Dratokarttin Goblins

A common scourge for all civilised people, Dratokarttin Goblins, known to most as ‘Common Goblins’ or simply ‘Goblins’ are vicious, capricious creatures who live to inflict pain and annoyance on the world through their raiding and pillaging. Their cousins True Goblins were right to eject them from the Underdark, for each and every one of them is a nasty peace of work.
Extract from Ingrid Aevardottir's Corpus Animalium.   Dratokarttin Goblins are the exiled kin of Goblins, to whom they are genetically pretty much identical, though they have been warped and twisted through exposure to the sunlight, an alien and strange force to creatures that originated in the Underdark, into cruel creatures, whose whole lives are focused on raiding and pillaging any settlements, trading caravans and groups of travellers that they come across, who they deem to be weak enough for them to overrun.  

Origin

Dratokarttin Goblins have existed on the surface of Ulskandar's Material Plane for as long as the collective memories of all other sapient species who dwell on the surface can remember. Goblins, however, know full well, and have accurate records of when they expelled the individuals from their society that would become Dratokarttin Goblins. Well before the advent of the Settlement Era, in the year 1673 of the Nomadic Era, when Goblin civilisation was still relatively young, all Goblins lived in a single enormous cavern in the Underdark, known as the First Foundation. As their population began to grow, they began to spread out and settle in other caverns and caves far below the surface of the Material Plane, where they established new settlements and colonised new, hitherto unsettled parts of the Underdark. During this period of expansion, a rift began to form between those Goblins that wished to work for the good of their community and create an egalitarian community, and those that wished to establish new settlements purely for their own benefit, even at the expense of other Goblins, and who hated the increasing regulation of their activities, and who saw no need to look after their kin that were weaker than themselves. This rift quickly descended into conflict, which became so heated that it nearly destroyed the Goblinoid city in the cavern of First Foundation. The anarchic Goblins were eventually defeated, but rather than put them to death, the Goblins instead decided to exile them to the surface world, a place that was mysterious and unexplored place, to all Goblins, who only knew that they could not bear to stand in the full light of the sun. The anarchists were, therefore led up to the surface and ejected into the sunlight, and were driven almost mad by the sun’s blazing heat and light, making them shadows of their former selves, bent on savagery and cruelty. They became the Dratokarttin Goblins, creatures that are much more at the forefront of the minds of other sapient creatures than the 'True Goblins' they stem from.  

Physical Characteristics

In terms of their anatomy, Dratokarttin Goblins are very similar to Goblins, from whom they are genetically barely distinguishable. However, because Dratokarttin Goblins have been living as a separate group from their cousins in the Underdark, there are some physical variations that have cropped in amongst the population. On the whole this is restricted to the fact that Dratokarttin Goblins tend to be slightly taller than Goblins, with an average height of between 3.5ft/c.1m-4.5ft/c.1.4m in height, and their skin is generally lighter in tone, sitting more on the light-green end of the spectrum. In addition, lighter hair colours are more common amongst Dratokarttin Goblins, though they normally sit within the browns, though there are a small proportion of individuals who have blond hair.  

Organisational Structure

Unlike Goblins, Dratokarttin Goblins do not live in highly organised, so-called ‘civilised’ communities, but instead group together in tribes and warbands, whose membership rarely has anything to do with the familial relationships of the members, but is more based on which group will provide the greatest security and most opportunities to gain spoils. These warbands and tribes will tend to have a very loose leadership structure, where the strongest rule, and weaker individuals simply have to do what they are told, or risk being beaten or even killed. For the most part, these tribes and warbands will disintegrate once the powerful individual that formed them dies or loses their authority over their underlings. The most obvious exception to this is the Bergspeer Tribe, which is held together by an incredibly venerable individual, the ‘Elder’, who holds the tribe and the warbands pledged to it in check through mix of theocracy and fear that he might use his arcane powers to punish those below him. It is also common for individuals who view themselves as being on a par with one another in terms of strength to group together within a tribe or warband for mutual protection, though ever with a watchful eye on their presumed allies, just in case....  

Interspecies Relations & assumptions

Dratokarttin Goblins both revile and are reviled by almost all species that they encounter. As they lead lives focused on raiding and pillaging they make little effort, on the whole to ingratiate themselves with other species, for what is the point in attempting to make friends with the people that they will shortly attempt to kill and steal from? When encountered in tribal groups, or even groups of more than a handful of individuals, Dratokarttin Goblins will normally be met with reactions of fear, or hostility as most people will assume that their presence in the area will be followed shortly by raiding or pillaging activity. It is possible for Dratokarttin Goblins to enter the towns and settlements of other species, though they will most likely be refused entry if there are more than five of them attempting to gain access at the same time, or even in the same day. Their presence in settlements in small numbers is tolerated, mostly because they will trade their stolen goods back into communities in order to purchase their own supplies, and there are always unscrupulous merchants looking to pick up some cheap wares, regardless of where they came from. Dratokarttin Goblins can also find employment if they need to in criminal organisations, who find that they are easily swayed to do all manner of misdemeanours in exchange for gold and food.   When it comes to larger ‘savage’ creatures such as Orcs, Lupines and Gnolls, Dratokarttin Goblins will normally avoid them, for fear that they will be viewed as a potential source of competition for raiding resources. Occasionally Orcs may take on Dratokarttin Goblins to conduct more stealthy operations, but Lupines and Gnolls will have no dealings with them.   With regards to other Goblinoids, Dratokarttin Goblins hate Goblins, the species that originally exiled them from the Underdark, and who drove them to become a savage shadow of their former selves. On the other hand, Dratokarttin Goblins  have a good relationship with Bugbears, who often join their warbands looking for the chance to lay their hands on spoils, and knowing that their larger size means they can effectively bully their way into a position of comfort in the tribal hierarchy. They also have a passable relationship with Hobgoblins, who view Dratokarttin Goblins as inferior creatures, but who are more than happy to hire them as auxiliary forces. This is especially true of the Hobgoblins of Korinthos, who have large numbers of Dratokarttin Goblins on their payrolls to act as supporting forces to their Legions.

Naming Traditions

Other names

Although the name by which they know themselves, and by which other Goblinoids known them is Dratokarttin Goblins, most of the sapient species of Ulskandar who live on the surface of the Material Plane will simply refer to them as ‘Goblins’, as they are not aware of the existence of 'True Goblins'. Those that are, may well refer to Dratokarttin Goblins as ‘Common Goblins’.   Their official name, Dratokarttin is a Goblinoid word that is roughly translated into Common Speech as ‘surface dwellers’, though this is a word that is either used specifically to refer to Dratokarttin Goblins, or is used as a derogatory term for other people and species that live on the surface of the Material Plane, rather than an all-encompassing term for species that do not live in the Underdark.

Culture

Average technological level

Unlike their relatives Goblins, Dratokarttin Goblins are happy to exist much simpler lifestyles than their more technically savvy kin. Goblins would argue that Dratokarttin Goblins have lost all capability of harnessing technology to create even the most mundane of objects, but this is not strictly true. Dratokarttin Goblins generally have an area in their camps where basic metal working, focused on the repairing of weapons and the production of ammunition can be carried out, but beyond this, they are quite content to take what they need from the communities that they raid.

Art & Architecture

Caves and settlements that Dratokarttin Goblins have settled in will generally be daubed with various forms of graffiti, some of which can be incredibly high quality, abstract depictions of the heroic/infamous deeds of the tribe and individuals within it are recorded so that other members of the tribe can remember them, and so that new comers and new-borns can be taught of the strength of the tribe. Whilst some of this graffiti can be termed educational or historical, the rest of it tends to be fairly crude and often obscene in nature. Areas that a Dratokarttin Goblin tribe have raided can be easily recognised as they will be covered in graffiti telling of the strength of the raiding tribe and the weakness of those that had lived there. The cruellest of Dratokarttin Goblins will use the blood of the slain as their medium of choice.

Common Customs, traditions and rituals

There are a handful of customs that most Dratokarttin Goblins adhere to including:   Grovel to those above, despise those below- It is customary in Dratokarttin Goblin society to grovel unashamedly to those who are deemed to be stronger and more powerful within the tribe or warband, not necessarily because Dratokarttin Goblins believe that the individual deserves to be treated with deference, but because it is the most prudent way to avoid beatings, and may lead into being given favour by the individual in charge. Conversely, Dratokarttin Goblins will generally be quite disdainful to those they view as being weaker than themselves, unless that is they see a particular use in keeping the individual in question on side.   Extortion of spoils- Within Dratokarttin Goblin tribes and warbands, the leader after a successful raid will always extort a 10% of the spoils that each individual has been able to snatch for themselves. The rationale behind this is that the leader has allowed those below him to take part in their raid, and that they therefore owe them for being granted the privilege to serve in the warband or tribe.   Break glass at any opportunity- Their deep hatred of Goblins means that Dratokarttin Goblins will always break any glass that they come across when raiding. This is because Goblins are highly renowned for their ability to create high quality objects and tools out of glass, and seeing the material in any form and regardless of its origin is a reminder for Dratokarttin Goblins of their exile from their ancestral homelands in the Underdark. Dratokarttin Goblin will tend to be more restrained with this custom if they are allowed access to a settlement, and will instead reduce the custom to breaking any glass object that they are directly given. Nevertheless, Dratokarttin Goblin have been known to regularly make a nuisance of themselves in settlements when drunk, as they can quite quickly descend into throwing stones and other projectiles at any windows that are in range.

Funerary and Memorial customs

Despite the fact that they view life as being a survival of the fittest, Dratokarttin Goblins will always attempt to collect the bodies of their slain fellows and will bury them, generally in jumbled mass graves, but they will bury them nonetheless. This rather unexpected show of respect, albeit partial, for the deceased is explained by the fact that Dratokarttin Goblins view the burial of the dead as the equivalent to returning them to their ancestral home in the Underdark.

Major organizations

Bergspeer Tribe

Encompassed species
Related Organizations


Cover image: by Chris Pyrah

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