One section of the southern slums of Rook can hardly be called slums anymore - that of the Goblin Quarter. Home to an ever growing number of goblins, both refugees from outside Rook and those born within it, the Goblin Quarter is coming to be a byword for quality carpentry. Initially starting as a small tribe of goblins freed by adventurers from their bullying hobgoblin leader, the group were quickly taken in by a kind half-orc trader who emphasized with the little guys and understood prejudice all too well. It wasn’t long before some property was acquired for them to set up shop, literally, and not long after that the buildings started multiplying.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the vast majority of Goblin Quarter is populated by goblins. Though the odd hoblin envoy has snuck in undercover with the aid of adventurers, and sometimes a half-orc dwells there for amusement or potentially carpentry training, non-goblins are a rare sight inside the Quarter. Occasionally groups of craftsmen and merchants make their way into the veritably goblin infested buildings to either partake in the innovative carpentry knowledge or to make deals and liaison between clients and the craftsgoblins. It is however not unknown for adventurers to be spotted conversing with the little rogues, due to the goblin’s fondness for hiring bigger people to carry out smaller jobs for them.
The residents of Goblin Quarter can generally be divided into one of two groups - those rescued from tribes from the forests surrounding Rook or even further afield, and those fortunate to have been born in Rook and thus without experience of slavery. The refugees tend to view adventurers in a much more positive light, having been directly rescued by them, though their form of address often leaves a lot of manners to be desired. Those born within Rook tend to be the up and coming carpenters, having a greater talent and skill with woodworking, though are often more arrogant and sarcastic as a result. It’s with vaguely disapproving mutters and the occasional clip round the ear that the younger ones are kept in line by their elders.
Though technically outside of Rook in the slightly less protected slums, Goblin Quarter fully considers itself a part of Rook and clearly one of the more important areas. Supplying the vast amount of wooden products now required by the city, the goblin-owned businesses have reduced the requirement for outside trading for such goods and thus saved a significant amount of gold for Rook’s treasury. Not only that, but the proximity of the crafters bypasses the dangers of transporting goods via the road, and the Goblins maintain they have 45% less bandit attacks than goods purchased outside Rook. Why they suffer any at all is a question that puzzles some, but the goblins seem sure enough.
Of all the citizens, one considers himself more important than the rest - the venerable and generally cheery soul known as Marker. By far the oldest, he’s also the most stubborn, sure and known to hire quite a few adventurers. The idea for taking up carpentry specifically is credited as his, though whether that’s true is anyone’s guess. The vast majority of the denizens of the Quarter follow what Maker says, if not actually respect him, in part due to his seniority and due to him being incredibly good and moving around unnoticed, often to wallop someone talking smack about him with his knobbly walking stick.
The half-orc merchant who initially helped set up the quasi-settlement is known as Mhorgus and still often pops round to see how everyone is doing. Even the new goblins know to treat him with respect, as he was the only merchant of Rook at the time who gave them a chance, most others having highly negative views on little vicious gits who were more likely to be caught shanking someone than doing anything useful. Mhorgus and Marker get on exceedingly well, the two having forged a profitable relationship at the very beginning, both benefiting from each other.
Though supposedly part of Rook, the area can be somewhat more lawless than the rest of the slums. Though the goblins have no desire to see customers away, the Rook Guards don’t supply anyone to patrol the area at all, leaving the security to the goblins. This means that those in charge of keeping the streets safe tend to be goblins who themselves aren’t overly interested in doing that sort of work. As such anyone travelling and not expecting trouble is very likely to get some, though it’s usually more likely to be unkind pranks rather than outright crime...
The goblins of Goblin Quarter are crass, often lacking respect and try to mess with people as and when they can for base amusement. Regardless of all this they are still quite friendly to neighbours and visitors so long as people don’t look down on them - figuratively at least. Aside from that, their outlooks tend to vary as much as can be found in the other mortal races, with a few nice shrines dotted around the Quarter. Some goblins prefer to travel to shrines within central Rook, though often have to do so under disguise as a somewhat green gnome or halfling since the regulations and laws of Rook still frown on them being inside the actual city. As is often said, old prejudices die hard.
Marker espouses inclusion and tolerance. Though many see this as noble, it’s simply because he’s old enough and smart enough to know how to not get kicked out of a sweet deal. He sees no reason to antagonize inhabitants of central Rook, and vastly enjoys the working relationships he has with adventurers.
It’s no secret that goblins love eating flesh, especially that of gnomes and elves, though human will do in a pinch. However thanks to ehri new living conditions, this usually isn’t the best idea for achieving a long life expectancy. As such the goblins make do with the usual meats consumed in Rook - cattle, chickens, pork and so forth. This means the older generations occasionally look rather wistfully at non-goblins coming into their dwellings, clearly reminiscing. One particular greeting is popular - “You look delicious!” though visitors aren’t always sure if it’s truly meant in jest or not. The younger generations however, having not known the tastes of cannibalism, tend not to miss it.
Contracted by Mhorgus, a group of adventurers headed up into the forests surrounding Rook to hunt the leader of a local goblin tribe, a vicious hobgoblin known for brutalising and raiding the surrounding area. Coming out victorious and finding quite a few leaderless goblins, the adventurers led them to Rook for lack of anything better to do with them and feeling a bit sorry for them. Liaising with Morghus, the merchant used some of the land he owned in the slums to set up a factory, giving gainful employment to the goblins. Once they had the rudimentary skills of carpentry, as suggested by Marker, he left them to it.
Occasionally popping back over the next few weeks, Morghus continued to hire adventurers to rescue more goblins to expand the settlement, and a call went out to all the local tribes that Rook presented an opportunity. Freedom from oppressions and the choice to work for actual silver and gold, which could be used as currency, real currency! It wasn’t long before droves of goblins were being rescued or slipping out of their tribes to make the dangerous trip to Rook. Though a good deal made it, and in fact continue to do so, many such bands were inadvertently killed by adventurers for simply looking out of place.
Most notably, an adventurer called Celahir led the massacre of over 30 goblins comprised of the elderly, women and children, all of whom looked somewhat feral due to having not eaten in days and confronted with wagons full of food. The wagons were protected with the sheer scale of slaughter and, upon hearing of the situation, the goblins in Rook all had a good laugh about it. Those used to torture and harsh living conditions tend not to bat an eyelid at the suffering of others, finding humour in the most grim of tales.
Nevertheless, even with refugees being ripped apart on their way to Rook, enough made it to build the settlement up quickly. With the carpentry skills increasing, the mismatch of shacks and huts being made around the original store started to get pulled down and refined, each iteration of the fledgling settlement improving in quality and size, as well as adding a few more buildings. Within the course of half a decade Goblin Quarter has developed into a sort of sprawl, huge differences in architectural style all underlined by a remarkable degree of quality. Though not to the same level of proficiency, some goblins have also taken up the trade of stonework to help reinforce the buildings and add proper walls to their small suburbs.
Recently Marker has begin hiring adventurers to procure more exotic woods and materials for Goblin Quarter to work with, having effectively mastered most normal woods nearby. This has caused some slight conflict with dryads who naturally would rather not have their homes hacked down, but so far an uneasy truce has sprung up with the goblins carefully leaving the dryads alone and planning for which adventurers would gladly go dryad murdering...