I never liked Warhammer Goblinoids (or Greenskins, if you wish). In fact, in many years of playing in the Warhammer setting I think I didn't use them more than once or twice.
Being a Tolkienist, my idea of Orcs and Goblins was already set on dark skin and an evil disposition leading towards the service of the Enemy. These disproportionate, cartoonish, green-skinned things were just silly to me. Green skin? What kind of living creature has green skin?
Everything changed in 2016 when I downloaded Warhammer Quest for Android. It rekindled the love for the Warhammer setting, which had lain dormant for a long time. And made me discover Goblins and the rich visual background GW had developed for them. I read the new fluff behind them and I was charmed.
Sure, WFRP 1st ed. Goblinoids may have been lame for me, but these new Goblins with fungus DNA, multiplying by spores and being born under mushrooms, consorting with giant spiders and worshipping colossal ones, riding Squigs and chewing on toxic mushrooms to get high, frenzied or to work magic, were a whole other thing. The first time I saw them in a GW shop I just had to buy them: it was just 20 Euros for a nice red box sitting in the middle of many new white AoS boxes. It was not only buying something I liked, it was a statement. Take this, new setting!
The miniatures, I soon found out, were a delight, and while I painted I started making up my own fluff for an upcoming WFRP campaign, which more or less goes like this.
In the Appuccini mountains dividing Tilea and the Border Princedoms, Goblinoids are rare. Only a few Goblin tribes survive, remnants of old invasions (ok, Waaagh! is a silly name so we won't use it). Orcs are almost non-existent among them, and Snotlings are quite rare. In the southern part of the range there are four Goblin tribes, united by the common symbol of a Moon, which they worship as a deity.
The Green Moon Goblins are the most devious; they are masters of disguise, deceit and poison. They are the ones I painted. Not far from them live the Red Moon Goblins, who are the more warlike and aggressive tribe; they consume a special fungus that makes them frenzied and, occasionally, turns them completely red and rabid. The White Moon Goblins live further north: they are creepy and insular, and it is said that they practice necromancy. Finally, there are the Yellow Moon Goblins: they are the richest, and their traders visit regularly the other tribes to exchange resources. The four tribes battle each other most of the time but occasionally they unite against the Humans of the Lowlands or the Skaven of the Underdeeps.
Goblins all look the same, but I tried to have little differences to highlight special characters among them.
The Goblin leader has a fancy green hood with horns, and carries the insignia of the Green Moon. He also wields the holy moonscythe, a weapon passed on by all leaders of the tribe since it foundation. This guy has an eyepatch, also decorated with a crescent motif. I must say I like him a lot and he makes a great leader on the battlefield, immediately recognizable because of the insignia.
His fluff name is Shargot, and he is a devious little bastard, always ready to negotiate with anybody and then stab them in the back. He's the kind who is ambitious and sees opportunities everywhere - sure, today he's the leader of a tribe, but tomorrow he could well be Goblin King of all the four Moon Tribes, or even of all the Goblinoids of the Appuccini Mountains! So when he is confronted with an adventuring party he doesn't think about killing them: he'll try instead to bribe them and manipulate them to his dirty ends, which are somewhat unclear to him as well but certainly include having all his enemies and rivals killed.cHe'll make a great NPC for my WFRP campaign.
This other guy is the Shaman. He carries the Green Moon Gong and the relative crescent-shaped hammer. The Gong is an ancestral tresure of the tribe. The Shaman has his hood decorated with white and green cheques to mark his status.
The third most important Goblin in the tribe is Maruk, the Champion. He carries a magical shield and a cruelly barbed, oversized scimitar. His hood is marked in red to display his warrior prowess. He leads the warriors of the tribe, armed with vicious, barbed nets and melee weapons.
A number of Goblins are not considered strong enough to be part of the élite and they are armed with spears and shields, so they can strike enemies and keep at a distance.
Finally, some Goblins are armed with short, crooked bows. Their leader has a white-marked hood. Another one carries a bone bow scavenged from a battlefield, of much better making than the wooden bows of his companions.
Green Moon Goblin lurk most of the time in the Mountains and nearby hills and forests. They grow underground fungi, gather food from the forest and hunt for game. Being naturaly cautious and cowardlt, they venture out of their territory only when famine forces them: in these times they mostly steal sheep, goats and cows from shepherds. They only move at night, and by dawn they make sure they can reach the safety of their underground lair.