Some historical accounts lead most who are unlearned about Kobolds to believe that they are rat-like in appearance, and tend to scavenge in dark, dank dungeons for whatever food they require. In actuality, the Kobolds are a race of people who are known for their intelligence, and are knowledgeable in a variety of different fields of culture and occupations.
Kobolds are anthropomorphic canines. The race comes in drastically different shapes and sizes, as well as holding various temperaments and moods. Kobolds have opposable thumbs, and hands that resemble a human’s.
The average lifespan of a Kobold is between fifty and one hundred years old. The smaller breeds live consistently longer, but there has been fluctuation and it is not unheard of for a larger dog to push towards the high end or even exceed it.
Clothing and Adornment
Most Kobolds prefer not to wear heavy outfits, due to their length of fur, and their tail. Also, as such, their upper garments are made to be unstrung, so they will not pull uncomfortably upon removal. Hats and gloves are rarely worn, because Kobolds believe it affects their ability to commune with the earth and nature. Only in combat are their tails ever covered.
The most common adornment a Kobold will wear is a collar. It has become a skewed idea whether the Kobolds have stolen the idea from domesticated dogs, or if Humans had stolen the idea from seeing Kobolds, but it is claimed by Kobolds that they originated the idea. Ears and other body parts are not to be pierced, and if done so, can be extremely detrimental to one’s place in society. As such, the only Kobolds who are adorned in such a way are usually mutts, who are already ostracized from the social order anyway.
Relations to Other Races
Their relevance to dogs is uncanny, and nobody knows whether a Kobold is an enhanced canine or a dog a diminished Kobold. They are also considered distant cousins to Gnolls. There has also been insinuation that Werewolves may have been originated from some enchantment on a Kobold (or the lesser accepted Kobold/Human relationship), but this theory has seen some resistance, as there is a caste of Kobold that has a very distinguished Wolf appearance, with no otherworldly effects.
Kobolds are known to be one of the most loyal races of Tellest. Once you earn their friendship, it is difficult for them to recant (earning them another shared quality of domestic dogs, with the proverb “man’s best friend”). However, they are also very keen at sensing inherently bad qualities of a person, and are very cautious around outsiders and strangers. It is difficult to earn their trust, in either the mutt or purebred part of their society, but once it is earned, the bond is forever forged.
Purebred Kobolds only have one mate for life. Even if a significant other has passed away, it is rare to find the remaining Kobold searching out another. Sometimes, in those situations, a companion with a similar circumstance will be sought out, but not for love or physical stimulation.
Mutt Kobolds break from the norm. It is understood that a good deal of mutts do not have a consistent partner, even after they produce offspring. Countless infighting is a result of this societal function, which is perceived as a way of life.
It is important to note that not all mutts follow in the traditional style. There have been several indications that the multi-breed units have tried to model their own outer society after the purebred system in some ways. As such, monogamy is utilized to some extent.
Kobolds remain close with their kin, both in proximity, and in relation, well into their lives. The Kobold’s major hubs of civilization are testament to this, as groups of the same breed will cluster together to maintain the closeness of their own kind.
Mutts are more inconsistent. Crossbreeding is heavily looked down on, and exile is almost always the accepted punishment. Families have been known to dismiss their own relatives for such heinous acts. The offspring of crossbreeders, too, must suffer their parents’ actions, as they will not be accepted into society either.
Since there are many different “breeds” of Kobold, there are many different classes. As such, it may be difficult to truly understand the system which the race uses.
The most important aspect of the race that determines class is the size of the breed. This means that the larger the breed, the more influential the individual. It is also important to recognize that even an uncharacteristically small individual of a large breed would still be more respected than a larger person of a smaller breed.
Crossbreeding is looked down upon heavily by higher classes of Kobold-kind. In that regard, even the smallest of the purebred Kobolds are more respected than the largest mutts. This doesn’t tend to be much of a problem, however, as most of the individuals who crossbreed or are crossbred do not involve themselves with traditional Kobold culture, preferring instead to live out their life in semi-seclusion with the rest of their family, or other neighboring mutts.
Behavior toward Other Races
Although it is widely conceived that the Kobolds are willingly at war with a neighboring race called the Kaja, this is not true. This misconception was facilitated by other races, who regard the cats-and-dogs-like similarities of the two races as pertaining to the Kobolds and Kaja as well. However, the two races are not at war with each other, or at least, not decidedly so.
The Kaja, a race which is often somewhat smaller than most Kobolds, are very nervous by nature. This is because of the Gnolls, which at least somewhat resemble the Kobolds, due to their somewhat canine appearance. The Gnolls are very aggressive, and confront the Kaja whenever possible, resulting in a very tenuous relationship between the Kaja and all manner of canine humanoids, be them Gnolls and Kobold alike.
The Gnolls do not reserve any love for their Kobold cousins though, either. The true war between the three races has always been brought on by the imperialistic Gnolls, which are always looking for one more piece of land, or one more piece of treasure. The Kobolds are not shy about fighting back, and will even offer assistance to help a Kaja in need, even though the feline race would escape from the confrontation before they even realized they were being rescued.
Kobolds are very friendly towards humans, seeing the way the domesticated dog cherishes the race so much. As such, it is not uncommon to see a human traversing kobold lands, and equally as unsurprising to see a kobold allowing the travel to occur.
Kobolds are fluent in the common language, but have retained their more primitive manner of communication as well. As such, they are able to speak to themselves among outsiders in secret. They are also able to commune with dogs without err.
Because of the inconsistency of Kobold lifespan, the race keeps record of a great number of things, including heritage. Though the writings are not often shown to outsiders, it is believed to be more personal than societal in use.
Kobolds share in the same belief as the greater races of Tellest. They accept as true, and in some rare accounts have seen the gods of Tellest. They worship several gods, with Mathias being paramount. Due to their neutrality and mostly non-violent nature, a few of the gods are ignored altogether.
As with most of the anthropomorphic races of Tellest, it is believed that the gods were disappointed with the greater races and opted to show them that even primal beings were able to cohabitate with each other. As such, the Kobold became one of those races, having been crafted from the common dog. If such a thing were true, then the gods had shown proof that it was possible, as the Kobold is one of the more benevolent races of Tellest.
Myths and Legends
Kobolds tell the legend of Romus Youngblood, with one grand detail included. Per Kobold tales, one of Youngblood’s greatest companions was a Kobold Shaman named Mo’Rama. According to legend, during the human’s final encounter with the fallen angel, Semia’Laz, Mo’Rama gave his life to summon a storm above the battlefield which greatly damaged the demon army and gave Romus the chance to strike out at Semia’Laz. As such, Mo’Rama is considered one of the Kobolds’ greatest heroes.
It is worthy to note that the story of Mo’Rama and Youngblood has helped to facilitate the strong relationship between Humans and Kobolds. Were it not for that tale, the relationship could be much more tenuous.
Because of the kobolds’ strong relationship with humans, it is not surprising to see them share much of the same technology as the other race. They employ running water, sewer systems, aqueducts, and other more contemporary ideas.
Kobolds practice two major schools of magic, although it is not uncommon for them to utilize more.
The first sect of magic used by kobolds is shamanism. The kobolds are said to commune with the ancestral spirits of ages long passed, and use shamanistic rituals to do so. They employ shamanism to affect the weather to some extent. It is also through that traditional function that they are able to heal a variety of illnesses and diseases.
Kobolds also practice a sect of magic called geomancy. They use what the planet avails them to craft powerful spells from surrounding terrain. As such, their repertoire of spells changes according to where they are in the world.
The larger breeds of kobold society usually make for the best warriors, and as such, are often given commanding roles on the battlefield. Kobolds will also sometimes separate each of the breeds in a battle, as nearly every breed has some unique strength.
Weapons and Tools
Kobold weaponry is largely determined by the size of the breed. Smaller breeds use knives and daggers, average sized breeds use swords, axes and maces, and the largest breeds use polearms and spears. There are also several breeds that are considered “hunter” breeds, which use bows and crossbows.
Wars and Enemies
Kobolds are at war with the gnolls by choice, holding back their imperialistic march in the country of Warus as best they can. The gnolls would love to enslave the kobolds and kaja, but the kobolds are stoic and proud, and have held fast.
Kobolds also have tensions with the kaja, but this is only because of how apprehensive the kaja are. While bloodshed may occur between the two races, there is rarely ever a fatality between the two groups.