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- This article is about the goblin lore. For the playable race, see Goblin (playable).
- "I never cover up the things I'm proud of. If the world was gonna split in half tomorrow, I’d buy the Dark Portal, slap a toll booth on it, and charge refugees the last of their pocket change, the rings off their fingers, a bite of their sandwiches, and a contractual obligation to build me a rocket palace in the skies of Nagrand. It’s the goblin way! Supply and demand! Deal with it!"
- – , Trade Prince of the Bilgewater Cartel
The cunning goblins are small green creatures from the isle of Kezan. Their love of money, explosives, and technology leaves them to be a very dangerous race, both to their enemies and themselves. Most goblins have a neutral standpoint, preferring to sell their contraptions, knowledge and services to other races.
A number of trade princes rule over the various goblin holdings around the world. Though the trade princes all live in the goblin city of Undermine on the Isle of Kezan, they each control their own private armies and trade fleets. In turn, each controls rings of trade, mining, deforestation, slave rings, and poaching. A notable trade prince is the ruthless Trade Prince Jastor Gallywix who rules the Bilgewater Cartel under his iron fist.
- 1 History
- 2 Culture
- 3 Appearance
- 4 Relations
- 5 Subspecies
- 6 Notable goblins
- 7 In the RPG
- 8 Trivia
- 9 Gallery
- 10 Videos
- 11 References
In ancient times, the keeper had discovered kaja'mite and, attempting to determinate its properties, he experimented on various races. He found that the ore was extremely potent and that it increased the intellect of his subjects. One of these subjects was a small primitive life race that roamed around the forests near Ulduar. By consuming kaja'mite, they were transformed into a new, highly intelligent race known as the goblins. The goblins share a common ancestor with pygmies.
During the War of the Ancients, Neltharion created the Demon Soul with the help of goblin artificers led by . The goblins also fashioned adamantium plates to hold Neltharion's body together when the Demon Soul's power began to overwhelm him, and the drogbar placed those plates onto his body.
When the Great Sundering happened thousands of years after the goblins' creation, they were cut from their supply of kaja'mite ore. In just a few short generations, most changes and boosts to their intelligence vanished. The goblins then took refuge on the Isle of Kezan and they had already forgotten the influence kaja'mite once had on their society.
After the Sundering, the Zandalari trolls that once ruled a large part of Azeroth started exploring numerous islands that dotted the newly formed sea. During one of these trips, they discovered Kezan and the goblin race, who were very primitive but still possessed some intellect. Initially the two races kept a distance as the Zandalari only came to the island in order to mine kaja'mite. They didn't really know too much about it, but they realized that is was very potent, so they saw it as a sacred component in their rituals and ceremonies. For many centuries the trolls mined and occasionally even paid goblins in trinkets in order to work for them, but this arrangement was soon to change. At some point the trolls, while digging, discovered that Kezan possessed an unimaginable deposit of kaja'mite underground, more than they would ever need. So rather than digging themselves, they enslaved the goblins and force them to drill in frightful conditions. For thousands of years the goblins, too weak to resist, suffered under the rule of the Zandalari.
Finally, it was kaja'mite that led the goblins to their salvation. Over time, the goblin workers breathed in the dust of the ore that clouded the mines they worked in and eventually it started to awake the goblins' intelligence. Secretly they plotted to start a rebellion, gathering any materials they can find and hide in order to create a wide range of weapons, traps and explosives. One hundred years before the opening of the Dark Portal, the troll overseers were caught completely off guard, when goblins masses stormed out from the mines, armed with technology that the Zandalari couldn't even imagine at the time. The trolls' hold over Kezan was shattered completely, their mining operation failed and the surviving Zandalari fled. The goblins were now free and in order to celebrate their liberation they turned on each other, creating chaos as countless allegiances were formed. Soon enough they were split into various different groups, and the most powerful of these groups were known as cartels. As the battles were getting completely out of hand and no one was actually winning, the cartels brokered a truce. However, the conflict would never really cease as the goblins would now turn to trade, battling in the economic arena. For the years to come the cartels were rivals, constantly outshining and outsmarting each other as they continued in their quest for wealth and power.
Goblins rapidly expanded their knowledge of technology. Goblins created Azeroth's first steam technologies. Rumors are that goblin technology back then was far more advanced than current dwarven technology. Goblins established themselves as master technicians, selling their goods on the open market. Eventually, kaja'mite supplies ran low and as the goblins' heightened intelligence vanished, their inventions became increasingly unreliable. As a result, the goblins turned to mercantilism as a source of income and transformed Kezan into a profitable trading hub. Desperate, goblins spread out into the world, attempting to find any pockets of kaja'mite they might have missed.
First and Second Wars
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By the time of the First War, the goblins of the Steamwheedle Cartel had taken over a Stranglethorn Vale settlement named Blackwater Cove that had been abandoned by Stormwind after it was overrun by trolls. Upon claiming the town as their own, the goblins renamed it Booty Bay.
During the Second War the Steamwheedle Cartel sided with the Horde, selling them the employs of their alchemists, sappers and zeppelins, also providing the watertight pilot-shacks for use on the enslaved giant sea turtles.
By the Second War, the goblins had established themselves as the traders of the world. Then, they became exclusive partners with the Horde. A Horde ambassador ventured forth and met with a single trade prince (rumored to be the Steamwheedle Cartel perhaps ), asking for the goblins to provide machines and technology to the orcs, in exchange for spoils and gold. In the beginning, the arrangement seemed perfect. The goblin trade prince believed that the orcs would win the war, so he found it natural to join the winning side. As the profits flooded Undermine's coffers, the goblins expanded their slave markets. However, other goblins disagreed and remained neutral; thus, only this single trade prince and his subordinates joined the Horde. In the end, the trade prince realized his mistake and left the Horde, and the goblin race remembers the mistake and remains neutral to this day. A lot of the goblin race is neutral. They discovered it was more profitable to play both sides against each other.
CataclysmThis section concerns content exclusive to Cataclysm.
The goblins of the Bilgewater Cartel, having recently created an intelligence-boosting beverage called , were going about their daily lives. Suddenly the dragon appears over Bilgewater Port claiming that the Hour of Twilight will soon fall. Launching a molten projectile into Kezan's volcanic Mount Kajaro, Deathwing departs as suddenly as he arrived. The goblins, not very concerned with the vague threats, continued with their party preparations but it soon became increasingly clear that Mount Kajaro was about to erupt. Being goblins, many naturally tried to cash in on the ensuing disaster. Trade Prince Jastor Gallywix of the Bilgewater Cartel requested a bazillion macaroons in order to save the members of his cartel and lead them to safety, however Gallywix was not true to his word and instead took the money only to make all of his cartel slaves.
Gallywix and his new goblin slaves set sail for Azshara, but were spotted by Alliance ships attempting to capture the Horde Warchief . The goblin's ship is sunk and they become stranded on the Lost Isles. The survivors cobble together a small base on the shore and while scouting the island the discover an orcish journal mentioning a base camp established by the orc survivors. The goblins send a representative to ask for help from the orcs and Aggra agrees to assist the goblins in turn if they would assist the orcs. The human fleet too had made landfall on the smaller of the islands, but the combined orcs and goblins thwarted the Alliance agents and rescued Thrall.
The goblins later decided to go to the larger of the two isles and deployed a Town-In-A-Box so they could have a location to rest themselves, but were met with hostilities from local Naga and Pygmy, but were able to fight them back. The goblins looked to slay the pygmy's turtle "god" , but this makes the island's volcano violently erupt. The goblins, having incidentally caused the destruction of their Town-In-A-Box with the volcanic eruption, return to Thrall and the orcs just in time to help stave off the Alliance assault. Impressed with the goblins cunning and strength the orcs agreed to take the fight to Trade Prince Gallywix, which had enslaved the majority of the members of the Bilgewater Cartel and put them to work mining resources. After disrupting Gallywix's operations, the free goblins overthrow Gallywix himself with the assistance of Thrall. Surrendering himself, Gallywix promises the Bilgewater Cartel will reform and become a part of the Horde. Thrall accepts, offering to send a representative to the Horde's new Warchief Garrosh Hellscream and promises them a new home in Azshara and a place within the Horde.
The goblins of the Bilgewater Cartel now reside chiefly in Azshara, which they have massively altered. Goblins have also been seen assisting their allies in other areas such as Northern Barrens, Stonetalon Mountains, and Felwood. The goblins have made a home in Orgrimmar were runs the Goblin Slums an area of filth, pollution, and technology, just how the goblins like it.
- Goblins have their own currency named macaroons. They refer to money as moolah.
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Goblins generally disregard any hierarchy. Where they are forced to recognize the hierarchy is required, they keep it simple, flat and straightforward, same as would be typical on the pirate ship. Most important, never tell any goblin he or she is not qualified enough to build, operate or drive a machine of any kind as that goblin will rush immediately to do this, just to show you are fool. Same about any kind of business, as long as that goblin would have enough money to start it. While lots of crashes, explosions or - in case of business - bankruptcies are happening due this attitude, many weird initiatives also succeed.
A small group of goblins may spontaneously form and cooperate without any hierarchy while it dissolves equally easily after the loss of the shared interest. When both orc and night elf start alone with a simple weapon at hand, one of the first tasks for the goblin is to pick a bunch of great friends with her trike, listening for the car radio! Goblins also write Encyclopedia Every Goblin Can Edit. While all gnomes laugh at that assuming only the most educated elite should be doing such things and point to the astronomic number of hoaxes and inaccuracies, most of this elite also keep a secret stolen copy as some good schematics, well, is not properly documented anywhere in they gnomish books.
- See also: Goblins versus gnomes
Though once nothing but fodder for more taproom banter, goblin inventions have shown their worth in recent years. They're particularly fond of tinkering with mechanical things, alchemy, and explosives. Their love of mechanics often places them into direct competition with gnomes who enjoy similar devices. The "competition" between goblins and gnomes seems to be friendly, an example of this is in the shimmering flats where the two races are constantly competing (by racing) with one another. Whether clockwork "shredders" that allow a single goblin to do as much harvesting as 10 field hands or zeppelin-like "airships" that can ferry troops over otherwise impassable terrain, the goblins' inventions have become legendary. Such technological ingenuity is as central to the goblins' rise among the races as any trading prowess.
Even with the malfunctions and explosions that occur (not as frequent as tavern chatter suggests, but far from rare), goblin technology is proving to be of a quality that rivals the dwarves and their firearms. If they possessed physical strength and mystic power to match their inventiveness and cunning, they would be a force of some significance. Of course, the goblins claim that they are already — if not for their frail physical forms, goblins would rule the world. Then they laugh and say they prefer a challenge and offer to buy the taproom guests the next round.
While other races often try to build reliable machines that would stay for grandchildren, goblin aims for device of the marginally bearable reliability that should only last enough to make its construction reasonable. Weird as it is, this approach allows to build more machines, or to build a more complex and powerful machine using the same time and resources. A good example is the Rocketway - unsafe and unfinished yet it works and is undoubtedly faster than any flying mount. Schematics they use would not fit for a role of the content table for a proper gnomish design document; a typical goblin engineer does not use any to build a known device.
At some point after the Second War, the goblins apparently grew tired of carrying explosives for the Horde and decided that they needed to take control of their own destinies. Surprisingly, they proved smart enough to know that building an army of their own would be an even bloodier choice for their race than sapping and planting mines. So they chose a different path.
The goblins have taken to the role of merchant with a vengeance, and now it's hard to travel for more than a day or two without stumbling across a goblin shop of some size. Goblin zeppelins fly across the continent, delivering goods, supplies, messages and passengers from one shop to another, and I've heard more than one goblin brag that if it isn't in his shop, he can have it on the shelves within a week. One joker challenged that claim and ordered a dozen shredders, only to find them waiting outside his cottage two days later.
Goblin shops can be found nearly anywhere on Azeroth, seemingly regardless of whether or not there are towns nearby and heedless of dangers such as the Scourge. The goblins will sell anything to anyone, at only slightly inflated prices.
Apparently, the proprietor of each goblin shop determines how to protect his business from theft. Some of the solutions employed include the hiring of mercenary fighters as security guards; complicated, tinker-built security systems; and, most notoriously, enormous bombs on a dead man's switch that can be detonated on a moment's notice if a goblin merchant feels threatened. After news spread of thieves and bullies entering shops that were replaced moments later by smoking craters, few have found the nerve to probe how a given shop might be protected.
Though many shops remain Independent, a growing number of them have signs declaring that they are owned and operated by the Venture Company, which the proprietors claim is headquartered in a faraway city ruled by goblins where the streets are paved with gold.
The goblins are also legendary for the sheer variety of trade in which they are willing to indulge and for their tenacity in bargaining. Goblins rarely let an item slip from their shelves for a single copper less than it is worth. The industrious goblins have established shacks and minor trading towns across much of Kalimdor in an impressively brief span of time. These outposts may vary in size and location, but all have a similarly impressive array of goods. The outposts get regular supply shipments (or as regular as possible, given the hazards of travel across Kalimdor), all coordinated by the goblin trade princes.
The trade princes are the most cunning of their race and will stop at nothing to amass their fortunes and power, whether through legitimate means or via black markets and treachery. Goblins encountered on Kalimdor or the Eastern Kingdoms are either privateers or agents of the various trade princes of Undermine.
Goblins are not purely mercenary. They are known to form strong bonds with individuals of other races. Their small forms and odd behavior make other races — elves in particular — ill at ease, but goblins do not seem to care much for the impression they make. They judge by deeds, befriending those who treat them as friends and standing apart from those who would offer them abuse.
Goblin foreign shops and trade operations
- Goblin alchemist
- Goblin laboratory
- Goblin Merchant
- Gold mine
- Oil refinery
- Goblin Workshop
- Zeppelin Tower
Military tactics and forces
Goblin forces are terrifying to behold. The Trade Fleets are outfitted with the most fanatical and destructive creatures on Azeroth. The average person wonders why the trade princes require such powerful armies, if they are holding to their neutrality stance. It certainly seems excessive.
The simple truth is, the forces are not excessive. The life of those living on the South Seas is harsh, due to attacks from everything from pirates to rogue magical beasts. Conflict exists everywhere, and a trade prince is always in peril of death. Every day, a trade prince must test his food on three different people. There is only one way to become a trade prince, and that's to take out the competition. Thus, to prevent rivals from taking their thrones and to ensure that business may be conducted as normal, each trade prince enlists a hefty force of warriors. It's absolutely necessary to keep order in the goblin world.
The Trade Fleets also require extreme guards. Undermine's goods sail everywhere, especially into hostile or desolate territories to make a coin. Simply put, goblins go to dangerous places. Without strong guards, there would be no trade, because there would be only dead traders.
Despite appearances, goblins maintain rigid procedures and formations for battle. They only look disorganized. Goblins are intelligent, and they use their brains in battle. Confuse the enemy, and the enemy leaves blind spots. Slip in between the cracks and break the forces open from the inside. Many battles during the Second War were lost when Alliance forces underestimated goblin tactics.
Not surprisingly, all goblin forces use a wide and dizzying array of technological weaponry. From the simplest firearms to the largest steam-driven war instruments, goblin technology dominates war fields. Even magic has a difficult time creating as much destruction and havoc as goblin war machines.
When goblins fought in the Second War, they created three units especially for the war effort. Goblin zeppelins rode high above the terrain to scout out the area, and occasionally transported warriors. Goblins also lent their services as sappers, using explosives to take out enemy fortifications. Often the goblins went with the explosives, but this was of little consequence. Sappers were a copper a dozen.
Furthermore, during the war, goblins fought from all angles, especially the sea. The Stormreaver clan captured giant sea turtles native to the southern seas. Pacified by potent spells of control, these lumbering monstrosities were fitted with watertight canopies strapped onto the backs of their shells and were used as submersible orcish craft. By submerging under the waves, the giant turtles could steal upon unsuspecting enemy craft and report their position to the Horde fleet as they were visible solely to towers, creatures of the air, and other submersible vessels. The daring goblins who controlled them were dedicated to destroying enemy ships by launching hazardous, steam-driven canisters containing highly volatile liquids that could shred even the strongest of armor.
During the Third War, goblins also fielded shredders to anyone who paid well enough. The pilots cared little about the actual war, preferring to chop down forests for their pay. However, when push came to shove, goblin shredders proved lethal in battle. The pilot's inexperience with battle was evened out by the shredder's armor and powerful steam saw, which cut down enemies as easily as trees. Goblins hired themselves to anyone with the gold, and alongside shredders, the goblins fielded sappers and zeppelins once again in battle. Even tinkers and alchemists joined the fight, granting explosive and chemical warfare to the highest bidder.
Goblins are slight and wiry, averaging 4 feet in height. They have three fingers and one thumb on one hand and four toes on one foot. Their noses grow larger as they age. Goblins apparently have green blood. Female goblins are on average taller than male goblins.
- Main article: Goblin (language)
Goblins are a wily, cunning race of traders and tinkers whom adventurers typically encounter as parts of trading envoys or on pirate raids. Goblin ships frequent the seas, ferrying or seeking riches, slaves or exotic wares. Kalimdor's main goblin port is the party town of Ratchet, a harbor city located on the eastern shore of the Barrens directly between Durotar and Theramore. Goblin trade outposts are found everywhere, including all major cities and such inhospitable realms as Northrend and Stranglethorn Vale. Their zeppelins run a wealthy business ferrying passengers across kingdoms and continents. Goblins tolerate carrying armed passengers in their zeppelins, however, they don't transport cannons or heavy artillery in their zeppelins because that could compromise their neutrality.
Goblins are neutral and take pains to make sure their nearby customers play nice with each other. Goblin guards patrol Ratchet and a few of the other goblin settlements, keeping tabs on the various Horde and Alliance visitors. Despite these enforcers however, the goblins' neutral settlements can still be dangerous places, as members of either faction will often still attack each other in the belief that they can evade the guards. With the exception of Ratchet, their settlements generally have a consistent appearance and construction.
Traveling goblin merchants employ bodyguards to protect them and their wares. Goblins are independent. Goblins hired themselves out to the Horde in the Second War, but now they belong only to themselves and whoever pays them. Constantly building and inventing requires massive resources, both for creating the machines themselves and maintaining those that actually work. Cannibalizing old machines only partially sustains this fervent activity of creation, so goblins rely on trade with as many races and cultures as possible. They are the quintessential merchants, peddling all manner of exotic goods for the highest possible prices.
Goblin mechanical and mercantile pursuits are not always (or even often) performed within the bounds of polite society. Though not evil, goblins are willing to embark on shady business ventures - slavery, deforestation, poaching, smuggling and oil drilling, for example - to accomplish their goals. They are opportunists to the core and revel in bartering the better deal at every turn. Goblins try to get along with all other races. Doing so is part of their business. Nevertheless, everyone views goblins with justified suspicion. Night elves in particular dislike the goblins because the little creatures have no respect for nature or natural resources.
Goblins are a capitalistic bunch and most buy or sell anything to make a profit. Goblin merchants love to haggle, have excellent wares and are too smart to be cheated - or so they claim. Most big cities have at least one stationary goblin merchant shop, managed by a goblin family. The heads of the family run the shop while the younger goblins travel the land to find, buy or steal the inventory. They sell to anyone: Alliance, Horde, or Independent. Some even deal with demons if the price is right. Some goblins drive their carts from town to town, buying and selling as they go. These carts look rickety and secondhand, but the appearance is likely a diversion. A goblin's cart is usually in perfect driving condition; the goblin never knows when he may have to leave town quickly or outrun an enraged customer. These merchants are often less than reputable and more likely to have items that they cannot identify themselves. Goblin merchant houses are not necessarily places to avoid, however. Often a hero can discover hard-to-find items, even rare or magic items, within the walls. As long as the hero is able to spot a bad deal, it should be safe for him to enter.
The goblins are an unbending bunch, refusing any sort of barter and demanding to be paid only in gold. There is a saying around Ratchet: If a traveling goblin merchant were starving to death and someone offered to trade food for the goblin's merchandise, he'd starve before he accepted anything but gold. A customer who enters a goblin shop intending to barter finds himself laughed out into the street. The goblins do not even allow their employees to receive discounts or work for merchandise. Goblins deal only in gold. The merchants accept gold in any form and have precise scales to aid their customers. Goblins accept recently mined nuggets, panned dust or defaced Alliance gold coins that would be refused in other areas. They are grumpier about accepting silver, but do so.
Alliance and Horde
The goblins care little for the Alliance and Horde conflicts; what concerns them, as usual, is the effect these events have on their cash flow. The goblins do not, as a rule, like the Scourge, as the undead threatened to wipe out the entire populations of the Alliance and Horde, leaving the goblins with no customers. War is profitable for the goblins; annihilation is not. Once they served as suicide mercenaries for the Horde; now the goblins have made their place as the strongest merchant race in the world. If one wants to purchase something, whether it is supplies, equipment, weapons, magic items or even slaves, the goblins either have it or know where to get it. All that matters in their eyes is the price.
The goblins like a balance of power. Military conflicts make money for the goblins as the combatants purchase supplies, and if the two sides are evenly matched, conflicts could go on for generations. This promises fat purse bags for the goblins for years to come. The goblins helped out the Horde for years because of this, but now they feel the Horde has come to match the Alliance in power, and they rest in the neutral middle, satisfied to play mercenary and merchant to either side.
The goblins understand the Alliance better than they understand the neutral races, as they have a long history of dealings with the Alliance. As merchants, they are frequently found in Theramore, and as mercenaries, they may even be found among the Alliance armies. True business entrepreneurs, goblins understand their customers very well and almost always know what they want. Their favorite Alliance customers are the high elves, who jump at the chance to buy magical items. Although many in the Alliance consider the goblin mercenaries to be war profiteers, they are not above using them. If they have no tinkers, or their tinkers have died in a previous battle, they sometimes have to go to the goblins for repairs or supplies. And the goblins are always ready to help a customer, for the right price. The goblins’ skills certainly don’t stop at trade. Although not as talented at the invention of firearms as the Ironforge dwarves, the goblins have refined their inventing talents to create a handful of very useful tools that are, of course, for sale. Since the latest conflicts, the goblins have modified their marketing tactics to focus on pushing their deforestation operations to the night elves, of all races, to help clear out the cursed Felwood Forest. They also sell their zeppelins to the night elves, so that these customers can spot and put an end to deforestation. They made a great deal of money selling items to help the Alliance fight Illidan and his army of blood elves and naga, and constantly remind the Alliance members who travel through Ratchet that Illidan is still out there and supplies are always needed. Some merchants are able to mask the tone of glee in their voices while saying this, but most don’t bother. The Horde and the goblins get along fairly well, as the orcs remember the (well-paid) sacrifice of the goblins for their cause in earlier wars. They still purchase zeppelins and other goblin services. The goblins often enjoy the company of the orcs, and the war veterans from both races will get together and drink if offered the opportunity. Old friends, the goblins fought with the Horde in the Second War, but broke off when they realized that it’s more profitable to work both sides. However, many goblins remember the fun of the Horde and are willing to lower mercenary prices to Thrall and his people. Goblins offer almost exclusive transport services for the Horde, whether in their steamboats or zeppelins. You're more likely to find a team of goblin sappers, who take great pleasure in the chaos the Horde creates, meshed into Horde forces than those of the Alliance. Perhaps with enough persuasion, the goblins could be convinced to rejoin the Horde for the first time since the Second War (although that could be just as harmful as helpful, knowing the goblins).
Perhaps the only remaining goblin scruple is that they will not betray a customer. While they understand each side of the war very well, if the Alliance is paying them for services, merchant or mercenaries, they will not act as double agents for the Horde. This is as close to honor as the goblins usually get.
Goblins don't like gnomes much, as they are the two races that are best at engineering. They often combat in engineering, like at the Mirage Raceway in Shimmering Flats. It is hard to say who is the best at engineering, the goblins or gnomes.
With the Horde
Even before the Cataclysm, there were many goblins still working with the Horde found in Ashenvale, Orgrimmar, Camp Mojache, and Thousand Needles; even then, goblins working for the Horde run the zeppelin system. In WotLK some goblins joined the Warsong Offensive, some even displaying the Horde symbol on their tabard  and fighting on the front lines. In the airship event, goblin members of the Kor'kron elite were even seen. 
Other goblins are found in even the darker factions of the world Burning Blade, Black Dragonflight, and Dark Horde, very rarely are goblins truly loyal to their factions. Most goblins would likely trade sides for even the smallest boost in payment.
- Hobgoblin — Goblins altered by some foul alchemy to become bigger, tougher and dumber. Often act as guards in goblin settlements.
- Gilgoblin — Aquatic goblins created by . Mainly found in Vashj'ir.
- — Residents of the Town-In-A-Box captured and transformed by the local pygmies. Found on the Lost Isles prior to its destruction.
In the RPGThis section concerns content exclusive to the Warcraft RPG and is considered non-canon.
Goblins are small humanoids, crafty and shrewd, bearing an overwhelming interest in commerce and a strong curiosity about mechanical things. Goblin society is fragmented, defined chiefly by commerce and trade. The ultimate schemers and con artists, goblins are always in search of a better deal. Despite their seemingly chaotic natures, they exist in a fairly strict and straightforward hierarchy. Other races universally view goblins as inventors, merchants and, without exception, maniacs. Goblins value technology as a useful aspect of commerce. Some say that their advantage — and their curse — is to be the primary users of technology in a world governed by magic. While dwarves and gnomes share a similar gift, goblin technology is more far-reaching and sinister and makes a larger impact on the natural world.
They employ vast teams of engineers who expand on current technology and produce gadgets to suit a wide array of applications. They constantly build and repair machines and work on new ideas. Unfortunately, goblins alternate passionate genius with wandering focus. Their lack of discipline means that many creations end up half finished as something else catches their attention. Goblin workmanship has a partially deserved reputation for unreliability, and a goblin device may explode simply because its creator forgot to add a vital release valve. Goblins are envious of the Ironforge dwarves’ invention of firearms, both from a commercial and a technological standpoint. Goblins recognize that firearms represent a new source of power, and he who controls the source controls the gold — which is, to goblins, the ultimate power. Fortunately for the rest of the world, goblin firearm experimentation suffers from the race’s normal laxity — and improperly tended gunpowder experiments continue to end the careers of many aspiring goblin tinkers. However, goblin ingenuity has paid off a few times; goblin gunpowder weapons tend to be inelegant and violently explosive (land mines, rockets and the like).
A number of trade princes rule over Azeroth's various goblin holdings. Though the trade princes all live in the goblin island city of Undermine far from Kalimdor and the eastern continents, each controls his own private army and trade fleet. Each trade prince has his own specialty, monopolizing trade in a certain area, such as mining, deforestation, slavery or poaching. The trade princes are the most cunning of their race and stop at nothing to amass their fortunes and power, whether through legitimate means or via black markets and treachery. Goblins encountered on Kalimdor and the eastern continents are freelancers, privateers or agents of Undermine’s trade princes. Goblins are tenacious fighters. They attack from range with crossbows or firearms (making individual modifications to dwarf-made weapons) and use maces, short swords or bizarre, home-brewed steam weaponry in melee. When attacked in their warrens, they fight with tools as well. Goblins have a good grasp of tactics and strategy, and are masters of siege warfare. Their love of large machines makes them ideal mercenaries for attacking fortifications.
Goblins are shrewd in business, and clients who believe they walked away with the upper hand are almost always sorely mistaken. "To cheat a goblin" is a dwarven idiom meaning "to do what is practically impossible." ("Gamgi cheated a goblin when he escaped that cave-in!") Goblins are also consummate tricksters and con artists. Their mission in the world is to create incredible new inventions, accrue the resulting wealth, and cause as much subtle mischief as possible along the way.
Old friends, the goblins fought with the Horde in the First and Second Wars, but broke off when they realized that it's more profitable to work both sides. However, many goblins remember the fun of the Horde and are willing to lower mercenary prices to Thrall and his people. Goblins offer almost exclusive transport services for the Horde, whether in their steamboats or zeppelins. You’re more likely to find a team of goblin sappers, who take great pleasure in the chaos the Horde creates, meshed into Horde forces than those of the Alliance. Perhaps with enough persuasion, the goblins could be convinced to rejoin the Horde for the first time since the Second War (although that could be just as harmful as helpful, knowing the goblins).
The Great Wars
Unfortunately, over the next few thousand years, up until roughly five hundred years before the First War, the goblins could find no further deposits of kaja'mite and goblin intelligence peaked. Without kaja'mite to strengthen their minds, goblins were unable to reproduce their brilliant technology or properly maintain it, and their works rapidly devolved into the crude jury rigged machines of today. The world began to fear the volatile machines, and sales dropped considerably. Goblins always had a love of money, however. With the loss of their intelligence and slow degradation of their technology, goblins embraced commerce. About two hundred years before the First War, the beginnings of Trade Fleets sailed out of Kezan and into the world.
Goblins chose war as the perfect opportunity to cash in some gold, and began building their trade empire during the First War.
They weigh between 30 and 50 pounds. They have long, sharp noses, chins and ears, and green skin. Their arms are long and slender and their four fingers are deft. They tend to wear leather clothing, often cut into aprons to protect against caustic fluids. Goggles usually cover their eyes, and various technological devices are strapped across their bodies.
Goblins place their faith in themselves and in gold. They raise eyebrows at insubstantial concepts such as shamanism and the Holy Light, preferring gods they can see, weigh, and spend. However, some goblins have become priests and even shaman in recent times.
Goblins know myriad languages in order to trade with as many races as possible.
- The goblins are rather fond of palm tree prints and other gaudy decorations, as can be seen by their old buildings and even their clothes.
- According to , goblins seem to reproduce like rabbits.
- The adjective form of "goblin" is seemingly goblinoid.
- Apparently, "goblin" roughly translates to "parasite" in draenei.
- Although goblins have existed in World of Warcraft since launch, the introduction of goblins as playable characters brought with it a new set of goblin models and soundbites. Upon the launch of Cataclysm, goblins throughout the game world were updated to the new version. However, some goblins can be found still using the old soundbites.
- It is a widely supported, yet unproven theory that the main inspirations for the goblins were the Gremlins, for their destructive nature and looks, and the Ferengi of Star Trek, for their industrialized society, where a person's worth is equal to the belongings he can gather and hold, though this trait seemed to only develop after the Second War.
- In lore, goblins joined the Horde in the Second War, but they are never mentioned in the book Tides of Darkness, although it is referenced in Beyond the Dark Portal.
- Despite Dark Factions listing goblins as Always True Neutral, they are a diverse enough race to be any alignment.
- Prior to Cataclysm, the goblins borrow the basic skeleton from dwarves, although their profile photo is at a different angle; they also possess a unique dance and other different animations. The older goblin model used for shredder pilots and flight masters takes the basic skeleton from imps.
- Some goblin NPC names have a second meaning, out of context with the game environment. As a <Fashion Designer>, the goblin name is constructed of the words haughty, a form of disdainful arrogance, and modiste, a French word that means "fashion designer" or "fashion vendor". (On the other hand, haute couture is a form of high fashion, making it even more of a pun.) Likewise, <Zeppelin Master> talks openly about escorting the player's character to the steamy jungles of Stranglethorn Vale, to "show [them] a real jungle cat."
- In real-life lore, a goblin is an evil, crabby, or mischievous creature of folklore (mainly European, but other mythologies have similar creatures), often described as a grotesquely disfigured or gnome-like phantom who may range in height from that of a dwarf to that of a human.
- Before patch 2.3.0, goblins could not wear (or at least show) Head items. was the first to show this, followed by the helmed Irradiated Workers' models being switched from gnomes to goblins.
- Chris Metzen stated in the November 2003 issue of Blizzard Insider #15 that goblins were originally considered for the fourth Alliance race. But they were widespread as a neutral trading faction, so Gnomes became a better fit. 
- In Cataclysm, male goblin NPCs sometimes say "G.T.L, friend...Gambling, Tinkering, Laundry!" when clicked upon. This is a reference to the show Jersey Shore, where G.T.L stands for "Gym, Tan, Laundry." It is most likely that the goblins' use of the word "laundry" implies the act of laundering money, and not washing clothes.
- Two of the greatest chefs in the game are goblins; and . While unconfirmed, and possibly a coincidence, this could imply that goblins have a certain talent for cooking. Examples of goblin-invented dishes are , , and . and are likely invented by goblins as well.
- In Hearthstone, the goblins card back was rewarded for achieving Rank 20 in Ranked Season 8, which took place during November 2014. The flavor text reads: "4 out of 5 goblins agree: This card back doesn’t explode!"
- Goblin male guards are voiced by Anthony Perullo.
- ^ Trade Secrets of a Trade Prince
- ^ a b c World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, pg. 159
- ^ World of Warcraft: The Magazine Issue 5
- ^ a b World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, pg. 158
- ^ World of Warcraft: Cataclysm Game Manual
- ^ File:Chronicle2 Eastern Kingdoms Before the First War.jpg
- ^ Original Stranglethorn Vale description
- ^ The Artistry of World of Warcraft: Stranglethorn Vale (PC)
- ^ Trade Secrets of a Trade Prince, pg. 3
- ^ Horde Player's Guide, 188
- ^ Beyond the Dark Portal, 94
- ^ Lands of Conflict, 28-29
- ^ Dark Factions, 178
- ^ Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness manual, Naval Units of the Horde, Giant Turtle
- ^ Dark Factions, 179
- ^ World of Warcraft: Beginner's Guide
- ^ : "The bigger noses come from the eldest of Goblins."
- ^ Height#Legion
- ^ a b c d e World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, pg. 42
- ^ World of Warcraft: The Comic #10
- ^ World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, 177
- ^ a b c d Alliance & Horde Compendium, 70-71
- ^ Alliance Player's Guide, 181
- ^ a b Horde Player's Guide, 188, 190
- ^ http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/cataclysm/features/goblin.html
- ^ World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, 41-42
- ^ Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, pg. 182
- ^ a b Dark Factions, 114M
- ^ during
- ^