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Goblin - Monsters - D&D Beyond

Goblin is also related to the French lutin. A group of goblins is referred to as a "horde. Goblins are grotesque fairies that can range from dwarf height to human height. Various sometimes conflicting abilities and attributes have been given to them.


Some accounts claim they are mostly invisible to the human eye, and thus act as phantoms. However, even in traditions where they are invisible, it is still widely known although how remains mysterious what they look like underneath their invisibility. They are usually believed to be shorter than human beings; depending upon the source, they can either be stout or thin; their brow is fully covered with thick hair and their mouth is filled with yellowed, crooked teeth. Goblins are often depicted as possessing a coarse, raspy sounding, and slightly high-pitched voice, speaking human languages along with their own, and possessing a cunning intellect.

In recent depictions, goblins have been portrayed as green in color, but this is only a modern tradition. Many characteristics have been attributed to the generic term of goblin. In some cultures, they are more tricksters, who steal horses to ride at night, hide small objects, tip over pails of milk, and alter signposts, much like the pixies of Great Britain. Some believe that goblins are more malevolent, weaving nightmares out of gossamer and inserting them into the ear of a sleeping human, stealing human women and children and hiding them away underground, or even stealing human babies and replacing them with ugly goblin babies changelings.

A goblin smile is said to curdle blood and a laugh to sour milk and cause fruit to fall from trees. Goblins are often believed to be nomadic , never staying too long in one place.

Quick Facts about Goblins

There is no consensus on the origin of goblin myths. Since goblins are similar to faeries and other spirits of Europe, it is possible that they share a similar origin. Many scholars believe that such creatures came out of an interest in Paganism and its mysticism, especially the belief in nature spirits and magic.

Goblins could possibly come from the belief that, along with virtuous pagans, there were evil ones that became evil spirits. Sir Walter Scott , in his Letters on Demonology and Witchcraft, ascribed gnomes , kobolds, and goblins, along with Scottish bogles to all correspond with a caricature of the Sami people. While from a folkloric perspective their origin may not be known, there were mythological tales that recount it: One of the most popular origin stories for Goblins states that they originated in France , in a cleft of the Pyrenees , but left at some point in history, spreading throughout all of Europe.

A Red Cap, or Redcap, also known as a powrie or dunter, is a type of malevolent murderous goblin, elf , or fairy found in British folklore. They are said to inhabit ruined castles along the border between England and Scotland , to murder travelers who stray into their homes, and to dye their hats with their victims' blood from which they get their name. Redcaps are very fast in spite of the heavy iron pikes they wield and the iron-shod boots they wear.

Goblin Is Known Under Many Names

Outrunning the buck-toothed little demons is quite impossible; the only way to escape one is to quote a passage from the Bible. They lose a tooth on hearing it, which they leave behind.

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The most infamous redcap of all was Robin Redcap. As the demonic familiar assistant of Lord William de Soulis, Robin wreaked much harm and ruin in the lands of his master's dwelling, Hermitage Castle in Liddesdale, Scotland, close to the English border. Men were murdered, women cruelly abused, and dark arts were practiced.

So much infamy and blasphemy was said to have been committed at Hermitage Castle that the great stone keep the castle was thought to be sinking under a great weight of sin , as though the very ground wanted to hide it from the sight of God. Yet Soulis, for all the evil he wrought, met a very horrible end: He was taken to the Nine Stane Rigg, a circle of stones hard by the castle a nearby megalithic circle , and there he was boiled to death in a great cauldron.

Kallikantzaroi, is a malevolent goblin in Greek and Cypriot folk tradition. They dwell underground but come to the surface from December 25 to January 6, from the winter solstice for a fortnight during which time the sun ceases its seasonal movement. Its name is possibly derived from " kalos-kentauros, " or "beautiful centaur. It is believed that Kallikantzaroi stay underground sawing the "World Tree" that holds up the earth , so that it will collapse, along with earth.

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  6. However, when they are about to saw the final part, Christmas dawns and they are able to come to surface. They forget the Tree and come to bring trouble to mortals.

    Vanguard Goblins: New Units

    Finally, on the Epiphany January 6 , the sun starts moving again, and they must go underground again to continue their sawing. They see that during their absence the World Tree has healed itself, so they must start working all over again. This happens every year. The Kallikantzaroi are creatures of the night. There were ways people could protect themselves during the days when the Kallikantzaroi were loose. They could leave a colander on their doorstep: If a Kallikantzaros approached for his evildoings, he would instead decide to sit and count the holes until the sun rose and he was forced to hide.

    Goblins can also be cruel to livestock and were blamed for causing many farmyard illness by pricking cattle causing paralysis or riding them to exhaustion during the night - today these are recognized as illness but in the past it was easier to blame goblins and other fairies for such phenomena. Goblins tended to stay away from bright light and like many magical beings didn't like Christian imagery - these two things were often employed to keep these troublesome spirits away, unguarded homes were often seen as free game by goblins, who may stay and do housework for a while but would ultimately cause havoc unlike the Brownie, who was a benevolent house spirit.

    Goblins could live anywhere as long as it was sheltered from sunlight and not consecrated - although they frequented human abodes most goblins preferred to live in forests and woodland or bogs, though they seldom lived too far from humans or livestock as they found mortals a source of entertainment. Sign In Don't have an account?

    Start a Wiki. Goblins are an evil or mischievious type of fairies found in the folklore of many societies and has become an umberella term to describe an entire host of dangerous creatures in myth and legend. Traits A typical goblin is of short stature, grotesque in appearance and very sneaky - they enjoy playing malicious pranks on humans or other fairies and are also often bullies: frequent passtimes for goblins include scaring children, pulling people's hair, leading travellers astray and causing poltergeist activity in the homes of people they dislike.