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This article is about the race. For the monster, see Goblin.
This article is about surface goblins. For the cave goblin subspecies, see Dorgeshuun.
Goblin chathead

Goblins are short, green-skinned humanoids originally from the world of Yu'biusk[1]. Goblins now reside throughout Gielinor, including in the kingdoms of Misthalin, Asgarnia, and Kandarin.

Bandos introduced goblins to Gielinor during the Second Age, where they functioned as footsoldiers throughout the God Wars until the end of the Third Age. [2]

Following the commandments of Bandos, who they refer to as "Big High War God," most goblins are culturally conditioned to be simple-minded and warlike, although this was not originally the case. The most notable modern-day exception are the Dorgeshuun tribe, also known as the cave goblins, who are educated, civilized, and peace-loving.

History[edit | edit source]

Goblins descend from an original race of people living on Yu'biusk; a green and fertile world in another plane of existence. The original Yu'biuskans were mainly hunter-gatherers and lived in small huts. Sometimes conflicts between tribes did happen, but organised warfare was nonexistent.

This changed when Bandos, the god of war, came to the world and installed himself as its deity. By selectively breeding the population, Bandos created new races, including the goblins. Bandos introduced organised warfare to the planet, alongside civilisation and industry. Eventually, Bandos brought the goblins - and his other races, such as the ourgs, the orks and the ogres - to Gielinor. There, he made them fight in the Gielinorian God Wars, the conflicts which spanned the Third Age.

During the Third Age on Gielinor, Bandos wished to improve his goblin followers by making them stronger, faster and deadlier. He oversaw the construction of Warforge, a Bandosian military facility to train goblins for such purposes. Countless goblins were sent to Warforge to make them ideal footsoldiers of Bandos, many of whom would not survive due to the brutal games implemented after Bandos had tasked a goblin from the Dorgeshuun tribe to create new games. Despite the massive casualty rate for Bandos' own amusement, numerous goblins had successfully graduated from Warforge, and they were then sold to the other gods as mercenaries. The goblins of the Third Age were well documented by historians, due to their unnatural aggression, training and equipment; this was mostly in part by a captured Imcando master smith operating in Warforge.

Goblins were used everywhere by Bandos' forces, deployed in mass numbers; this resulted in numerous casualties among the goblins, but they did not care at all, due to their blind faith to their god. Countless numbers of goblins died for Bandos' own amusement. Those in Forinthry when Zamorak unleashed the Stone of Jas were forever bound to the cursed land, roaming as ghosts.

Near the end of the God Wars, Bandos decided to destroy Warforge so that none of his enemies could use his armies within against them. The goblins that remained inside were confused as to why he had done so, as they had heard of the Dorgeshuun defying him and that they were trapped underground as punishment. Due to their blind belief to Bandos, the goblins instead believed that this was Bandos' final game, and that he would come and retrieve the victors, causing the Forge Wars, although the Imcando smith, who had been trapped inside, knew otherwise.

When Bandos was banished by Guthix, most of Bandos' followers either waited for their god, although the trolls didn't seem to care, while the cyclopes abandoned Bandos after seeing him as a tyrannical god. The goblins were the only group of Bandos' followers who were not sure of what to do. Despite their training at Warforge, goblins were the least intelligent of his followers, treated as cannon fodder. Their lack of intelligence made them unable to make any significant gains against their enemies, causing their food supplies to rapidly deplete, and eventually caused open war among the surface tribes.

The open war among the goblin tribes escalated into the Battle of Plain of Mud, near the present-day Fishing Guild where the twelve goblin tribes descended and fought each other. Bandos personally intervened in the fight after spotting a spiritually sensitive goblin, promising to send the goblins their Chosen Commander to lead them to victory.

The goblins participated in Bandos' battle against Armadyl. Bandos constructed the Scarecrow, while Armadyl constructed the Divine Focus, weapons using anima to kill the opposing god. At the start of the battle, Bandos picked up several goblins and threw them at Armadyl's tower, showing how little he thought of them. At the end of the battle, Armadyl's forces were able to acquire more anima than Bandos' forces, and the war god was instantly killed when Armadyl fired his weapon. The goblins, due to their blind faith to Bandos, thought very little of their god's death, as the battle was an example of one of Bandos' beliefs he had preached to them; the strong kill the weak.

Following V's death at the hands of the Dragonkin, Alfrick the Planner set up a memorial shrine for their fallen god. Along with the Godless, goblins also flocked to the shrine. They were awed by V's immense strength and the more lenient methods he used in his approach.

Goblin tribes[edit | edit source]

Goblins have traditionally been divided into twelve tribes. Over the years, however, the goblin tribes have intermingled and interbred such that they largely no longer possess distinct tribal identities. Any given goblin is unlikely to identify with one tribe in particular, nor would they be able to place the tribal symbols, although they are still in use on flags and armour. Even the ancient names of the tribes are largely forgotten except by the goblin generals.[3][4]

The twelve tribes[edit | edit source]

Religion[edit | edit source]

The Goblin Temple today, erected on the Plain of Mud.

In Goblin religion, it is believed that Bandos will one day send the "Chosen Commander" to Gielinor, who will then lead the goblins to victory over the rest of the world, while some, such as Grubfoot, believe the Chosen Commander will bring peace to the goblin race. The Dorgeshuun goblin Zanik was the Commander. This was, however, a scam made up by Bandos to avoid his goblins becoming extinct at the Battle of the Plain of Mud. Most goblins deem Zanik a "fake" commander for not fulfilling her destiny and still wait for the real one. The Goblins are also expected to follow a series of commandments that detail Bandos' demands. The commands were given at a battle with goblins. They fought the 'Beardy-Short-People', (Dwarves), here, as well as the evils of the 'God of Dark Flame', Zamorak. They are, as follows:

  • Not to run from battle. Cowards must die!
  • Not to show mercy. Merciful must die!
  • Not to doubt Big High War God. Doubters must die!
  • Not to make own plans. Thinkers must die!"

Whether or not these exact commandments are followed by Bandos' other followers is unknown. The Bandosian religion puts great value on war, strength, and subservience to Bandos.

There is also Bandos' book of war, which gives more details as to what Bandos' followers believed in. It mainly consists of Bandos' orders to his followers.

It should be noted that the religious texts written by the goblins are largely inaccurate and falsely describe the origins of their own race as well as the history of Bandos. While they well illustrate how the goblins see themselves in relation to the Big High War God, they are an idolisation of him and, for the most part, not true.

Goblins are also not allowed to use Bandos' real name. They must say "Big High War God" to show respect. Only on holy days do (high) priests use the name 'Bandos'. The other Bandosian races are free to say Bandos at any time, however.

As of the revelation of Bandos' real goals with the Dorgeshuun when he created his avatar, Grubfoot became aware of the god's bloodthirst. This, however, did not break his faith. The goblin simply believes that was a pseudo-Bandos and that the real Big High War God is good-hearted to goblins, still waiting for this non-existent Bandos to arrive. Grubfoot has, of course, always been different.

Notable Goblins[edit | edit source]

Goblin language[edit | edit source]

Main article: Goblin language

Goblins are known to have had a language of their own, though they do use the language of humans widely in the present day.

Goblin names[edit | edit source]

Goblin names typically follow the pattern of an unpleasant word followed by a body part or weapon. Historically these names were heroic and warlike. Today, as a result of poor self-esteem, they are usually more degrading. Compare the older "Bloodfist" to present-day "Wartface".[5] In addition, a goblin's name may have a meaning behind it, such as Grubfoot, who is implied to have dirty feet.

Update history[edit | edit source]

This information has been compiled as part of the update history project. Some updates may not be included - see here for how to help out!
  • patch 19 December 2012 (Update):
    • Several goblins have been graphically updated to the same standard as the recently reworked goblins.

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. ^ Mod John A. Gods ~ their Races and Species. (Archived from the original on 12/8/2013.) "Bandos discovers Yu'biusk, where goblins, orks, ogres, etc. already exist and have a stone age hunter-gatherer culture. He sets himself up as their god and teaches them agriculture, metalworking, organized religion, war etc."
  2. ^ Mod John A. Gods ~ their Races and Species. (Archived from the original on 12/8/2013.) "Third Age: Bandos takes part in the God Wars, using his followers already in Gielinor."
  3. ^ History of the Goblins, RuneScape. "The identities of the goblin tribes are not as distinct as they once were. Tribes have inter-bred, and, although the old tribal symbols can be found on goblin flags, few goblins today identify with one tribe in particular. Goblins still organise their society around military lines, with leaders of villages still called generals."
  4. ^ Goblin symbol book, "The Lost Tribe", RuneScape. "Almost every piece of ancient goblin equipment has one of a number of symbols on it, and by correlating these symbols with the sketchy records that survive from the Third Age it has been possible to identify twelve distinct goblin tribes or regiments. The separate identities of the tribes have long since dissolved and no goblins remember the symbols, although their generals may still recognise the ancient tribal names."
  5. ^ History of the Goblins, RuneScape. "Goblin names are almost always a conjunction of an unappetising word and a body part or weapon. It is a mark of their poor racial self-esteem that the names have morphed from the heroic or warlike ones of the Third and Fourth Ages (Bloodfist, Hopespear) to the lowlier ones of today (Wartface, Bentnoze)."