|Environment|| Temperate deep forest|
|Images of kobolds|
Source: Inner Sea Races, pg(s). 183
Kobolds are a small, craven, draconic race that dwells in places hidden from the sun, particularly subterranean caverns or densely wooded areas. Most commonly encountered in and around the nation of Andoran, the inherent cowardice of the kobolds has lent the schemers a bit of cleverness and ingenuity, especially when it comes to devising deadly traps. Despite the fact that kobolds believe they are, in fact, the most superior race on Golarion, they are commonly found in service to other, more powerful masters.
- 1 Description
- 2 Ecology
- 3 Society and culture
- 4 On Golarion
- 5 References
A kobold is a small, lizard-like humanoid with a short, stunted snout and a long, slithering tail. Their hands and feet end in sharp, clacking claws, and their scales appear in a variety of colors, including red, black, white, green, and blue. Their scales are quite thick, giving them a modicum of protection from damage. Despite their diminutive size (they generally stand about three feet in height and weigh about 40 pounds), kobolds are quite agile and quick, able to easily keep up with the average human. As with most other underground creatures, kobolds have darkvision, but are not well adapted to life on the surface, as they are quite sensitive to light.
Kobolds are omnivores and will eat almost anything their sharp teeth can chew and their strong digestive system can process. Like other reptilian creatures, kobolds have a slow metabolism, which means they require little food and drink to survive. This adds to their diligent work ethic, as they require few meal and water breaks, and increases their ability to survive in the nutrient-poor underground environment.
Kobolds lay hard-shelled eggs that incubate for a period between 45 and 60 days, after which they hatch using their distinctive cranial horn buds. Although only six to eight inches in height at birth, neonatal kobolds are able to quickly take care of themselves, often spending the first hour after birth eating the remains of their shells. Cannibalizing other clutchmates is not unheard of and is seen by the adults as a sign of strength. Hatchlings grow quite quickly and double in size every year until achieving their juvenile state at around three. They are considered to be full adults around age 10. Sexual dimorphism is very limited, with non-kobolds rarely able to tell the differences between the sexes. Most kobolds are quite short-lived, with typical life-expectancy around 30 years, although they have also been known to live for quite a long time, with the oldest kobolds claiming their age to be 140.
Kobolds remain fertile throughout their entire adult lives, with females able to produce an egg once every 20–25 days. Given ideal conditions, however, females can lay a clutch of up to six eggs, and require a coupling only once every six years in order to produce viable eggs.
Society and culture
Kobolds typically live in hierarchical tribes isolated from each other and from other intelligent beings. When they encounter other societies, kobolds often make a habit of stealing resources and livestock from their neighbors, earning them their reputation as thieves. Their possessiveness of their mineral resources also leads them to hostilities with other beings, as the kobolds view all minerals in their territory as theirs; when they discover others mining anywhere in their claimed lands, they view them as thieves and interlopers and respond violently. This holds true regardless of whether the other party settled the area before or after the kobolds did. When two kobold tribes come into conflict over resources, they typically engage in swift, violent clashes until one tribe's chieftain is slain, at which point the survivors are enslaved by the victorious tribe.
Kobold settlements are usually complex systems of heavily trapped tunnels and warrens surrounding an inner core consisting of the tribe's living spaces, larders, workshops and mines. The tribe's eggs are kept until hatching in a hidden location, which is kept secret from most members of the tribe to ensure that they cannot reveal it if captured and interrogated.
Kobolds speak Draconic, the language of their ancient forebears. Educated or well-traveled kobolds speak the trade tongues of their homelands (Common or Undercommon), or the languages of their most-frequent opponents: Dwarven or Gnome.
Kobolds typically worship dragon gods such as Apsu and Dahak, as well the dragons themselves, which they view as practically tall-powerful entities and essentially identical to deities. Many kobolds also worship Asmodeus and seek to model their own tribes' societies after the rigid hierarchy of Hell. These infernal priests are often considerably influential, either advising chieftains or leading their tribes in their own right.
The origins of the kobold race are told in countless ways by the many tribes scattered across Golarion. Most break down to one of these three stories.
The Third Brood
This story claims that kobolds were made by the draconic god Apsu from the dying spirits of the chromatic and metallic dragons that his son Dahak had brought down. Their life essence had faded to only a little flame, and Apsu feared that it was not strong enough to save them from death if he brought them back in their true form. Instead, he reincarnated their spirits into smaller, kobold bodies.
Tears of Dahak
This myth tells that kobolds were born from Dahak's tears of shame after he defeated his father Apsu in battle. These tears had many colors and as they hit the earth, each transformed into a differently colored kobold.
Perhaps the grandest of the creation myths, this story claims that when the kobolds were first created during the Age of Creation, they were parceled away deep beneath the earth. When Dahak went on his legendary orgy of destruction, the kobolds became curious and tunneled to the surface. When Dahak saw them, he transformed some of them into the first dragons. Those he left behind could not find their way back beneath the earth and have stayed near the surface ever since.
The Sewer Dragon tribe are a tribe of sophisticated kobolds who have dwelt beneath the city of Absalom since 4696 AR. The kobolds attempted to force tributes from outsiders and expand their sewer 'empire'. This aggression has since been resolved with a formal alliance with the Pathfinder Society.
The Thunderscale tribe is the largest of the kobold tribes that live in the jungles of Mediogalti Island. They make their home in the vast cave network known as the Thunderscale Warrens and are known for their habit of painting their scales with bright plant dyes.
Realm of the Mammoth Lords
The Icerender tribe is a kobold tribe that live in a pass in the Tusk Mountains. The kobolds work tirelessly to keep the pass open. A lot of caravans use that mountain pass in order to avoid the attacks of Lydek the White in the south. The kobolds sporadically attack and loot the caravans, and then they dispose of the remnants of them. A large part of the loot the kobolds obtain, is given to Lydek the White as a tribute.
- James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 11. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
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- Nicolas Logue. (2007). Crown of the Kobold King, p. 15. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-048-3
- Richard Pett. (2015). Vyre. Dance of the Damned, p. 69. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-788-8
- James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 117. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
- Tim Hitchcock. (2010). Stolen Land. Stolen Land, p. 37. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-229-6