an entry for
's Koblads contest, i actrually drew this MONTHS ago, but summer work and personal stuff pushed it to the bottom of the pile, where it (and the contest it had been drawn for) sat until tonight! anyway, hope you all like it!
Deep within the belly of the world lives a race of horrible gibbering little creatures, who greedily scrape at cave walls for riches which they can nether appreciate nor comprehend, all the while littering their winding, maze like tunnels with make shift, yet brutal traps and pit falls. These creatures are known to most as Kobalds. Typically standing no more than two and a half feet tall, these pallid verminous creatures are a potentially lethal threat to those who inhabit the myriad caves of the underworld. According to drow myths, Kobalds are all the simply what occurs to dwarfs when the ultimately succumb to their natural greed, or become lost in the caves of the underworld Many dwarf clans on the other hand, blame Drow for the vermin coming into being, claiming that all Kobalds are the descendants of a deviant dwarf clan whom sold their loyalty to the drow, and were cursed by the stone of the earth itself. The denizens the underground world have many shared myths of the creatures however, both believe that they have an innate ability to smell jewels and gold, that they steal naughty children and use dark rituals to turn them into kobalds, and that smearing powdered koblad ear on a cave wall can reveal the location of ore veins.
Most of these myths, are just that. Myths. Kobalds, in fact, are a species of stunted subterranean gobin, though lizard like and bestial subraces are known to exist in some areas. They tend to congregate in clans varying in groups as small as 30 and large as 500. Kobalds form simple social hierarchies, with the strongest or most clever rising to the top in enforcer gangs which adorn themselves with second hand armor and weapons in service of the largest or most cunning Koblad of the clan, who keeps the lesser members of the clan in line, and collect about half of what they gather for the clan leader. Kobalds, for some unknown reason, have an obsession with gem stones and precious metals. Some have speculated that the gathering of gem stones, gold, and silver is part of a mating display, as clan leaders and their enforcers tend to have the largest amount of valuables on their person, or perhaps that kobalds have some sort of simple internal economy, nether theory has ever been proven true due to lack of observation of the creatures.
All in the underworld, however, know why Kobalds can be so dangerous, despite being so small and typically frail. Traps. Kobalds are notorious for their myriad of simple but brutally effective traps. many a dwarf and drow miner has had their lives cut short by a Kobald contraption. However, these traps are rarely well hidden, and typically only kill those unaware of a kobald clan's existence in the area. In a fight, a single kobald is no threat at all, and will almost always flee, however, kobalds follow a simple mod mentality, and will often attack in hordes to make up for their own weakness, typically outnumbering their targets 10 to 1. Their weakness, tendencies to horde valuables, and the ease of avoiding most of their traps makes this species a ripe target for young and inexperienced adventurers who believe that the creatures are an easy target for quick gold, many walk away with great wealth from such endeavors, though just as many underestimate the creatures and never walk away at all.