Casual murder wasn’t against Krat. If you saw someone and had a disagreement with them, that was fine. Krat said if you ganged up to kill someone you had to fight sequentially, and if you challenged them and they submitted, you had to accept that. Let’s say just one goblin decided to rob another. If the first ran up behind the second and strangled him, she hadn’t violated Krat. More local rules and laws on robbery and murder reigned. But if the robber demanded money and the other goblin gave it to her, then she couldn’t strangle him in Krat.

The system worked, such as it did, because goblins attached huge importance to talking to each other. Acts of discussion were noteworthy. Mere killings weren’t. But if one goblin spoke to another, than that talking had rules, and those rules had to be obeyed.

It’s hard for humans to understand because we talk all the time and attach more importance to things like murder than whether or not two individuals talked first. Goblins saw it the exact other way. Murders happen all the time and aren’t noteworthy. Killing won’t change the future. It only leads to more killing, which is already the status quo. Conversation causes change, so talking mattered.

A truly weird bit of Krat was that lying wasn’t an issue. If you were lied to and believed it, that was your own fault for being stupid. Stupid is weak, and Krat defied weakness. But lying is also weak, so anyone could take your words as fact if they were stronger. What kept it in check was all the allowed murder.

Goblin society had lived and died by Krat since the fall of Whitehall, and lived it so well they’d never recovered as one people.