Saved some goblins today, wretched creatures. If I were a more tenderhearted dwarf, I would feel feel pity for them. But as it is, I am filled with a curious disgust. Useful as hell, handy in a fight maybe, but their kind seems to have an unnatural knack for attracting abuse. They slip from woe to woe as if they were a bunch of children trying on costumes.
We dwarves have never take much truck with slavery, we prefer to build machines for our grunt work, but the Aurorans revelled in it. Attestations of magical workmanship aside, their great works and golden palaces were really built on the backs of so much goblin blood. I have always been mortified by the practice, but now that I see goblins left to their own devices, it begins to seem a fitting use for them. Their childish proportions and ungainly gaits are almost purpose built to inspire a natural distaste in other species, and their haphazard nature is almost crying out to be ruled, controlled, conquered by those who are their betters.
While sojourning along what I can only assume is the “Green Arendi” (which is a very apt description of its brackish, algae-sodden flow as we climb higher in these hills) mentioned in our maps, we came across a small band of unfortunate goblin kin cornered in an oxbow of the river by shambling herd of the undead. In particular, a pack of skeletal archers and fell champion had pinned the creatures down and were picking them off one by one. We unleashed a volley of spells and arrows from the far side of the river. Thomas in particular distinguished himself, leaping clear across the river in one mighty swoop and finishing off the champion with a mighty blow to his bony crown. We were able to save a few of the goblins. One in particular, by the name of Tovaric, seemed to be the leader of the band, and offered us shelter in their village overnight.
We were surprised to find any intelligent (???, err… “civilized” seems a bit of a stretch) creatures in this waste at all. 200 years of the Grey death may have eliminated the Aurorans from these lands, but their slaves appear to be a more hardy folk. (Ivellios took this news very queerly indeed, and immediately ran around asking the nearby goblins for a vial of their blood (I’ll have to keep an eye on him. I had to intervene in a few cases to prevent his immediate evisceration by a few hobgoblins who took his request the wrong way. The boy has no tact whatsoever, and his bizarre “sciee-ti-fical” ideas are going to get him in trouble). Erevan on the other hand was more distracted by the strong wolf pups being reared in the village and immediately began treating with Tovaric to trade for one particularly gregarious pup. I think he has been missing the communion he shared with the beasts in healthier lands. Tovaric agreed, but on very odd tones. In hushed tones, he ducked out of sight of the Hobgoblins (who seem the undisputed masters of the camp), and agreed to give us the pup on the condition of a good introduction to “a new master” at Aofie’s Stand. On top of this, he required a “deposit” of our dried herbs, as a cover story to hide the bargain from his Hobgoblin masters. It seems slavery is a Goblin’s natural lot, and if they do not have it forced upon them by the civilised races, the strong among them enslave the weaker. That any creature would willingly ask for an introduction as an indentured servant to another seems unnatural to me, but there is much about these little ones that seems so….
(TODO: strange goings on with Hobgobs)