Baulk

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See also: Baulk's Betrayal

During the Age of Creation, Goblyns, as a race, were at the peak of perfection. They were what are now referred to as "True Goblyns". Stronger, faster, with sharper wits and even sharper blades. They were the fiercest of all the races the various gods had borne. Melashekhaad was pleased with his creation, and so he bestowed upon them his blessing: an immortal soul. When a Goblyn died, their soul would travel to the River of Souls, and be reborn to fight again. This meant a Goblyn was truly unstoppable in battle, because he had no fear of death. This gift was especially useful, as it gave the Goblyns an edge over any who opposed them.

There is speculation on the timing, but sometime just before or during the Great War, Marjack, father of the Bugbears, sought a way to strip all the Goblyns of their blessing. It seemed impossible, for Melashekhaad was too large and powerful to be manipulated. Marjack decided to approach Baulk, the weakest of the five Great Goblyns who tore lesser immortals to pieces during the War. Baulk was a very fat, carnivorous goblyn, and it is said that it was hunger, not rage, that drove him to battle. Marjack asked him, "What would Baulk say if I told him he could eat the most delicious thing in all dee world, an' get to eat it forever?" The gluttonous Goblyn immediately dropped whatever scraps he had in his mouth, and agreed without thought. His hunger overcame what little loyalty he had to his own race or the War.

Once Baulk agreed to betray his kind, the other gods slew him, and used their power to remove his great blessing. So when Baulk died, he went to the River of Souls, but he was not reborn. Instead he stayed there, in his physical body, and he stood over the entrance to the World. When a soul flew past, he grabbed it, took a piece of it, and the first time he tasted it, he nearly weep, because it was the most delicious thing he had ever tasted. Goblyn souls are so pure and powerful. As more souls came he took bites out of them, and they swam away. He continued, and he thought, "Before long, I will consume the entire Goblyn race. Then I will have power of a god, and maybe I will kill Melashekhaad, and take his place!" And just at that moment he felt a terrible, awful twisting in his gut. He realized what it was. It felt like teeth, and claws, and then the soul pieces ripped out from his belly and rejoined the river, waiting to be reunited with themselves.

So Baulk is caught in a cycle of pain and pleasure. He cannot stop eating, but every soul he eats rips itself out of his body within moments. By this age he is terrible, twisted demon creature who stands at the entrance to the world, and he has many mouths, all over his face and body. He bite all the souls as they pass. This is why Goblyns born since this time are incomplete. During the War, this was a major blow to the Goblyns. With each new litter, the True Goblyns dwindled in number. These incomplete souls were slower, and sometimes fearful. They had little rage to destroy their enemies without thought. This turned the tide of the Great War, and soon ended this Age, and began what is known as the Age of Retreat.

This be why Baulk be known as the Great Betrayer. He be why Goblyns fell from glory to become the most wretched race on the earth. With the rise of King Neb and other great warriors, Goblyns have regained some strength. But to this day, Baulk sits upon the banks of the River of Souls, and takes a piece of every Goblyn soul. One day, he will pay for his crimes. One day, the Goblyns will return to what they were meant to be, and the Age of Restoration will dawn.

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