Goblins have a deeply matriarchal society with strong gender norms where women, being the ones who primarily raise children, are seen as the only as the only ones suitable to lead the Goblin tribes. This tendency to differ to female goblins is so strong that it has been noted to cause issues within the Legions, with male Goblins often hesitating to command female goblins, or outright allowing lower ranking female Goblins to take command.
Matron bloodlines are treasured in this society only women control power and at the very pinnacle of this female controlled society are three Matrons, one of them being Pickler's mother. Marriage, and even relationships, as a nonGoblin would understand them hardly exist within Goblin society. Romantic relationships are entirely divorced from reproduction to the point that a female goblin can have several children from several different fathers and still be considered 'involved' with a male goblin she has had no children with. The Matrons have a very Darwinist view on ensuring weak bloodlines don't reproduce, and will frequently endanger or even pit male goblins against each other to find the 'strongest' male Goblins.
Men in the society are seen merely as labor or a means to expand the population. Praes population restrictions while containing Goblin numbers has also affected men damaging their standing in society. Many male goblins from a young age work as miners. Goblins ability to see in the dark is especially helpful, some never see the light of day. Their only hope to rise in position is to join a military institution, or prove themselves more murderously clever than their brothers. Only the strongest or most cunning are sent to become officers with male goblins, such as Robber, murdering or disgracing their rivals to ensure their selection. The selection process almost always results in weak blood being eliminated from the clan, and Matrons frown on any attempts to settle selection short of those violent means.
Goblin intimacy is foreign to humans, though Catherine has noticed that Pickler's ear twitch when she is particularly excited. Touch is far more significant in Goblin culture with even light touches signaling that an individual wishes to mate with another. Male traits that are selected for are viciousness, cleverness, and fearlessness. Pickler notes that Robber is more or less the pinnacle of Goblin masculinity. This may be a possible explanation for why all Goblin sappers are exceedingly daring.
As the average Goblin is not taller than four feet, and have very short lifespans. The physical characteristics that Goblins find attractive are also those necessary in order for a Goblin to thrive in the world that is full of things bigger and stronger than they are. Goblins have long ears and sharp teeth. They are omnivores able to eat both vegetables as well as meat. Some Goblins have been known to eat eyeballs as snacks.
Goblins originally hailed from the same deep levels of caves and tunnels that house the Dwarves and Drow. However they were long ago pushed to the surface by the expanding and xenocidal Dwarven Kingdom Under.
Goblin governments are the Matriarchs. Each clan is ruled by a number of older female Goblins, though the ultimate authority rests with the Matron herself. The Matrons do not hesitate to protect their power, using violence and murder as readily as their Praesi neighbors. If there is an interclan government it remains, like much of their culture, in the shadows. There is evidence of the Matrons acting swiftly and decisively as a group when faced with threats to Goblinhood, though no formal body has been named yet.
The Goblins have recently been uplifted by the Reforms which turned goblin troops from expendable chaff or night time harassers into one of the Legions most valuable tools, the Sappers. The Legions offer military positions and training to a few outstanding goblins each year. Modern Goblin contributions to the Legions focus on use of machinery as well as alchemy. Goblins make the steel that arms the Legions and household troops of the High Lords, they also make the crossbows and siege weaponry which allows the physically small Goblins to punch well above their weight class. Their greatest contribution however are the Munitions, the recipes of these alchemical mixes are a very well protected secret though there are roomers that the recipe for Goblinfire involves ground up remains of beings native to one of the infinite Hells. Goblin companies are often used as scouts given their superior dark vision and their cultural knack for murder in the dark.
Although the Goblins allied with Amadeus and Malicia they have still kept much of their society secret. The mechanics of both their Munitions and the cultural Roles that Goblin Names fill remain as secretive as their language which they go as far as murdering any of their own who teach their native tongue to outsiders. They even change the language to remove any and all 'leaked' words from use.
There is an outstanding order that any who release secrets will not only endanger their own lives, and the lives of the outsiders, but also any family they have kept in contact with will have their lives are considered forfeit as well. While Saker and Ranker are progressive seeing fit to pulling the Matrons into a new age cementing a shaky alliance there is still a strong urge to distance themselves from the Dread Empire. Many of the other Matrons believe the Legions are prone to catastrophic mistakes that lead to collateral damage. In the recent wars Matrons have contacted Foundling in order to increase and diversify the Goblin population ensuring they will survive no matter the outcome of the coming wars.
Goblin society is rumored to have Named like any other race, but this like many other secrets in Goblin society has not yet been revealed. The only instance of a Goblin confirmed to be Named is Chider who previously was a claimant to the name Squire and later became Squire for a brief amount of time.