The Children of Mud and Moss Myth in Irminsul | World Anvil
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The Children of Mud and Moss

The goblins' beliefs of their origins are surprisingly consistent, considering the wide distribution of their species. The particulars of the story differ from family to family and clan to clan, but what follows is the generalized version common to all major goblin groups.


In the beginning of time, after the world was forged but before intelligent creatures were created, the spark of life was yet unkindled. Plants and animals began to arise, unbidden by the forgotten gods of that time. Curious, the primordial entities watched as features of the natural world became suffused with life, animated, and began to live and move about.   The gods discussed this phenomenon and decided that it was good, and allowed life to flourish. One primordial entity, however, was not content with this. Life was chaotic and constantly in conflict with itself, because it had been allowed to generate itself by random chance. Would it not be better to create life that could reason and undertake discourse, like the primordials themselves did? It raised the idea with its brethren, but was rejected and punished. The world was to be left alone to develop on its own terms, at its own pace. The primordials enjoyed the chaos, and wished for it to continue.   This entity bowed its head and agreed. It then slunk away into a great swamp at the edge of the world, sinking down into the mud where it could never be found or seen, and began its work.   The first goblins arose from this primordial's efforts. Created of mud, moss, and brackish water, the goblins arose into their dank world and began to bring order to their chaotic environment. The goblins invented building, housing, fire, hunting, and language. Their god granted them the gift of life, but it was they who developed their own culture and skills.

Historical Basis

None are sure of the veracity of the goblins' origin story, as it takes place too long ago to confirm, and unlike other races the goblins do not have any deities old enough to confirm nor deny their version of events, and other gods who have been asked either do not know or are unwilling to speak on the matter.   What is true is that the earliest evidence for goblin civilisation is in the salt marshes of the eastern floodlands, in massive coastal deltas. The goblins' minorly webbed fingers and toes, triple-lidded eyes, and fully-controllable nostrils also seems to imply an aquatic origin, despite their having inhabited mountains and plateaus for the last thousand years or so.


This story in some form is known by gobliniods of all walks of life, across the entirety of the Goblin Nations. Curiously enough, even goblins in other nations, lands, and environments know some version of this tale, suggesting a single goblin origin.

Variations & Mutation

Some variations have the goblins arising from the sea, or a lake, or a river. Modern Goblin Nation retelling places their origin in a mountain stream, and then traveling down to the lowlands and into the various river systems to populate the whole world.

Cultural Reception

The goblins of the Goblin Nations don't react emotionally to this story, simply seeing it as a part of their history. Orcs don't tend to have much of an opinion on the story, though orcish scholars find it remarkable that all versions of the tale involve water and are, all things considered, shockingly consistent across even the most savage and wild goblin tribes. Minotaur scoff at it, like they scoff at all mystical traditions, and continuously point to their archaeologists' continued support of a singular goblin origin as evidence that The Children of Mud and Moss is nothing but a story originating from the birth of goblin civilisation.

In Literature

The myth is recorded in stone in most goblin temples, and in all Goblin Nation law courts, museums, and historical buildings. Several orcs have done renditions in orcish drum-ballad styles, much to most goblins' delight. Minotaurs, intrigued by the uniformity of the tale across all goblin culture, have used it as an excuse to justify archaeological pursuits in places of historical goblin habitation.
Date of First Recording
The tale is as old as goblinkind itself. The Minotaur Protectorate has found the earliest confirmed depictions of the story to be at least several thousand years old.

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