly anything they eat. Goblinoids do not require a healthy diet in the same manner as many of the other humanoid races. Instead, Goblinoids can subsist on anything that has even the slightest nutritional value. Because of this trait, it is not uncommon for Goblinoids (particularly Blight Goblins) to eat other humanoids – including their own kin - if the need and opportunity arise. For similar reasons, Goblins of all kinds have a great deal of difficulty domesticating dogs and horses – as they will often resort to eating them long before they can derive any significant use out of them. For reasons that remain unknown, all Goblinoids avoid eating the meat of felines – including Chatûl. Scholars have many theories on why this could be, but to date none have come up with a definitive answer.
Commoners generally believe that Blight Goblins only eat young creatures, regardless of species. It is a very commonly held idea that Blight Goblins steal infants in the night to devour them. Blight Goblins are not generally regarded as a significant threat individually, but in large numbers they are often considered a great danger.
The average commoner knows very little about Slaughter Goblins, since Hobgoblins are more likely to turn their attentions toward large settlements, cities, and fortifications. Slaughter Goblins enjoy war and conflict, and commoners do not typically sate this desire.
Among the three types of Goblinoids, Shadow Goblins are the most terrifying. Commoners who are unfortunate enough to encounter Shadow Goblins will often be hunted like prey animals, chased through the woods as the Shadow Goblins harvest their feelings of fear and terror.