The Night Children: Goblins in the Age of Ruins

Original artwork by Alex Rivera

In the far north of the world there is a vast wound in the earth, a chasm stretching hundreds of miles across and descending to unfathomable depths. The skies above roil with perpetual thunderheads and the fanged bite of sulfur fills the air. Its walls are webbed by countless narrow paths crisscrossing into the abyss. Every race has an ancient name for this place, even if they have never dwelt within a thousand miles. In Arethi trade cant (the common tongue of the North) it is simply called “The Maw of Hell.”

There are many conflicting tales of how the Maw came to be, but all agree on what came after. For more than one hundred times one hundred years it sat in menacing stillness until a multitude of imps and demons came pouring forth from the reeking pit. Many stories say that the drop of the Maw is so staggering that the fiends began their ascent the very moment it opened. The vast majority of these monsters were the weakest of devils, little more than grazing fodder for their mighty kin. Collectively they are known as the Night Children: goblins, hobgoblins, orcs, bugbears, and trolls.

Goblins are the weakest and most common of the Night Children, but to the common man they are still the stuff of nightmares. They stand a bit under 3 feet tall and scurry and leap around at a frightening pace. Like all of their brethren, they like to dwell in hidden places and despise sunlight; in the wake of Iso Kharu’s Wrath there is no shortage of goblin hives throughout the North. At night they emerge to sow deadly mischief and conduct rites of worship to gain the favor, such as it is, of their demonic lords.

When goblins speak, it is in a cluster of distant, barely intelligible whispers — even a single goblin’s speech sounds like a muffled conversation between a few people. However, they can also let out a blood-curdling scream that sounds as an alert to all other Night Children in the area.

They seem to consider the flesh of children a delicacy, and have been known to hide in pantries and wardrobes waiting for the residents to fall asleep before stealing their feast.

Night Children: All Night Children share the following characteristics.

  • Darksight: Night Children can see perfectly even in absolute darkness, and suffer no penalties for poor lighting.
  • Aversion to Sunlight: Night Children must make a Spirit roll at -2 every round they are exposed to sunlight; if they fail they will flee until they can reach a place of near-total darkness.
  • Weakness (Fire): Night Children have greasy flesh that is especially susceptible to flame; they take 1d6 extra damage from fire attacks and catch fire on a 4-6.

Attributes: Agi d8, Sma d6, Spi d6, Str d4, Vig d6
Skills: Climbing d12, Fighting d8, Intimidation d8, Notice d6, Shooting d6, Stealth d10, Throwing d6
Pace: 8; Parry: 5; Toughness: 4
Gear: Short sword (Str+d6), short spear (Str+d4), or short bow (2d4, 10/20/40)

  • Bite or Claw: Str (hence the preference for weapons)
  • Leap: Goblins can jump up to 6″ horizontally or 3″ vertically. They do not take falling damage unless the distance exceeds 30 feet.
  • Night Children: Darksight, Aversion to Sunlight, Weakness (Fire)
  • Poor Defense: -1 Parry
  • Size: -1
  • Swarm: If at least 3 goblins are adjacent to an adversary of human size or larger, they can attempt to swarm the target. They make a single Fighting attack as a group roll (using the wild die). They do not receive any gang up bonus since they are already acting as a group. If the attack hits, it deals 1d6 damage for every goblin in the swarm. If it hits with a raise, the goblins have pinned their foe. The opponent may only attempt to free himself of the goblins on his action, which requires an opposed Strength roll (each goblin requires a separate action). On the goblins’ action, they automatically inflict 1d6 damage per goblin as they ferociously stab and bite their foe.

Author: John Carr

Gamer, comic guy, office drone.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: