Tales Of Arkhosia
“There’s too… Many of them!”
Mid-battle opinion on goblins
The goblin species continues to prove itself to be a curse upon any form of civilised life they encounter, finding new and inventive ways to terrorise the ordinary man. Goblins come into three primary species – The obvious one being Goblins, followed by Hobgoblins and Bugbears.
Goblins themselves (That is the subspecies Goblin within the Goblin overall species) are cowardly, greedy creatures. They do not think twice about fighting unfairly, seeking any advantage possible. To that end, they do not fight individually, they come on in a vast horde of seething, blade-waving killers; they do not leave their lairs undefended, but fill them with so many traps, one has to wonder how they themselves physically get about the place. They are notoriously paranoid, believing their allies are liable to turn on them at any minute, and as such, they often do turn on each other anyway, making goblins easy to break apart, especially if one takes the time to talk to them and feed their ever-growing suspicions of their supposed “Allies”.
As previously hinted at, Goblin society is one of backstabbing, bargaining (and the breaking of those bargains once their use is over) and subtle bloodshed. No Goblin ever truly trusts one Goblin next to him, or the one next to that one, or in fact, anything at all. The only things that Goblins find themselves able to trust are themselves, their weapons, and their beloved coins. Goblins adore nothing else more in the entire world than coins, gems, and other symbols of power and wealth, and take literally any opportunity to get their ever-grasping hands on more wealth. Many a would-be hero has had his life spared by simply throwing a handful of coins into a crowd of Goblins, and taking the opportunity to flee whilst they pile in around the glittering metal, scrabbling and clawing in their attempt to obtain as much wealth as possible.
The middle goblin subspecies, Hobgoblins, unlike their smaller cousins, are neither cowardly nor greedy, instead preferring a life devoted to military practices. They exemplify their training, living their lives devoted to battle and to warfare. Their imposing physical stature lends themselves to natural sergeants, commanders, and leaders, whilst their Goblin and Bugbear allies follow their lead.
To a Hobgoblin, there is scant better entertainment in life than to engage in a truly breathtaking duel, and as such, Hobgoblins have a slightly better reputation than their either backstabbing or overtly violent cousins, as they would much rather spare a worthy foe’s life, in order to let them grow stronger, and provide an even better duel next time. Of course, unworthy foes are often cut down where they stand, or worse still, taken by the Hobgoblin’s allies as a slave, often never to be seen nor heard of again – To what dreadful purpose these slaves are taken, none wish to discover.
Uncomfortable with peacetimes, a Hobgoblin society is one in constant preparation for battle, for chances are, if they do not declare war upon their own kind, then chances are, they shall most likely be trying to take over those around them. They serve as commanders amongst other races; their superior strategising allowing them to lead from the rear just as well as they can lead from the front lines – And those who have faced them can assure you, neither is a preferable place to encounter one.
Finally, the largest and most brutal form of Goblin is the mighty Bugbear; Whilst Goblins stand around 4” tall, and Hobgoblins are often slightly taller than the average human, Bugbears stand at over 7” tall, on average. Their great strength and stature leave many wondering why they are even related to something as puny and unimpressive as Goblins, yet for all their might, they share one trait with their smallest cousins – They have a terrifying gift for stealth, despite their great size. Many an unobservant person has met their death at the hands of Bugbears who took advantage of their lack of caution, as along with their regular equipment, Bugbears often carry a garrotte with them, “Just in case”. All that is found of their victim’s are often headless corpses, as Bugbears decapitate fallen foes in honour of their greatest hero, Hrrugek the Skulltaker.
Bugbear society is simplistic, in that they do not actually have a society of their own, their overtly aggressive natures leading them to prefer the sheer rush of combat or the thrill of throttling their foes to death over the careful planning that Hobgoblins enjoy so very much. Instead, they are found integrated as key elements of regular Goblin or Hobgoblin society, as the bodyguard, as the assassin, and if all else fails, on the front lines, swinging their weaponry and bellowing war-cries that could freeze the hearts of the boldest of warriors.