In the savage northern mountains the Hobgoblins have developed a fierce mercenary civilization. These fierce fighters have converted an ancient Storm Giant fortress to their needs and are training mercenary bands to send out into the world to gather treasure and power. Khan Edo Carania leads the clans and has ruled since his father Garthak Carania united the clans by defeating the more prominent leaders in open combat.
Hobgoblins are completely focused on their military. It is their entire way of life. The training of a Hobgoblin starts at birth. The newly born Hobgoblins are inspected by the committee of elders. If considered weak, the baby is left to die by exposure on mountain slopes. The babies who survive this are brought up in a special way. At the age of five, a male Hobgoblin is brought under the direct control of the country. This remained for the rest of that Hobgoblin's life. The Hobgoblin males are taught reading and writing for their basic needs, but the rest of their knowledge is dedicated entirely to training to fight.
Food is rationed, forcing Hobgoblin kids to steal. If caught, they are whipped. This punishment isn't because they stole, but because they did it carelessly and unskillfully.
Although Hobgoblin girls normally do not go through military training, they are educated. This education is not academic, but it is physical. Their education also involved being taught that they should dedicate their lives to the state. In a way, the Hobgoblin women are lucky. Hobgoblin women are free to choose to enter the training as males. Those that make the choice are treated no differently than the males. Any who cannot adapt to the rigorous training swiftly die.
The harsh training continues through adulthood. No Hobgoblin is free to live as he wished. Their city is like a giant military camp. If a Hobgoblin is not assigned a duty at the time, the Hobgoblin would watch the children and teach them something useful, or they would learn themselves from the elder Hobgoblins. Hobgoblin are also forbidden to travel abroad, unless on instruction. This is because they didn’t want any Hobgoblin minds to become corrupted by foreign ideas.
Not all inhabitants of Haroken are considered to be citizens. Only those who have undertaken the Hobgoblin education process known as the donaphi are eligible. However, usually the only people eligible to receive the donaphi are Hobgoblins.
There are two exceptions. Agroni or "foster sons" are foreign students invited to study. The other exception is that the sons of a "drules" can be enrolled in the donaphi if a Hobgoblin formally adopts him and pays his way. If a student does exceptionally well in training, he might be sponsored to become a Haroken citizen.
Others in Haroken are the "tolasi", who are free inhabitants of Hobgoblin territory but are non-citizens, and the drules, the state-owned serfs. Descendants of non-Hobgoblin citizens are not able to follow the donaphi and Hobgoblins who can not afford to pay the expenses of the donaphi could lose their citizenship.
Hobgoblin characters tend to be fiercely loyal to their clans and to whatever bands they attach themselves to. Those who have obtained special training as Mercenaries are sometimes sent out in groups who hire themselves out as elite fighting groups or guards. Many noblemen employ these units as their personal guards. Occasionally, a group of Hobgoblins can be found acting as adventuring groups.
- +2 Dexterity, +2 Constitution: Hobgoblins are fast and hearty.
- Darkvision: Hobgoblins can see in the dark up to 60 feet.
- Sneaky: Hobgoblins gain a +4 racial bonus on Stealth checks.
- Languages: All hobgoblins begin play speaking Common and Goblin. Hobgoblins with high Intelligence scores can choose any of the following bonus languages: Draconic, Dwarven, Infernal, Giant, Orc.
- Agroni: Literal translation is "heart-child" and given to those of other races who a Hobgoblin takes as an heir and subjects them to the donaphi.
- Donaphi: The rigorous military training undergone by hobgoblin children. The training is both religious and military in nature. Due to the harsh conditions and rigorous physical demands death is not uncommon amongst those in training.
- Drule: The term Hobgoblins use for goblins. All goblins living in Haroken lands are serfs who "belong" to the kingdom as a hole. They are largely ignored but provide the menial tasks required by the civilization such as cultivation and animal herding.
- Tolasi: These can be of any race except goblins. They are non-citizens of the Haroken empire who live by their laws and within their protection. They have the right to own property, are protected by the law, and can bring grievances to the magisters.