Hobgoblyns

Cruelly ugly, bitter and brutish, the Hobgoblyns of the westerlands are even more unpleasant than their cousins the Goblyns. Some whisper that they were the product of the union of Zard and Caliban, but if this is true what should have been mighty offspring indeed have instead been the victim of a cruel irony - inferior in almost every way to either parent. Still, the hobs have carved a niche for themselves, and either use their resentment to propel them forward in other cultures, or else cut themselves off in little settlements in remote lands.

Names

Hobgoblyns (Self and Inner Sea), Troglodytes (Southern Haedrasia), Woodlings (Iria), Imps (Southlands).

Potency


Visage

It has been suggested that the outward appearance of the Hobgoblyns was a cruel joke played upon them by the Zard Divh. They are short, bow legged creatures with stunted torsos and long, narrow limbs. Their skin is the deep green to grey-green of their Zard forbears, but is oily and gives them a sheen. They are covered in short, coarse black body hair that grows in tufts and are prone to warts and blemishes. Hobgoblins have large, broad, flat faces, short necks, cruel mouths, tiny eyes and large noses and ears. Their long brows sweep back to the crowns of their heads, giving them a perpetual cruel glower. Large pointed ears sweep back with the brow, ending in ragged tips well above the hair. Between the long, pointed nose, equally pointed chin and long, flat-topped skull the face seems predatory and frightening. Perhaps it is because of their unpleasant appearance that Hobgoblyns have a reputation for being so mean.

Aetherial

Hobgoblyns have little to their advantage, their tiny eyes can see in the dark better than those of a man, but not so well as nocturnal creatures, and certainly not in total black. Their over-sized ears and noses seem to do nothing to enhance their senses, and their foul odour is usually enough to eliminate any chance they have at hiding themselves from the outside world. This funk is not merely a product of uncleanliness, as hobgoblyns might be as slothful or fastidious as a man, but is a musk, peculiar to each hob, by which they judge a mate's attractiveness. However to all other races it is more reminiscent of stale sweat and rotting fruit. In the east they love to lurk in forests, where the gloom of the undergrowth keeps them hidden, and their long limbs and small trunks are well suited to climbing and swinging, but in the west where they live in small villages they seem like simply lesser, uglier cousins of the Goblyns.

Craft


Cunning

Hobgoblyns are, on the whole probably justifiably, suspicious of the rest of the world. No matter where they are found they tend to be isolated in small villages, seldom larger than an extended family, and unwelcoming to strangers at best. However one thing they are not is stupid, and the cunning of a Hobgoblyn and its determination to survive at all costs, even at the expense of any other living creature, are reinforced by a tenacity and determination that is unmatched in any other race. Hobgoblyns are not courageous creatures, and indeed stories of heroism confound them. One thing that certainly links them to their Zard forefathers is their sheer will to live, but usually it is not the environment that the Hobgoblyns inhabit that is hostile, but those they share it with.

Social

Hobgoblyns live in extended family units, that seem positively tribal when they are in the wild, but somehow quaint where their round huts dot the great plains of the west. Exceptionally loyal to their immediate relatives, the Hobgoblyns are borderline hostile to anyone or anything coming from outside their community, especially to non-Hobgoblyns. Even when another Hobgoblyn comes from outside the community it will take years for him to find welcome. Some scholars have suggested that Hobgoblyns might indeed be simply Goblyns who became steadily more and more in-bred over time, making some of their less appealing features extreme and grotesque.

Hobgoblyn communities are usually self-sufficient, and seldom trade with one another, meaning that they have had to master most trades for themselves, and almost never have anything larger than cottage industry. Communities usually live closely with the land, either in small agricultural settlements or as hunter-gatherers, though they are certainly not above taking what they need by stealth from their neighbours. But as inferior warriors they will almost never fight for anything but survival. In Iria they are known for snatching small landsmen children and raising them as slaves until they become too old to bully, whereupon they are abandoned in the wild, while in the Crooked Plains travellers are warned that those accepting Hobgoblyn hospitality will usually wake to find no evidence of any possession they didn't keep under lock and key, and apologetic hosts denying all knowledge of any theft.

Civilization

Hobgoblyns tend not to gather together into great nations, preferring small villages governed by community elders and maintaining close ties with neighbouring villages. Hobgoblyns live in distinctive, round huts made of clay brick and lime plaster. They have pointed rooves, and are based around a single central pillar, which supports the roof and any internal walls. Hobgoblyns often decorate the exterior walls of their hut with bright geometric designs in whatever colours they can dye the plaster in the local region. These little clusters of huts are often poorly defended, and as hobs aren't fighters, they tend to have a hidden refuge nearby to which they can retreat if they see an enemy coming. Most Hobgoblyns carry their most valued possessions with them everywhere, both in case they have to make a quick escape, and to stop other opportunistic hobs from filching them.

Language


Places

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Names

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Statistics


Talents
Fast +2 | Graceful +1 | Insightful +1 | Perceptive +1 | Persuasive +1 | Brave -2 | Strong -2 | Tough -1 | Forceful -1
Unique Abilities
Dark Vision | Hob Musk
Ageing
Infant 0-1 years -5 to all Talents except Lucky
Child 2-8 years -3 to all Talents except Lucky
Adolescent 9-13 years -1 to Tough, Clever and Knowledgeable
Adult 14-31 years none
Middle-aged 32-44 years -1 to Fast, Hale and Strong
Old 45-54 years -2 to all Physical Talents, -1 to Knowledgeable
Venerable 55+ years -3 to all Physical Talents, -2 to all Mental Talents
Basics Variables
Morphology Bipedal Height 4'3" + Size' + 1d3' - 1d3'
Diet Omnivorous Weight 165lbs + (Sizelbs x5) + (Brawnlbs x3) + 1d10lbs - 1d10lbs
Cycle Diurnal Gender standard
Prime Sense Vision

Dark Vision

Natively nocturnal in their habits, and fond of dwelling in dark places in their more savage days, Hobgoblyns can see on a dark night or in deep shadow as well as a man might in bright daylight. They should ignore Disadvantage associated with these low light levels.

Hob Musk

Hobgoblyns have a powerful smell about them, unpleasant to most races. Even the Hobgoblyns themselves are aware of it. They find it hard to suppress, and most races aside from other Hobgoblyns find it unpleasant. If a Hobgoblyn has been in an area for a few hours his musk is likely to linger, and if he's trying to hide the smell might make this difficult.