Let's get one thing out of the way before we start. The author of this article, i.e. yours truly, is a Goblin.
Since so many readers think none too favorably of beastmen in general, and I want to avoid any unfair bias towards my articles, I ordinarily write under an assumed name (and race, for that matter).
But the recent emergence of headgear resembling the various beastmen races prompted me to conduct some interviews with the original inspiration for these new fashion statements—the beastmen themselves. And because readers may doubt the veracity of my interviews, I decided to reveal my true identity to prove how it was possible to learn these facts without being horribly slaughtered the moment I entered a beastmen stronghold.
Just for the record, let me state that the Vana'diel Tribune is a people-produced publication intended for an adventurer audience. There are probably many among its readers that clash with beastmen daily in the defense of their home nations.
But I suggest that the entire truth of a matter cannot be learned from a single, adventurer-driven viewpoint. I believe that the current state of the world would slowly improve if more people would broaden their horizons and learn all the facts. I began writing articles alongside my fellow journalists in the hope of achieving just such a goal. If you can, I ask that you put aside your prejudices and read the following paragraphs with an open mind.
Allow me to give a simple explanation of this new headwear craze for those who've been camped out in the Eldieme Necropolis for the past month. These "hats" are disguises made by master craftsmen to resemble the faces of the four beastmen races.
Right from the get-go, gathering information for this story was no easy task. Even after tracking down the craftsmen from the signatures left on their creations, I was stumped by their refusal to divulge any further details. Something about "professional confidentiality." Sheesh.
It was then that I learned from a reliable source that the masters of several guilds were heavily involved in the headwear's creation. Thrilled at finally discovering a lead, I decided to make a visit to the guilds in question.
Guild Master F
Ah, the wonders of prism powder.
Though she expressed initial surprise at the spectacle of a Goblin materializing right under her nose and firing off insightful questions, guild master F soon hardened her gaze and answered with this:
"What is this nonsense of which you speak? My guild has had no such dealings!
Wait a moment… Are you one of those 'Gobbie bag' crafters here on some industrial espionage mission?
nfiltrating this guild was simply a matter of mailing a Goblin-sized package with a little extra room for Goblin chocolate snacks. The emotional progression from joy to surprise to abject terror on the guild master's face as she opened her mail was a familiar sight for a beastman journalist who lived among people.
"What?! A G-G-Goblin! Is this some rival designer's fiendish plot to rid the world of my brilliance!?
I'm sorry? You wish to interview me? Well, why didn't you say so!
…No, I've made nothing of the sort! Yagudo fashion is so last season!
Guild Master Y
Not wishing to draw attention to myself with spells in this magic-sensitive nation, I awaited the cover of night to skulk into the neighboring guild. Unlike my previous interviewees, guild master Y didn't so much as raise an eyebrow at the sight of a Goblin with a notepad and quill at the ready.
"What can I do for you, my superrr-duperrr Goblin friend?
A beastman disguise? Heck, I've never even seen one of those Quaduff turtle-type things.
Alrrrighty now! You have a nice day!"
My journalistic instincts screamed that all three of these people were somehow involved, but to avoid any unpleasant "incidents" I decided to take my questions out of the city and north to the Yagudo of Giddeus.
"Kyah! Blasphemous smoothskin crafters! It is not enough that they be plucking the feathers from our slaughtered brethren to make arrow fletching, now they construct this hideous mockery…
A disguise? Hah! Any Yagudo would see through this façade and be bringing the offending heretic swift and terrible justice! Quawk!"
Eyes glazed in fanatic fury, the Yagudo mendicant I spoke with seemed to have nothing further to offer, so I returned to Windurst and smuggled myself aboard an airship bound for San d'Oria. After arriving, I quickly put the city of knights behind me and made for Ghelsba to seek an Orcish opinion.
"Yeah, I heard of 'em. Stupid peoples. They trying to be like Orcs. But looking like Orc don't get you strength like Orc. Gwahahaha!"
My Orcish contributor then went on to tell proud tales of his clan heroes, but I suspected he had no idea of the disguise's true function. I listened to his stories for a while, and as a reward for my attentiveness he lent me a riding lizard for the next leg of my journey.
Riding a lizard is akin to bouncing up and down on a sack full of pebbles, but it did allow me to arrive at the Palborough Mines in good time. Entering the tunnels with an aching backside, I was soon accosted by a Quadav patrol. They explained that they were on heightened alert after an incident with an adventurer spy.
I re-eturned ho-ome yesterda-ay and tho-ought my ma-ate ha-ad su-uddenly lo-ost fi-ifty po-onzes, bu-ut it tu-urned out to be a pe-erson i-in di-isguise."
Apparently the Quadav had recently begun the custom of showing each other their shells to prove their identity. I couldn't see how anyone could be fooled by such a simple disguise, but chose to hold my tongue (as opposed to losing it).
Now that I had enough information to complete my article, I mailed myself back to the editor's office from Bastok. When the package I arrived in was opened, I was greeted by a colleague wearing the Goblin coif.
"Thought I'd surprise you," he smirked.
Fresh wounds on his face attested to the trials he had faced in its acquisition.
As a representative of the Goblins, here is a comment from me concerning the beastmen headwear:
"As an imitation of our Goblin masks, the design is terrible. There is no odor filter, and the lenses are cheap and fragile. But to think that people have chosen to mimic our appearance is something of a compliment…"
I think from now on I'll declare my Goblin heritage and write articles under my real name.