- To do the worst thing in a given situation. Therrance Grew goblinned his life away.
- To deliberately choose wrong. In the face of every allegiance and responsibility would he goblin.
- The worst version or something. He had a goblin conscience.
- A thing whose character is opposite from normal. He kept goblin promises.
- Evil. He had goblin eyes.
- Being inexpert or wretched in execution. His work, home, dress, demeanor, suffered goblinly from his weaknesses.
- With a sinister implication; to a sinister end. When in his cups he danced goblinly atop the tables, reciting forbidden songs.
- Synonym to cruelly. He used women goblinly and blamed it on the drink.
- A being or thing considered ugly and evil. Though born of man he was considered by many to be himself a veritable goblin.
- A magical creature, itself ugly and evil. It was no surprise when his neighbors awoke to find Therrance had been dragged away by goblins in the night.
- Expletive, a curse wishing ruination or cruelty; thought to summon goblin creatures if spoken. Goblin!
If there are elves there are goblin elves. If there are apes there may be goblin apes. If there is a house which should not be able to stand, whose shadow kills the grass and whose silhouette on the hillside makes people avert their gaze, this is a goblin house. Put enough of those together and you've goblinly goblinned yourself quite a goblin city, one filled with goblins. Goblin your eyes.
Goblins are neither genus nor species. They are a kind, a type, and anything can become goblin, or come to that a goblin. Their language is incredibly goblin, and goblin goblins use the word "goblin" for many other parts of speech (numbers, definite articles, pronouns) we might recognize, with the rest of their language sounding like burbles, chittering, angry growls, and sorrowful moans.
Think of it this way: if goblin had an antonym across all its uses, that word would be....Muppet.
This is not to imply that there is nothing so identifiable as *A* goblin, clearly there is, but it's a much wider question of shared perspective, rather than genetics...not that lineage doesn't play into things. Let's start, goblinly of course, from the bottom.
A goblin is a creature who eats garbage and living flesh alike but these do not sustain them. They grow malnutritioned or thirst to death if they try to get by on plain old food and water. They don't actively need either of those things, which is why barren forest, rocky tunnels, and red-scorched desert are all good places to find goblins.
Goblins feed on the blood of heartless, cruel, hateful and evil people. They can sense your ill deeds. They smell your sins. They do not drink your blood exactly, the blood is incidental. They can't get by on elk blood or the blood of virgins. They draw the dark deeds themselves, the taint they leave on the soul, from the blood. They don't even take joy in it really, they see anything not a goblin as like a pomegranate or something.
Their favorite flavoring is fear. They come in the night, always, their skin a dull greenish gray in the shadows. They creep through all the towns, looking for any motherfuckers around. All fear and sin is the same to a goblin, whether you're a murderer or you lied to y'r pa. It all makes you a tasty morsel. Sometimes you glimpse their eyes, which glow yellow in the night. Those they hunt instead see their eyes as a fiery red. Once they've taken a shine to you they will come in numbers, night after night, until they have you. Their skeletons are flexible. They can dig like motherfuckers. Some of them are even magic.
Everybody has a little darkness in them, and darkness calls to darkness. The goblins'll gitchu too if'n you don't watch out.
Now goblins don't really fuck for reproduction. I mean it happens but a goblin fuck is a lazy, selfish, painful affair for everyone involved, especially the spectators and obviously goblinfuck IS a spectator sport. Who would need to when cowardice, viciousness, pettiness, and disgustingness all take the place of traditional DNA? That stuff spreads like lava. Yes some goblins are born goblins but far more simply become goblins.
Other times, goblins are made. Goblins steal babies. If they don't just eat the baby to be assholes they may instead nurture it on the same milk of evil, a bad man's blood. The child grows up goblin in every way.
In either case a goblin's flesh knows its old shape. These goblins can take a more pleasing form, the better to creep, to infiltrate, to course for sin. This is why goblin life is so strictly regimented as it is. The little buggers wouldn't seem like shoe-ins for militaristic order but we come to one of the many reasons here: goblins cannot stand other goblins. This is true in a general sense (no goblin enjoys the company of their peers, there is no goblin who really improves the lives of his friends, there are not goblin friends) but especially true for those goblins who take to sowing misery and hate in the world, the evil-farmers.
These goblins can hold their shape as humanoids among other humans, and among other goblins similarly disguised. In the presence of a naked and natural goblin, however, they revert. It's like how showing a demon its reflection makes it reveal itself. The lie they live is held in front of them and it's all they can think about, the shape won't hold. That's why there is a class of goblin who hates goblins more than most goblins. They stick to their own kind, the forerunners, the sowers of suffering. When they interact with other goblins it is almost always from a hybrid form, behaving nasty and brutally in order to control the goblin swarms. To keep these goblins in line, far away from them as they ply their trade. They keep their own circle closed tightly, maintaining a dedicated chain of command. They're like Nazi spies.
A militaristic, classist, subtle goblin who can take a human form (but cannot keep it in the presence of other goblins) is known as a hobgoblin. "Hob" is an old goblin word meaning goblin. Hobgoblins are such shits that they goblin other goblins.--------
What about bugbears? W hat about them? Anything can be a goblin. A bugbear is a goblin bear, the the goblin's ability to stretch its form. "Bug" is a goblin word meaning "ignore." You can train them but they're basically as smart and interesting on their own as furniture.
There exists of course a creature who can hold its shape indefinitely. Even the presence of other goblins and hobgoblins it can maintain its form. It can "feed" through the act of CREATING other goblins, the act of spreading darkness, or it can feed in the traditional manner. It never otherwise eats or drinks. It is the class of royal goblins, the high goblins, from which all goblin queens and kings descend. Aside from their corruption touch they are often powerful sorcerers in their own right, since the rich have the luxury of study.
Not only can a high royal goblin maintain its form surrounded by other goblins but this humanoid form can be an especially gorgeous form. They may stay this way indefinitely, with only other goblins knowing their true nature (though many may suspect). There is a catch: the more beautiful they become, and the longer they stay in this form, the weaker and more hideous their natural goblin form becomes. This works both ways, and a royal goblin who endeavors to become ever more hideous will find their humanoid form absolutely resplendent, as faerie glamour.
So that guy at the top of the page and this guy are the same guy.
More people need to work on making Dorian Gray a D&D monster okay.
What is it like, this goblin kingdom? Well I don't have one. There are small goblin castles here and there, sure, in the shittiest parts of the world but never TOO far away from civilization eh? I'm of the mind, however, that one can have a sprawling and fearsome goblin kingdom OR an unstoppable nightmare skeleton kingdom and that's...not a contest for me.
The goblin kingdom is every kingdom in its corners. The goblin nation is where every nation meets its natural borders and badlands. The goblin army is any army that sees anybody outside their army as sand in the breeze. Goblin gods are whatever god is fucking the goblins over at the moment. Goblin magic is incredibly inexact, barely controlled, often failing, doubly dangerous, and like crack cocaine to the user.
They're in every settlement and every dungeon and most parties. Maybe not at the start, but eventually, as entropy and attrition perform their lambada and the people of the world settle for the lesser, weaker, easier. The goblins come, or else are called, or are become.