When Nix was finished looting the corpses of his dead goblin kin he could not resist his goblin blood. He drew his bone dagger and severed two fingers from each of the two goblins he slayed. He did so without hesitation and without the least bit of disgust. Goblins are used to many things that make others squeamish or nauseous. Severed fingers were nothing compared with the gruesome things they witness on a daily basis. Death, dismemberment, blood, guts and violence were are commonplace in the goblin caves. They were as normal as drinking tea was amongst elves. Suffice to say, the four fingers were simple trophies for the goblin assassin. The first of many.
Nix, satisfied that there was nothing remaining in the spur of the goblin caves of value for him, scurried back to den from whence he was born. There Zyx awaited. Nix felt his brother’s essence as though he were there somehow. It was faint and yet profound enough to be noticed. It called Nix and guided him back to the den though he knew the way. Like a beacon Zyx guided his brother to him.
As Nix entered his birth den he found none except his brother, legs crossed hands folded and eyes closed; deep in thought. Zyx felt his brother enter and opened his eyes, red with blood and a smile crept over his face, thin lips curled in a crooked grin.
Nix paused and studied his brother. He sensed something he never noticed before. Zyx sat cross-legged, grinning at him seeming like the brother he’s always known but there was much more to him than he ever knew. Nix noticed a strange glow about him that wasn’t quite light. It wasn’t a visible glow like a torch or fire, it was something more subtle than that. It was more like the soft glow of the moon; a reflection of some other light. It was as if his image rippled like a reflection in a pool of deep water; difficult to see clearly yet visible nonetheless.
Zyx didn’t wait for his brother to ponder long and instead he stood and embraced him, toppling him over. They rolled on the ground giggling in a throaty laugh paying no mind to the rocks and stones on the ground as their greyish bodies were one.
Each felt connected to the other as they once were in the same womb. Each felt the other’s heart beating and blood flowing and the shared in the elation that only life can give on a day they nearly lost theirs. They rolled until they lay on their backs and their giggling slowed to a chuckle then stopped at a warm smile. They had never known the feelings they felt flow through their bodies; few goblins had. It was yet another of many more deviations from the curse of their heritage.
At last they could conceive no more reason to lay there so Nix rose only to fetch the dismembered fingers from his pouch and hand two of them to Zyx.
“What are these,” Zyx asked gleefully?
“Fingers from two that tried to kill us,” Nix answered. Zyx held the fingers in his boney hands and rolled them around, still warm and still wet with blood of their deceased owner. His eyes half closed and in his mind the fingers grew into the embodiment of the goblins they belonged to. He saw each of the slain goblins before him as though they were yet alive. Each looked cross, scowling at Zyx, as though bothered at his summoning them from some important work that only the dead know of. He quickly opened his eyes and looked, wide eyed, at the pale fingers in his hand.
Zyx’s smile was wider than ever. He accepted the fingers and immediately began to imagine what to do with them. He conceived some sort of lanyard to hold these and any other trinket he may encounter.
Nix had no such plans for the fingers and instead placed them in his pouch. Then the boys reclined against the wall of their den and leaned their heads against one another before dozing off for a much needed rest. Each felt entirely safe next to the other.
In the tunnels of the goblin clan Trickfoot, word quickly spread like a dank breeze in the dark corridors of their underworld. Rumors of a young goblin who somehow healed another with his spirit electrified the otherwise dead caves and dens while word of a whelp who murdered two other goblins out of vengeance excited the clan which was always pleased to add another warrior to its ranks to stave off orcs and other goblin clans from claiming their home, and also one as deadly as Nix was always useful on a food raid or treasure raid, or any raid for that matter. Violence was a way of life for goblins and the more the better. That aspect of the goblin world was simple. Kill for survival.
More complex was the goblin religious system. They were primitive in their worship compared to the civilizations above ground and the dwarves of the mountains and even the dark elves of the deep. They did not have a highly structured system which included holy texts but instead relied more on spiritualism and ritual. Rather than training priests and clerics they recognized shamans and primitive monks. Their racial diety was Sagobr Dreaddeath. He was pictured as a massive goblin wielding a whip to punish enemies. He strove for the perpetuation of the goblin clans and encouraged violence and enslavement of the other races of the world, especially those on the surface: humans, elves, halflings.
The goblins participated in a very violent religion. Failure to gain the approval of the deity and his representatives often resulted in public whippings or other torture to encourage learning and adherence to the tenets of their faith. Sacrifice to their god was also common, especially the sacrifice of lives captured in raids or other violent acts. Therefor the temple caves were most often painted with blood and decorated with bones and the rotting flesh of those they offered to their cruel and evil deity.
The only holy day they recognized was raid day. Every new moon the goblins went out and raided. Sometimes it was as simple as attacking some helpless travelers, other times it was more coordinated and included raiding a village or town. They took great joy in these raids and their reputation for the month was dependent on how they performed in the raid. They kept stolen property as trophies and kills as scores for those are the things they worshipped.
Such was the world of the goblin. Both Nix and Zyx showed promise in such a world.