The Goblins of Veyrn

Knives in the Dark

Blix2Of all the creatures in fantasy gaming, goblins are one of the most common and most used creatures. Rare is the character that has not had to battle these small, evil creatures at some point in their career. They exist in most settings, and rare is the game that does not make use of them in some way.

Veyrn will naturally have goblins, they exist as one of the most prominent creatures that a character may encounter, and they will have an interesting and unique history, and background, but before I get into some of that I’d like to make a few distinctions between my goblins, and those most common to most worlds.

Goblins are NOT comic relief

Goblins in most worlds are well, stupid. They have low intelligence scores, and this is often used to provide comic relief. Combined with their generally lack of threat (though even the weakest creature can be powerful under the right circumstances.) they are often depicted and being evil to the point of ridiculousness. They are dangerous to the unprepared, but not often a serious threat to the average character, sometimes even bumbling and cowardly toward those stronger than them.

Goblins in Veyrn, will not be more physically imposing that standard 5e goblins, but they will be a great deal smarter. I would state them as having a cruel intelligence, a cunning that allows them to think outside the box, coupled with a low wisdom that keeps them from holding back, even when a situation might warrant caution. Rarely will they attack without a strategy, and often have several escape routes planned. The people of Veyrn treat them not as weak creatures who sometimes cause trouble, but a more serious threat. In Veyrn they are a force to be feared. This change is tied to their origins, which I will discuss next.

Legions of the Archfey

The goblins are not native creatures to Veyrn, though they have been there long enough to have found their own niche. They have survived and flourished by taking what they need, and brutally killing those in their way.

The Althuwatha [High Elves] tell of their origins. The small vicious creatures made up the bulk of the armies of the Archfey. They were the favored troops of these beings, employing them on many campaigns, until they, along with the elves were abandoned, and left to their fates. Without their Fae masters to rein them in the task fell to the elves, who struggled with the task. Eventually the goblins broke free of even their control, and continue to wreak havoc wherever they go. They are smart enough to avoid large settlements, but smaller towns and villages are often considered easy targets.

Lurkers in the Dark

blix

Blix from Legend (1985), Universal Pictures

Goblins prefer to hide in the shadows, and make their homes in the caves, holes, and other places untouched by the light of day. They are not hindered by the sun, but prefer a nocturnal existence, as it the concealment the night provides is advantageous to them.

 

Without Number

Aware of their physical limitations, when possible the goblins will attempt to use strategy and tactics that emphasize one of their biggest advantages. Goblins breed quickly, far faster that any other intelligent race on Veyrn, this allows them to replace their lost warriors quickly, they will creep from the cracks and crevices of the earth, assault in considerable numbers, then disappear. Villages near known goblin settlements must keep careful watch, often hiding behind walls or palisades for safety. They seldom stray beyond these wall in cover of night. Those who do are often never heard from again.