The Mih’vert’ruk is one of the most popular shields with the Gob-Ocs. While the goblins have relatively little contact with Southern Sarvonia, both friend and foe in the north have come to admire this fantastic build of shield. As with the goblins as a race, on its own a Mih'vert'ruk is weak and exploitable, in large numbers though and united as one a wall of these shields forms the revered goblin ‘Razgya'Marr' (trans. "wyrm skin"), an impenetrable wall of overlapping shields. In typical orcish fashion, the Mih'vert'ruk's (lit. translation "four point shield") long name eroded down to Mert'ruk over time.
Description. At its most basic, a standard mert'ruk is a diamond shaped shield made of either metal or wood. The grip and reinfocrement of these bucklers are entriely up to the individual goblin. The material used to construct, decorate or even reinforce an individual's mert'ruk is dependant on the goblins wealth and availability of resources. The grip on these shields has known to range from two linen straps to reinforced leather clasps. The front of the shield is more open to alterations, though often the mert'ruk's front is perched with metal plates to hold together clasps and battle damage to the shield. Much like its design, the dimensions of a mert'ruk vary greatly, often depending on the goblin themselves. Since it is a personal weapon, the size of it (ranging between two to three fores) will be especially adapted to the goblin, though given the little variation in size from goblin to goblin, this does not impede a goblin warrior to pick up and fight with another's mert'ruk. While this shield is a general racial piece of armour, the different Legions which comprise the bulk of the goblin race are known to have tweaked and modified their mert’ruk, though solely for psychological reasons. Some of the Legions are known to stick ornaments or trophies onto their shields. One of the most popular alterations have to be the troll tusks, serving as spikes that then jut out from the “wyrm’s” armoured skin, further adding to the traumatizing sight.
Usage. The mert’ruk is a goblin shield. Designed and crafted by the Gob-Oc Orcs this relatively small shield has ‘goblin craft’ written all over it. Regardless of how the individual shields are changed, the idea and its functionality always remains the same: the shield’s diamond shape lends itself to be linked and overlap with the shields around it, forming up a reptilian skin of shields which is incredibly hard to pierce or take advantage of for the attacker. The fact that the shields are designed to link up with others around it though, dictates that modifications are usually limited to the mert’ruk’s front.
As mentioned before, the shield ultimately works best when in large numbers. This suggests that these shields are only used when larger parties deploy into the depths of the Tandala Mountains. Regardless it is possible to see individual goblins strolling around with a mert'ruk. When not linked up in a majestic formation, the mert'ruk can still act as a small buckler. When considering the Gob-Oc’s passion for decorating and adding to their equipment, it also comes to reason that carrying around your shield, one’s able to display trophies on it. A recognised Gob-Oc Legionnaire once famously stated: “The mert'ruk serves my guard little, but every stinking Gob-Oc knows what these shields are for, so when their rotten eyes fall on these shields, they think of unity… unity is strength… and strength is exactly what I want my boys to radiate. It’s something we as a race have ridiculously little of as it is…” Though his exact words were no doubt more aggressive and… less eloquent, he made a good point. The mert'ruk is more than just a common shield to the Gob-Oc, it is a symbol of strength in numbers. At the same time the mert'ruk reflects the goblins' racial turmoil. Much like the race that wields it, its strength falters when under disarray and swells when in union. A truth that is right in front of the goblins' noses, yet they fail to grasp the concept and apply it to themselves.
Fighting Style. As mentioned, the Mert’ruk on its own may be used by goblins as a regular buckler or shield. It’s true design and purpose only becomes evident when goblins use these shields in larger numbers. Namely when using the shield in the fighting style known to them as Razgya'Marr. Roughly translated this strategy can me called the “wyrm skin”. When establishing this formation, the goblins throng together in a literal wall of bodies, the smaller and lighter amongst them crawling up onto the shoulders of the bigger Gob-Ocs. Holding out their mert’ruks in front of them so that the shields come together at their edges, the goblins form an impenetrable wall of shields between them and the enemy. As the name suggests, these rows of overlapping shields create a texture much like a wyrm’s scaled skin. The advantages of this technique are countless, giving the goblins a distinct advantage in combat in the Tandala Mountain-range tunnels. Down here, the narrow corridors are easily plugged up entirely by a well performed Razgya'Marr. In this manner the goblins have, when necessary, been able to completely close off a tunnel from ceiling to rubble strewn ground. Reflecting the ragged and disorderly nature of the goblins, the Razgya'Marr is also very easy to repair if breached. Should a goblin be struck down, they are dismissed from the wall and the whole structure, like a living entity rearranges itself to close off the gap. This is only possible due to the goblins’ relatively smaller build and the shields symmetry. At the same time though, it’s greatest strength is also one of its weaknesses: Much alike to the Gob-Ocs ass a race, the Razgya'Marr is an almost orderless structure that often falls susceptible to the goblin’s volatile character. It is not uncommon for a perfectly executed Razgya'Marr to fall apart because of individual goblins leaving the formation either straying forward in a heroic attempt, or fleeing back down into the darkness of the tunnels.
Origin/History. The Mih’vert’ruk’s history remains unrecorded. Looking into records of the Troll Wars (488 a.S.) there appears to be no mention of a diamond shaped shields. Thus it is assumed and agreed upon by scholars of war-gear that the mert’ruk developed in the depths of the Tandala Mountains, where the race of the goblins came to form. Unlike a lot of the more recent weapons goblins can be seen wielding, the mert’ruk appears to have no roots from the dwarven race. This suggestst that it is a purely goblin invention. Interestingly, due to the goblin’s great skill of salvaging, a large proportion of goblin weapons bare trace resemblance with dwarven weaponry. No doubt these products emerged from goblins salvaging designs found within the extensive tunnel systems. These weapons which greatly resemble dwarven weaponry and are thus classed as ‘salvaged inventions’ or ‘faux-goblin’ by masters in the field.