Goblins, a guide to their behaviour, culture and societyByMiss Druda Quickfoot We have all heard the stories told to us as children about the heroic efforts of the Hobbits, lead by the great Hobbit warrior Bullroarer in the great Battle of the Greenfields. Their victory drove the Goblins out of the Shire. Over the interceding years the Goblins have become mere stories, something to frighten the unruly child or blame for misplaced objects, how many of us have lost an item and exclaimed “It must have been the Goblins”. Many of today’s Shire folk have never seen a Goblin and many doubt that they even exist at all. Having many spent many years on and beyond the Shires bounds I have witnessed at first hand the Goblins and their hiding places in the world and have compiled this short study to educate and inform both the sceptical and the ignorant. AppearanceGoblins vary in appearance a great deal according to geographical location to such an extent that they appear to consist of several subtly different races. Some may argue that “races” should in fact read “species” as the Goblins appear to be nothing more than animals but I would disagree, although they appear quite different to our own ideals of civilisation I have found that their lives and culture is just as complex as ours and for that reason I would argue that they are a specific race of intelligent beings. All goblins no matter where they are found tend to be dark skinned, slant-eyed, with thick legs and large hands. Although their full height is similar to that of man their stooped posture means that they do appear much shorter. They are usually armed with short crudely made broad-bladed swords or long spears tipped with anything from iron fragments to sharpened flint or even shards of broken glass. Goblins also employ bows of yew, in length and shape like the bows of Men. Their clothing tends to be roughly made from scraps of cloth or leather, although some higher ranking or better equipped goblins may also be observed wearing heavy mail shirts. In much the same way as Hobbits Goblins tend to grow stout as they get older but due to their violent way of life old goblins are exceedingly rare. This life of constant bickering and infighting also shows up on all Goblins as scars, missing ears, broken teeth and other injuries. In some cases Goblins can be seen to display these scars as a show of strength or position within their tribe. Territories Goblins dislike the sun intently and as such they are very rarely observed above ground during the day preferring instead to dwell in caves, narrow valleys or dense forest. Goblins usually mark the edges of their territory with carved totems or stakes bearing the severed heads of their enemies. Caves used by Goblins tend to be unremarkable in appearance and this has led to many cases where travellers sheltering from storms are suddenly taken by surprise by Goblins. Deeper inside these caves decretive totems can be found as well as large fires which are fed continuously fed with wood and any other debris that come to hand. Several cases have been observed of some caves being decorated with crude paintings which, due to their position deep within the Goblin camps, prove difficult to study. Goblins do posses the skills to construct some structures such as staircases ladders and other such structures which are often found within Goblin cave systems. An old faded painting showing a typical Goblin Camp(The painting was a recovered mathom from a market in Bree) BehaviourGoblins are incredibly territorial even within the one cave system there are small skirmishes over everything from access to food, water and even a particular pile of rocks. It is to our great benefit that the Goblins suffer the degree of animosity to their own kind as, should they unit and act in unity there would not be an army in the whole of Middle Earth large enough to contain them. It is this inner conflict that currently keeps the Shire and the village of Brokenboring in particular safe from the Goblins which live within our bounds. Goblins are prolific builders of the structures mentioned in the previous section but do not appear to construct anything as a means to grow or cultivate food. All Goblin food would appear to be gathered from the surrounding countryside, which proves that there is some truth in the old stories about missing livestock in the Greenfields although this is often wrongly put down to wolves or bears. Some fungi found deep within the caves are often gathered by Goblins and made into a strong Ale like drink. This Goblin Ale is often drunk in large quantities before the Goblins take part in any large raids. LeadershipGoblins have a very basic level of leadership built on survival of the fittest, it is the biggest and strongest that force their way to the top of the chain of command. This process can be quiet lengthy and it is for this reason and the resulting casualties which has prevented many of the new Goblin tribes becoming a big problem for Hobbits or the race of Men. Unknown to most Hobbits the bounders of the North farthing have fought a constant battle to contain the Goblins and I personally have entered the caves of these Goblins to despatch any leader that has been deemed powerful enough to unite the tribe. Where Goblin numbers have been allowed to establish a well maintained structure of leadership they can pose a big threat as the Dwarves have found out on numerous occasions. Many of the old Dwarf Halls were left abandoned in ages past and became home to Goblins. CultureGoblins are an extremely war like race and produce no real examples of creativity when it come to art. Goblin camps do contain a variety of drums and horn like instruments but these are only ever used to pass messages from one cave system to the next or raise an alarm. Although they show no musical ability Goblins do have a wide variety of what may be described as chants rather than songs. Again these have their roots in the warlike nature of Goblins and are often a way of scaring or intimidating an enemy or rival and seem to consist of nothing more than roars and snarling, but as little is known about Goblin language this cannot be proved. Goblins have never been seen to read or write but several examples of crude cave paintings containing a simple system of pictograms have been reported. The purpose of these paintings is to convey a message or warning to Goblins such as territory boundaries or particularly dangerous caves. An example of Goblin cave painting, this painting appears to show the Goblins attacking a bearded figure In ConclusionThe main reason for this study has always been to better understand the Goblin way of life and use this knowledge to beter equip ourselves in defence of this potential threat. Our knowledge of the Goblin Leadership has already no doubt saved many lives by keeping the North Farthing Tribe under control. It is hoped that with the backing of key Hobbits within the Shire that The Shire Muster may be raised once more to finally drive out this small enclave but until the mayor and his council take the issues seriously I cannot see this happening in the near future. Some have raised the issue of hiring mercenaries from Breeland to deal with the problem but I would argue against the idea of bringing in strangers and potentially greater threats to The Shire.