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Kobolds

Swarming across IIo and Tarchannenalt, kobolds are, quite literally, a plague on the planet. Formed from the demonic taint left on acient dragons, these small reptilian-like creatures hold the potential to be much more than the parasitical bottom-feeders of other civilizations; yet, their matriarchal society has made little progress in the four billion years since their creation.


Physical Characteristics and Anatomy

 

Kobolds appear to be small bipedal reptilian creatures. They are usually of slight build, but possess a wiry strength belying their size and appearance. They have many bony ridges and can grow horns as they age. Kobolds can be different colors ranging from dark orange to ruddy brown to burgundy, but their colors seem to be independent of genetics. They regularly grow to over three feet in height, but rarely grow past four, and are typically between 60 and 90 pounds. Most kobolds possess a small tail between one and two feet in length. Kobolds have a high mortality rate, so most do not live to maturity and even fewer live to old age. As such, it is not known when kobolds die of old age. Some scholars suspect that, due to their mixed heritage, kobolds may not have a maximum age.

 

Kobolds prefer leather clothing and regularly utilize armor and weapons such as clubs, maces, and spears. They rarely live in anything other than shacks and dens.

 

Behavior and Diet

 

Kobolds are scavengers, and live at the lowest levels of aviadin and lizardfolk societies. They scavenge tools, equipment, and food as best they can, and are considered no better than pests. Their hordes come before and after the armies of the lizardfolk and aviadins. They swarm over everything in their path, stealing and eating anything they can get their claws on.

 

Kobolds are organized into swarms, but when they live autonomous from other species, they regulate their breeding and form small stationary communities. These are typically matriarchal in form, but both males and females have a say. When a community believes itself to be threatened, the breeding rates rise exponentially to form a swarm. Kobolds believe that the only defense is to eat your enemies before they have a chance to slay you. As long as a kobold matriarch lives, thousands of kobolds will throw themselves in front to die willingly with no loss of morale. When a matriarch dies, the title is passed to the next highest ranking female and so on.

 

Kobolds found away from their matriarchs are typically rebels and brigands that want their own freedom to live and die. These kobolds have a reputation for being craven, but they are usually more intelligent and capable. Occasionally, these rebel kobolds will band together to form small communities on their own, but more often they will seek solace in the sewers and alleyways of other civilizations.

 

Kobolds crave the flesh of other creatures, but this is beyond dependency when it comes to the possibility of draconic or demonic blood and meat. Kobolds experience a type of withdrawal whenever they sense the presence of aether or nether magicks. Their ability to think rationally becomes severely hindered and their desire for the magick overwhelms any other concern. Instead of becoming weakened, their strength increases along with their need for the magick contained within the flesh of dragons and demons.

 

Kobolds mate frequently and with many partners. The females seem to have some control over when they will lay eggs, and so unwanted children are not a possibility. The matriarch of a kobold community may allow or disallow pairs of kobolds to have children based on the circumstances and needs of the community at large. Any kobolds disobeying her orders are typically put to death and eaten along with the eggs or children. Kobolds lay between eight and fourteen eggs at a time, with usual clutches being around ten. After laying, it takes five to six weeks for the kobolds to hatch from their eggs. The eggs are six to eight inches long, and weigh no more than two pounds. Kobold youth appear as miniature versions of their parents, and are able to scamper along on two legs shortly after birth. Kobolds grow quickly after that, reaching their full height by ten years of age.

 

Language and Communication

 

Kobolds speak their own language, which they call kobold, but that seems to have its roots in spoken draconic. Kobolds typically also speak one or more dialects of Saurian to communicate with lizardfolk and/or aviadins. Communities of kobolds away from lizardfolk and aviadins regularly learn the languages of their neighbors.

 

Habitat and Environment

 

Kobolds are most commonly found in swamps, marshes, highlands, and arid desert regions, nearly always close to a community of lizardfolk or aviadins. When encountered alone, kobolds prefer to inhabit dark dens where they can use their small size and greater numbers to devastating effect. As such, independent kobold communities are most often found in Tarchannenalt. Their communities always have dozens of tunnels with even more intersections between them leading up to their main living quarters. These tunnels allow them to engage swarming tactics on any that enter.

 

Civilizations and Organizations

 

Kobolds have no over-arching civilization, although many matriarchs have attempted to form them in the depths of Tarchannenalt in ages past. They are regularly connected to other civilizations in a parasitical manner; most commonly lizardfolk and aviadins.

 

Technology

 

The technology of kobolds is nearly always stolen, and only their autonomous communities even bother with attempting to manufacture products. Kobolds living a parasitical existence within another civilization steal, beg, and find other means to procure what they need.

 



Magicks and Abilities

 

Kobolds are not known to possess any inherent magicks; however, kobolds are highly proficient at learning universal magicks, and the matriarchs nearly always learn witchcraft, alchemy or some other form of non-racial magick.

 

They have the natural ability of darkvision and the ability to prevent pregnancy in themselves. Similar to goblins, kobolds are able to gain power from eating the hearts of creatures affected by the Culling, however this increase in power is not anywhere near as dramatic as it is when goblins perform the same action. However, unique to kobolds, is the ability to gain power from cannibalizing any aether or nether creature, including dragons and demons. Many scholars believe that this hints at massive reserves of untapped magickal potential in the kobold race as a whole.

 

Known and Unknown History

 

Shortly after the formation of the multiverse and the beginning of life on IIo, dragons discovered a deadly disease preying on their kind. The then god-like dragons were able to trace its origins back to their ancient enemy whose destruction was caused by the formation of the multiverse. The demonic residue of that ancient enemy plagued their race and caused many of the dragon-gods to fall. The dragons did what they could, but much like their ancient enemy, they could not eradicate the plague without destroying the host--when that cost was their home universe, they gladly paid it, but now that the cost was the life of a dragon, they could not.

 

Still, as the most powerful and wisest life-form in the multiverse, the seemingly immortal dragon-gods arrived at a solution. While they could not eradicate the disease, they could exorcise it. And so the dragon-gods banished from their bodies any trace of their former enemy. In so doing, the residue took from them a memory of its former host. Thus, the kobolds came into existence.

 

Born from draconic blood and demonic essence, the kobolds had all of the genetics and background to become one of the most powerful races of creatures in the multiverse. Luckily for the multiverse, their history has been one of subjugation and defeat. It goes without saying that wherever the dragons encountered their unholy progeny, they stamped them out. When the saurians came into existence and the dragons were Lessened once more, the kobolds began to carve out their own niches on prehistoric IIo.

 

Still, they were always considered a pest, and the kobolds could never reach an accord with either the dragons or the saurians. From the latter, the best they could hope for was to be ignored. Thus the kobolds began to dig deep into the earth. This made the kobolds one of the first races to settle Tarchannenalt--the World Below.

 

When dwarves began awakening in the depths of the earth, it was with great prejudice that they carved out their own kingdoms from kobold-controlled land. Again, the kobolds were pushed to the brink of extinction.

 

Nevertheless, the kobold race was nothing if not resilient. Traces of ancient kobold civilizations can be found, both aboveground and below, all the way up through the elven conquest of IIo and to the Seal of the Seven Archmagi of the Humes that banished most of magick from IIo for 20000 years. It was then that any kobold unaware of their magickal heritage became painfully knowledgeable of the magicks. A mixture between demonic and draconic magicks, their magick, and as a consequence their species, was unable to exist in IIo post-Seal.

 

Luckily, kobolds continued to exist in the many subRealms of IIo--pocket dimensions formed by the Seal to compensate for magicks too powerful to cancel. Kobolds lived and thrived in some of these tiny worlds, and were exterminated in others.

 

With the Sundering, kobolds once more journeyed into Tarchannenalt and IIo proper. Again greeted as pests, they found in the newly created aviadins kindred spirits, and gladly settled into a parasitic relationship with cities of creatures too busy and important to deal with the small kobolds.

 

Beliefs, Legends, and Religion

 

Kobolds are remarkably free of demonic corruption and influence. Their legends and beliefs more closely resemble any people long oppressed. They have many heroes that they believe once led them to glory and will someday rise up to lead them into the spotlight again. Kobolds aware of their demonic heritage still do not practice demon worship, instead choosing to utilize whatever powers they can glean from their heritage to acquire more power for themselves--perhaps enough to become a hero.

 

Kobolds inhabiting the sewers of other races frequently join cults and subversive religions present within those religions. With humes, this is usually through cults dedicated to the Nemesis or to Plague. Perhaps surprisingly, kobolds within communities of lizardfolk and aviadins rarely believe the propaganda of the aviadins; kobolds feed on the dead of aviadins as freely as they do lizardfolk.

 

Relations, Alliances, and Vendettas

 

Dragons have long forgotten their relationship with the kobolds, but they can detect the remnant of draconic magick and demonic residue within individual kobolds. This knowledge is on a subconscious/intuitive level more than not, and so dragons will find they are (perhaps unfairly) prejudiced against kobolds.

 

Kobolds rarely find they are able to coexist with any creature containing aether magick, as they are usually unable to control their cravings to consume the flesh and magicks of these creatures. Kobolds are not compelled to consume creatures capable of nether magicks, but once a kobold realizes how powerful they can become eating others, rarely will a kobold make peace.

 

Kobolds are often found to be friends with goblins, but goblins do possess a fraction of nether energy, and so kobolds are just as often found to be eating goblins.

 

Kobolds are terrible foes when they are in a position of strength. Luckily, individual kobolds are nearly always weaker than those they meet and can be dealt with fairly. As long as a kobold population is not strong enough to easily overwhelm others, they will usually seek peace. If it is more profitable for kobolds to maintain peace than war, then they will do so. This explains why kobolds do not overrun lizardfolk communities after the regular purging of lizardfolk adults.

 

Subraces/Relatives

 

Kobolds are somewhat related to both dragons and demons, a fact that allows them to use certain artefacts of those races.

 

Kobolds remain remarkably unchanged over the millennia since their creation/expulsion, and possess no genetic differences from the first kobolds.

 

Class Tendencies and Racial Specific Classes

 

Kobold males are almost always some type of fighter, while females are more likely to learn abilities of universal magick-users.


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