Grrr... sometimes it seems like Blogger has gone all pear-shaped. I unsuccessfully tried numerous times to post a comment on James M.'s piece about kobolds. In the Appendix N listed novel Land of Unreason by DeCamp and Pratt, kobolds figure prominently as antagonists, forging iron swords to be used against the fairies of the Court of Oberon and Titania. The kobolds of German folklore play ambiguous roles, some are house spirits analogous to brownies, some are micheivous denizens of mines. The more "evil" kobold of original D&D may have been inspired by DeCamp and Pratt's subterranean arms dealers.
Personally, I like the little lizardog men of the Monster Manual. Of course, the Monster Manual is a bit of a mess when it comes to the kobold... it clearly states that they lay eggs, but also implies that they are closely related to (presumably viviparous) goblins. I like to see these kobolds as the end result of an alternative path of Synapsid evolution. Rather than continuing on an evolutionary path resulting in mammals, these critters would have kept on laying eggs, while evolving into cunning, bipedal sapients.
Horns, hair, scales, eggs, well-developed external ears... yeah, make my "Sutherland" kobolds the descendents of these guys.
2 weeks ago