Vol. 101: The Goblinkin
At a glance: The Goblinkin represent a wide variety of beings all able to mate and produce offspring together. They all worship a goddess of death named Thanisis.
Appearance & Lifestyle: Goblins come in many shapes, forms, and sizes. There are far too many Goblinkin to review them all in this single writing. The Goblinkin include: Goblins, Hobgoblins, Bugabears, Trolls, Ogres, Gobominations and more. They are all classified together for several reasons despite often looking very different from one another. One is that they can all mate with each other and produce viable offspring. Secondly, they all (mostly) live in peace with each other, sharing a common lineage we will discuss in a moment. And they all worship the same goddess of death, Thanisis.
In general, Goblinkin appear savage. They usually have razor sharp pointed teeth and long fingers and hands that end in rending claws. They often live underground but live equally well on the surface. Goblins and Hobgoblins in particular will usually carve out entire mountains for homes creating Goblin Hives, which can house hundreds of thousands, or even millions of Goblinkin safely.
They tend to prefer earth tones and neutral colors. They dress in simple clothing usually unadorned with patterns or embroideries. Instead they prefer to peacock themselves with elaborate bone jewelry and piercings. Bone jewelry and decorations are so prevalent in Goblinkin society that it is a skill taught to all their children. All goblins start with the skills: Bone Carving, Recognize bone quality, and basic anatomy, as free skills.
They place little value on math and science except in that math allows them to count their riches. As such they have very primitive technology and very few modern luxuries. There are no goblin spaceships, or even televisions. There are a very few Goblin Engineers who build Contraptions like the gnomes, but Goblin Contraptions are usually insidious and destructive, whereas Gnome Contraptions are usually clever and whimsical. (See the Gnome writeup for more information about this cool and curious race!)
Goblinkin have almost no use for hygiene. It is said you can smell a Goblin Hive from many miles away. They do not bathe and most have a fear of water, especially running water. They do not brush their teeth, which surprisingly does little to harm their dental health. Their saliva is slightly acidic and keeps their foul mouths and teeth free from gross filth. The saliva is not acidic enough to do damage but a bit of Gobinkin spit in your eye will burn and probably cause an infection. Goblinkin mouths are a breeding ground for dangerous bacteria. This is why Goblinkin bites must be treated quickly or they will fester.
Powers & Abilities: The powers and abilities of each subspecies of Goblinkin will vary. But most do share some things in common. All Goblinkin have night vision. They are able to see very well in almost absolute darkness. The simple light of a candle is all the light a goblinkin needs to see perfectly in a pitch-black cave.
All Goblinkin are AT LEAST +1 to constitution. Many subspecies have a much larger constitution bonus. They possess a fantastic sense of smell and many can track by smell alone. They also have better than normal hearing. There is a subspecies of goblinkin that is completely blind but have such heightened senses of hearing and smell they make some of the deadliest of all goblinkin to run across!
Goblinkin also reproduce in Litters. A typical Goblinkin birth will result in a litter of 1d6+2d4 offspring! Goblinkin babies are exceptionally small but they are voracious eaters and grow with an almost supernatural speed. The typical gestation period for a Goblinkin is only 3 months! Goblin families become very large quickly which has actually strengthened their communities. They take the adage of, “It takes a village to raise a child.” To its purest and perhaps most extreme form. All Goblinkin share in the care of the young. Even the foulest hearted of Goblinkin will usually go out of their way to protect or help feed a Goblinkin child they happen upon. Shockingly this seems to extend to the children of other races too. Goblinkin raiding parties and even Goblinkin at war will usually leave babies and children untouched as they destroy everything around them. To their credit Goblinkin have almost zero cases of child abuse or exploitation of any kind. Their ingrained instinct to protect their young forbids it.
History: To learn about the origins of the Goblinkin we must revisit a race we have talked about before, the Nymphkin. (See the Nymphkin writeup to learn more about this fascinating race!)
The Nymphkin are a very old race. Not quite as old as the truly ancient races, like the Elves, Trementians, and a few more. But close. The ancient elves write in their histories of the Nympkin being, “The First nature spirits, seeming to coexist with nature’s every aspect.” The Nymphkin shared a multiverse that was still quite young with these ancient races. We know from learning about the Nymphkin that they once only existed as the Nymphs. But over countless generations they split into other forms out of necessity and need. Changing via magic and genetics into various subspecies.
This is how the Goblinkin were born as well. The first Goblins were originally Nymphs. But over time they became twisted by dark magics into the forms they have today. Let’s talk about how.
In the new and still forming multiverse many Multidimensional Beings roamed. These beings, living on other planes of existence, were interested in this new dimension that had been brought about. These beings found they could influence things here by giving portions of their power to the mortal beings that lived here. More than this they found they could gain power through the worship, service, and actions of these mortals. The incredible power they were able to give made many races think that these multidimensional beings were gods. But we know that they are not actually gods. Simply beings who exist on other planes of existence with different physical laws than our own.
Regardless of this, among these Multidimensional beings was a fledgling goddess calling herself Thanisis. Thanisis was a younger being, younger for her own kind at least, and she was very hungry. But she found she had a very specific appetite. An appetite for death.
Her favorite meal was to absorb the energies of the dying. She stalked early battlefields as a vision of death, hovering over the dying and consuming their life energy in their final moments. This satisfied her for a while, but wars were not common in the still forming multiverse. Thanisis longed for a more regular source of food. And while she pondered this one day, she ran across an interesting race she had not seen before, the Nymphs.
She found herself attracted to this feminine species, so she stayed to watch them for a while. And as she watched them, she began to believe she could manipulate them to serve her will. She saw that they possessed formidable magic, but a relatively low intelligence. They were kind but incredibly ignorant. Thanisis hatched a plan to corrupt them.
At this time the Nymphkin were almost strictly vegetarian. Occasionally they would eat fish or insects but never a mammal or a bird. They were to pretty to eat! But Thanisis saw this as the first step to remolding them in her image. Thanisis moved among the plants causing blight and disease in the fruit bearing trees around the Nymphs. She sewed pestilence among the wild vegetables and the other weeds and grasses they Nymphs fed on. Soon the Nymphs found themselves going hungry. Thanisis’ plan was working.
The goddess of death began moving amidst the hungry Nymphs. She began to whisper in their ears and their dreams. The rabbits of the fields and the ducks in the ponds you keep. Certainly, they would make good food. They had seen the elves on occasion would eat these. Certainly, if it was good for the elves it would be good for the Nymphs. What other beasts of the earth and air might be good to eat? And soon the first Nymph Hunters were formed.
The first Nymph Hunters were savage and crude. They didn’t know how to kill their prey properly and their methods often caused the animals they targeted to suffer as they languished in clumsily made traps or took arrows to nonvital organs. Thanisis absorbed the suffering and dying energies of these animals and grew stronger. But the Nymphs as a whole did not see this. To them they were now eating were as once they were not. Who cared about a few dead rabbits or ducks? The forests had an abundance of them.
But the energy of the dead animals was not enough for Thanisis. Her hunters killed the animals of the forest in excess, but she longed for more. She wanted the energy only dying humanoids could give her. So, she began the next phase of her plan. She began to enter the dreams of the most skilled and deadly Nymph Hunters. And again, she began to whisper horrible things to them. Look at the Nymphs on the other side of the lake. They don’t even hunt their ducks. We have killed almost all of ours, but we could go take their ducks. We have talked to them before about eating their ducks, but they have forbidden it. How dare they forbid us! The forest and its resources belong to all Nymphs! If we want their ducks, we will take them! And woe to them who would try to stop us!
Thanisis offered these hunters power for their new quest to take the ducks. And many of the hunters accepted this power. But with the power came a small piece of Thanisis herself. And with her came bloodlust.
Soon the Nymph Hunters moved on the Nymphs across the lake. They fought with words at first but when it became clear that the Nymph Hunters would have the ducks regardless, they came to blows. And the Nymph Hunters unleased their new and frightening powers with deadly results. The Nymph Hunters killed the Nymphs across the lake. And with each kill their bloodlust grew. And with it so did Thanisis’ power!
The Nymphs had never killed their own kind before. When the hunters finally returned, they were still covered in the blood of their kin. Their appearance had changed fundamentally. Their teeth had sharpened and become more pointed. Their skin appeared rougher and they smelled of death. The Nymphs they once called family were foreign to them now. These Nymphs didn’t deserve the ducks either! They were weak! They too would have to die! And in short order the hunters conquered their home village. They killed many and enslaved the rest. All of this death allowed Thanisis to become physical in this realm for a short time. So she did so, and she called her hunters too her. And she gave them instructions, as well as more power.
Some of the hunters she ordained as Death Priestesses, giving them new and different powers from the hunters. She also charged them with spreading a religion based on the worship of herself. They would travel about conquering other Nymph forests and turn those Nymphs to her cause, killing those who would not fall in line. Lastly, she gave some of the hunters other new powers. She dubbed them, “The Voice of Thanisis” and they had the power to compel others by speech and to open portals to other universes. This allowed her new children to travel the Multiverse spreading death wherever went and with it the worship of her.
And so it has been since nearly the dawn of time. Over the generations these Followers of Thanisis became more and more twisted by their dark power. They eventually became the first True Goblins, now totally unrecognizable as ever being Nymphs. But the Nymphs predisposition to changing forms over time stayed with them and soon the Goblins also split into many forms. Far more than the Nymphs ever did. They became Hobgoblins, trolls, ogres, Gobominations, Bugabears and many more. Each looking different physically and usually boasting very different abilities but all genetically compatible and all in the service of the Death Goddess Thanisis.
Today the Goblinkin still exist in vast numbers causing strife, pain, suffering, and death, on many worlds throughout the multiverse. Thanks to the Nighttide they are also now members of the Multiversal Senate and travel more freely throughout all of reality. It seems almost certain that the Goblinkin will play a very big role in whatever future the multiverse is moving towards. And with them, death and Thanisis will always follow.
About the Illustrations: Today I have 2 unfinished sketches. One shows two members of the Animus race. The majority of Animus are Cat, Dog, or Mouse humanoids! The second sketch shows an unfinished Jodi from The 5 and the beginnings of a Trementian!