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Gremlins with A Death Wish

Alright, there are 3 things you need to know about fighting Kobolds if you think being alive is pretty cool: There's never just one Kobold, there's never just one pack, and there's never a second chance."
— Calico


obolds are kinda like small little gremlin raptors. Technically speaking they're actually descendants of Dragons, but I mean, look at 'em, do they look like they know that? The only things that bounce around in their heads is violence and the words, "The colony must vibe".

Don't let their adorably dumb aura fool you, these things are absolute animals. Imagine a hybrid of dragons and raptors with the intelligence of, uh, I don't have an example but they're smart and that makes them dangerous. In fact, I once saw a 7'5" Valkyrian man get shredded by a dozen wild Kobolds in the span of 10 seconds. Could I have helped him? Probably. However, unlike that guy, I didn't underestimate them.

The Gist

In case you'd like me to be a little more specific they look like if you took a gecko, made it draconic, grew it to be about half your height, made it stand up, and then gave them weapons. Kobolds around here are usually different shades of red, especially between the different roles they have. Although I've never seen it, I'm sure they can be different colors in other parts of the world. Usually they'll grow up to about 4ft tall, or at least, that's my guess anyway. What? Do you think I've taken the time to measure one? Not a chance.

The Claw

In addition to the tools and aforementioned weapons, Kobolds also sport a distinctive claw sticking up from the sides of their feet. They're long, curved like a hook, and pretty helpful for jumping and latching onto enemies to prevent them from escaping. I'd imagine that if you were to tame one it would also be useful for cracking open some cold ones with the boys.

The Smart

Their intelligence is a bit of a tricky subject, but they're absolutely not stupid, I can tell you that much. Thanks to that "The colony must vibe" mindset they absolutely can and will advance to the iron age if they need to. But at the same time you could also just encounter a bunch of feral lizards throwing rocks in your general direction with murderous intent burning in their eyes.

The Danger

These things will know you're coming long before you even get to their den in a variety of ways. Their sense of hearing or smell could be better and a single Kobold might only pick up on you if you're careless, but their real strength lies in their sheer numbers. Even if you weren't spotted by the packs wandering the area, even if you didn't fall victim to their elaborate traps, and even if you manage to find the den without confrontation, there will almost certainly be a dangerous fight waiting for you if you're not prepared.

Another thing to watch out for is their ability to form alliances with things much more dangerous than they are. I'm talking shit like Runeclaws, Shrikes, Drakes, and Basilisks. One time I even encountered a colony that used a Landshark to guard their loot room, which was honestly more impressive than scary. I think whether or not they're on equal terms or if they serve as minions varies from colony to colony.

The Hive

The only reason I know about ANY of this is 'cause of a friend. I have no idea how, but she managed to befriend and study a small colony that set up shop near her guild's keep. I can only assume it was by offering them copious amounts of food and loot. Now that I think about it a squad of Kobolds joining me on my adventurers sounds pretty damn cool.

According to her, one of the biggest prorities in a Kobold's mind, (aside from the violence bit) is the survival of their colony, which means Kobolds know how to get busy. Honestly she makes it sound like there's just a big pile of them in their dens mating almost constantly. Not even for pleasure either. They just go ham on whoever wants to lay eggs like the horny bastards they are. And in her own words, "I can't tell the difference between males and females and I doubt they can either." Females can lay a clutch of around six eggs about three times a month, which doesn't really surprise me, this is why Kobold colonies can grow unbelievably fast and unbelievably crowded. I can only assume this is why they've gotten so good at tunneling.

The Place

For the most part, Kobolds prefer to live in warmer places with plenty of forests, rocky terrain, and at least one village or town close-by. Most of the colony is underground thanks to their impressive tunneling abilities. While they'll still use tools like shovels, pickaxes, and even elaborate mine systems, their preferred method is pretty wild.

The little magic that they retained from dragons allows them to quickly melt down and cool the rocks for easy collection and consumption, (Yeah, you read that right. No, I will not explain it any further). Embermanes specifically will use this ability to cast mudane fire spells when in combat, that part always comes as a surprise to newcomers.

The Sustenance

Kobolds will eat almost anything, including themselves under the right circumstances. They'll usually cultivate mushroom farms underground and in surprise to absolutely no one Kobolds also eat large amounts of meat and they don't care where it comes from.

The only thing I find weird about how Kobolds hunt is that they'll almost always hunt prey at least three times their size. One time I even witnessed about 5 packs of them ganging up on a Runeclaw, and they were winning. I'm telling you, they understand that their strength is in their numbers and that it makes them dangerous.

The Stash

There's a reason Kobolds set up shop near civilization, whether it's a ctiy, town, village, or even just frequently used trails. They have a particular fondness for stealing shiny things. I'm told it could literally be anything but I'm unconvinced. It feels like they know exactly what the good loot is and prioritize that when raiding. I'm still bitter from my first hunt.

Fun fact, to my knowledge Kobolds are one of the only draconic species to still do the hoarding thing. In every den there lies a heavily guarded room where all the loot goes. The loot room. The Hoard. This room is serious business, lemme tell ya. They'll guard this room just as hard as the rooms with their eggs, and, given everything written above, that's a huge deal.

I Don't Have Music for This One
Bro what did I JUST say


Kobold Variants

There's a variety of roles that Kobolds fill, "Classes" if you will. These are some that I've seen during their raids and I don't doubt that there are more.


The classic Kobold. They're the workers and fighters so you'll see these guys the most. They can't really use magic that well.


These are the magic users. While the fire spells they can cast aren't really that powerful, imagine a bunch of these guys attacking you all at once.


This one is unique to raids. Their job is to run in and steal as much loot as possible while the big people are distracted by the fighting. They also seem to be highly respected in their little society.


I've only seen these inside the dens. They'll hide in the ground and against walls with only their crystals exposed to lure naive adventurers with the promise of free loot, only to get the jump on them when they least expect it.

Master Jontaro

While I would love to go on an adventure, writing them is enough for me.


All the art is made by me unless labled otherwise!

Cover image: by Myself


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Apr 23, 2024 13:45

i like this

Apr 23, 2024 19:40 by Jon

Thank you!

While I would love to go on an adventure, writing them is enough for me.