Thursday, May 28, 2015

Dark fey: Goblins

Pity the goblin - poor wretch!  For he is a creature of envy, doomed never to know joy or contentment of his own, forever tormented by that of others.  There is no thing animate or inanimate which is not the object of his envy.  He envies his brother-goblin who found a dead rat in the tunnel; he envies the rat, for it has no more concerns to trouble it in this world; he envies his chieftain for his position of power (even as the chieftain envies him a life free of the heavy burden of dominating the rabble with the lash!)  Most of all he envies men, elves, and dwarves, for the fellowship they share between one another, for the beauty of their crafts, for the delight they take in food and drink, for the mirth of their songs.  He envies them childhood, full of wonder; he envies them the robustness of adulthood; he envies them their wise venerability.  Especially he envies that they so freely walk beneath the daylight sky which burns his pallid skin and sears his red eyes.

Yes, pity the goblin, but fear him as well!  For so great is his misery that there is no act he will not contemplate to assuage it for the briefest of moments, or to share it in as great a measure as he can.  He is not brave, or at least seldom so, but he is sly and clever, and his eyes see in the blinding darkness.  He will steal whatever he may that seems to bring enjoyment to its owner, and either hoard it away with a hundred other forgotten baubles when it disappoints him, or ruin it that it might never give another the delight it has denied him.

He will hew down your beloved apple tree, set aflame your thatched hovel, pull the guts from your old striped cat because he sees you smile at her.  He balks not at foul murder, even - especially! - of children, who laugh and love so easily.  He laughs, too, as he works his malice, all full of madness but utterly void of mirth, and thus it is a sound most horrible.

Yet, pity him, though he has none in his withered heart for you!  Cold steel may slay his body, but it is kindness which his spirit cannot abide.  Set out bowls of food and drink for him at night, and little shoes and waistcoats sized just for him, though he will leave them untouched. Only then will your home and your kin be safe from his cruel mischief.

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