The Red Hand of Doom
Boggarts have greater diversity of morphology than other planes’ races and sub-clans of goblins. Some of them have curving horns; some of them have stubby ones or none at all. Some of them have long snouts or goatlike muzzles. Some have broad, floppy ears; some have the sharp pointies. Their skin varies from green to blue to beige to purple to red.
Boggart Warrens and Aunties
Boggarts are organized into warrens, which spend most of their time exploring (also known as: trespassing on the lands of other races) or finding food (also known as: stealing food from the lands of other races).
There’s the Stinkdrinker warren, known for its stockpile of stolen goods, and its boggarts’ penchant for sneaking past even giants to steal their prizes. There’s the Squeaking Pie warren, known for its culinary adventurousness—they bake mice and other delectables into their pies, and will go to any lengths to find bizarre new recipes and ingredients. There’s the Mudbutton warren, a particularly chaotic and loud warren that appreciates a good party—even if comes at the expense of a few of their members. And there’s the Frogtosser warren, a group of boggarts so emotionally changeable that the other warrens think them insane.
Boggart warrens are led by nominal leaders called Aunties. The Auntie is usually the oldest boggart in the warren, and is usually female (some are male, yet are still called “Auntie”). The Auntie knows many tales, like fables, that they tell to educate their warren, pass on crucial boggart teachings, and adjudicate disputes. The most famous Auntie fables are about Auntie Grub, a folk hero to the boggarts and probably a real ancestor. Auntie Grub’s tales are particularly helpful for informing young boggarts about racial enemies, dangerous predators, poisonous plants and fungus, and the like.
Boggarts are collectors of sensation. While they aren’t particularly intelligent thinkers, they are extremely perceptive, in that they perceive a lot. Their senses are intense: if we were to have a neurosurgeon look in on their brains, we’d probably find that the nerves from their sensory organs lead directly into their pleasure centers. Boggarts can never get enough novelty, which gives rise to behavior of exploring and stealing. During their travels through kithkin territory, if they smell delicious pie resting on a windowsill, they’ll steal it and bring it back to the warren. If they spot a shiny stone in the river, they’ll grab it and obsess over it all the way back to the warren. Consequently, their homes can appear like junkyards, full of trinkets and prizes they collected during their jaunts. And other races see them as mischievous thieves. But boggarts’ kleptomania is largely accidental. They only want to get their grubby fingers onto treasures, for the novelty of sensation it brings. And they don’t have a traditional concept of ownership.
About the only law in boggart culture, in fact, is the pressure to share new sensations with others of their kind. A boggart that refuses to share—a hoarder—will be cast out of boggart society for the sin of keeping a new treasure to himself. Since boggarts are so social and convivial among their own, exile is considered a terrible sentence.
A swamp in Avalon is as flush with life as any other place in the setting, so boggarts are always surrounded by creepy crawlies. When you think “swamp” here, think “marsh” or “wetland.” It’s a shallow, verdant, freshwater lowland that supports reeds, cattails, and pond lilies.
Boggarts make simple hovels and shacks on the hills of peat and boulders between the marshwater pools. Some are just piles of sticks leaning against a hollow in a bog-rooted stump. Others are more elaborate hideouts built to house greater numbers of treasures.