Goblins are a diminutive and malicious race of humanoid creatures that can be found in almost every temperate region of Eletreus, and commonly reside in creepy forests, fen-land or other unpleasant places within a relatively short distance of small human settlements.
Unlike the other so called Goblinoid races, Goblins were not created by the Fallen during the War in Heaven, are rather a race of ancient gnomes that were exposed to the Dark aspect of the Sky Mother. Because of this, they are a naturally magical race and during the nights of the blood moon, can be found celebrating in the fields or their dark forest abodes.
Goblins have pinched faces with long noses, huge luminous green eyes, sickly green colored, warty skin and wispy long black hair, which is rarely seen as they always go about dressed in cowled black cloaks. Their bodies underneath the cloaks are extremely thin and devoid of muscle, and they have the strength of the average 12 year old boy, but are extremely dexterous and nimble.
Cunning, devious and adverse to direct confrontation, Goblins prefer to use a combination of stealth, magic and to attack from behind with their short, wicked magical blades, which are forged by goblin smiths far away from the prying of humanity.
While physically weak and easily killed, goblins can run much faster than humans often briefly levitating as needed up to a foot off the ground (they cannot do this for more than a second or two, but it can be enough to make a big difference depending on the situation). Goblins are also master poisoners, coating their blades with a fast acting poison obtained from a special mushroom that grows in the areas they typically inhabit which causes almost immediate paralysis and death within an hour from asphyxiation unless an antidote is given (which they have as they use this poison to capture more often than kill outright).
While they do not use bows, they are fond of poisoned blow darts and throwing knives secreted away in the folds of their cloaks, and always prefer to attack from a distance unless an opponent has succumbed to their poison or is unarmed or appears defenseless and frequently use hit and run tactics and diversions to draw their victims into a trap, as they are also master trappers and use pit traps (with or without spikes depending on if they are attempting to capture or kill) trip cords attached to rope traps, etc, etc and are extremely skilled at concealing them.
Cautious and skittish by nature, they will frequently stalk a potential victim for a considerable amount of time, picking the best moment to attack. In addition to their poisoned weapons, Goblins also have some innate magical abilities, such as the power to become partially invisible by camouflaging themselves to project what is behind them to the front, the ability to curdle milk, make cows udders run dry, horses go temporarily lame or stumble and many other nasty little can-trips including minor illusions, which are typically used to frighten away a potentially dangerous opponent into thinking that something else is there other than goblins or for surprising the weak and the elderly so that they die from a heart attack, which the goblins find hilariously amusing.
While unmistakably evil by nature, they are not necessarily always murderous, seemingly getting great pleasure from frightening and generally making life miserable for people in isolated farming communities, such as dancing on their rooftops at night, starting fires, killing dogs and livestock (they delight in chasing and slaughtering chickens especially!). Because they leave no footprints and are extremely hard to catch, goblins sometimes plague a village for centuries and while their lifespan is unknown, they are believed to live at least several hundred years..
Goblins speak whichever language is dominant in the region they reside in and have a hissing voice with a tendency to stutter. This is a sore point for them, and if they are mocked for their manner of speech, they will become enraged and seek to kill the person who insulted them at the first opportunity. Goblins are also unable to break a promise made, though will twist the wording to their advantage and are highly intelligent and cunning.
Attracted to shiny things, regardless of their actual value, Goblins are very greedy and especially like rubies, for they are both lovely and shiny and remind them of the Blood moon. While they prefer to steal (they are excellent thieves, many things that go missing are blamed on goblins, whether they did it or not) they can also be bribed or employed by people of ill repute and are frequently the minions of evil magicians and witches.
Apart from their physical weakness, they are also terrified of elves and will flee at the sight of any elf, even one unarmed and seemingly easy prey. Bright sunlight hurts their sensitive eyes, so they rarely venture out except on the gloomiest grey days.
Being the wicked children of the moon goddess in her negative aspect, they do have a surprising side to their personality concerning human children from her nurturing side. While they enjoy tormenting and frightening children, especially the bad ones, they do not cause them physical harm (adults are another story) and may even befriend unpopular or unloved children, occasionally stealing them away to raise as sorcerers. In some cases, Goblins have even brought lost children back to their villages – though they have no patience for ‘brats’ and in general, enjoy humiliating those who hold a higher station in life than others.
Because of these two redeeming features, while hated as a menace, Goblins are also sometimes the subject of morality tales warning against excessive pride and avarice.