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Against the Shadow  |  Creatures  |  Goblins of Eredane
Goblins of Eredane
Goblins of Eredane

    In his search for servants worthy of joining his host, the Dark God, captured and corrupted, fey, humans, giants, and the great beasts of the north. Much is known of his successes, the orcs and oruks, the Night Kings, blight ogres, and the corruption of the dire wolves - the worgs. Much less is known about what is seen as his failure, the vermin of the Shadow host, the goblins.

    In the early years of the First Age, tribes of fey began to disappear from the Northern Marches. Some believed that the tribes had fallen to sickness or predators. Natural death would have been preferred over what was done to the captured fey. The various types of captured highland imps were twisted and filled with Izrador's dark essence. What came from years of torture and reforming were the goblins. Instead of the strong and magical warrior race the Dark God wanted, the goblins turned out to be weak, skulkers in the dark, lacking in discipline, and full of fear. The Shadow abandoned its attempts with the highland imps and left the goblin race to fend for itself in the savage north.

    Unexpectedly, the race survived and even grew in size during the First Age. During the Battle of Three Kingdoms, the goblins were used to blunt the blades of the dorns and act as skirmishers. The goblins died by the thousands. Even so, they took their toll on the dornish and elven warriors. During the Second Age, the goblins began to adapt to their role as the servants of the orcs. In battle the goblins were used as scouts and saboteurs. At the end of the Second Age, the goblins were infiltrated past the Fortress Wall to spread panic and destruction in the Dornish heartland. Raiding virtually defenseless villages, killing cattle, and poisoning wells were all within the limited capabilities of the goblins. Their ability to infiltrate and strike without warning diverted desperately needed troops from the Fortress Wall.

    The battles of the Second Age provided another opportunity for the goblins to prove their worth to the Shadow, cavalry. The Shadow's lack of cavalry proved to be fatal in the later stages of the battles of the Second Age. The inability to quickly move across the battlefield and the lack of an effective counter to the Sarcosan cavalry turned the tide against the Shadow. The barrens of the northern wastes did not have and could not support the great herds of horses necessary to form an effective cavalry force. The Shadow used worgs to attack the Sarcosan cavalry, but the worgs were not organized, and did not have the ability to quickly react to changes in a battle. The worgs needed riders to control their actions and provide for the mounted force the Shadow so desperately needed. As orcs were far too heavy for the worgs, the Shadow's generals turned their eyes to the goblins. Tribes of goblins were taken and trained to ride and fight from worgs. The bonding of the worgs and goblins took hundreds of years, but finally a breed of goblins was created that could work with the worgs and provide the Shadow with its first cavalry.

    With the rise of the Last Age, the goblin race has evolved into six distinct racial types, lesser goblin, goblin, greater goblin, sniffers, worg riders, and slavers.

Lesser Goblin

    Even smaller then a normal goblin, lesser goblins rarely reach three feet in height. They are the menial laborers for their orc masters, and very, very rarely used in combat. Lesser goblins do not form their own tribes; they are the property of the orc tribes/legions. In black tongue, they are called ran `kerrach, worker goblins. In dwarven, they are called frankach be`ag, or lesser goblin.

  • Impact on Eredane: None, they are treated as any other slave.
    Size: small.
    Benefits/detriments: Strength -3, Dexterity +1, Charisma -3, Hit Dice 1D6, +4 to Move Silently and +2 to Hide checks.
    Favored weapons/armors: Very rarely armed with metal weapons. Lesser Goblins use crude spears, clubs, slings, and darts.
    Favored feats: Endurance, Great Fortitude, Alertness.


    Almost half of the race is standard goblins. Body and skin coloration varies by region and tribe. Coloration appears to be important to the goblins, but what it signifies is a mystery to non-goblins. Standard goblins are treated just barely better then lesser goblins. They still receive the worst living areas, food, and access to weapons. Goblins are thrown into the front line of combat to act as "arrow catchers" and to identify weaknesses in the enemy's defenses. In black tongue, they are simply called ran, goblins. In dwarven and norther, they are called frankach, which means both goblin and rat.

  • Impact on Eredane: Limited, used as fodder for the orc armies. They are also used to spread terror in occupied territories and to provide limited security for orc supply trains.
    Size: small.
    Benefits/detriments: Strength -2, Charisma -2, Dexterity +2. +4 to Move Silently and +2 to Survival checks.
    Favored weapons/armors: Goblins rarely rate metal armor and lack the ability to convert human/orc armor into a form more suitable for their size. Most armor is crudely made leather, studded leather, or hide armor. Goblins normally carry small wicker or wooden shields and are armed with Fighting Knives (treat as a Dagger), Javelins, Slings, and the occasional Short Sword.
    Favored feats: Alertness, Dodge, Stealthy.

Greater Goblin

    The pinnacle of the goblin evolutionary ladder. Greater goblins are more than a foot taller than standard goblins (up to five feet tall) and much more sturdily built. Greater goblins due to their size and strength easily dominate most goblin tribes. Only one in every hundred goblins will develop into a greater goblin.

    In black tongue, they are called ran `mor, or large goblin. The dwarves and dorn also use the word mor to mean big or large.

  • Impact on Eredane: Small, due to their limited numbers. Most goblin tribes are led by greater goblins. Orcs will often kill greater goblins to prevent any challenge to their control over goblin tribes.
  • Size: medium.
  • Benefits/detriments: +1 Strength, -1 Intelligence, -1 Charisma. +4 to Move Silently and +2 to Survival checks.
  • Favored weapons/armor: Greater goblins are able to wear captured human armor and usually wear ill-fitting chain or scale armor. They claim the best weapons available to the tribe and prefer to wield swords and maces.
  • Favored feats: Power Attack, Toughness, Persuasive.


    Sniffers are almost feral goblins that survive due to their natural ability to track their prey. These goblins have proven very valuable when the orcs hunt resistance fighters or escaped slaves. Sniffers are wiry and hunched over to be closer to the ground. They often use all four of their limbs to propel themselves. Physically, they are much weaker then normal goblins. If forced to fight, they will normally attack with their claws and teeth.

    In black tongue, they are called ran `kafer, which means dog goblin. Neither dwarven nor norther has a special word for the sniffers. Dwarves and dorn just call them kafer.

  • Impact on Eredane: Excellent trackers. In skirmishes with orc and goblin hunting parties/warbands, sniffers are often the first targets. Resistance groups have learned the hard way that the orcs/goblins will flee an initial encounter only to return in greater numbers using the sniffers to pick up their trail.
    Size: small.
    Benefits/detriments: -3 Strength, -1 Constitution, -3 Charisma, +3 Dexterity, +1 Wisdom. Automatically gain the Scent feat. Can attack with either two claws (1D2) or one bite (1D3).
    Favored weapons/armor: Sniffers very rarely carry weapons or wear anything more than hide armor. They prefer to keep their hands free.
    Favored feats: Track. Sniffers that gain enough experience/levels to gain a second feat usually chose Endurance or Alertness.


    Slavers are a breed of goblin that is trained from birth on how to capture and keep slaves. Physically, slavers are little different from standard goblins. Due to their contact with non-orc/goblins, they have greater command of languages and are usually better equipped. They are employed by legates, Traitor Princes, and orcs to provide slaves for mines, farms, and simple industry.

    In black tongue, they are called ran `erus, or master goblin. In dwarven they are called frankach sclabhai, or goblin slavers. Other races either shorten the dwarven to just sclabhai or use the local word for slavers.

  • Impact on Eredane: The bane of independent humans throughout Eredane. Slavers have had to move farther into the wilderness to find the slaves they need to support the mines at Steel Hill and the great farms near Bastion. The most hated of the goblins. 
  • Size: small. 
  • Benefits/detriments: -2 Strength, +1 Dexterity, +1 Intelligence, +1 Wisdom, -2 Charisma. +4 to Move Silently and Appraise (slaves) skills. Start with the Erenlander language. 
  • Favored weapons/armor: Slaves are a valuable commodity, so slavers rarely use weapons that can permanently harm their captives, favoring whips, nets, knouts, and clubs. Slavers rarely take well armed or armored humans as slaves so they rarely wear heavy armor, favoring leather or studded armor. They do carry small shields. 
  • Favored feats: Exotic weapon proficiency (whips, nets), Investigator, Negotiator.

Worg Riders

    Worg Riders are the most dangerous of the goblins. From birth, they are placed with their Worgs and bond at an early age. They are trained in mounted combat and how to act as units vice individuals. They are taller and thinner than normal goblins (up to four feet tall and about 65-75 pounds).

    In black tongue, they are called ran `herla, or goblin riders. In dwarven they are called frankach faolchu, or wolf goblins.

  • Impact on Eredane: Aside from human collaborators, the worg riders are the Shadow's only cavalry. Most orc legions have a small unit of worg riders attached to the legion to act as scouts and messengers. In southern Erenland, they are used against the Sarcosan free riders. 
  • Size: small.
  • Benefits/detriments: - 2 Strength, -2 Charisma, +2 Dexterity. +4 to Ride and Animal Empathy (Worgs only) checks. 
  • Favored weapons/armor: Worg riders normally carry short lances and slashing weapons (swords/axes). Due to weight restrictions, they never wear any armor heavier than leather and never carry shields. 
  • Favored Feats: Mounted Combat. Worg riders that gain enough experience/levels to gain a second feat usually chose Mounted Archery or Ride by Attack.

Author: Kane

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