Marcfest: Goblin Origins

By Moe Lane


"So, you want to know about how Grikklipp - or as you Humans call him, Marc - created us. Pull up a cushion and I'll tell you. No, don't worry about paying me: you've bought this round and I like to talk. Afterwards, I'll buy and you can tell me about your race's origins. I've heard it before, but there's always a new detail to hear.

"Anyway, you know how it all started, right? Lipp - that's God to you - decided to create the First Races of Man, some of his servants objected, the experiment that was supposed to solve everything didn't do anything of the sort and all of a sudden there was a War. Every child knows the story ... at least from the Human or Elf point of view. The other Races of Man have a different outlook.

"From the Goblins' point of view, it all started after the First Races appeared on Earth, but before the Experiment. The Powers that Be were still trying to figure out what Lipp was up to by creating mortals, not to mention trying to work out how to incorporate them into their own plans.

"Most of the Powers quickly found themselves having a particular affinity for either Elf, or Human, and acting accordingly. They don't concern us in this story: who I want to tell you about were three of the most powerful Powers, if you'll pardon the pun.

"Now, these three had tried to work with what they had been given, but it just wasn't coming together properly. Humans and Elves are wonderful creations, but they aren't perfect for every situation - and the Three had problems that really needed specialists. They didn't want to alter the First Races, and they didn't want to make do with what they had, so they seemed stuck.

"However, the oldest one of the three discovered one day what looked to be a store of Glik. You call it Primordial Clay. Being a sober sort of fellow, he first went to Lipp and said, 'Lipp, I have found an store of Glik.' He was a bit boring, too.

"Lipp looked down and said, 'So that's where it went! Outstanding work, Khedaklipp!' - that was the fellow's name, Khedzaklipp: you would call him Khedzak, or David - "Of course, I don't actually need it now, but it's nice to have the inventory settled.'

"Khedzaklipp stood there for a moment, then nodded and turned to leave. Lipp sighed. 'Khedzaklipp...'

"'Yes, Lipp?'

"'I said, 'I don't actually need the Glik anymore.'

"'I remember, Lipp, though not quite in those words.'

"'It would be a shame to waste it, no?'

"'Indeed, Lipp.'

"Another pause.

"Lipp sighed again, muttered 'Always spell it out with him' and spoke louder, saying, 'Khedzaklipp, as one of my most loyal servants, you have won a boon. Can you guess what it is?'

"'I suppose, Lipp.'

"There was yet another pause.

"And, yea indeed, Lipp sighed for the third time and bade Khedzaklipp, 'Take the Glik with my blessing. Make sure you share it with your two friends, and show me the results before you start your production run.'

"'And Khedzaklipp bowed and left the sight of Lipp, vaguely wondering why his Creator always had that bemused look by the end of the Power's visits."

(Quiet commotion)

"Why, yes, good Dwarf, I know that your people have a completely different version of our mutual origin story: stop scowling and wait your turn. See, the nice Human's buying you a beer in advance?

"Now, where was I?

"Oh, yes. Khedzaklipp had gotten his Glik, and (being a thoroughly obedient servant) summoned his two friends to share in it. Well, maybe 'friends' is the wrong word: one of them was his on-again, off-again love, and the other ... wasn't.

"T'huulipp was the prettier one, I'll admit ... and so will you, once I refer to her by the Human name Novalis. She was also about the only one that could make Khedzaklipp come away from his forge and dance, so she must be something to see. The other one was Grikklipp, and the point to this entire story.

"He and Khedzaklipp have an interesting relationship: everybody thinks that they must be enemies, because they're always shouting at each other. However, Lipp help anyone that attacks either one in the other's presence. So, I guess you can call them friends.

"Anyway, the three of them looked at the pile of Glik, and they got a little worried. It's one thing to talk about creating new life, another to sit down and do it. There are so many things to get wrong, after all. Grikklipp spoke first:

"'Well,' he said. 'That's a lot of Glik.' Then he winced at how inane that sounded.

"T'huulipp spoke up. 'Yes, but is it enough Glik for the three of us? And is there enough different kinds of Glik to make what we want?'

"Eh, what's that? 'Different kinds?' Ahh. Well, it's said among the Goblins that if you look closely at Glik, you'll see different strands and textures, representing various tendencies and abilities. Never having seen the stuff, I wouldn't know, but it sounds right - and I see that our Dwarven friend is nodding, so he must have heard of this, too.

"Anyway, the story doesn't make any sense otherwise, because at this point Grikklipp speaks up and says:

"'Tell you what: we'll isolate out the basic Glik first and divide it up equally. Then we'll put the rest of it in seperate piles and you two can use it to make your creations. I'll make do with the basics.'

"Neither of the others would hear of this, though, so Grikklipp thought for a moment. 'Alright,' he said, 'we'll still divide up the main Glik. The special bits, though... I'll take 10% of all of them in exchange for helping you divide up the rest. That way, I get to season my creation, and you two won't end up arguing with each other.'

"So, the other two agreed, and they began to mix up their Glik into people. However, pretty soon Khedzaklipp realized that he needed just a bit more extra stolidness, and T'huulipp needed all of hers. Grikklapp offered to give him his, in exchange for some of Khedzaklipp's extra wits-Glik. The deal was struck. And that's why Goblins are a little smarter than usual, if a little impulsive.

"Then, T'huulipp realized that she didn't have nearly as much strength as she thought she had... and she knew that Khedzaklipp was scraping up of that he could find. Luckily, Grikklapp was willing to trade all of his extra Strength-Glik (and a little extra) in exchange for her extra nimbleness-Glik. The deal was struck. And that's why Goblins may be weakish, but pretty speedy to make up for it.

"And so it went. Grikklap was busy divvying up the various piles of Glik, taking his 10% and making sure that his two friends pretty much got what they needed. Because Grikklap's Glik-sculpture had so many different strands in it, it looked a bit different than the others, but that was OK. It was a good sculpture, if I do say so myself.

"Finally, the three were almost done, and they looked at each other's work. Things were almost perfect, but not quite.

"Grikklap first looked at his Glik sculpture, then at Khedzaklipp's. 'Tell you what,' he mused, 'I'll trade some of my hair and extra lifespan and for a little of both your height and fertility.' At Khedzaklipp's nod, he turned to T'hullip. 'And I'll trade you ... hmm. You really don't need infrared vision, do you? I'll give you my natural armor in exchange.' She nodded as well.

"You understand, of course, that they were talking about their creations' abilities, not their own. So, the final trades were made, the three Powers bent down and whispered the Words of Life into the Glik, and lo! Dwarf and Treefolk and Goblin were born.

"So, that's why Goblins are the way they are. We're the result of a marathon session of compromise, deal making and inspired horse-Trading. We wouldn't have it any other way: we had to give up a bit here and there, but we did pretty well out of the deal. Although the armor would have been nice...

"Anyway, that's the story about 'How Marc Brokered the Goblins into Existence' Another drink? I'll buy this round: only fair, after all."


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