Friday, June 1, 2012

Where Goblins Come From


When sleeping in isolated villages, it’s prudent to shutter the windows and bar the doors, for goblins hunt the night. They crawl from their underground warrens and scramble forth in a gibbering, mumbling, mob. They overrun farmhouse, manor, and hamlet--and even strike the outskirts of cities--in their search for victims, whom they snatch up and carry back to their lairs.

What do the goblins do with the folk they carry off? It has long be supposed that goblins don't reproduce in the manner of most man-like creatures.  All (or almost all) appear to be of the same sex, and while most goblins are small, scrawny and sickly green, there is an extreme degree of variability in form and features among members of the race.

The subterranean lairs of the goblins are always built within ruins of the time of Man.  There strange machinery--hissing valves and wheezing pumps--surround large pools of viscous liquid. These are the goblin spawning pools.  Their surfaces eddy and bubble and finally erupt with protean goblin life: here a hopping thing with one leg and one arm, there a headless giant (compared to his kin) with a slavering maw in his belly, and between a snickering thing with a goblin’s head on spider’s bloated body.

These neonates crawl from the muck and soon take their place with their fellows, apparently directed to tasks suited to their particular forms by their elders.  Some tend the strange machinery, while others guard their den, but many are assigned to the raid gangs.

The gangs are essential, for the spawning pools need a substrate. Through the working of the machines and the fluid, and a process beyond the kin of anyone in the current age--including the goblins themselves--the unfortunate folk kidnapped are rendered in the pools into the stuff of more goblins.

10 comments:

Brendan said...

Love it. Like the WFRP birth from chaos, but the chaos in this case is the ruins of man.

seaofstarsrpg said...

Gruesome indeed. Are there specialists who seek out and destroy these spawning pools?

Gibbering Mouther said...

I like it, leaves room for Bugbears both as goblinoids and as boogeymen out to grab you in your sleep.

Roger the GS said...

Man, you believe that old tall tale? I guess you don't read much, but goblins actually grow on Fey-haunted tomato vines. That's why their colors range from "brick red" to "lemon yellow" and on into green - it depends on how ripe the fruit is when it drops as a goblin-imp. Take it from someone who's splattered enough goblin heads, they literally have seeds for brains.

Trey said...

@Brendan - Thanks!

@seaofstarsrpg - I'm sure there have to me some zealots that take that task upon themselves.

@Gibbering Mouther - That's true! The bugbears I'm playing on using for this setting are the nightmare(-ish) variety, but this does provide a way to do both.

@Roger - Ah, I see you're a proponent of the "Vegetal School." Probably studied your goblinology at Holtzenwort. I'd be interersted in reviewing your goblin cranium contents data.

Mr. Blue said...

@Roger

I might be a kobold, but I have some goblin friends that would find your comments humorous enough to spit out the fresh elf meat they're chewing on.

If goblins were so easily destroyed, then why is it that every humanoid settlement in every land has not only heard of them, but also fears them enough to hire a bunch of untrustworthy adventurers on a near-constant basis?

I'm quite certain that if you dig deeper, you'll see that the adventurers themselves are the ones with seeds for brains.

ancientvaults said...

As always, terribly clever, Trey!

Edward Ott said...

this kind of Anti-goblin propaganda is just terrible i will be alerting the Goblin anti-defamation league.

garrisonjames said...

Nice! In a very nasty way, of course. Are there any (Howard/Smith-esque) Serpent People down there who might know how to 'adjust' the old mechanisms? It would also be interesting it some alchemical means could be developed to reduce goblinoids to blobs of protean matter, a sort of surrogate for holy water as it is sometimes used against certain vampires...
Some eccentric genius might attempt to take up residence near one of these sites and somehow learn how to take it over and start designing/reshaping their own golbinoid minions...

Trey said...

@Vaults - Thanks.

@Edward - Anti-goblin propaganda...or inconvenient truth?

@Garrisonjames - Man, good thoughts! I'm sure there are probably Serpent guys lurking around down there somewhere.