Hobgoblin

"A hobgoblin is war made flesh and blood."

A hobgoblin is a type of goblinoid found in southern Nora, northern Zamunda and in the grimharath.

Hobgoblins are militaristic and fecund, a combination that makes them quite dangerous. They breed quickly, replacing fallen members with new soldiers and keeping up their numbers despite the fortunes of war. They generally need little reason to declare war, but more often than not that reason is to capture new slaves.

Hobgoblins believe in an inherent right to rule. They claim southern Nora as their lands inherently.

Physiology


A hobgoblin stands 5 feet tall and weighs 160 pounds.

History


Dwarven-Goblin Wars

c2800 PI; Battle of Wasserfallpunkt

Kelevor

see Kelevor

c2,000 - 200 NS

Aquarian Empire

Dark Empire

Goblin Wars

Battle of the Broken Crown; 139 NS

Culture


Of all the goblinoid races, the hobgoblin is by far the most civilized. They see the larger and more solitary bugbears as tools to be hired and used where appropriate, usually for specific missions involving assassination and stealth, and look upon their smaller goblin kin with a mix of shame and frustration. Hobgoblins admire goblin tenacity, yet their miniscule kindred's unpredictable nature and fondness for fire make them unwelcome additions to hobgoblin tribes or settlements. Nonetheless, most hobgoblin tribes include a small group of goblins, typically squatting in the most undesirable corners of the settlement.

Hobgoblins often repurpose Aquarian ruins and rebuild the fallen fortresses. Also they keep to mountains, forests and isolated coasts.

There is no central leader than unifies the tribes. Infighting between tribes is infrequent and there is a non-violent duel to solve disagreements. Orcs have contests of strength, but hobgoblins have contests of strategy.

They view the leaders of their tribes are near god-like. Leader cults.

All members of a hobgoblin tribe are effectively members of the tribe's army. After reaching maturity, all hobgoblins are subjected to the "year of hell", a year of constant raiding intended to test each hobgoblin's strength and courage. Roughly one in three hobgoblins is then deemed fit for active combat duty; the remainder are relegated to the position of general labor. Laborers are technically part of the army, but are scorned and never raise above their station until they display skill in battle. For this reason, hobgoblin laborers actively wish for attacks on the tribe's lair so they can prove their worth.

Hobgoblins are obsessed with their social status. Once an active combatant, a hobgoblin constantly jockeys for position with its peers and plots to overcome their superiors, typically through a duel for honor called a garë. Refusal to answer a challenge is seen as a sign of weakness, but more highly-ranked hobgoblins keep their positions by winning dozens of duels, dissuading younger hobgoblins from challenging them.

Hobgoblins are natural backstabbers who don't hesitate to use underhanded means to get their way, but if caught, they punish their own kind ruthlessly. Each tribe's general is responsible for dictating punishment, which takes one of four forms: demotion, exile, slavery, and death. Enslavement is by far the most common. Hobgoblins subjected to exile, as well as deserters, sometimes gravitate toward human societies as scavengers, bandits, gangsters, or pirates.

War

Ik'sintar is the goblin term for a warlord.

Each legion carries a standard of a wolf's head. These are treasured and will always attempt to recover a fallen wolf's head. Other standards can be eagles, horses, bulls or boars. A legion's banner is the shape of a sail held by a bearer.

Hobgoblins organize themselves into tribal bands known as legions. In their martial society, every hobgoblin has a rank, from the powerful leaders and champions, to the rank-and-file foot soldiers, to the goblins that find themselves driven into the front lines at spear point. A legion is headed by a warlord with several captains serving under its command. A hobgoblin warlord is a ruthless tyrant more interested in strategy, victory, glory, reputation, and dominion than leading troops into battle.

As loyal and disciplined as hobgoblins are in their own legion, rival legions compete constantly for reputation and status. Meetings between legions erupt in violence if troops aren’t restrained, and only exceptionally powerful leaders can force legions to cooperate on the battlefield.

Science

Many hobgoblin tribes combine their love of warfare with keen intellects. The science of siege engines, alchemy, and complex feats of engineering fascinate most hobgoblins, and those who are particularly skilled are treated as heroes and invariably secure high-ranking positions in the tribe.

Magic

It is well known that hobgoblins mistrust and even despise magic, particularly arcane magic. Their shamans are treated with a mix of fear and respect, and are usually forced to live alone on the fringes of the tribe's lair. It is all but unheard of to find a hobgoblin practicing arcane magic, or as hobgoblins call it, “elf magic.” This is the root of their hatred of magic—the hobgoblins' hatred of elves.

Slavery

Life as a slave in a hobgoblin lair is brutal and short, and new slaves are always needed to replace those who fall or are eaten. Slaves with analytical minds are quite valued, and as such raids on dwarven cities are commonplace.

Tribes


There are ten major historical tribes of Hobgoblins. Some are de facto extinct.

  • Drerihije (coastal warriors / cunning)
  • Broken Fangs (weathly and cruel / politickers)
  • Kthetër Zymtë (worg breeders / stubborn and proud)
  • Bijtë Tokë (druids / least warlike)
  • shtizë kockave (wasteland dwellers / dirty)
  • Lumicians (river wardens / female ruler)
  • Ecingrians (pirates / nomads)
  • Rrethi Zjarri (blood of barghests / ancient lineage)
  • vala e vrojtues (criminals / outcasts)

Names


Hobgoblin personal names usually consist of a given name, and the name of the band they were born into rather than a family name, even if that band has been disbanded or destroyed. This means that parent and child don’t always have the same family names and hobgoblins born outside of a band have no family name.

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