Friday, August 28, 2020

What Are Goblins?

Much has already been written regarding the Eastern Orcs, and the Great War. In recent years, some scholars have proposed daring counter-factuals claiming that Orcs have been horribly misrepresented, that rather than the dumb brutish creatures of legend, they are in fact proud and noble individuals with complex societies. There have been furious debates in academia, and more than one pot of ink has been thrown in anger. 

All scholars still agree, though, that goblins are little shits.

Goblins are grown from fungus, the result of a well-meaning wizard's experiment to manufacture a childlike, innocent race who would playfully frolic through his private domain. We know this from reading what remains of the original wizard's smeared and blood-stained notebooks. (Scholars debate whether the crude, childlike drawings of the wizard that deface the pages are evidence that goblins can feel affection.)

Goblins are raw id. If orcs are said to be brutish violence made flesh, goblins are immature selfishness and lack of empathy. 

They are psychotic toddlers, with less impulse control.

If you shout at a goblin it might cry and sniffle, and tug at your hem and keep saying sorry through the snot. If you shout at a group of goblins they might also cry and sniffle, or they might flash their sharp teeth and giggle and experimentally start poking you with short, dirty spears to see what you'll do next.

By Svetlin Velinov for Magic: The Gathering

Goblins have no sense of personal space. They'll crowd around you, pick at your clothes, take things without asking, put it in their mouths to see what it tastes like. They think it's funny when things break, or blow up. They'll play with something until it stops working, and then they'll get bored and throw it away.

A group of goblins is called a gaggle, which is like a giggle but with more kidnapping. 

The goblin chief is the one with the strongest imagination and ability to impose that imagination on other goblins. Individually, a goblin just breaks things and is a nuisance. Together, a gaggle of goblins can collaborate with the single-minded focus of children at play. Their play always involves copying something they've seen before.

They'll steal cannons and pretend to be an army. They'll dress up in the clothes of villagers, and put on short skits pretending to be humans. They'll raid the manor house, kill the duke and all his servants, and live there for a week wearing powdered wigs and pretending to serve each other tea. 

Jumpstart Historic Goblins Theorycraft • MTG Arena Zone
By Dmitry Burmak

When they're not pretending, they sit around and complain all the time about how boring it is and how nothing ever happens. That's when they get into fights with each other. Bored goblins are always delighted to meet new people. New people are like toys: they're fun to play with, and if they break you can always go and get new ones. They might pretend they'll help you navigate the dungeon. They'll lead you through traps, giggling as they go, or take you to the Manticore's lair to see who would win. Or they might play pretend and make you their king, or decide that you're their best friend. They'll probably believe this, too, for as long as they play.

You might be safe, for a while, if you play along, but their games get more and more murderous. 

They usually end with you being eaten. 

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