On Goblins and Elves

The dominant races on Adralel are dwarves, elves, halflings, and humans. There are enclaves of other races, such as man-apes, high orcs, and ogres, to name a few. Goblins and elves mutually consider themselves to be separate races, though many outside of that strange relationship consider them to be kin.  

King of the Wood Elves, from the 1977 animated Hobbit
Source: Olde School Wizardry Blog

Relations between elves and the other dominant races are often strained. Elves keep to themselves, being out of step with the mortal affairs and mindsets of the other races, because they are ageless. Almost all elven settlements keep slaves, which is fundamentally opposed by any of the Good alignments. Though there are non-Good aligned City States or Holdings that legally allow slavery scattered throughout Adralel, elves are the only race in the four to view slavery as a cultural mainstay. As they predominantly keep their own offspring, goblins, as slaves, the other races have not intervened.

Elves rarely breed true, and the majority of their offspring are goblins. Goblins share an affinity for both magic and combat with their elven progenitors, though they are generally weaker and lacking in the strange grace of the elves. An elf often leaves their goblin child out in the open, to be taken in as a slave by a neighbor or die from exposure to the elements.

Goblins, when they manage to extricate themselves from slavery in elven society, can be bold adventurers. Free goblin societies spring up around an accomplished goblin adventurer, when he or she decides to build a Labyrinth.

A goblin, Big Ears, talking about his values as a Good-aligned character
Source: Goblins the Webcomic

The social structure and wealth division of Labyrinths is most often fiercely communist, in rejection of elven society. Typical goblin Labyrinths turn no one away when they seek aid or shelter, and they can be very good neighbors.  

Despite this, goblins are sometimes viewed with a mixture of suspicion and pity by other races. Humans in particular can be very suspicious of goblins. There have long been tales of free goblins stealing human babies and using dire magics to transform the babes into goblins.

Elves often do what they can to sow seeds of distrust between goblins and other races. They in particular make a show of wiping out the occasional goblin Labyrinth to “save” the surrounding countryside from goblin mischief. As they are out of step with the rest of the world, it is difficult to predict when they will take such action.

Goblins, unlike, elves, do have souls and age at a rate similar to halflings. How it is possible that a soulless being is able to produce offspring that is in firm possession of a soul is a matter hotly debated in academic and religious circles.