40d:Stories/The origin of goblin thieves

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There was a time when goblins sought only to plunder dwarves for their wealth, much like kobolds did (although less stealthily). During this era, a number of dwarves constructed an outpost. As the saying went, these dwarves disliked sunlight, but loved sunshine. They created a tunnel leading out of their fortress and walled off a small area to grow sun berries. Not wanting to haul large quantities of stone from deep within the mountain, they built the walls out of various materials that they had on hand.

It was not long before some goblins took an interest in this outpost. They sent a raiding party to plunder it. Being slightly more intelligent than the average goblin, these goblins realized that the main entrance was heavily defended and decided to enter through the sun berry farm. If they could breach the walls, they would be able to bypass most of the outpost's defenses. The goblins tried to find a weak point in the walls.

First, they found a section of wall made from soap. Surely, they thought, their band of swordsmasters could make short work of a soap wall. They attacked it for days, to no avail. They even brought in some trolls which had broken down many a door with ease, but they still could not destroy the wall.

Next, they found a section of wall made from salt. Clearly, such a wall would easily crumble if struck by a catapult. They set one up and started firing. The stones shattered harmlessly against the wall. The goblins decided to wait for rain to wash away the wall. In a few days, a torrential rain came and went, leaving some drenched goblins and an intact wall.

Finally, they found a section of wall made from ice. They decided to wait for summer so that the wall would melt on its own. Summer came, and the wall stood. Frustrated, the goblins decided to start a fire and watch from a safe distance. The fire raged and devoured all of the grass in the area, but the wall stood.

Frustrated, the goblins went home. In the years that followed, they assembled an army, determined to take the dwarven outpost by force. The dwarves also went about their business, building up the outpost into a massive fortress. The dwarven population grew so much that they no longer had enough sun berries to provide alcohol for the whole fortress. They had to expand the sun berry farm. Around the original farm, the dwarves walled off a larger area. They completed this wall just as the goblin army appeared on the horizon. Hastily, the masons ran for the safety of the fortress.

The goblins arrived and saw what was happening at the sun berry farm. Behind the new, outer wall, they saw a number of creatures closely resembling dwarves, but even smaller. These strange creatures were, with little effort, dismantling the wall against which the goblin army, many years ago, had struggled fruitlessly for months.

The goblins - having never seen a dwarven child before - were astounded. They were convinced that they had just witnessed the testing of the dwarves' new ultimate weapon. From that day forward, the goblins decided that they would no longer attempt to plunder the worthless trinkets that the dwarves kept in their stockpiles, but would instead advance their own military might by stealing as many of these superweapons as possible.

Ever since that day, goblin thieves have been attempting to do just that.