Goblins all have an abnormal capacity for regeneration. Not enough to notice on the spot; they’re not going to stand in front of you swinging their intestines around until their stomach seals shut, but given a little time they can bounce back from most anything.
They don’t always heal right though. They’re like walking talking cancers. They reproduce by budding.
Sometimes before a wound closes up completely, a bulbous growth sprouts and keeps expanding and forming bits until a half-grown lumpy goblin drops off within a week, full-grown within a month.
It’s why they’re so fucking joyous about violence, it’s sex for them.
A goblin wearing armour is like someone wearing a condom: most of the fun while avoiding the reproductive consequences.
Some goblins are just a little too fertile, once they start budding they don’t stop, they swell up over time into an awful bloated self-important goblin mountain of flesh, forever sprouting crops of new goblins.
Goblin colonies un/lucky enough to get a Broodmother usually find themselves all wearing armour, either through enthusiasm for the Broodmother or from constant nagging and berating.
Sometimes goblins go sterile, their regenerating flesh out of control, sped up, growing into big warped crooked hulking things. Then they’re called trolls. Now you’ll notice their regeneration on the spot: about d8hp per Round’s worth of reconstituting viscera.
Mild brain damage tends to make them a bit deranged, not as smart as goblins, but if anything they lose some of their unbridled lust for violence: it’s not sex anymore.
Fire will wound them permanently, or at least until they can scrape out the seared flesh. If you kill them but don’t burn them they’ll regenerate in body but not in mind, with all of the strength and none of the capacity for reason, just a frenzied regenerating meat wagon with a desire to tear things in half.
Goblins learn fast but not well; when a goblin gets interested in magic it’s the worst.
They kind of know how to make armour. They kind of know how to make weapons. Everything is just super shitty looking. It’d be pretty funny if they weren’t stabbing you to death.
Most of them have a lifespan of about a year, Broodmothers are practically immortal until a frustrated goblin stabs them in the back, but trolls will only last a month or two before their bodies eat themselves.
If you could somehow isolate a colony without a Broodmother, with nothing to fight, it would die out within the year. They tend not to hurt themselves, it’s like public masturbation, frowned upon.
So fighting is goblin sex, a war is like an orgy, a lot of the time they probably don’t even have any ill-feeling towards you, this is all just really fun for them.
Combined with their short lifespans, it also tends to make them fairly impressively reckless.
It’s not uncommon to see:
- Trolls wearing baskets full of spike-armoured goblins on their backs, shooting them out of misshapen hand-held iron cannons coughing black smoke.
- Goblins sliding around inside herded slimes, eventually trying to squelch their way out before their bodies dissolve completely.
Whether it’s because of their regeneration or just the way they taste, they can last at least an hour inside slimes and puddings before being wholly digested.
- Rickety wooden spiked deathwheels and murderballs full of dizzy bruised driver teams plowing towards you, ready to be thrown everywhere amongst the shrapnel when they crash.
- Half-grown goblins armed with knives and tiny flails strapped to the end of pikes, charged around by teams of goblin pikemen.
- Goblins riding on makeshift platforms attached to armoured braindead rampaging trolls, trying not to get plucked off and eaten.
- Piles of goblins launched through the air by cracking bending catapults.
- Goblins holding onto half-wild pigs by fistfuls of hair and skin, trying to direct them by food dangling from the ends of their spears.
- Cage flails full of spiders or burning pitch swung around by goblins that can barely handle the whirling weight.
- Pig-drawn chariots with spring-loaded floors rigged to launch the charioteers forward if the wheels stop turning.
- Goblin alchemists running around jangling with clicking ticking grenades full of altered expanding trollflesh and god knows what else.
- Trolls leading knife-wielding goblins by chains attached to cages around their heads or torsos, swinging them around like gobbo flails.
If they worship anything it’s probably something they call Nurgleskop, a thing of pale orange and pink flesh like a misshapen warped monolith rising out of of a bulbous mound still clinging to its sides. It lies in a cavern open to the sky within the Marrowmorne Mountains, people don’t go there, there are rumours:
- The black woods around it are full of witches sick of the taste and feel of goblin flesh, they yearn for something new.
- Beneath the Nurgleskop is a sleeping boy who fell into the cavern and dreamt the goblins into existence.
- The abandoned villages dotted around it weren’t sacked by the goblins, the people living there went into the woods to become the goblins.
- The earth is so saturated by goblin filth that if you return home with a clump of dirt clinging to your boots, it will sprout a goblin overnight to knife you in your sleep.
- You can only find your way to the Nurgleskop if a goblin leads you. If you’ve made it there without one you can be sure one of your companions is a goblin/goblins in disguise.
- The bellies of the fat, uneasy birds of the Marrowmorne woods are full of gold coins, stamped with the face of an ancient king.
- The Nurgleskop is an egg fallen from the stars.
- Licking the sweaty dew from the Nurgleskop is the fountain of youth.
- An entire race of people laid down to die in the Marrowmorne Mountains, shifting themselves beneath the earth, and the Nurgleskop is nothing more than the fruiting body of a mycelium mass that has been feeding and growing on their remains over the centuries.
- The black river flowing out of the Marrowmorne stems from a great wound split in the mountainside, tainted lifeblood spilling from its ruby heart.
- When the moon is full over the Marrowmorne the goblins become beautiful young girls who run out into the night to tempt the unwary back into the woods.
- There is a black church hidden in the woods inhabited by an old man who will not die. Forbidden tomes and terrible artefacts are locked in the vaults below, protected from the world.
On the other hand some goblins practically worship filth, wallowing around in the worst shit they can find because it makes them heal completely wrong and they think it’s funny, twitching humps and extra arms and exploding stomachs and fingers that are far too long. Expelling toxic gas from various orifices and melding themselves to trolls and budding goblins that are little more than balls with tails and teeth.
While they’re around you should be playing this album on repeat.
Goblins goblins goblins.
WOW fuckin rad. What is that picture from?
I found it on the Jim Henson Creature Shop blog: http://creatureshop.com/blog/
It makes me wish for a Labyrinth sequel in those colours.
This is one of my all-time favorite blog posts. Thank you most heartily!