The Midden is a massive garbage pit created by a lost empire that is several miles deep. During the height of the empire, the pit was actually inhabited by priests of a pantheon of fungal gods. They lived in a network of subterranean shrines and tons, making a living recycle garbage into useful products. When the empire fell, the servitor wurms that served the decay gods seemed to go rouge, and they covered the Midden with rubble, sealing it off from the surface. Now, hundreds of years later, the people who lived in the midden are gone, but parts of their strange civilization have survived. Ancient temples and fungal farms are still buried down there, as well as the secrets and discarded wealth of an empire.
The Midden is infested with goblins, rot spirits that take physical form out of decaying organic matter. Beings of an ephemeral nature incarnate in gross matter, goblins can seem manic and unhinged to normal people. They do not fear death, as a slain goblin can fashion a new body for itself out of the original mess it can from. Goblin nations form around their spawning pits, because by feeding and protecting their pit, they ensure their own immortality. The goblin pits in the Midden have had ample time to develop their own particular culture, which would be the envy of wild goblins around the world, where they not buried in a colossal garbage heap. Each nation has its own spawning pit, and an impressive city built around the pit. Every nation sends scouting and scavenging parties into the Midden. Goblin politics is a confusing mess, as every nation is both at war with and allied to every other nation. Large scale battles are sometimes fought, but these are more recreational than strategic.
Goblin nations of the Midden (1d8)
- Yab Tribe. Paint their bodies in one solid color. Different colors may represent different social castes. They understand the common tongue, but only communicate in wurm song, badly. Believe they are wurms, will never acknowledge their arms and legs. Mid-rate worm handlers, shockingly competent libraries. Yab city has a massive library of discarded imperil texts
- Crib Clan. Pierce themselves with a single long metal rod. Location of the piercing denotes rank, with leaders pierced in the head. Grow only carnivorous plants. Under a constant siege by their own agriculture, every citizen both a farmer and a solider. Little energy for fighting outsiders.
- Lib Confederation. Cover themselves with dirt and mud, even more so than the average goblin. All lib Goblins act as spies, either hiding in plain site or clumsily trying to infiltrate the party. They send reports back to Lib city, but the confederation never seems to act on any information they receive. Lib Goblins will never admit to being lib goblins, will instead claim to be from some other nation.
- Iob Corporation. Have somehow managed to build a cyberpunk dystopia out of iron age garbage. Distinguished by their crude cybernetics. Bands of Iob Street samurai wander the midden, looking for undead to destroy.
- Jub Kingdom. Wear fancy outfits. Greet everyone they meet for the first time with a pet name such as professor bubblkins, or mademoiselle fussybritches. Will never use someone's real name, under any circumstances. The Jub are masters at insect husbandry, and every single one of their charges has a ridiculous pet name. They are friendly and hospitable at all times, which makes it hard to tell when they're planning on feeding you to a giant bug.
- Ib Party. Have painstakingly constructed an undersea. Their society is one continuous beach party. Strangers can join in, but they need to bring a gift. Booze that isn't made out of "sea water" is preferred. Ib party goers are recognizable by their crude sun glasses and outrageous shirts. The Ib sea is noted for its excellent fishing.
- Grub pact. Dark alchemists, the Grub have found a way to transmute garbage into other garbage. This would actually make them a powerful goblin nation, if they didn't spend so much time on useless rituals. Grub pact Goblins recognize each other through secret handshakes, though they are so elaborate they rarely remember the whole thing. A talented liar could bluff their way into acceptance.
- Sab Monastery. Practice asceticism and shrub-ga, a goblin martial art. Shrub-ga involves leaping onto your opponent and biting them while screaming, so it's not significantly different from the default goblin unarmed style, though they have a special breathing technique that allows them to scream and bite simultaneously. They have detailed knowledge about the old decay shrines, which they will share with outsiders after they survive a kumite.