Knockers Dirty Clothes Place
Nestled among the smaller and less noticed store fronts, hidden among the sundry vendors, and purveyors of beads, cheap jewelry, and meat-on-a-stick products in a small building that smells strongly of hot linen, cotton, soap...and goblin.
Knocker is an industrious goblin, tired of being sword fodder for rampaging adventurers and lackies to orcs, necromongers, and evil warlords, he packed up his substancial family and moved into one of the larger cities. The goblin tribe, about 15 or so goblins, moved into an abandoned building in the poorer quarter of the city, and began a strange task.
They worked. The building was restored structurally, and served as a goblin squat house until Knocker made a second discovery. Goblin hands are small and adroit, good at making stitching, and hems, mending buttons and such. Soon, the entire tribe was earning copper bits for mending buttons for travelers. The travelers were amused by the comic antics of the goblins, who had ever heard of an industrious goblin, let alone one mending buttons and torn seams.
It was not long before the goblins increased their skill to making clothing, and altering clothing for those who could not afford the higher prices of humans, or the astronomical prices of prissy elves and half-elves. Quite surprisingly, the small enterprise become profitable, and Knocker once again was drawn to expand.
Soap is a foul word in the low goblin language, but Knocker and his family discovered if they didnt reek, they could sometimes get a silver bit instead of a copper one, and some people would pay to have their clothing washed and folded. Excited, the tribe added cleaning to their operation, which was growing, but still in a disorganized, haphazard fashion.
Entering the establishment is a sometimes perilous affair. The building is filled with the din of a dozen goblins shouting and cleaning, and making a general racket. It is likely to be very humid and stiflingly hot inside as the water is heated to clean da dirty bits better. The stereotypical goblins rush about with push carts, and armloads of dirty clothes, and linens. It can seem a mad and chaotic affair.
The new entrants will undoubtedly come face to face with the halfling sized goblin Knocker. He wears a leather butchers apron, and has a belt of assorted tools that are never used, a partial set of thieves picks, a hammer, some eating utensils, a masons trowel, and other odds and ends that make him look like a serious craftsgoblin.
He accosts the party with a broken form of the common tongue, half haranging them, half trying to get them to let him wash their clothes.
Gah, stinky, nasty. Let Knocker wash...smell better, get pretties...give Knocker silver!
- The PCs, filthy from long travel on the road and adventures have arrived in town and recieved invitations to a private meeting with the local mucky-muck. They are short on coin, and need to have their clothing cleaned desperately. A local directs them to the Goblin Corner where they find the Goblin laundrymat.
- The local baron/duke/count saves alot of money by letting Knocker take care of his castle/manor's cleaning, IE all of the bedding, curtains, and other fabrics. The duke sends in some help in the form of the PCs when someone starts roughing up the goblins for taking jobs away from humans.
- The PCs simply run across Knocker in the market. In typical fashion, he insults them for gotting more dirts than goblins, and smell like big orc butt. go dirty clothes place, make pretty smell. What they do is up to them, but Knocker is a known member of the community, and is protected by the local laws.
Obviously Knocker and his Dirty Clothes Place is intended for comic relief and shouldnt be made overly serious. He would also work best with low level characters who are constantly short on funds and looking to make a good impression.
Shadoweagle, your robes should be ready Monday. Knocker says Eat messy like orc, no close mouth. Slobber! Good come to Dirty Clothes Place, make black dress cleans. Good smell. Rock in mush hurt teeth. Throw rock away. No get rock back!!!
More Plot Hooks
One of the more prominent merchants in town accidentally left his wedding ring (or other bit of precious given by his wife) in his clothes when turning them in for a wash; and now he's desperate to get it back.
The hunt is on for the halflings and rogues within the party to sneak in and find the ring before it gets tossed out in the wash water and before the merchants wife notices it's missing.
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? Responses (24)
'Him reachers inta' pot, getsa cleans! Makers you smell no messy good good!'
Grrrrrrrr, that Knocker! He's lucky I don't turn him into a skunk for that! Well... all the same, he deserves a
I love it. 5/5
But why would goblins move into a city? A _human_ city? Perhaps Knocker worked as a spy for someone a time ago, and could not only easily sneak into, but also survive in the poor quarters (where no one cares about you...). This could be a secret Knocker is smart enough to keep for himself.
(See my 'Time to move on', that could be another inspiration for a low goblin to improve his life.)
What if someone starts to sneak into the city in the same way, perhaps using the info Knocker gained as a spy, for some dark purpose? Perhaps the employer was not defeated, and wants his services again? But he is used to this fine life... the goblin has to speak carefully now, while locals have adopted the stupid tendency to grin, if he speaks of something 'dirty'.
Why would goblins move into a human city? I can think of one very good reason for that, assuming humans can deal with other races living in their cities.
The goblins would be given a status like immigrant workers, they would pick up the lowest jobs. They would haul away waste, dig the graves, and run the hard manual labor jobs. They would also live in the most cramped, and least sanitary portions of the city. Compared to their normal lives (IE in service to evil overlords) this is a huge improvement as no one will be spontaneously killed because the boss had a bad day. Cramped and unsanitary conditions are better than huge communal warrens and holes in the ground. Living in a human city also means that the goblins benefit from shared defence.
Humans relegate the jobs they dont want to the goblins, who are not physically imposing, and easy to accept, especailly in a menail role. The goblins become part of the city, not particulary trusted, and there will certainly be discrimination, and segregation against the goblins. The goblins would still pay taxes, and be held to the same law as everyone else, if a much more strict version.
Every large human city could have a Goblin Quarter where the goblins live and work, and have their own inner community. Goblin markets, goblin restaurants, goblin homes, and merchants who peddle goblin wares.
Depending on the society of the human city, the goblins could be treated like property, or animals, or they could be afforded the full rights and privelages of a full citizen (unlikely in my opinion)
You are changing the quirk of a single city into society-wide phenomenon.
But exactly this development could happen over time. We humans love so much to be seen as tolerant and generous...
I like the post because it is a _beginning_. Many things both good and evil can come from it.
I like this, even as I type it is being woven into my next gaming session
I forgot how brilliant this is. :)
I have not seen this post before, I have no idea how I missed it all this time.
Splendid work Scrasamax, worthy of a pure 5 and a HoH as well.
Whow - a Chinese laundry in a fantasy setting - with goblins running the show
Love it - 5/5 and a HoH as well
Plus my patented Wish I'd thought of that 'coz it's such an original idea
I've seen goblins used in this fashion in several computer games. I remember thinking "hey, they ripped off Scras' idea". Dunno if you were first, or if there was some other source that beat you to it, but this thing has been done several times in recent years.
I remember this idea being spawned in the old chatroom with Shadoweagle and several other Citadellians, hence the strangness of the last paragraph. As for computer games, the last game I bought for my computer was some Command and Conquer multi-game set. I dont play too many games on the computer, and those I do tend to be RTS games.
My thought? Goblins just sorta fit into the cleaners job.
This type of goblin appeared here before in any computer game AFAIK.
And I know a lot about fantasy CRPGs
Woot! I got the dibs on laundry-mat goblins!
Pretty cool. 5/5.
Oddly enough, both a place I want to go to, and a place I never want to think about ever again.
A nice place for some lighthearted adventures, and likely to make most characters (and players) rethink their views on goblins being "little better then rats and other vermin."
Good plot hooks as well, and quite a memorable main character, I can see his accent and mannerisms sticking with the party for a long time after the visit.
Well executed, amusing, and to the point.
I like this location - your races can be so much more useful if you don't pigeonhole them.
Having races not be typecast as various sized pyschos adds richness and interest to your world.
One of my favorite goblin subs.
Heh, I like it. Might steal it for my own run.
5/5 Def going in my goblin areas of my new mega dun