[The language is based off of Haitian Creole, words in their native tongue are taken from this]
Most people know them simply as Goblins but those from the mainland of Marekaj refer to themselves as the Natif Natal Po’vèt when in their homeland and as Po’vèt in foreign countries, though the Goblins from the city of Nouvo Fòm have accepted Goblin as their name.
Goblins are naturally very short and lean averaging at 4’ 2” (1.27) and usually weighing roughly 60lbs (27kg). Their skin tends to be different shades of green with the occasional yellow tints and the very rare ashen gray. Goblins have large pointed noses and very long pointed ears that tend to extend straight back, though in rare cases they can have a downward curve. They also have many small razor sharp teeth and their eyes iris color ranges from shades of yellow to dark black. Unlike most races Goblins only have three fingers and thumb as well as four toes. Many people believe Goblins are naturally bald because most of them shave their heads but they can in fact grow hair, it tends to be dark black and very thin.
Almost every Goblin born on Marekaj’s mainland is given tribal scarings before they turn a year old. These scars tend to be lines, swirls and raised dots in areas around the forehead, cheeks, chin, neck, shoulders, chest and back.
[All events are in chronological order]
Unlike other races the Marekaj Goblins do not keep written records of their history, instead the Pwofèts are trusted with remembering significant events. The following are excerpts from the book “History of Marekaj” written by a Goblin from Nouvo Fòm named Ekriven Istwa.
- Premye: Beginning (This is Pwofèt nan Ansyen’s rise, how the first Pwofet came to be)
- Orijinal Lanmò: Death of Pwofèt nan Ansyen (Obviously how he dies, related to his dabbles in magic)
- Ka Zo Kase: Separation (This is about when the Nouvo Fom Goblins, the indsutrialy advanced ones, moved to their island and began creating machines and all that)
- Gaye nan Ondèd: Spread of the undead (Attempt to resurrect the Ansyen Pwofèt lead to a zombie like virus. Does not spread to Nouvo Fom.)
- Retounen Mouri: Hunt of the undead (Pwofets trained soldiers known as Ki Mouri to use Elder magic, figment and Thaumaturgy to be skilled ethereal swordsman who use gorilla tactics and illusions to hunt undead and outsiders, they submerge themselves in the swamps and blend into overhanging brush to travel across their home landscape without being detected. Most of their targets don't see them before they die and if someone is travelling in Marekaj they are most likely being followed by them. They answer only to Pwofets and the Pwofets use their magical techniques to prolong the Ki Mouri’s lives, the Ki Mouri do not know these techniques themselves)
The Goblin’s homeland is a heavily forested black-saltwater swamp known as Marekaj. The entire swamp is covered with trees that are a defining characteristic of Marekaj. These trees are known as Pyebwa, each tree stands about 200 ft (61m) and their top branches extend up to 50 ft (15.25m) in every direction weaving together with the other Pyebwa to form a thick canopy that blocks roughly half the sunlight that beams down on the forest. The Pyebwa trees only make up the top layer of the forest’s canopies, nearly 100 ft (30.50m) above sea level there is another canopy made of intertwined branches of giant Mangroves that blocks almost all of the light that manages to penetrate the canopy of the enormous Pyebwa trees. The area between the Mangrove and Pyebwa canopies receives enough light to allow many other species of trees to grow, this is where fruit and many animals such as monkeys reside. The area below the Mangrove canopy on the other hand receives so little light that it is dark almost all day, the brightest time of day being noon, this makes plant growth extremely difficult causing the swamps ground to be filled with dense mangrove roots, fungi, creeping vines and small shrubbery. Back when the forest was still young the swamp water was just normal saltwater, now years of vegetation decaying in the swamp has caused tannins to seep into the water causing it to be transparent, acidic and darkly stained, the water today is now a very dark blackish-brown in color. In the past hundred years the flow of this blackwater has into the ocean from Marekaj’s many rivers has even caused the coastal waters to become a lighter version of the murky water found in the swamp.
The island off the central east coast of Marekaj is home to the only Goblin city, the city and island both share the name Nouvo Fòm. The city itself takes up almost the entirety of the island only leaving a small amount of undeveloped beaches on the northern side of the island. The city itself is one of the largest trade points on the continent, more than half of the cities coast consists of ports where ships constantly load and unload goods. Closer to the epicenter of the city things become more industrial, coal burning smoke stacks from factories clutter the skyline and pipelines run along the streets from whale oil refineries. The highest structure in the city is a tall airship dock and refueling station in the center of the city, here ships will dock to unload goods and replenish their their fuel source. Among the more wealthy citizens of Entheria Nouvo Fòm is known as one of the banking capitals of the continent, their banking system is one of the safest and most complex around and many wealthy individuals store their vast amounts of riches in one of the cities many banks. While Nouvo Fòm has a consistent flux of valuable goods and riches about seventy five percent of the population falls into the lower class and ninety percent of the the permanent residents are Goblins.
The Kwayans are very secretive about their religion and some practices are still completely unknown to the outside, that being said, the following are excerpts from the book “History of Marekaj”.
The Goblins of Marekaj follow the religion of Kway and practitioners are known as Kwayans. Each tribe has a single leader that is a seer known as a Pwofèt who uses strange magics only known to the Kway Pwofèts to communicate with the dead as well as other beings known as Bondye Fin Vye Granmoun, the closest translation matches that of “Old Gods” but any Kwayan will tell you that there is no other term for them. Bondye Fin Vye Granmoun are exalted spirits of long dead beings who acquired boundless masses of information during their lives and many are willing to share it, but this knowledge is not easily acquired, these spirits usually demand things such as sacrifices, great accomplishments or incredible feats before they will divulge what they know. There are an untold number of Bondye Fin Vye Granmoun and each tribes Pwofèt speaks with different ones, but a few are contacted by most Pwofèts at some point and are known not by name but by title, these spirits are Youn nan Premye, Siveye a Kache, Vanyan Sòlda nan Gwo, Pwofesè a Matènèl, Pwofèt nan Ansyen and Pwofèt la Imòtèl.
Kwayan Immortality Rituals
Pwofèts utilize Elder Magic and Alchemy to extend their lives through what some would call unnatural means; however, to the Kwayans these are nothing but normal tools like any other form of magic. The first magic used to extend life span was discovered by Pwofèt nan Ansyen and was called Demenajman Nanm, what many would refer to as the creation of a meat effigy. This magic would tie a person's soul to another body, the soul would then be transferred to said body upon death; after this discovery Pwofèt nan Ansyen began having members of his tribe sacrifice themselves to him to be used as meat effigies. The problem Pwofèt nan Ansyen had with this method was the fact that he inherited the physical flaws of the sacrifice, so he began research in alchemy to manufacture a soulless body, what he called a Kò Inumen, what foreigners would later call a homunculus. This allowed Pwofèt nan Ansyen to create the perfect body to transfer his soul to, a ritual he called Rekreyasyon which became widespread among Pwofèts. Eventually another method to prolong life was discovered, becoming what Goblins call a Filaktèr, or lich in the common tongue. This method was discovered by Pwofèt la Imòtèl, he theorized that if a soul could be tied to a body such as in the Rekreyasyon ritual it could also be tied to an object. After decades of trial and error the seer discovered that he needed a second object that would act as a source for his body to regenerate around, to do this he took from his knowledge on Elder Magic and created a Coagulated Bloodstone, once attached to the phylactery with Elder Magic it became what he called a Wòch Kè or Heartstone. Using the Heartstone as a source he was finally able to tie his soul to his research journal, what became known as the Rechèch Imòtèl; the Seer had finally became immortal. Pwofèt la Imòtèl still needed to complete the ritual, this required him to destroy every trace of his current body, so he burned himself alive. After his ashes finished smoldering the magic from his phylactery caused the Heartstone to glow bright red and a heart formed around the stone, then the rest of the body began to form and after a day a replica of Pwofèt la Imòtèl was left lying on the ground. Then something the seer was not conscious to take note of happened, part of his soul from the Rechèch Imòtèl broke off and entered his new body, bringing it back to life.
While all Pwofèts are able to contact ancient spirits it is by no means an easy process and takes a physical toll on the Pwofèt using the magic. A small group of Pwofèts known as the Avanse Ekip Kontak had been developing a method to enhance the magic used to contact the dead. The group discovered a type of stone in Marekaj that they were able to channel their magic through to make the spells more potent, they called it Wòch Amelyorasyon also known as Selenite. Once this was shared the other Pwofèts began shaping the stones and placing them atop staves or setting large spherical ones atop pedestals. These Selenite crystals are what first allowed Pwofèts to contact Siveye a Kache who shared with them techniques to use the crystals to channel magic even more efficiently. Pwofèts began shaping the crystals to replace their eyes, an extremely painful process, others began setting them in the eye sockets of homunculus before their souls were transferred. When magic was directly channelled through the stones it allowed the Pwofèts to see through them as if they were their own eyes. Siveye a Kache also shared with them intricate scarification techniques that enhance magic channelling through the crystals and the body itself allowing for less physical strain when contacting spirits.
- Youn nan Premye: The first Bondye Fin Vye Granmoun that Pwofèt nan Ansyen was able to speak with, he knows all the history of Marekaj and shares pieces with those who seek it.
- Siveye a Kache: Translated to “The Hidden Watcher”, Siveye a Kache watches over all of the Kwayan people and knows the secrets of every Kwayan, though getting him to reveal such secrets is a grueling task.
- Vanyan Sòlda nan Gwo: Also known as “The Great Warrior”, Vanyan Sòlda nan Gwo has mastered many techniques with countless numbers of weapons, warrior seek his advice and for many contacting him through a Pwofèt is their last step of training.
- Pwofesè a Matènèl: “The Motherly Teacher” deeply cares for all of the Kwayans and has shared many medical uses for different herbs and parts of creatures with the Pwofèts.
- Spirit of Pwofèt nan Ansyen: The spirit of the “Ancient Seer” whose name is long forgotten, he shares his techniques with Kwayans training to become Pwofèts.
- Spirit of Pwofèt la Imòtèl: The spirit of the “Immortal Seer” passes down his immortality rituals to those he feels deserve it.
Many societies view Marekaj as an unorganized territory due to the fact that the land itself has no Government. Religiously fanatic tribes fill the harsh land, all of them governing themselves however they please; though most are lead by their respective Pwofèts. The only thing keeping other governments from conquering the land is how untraversable it is and how ruthless the tribes can be to outsiders.
The Marekaj culture is strongly focused on religion, most Marekaj Goblins take a Pwofèts word to be law. Tribes hold ritualistic sacrifices and celebrations to honor the Pwofèts on a regular basis causing villages to be filled with life. Skin drums and wooden percussion instruments are played around fires as villagers dance in the smoke. Some of the most recognizable Marekaj drums are the tanbou bas, huge skin drums ranging anywhere from four to seven feet in diameter played with large sticks with fur tips to release crips bass tones, some tanbou bas’s have smaller drums around the rim to provide lighter melody tones. Villages often have one or more large wooden carvings of Bondye Fin Vye Granmoun to act as shrines. The Marekaj carvings are very fluid and curvaceous usually having no angles or edges. Wood and bone wind chimes are a staple amongst Marekaj art and are said to cleanse the air, most villages have them hanging off of almost every structure.
Nouvo Fòm Government
Nouvo Fòm is broken into five numbered districts each with their own Lord, these Lords are the wealthiest Goblins in their district. Becoming a Lord of a district is quite simple, but not easy; one can only become a Lord of the district they were born in and simply need to surpass the current Lord in wealth to claim the mantle. These Five Lords form a council where they make trade and foreign affairs decisions. The military has five branches each connected to their own district; District One is the Army, District Two is the Navy, District Three is the Air Force, District Four is the Nouvo Fòm Intelligence Bureau and District Five is the Department of Military Science.
Nouvo Fòm Culture
The people of Nouvo Fòm left behind the Marekaj culture when they built the city and to the present day still do not have a distinct culture. Their society is very lenient, accepting most practices and mindsets. Nouvo Fòm is filled with a diverse range of people with a wide range of beliefs.