Although the “civilized” races tend to equate hobgoblins with orcs, the former are much more organized and militaristic. The most obvious distinctions are their straight posture and their large, wide heads (both of which having to go together, as some say, to prevent them falling over). They are much more agile than they look, as their wide-spaced eyes give them good depth perception, and they have exceptional surefootedness and manual dexterity despite having fewer digits than humans and their ilk.

Hobgoblins act as leaders among the goblins and bugbears of Cliffton, as well as the force sent by the Bared Blades to assault the Empire of Altan from the west. Some also still dwell in Chthonia or the Teeth. They are less common in other regions.

As the masters of the goblinoid peoples, hobgoblins also dictate what organized religion there is. However, there are few devoted parishioners, as the goblinoids’ relations with the supernatural are strained at best. Even as they first evolved into humanoids, they found immediate conflict with the similar but less malign svirfneblin. Over their shorter generations, the goblinoids came to reject their fey origins thanks to the more obvious magical powers of their foes. As they came into contact with duergar and drow, and later the surface-dwelling cousins of all three races, they came to hate both arcane and clerical magic. Their society teaches neither wizardry nor godliness, and those who develop sorcery from their fey bloodline must hide their powers or flee in fear of their lives.

Those few magical practitioners hobgoblins tolerate are mostly their shamans (adepts or druids). Although they reject their heritage, educated hobgoblins still remember that they descend from spirits of the earth, and they can still revive that connection. But the civilized hobgoblins still consider these elemental forces to be appeased rather than worshiped. Those who are close enough to the spirits to have magical powers are cast out of the fortresses and forced to live as hermits on the edges of their society, only approached when their advice or power is needed. This suits many shamans just fine, as they can commune better with the land outside the fortifications.


Mése’ta Archlords