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Goblins and the Fourth Wall
Wordweaver_three at 3:09AM, May 3, 2009
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(From the memoirs of Haljid Faaun Weiot, the sage of Muya Toft)

I have had the great fortune of studying a wide variety of races over the course of my travels. It is with no small amount of pride that I admit to being an authority on the subject of race. I have spent a sunless year with the dwarves of the Vequella Catacombs, witnessed the sacred rites of the merfolk shamans at Fanggoth Atoll, joined in hunting expeditions with the ogres at Togwood Marsh, and supped with the gossamer winged inhabitants in the sky city of Haetaria, even taking one of their kin as a spouse. Of the many races that I have become intimately familiar with over the years there is one that I feel is fully deserving of the scorn that the majority of the world heaps upon it. Goblins.

In terms of adaptability, goblins are second to none, even more pervasive then humans. They prosper well in any terrain, and any climate. They can be found in all the four corners of the world, and every race and nation has had regular dealings with them. They are very short-lived, often dying of old age before twenty years, providing their violent nature allows them to reach such a venerable stage. They are small in stature, but surprisingly stalwart and very nimble. Their skin color ranges from deep green to pale yellow. Their eyes are almost always yellow, but can on occasion become blood-fused when angered or agitated, making them deep red for a short while. They have a fantastic array of senses. Able to track by smell as well as any wolf, hearing that is on par with a cat, and are the only creature that is able to see in total darkness, even the dwarves of the deep cannot boast such an ability. Attempts at eradicating them have met with limited success, and attempts at harmony have been even less so. While goblins don't seem to enjoy violence any more then any other race, they do appear to believe they have a duty to commit it. Almost as if attacking random travelers and raiding small villages serves some higher purpose.

I would be remiss if I didn't broach a subject that has baffled scholars studying goblins for hundreds of years. Some sort of mass delusion that affects all goblins no matter where they live nor how far apart. Their steadfast insistence on what they term “the fourth wall” and a being, or beings called “the narrator”. While both science and magic has disproved the possibility of a “fourth wall”, goblins claim to be able to perceive it and in some cases even interact with it. No goblin has ever claimed to worship this “narrator” being, but they do believe that it is a driving force that is capable of directing the actions of people and creatures in the world. These delusions are usually regarded as an inflated sense of self-importance of a very small creature in a very big world. A conclusion that I heartily agree with. The idea of some unseen being putting words in my mouth is simply preposterous.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:17AM
harkovast at 5:15AM, May 3, 2009
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All Hail the Narrator!
All Hail the mighty forth wall!

I want to be a Goblin now….

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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:17AM
Wordweaver_three at 1:30PM, May 3, 2009
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Who doesn't want to be a goblin? I mean, look at all the advantages, short life span, green skin, a complete lack of respect from other races.
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waff at 9:42AM, May 10, 2009
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Wordweaver_three
Who doesn't want to be a goblin? I mean, look at all the advantages, short life span, green skin, a complete lack of respect from other races.
you'd likley need to be as thick as a brick to not go insane though.

'there is no “overkill” there is only “open fire” and “time to reload” rule #37
the things on my box are a dead squirell, a medal and a paper bag hat.
ow! I have shards of the fourth wall in my eye!
WAFF-MAN!! as of mafia VI
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:17AM
Darius Drake at 3:47AM, May 15, 2009
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But how does it make them seem important? It just means that they can talk to someone that may not exist. Also, was the possibility that the “forth wall” is actually a magical or psychic connection between goblins while the “narrator” is actually the person controling that connection looked at?
Heh heh heh. Boom.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:17AM
Wordweaver_three at 5:00AM, May 16, 2009
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According to Haljid the forth wall is a fictitious non factor. The goblins believe it is there simply to make themselves feel important. In other words, if the goblins were privy to knowledge that the rest of the world is ignorant of then that would make them special. Haljid actually wrote very little on the subject of goblins comparatively speaking, and there was some debate as to whether or not the sage did any field study on them at all. Efon Teron in particular was especially harsh, and even accused Haljid of merely echoing the biased sentiments of other scholars without formulating any unique opinions:

"She dismisses the goblin belief in the “fourth wall” with the same casualness that our forefathers dismissed the bogeymen. How many lives could have been saved had they only heeded the fears of the children as opposed to simply patting them on the heads and telling them that there is no such thing? Sage Weiot admits, perhaps begrudgingly, that goblins have a “fantastic array of senses”. Why then does she find it so difficult to believe that they can perceive a different spectrum of reality? Is it not the same when children witness the shadow magic of a bogeyman? We know now that the undeveloped brain of a child perceived reality much differently, thus rendering the cloak of a bogeyman ineffectual, but this ability is lost as the child ages. Perhaps the goblin brain has the same unique quality, but unlike children never lose it.

Sage Weiot touches on a certain subject and the promptly ignores the ramifications. All goblins speak of the “fourth wall” and “the narrator”, even tribes that have no possible contact with other tribes. How can this be? The only feasible explanation is that the goblins actually do see something that the rest of us cannot. This is, of course, a far cry from proving that the “fourth wall” is real. It very well may be a delusion that is somehow embedded in the entire race, but we can be sure of one thing, the goblins certainly believe it is real.“

(Excerpt from The Fractured Reality by Efon Teron)

As you may well know, Mr. Teron was stoned to death shortly after it was written, and most of his writings were destroyed. So you can imagine the difficulty in obtaining the previous entry. It's interesting to note that even he doesn't go so far as to claim that the fourth wall is real. It may very well be that he was simply using it as yet another excuse to attack Haljid publicly, and had no real stake in it at all.

Since there is little public interest in the intimate details of the goblin race, the breadth of the goblin relationship with the ”fourth wall“ and ”the narrator“, real or not, may never be fully understood. However, Efon did offer this as a possible explanation: ”The goblins choose whether or not to follow the will of “the narrator”, while the rest of us are slaves to it."
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Darius Drake at 4:06PM, June 12, 2009
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I would take the stoning of Efon Teron for writing the piece that is written above as evidence that “the narrator” exists behind something that we cannot interact with, and didn't like the fact that Efon Teron was saying that he might exist, as it may mean that he may loose some of his powers if his existence was known.
Heh heh heh. Boom.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:17AM
Wordweaver_three at 11:32PM, June 14, 2009
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It is generally accepted that Haljid had a strong hand in the death of Efon, even though she had not been present at his death, and even that fact has been debated. Of course, the possibility of Haljid's actions being motivated by an unseen third party can't really be ruled out. This may also explain the universal distaste for goblins, it may be an attempt by “the narrator” to undermine their threat to his/her/its power. Indeed, goblins are the accepted scapegoat for nearly all bad things that happen when no other explanation is obvious. If someone is found murdered, goblins did it. If the harvest is bad, goblins must have ruined the soil. If the town hall catches fire, goblins are the culprit. Part of the reason the bogeymen had existed unknown for so long was that most of their actions were considered the work of goblins.

Of course, we can't exonerate goblins completely. They are capable of violence and destruction, but certainly no more then any other race. When you consider the vast amount of races that do exist, the fact that the goblins are so roundly despised is very curious. Many races find pixies to be a bothersome nuisance, but halflings and elves deal amicably with them, and humans consider their presence to be a sign of good fortune. Ogres garner a wide variety of reactions from disgust to reserved admiration, but any army that didn't have at least one ogre unit would be considered lacking. Even orcs, who have a history of violence against most races, are not looked down upon as much as goblins are, in fact, orc merchants and workers are not an uncommon sight in many non-orc towns. Although they do tend to be segregated.

So how did goblins draw the short straw? They are not physically imposing. All things considered, they're not especially ugly. They tend to live in small, nomadic tribes to avoid detection, so they rarely amass in a large enough group to be a serious threat. Since nobody will deal with them except other goblins, they can't trade and gather wealth. It may be that a great deal of the violence that goblins commit is out of necessity. If food becomes scarce, and nobody will trade with them, what choice do they have?

Let us go back to the death of Efon. He had long been an opponent of Haljid, and had attacked her ideologically on many issues. But it wasn't until “The Fractured Reality” that the battle had become lethal. In truth, that particular book had not been nearly as vehement as several of the previous ones had been. In fact, very little of the book actually dealt with the sage Haljid. Efon was coming to his own as a thinker of merit, and no longer needed to attack Haljid to gain notoriety for himself, he simply did it out of habit and because his readers expected him to. An earlier work, “The Great Sage” had been regarded as “a torrential downpour of scorn” by Haljid herself, but Efon was put to death over twenty years after that work had been published. If Haljid was prone to murder for such an offense, why did she wait so long and allow Efon to publish thirteen more books?
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:17AM
Darius Drake at 5:59AM, June 25, 2009
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I am going to present an argument from inside the comic realm:

Ah, all of this shows that the “Narator”, if such a being existed, saw this latest work of Efon as dangerous, and as such removed the threat in the only way they could. The only problem is that they did not think to comprehend the side effects of doing that might actually increase the threat that those who do not know of or doubt the existence of the fourth wall believing in it's existence.

It is also possible that Haljid found a way to see through the fourth wall, allowing him to make decisions immune to the will of the “Narrator”. This was seen as a direct threat to the hidden rule of the “Narrator's” and as such he had to removed before he taught others how to do this, and his work had to be destroyed as to stop people from learning how to break through the “fourth wall” as he might have done.

This second option puts a far greater reason for Haljid's death than any others so far presented, and explains why Goblins are so despised, they too can teach how to break the fourth wall and ignore the will of the “Narrator”, though, to current knowledge, they cannot do the first directly and we have reason to suspect that they do the second sparingly.
Heh heh heh. Boom.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:17AM
waff at 10:05AM, June 25, 2009
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I think the “narrators” appear relativley benevolent. thus far only watching the story, narrating on it and offering thier views. and you gotta admit the guy who had a rock dropped on him was extremly cliche.
plus guys who had radical views in time periods with religous(?) rule are generally put to death anyway.

'there is no “overkill” there is only “open fire” and “time to reload” rule #37
the things on my box are a dead squirell, a medal and a paper bag hat.
ow! I have shards of the fourth wall in my eye!
WAFF-MAN!! as of mafia VI
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:17AM
harkovast at 1:58PM, June 25, 2009
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Pressumably Goblins must learn of their deaths momments before it happens, as the narrator says something like “and so Crub-crack walked outside, not knowing that it would be for the last time…”
And then one of teh Goblins goes “wait…I'm Grub-crack! Argh!”

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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:17AM
Wordweaver_three at 1:36AM, July 9, 2009
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(Thud: I think you got Efon and Haljid mixed up about halfway through, I'll assume you meant Efon in the second and third paragraph)

Assuming your argument has merit, would not this discussion prove dangerous? The existence of the Narrator could be disproved by simply surviving after a discussion of the topic. Of course, I was only playing the devil's advocate in my musing. I mean, a narrator is truely a ludicrous concept. Efon was stoned by his peers, not struck down by lightning or flattened by a boulder. Efon was not a likable man. He was abrasive, loud, rude, obese, and often forgot to bathe for months at a time. He used others as a means to his own ends. He often questioned authority and common knowledge simply to be contrary. People who knew him, hated him. He would have had far fewer readers if they had actually met him. It's really surprising that he wasn't murdered long before.

The fourth wall is another matter altogether. If Efon did find a way to breach it, he never wrote about his ability. Whether or not such a fantastic ability can be learned or taught is questionable. In the end, this discussion is moot since it has already been established that the fourth wall does not exist.


last edited on July 18, 2011 10:17AM
Wordweaver_three at 1:36AM, July 9, 2009
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(Waff)

Dropping a rock on someone cuz ya don't like em is sorta dictatorial isn't it?

(Vast)

Probably the narrator would keep tight lipped about that until the goblin was incapable of avoiding the situation.

Narrator: “And so, Grub-crack stepped outside into the foreboding night”
Grub-crack: “Um, yeah, okay.” *steps outside*
Narrator: “Only to find himself directly in front of the axe wielding Korgon the goblin slayer.”
Grub-crack: “Oh you mother-f…” *loud chopping sound*

Since the narrator can't possibly be around all the time, goblins probably are on high alert whenever they hear him.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:17AM

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