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Chief Master Sal'Jooki the Splendiferous' Grand Impressive Spire of Right Dominant Oomph!

Written by Artellia

When Sal'Jooki awoke that fateful morning in the ruins of his captor's tower, he knew he was different. He could feel it in his little goblinoid heart. Tingling with energy, he knew; he had ascended! He would now need his own edifice, an erection of grandeur, a monolith of might! Gone would be the days of Master Tim poking him, prodding with wands and probes... experimenting. Sal'Jooki is his own master now! The best master! Chief Master!
— from the autobiographical annals of the highly exalted Chief Master Sal'Jooki the Splendiferous.

On the ascension of a goblin and the erection of his spire.


When Sal was just a young boy, a wee gob of only 5, he was stolen away from his family by a vile enchanter named Tim. Tim performed magical experiments on Sal'Jooki eventually leading to his own demise and the ruination of his tower. The experiments that destroyed Tim's tower also imprinted a very strong residue of wild magic on Sal'Jooki. Sal woke up amid the debris and, feeling the energizing effects of wild magic and the delirium of several minutes of apoxia, he decided he had ascended. To what, he had not quite worked out. His noggin was still struggling. One thing he knew; he needed his own tower, a mighty spire, a place to rule a people from on high as a powerful chief.


Sal'Jooki gathered local goblin clans and formed a great tribe. Through momentous displays of his newfound wild magic, manifesting fire and frost and even more extraordinary effects they scarcely understood he gained their reverence. Enthralled by his sorcery and ego, their support was unwavering. They began building his tower and town, happy to live close to their splendiferous master of magic. Over a number of weeks, their numbers grew and so did the little goblin hamlet of Zar'Kesh. It was three acres all walled in, and almost cozy if such could be said of goblinoid things. Eventually, though, their constant raiding and building would come to a rather sudden halt.


Sal had not understood the astrological conditions Tim had been experimenting with when disaster befell him, and so Sal had little hope of realizing what would happen when the three moons' phases once again coincided. After weeks of continuous proliferation, the goblins' world would turn upside-down. It is a rare occurrence for three full moons to coincide, but one night the phases aligned and three full moons lit Zar'Kesh like it was day. In their silver light, the goblins themselves became moonlight, shimmering and glowing. The ground, the newly built shacks, and Sal'Jooki's splendid spire all shivered and shifted into the ethereal, dragged through the planar veil by a riptide left in the wake of Tim's disastrous release of energy just a few months prior. Four-hundred and sixteen goblinoid souls disappeared from the material plane.

The Goblin Market today.

Time flows differently in the ethereal, trickling slowly like that of a babbling brook. Once dragged in, those lost goblins found themselves trapped by the cycles of the moons. Every time the three moons are simultaneously full, the goblin market town of Zar'Kesh materializes where at all other days and nights stands the crater, Tim's Folly. The goblins occasionally leave but are always dragged back by dawn's light. They wander and raid, and should other goblins visit, they trade. It is rumored that if you ever do a great favor for a goblin tribe, their elder may reward one with an iron coin. They say this coin is admittance to the market as a merchant instead of dinner, a boon indeed if other rumors concerning the trove of magical artifacts they have collected are true.


Zar'Kesh is well known among the various goblin tribes in the region. Magic is rare in goblins, let alone entire towns. Because of this, the Zar'Keshi are allotted similar respect to magic users. Sal'Jooki is generally regarded by other goblins as a revered master of the arcane. This reputation often leads to goblins making a pilgrimage of sorts to Zar'Kesh and waiting for it to appear. They often bring offerings of magical tools and trinkets they don't understand. Occasionally it is even something of real value. While outsiders have taken to calling Zar'Kesh the Goblin Market, other goblins have taken to calling it the Moonlight Market. Both are attracted to the periodic trade in the arcane.


...yet when the moons began to wane and the sun broke the twilight sea with rays of dawn's light, the goblins found themselves fading back into the moonlight ethereal, invisible and insubstantial once again to the material world.
— from the autobiographical annals of the highly exalted Chief Master Sal'Jooki the Splendiferous.


The Spire of Right Dominant Oomph!

Goblins are not known for their ability to build structures. It would be odd to ask of things such as "goblin architecture" as it is a bit of an oxymoron. They generally fashion hovels and shacks with materials at hand, hardly working them more than needed to function. The entire town and the tower especially were pieced together with whatever debris could be secured. Consummate raiders, much of the spire is built with the remains of wagons. Wheel spokes repurposed as window bars; cloth covers and wheel rims turning into eaves. Every part seemingly pulled from some lost caravan, traveling cart, or isolated barn. Piled high, tied together, and occasionally even nailed down, the tower teeters above its surroundings, a staggering heap of detritus.


Goblin engineering, such as it is, has never been what one might consider durable. As sections of the tower collapsed and fell away, they were rebuilt, often with the wreckage of whatever the previous section collapsed on. In this way it grew over time, adding new corridors and rooms with little thought or planning. As its denizens needed more space or simply when a hole in the floor had become too dangerous, more would be added on.


The Chamber of Judgementation

The lowest floor of the spire is the only one non-goblin outsiders are allowed to enter. It's a meeting place with dual purposes. As a place to meet foreigners in a formal setting, the chamber bears an appropriately stern atmosphere, something the goblins often seek out since their stature frequently leaves them disregarded in matters of diplomacy or intimidation. The chamber is also a place to gather his own people, usually to bear witness to judgment. Keeping peace is an important duty to Sal'Jooki, one of the few ways he is not self-centered. You see, only 416 goblins, including Sal'Jooki himself, were dragged into the ethereal and transformed by the magic. Babies born to these goblins are marked by the ethereal as their parents are, but outsiders can not truly join Zar'Kesh as the settlement leaves them behind at the end of each alignment. Therefore, maintaining the peace without resorting to violence is of the utmost importance. Exile, even temporarily, is one of the harshest punishments given out.

The Chamber of Observances

On the top floor of the spire, Sal'Jooki keeps a private chamber, as he understands all wizards must, for his personal studies of the world and of its magic. Here he putters about for a few hours a day doing "wizardly things", or at least he tells his advisers as such. It has often been noted though that his midafternoon meditations on the nature of the universe sound remarkably like Sal'Jooki snoring. A claim he refutes, "Nonsense, the sky is a noisy thing! It is just the thunders of storms beyond the veil!" On occasion, Sal'Jookie releases marvelous displays of magical energy "just to keep 'em on 'der toes!" raining fire and frost down across the sky. Sometimes the wild magic gets the best of him and more interesting things happen.

Geopolitical Characteristics

His exhalted grandeur, Chief Master Sal'Jooki the Splendiferous
Sal'Jooki's Very Large Pile of Wagon Parts
Never-There Tower
Structural Designation
Erect Spire, Magical

60 ft.
18,000 sq. ft.

Sal always said he'd ascended to something greater that day. Turns out he wasn't quite wrong. He's been floating about four inches off the ground ever since...
— First Dextral Adviser to his Exalted Grandeur

Everyone else had made it out hours before, but I just had to stay. They feared what might happen, called me foolish for staying, but the rumors were too miraculous not to try. So I overstayed my welcome, in hiding, past the hour the guards swept the street, right to dawn. As I peeked out, dawn-light began to crest the horizon and everything around me took on a silver shine. It sparkled, and faded, and as quick as that I found myself sitting in the middle of an empty crater...
— Tales of the Most Exquisite Thief, Martannis.

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Author's Notes

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22 Feb, 2019 09:21

Very fun! :) Looking forward to seeing more.   "Three acres, walled, it was almost cozy, if such could be said of goblinoid things." sentence could be a little more clear. As to what is being described.   "3 acres of goblinoid splendiferousness contained within the hamlets walls."   "Bother are attracted to the periodic trade in the arcane." Both are   Had some critz and questions, but brain is to tired. i'll just replay to this comment when I can think.   Keep up the good work! ^.^

22 Feb, 2019 10:00

Thank you! I've cleaned up those spots, thanks for spotting them!

22 Feb, 2019 15:38

I think honestly as much as the name is glorious.... It may be a tad too long for my general taste. I feel like it could be shortened some way. Other than that it's a really fun idea!   Curiously... How often do the moons align? Is there a set period of time? Also how do they survive the ethereal plane? Do they need food or something?

22 Feb, 2019 17:01

hm, possible. Anyone else reading this agree? "splendiferous" use to be "splendid" but I swapped it for more ridiculousness. As to the moons, about one or two times a year with many many close calls. often two will be full with a third a few days off. The goblins survive in the ethereal because they are transformed into ethereal creatures while there. they actually only need to eat and breathe during the market nights.   Thank you!

22 Feb, 2019 17:26

No problem! But yeah it's just I keep most my titles short but it's up to you!

22 Feb, 2019 21:25

Interesting article, good useage of quotes and an image to set out the information. I would lke to know what happens if a goblin is in the market town when the moons unalign, or even in the crater when they align.

  • ASJ
  • 22 Feb, 2019 23:39

    Thanks! Great questions! If mundane goblins, or any other creature for that matter, happens to be in the town when an alignment ends, they are simply left behind as all of Zar'Kesh disappears around them. The situation is a bit different for the Zar'Keshi goblins though. They have a sort of etherealness imbued into them, but it is incomplete requiring the alignment and the particular geographical location to completely effect them. Specifically, if a Zar'Keshi goblin is not in the town area, in the ethereal, when an alignment starts, it is left behind in the ethereal. Similarly, if the Zar'Keshi goblin leaves the town during an alignment and is outside when it ends, it is trapped in the material. Being an ethereal creature though its form changes to something akin to a ghost's form, but not able to fully interact with either world. They find it a rather miserable state of being.

    23 Feb, 2019 00:40

    eh eh... "annals". sorry, I have a goblin sense of humor. To tell you the truth I didn't think much of this tower when I first read it due to my dnd jaded callousness and callus jadedness. But then I looked at it from the prespective of an adventure hook things started to shine brighter. I like how you give conditions for the appearence of the market, but keep it vague enough to be used. I'm a Little confused as to where they find all the magic artifacts, but that's the sort of thing one can handwave away or even pull the adventure into the ethereal realm if the players insist. That said, I'd like to see the tower being more developped. As the central piece (as I think the intention was , correct me if I'm wrong) it was given a sort of "to the side", "oh yeah… and there's also this" sort of treatment. Maybe explain how it developped and influenced the town around it as chief master tested his power. (when you have more words to work with, I guess. Let me know when you make the changes, I might steal it for a campaign)

    23 Feb, 2019 01:53

    Thanks, and yea, I am starting to come up on the word limit. The tower wasn't intended to be an aside, but every time I showed this around everyone had more question about the surrounding lore or wanted me to expand on other aspects. Its really grown a lot. I'm going to add a bit more onto the end though about some prominent rooms of the tower. hope I can find the word limit to do it justice.

    23 Feb, 2019 00:40

    you know if there is something I like is ethereal goblins with some cool gimmicky stuff, I love the idea of a market of goblins appearing once in a while with great things to trade. welp if I would have a question is do the goblins try to escape their prison or did they gave up by now?

    23 Feb, 2019 01:51

    heh, I was just about to write that up. inspired by Ava's (above) I considered what would happen to a stranded ethereal goblin, and the result is, they are trapped in a ghost-like form until the next alignment.