Goblins in our homebrew world
Updated: Oct 4, 2021
The Life Cycle of the Goblin - From an article written for our club newsletter
he Goblin species develops through metamorphosis. Goblins, as a little-known fact, are a Faerie creature not unlike those Sylvan varieties that most are familiar with. Goblins are a Sylvan variety from the underworld, having inhabited the massive fungal forests of the underworld’s caverns. They are today, far removed from those fungal caverns, having escaped the destruction of the Sundering and the servitude of “The Mother of all Monsters”. Today, the Goblins are known as a race of nomadic merchants, peddling their wares throughout Heimurrin. A truly neutral political entity, Goblins are allied only with profit. Their caravans are welcome throughout the world, all are familiar with Goblins but none truly are. Goblin caravans will contain what are commonly referred to as “Goblins”, squat green skinned beings of 3-4feet in height. They tend to be slender but a fat Goblin is not uncommon. Guarding the caravans are what the collective peoples of Heimurrin call “Hobgoblins”. These green skinned brutes are almost twice as large as a Goblin, heavily muscled but not as bright as the Goblin merchants. Still, the Hobgoblins are much smarter than the “Bugbears”, the laborers. These true brutes do all the heavy lifting and hard work. They are not as aggressive as the Hobgoblins and certainly not as disciplined. They are quite dumb, ignorant to the ways of the world and much more. They tower over the Hobgoblins, standing at a staggering 8 feet in height. Their skin is green and bulging with muscles. Much of their body is covered in hair. Here is what most do not know and likely would not understand, Bugbears, Hobgoblins, and Goblins are all one species, Goblin. Each is a different cycle in the life of the Goblin. Throughout their lifespan (it is quite long) a Goblin transforms into its next form through a complete metamorphosis. There are four stages in the metamorphosis of Goblins: egg, larva, pupa, and adult.
The Egg Yes, Goblins lay eggs. Goblins return to their homeland to lay eggs or undergo a metamorphosis. Their homeland is a cluster of seemingly uninhabited islands off the coast of North Eastern Kurn. This cluster of islands miraculously goes undetected and unmolested by any and all. It is believed powerful Goblin Fey magics are responsible for this. Eggs are laid in clusters of up to 100 with only 2-3% of the eggs hatching after the gestation period. Gestation periods last about 1 year. Goblin eggs are about the size of a pint glass.
Bugbear: The Feeding Stage The next stage is the Bugbear. The bugbear stage is essentially the larval stage of the adult Goblin. The Bugbear will consume massive amounts of food and can and will eat almost anything. During this stage, the Bugbear will begin to work on caravans as a laborer. They will also learn their letters and begin to learn languages. Bugbears grow rapidly from their time of hatching until they are ready for metamorphosis. A Bugbear will reach full size within 6 months but this stage can go as long as 50 years.
Hobgoblin: The Transition Stage When the Bugbear reaches full size, it will stop eating, it is during this time that the Bugbear will make the journey from wherever it is to its homeland. The journey will stimulate the Bugbear towards its cocoon stage. Once the journey is complete, the Bugbear will build a cocoon and crawl in. The Bugbear will remain there for up to 2 years, gradually transforming into a Hobgoblin. The Hobgoblin will emerge after the 2 years and will begin formal education. This formal education will last a period of 20 years and will be conducted in the Goblin homeland. During this time language and writing skills will be refined and mathematics will be introduced. The Hobgoblin will also learn the use of weapons and armor. Upon completion of their education, the Hobgoblins will go to work on caravans again, this time they will be responsible for their protection.
The Hobgoblin stage will last up to 200 years, perhaps more. Unlike the Bugbear stage, the Hobgoblin stage does not occur as a force of nature but rather, it occurs only upon the consent of the Goblin’s Council on Economics. When the Hobgoblin has proven themselves worth of transformation, they are brought before the council. The council reviews the need for additional adults and makes selections based on vacancies (of adult stage Goblins) and the need to expand profitability. Once approved, the Hobgoblin will return to its place of hatching and begin the transformation. Prior to the transformation, a banquet will be held to celebrate the coming of a new adult to the clan. The banquet will begin at sundown and end at sunrise when the transformation will begin. During the banquet, the Hobgoblin will imbibe a concoction that has a heavily intoxicating effect. This effect is mild on adult Goblins but will cause a deep sleep in Goblin young. The Hobgoblin will consume massive amounts of this intoxicant and will fall into a deep sleep for the next year. When the sleep is over, an adult Goblin will emerge. Goblin: The Reproductive Stage The adult stage is what most people think of when they think of Goblins. They look quite different from Bugbears and Hobgoblins but are the same species. Goblins, upon emerging from their sleep, will begin formal training as merchants, will join a guild and will immediately be attached to one of their clan’s caravans. All Bugbears and Hobgoblins are males, there are no females until a Goblin reaches adulthood. It is during the year long sleep that gender is determined. Neither a Bugbear nor a Hobgoblin can procreate.