Goblins are a small, wicked race of subterranean dwellers. While physically among the weakest of the speaking races their cruel intellect and murderous persistence more than compensate for their lack of combat prowess. All Goblins are natural inventors, spending many hours creating new and deadly constructions which all have to do with Siege, war and torture.
Goblins range in height from 4’ to 5’ feet. They have round imp like faces with snub noses. Their wide grinning mouths are filled with dozens of small sharp teeth. Skin color ranges from olive green to a sickly yellow. Their eyes are large and almost perfectly round, being well adapted to the poor light conditions of their subterranean dwellings. When Goblins do venture out it is almost always at night. Their eyes cannot adjust to the daylight: when they venture into the sunlight they are practically blind.
Goblins have strong ties to their family and clan and in-fighting is rare. From time to time different clans might join forces and fight under the banner of particularly mighty warlord. At that time they are truly dangerous, sweeping out of the hills where they make their homes and ravaging the countryside. Goblins respect strength and as such are often willing to follow powerful non-goblins as long as they promise plunder, violence and murder.
In battle they are fond of wielding wickedly shaped blades, often drenched in poisons distilled from the rocks and moss of the caverns they inhabit. Despite having little opportunity to use bows they are natural archers, having a latent talent for missile (and siege) weapons, though they are poor bowyers. They are also excellent riders when needed, and often train dedicated groups to the task, Battle Boars being the preferred mounts.
“we flew in low above the highland ridge, our Griffons wings beating powerfully beneath us. Below, all about the hill, were scuttling black shapes from which winked the glimmer of keen blades and spearpoints. Poorly visible in the failing light of dusk, the slope teemed with them like my hounds do with fleas in the summer. They were Goblins. Goblins in great numbers.
_ Clouds of black arrows lifted up towards us, though none came near. As we banked and sped away we could hear screams and gibbering laughter from behind us-many of the arrows had found their way back amongst their own folk. Captain RohVander laughed as he signaled a course to fly over the river. I have heard, now that years have passed and I have my own fighting wing, that my former Captain has disappeared, and that several Griffons have been felled near those mountains.”_ —Captain Ramgird to the Arch-Duke on the Nimiro Mountains
Hobgoblins are a soldier race. They fight to keep their abilities honed, they fight for loot, they fight to conquer, they fight for vengeance, but most of all they fight because they enjoy it.
Though somewhat similar in appearance to Goblins it is a common misconception that they are related. They are, in fact, a cousin to the Dwarf, and it is from a mannish misinterpretation that they get their common name. In the Dwarven tongue they are called Hoëb-Dërnkwmün, which literally means “ones who have fallen from the light”. Their close proximity and frequent association with Goblin-Folk created the Mannish hybrid Hoëb-Goblin which later became the common Hobgoblin, as they are known today. They also share the community organizational structure of the Goblins as well, the Clan to Tribe hierarchy, and this has no doubt added to the confusions of their origins.
Though possessed of the same broad, flat face, snub nose, and largish, rounded eyes, Hobgoblins are significantly larger and broader than Goblins. They stand 4.5-5.5 feet tall and are much broader through the chest. Most Hobgoblins are a muddy brown color but skin tones do range from light grey to almost black. Their large rounded eyes can see extremely well in the dark and only suffer mildly in broad daylight. This makes Hobgoblin sightings much more common above ground than their Goblin neighbors.
Hobgoblins are known to be relentless in combat and pursuit of their prey and have won many an engagement by simply wearing down their opponent. It is because of their unique physiology that allows them to only need to rest (sleep) once every 48 hours, and then only needing 2-4 hours to be fully rested. It is not unheard of for a Hobgoblin to skip 2-3 rest periods all together, remaining alert and functioning for almost a week with only minutes of rest.
Hobgoblins have enduring memories. If defeated in combat they will sometimes plan and strategize for years to have at the same enemy again, often re-engaging with a whole new arsenal of stratagems and tactics. For this reason they are known as formidable opponents whether fighting singularly or marching on the battlefield. It is also why they are often seen commanding great numbers of Goblin-folk onto the field of battle.
— His Grace, The Fourth Duke of Breeton, to his young son, after the defeat of the Ten-Shields Hobgoblin clans“Here Sir is your fathers mail. I fear that you will be unable to wear it, for it is rent and many links are lost. This hauberk, and nothing else of His Grace remains. His company entire was overwhelmed and lost, and I can rouse none here to go seek its remains.”
— Unknown Sergeant to the heir of Breeton, after the fall of the Fourth Duke at the hands of Hobgoblins of an unknown tribe.