They are creepy things. Beady little dark eyes. The way they move makes your skin crawl and just being around them feels off. Then the stories- the violence when they are Red. The Black ones and strange magics. Then the strange contract deals they make for things. It is almost as good as Dwarf goods, sometimes better, so worth it. But still they say watch yerself in making deals with Daemons.
Trader after making a deal with a Kobold
What are Kobolds? They are dog-like -monkey like creatures with short slightly curved horns on the head. They have a light furring all across the body, pointed ears and a long tail. They stand at about 1 m to 1.3 m tall. They are typically brown furred, but grey, purple-brown, black and red are known. They are typically much warmer to the touch than other creatures. They have a stage called Shiv, where they turn red and the horns become thicker and more pronounced. When in Shiv, they are erratic, rage fueled and dangerous. They can eat anything organic - twigs, leaf, meat, bugs, rotten meat. Highly resistant to toxins and drugs. Generally Kobolds are formal and reserved. In making deals they are most lawyerly in the language of “contracts”. Contracts may be written or verbal but are always sealed with a drop of blood. Kobolds are excellent craftsmen. Yet everyone knows they are evil nasty creatures that make deals for souls.

Mages confirm that most have no true form aura in the astral - just a vague blob shape cracked and hazy with leaking flame. They possess a corrupted aura that discomforts anyone near, frightens animals and children, kills plants, brings out strange creatures that Kobolds call "Furies" and attracts Undead to them. They are also excellent craftsmen - making enchanted and superior items in exchange for contracts. Kobolds produce a coppery magical metal - Pyropos. The means of making it are unknown to any other peoples.

Naming Traditions

Family names

Kobolds only ever go by one name which they say they name themselves.  They don't have family or recognize it if they do. Nor do they seem to take gender specific names.


Culture and cultural heritage

Kobolds do not tell many things about themselves.  The new kobold is made from scraps and odds and ends, transformed by the Vitriolic flux and instilled with ectoplasmic soul fire.  The newly animate Kobold is white but takes on brown to red color within the week. They spend the rest of their lives improving the soulfire into a true soul via alchemical transformations.

Average technological level

Kobolds perform a kind of alchemical magic. They are believed to transform flesh and body. Spirit and Soul. They say they draw essence and Pyros from their surroundings. From essence comes Ichor. Ichor and Pyros make Vitriolic flux. Flux allows Kobolds to impose chaos and disrupt and change the rules of the world to some degree. Vitriol and memory makes ghostly spirit ectoplasm which is the basis of Kobold spirit magics.
Kobold deals may have strange requirements - like not using a word for a week, dietary, clothing, color or other restrictions or requirements. They may require the purchaser to dance in the light of a full moon in a circle of flowers. The item or terms may be made to last a specific period or not. Most are made to last for the buyer's life or less. And then the cost may include copper, silver, tin, iron, gold and /or a gemstone. The strange requirements only add to the mystique of trades with Kobolds.  Kobold goods are high quality and may have unique or special qualities or wakened spirits.

Common Etiquette rules

Kobolds will always be very formal except when in Red Shiv state.  Everyone is "Sir" or "Madame" to them. They seem to speak every language quite well.  Kobolds claim they are trying to make themselves better or whole.

Common Customs, traditions and rituals

Kobolds will make deals - written or verbal to produce an item, perform a task or service, or perform some magical transformation. The terms are very specific on cost based on complexity, durability, conditions and taboos that the contractee must abide by.
The corrupted aura and other strangeness and the dislike of Kobolds causes them to live in the wilds, at the edges of towns and in slums. Plants wither where kobolds stay for long. Animals avoid them. Strange things, and creatures appear where kobolds are.

Common Myths and Legends

  • They are Daemons - once part of one of The Sidereal Fae but now independent. Or escaped infernals. Or some demon from the Rift between worlds.

  • Everyone knows kobolds are tricky and evil, no matter how well behaved they act. You can feel the wrongness of them.
  • Always beware the Red. The Shiv stage is violent and unstable. It can be caused by alcohol consumption.
  • Kobolds are demons that can't really be killed and possess magics that make them dangerous fighters.


Beauty Ideals

Kobolds have no personal beauty ideals.  They may or may not wear jewelry - matched or not. They wear few clothes. None knows how to tell male from female - and a given Kobold may claim either, neither or both gender. The fur color changes frequently - brown changing to red, red fading to grey-silver, then golden blonde and darkening to black before returning to brown.

Relationship Ideals

Kobolds are solitary mostly.  Sometimes several will be found together. Rarely does one find a "hive" of many. They do not seem to pair or form triads or other multiples.

Major organizations

Kobolds have no formal culture.   No unique language. No institutions. No cities.  They have the kobold identity and a drive to create a full soul for themselves.  When this happens they enter the great cycle of reincarnation and spiritual ascension or fall.
A kobold warrior.

Cover image: https://azgaar.github.io/Fantasy-Map-Generator/ by mutterwolf


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