Goblins are a race of goblinoids. They are numerous and can be found in most places on Exandria.

Appearance

History

During the Calamity, the evil god of war and conquest, Bane, the Strife Emperor, revealed himself to the dranassar, a strong, cunning, multitudinous race of humanoids then living in what is now Xhorhas. Many of them, enthralled by Bane's power, followed him willingly, and their capital of Ghor Dranas became the seat of the Betrayer Gods' power. Those who opposed him were bent to his will and were corrupted first. When Bane needed skirmishers, he twisted some dranassar slaves into goblins; for other roles he created hobgoblins and bugbears. As the war raged on, even those loyal to him were corrupted to fill the ranks.[19][20]

Bane and his goblinoid legions repeatedly clashed with Melora and her followers, and she finally defeated him in the south of the continent now called Tal'Dorei. The goblins left behind there have run wild across the Rifenmist Peninsula and even into the rest of Tal’Dorei for centuries.[21]

In the first centuries after the Calamity, the goblinkin tribes of Xhorhas were mostly confined to that region of Wildemount: Uk'otoa guarded the waters to the south for the Ki'Nau, and the surviving dwarves of Grimgolir prevented any tribes from moving to the west.[22] However, around 535 PD, Gruumsh-worshipping goblins stormed the Lushgut Forest and desecrated Sepesca, the Ki'Nau's holiest of burial temples, where Melora's blood was said to have spilled before the Divergence. The Ki'Nau fled and the site was left in ruins.[23]

The Curse of Strife

Though Bane was defeated by Melora in one of the final battles of the Calamity and banished beyond the Divine Gate,[24] all three races of goblinkin are still affected by the curse of strife, which allows Bane's voice to prey on their minds and compel them to evil. Goblins are specifically prodded toward wanton malice (neutral evil).[11]

The curse can be broken, but it is nearly impossible for a goblinkin to do so on their own. There are several ways it can be done:

  • A goblinkin born within 100 miles of a Luxon beacon does not inherit the curse. Any creature transfigured or reborn into the body of a goblinkin (such as through consecution) is likewise free of the curse.
  • In the Lushgut Forest, the Vinewreathed Enclave is a druidic order of bugbears and goblins who broke free from Bane's influence decades before 835 PD.
  • After being reduced to 0 hit points and returning to consciousness, they can make a Wisdom saving throw (DC 20), with advantage if they were brought back to life. On a success, the goblinkin breaks free from the curse of strife.
  • A goblinkin targeted by remove curse can also make this saving throw, with advantage on the save if the caster is a trusted companion.[11]

Unless the curse is broken early in life, the individual is likely to retain the same attitude toward law and chaos.[11]

Society

Tal'Dorei

Republic of Tal'Dorei

  • In the Dividing Plains the Ravagers, lawless warbands of goblinoids and orcs devoted to Gruumsh, delight in murdering innocents.[25] Goblins only join the Ravagers as slaves—spoils from orcish raids of goblin nests. Those who show exceptional skill are forced to drink a concoction called skullfire that burns any remaining reason from their minds and makes them obedient and murderous.[26]
    • The Herd of Storms sometimes has to defend itself from hordes of goblinoids,[27] presumably including goblins.
  • Hungry goblin scavengers threaten yeomen of the Bladeshimmer Shoreline outside of Emon's walls.[28]
  • Humans, dwarves, and elves of Tal'Dorei treat the endemic goblins like vermin, and look down on them for never having formed any society more organized than a temporary raid camp.[19]

Iron Authority

The Iron Authority is a highly regimented society in which hobgoblins are on top and goblins are second-class citizens who are clearly relegated to servant roles, though they are still afforded citizenship and a certain level of goblinoid respect.[24]

Elsewhere in Tal'Dorei

  • Ice goblins have been known to organize into hordes that can be threatening to Lyrengorn's wyvern riders.[29]
  • The peoples of the Mornset Countryside fend for themselves against godless hordes of goblinoids.[30]

Wildemount

Xhorhas

Fan art of Skysibil Abrianna Mirimm, by BlackSalander.[art 1]

Thanks to the power of Luxon beacons, goblinkin in Xhorhas are commonly free of the curse of strife. Goblins are common in the region; they are a common sight in Rosohna[11] and are a major part of the population in several of the Kryn Dynasty's main settlements, like Asarius, Urzin, and Jigow. One of the villages of Igrathad, Broonbobah, is a goblin settlement composed of clusters of huts and rickety, tall, wood structures.[31]

There is a common but mistaken belief that, like the goblinkins' curse of strife, orcs and half-orcs are afflicted by a similar "curse of ruin" from Gruumsh. As a result, the union of orcs and goblinkin is still strictly taboo among Xhorhasian nomads because the elders fear the madness that would afflict a soul with both curses. As a result, despite many orcs in Xhorhas living among goblins (notably in Jigow) or other goblinkin, most half-orcs in Xhorhas have human or drow blood.[32]

Menagerie Coast

Fan art of Wensforth, by @BuckMoonArt.[art 2]

In the Lushgut Forest, the Vinewreathed Enclave is a society led by bugbear druids of Melora who have used her magic to free their goblin kin of the curse of strife.[33]. They are slowly developing friendly relations with people living in the northern reaches of the Menagerie Coast, such as in Gwardan. But in the larger southern cities, goblins are a rare sight, and most people's familiarity with goblins extends only to terrifying stories of (still-cursed) goblins they hear from travelers.[11]

Dwendalian Empire

Fan art of Nott, by Monica M. Magaña.[art 3]

Goblins in the Empire form small tribal groups that try to avoid the attention of the Righteous Brand. As in the Republic of Tal'Dorei, goblins in rural areas still suffer under Bane's curse and are treated like vermin. Nomadic goblin camps moving through the nearby Cyrios Mountains often encroach on the farming community of Felderwin in the dark of night during harvest time. Goblins in cities may be viewed with suspicion or even fear, but most city folk have less experience with goblin raiders and accept that not all goblins are evil.[34]

Greying Wildlands

Nomadic clans of northern goblins form hunting parties and ride winter wolves in the Crystalsands Tundra.[35] Goblinoid bands have also claimed parts of the Rime Plains, though goblins have not been mentioned specifically.[36]

Blightshore

Goblins make up 15% of the population of the rough-and-tumble harbor city of Rotthold, second only to humans (30%).

Marquet

The Duneburrow goblins of the Marquesian deserts have a fearsome reputation.[11]

Known Goblins

Trivia

  • Sam Riegel has played two characters whose call to adventure started with violent deaths of mothers at the hands of goblins. The seminal event of Scanlan Shorthalt's life was seeing his mother being killed by a goblin,[38][39] and Nott was herself killed by goblins and magically reincarnated by their ally Isharnai as a goblin.

References

  1. DDB.png Goblin on D&D Beyond
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 See D&D: Monster Manual, 5th ed., p. 165-166).
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 See D&D: Volo's Guide to Monsters, 5th ed., p. 119.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 175.
  5. See "In Love and War" (2x57).
  6. See "Agreements" (2x61) at 2:47:59.
  7. See "Homeward Bound" (2x48) at 1:13:56.
  8. See "Curious Beginnings" (2x01) at 21:18.
  9. See "The Fancy and the Fooled" (2x97).
  10. See "Feral Business" (2x52) at 1:13:11.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 11.6 Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 174.
  12. See "Curious Beginnings" (2x01) at 21:18.
  13. See "Curious Beginnings" (2x01) at 21:18.
  14. See "Arrival at Kraghammer" (1x01) at 2:22:50.
  15. See "Curious Beginnings" (2x01) at 21:18.
  16. See "Feral Business" (2x52) at 1:13:11.
  17. See "Curious Beginnings" (2x01) at 21:18.
  18. See D&D: Xanathar's Guide to Everything, 5th ed..
  19. 19.0 19.1 Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, pp. 125–126.
  20. Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 173.
  21. [title missing], p. 76.
  22. Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 19.
  23. Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 75.
  24. 24.0 24.1 Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 79.
  25. Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 52.  See also p. 20.
  26. Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 137.
  27. Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 102.
  28. Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 86.
  29. Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 69.
  30. Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 72.
  31. Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 141.
  32. Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 178.
  33. Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 67.
  34. Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 173.  See also p. 84.
  35. Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 113.
  36. Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 115.
  37. Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 250.
  38. See "Arrival at Kraghammer" (1x01) at 6:51.
  39. See "A Bard's Lament" (1x85) at 2:07:35.

Art:

  1. Fan art of Skysibil Abrianna Mirimm, by BlackSalander (source).  Used with permission.
  2. Fan art of Wensforth, by @BuckMoonArt (source).  Used with permission.
  3. Fan art of Nott, by Monica M. Magaña (source).  Used with permission.
  4. Nott the Brave, by Ari (source).  Used with permission.

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