A group of goblins is called a 'spell'. Why?
Goblins love spelling like trolls love counting.
They seek out letters and sounds like magpies collecting shiny trinkets, piecing them together in new and incomprehensible permutations. Perhaps they feel safety in encryption. Perhaps it satisfies some inalienable drive of goblin-ness. It's been suggested to be a tactic to confuse predators.
When you find a goblin, it's likely to make a loud noise: a keyboard faceroll of sounds, a morse code sequence of claps using dismembered squirrel hands, a dial tone, a long singular screeching hence-unheard-of vowel, a recitation of three interspersed alphabets to the tune of row-row-row your boat, or most probable: a combination of all the above.
The best way to fend off a goblin attack is to make new sounds at them or spell things out loud. Well, 'fend off' is a little inaccurate. It'll buy you some time.
Example: "GOBLIN - GEE OHH BEE ELL EYE EHN." Then watch as their little brains painstakingly try and sort that out while you stab them in the gut.
|This is a goblin shark. It has no relevance for this post.|
But I think it's pretty neat.
Goblins love to collect written things. The value of the thing doesn't matter: spell scrolls are as equal as hastily-scrawled notes or street signs in their little manic eyes. They love these written things and slice them up with their teeth into frantic magazine collages: cutting and pasting them together in new combinations to form their own 'little languages'.
The code disseminates throughout the 'spell'. It telephones, morphs, recombines. It gets chewed up and thrown up, then the throw up gets re-ingested and reinvested. What results is language twice-vomit.
GOBLIN LANGUAGE VOMIT
(When in doubt, just throw out jibberish)
Though the developmental biology of goblins remains elusive to most human societies, the orcs of Shadowmountain know exactly where and why 'spells' of goblins appear. They're just "undercooked" orcs. They call it 'Swamp Brain'. Orcs that grow up in environments of acidic soil (bogs, pine forests, mine drainage sites, sulfur vents, whale stomachs) fail to develop into adolescence and remain growth-stunted in perpetuity. Eventually the effect becomes permanent. Orcs tend to want to stay away from these places, since any orc children born in the area tend to grow into weird little screeching maniacs.