The Darkening Wild
Goblins and Orcs
The words Goblin, Hobgoblin and Orc are often used interchangeably, and those creatures these words describe are as varied as the cultures of Men. Some are dark-skinned, some pale, some green-skinned; they can be tall, broad or squat, or small and agile. Their eyes burn yellow or red, or are like dark pits. They have tangled hair, or matted, or they are bald. They can have long, ape-like arms, or short muscular ones, and range from three feet tall to seven or more, though most fall around four or five feet.
By the standards of Men and Elves, Goblins and Orcs are ugly to look upon, and by anyone’s standard they are cruel and militaristic. They make heavy use of slave labor, and raid to steal as much as possible rather than forage or work.
The history of Goblins and Orcs goes back as far as that of Elves or Men, and little is known of them. Are they all male? Where do they come from originally? How long do they live?
Most Orcs and Goblins fear and hate the sunlight and are nocturnal, or are active at all times when underground. There are stories of a few seen in daylight, especially in the darkness of Mirkwood or in overcast weather at dusk or dawn.
They make nothing of beauty, but they excel in the creation of weapons, armor, simple machines and instruments of torture and punishment, which they use on their slaves with glee. Most are not courageous, and must be driven to battle by larger, nastier members of their own kinds.