They are usually kept as servants/pets/slaves to the Ogres of the Mountains of Mourn. An archetypal Gnoblar is usually very small (a foot shorter than a common Goblin), with thin limbs, and a disproportionately large nose and ears on his head.[1a]
A Gnoblar's position within Ogre society is, much like that of their Ogre masters, based almost solely on ear and nose size. A Gnoblar with large, floppy ears and a huge, dripping nose is seen as worthy of respect, whereas one with a very small nose and ears is looked down upon by everyone with bigger appendages than himself. Likewise, a Gnoblar belonging to a Tyrant (a "Lord") will usually act much like his master would, pushing around everyone smaller than himself.[1a]
Gnoblars are usually very poor fighters, and will seldom attack anything bigger than a weasel without backup, but if supported by a dozen or so of his brothers, most Gnoblars are willing to take the risk of attacking a fully grown mountain goat.
In a full-scale battle, particularly courageous/foolhardy Gnoblars will band together in large swarms of so-called Gnoblar Fighters and attempt to earn their masters' favour by killing a particularly dangerous foe (i.e bog down some weak-looking enemy unit and hope that they will suffer cardiac arrest before the Gnoblars start getting killed).
Gnoblars who have been Earmarked (a process involving the Gnoblars Ogre Master taking a bite out of the Gnoblar's ear as a sign of ownership) will start to act like their owners. For instance, a Gnoblar belonging to an Irongut (commonly known as a "Woodbelly") will start walking around camp bullying anyone smaller than himself, whereas a "Manbiter" (a Gnoblar who belongs to a Maneater) will spend the majority of its spare time relaying inconsistent war stories to the younger and less well-travelled Gnoblars.
The most powerful Gnoblar in recent memory was the Great-King-Lord Bezer. Being possessed of a huge dripping nose, flapping ears and an intellect far beyond that of his peers, Bezer quickly became Overtyrant Greasus Goldtooth's favourite Gnoblar. After arranging the death of his rivals for Goldtooth's favour (instigating a fight in the Overtyrants larder, delaying his third breakfast), Bezer used his cunning mind (for a Gnoblar) to forge an empire of two and a half Gnoblar tribes. Bezer's empire crumbled overnight, however, when the Great-King-Lord was crushed by his owner, who fell on him while drunk.
Ranks and Titles
Depending on whether or not a Gnoblar has a master (and said master's position within Ogre "society"), a Gnoblar will be referred to by a certain title, as well as fulfil a certain function within the Gnoblar community. Titles, masters and functions are as follows:
- Scum: Those gnoblars who are either too weak, stupid or just plain unfortunate to have an ogre master, scum make up the majority of the gnoblar populace. They usually fulfil such functions as bonestewer, beetlegrubber, stick collector, weasel baiter and manure taster; none of whom are very useful.
- Fighters: These gnoblars are those who will join the ogres when the tribe goes to war. Like the scum, they have no owners, being possessed of an independent streak which makes them unsuitable to the work carried out by most other gnoblars. They do carry their weight during battle, however, where they serve as living shields.
- Bullies: These are the gnoblars who belong to an Ogre Bull. Most will have large ears and noses, and tend to bully anyone smaller then themselves (hence the name), and are notoriously prone to hero-worship of the owners. Usually dressed in their owner's cast-offs.
- Scrappers: Gnoblars who gather junk for use in the scraplauncher catapults. Masterless, and serve as merchants among gnoblarkind.
- Woodbellies: Gnoblars who belong to an Irongut. The self-appointed enforcers of the gnoblar shanty towns, woodbellies tend to be among the largest gnoblars to be found. Noticably less prone to hero-worship than the bullies.
- Torch-Gnoblars: Owned by the Leadbelchers, these gnoblars are usually deaf, scarred and dressed in soot-covered scraps of clothes. Used by their masters to light their cannons while they "aim".
- Manbiters: Gnoblar "mercenaries". Owned by the Maneaters, these gnoblars spend most of their time stealing war-stories from their masters, and then giving a highly distorted recount of the story to younger goblinoids. Sometimes hire out to other species, usually finding employment with those who have more money than brains.
- Trappers: The hunters of the gnoblar community, trappers hang around the Ogre Hunters, who tend to use them as bait or a distraction when tracking.
- Tooth-Gnoblars: Owned by the Butchers and Slaughtermasters, the less said about their miserable existence, the better.
- Lords: Those select few who have found their way into the service of the tribe's Tyrant, these goblinoids fulfil the same function as their master does, only on a horizontally wider scale. Prone to excessive paranoia, and will usually murder any greenskin who earns their master's attention.