Male goblin swashbuckler (mouser, wildstrider) 9
Kwiazy was born into the Nestsnatcher Clan of goblins, living on the edges of the Fangwood Forest. They were named for their propensity to climb trees and steal eggs and young birds from nests high in the treetops. The tribe subsided on what they could scavenge from the longshanks town nearby as well as the bounty of the Fangwood. He learned early on, from tales of his elders, that the longshanks who ventured into the Fangwood considered goblins to be vermin... less than vermin... a blight to be eradicated. He hated them before he'd ever seen one.
Kwiazy was particularly vicious to his siblings and cousins in the whelping cage, fighting and clawing and even occasionally killing his way through the pack to prove his mettle and survive. He was one of 7 survivors out of thirteen from his cage. He was proud when he was released to join the tribe as an adult at age 11.
But in addition to a vicious streak, Kwiazy was born with a curious nature. Once he earned his freedom from the whelping cage, he spent much of his time shadowing the longshanks who made their living gathering and trading in the commodities that grew in quantity in the Fangwood, the various plants and creatures and their byproducts. He would steal from them whenever he could and started to develop a real talent for stealth and acquisitions. But his avarice was aimed not at their valuable trade goods, but at trinkets they carried or kept in their packs... not necessarily valuable, just ... shiny.
He really had no idea that there was much difference between tallfolk, and one day he ran across a different looking band of longshanks, with skin and features not too unlike his own, but big. He watched them for a bit, and realized they spoke goblin, but a bit garbled and hard to understand... Thinking they might be friendly, he called to them from the treetops and was surprised when they were roused to instant aggression. They drew weapons... and in short order, pinpointed the tree he was in... They started chopping the tree down with their oversized axes, so he hopped from one tree to the next... and they followed. But this time, before chopping down the tree, they gave it a tremendous shake and Kwiazy, barely hanging on already, was dislodged! He fell and despite his best efforts to land safely, he blacked out when he hit the ground.
He woke up to find he couldn't move... they'd tied him up with thick ropes. He wriggled and tried to free himself, but all to no avail... The leader of this band of hobgoblins, Grizzlguts, untied him, but chained him by the neck and kept him like a pet dog. As a lark, he taught Kwiazy how to fight, but the little goblin, while cagy and hard to hit, couldn't quite seem to grasp the hobgoblin style of combat. As he trained, he developed his own unique style, using his size to best effect as he danced around his opponents.
After what seemed a very long time to Kwiazy - actually almost a year - the hobgoblins started to treat him with a little bit of kindness, and let him wander unchained. But he was by then far from his Clan's home territory and he had no idea where he was in relation to them. He made no effort to flee. Grizzlguts was actually kind to him from time to time, and the food was plentiful. He stayed with the hobgoblins and went with them on several raids on the longshanks towns and villages, stealing and killing for Grizzlguts, often getting into areas the tribe couldn't go and committing as much mayhem as he could... He delighted in setting fires for them, and carrying fire flasks, torches and kindling into tight places.
On one particular raid, Kwiazy was creeping through a crawlspace in a longshanks building, ready to throw a fire flask into the heart of the structure... He looked down from the crawlspace into the room where he was going to start the fire, and saw the longshanks children playing there.... He flashed for a moment on a memory of his time in the whelping cage and his goblin siblings and cousins there... and he had an odd impulse for mercy, sparing the children, though he didn't exactly know why... they would grow to be longshanks and would want to kill goblins. They were to be hated, not coddled... But memory of the sibs he'd fought and killed nagged at him. He felt... guilty?
He put the fire flask away and watched the children for a moment.. then the sounds of fighting in the town reached him and the children heard it too... He jumped down out of the crawlspace, which only served to frighten the children more... but he spoke a little common and while the battle raged outside the house, he managed to calm them, quiet them and get them to climb up so he could hide them up in the crawlspace.
The children were safely hidden, and none too soon, as a small squad of hobgoblins broke in, and finding nothing of value, trashed the nursery and left, dragging Kwiazy with them. He rejoined the hobgoblins just long enough to get next to Grizzlguts. When old Grizzlguts was hard-pressed against a small group of longshanks defenders, Kwiazy cut the hobgoblin's hamstring. As the tribal leader fell, Kwiazy slashed his neck, jumping up and down on him, cutting him again and again as he expired... When Kwiazy was done, he turned to face what he thought would be the furious hobgoblin tribe ready to take their revenge on him. But instead, the death of the hobgoblin leader not only re-energized the human defenders, it also broke the tribe's morale, and they began to flee.
Kwiazy stood over Grizzlguts' body, and held his sword at the ready as the hobgoblins ran off... and expected the longshanks would probably try to kill him too... but they just stared at him, not quite sure what to make of him...
Finally, the headman of the village limped toward him and held out a hand. Kwiazy wasn't sure what to make of the gesture, so he looked in the hand to see what the man was offering him and found nothing. He frowned slightly, then tried to smile at the man, but several of the longshanks muttered worriedly when they saw him bare his teeth.
After long and worrisome introductions, Kwiazy sheathed his weapon, and the humans did thesame - a detente was established. The healers among the village were already following the cries of the wounded and treating what they could. Kwiazy took the village headman's hand and dragged him into the house where he'd hidden the children. He took the man to the nursery where the headman groaned when he saw the shattered remains of furniture, clothes and toys, for this was the headman's own house, and it was his children he thought taken or slain when he saw the room. Kwiazy pointed to the crawlspace, and climbed up himself, then coaxed the children down, to the headman's delight.
From that time on, Kwiazy became a fixture in the village, living among them and honing his skills, his fighting style, and learning to play with the human children, who were, after all, his size. His experiences in the whelping cages of the goblins gave him no real knowledge of how to play, so the children taught him a great deal about sharing and play, while the adults taught him human culture and manners. In return, he helped out around the town, even acting as baby-sitter from time to time. Frequently he helped defend the town from the onslaughts of the many threats from the surrounding areas - monsters of all types were a constant menace.
Kwiazy misses his goblin tribe from time to time, but realizes he'll never be able to live among them again. He may be small, but he is not so much a goblin any more as a green-skinned, tiny human, with longshanks morals.