(adapted from the Monster Manual, Monster Manual II, and Midnight)
The prašotek, also known as goblins, are the smallest and most numerous of the various strains of šotek. In general, the prašotek are the workers of a goblinoid hive, doing the building, mining, crafting, and pretty much all of the other work that needs to be done in the service of their hive queen. Prašotek raise and train the monstrous vermin that live with the hive, and are even charged with maintaining the egg hatcheries and larva nurseries. Not all prašotek are workers, however, as they also serve as the spies, scouts, and skirmishers of the hive in times of war.
The vyšotek or hobgoblins are the soldiers of a šotek hive, who live solely to wage war on behalf of their queen. They are the hammer the kralovna queens wield in their conflicts with the rest of the world, and serve her will. It is possible that a vyšotek might have a role other than one directed at waging war, but in practice this almost never happens.
Šotek society is, by almost any measure, intensely religious. The kralovna queens claim to be the favored chosen of Ninkurra, the Queen of the Infernal Hive, and wield power in her name. The khezotek, colloquially known as bugbears, are the religious elite of the šotek hives. They are the priests of Ninkurra, the temple guards who defend her holy places, and the elite protectors of the inner sanctum of the hive: The queen's chamber, the egg hatcheries, and the potěr nurseries. Sometimes they serve as emissaries sent on diplomatic missions. Some khezotek are assigned elite soldiers to bolster the vyšotek battalions, but this is only rarely done.
Of the four primary strains of goblinoids, obříšotek, or greater goblins, are the largest and the rarest. For the most part, a kravolna queen will only spawn these monstrously large offspring when war is imminent and she needs shock troops to lead her forces. The typical obříšotek is too dumb to be much use for other purposes, and consumes enough provender that keeping any number of them around for any length of time would be an incredibly expensive proposition. Obříšotek are bred for war and for no other purpose.
Above all of the other strains of šotek in the goblinoid hierarchy are the kralovna hive queens. All of the queens claim descent from Ninkurra, and all of the šotek in a particular hive are, with extremely limited exceptions, the children of its ruling queen. The kralovna queens look nothing like the other strains of goblin, with an appearance that resembles a towering cone of insectoid horror supported by tentacles and sporting six insect-like arms and a set of three razor sharp mandibles. Most queens are found secreted deep within a goblin hive, catered to by a retinue of prašotek and guarded by a cadre of khezotek as they lay eggs and hatch plots and plans.
The only males in the šotek hive, the muzotek drones exist to fertilize the queen and ensure her ability to lay the eggs needed to perpetuate the hive. While other šotek exist to serve the will of the ruling queen, the muzotek must curry her favor so that they will be selected as her breeding partner. Consequently, the muzotek drones of a goblin hive spend much of their time scheming and plotting against one another, a situation that the kralovna encourages. In fact, if one muzotek manages to eliminate all of his rivals, a kralovna queen will spawn more so as to ensure that there are a number of suitors vying for her attention.
No matter what kind of šotek a goblin becomes, they all come out of the egg as potěr larva. After their initial cannibalistic diet, the potěr larva are placed in nurseries where they are conditioned in such a way that after they pupate they emerge as one of the various strains of adult goblinoids. No one is certain how that process is managed, but scholars have speculated that the differences in adult goblinoids are the result of scent cues given off by the kralovna queen and their diet during their larval stage, although those are guesses at best. What is known is that the hive can influence this process at the behest of the kralovna queen, who essentially chooses what lives her progeny will lead when they are in their pre-pupae stage.
One of the reasons the muzotek struggle against one another so viciously is that the fate of a drone who loses out in the internecine struggle against his brothers is to become a staroztek, or great old one. Although the process is not entirely understood by scholars, a muzotek who falls sufficiently out of favor with his queen is transformed into a bloated, mindless monster who is then filled with eggs. Once the eggs hatch, the potěr larva then consume their host, feasting on his flesh for their first meal.
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