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Norkers were a species of brutish goblinoid with extremely tough skin.[3][5]


These creatures were similar in appearance to hobgoblins,[5][6] but had a form of thick and bony exoskeleton skin,[1][5] that was hairless and varied from shades of dark grey to reddish brown.[3][4][6] Another distinction from hobgoblins was their 3 inches (7.6 centimeters) long fangs,[4][5] which protruded from their upper lips.[4][6] Their teeth, much like their eyes, were yellow. Their breath was foul smelling and their bodies were equally odorous.[4]

Norkers rarely wore more than a loincloth and other hip equipment, from which they hung trophies and other adornments. They especially preferred adornments that were red or blue in color.[4]


Norkers were quite dimwitted.[2] They were rather cruel, lazy, and vicious even by the standards of other goblinoids. They also were quite defiant and rebellious,[1] prone to quarreling with one another.[3]


Most weapons wielded by norkers were crudely made, but they were not averse to taking weapons from fallen enemies.[3] Norkers typically fought with clubs,[2][4][5] maces, greataxes,[1] handaxes, and javelins. They often wielded light shields that were made of stone.[2] Because of their thick skin, norkers forego the use of armor,[3][4] but those commanded by powerful groups of hobgoblins were liable to be outfitted in scale mail and put forward as shock troops.[3]

Norkers favored the use of swarm tactics,[4][3] but when bullied into submission by hobgoblins they could be made to use military tactics. Though if unsupervised, they were liable to revert back to swarm tactics.[3]


According to one story, the norker species began with a group of goblins that had wandered into the Elemental Chaos and took shelter within the deep caverns of mountains and islands of elemental earth. There their bodies became infused with the element, gaining its strength and resilience.[2]

Another story claimed that norkers had long been around underground, kept there by their patron deity until it was slain by Maglubiyet and they became the first goblinoid race to be conscripted by him.[1]

Since at least 1358 DR, a variety of norkers inhabited the upper level of the Southkrypt Garden ruins.[7][8]


Norkers lived in disorganized tribal societies, smaller than the typical goblin tribe. Most items within a tribe were either stolen or raided from other humanoids, as they were too lazy to engage in hunting and quarreled too much to build things. Different tribes rarely met and when they did it resulted in a bloody conflict, with the losers having their fangs taken as trophies.[3][4] Though they always stopped short of all-out warfare.[4]


Norkers were an omnivorous species.[4]


Norkers were often found living near sites of elemental power, such as volcanos and planar rifts.[2] They were most common in areas with a temperate or warm climate. Lairs typically consisted of caves, old ruins, or conquered villages.[3] Their lairs tended to stink due to lack of proper sanitation.[4]

In Faerûn, norkers were quite common on islands across the Trackless Sea.[9] In west Faerûn, norkers could be found in the Forest of Tethir.[10] They were also relatively common within the Underdark.[2][6]

Beyond the Prime Material plane, norkers could be found in the Elemental Chaos.[2] And beyond Toril, norkers could be found on the planet of Oerth.[4]


Norkers typically spoke Common and Goblin.[1] They spoke in a low and gravelly tone.[4]


Norkers had their own unique sect of Maglubiyet worship, referring to him as the Great Scourge. Such norkers believed that life was but a cruel test by him and that all other creatures were to be considered enemies. With stronger creatures appeased by begging or servitude, while weaker creatures were to be bashed.[1]


Norkers ranked at the bottom of goblinoid society, being bullied by even goblins. Hobgoblins detested utilizing them, often relegating them to expendable physical labor within mines and quarries. They also detested the notion that norkers could potentially have been the first goblinoids recruited by Maglubiyet.[1]

Because of their treatment, it was not uncommon to find norkers away from other goblinoids.[1] In such cases they often served within cults devoted to the Elder Elemental Eye. Acting as either bodyguards, temple guards, or expendable physical labor. These cults, as well as worshipers of Ogrémoch or elemental earth, often recruited norkers and trained them with stone shields to act as their first line of defense. Some trained them into becoming what norkers could stone walkers, individuals that were capable of gliding through earth.[2]

Rumors & Legends[]

  • Some believed that norkers were distantly related to hobgoblins.[5]
  • Some sages who believed in the Elemental Chaos origin of norkers speculated that their goblin descendants had taken shelter within areas that were fonts of power for Ogrémoch or the Elder Elemental Eye.[2]




Thunderspire Labyrinth


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 Mike Mearls, Bart Carroll, Bill Benham (December 2019). Mordenkainen's Fiendish Folio, Volume 1: Monsters Malevolent and Benign. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 17.
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 Mike Mearls, Greg Bilsland and Robert J. Schwalb (June 15, 2010). Monster Manual 3 4th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 148–149. ISBN 0786954902.
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 Wolfgang Baur, Sean K. Reynolds (May 2006). “Creature Collection V”. In Erik Mona ed. Dragon #343 (Paizo Publishing, LLC), pp. 53–54.
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 4.12 4.13 4.14 4.15 4.16 4.17 Grant Boucher, William W. Connors, Steve Gilbert, Bruce Nesmith, Christopher Mortika, Skip Williams (April 1990). Monstrous Compendium Greyhawk Adventures Appendix. Edited by Mike Breault. (TSR, Inc.), p. 31. ISBN 0-88038-836-6.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 Don Turnbull (1981). Fiend Folio. (TSR Hobbies), p. 68. ISBN 0-9356-9621-0.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Eric L. Boyd (1999). Drizzt Do'Urden's Guide to the Underdark. (TSR, Inc), p. 30. ISBN 0-7869-1509-9.
  7. Jennell Jaquays (1988). The Savage Frontier. (TSR, Inc), p. 44. ISBN 0-88038-593-6.
  8. slade, et al. (April 1996). “The Wilderness”. In James Butler ed. The North: Guide to the Savage Frontier (TSR, Inc.), p. 37. ISBN 0-7869-0391-0.
  9. Jennell Jaquays (1988). The Savage Frontier. (TSR, Inc), p. 16. ISBN 0-88038-593-6.
  10. Scott Haring (1988). Empires of the Sands. (TSR, Inc), p. 22. ISBN 0-8803-8539-1.


BakemonoBatiriGrodd goblinNilbog
Miscellaneous Goblinoids
BugbearDekanter goblinGoblin ratHalf-goblinHobgoblinKoalinthNorkerSnow goblinVaragVerdanWorghest
Related Creatures