Kobolds (Firmament)

From Bestiary of the Hypogriph

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Little sniveling pests, the lot of them. Think highly of themselves but are just a bunch of cowardly, useless hecklers. You don't try and strong-arm others when you can't prove you're strong enough to do it, looking like dragons ain't enough for that to work! I bet the dragons themselves are embarrassed.
โ€” Orum Keenmore, Dwarven scout

Kobolds are a species of small reptilian humanoids who resemble dragons. A race known for its great pride and affinity with traps of all sorts, Kobolds are eager to find True Wyrm patrons to serve and worship as gods, or simply lord over regions of lands while bullying other races into submission.

Biology[edit | edit source]

Kobolds are reptilian creatures with a vague resemblance to dragons, though as much as they would argue otherwise, they do not belong to that category. The average Kobold has greenish-brown scales, two pointed horns upon their head and a pair of frill-like ears. Kobolds are rarely over 1,2 meters tall and usually weight around 40 kilograms. They reach adulthood at the age of 14 and live up to 150 years. Tribes who have gained a draconic patron may, over the course of generations, gain characteristics related to them; for example, Kobolds serving under a Flame Wyrm may gain a dark red shade to their scales, larger horns, and the ability to breathe fire.

Kobolds naturally possess low strength and constitution, and while they can achieve great results with training, most never bother to do so. As they are adapted to life underground, most Kobolds are dazed by sunlight and grow sick at being exposed to it, though several days of exposure generally leads them to shrug off such averse effects.

History[edit | edit source]

According to Kobold shamans, the Kobold race was the first race to walk the earth, serving the pantheon of dragon gods as their most beloved followers, who took the form of fantastical and immense beings. However, the evil and cruel Elves, Humans and Dwarves forced the innocent kobolds underground, taking the surface world from them out of sheer hatred for their kind.

The actual origins of the kobold race are unknown, as they keep few written records of their own history and generally make up myths about their supposed greatness on a whim. They are known to have existed since the end of the Great Gap, where they were rivals to both the Dwarves and the Rakash for control over the subterranean reaches of Dryadala, though their participation in these conflicts was relatively minor due to their lesser powers. It is believed they were once an united people, but shattered into squabbling tribes by their rivals to such an extent, they were never able to recover. In the modern day, Kobolds are a common sight in the more temperate regions of Dryadala, where their tribes generally antagonize other humanoid nations.

Society[edit | edit source]

Culture[edit | edit source]

Kobolds living on their own without the guidance of a patron generally live a rigid and violent life; they are naturally predisposed to live in tight hierarchical tribes where all members envy those higher-ranking than themselves, though Kobolds generally reserve their aggressive tendencies to their enemies rather than their own kind. With an immense pride, they believe themselves the true inheritors of the True Wyrms and see serving them as a duty, and any attempt to convince them otherwise is bound to deeply offend them. They are also notoriously cowardly, and as much as they enjoy getting the upper hand on their rivals, they will often prefer to flee than fight unless convinced they can turn the tide to their favour. Kobolds who live among other civilized races are often exiles or criminals who escaped their tribes to avoid death, and skulk around cities as rogues or assassins, leading them to be seen with contempt by most.

Trapmaking is considered a profession of prestige by Kobolds; due to being physically weak, traps are seen as the pinnacle of defense for their lairs, and Kobolds who are exceptionally good at making them tend to gain positions of power very quickly. Smithing is also treated as a serious business by them, for they are an essential part of their conflicts with the other races.

Religion[edit | edit source]

Kobolds are fierce worshippers of all True Wyrms, believing them to be avatars of the dragon gods. By extension, they worship all deities associated with dragons.

How True Wyrms react to the devotion of the Kobolds varies per individual; many consider their claims to be related to them embarrassing at best or insulting at worst, but many are also pragmatic enough to see the advantages of holding sway over an entire tribe of loyal sycophants. Good dragons with Kobold followers tend to gain their allegiance by accident more often than not, but are known to keep them close, as they come to enjoy their eagerness and company, while more cruel dragons delight in using the creatures as cannon fodder. While rare, some True Wyrms are fond enough of their kobolds that they mate with them, leading to the existence of half-dragon Kobolds of great power who are seen by their peers as demigods.

Relations with other races[edit | edit source]

Most Kobolds see other races as rivals. They possess a strong rivalry with the Dwarves and Rakash, as the three races compete over territory often. Other humanoids are treated with varying levels of contempt, as the Kobolds believe them to be lesser beings who should bow to them or face their wrath. Despite being reptilian, Kobolds have no kinship with races such as the Lizardfolk or Crocodilians, who are seen as mockeries who do not even resemble dragons. The Kobold tribes who are open to diplomacy are often sired by a good True Wyrm, and in such cases are capable of amiable relationships with outsiders, though their pride means they do not take lightly to being provoked.

See also[edit | edit source]