The Madjan Krugtoje has always teemed with Goblins and goblinoids, and Temir is no exception. The wisest sages of the Goblins, known to themselves as the First People, maintain that the Madjan was once the site of great goblin kingdoms, where blood ran thicker than honour. They elevated their emperor to virtual godhood, and it was for that hubris that the gods punished them, casting them down and shattering their kingdoms, leaving them as tribes of wanderers and warriors, often at the mercy of other, lesser races. Goblins, Bugbears, Varags and Hobgoblins were cast adrift, and left to recover. The Hobgoblins travelled to the east, where they have raised another empire, but the Goblins remain in their traditional lands, seeking to learn their lesson anew. Proud hunters and craftsmen, they have often been caught up in the wars between the cities and the Crag, their leaders siding with one or the other. Particularly ambitious leaders, such as Yevgeniy Daniil Illarion Terenti Pasha, once Yevgeniy Daniil Illarion Terenti Rada, have attempted to supplant one of the four lords, though they have never succeeded. The consequences have been dire at times, and the concessions which the Goblins of the foothills have made are quite dear, sometimes spending years offering their youths up to the Illithids and Imaskari for experimentation.
Goblins chiefly worship the gods of the Onyx Throne, fearing that if such gods go neglected, their race will once again be cast down. Erzulie stands at the forefront of their pantheon, a goddess of mysteries and death, daughter of Nurzhan the Tyrant, whose name must never be spoken. Anargul is the god of their magic users, who invoke the powers of his hungry darkness in their spells, and Tural is a god of leadership and ambition, encouraging ruthlessness and threatening betrayal. The gods of the other thrones are rarely even offered lip service, so powerful is the fear of the onyx gods.
Goblins have both arcane and divine magic users, though all of them claim to receive their power from the onyx gods. Seen as closer to the gods, magic users are valued in goblin society, often rising to positions of authority. They carry a great responsibility though, as it is important to be viewed as using one’s powers in the service of the goblin people. More than a few spellcasters have been sacrificed by a tribe in order to right some perceived affront to the divine will.
The goblin societies of Temir are numerous and fragmented. The clans who sympathize with Scything Crag have settled in the Counai Heights, adopting republican values and holding themselves to be High Goblins. They have been hard pressed in the past decade, as the Shatterskull Ogres have moved into their hunting ground, the ogres’ strength and numbers bringing them much favour among the four lords. The presence of the ogres has driven the other goblin tribes from their hunting grounds, forcing them into a nomadic existence wandering the wastes, or driving them to urban life in the cities. Still, they hold to some of their old ways, including an intricate code of status which determines their pecking order in a given group. Face and the preservation thereof is important to goblins not merely as an aspect of their culture which they have retained, but determines their standing relative to the gods.