The Forest Kingdom
Bisecting Ahlonia, The Forest Kingdom is the dominion of the goblyn tribes, who know the region as the Talthak. Though it could not differ more from their barren home in the Roughlands, the goblyns of Ahlonia have taken to the dense wood like fish to water, their swift riders wending between ancient boughs with hoots and cries, and the thundering of hooves trampling the moist undergrowth. And to the south, the last of an ancient race stalk the woods, hungry for dire vengeance, and a single living tower rises like a gleeman's tale from the rippling canopies.

Tech Code: 5
Governments: Militant Monarchy.
Religions: Yrugish Sect (outlawed).
Industries and Trades: Raiding, Forestry, Horse-Breeding, Mining (Iron, Lead, Copper), Metallurgy, Weapon Smithing.
Major Terrain: Wood.
Primary Languages: Talthakee.
Major Settlements: Cravenrock.


Physical Geography

The Forest Kingdom is dominated by its namesake, the great forest. In the south the around the Forest Bay and Forest Way the woods are thin and much of it is new growth. The land along the coast is low rocky shoals giving way to tall overhanging headlands battered by the Storm Sea. Further north the forest is older and denser and more prone to falling away into deep gullies and rifts, concealed by vegetation. Scholars say that before the sundering this land was once the southernmost part of the Starwood, and the further north a traveller goes the more apparent this becomes. Trees become gnarled and twisted and their canopies are so dense as to make daytime like twilight and night impenetrable. Shallow ridges formed around roots and sluggish creeks cover the land, and occasional patches of quicksand or small marshes hide under scrub awaiting the unwary.

In the north-east of the forest Lake Varkash and the Khanti Hills break the trees, here the land is barren and the hills are near hollow with mines. Great wooden towers stretch up into the sky belching smoke, and winch arms pump day and night, while occasional fires burn in cave mouths. Grass has taken over where the trees once were and the goblyn steeds graze. Lake Varkash is murky with mud and waste from the mines and oily residue swirls into rainbow-hued patters on its surface, and on the northern bank the land rises sharply into a sheer cliff face into which the fortress of Cravenrock is carved.

In the far north, along the coast the land is its most wild. Never really settled by sea-fearing goblyns, the creatures that once inhabited the wood before it was civilized still hang on, and even some Siele still dwell. Here the flat land rises to cliffs, as if torn from the land far to the north, and mud flats punctuated by jagged stone protrusions sit at the base under mere feet of angry sea. The trees grow impossibly tall and broad like mountains of timber and foliage. Little lives here, and trails are almost non-existent, those animal trails that can be found are terribly overgrown, and inevitably lead to the animal that made them.

Political Geography

The Forest Kingdom, called Talthak by its goblyn masters, is probably the most potent military powerhouse in all of Ahlonia. In fact were it not so precariously wedged between Reddown and Highdunn it would probably have stormed the boarders and overrun at least one of these nations already. Couple this with the presence of the enigmatic and volatile High Warlock and the place becomes truly formidable. The Talthakee political structure is simple, a tribal leader is the strongest and meanest of his kind, and reinforces this by surrounding himself with powerful and elite bodyguards. The come the warriors and raiders of the tribe, and then everyone else. With the advent of Pachak's Yurga Pogrom the Yurga, who were once as important as the tribal leaders, are now all dead or fugitives. The tribal leaders all bow to the Goblynking, who in turn commands them and their armies as he sees fit, and while occasional gifts are sent to curry his favour, he demands no tithe or tax from his underlings.

The Goblynking rules the six major tribes of the forest kingdom, the Burned Stump are based in the south just a few days north of the Forest Way. Currently the Burned Stump occupy territory outside of the forest and almost to the base of the eastern escarpment in Marratharn. North of them, on the eastern border with the Tresser Veldt are the Killing Claws. North and west of there are the Tree Spiders, and north of them the Broken Tusks. These two tribes share a boarder with Darrenshire and Kirshire. In the extreme north the Blood Hand have allied themselves with the Earl of Shornfar, and their territory now extends into shared regions of the Earldom. Their leader Gata Skar still bows to the Goblynking, but maintains a seeming enemy as an ally. The other tribes wonder how long this status quo can be maintained. Finally the Black Eye, tribe of the Goblynking himself, control the north-eastern portion of the forest, they are based in Cravenrock, but control a large stretch of forest outside of the Khanti Hills. Within the hills perhaps a half dozen lesser tribes run mines, with each major mine complex having its own tribe to work it. Normally exceptionally weak, the other tribes are beginning to realize that these mere miners actually have the Goblynkings ear far more than they do by a simple matter of proximity.

In the extreme south of the forest lies the forest way, the only land route between Reddown and Highdunn, and theoretically jointly controlled by both nations. In reality it is the presence of the High Warlock that keeps the region safe. The Warlock is just one man, so he can hardly be considered a political power of the Isle, but his students have posts in every great court, and many wonder just what the Warlock's political agenda is. The goblyns of the Burned Stump never pass closer than a couple of days ride from Skyreach, and thus the forest way remains unmolested by goblyns.

The Siele Deathseekers however have no such compunctions, and though they are exceptionally few, they can range the full length of the Forest Kingdom generally unmolested and kill whoever they please. And occasionally deaths along the Forest Way that can only be the work of Siele are stumbled upon by horrified travellers. Ghielvedrien is thought to be based somewhere in the north of the forest, where the sea-fearing goblyns don't go, and the forest is at its oldest and darkest, and the Siele ruins of old still stand, crumbling but unplundered, as testament to those that once ruled this place.

Social Geography

The goblyns have a militant, tribal society. Each tribe has a Karv, or a chieftain, and these chieftains have all sworn to obey Rasch Pachak as their over-Karv, or Goblynking. The Karv control their tribes, and own all of the goods the tribe has, and all of its slaves , and all of its members. The Karv surrounds himself with the tribes best warriors, generously rewarding them to keep them loyal. Below these are the regular warriors and raiders, then the goblyns who work the mines, and then everyone else. Miners are held in such high regard because their iron makes the weapons of war, and because the goblyns have legends of a time they dwelt under the earth, and so to mine the earth is a much respected profession.

Talthakee territories are different to those of the neighbouring landsmen nations. The goblyns have two major and different resources that shape their society: mines and horses. As a result their settlements are large, but also extremely mobile. Goblyns stay in one place for a season, or even as long as a year, while the grazing is good, and then their entire settlement packs up and moves on to better grazing. Meanwhile smaller settlements of miners go out around the current camp of a tribe to probe for minerals. If they find them they establish satellite settlements to mine them. These mine-towns are entirely sub-terranian, with the miners working and living underground, and being supplied by the larger settlement with the herds. But when the tribe moves on, whether the mine is empty or not, it is abandoned. When the tribe returns in a few seasons unspent mines will simply be re-opened and expanded.

Many tribes will also establish sub-tribes. Groups of warriors will be given small herds of their own and be sent to settle another area in the tribe's territory. Most major tribes have eight or nine sub tribes, these ones are considerably more focused on raiding and seldom build mines. However these tribes will often build wooden fortresses around the trees of the forest. Soldiers finding these fortresses are never sure what lies in them, as the goblyns move from fortress to fortress seasonally too, and often they are abandoned, but even then the goblyns tend to leave traps to keep out intruders until a season when they return and resettle the area.



Prehistory The Heir-Kei move into the southern section of the Starwood and found Sheil-Meial. A Kei-Sang called tel-Shiva (later called the render) occupies the northern section of the Isle.
-68 HC Landsmen arrive on Ahlonia, the fifth tribe of the Ral, called the Raed, remain in the western hills.
58 HC The council of Earls declare war with Shiel Meial, and raise their war banners. Surprisingly initial campaigns meet with surprising success, and huge tracts of forest are torched and have keeps raised on them and garrisoned, the Siele pull back into the deepest forest.
61 HC The forces of Reddown suffer their first great defeat where the Forest Way now lies, there are no survivors and the line of the Earls of Galastry dies out completely. The Siele mount the bones of the men in the ruins of their tower at Tel-Celeste. The war begins to rapidly move against the landsmen.
70 HC Dyurvar’s Hammers split away from the Rending Spear and ally themselves with the Arls of Reddown in an effort to stem the tide of battle in their favour. This works well, as the goblyn’s prolific numbers and strip-mining programs prove a fatal combination to the Siele. Dyurvar himself is admitted to the Arls council.
138 HC Dyurvar’s Hammers (Now Malags Hammers) split into the Tree Spiders and the Burned Stump.
703 HC Shiel Meial falls and the last of the Siele flee into the Roughlands. The Siele-King Fieme is killed when his tower is besieged, and his sister the Siele Queen Amiaiele takes command of the refugees. When they arrive in the northern vale they settle among the landsmen there. The King of Highdunn tolerates these refugees only because he can’t spare the forces to assail them.
1012 HC The goblyns in the Earldoms seize the Forest Kingdom colonies and name it Talthak. While no formal alliance is made between the tribes, they co-operate well with a common foe.
1018 HC The twenty-year war begins.
1037 HC The twenty year war ends when the combined forces of Sigard, Reddown and Highdunn
are trapped at Cravenrock and driven into the lake by the goblyn Vachak Taar. He takes the title Goblynking, but only survives three months after his victory, before the tribes splinter again.
1145 HC The High Warlock appears and takes over the ancient Siele Citidel of Skyreach or Eil-sheire.
1305 HC Boer Shenien becomes the first student of the High Warlock. When he returns from the tower he is sworn to complete secrecy about what he has learned and what lies within the tower’s walls.
1474 HC The warlord Rasch Pachak emerges in the Forest Kingdom, kills Madvak gal-Shurgar of the Black Eye, taking his position, and then unites the remaining goblin tribes under his banner.
1482 HC Present Day


Races and Nationalities

The dominant race of the forest, without doubt, are the goblyns. The goblyns of Talthak are born in the saddle and under the perilous eaves of the Forest. They are raiders, slavers, bandits and fierce warriors. While many of the landsmen of the Isle think of the nomadic warrior culture of the goblyns as a sign of savagery and barbarism they are a cultured people, but their tendency to take what they want makes it impossible for them to relate to outsiders as a nation. Talthakee goblyns are slightly more stout than their cousins in the Roughlands, and their skin is of a greener shade. They wear their hair long and plaited and rub fat into it to make it greasy and lustrous.

Somewhere in the northern forests, where the forest is densest and the Siele ruins are still standing, choked with growth, the last of Ahlonia's Siele stalk the Forest Kingdom, watching, and hungering for revenge. Beyond the blood debt that most of the siele race feel men owe them for bringing about the sundering, the siele of Ahlonia have a burning hatred for those who slew their kind and took their homes in the [[[Siele Wars. Hunting man and goblyn alike, these savage creatures have lost the frivolous joy of their kind, and live only for hate and revenge. They have devoted themselves to the life of a Nihlraith, or deathseeker, one of the fearsome siele who care more for slaying their enemies than surviving. However because of this philosophy, and despite their seemingly eternal lives their numbers are less every year. Soon they will be gone, no matter how many they take with them.

Flora and Fauna

The ancient forests of the Forest are oak, birch, maple, fir, pine, spruce and chestnut trees, thick and dark, but perhaps the most remarkable is the so-called David's Oak. Growing to more than 150 feet tall, with trunk girths of up to 40 feet and living for more than 2000 years, these enormous trees once dominated much of the center of Ahlonia, and reached as far west as Landfall, but now their numbers are in slow decline. Also native here, though extremely rare, are trees awakened by ancient magic. These man eating trees sprout all manner of alluring fruit from their boughs, and when an unwary traveler approaches they reach out with their exposed roots, like tendrils, and pull their victim into a gash in their trunk that serves as their mouth. Often the bones protruding from under the roots are as much warning as the exotic fruit, but still the unwary fall victim to these trees.

The Forest is home to a number of different species such as marmots, hares, wild goats, bucks, deer, wild boar, foxes, badgers, hare, and small colonies of beavers. Quail, wood pigeons, wild turkey, falcons, sparrow hawks and in coastal areas grey gulls are all common, but jays are probably the most common birdlife. Squirrels infest the canopies while field mice dominate the forest floor. Wasps make immense nests in dead tree-trunks, and bees, and so inevitably kakkers live in the south-west. Croakers, frogs, toads and other lizards live in damp areas, and venomous spitting tree-frogs occupy some of the wilder regions, though their venom only really represents a threat to man or goblyn if they are eaten or their venomous spray gets in they eyes. Wolves range the boarders of the south-west, the last place in Ahlonia where they can be found, their packs are small and they are actively hunted by both men and goblyns.

Notable Individuals

The Goblynking, Rasch Pachak
Pachak is the single greatest warlord to arise among the goblyns of Ahlonia. None dare argue that fact, because it is a truth enforced by an iron fist. Rasch Pachak is old by goblin standards, but remains strong and vital. He is the greatest political force in the Forest Kingdom, and even the High Warlock seems to have a grudging peace with his goblins, and Pachak may even be the greatest military power on the entire Isle. He answers to no man nor goblin, and his word is law to those who follow him. Pachak was born the son of a warrior of the Black Eye. His birth was marked by ill portents and the yurga who cast his bones foretold death was near. He was half right. By his third year the young goblin could wield a knife the equal of any warrior, and did away with the yurga while he meditated. The act was bloody and perpetrated with the skill of a huntsman. Pachak kept him alive while he bled him to keep his meat tender. History documents Pachak’s rise to power better than any monarch or hero in any other land. He came to lead the Black Eye through a series of bloody murders and ritual duels, many of which he can thank his numerous loyal allies for. Then through careful negotiation and the subtle placement of favourable leaders in the most powerful tribes he united nearly every tribe of the Forest Kingdom.

Karv of the Blood Hand, Gata Skar
The only tribe that has not fallen on its knee before the Goblynking is the Blood Hand in the west. Gata Skar is its cunning chieftain. Skar has realized that the ongoing war between the humans and the goblins can potentially represent a great deal of territory and profit for his tribe, and some even say he aspires to the post of Goblynking of the Forest and King of Reddown at once. Though Skar has personally murdered all of his tribal yurga he remains cooperative, but not under the command of the Goblynking. In truth his continued neutrality has kept his pockets lined by mining iron ore for the humans and his raiders learned at war in mercenary bands fighting on both sides, and while enemy forces die, dwindle and tire and their coffers drain he grows rich and his tribe mighty. But perhaps Skar’s greatest achievement is that no one seems to have noticed the full scope of his operation yet. The Earl of Shornfar deals with him warily and Pachak has sent many of his messengers demanding Skar’s loyalty, but both see the Blood Hand as cowards trying to survive between the two great forces and not as a manipulator playing both sides off one another for their own profit.

Karv of the Bharvarsh, Hadib un-Dondar
The Goblynking’s most powerful ally and most devoted servant is the Karv of his personal guard, the monstrous Hadib un-Dondar. Hadib is a giant by goblyn standards, possessing an unnatural strength and ferocity, and an almost feral tactical cunning coupled with all the loyalty and intelligence of a small child. Though not especially dull, Hadib is simply not given to thinking, preferring to break necks rather than consider whose they are. With the combination of anamilistic sadism and a complete devotion to the Goblynking, it is Hadib who drives the Bharvarsh to the deeds that have made them legendary, and his immense frame mounted upon his equally immense horse Ghadab has carved itself permanently into the minds of those who have opposed him and lived.

Karv of the Killing Claw, Mahadmar Kadar
Debatably the most powerful of the Karv of the Forest, and one of the Goblynking’s closest allies is the sadistic Karv of the Killing Claw Mahadmar Kadar. Kadar is memorable for several distinctive features, he is horribly ugly, with an impossibly long pointed nose, tall pointed ears, the top of one of which has been cleanly bitten off by something. His eyes are tiny and deepset, and nearly entirely black and his mouth is a narrow gash upturned at the corners in a cruel sort of permanent grin. His long greasy hair is jet black, and he tends towards being unkept and dirty. Mahadamr is smaller than most of his kind, but his build is similarly lithe and angular, and his hands are especially long fingered and dextrous. The second thing one notices about Mahadmar is his voice. He has the high toned voice of most Goblyns however his mind is as agile as his hands, and Mahadmar enjoys demonstrating this. He is fluent in the language of men, and insists that his commanders only address him in this language. He claims that he finds the language of the Goblyns ugly and ungainly, but it is more likely that he enjoys the advantage that negotiation in a foreign language gives him over lesser Goblyns. The third thing one remembers about the Karv of the Killing Claw is his ruthless, gleeful, blatant and unashamed sadism.

Ghielvedrien was a warrior of the Siele King’s house. He was fighting at the side of his sworn brother Fieme when the men brought down Sheil-Mieal, and saw his king die. Ghielvedrien was young then, but he alone survived of the King’s house warriors, hacking his way to freedom, drenched in blood. That night he carved the blood oath upon his body with his king’s sword then dashed it into shards, although it would later be reforged by the hands of men. He saw the refugees clear of the forest, then returned with those few who would join him, to make the usurpers and murderers pay or sell his life dearly trying. Ghielvedrien has lost everything, family, friends, now he has only darkness and the rage that only the Siele can know. Where his boot falls blood pools and widows weep.

Ghielvedrien is stern, sadistic and merciless, but he is driven by some twisted sense of honour. Before he attacks he sounds his war horn once, only ever once, and often his victims mistake it for an animal call. Also he will never attack unarmed men unless they give him cause to defend himself or his home. Conversely he will slay an armed soldier with the kind of violence and sadism that characterizes the most brutal lunatic, favoring disabling his victims so as to kill them slowly later. Not the manic that most expect, people who somehow encounter him peacefully find that Ghielvedrien has only two moods, either dark depression or tortured rage, and a visitor’s reception will vary accordingly. Even Siele tend to stay clear of this hunter, treating him with quiet respect and keeping their distance, for the joy of the Siele is dead in his heart.

The High Warlock
Very little is known about the High Warlock, and few care to brave his domain to further their knowledge. He is most certainly one of the most dangerous individuals who walks Ahlonia today and few men can resist feeling a chill at the mere mention of his name. He appeared roughly four and a half centuries ago, from where no man knows, and took over the southernmost citadel of old Shiel Meial, which in the language of men is called Skyreach. After a couple of small expeditions by men and goblyns were brutally turned away all sides decided it was best to leave him to himself, and indeed he seemed satisfied with this accord. Many years later in the face of tenacious petitions from Boer Sherinen, the Isle’s first native magician, he began taking students and sending them as his envoys to the various courts of Ahlonia. Despite his obvious influence and his seeming political presence however, these things remain a mere footnote because no-one really knows what his presence means.



Goblyn society is built around raiding, rule by the strongest, and more importantly prosperity by the strongest means that the goblyns all strive to be a military elite, or to be favoured by the military elite. Ironically this makes raiding all the more essential as it limits the workforce, as warriors die and need to be replaced, and created a demand to seize goods and take slaves for labour. The only exception is mining, which is considered too important for slaves, and is a skill unique to the goblyns in Ahlonia.

When goblyns raid first a large mounted raiding force made up of the best warriors in a tribe makes a strike against a settlement, usually aiming to outmanoeuvre any garrison with their superior speed. After a skirmish they take control of the region where the goods they want are located, usually by flanking and overpowering the defenders. Then the slaves, driven by a few of the largest warriors who are able to intimidate and control the slave, come out from their hiding place and take whatever goods the raid targeted, including women and children as new slaves, then the slaves retreat with the slavers while the mounted force either draws off any retaliation or counter-attacks if the retaliatory tries to pursue the slaves and the stolen goods.

Since goblyn raids target small, poorly defended settlements, and they are thorough in their scouting, and able to outmanoeuvre any defenders should they become wary of a raid, this is remarkably effective and hard to stop, and many settlements simply surrender their homes and try to keep their children safe when the goblyns arrive. However heavy fortifications foil such tactics, and goblyns hate to be caught in sieges where they can't use their greater mobility to their advantage, even when raiding parties join to form armies.

Horse Taming

One things that no Ahlonian goblyn can abide is a non-goblyn to keep horses. They consider their fearsome mounts a point of pride, and though most men hold horses in fear and terror, some enterprising individuals have still tried to begin stables, emulating those of the cavaliers of the Veldt. Near universally, they have found themselves the target of brutal raids, that leave their animals butchered, and their fledgeling animal trainers on pikes.

Diet and Eating Customs

Goblyns are exclusive carnivores, but when they raid herds are seldom stolen, more often slaves slaughter a herd and the meat stolen. However the Talthakee goblyns are not stupid, they will never wipe out their food source, so while herders in the Earldoms and farmers in the Veldt lose stock they never lose the whole herd, or stud males, and the farmers themselves are seldom harmed in raids. Goblyns husband the settlements they raid like a gamekeeper might his estate.

The goblyn diet is largely based around goat meat, beef, wild pork and a mixture of milk and fresh blood. They tend to only like red meat, but wild boars make excellent sport for young warriors, and they seldom waste so much meat. Meals are usually cooked in large butchered slabs on flat stones over fire, and so are generally seared black on the outside and bloody inside. Goblyns love to eat off the bone, and it is considered a grave insult to the host not to suck the marrow from the bones, or to leave anything you are given uneaten. As a result feasts at Cravenrock can often go on for days as the goblynkings guests gorge their stuffed bellies. Pachak is famous for using this tactic to keep his opposition occupied while his own agents are at large.

Goblyns will, however, never touch fish. As creatures of the sea they are considered a dire poison, and even the threat of starvation does little to change this attitude.

Fashion and Dress

Talthakee clothing is made mainly of cotton, plundered from the Veldt. It is the responsibility of the goblyn women to make clothes for the men, and they have become experts at spinning cotton into fine thread, far finer than that of the landsmen. This cloth is light, and airy but also very durable. Males wear a long kurta with slits at the sides for riding, usually white, bound at the waist with a coloured scarf - often highly detailed and even embroidered. The dhoti of ranking males is often lined in a colour that matches or compliments the scarf. Under this they wear loose fitting salwars and bound leather sandals. Women wear a loose sari of various colours, blues and reds are popular, with greens being almost unknown.

Warriors prefer to be clad lightly, but also like to display their mineral wealth by wearing worked iron, so as a result usually made of hardened leather and iron scales, lanced together onto a fabric backing is worn. This garment is designed to hang comfortably on either side of a mounted warrior, still protecting the legs without encumbering his mounted movements. Often these have decorative bracers and grieves of iron embossed with other minerals, and the leather is usually dyed a bright colour, making raiding parties a confusing cacophony of colours. On their heads warriors wear tall iron skull-caps with either a point or horsehair plume at the top.

Ritual Scarring

Many landsman scholars spend a great deal of time emphasizing ritual scarring of the cheeks when they talk about goblyns, they discuss scarring as an indication of rank, or of martial prowess, or as a ritual to ensure that before a goblyn child has even had its mothers milk it has felt the touch of cold metal and its first wound. While this is all powerful, evocative material goblyns did once practice ritual scarring around the time of the Siele Wars, as an indication of military rank, but the practice has long since died out. Still, the myth persists amongst most scholars despite enormous amounts of evidence to the contrary.

Religion and Philosophy

The religion of Talthak was a simple one, the goblyns venerate three divh; Life is Jarvish, death is the monstrous Gunagha-Cusanga, devourer of infant-flesh, and the third represents balance and maintenance and is called Sudvhaki. Each has a domain, Jarvish the mountains and hills, Cusanga the sea and Sudvhaki the forest, and thus each is also associated with a race; Goblyns, Men and Siele. Men strongly identify the goblyn mountain-divhi with the defeated giant Ettin of diounic mythology, but goblyns don't recognize that their divh could be slain. All of the goblyn divh are depicted as goblyns with two heads, six arms and enormous fanged maws, though their skins differ in colour, and the death-divh, or Dev as the goblyns say, is usually larger and more monstrous. Jarvish is sometimes depicted as having a single eye.

It used to be that a goblyn would choose which divhi to devote his life to the teachings of. Yurga, or shamans, would each be devoted to a specific divhi and would advise in the adherents to their sects in how to live their lives to please their divhi and thus be rewarded in death by being brought to the side of that divhi. Most goblyns favour balance and venerate Sudvhaki, while miners tend to venerate Jarvish and warriors Gunagha-Cusanga. However since Rasch Pachak has made all religious practices illegal goblyns are all strictly atheists. Many yurga remain, but they practice their teaching in hidden vaults, in disguise. The Karv are required, by the Goblynking's law, to persecute any goblyns caught practicing religion and to kill any yurga. Goblyns are nervous that their great goblyn king is bringing them prosperity in this life only to damn them in the next.

Common Pass Times

Goblyns are relatively simple creatures, and their pleasures involve raiding and hunting and sparring and other contests that pit their skills as riders, warriors and trackers against prey. Since their works and play are so similar, goblyns spend a great deal of their day sleeping, and often riders will nap in the saddle. Goblyns will generally sleep a six hour night and then nap a further three or four hours during their work day. When gathered in rest goblyns also enjoy smoking hallucinogenic roots from the ruetree and eating sylph-shrooms. These gatherings often become boisterous, and particularly bad sessions of hallucination will often spread throughout an entire group. Entire raiding parties are occasionally trapped in Marratharn, unable to defend themselves and totally unaware of where they have wandered, engulfed by terror. The slyph shrooms were once the dominion of the yurga, who used them to receive visions from the dev, and as a result such things are frowned upon amongst the austere Black Eye.

Transportation and Communication

The painted goblyn-steeds are usually the means of transport for the folk of the Talthak, and goblyns are born to the saddle. The fastest riders are used as scouts and messengers rather than warriors, and are highly prized and well treated. There is little need for the nomadic goblyns to send messages between tribes except for the Karv, and they have a number of fine warriors at their disposal at all times. Otherwise only raiders and scouts need to be particularly mobile. Raiding parties often carve sign on trees in a sort of code to indicate the movement of defending forces to other scouts and raiding parties.


There are two key languages in the Talthak, the goblyns speak Talthakee. Talthakee is a blunt, mono-tonal language but it is relatively simple, and there is little complexity in tense of class. Talthakee is the language of the Roughlands also, but theirs tends to be mixed with the harsh giantish tongue and a little of the landsman language. Here there is no such bastardization. There is a written, runic form of Talthakee, but it is seldom used outside religious ceremony, and is threatened with extinction. However scout-signs are a healthy written language. Generally these marks carved into trees are designed to denote nearby dangers, such as concentrations of enemy defenders or natural hazards of the forest. These are usually expressed as a rune to denote the threat, then one for general numbers, then another denoting movement. However these are complex, and intentionally designed not be be decipherable by anyone not familiar with the signs, so pictographs never even remotely resemble what they represent.

Fale'An-Heir is spoken by Ghielvedrien's band, but their sheer rarity means that trade-tongue is spoken here more often than that ancient tongue.


Political and Legal System

Talthakee politics are simple, the goblyns answer to the karvs and the karvs bow to the goblynking. There are no laws, though the Goblynking enforces the yurga pogrom as if it were law. The Karvs lead by attribute of being stronger, any goblyn can challenge the Karv for leadership of the tribe, but there are no specific rules, and challengers must have many followers all willing to die for his elevation. While females are seldom leaders amongst goblyns there is no specific custom dictating this is impossible, and occasionally a powerful female who can be a male in a fight will rise to power without much concern for her sex. Karvs reward and punish at their own discretion, and tribes often fracture either over a disagreement with a leader, or because a large group is ostracized from the tribe for some offense or another too minor for the offender to be killed.


While combined raiding parties of mounted goblyns supported and screened from archers by slaves, are the norm for the armies of the goblyns they prefer not to take the field en-mass if it can be avoided. Attrition is preferable to the goblyn mind, as this is where they have the most success. Their mobility does give them an advantage over the landsmen infantry, as does their superior arms and armour, but goblyns are used to working in small groups or as individuals, and so when the fighting becomes close they tend to be overwhelmed as the goblyns try to turn and ride off for a second charge, but find the press of bodies behind them makes this impossible.

However the most feared and devastating force in the Forest, arguably in Ahlonia, however are the Bharvarsh, or Goblynking's Riders. These are the finest warriors in all of the Forest united under the command of the Goblynking. The Bharvarsh have their own Karv, and give up their tribes to devote themselves totally to the Goblynking. These enormous warriors are given the best of everything, including training, gear, horses and food, and are sent to every battle they possibly can be to gain battlefield experience. They are devastating in combat, and they are the personal guard of the goblynking. Their lot simply could not be better, and so their loyalty is absolute.


Architecture and Construction

Like most goblyn settlements, those of the forest are based around large, round yurts made of skin clad in wood lattices. Goblyns are fond of elaborate decoration, and often have bone carved chimes and fine chains adorning them. Yurts here reflect the goblyns love of colour, and while the exteriors are often weathered and faded the interiors are explosions of all kinds of colour, and textiles, filled with plush cushions, fine rugs and bright tapestries. Warriors generally have larger yurts, and karvs even larger, usually being formed from several yurts joined together by a covered walkway.

Goblyn fortifications tend to start as platforms in the eaves of trees, with barricades built down as they bridge from tree to tree. Goblyns love pits and earthworks, and usually the from of the wall is protected by a partially covered pit of spikes for unwary attackers. Often these are sprawling affairs, with no obvious inside or outside save for where the rope ladders are lowered. Trunks are oiled and water is plentiful to prevent climbing or the use of fire

Daily Living

Talthakee settlements run like military encampments, the Karv leads the warriors for place to place, grazing their herds of goblyn steeds, and the rest of the tribe are little more than camp followers. As a result the majority of the day involves tending the herds or the warriors, or raiding. Their horses are central to goblyn life, and while they don't go so far as to confer any authority or divinity upon the horse as other races have, they love to ride and tend to them much better than they do their slaves, or often their own children. Because of their nomadic lifestyle life is simple, and technology limited. Females sew and repair the tents and keep possessions in order, men keep the herds and the slaves or they are warriors and they go on raiding expeditions.

Major Industry

While goblyns trade rarely between tribes, and aside from the Blood Hand have little opportunity to trade with outsiders there are two major industries. Namely mining and horses. The carnivorous, savage goblyn steeds are probably the finest light mounts in all of Allornus, and the goblyns of the Talthak have bred their strain, painted steeds of dun, and red dun splashed white, to be easily the finest of their kind to be found. Meanwhile, as the only miners on Ahlonia the demand for their iron, and their ability to work and smelt metal is also second to none. Goblyn society works by taking, not trading, but this is steadily changing as they unite into a single force and inter-Karv trading of takings or goods is now common, though the Goblynking takes the bulk of the best goods.


The yurga once handled the affairs of healing, but without them their lore is partially lost. However the raiders are all familiar with being hurt, and an individual with an arrow wound or shattered limb could hope for no better ministration on Ahlonia than those of an elder goblyn warrior. So used to dealing with the injuries inflicted during raids are these warriors, that those who survive to old age have had most of their bones broken, and have bled enough to fill pales. Stitching wounds cut and binding them with clean linen, and setting broken bones is the province of the warriors, and while they will often demand compensation for their aid, they usually help non-warriors by at least overseeing their treatment if not performing it.



In the north of their territory the Tree Spiders have discovered what they believe to be a vein of iron the rival of the Khantis. After considerable discussion with the Goblynking the area was fortified and deforestation began, with the Tree Spiders and Broken Tusks splintering a few smaller tribes to mine the land. Now an enormous effort to bring the number of slaves needed into the area means that the goblyns are on the cusp of having so much raw mineral wealth at their disposal that they would almost have to be recognized as a sovereign nation, and not just barbarians by the rest of Ahlonia. This one project might change the political and economic climate of Ahlonia forever.


The Karv of a tribe owns everything that tribe has, all of its slaves, its herds, even the goblyns under him belong to him, until someone takes them away. As a result there is little call for money. The Karv distributes goods to his favorites, then to the horses, then to everyone else, and if there are any scraps left they go to the slaves. When the Karv pledged themselves to the Goblynking, they pledged everything they owned to him as well, so everything in the Talthak belongs to one man. As such goblyns have little use for gold or silver or other precious metals, and while they occasionally make jewelery from them, precious metals are considered too easy to get to really have any value.

Today in The Wild Woods…

At best the Forest is a tumultuous place, but lately there has been a great deal of friction between the Karv of the Blood Hand Gata Skar and the Goblynking over the Blood Hand's involvement with Reddown. Some think that the Goblynking will soon demand that Skar end the relationship and seize the lands of Shornfar, while others claim that Skar is only involved with the landsmen on Pachak's orders, and wants to end the arrangement. Whatever the case, if there is a power struggle it is almost certain that Skar and the Blood Hand's days are numbered.

Reports from scouts suggest that Ghielvedrien is currently just north of the Forest Way. This is excellent news for the local goblyn tribes, as the deathseeker has gone man-hunting for a while. There is a secret hope amongst the goblyns of the Forest that the errant siele will provoke the Warlock. Were this to happen at least one of these towering threats would certainly be removed from the lands of the Talthak.

In the ruins of Fort Kord, former capitol of the ancient earldom of Kordshire in the ninth century, a group of giants seems to have taken up residence. Their enormous herds, out of place in the Forest, have been seen grazing outside for the better part of a month now. Usually solitary creatures, perhaps as many as half a dozen are now sharing the cramped quarters. Why they would live in such close proximity, or why they have left the roughlands is a mystery to date, and no goblyn has had the courage to knock on their door and inquire.

The Southern Isle of Ahlonia
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