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Goblins

For countless centuries, the goblins of Orcus were slaves to their orcish masters - disposable tools to be used in their endless war against the mountain dwelling goliaths. Clever and quick, the goblins did their jobs well, sneaking into places where no burly orc could ever have fit and laying deadly traps, raiding supply caches, and slitting the thick, sinewy throats of giants in the dim light of the moon.   With the possibility ever looming that the orcs would arrive at any moment and abscond with as many men, women, and children as they saw fit, the traditional familial bond dissolved over the course of generations until its eventually replacement by the tribe. Close knit and caring despite the inhospitable nature of their lives, tribes of goblins function as singular families. A man doesn't have a wife, nor a woman a husband, they have as many partners as they like, especially if they prove fertile. A child doesn't have one mother and one father, she has as many parents as there are adult goblins in her community.   When the Quinn arrived, they found it virtually impossible to infiltrate these communities and so it was the goblins who first discovered the enemy in their midst. They rang the alarm to the orcs and the goliaths both and all three races set aside their differences, however briefly, to battle the existential threat.   Unfortunately, this truce lasted only until the world was shattered.   The survivors of the Sundering returned almost immediately to their endless conflict and carried on towards their mutual self-destruction for hundreds of years as the shard of their once mighty homeworld drifted through the aether. It wasn't until the fragment of Orcus crashed into the Caraecol Mountains of Emeriss that the goblins saw their chance at freedom. They took it.   Fleeing their orcish masters and spilling out into the vast, uninhabited wilderness, they began to dig. Compared to the hard, stony mountains of Orcus, the soil of Emeriss made for easy burrowing and the goblin tribes carved their homes from the dirt across the realm building colonies beneath the ground where they could live out their lives free of orcish influence for the first time.   Without the high death rate from incessant war, the goblin population exploded and within a few generations the tribes had outgrown their new colonies, forcing some goblins to separate from their kin and find new territories, found new colonies, new tribes. Before long the goblins had spread to every corner of Emeriss and it became commonplace for elven (and later human) communities to find that they'd built their homes very near or even atop a goblin colony.   These communities, often unknowingly, lend their names to the goblin tribe that dwells near them such as the Hillcrest Colony in Ruelle, the Bourne Colony in the Borderlands, and the now extinct Parvast Colony in the Vennican Dominion. If no such community is available, they tend to name themselves after prominent landmarks.   Usually, a tribe of goblins will also share the name of its colony, with one prominent exception - the tribe has birthed a hobgoblin. In the case of such a blessing upon a tribe, they will take the hobgoblin child's name and all future hobgoblins the tribe might be blessed with will share that name, such as Feng Gola of the Gola Tribe and Gara Wolska of the Wolska Tribe.   Unlike their illustrious hobgoblin brothers and sisters, the usual goblin is not given a name at birth. Instead, she chooses her own name after she has made her first contribution to the tribe. Usually this is a short, punchy name or an onomatopoeia such as Bubbles (whose first contribution was stealing a pallet of Herbs and Bubbles brand shampoo) and Tick-Tok (who struck the final blow on an adventurer who assaulted his colony and then took the man's watch as a trophy).   Small and comparatively frail when considered alongside the average sapiens of Emeriss, goblins are frequently considered pests and often not protected by any of the laws which govern the treatment and privileges of other species. Murdering, enslaving, or even torturing a goblin for simple amusement is perfectly acceptable virtually across Emeriss. This mistreatment has led the goblins to take up robbery, theft, and even outright raids against defenseless villages as a means of simple survival - essentially transforming them into the monsters they are so often dismissed as.   Despite general public opinion of goblins as tiny, brutish vermin they are a cunning species capable of drawing the arrogant and the unwary into devious ambushes or deadly traps. Their greatest weapon is that the people of Emeriss constantly underestimate them and so long as they are denied basic, sapient rights, they are likely to continue using it as they always have.

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