Hobgoblins

Whim and hunger, made manifest and given legs, and arms, and teeth to bite with.
  Hobgoblins are creatures of the Beyond, spawn of the Fae who use them as slaves for anything from war to entertainment. They infest the Faelands in numbers beyond counting, living short and violent lives marred by cruelty and abuse.   Created with a thought and destroyed just as quickly, Hobgoblins are as much part of the tapestry of the Faelands as the grass or wind, and twice as hungry.  

Description

Once you've been chased by angry pumpkins with legs, you've really seen it all.
  Hobgoblins are cursed with bodies that seem crudely cobbled together, combining features of several different creatures or even plants, often in a haphazard fashion. Some might sport the head of a bull on the body of a boar, standing as a man would with hands to labor. Others are made as hunting dogs or falcons, running on all four (or more) or flying on wings of gossamer web. The collection of limbs and features they are left with often make the Hobgoblin awkward and tangled up in their own, while others are aptly shaped to perform their task.  
In recent time, some Hobgoblins have even begun to be spawned with mechanical features, like buzz-saw hands or metal limbs. It's a development no Walker is terribly keen on.
 
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by Rawpixel.com (Freepik)
Left to their own, Hobgoblins can best be described as spiteful little bastards. When they can, Hobgoblins will do anything to feel a sense of power and control always forbidden them while under Fae rule. Weaker creatures or lost travelers are fair game, to be teased or bullied.  
Even Hobgoblins who can speak often act like an animal might.
  Alone, Hobgoblins are cowardly creatures, but they grow bold in packs, egging each other on, sometimes into a frenzy. Even so, unless forced to fight, most Hobgoblins will only harm their victim by accident. That can change quickly in the presence of a Fae, though - often infecting the Hobgoblins with the Fae's malice.
  There is considerable debate among magi if the hobgoblins are truly sentient, or simply exist as an extension of the Fae's will and imagination. Certainly, the closer a hobgoblin is to their Fae lord, the less of a self they seem to display, becoming more like their master. Whether or not that is metaphysics at play or just survival instinct, no one is really sure.  
Some even speculate that the Hobgoblins are a sort of precursor being and once they awaken to full sentience, they become Fae. If that's the case, the Fae seem to either not know or care.
  Hobgoblins can go rogue, straying far enough for long enough to break the ties that bind them. These Hobgoblin develop more depth to their personality as they grow more independent, sometimes leaving the Faelands altogether. Unfortunately for them, all it often takes is to hear a Fae's voice call them, and the rogue is lost.  

Imagined Beings

I wonder if they're really alive, or just thoughts given form?
  All Fae appear to have the ability to create Hobgoblins, seemingly out of thin air. All it takes is a thought and a spark of imagination for the Fae to manifest another Hobgoblin, formed from the essence of the Faelands. The more powerful the Fae, the more Hobgoblins they can create at once, and the more of them they can control. From what magi can tell, the act seems as much instinct as conscious thought, though quizzing the Fae about the specifics has proven... Difficult.  
Some magi have plunged deep enough into the well to figure out a way of creating their own hobgoblins, though with nowhere near the ease or numbers of Fae. How these hobgobbomancers learned that craft is something many people would love to know.
 
Once spawned, Hobgoblin seems to live forever unless slain or dissolved by their master, with the latter requiring even less effort than creating them. They never grow, though some Fae imbues their favorites with additional abilities or modify them after their creation. Nor do they ever heal, instead being dissolved and reforged if too badly maimed.  
Such reforged Hobgoblins sometimes exhibit quirks and memories of the previous incarnation, suggesting the same essence is used again.
  Some Fae favors certain kinds of Hobgoblins or certain traits, and create their minions with greater skill and precision. Others seem to scarcely notice the creatures they spawn, forging barely functioning horrors around them as absent-mindedly as a mortal might fidget.
78876 - kopia.jpg
by Rawpixel.com (Freepik)
 
The behavior of a Hobgoblin also depends on the Fae that created them, ranging from cannibalistic hunger to faux-posh class.
  To most Walkers, Hobgoblins are an occupational hazard when venturing into the Faelands. Best avoided if possible, fought when necessary, or bribed when they're far enough away from a Fae to tell them otherwise. No matter how insignificant the Hobgoblins might be and no matter how many a magi might be able to kill, they'll always have numbers on their side. Some magi bind Pacts with Hobgoblins in exchange for information or some minor service, but most have little to really offer.

Faelands

Hobgoblins are native to the Faelands, a part of the Beyond where powerful and ancient creatures known as Fae hold court. Hobgoblins serve at the Fae's whim, created and destroyed with little more than a stray thought by their masters.   It is a realm of horror and magic, of majestic wonder and terrors not found anywhere else. Within primordial would and industrial nightmares of pipes and choking gas, the Fae hold court and drown their boredom. Hobgoblins scurry in legions, waging war or raising monuments at the call of their cruel masters.  
Faelands
Geographic Location | Jul 17, 2021

Deep within the Beyond, the Faelands beckon through dreams and ill-omen. It is a land of wild and primal power, lust and whim unfettered, emotions untamed.

 

The Beyond

The Beyond is a realm of monsters and magic, of wonder and horror, far from the mortal world. Here, spirits, gods, and demons dwell among impossible, myth-shrouded lands. Getting there is difficult, and getting out can be even worse.   Hobgoblins sometimes escape their bondage and wander the greater Beyond, where their weakness makes them prey to an array of horrors.  
The Beyond
Geographic Location | Jul 3, 2021

The world beyond all other worlds, a place of wonder and horror in equal measure.

 
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by Pixabay
 

Pacts

Pacts are contracts signed with entities of power, usually from the Beyond, where a Magi makes a promise in exchange for some boon. These range from small and fleeting, such as safe passage through a part of the Beyond or the Key to a particular Gate, all the way to immortality and forbidden, blasphemous powers. The price paid rises accordingly, and only fools make such promises lightly.   Away from their masters, Hobgoblins are easily talked into making pacts, greedy for anything outside their usual drudgery. They favor food and drink as a price for their pact, but sometimes their lord has imbued them with less easily sated hungers.    
Pacts
Condition | Jul 8, 2021

Making a deal with a devil, and its consequences.

Some Fae Archlords can be very particular about their Hobgoblin hordes, taking care to spawn them in finery or armor, armed to the teeth, or disfigured in a manner appropriate to match their creator.
 
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by Unsplash


Cover image: by NeONBRAND (Unsplash)

Comments

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Sage eccbooks
E. Christopher Clark
11 Jul, 2021 19:46

"…and twice as hungry."   These are well-described and frightening. Nice work!

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Eternal Sage AmélieIS
Amélie I. S. Debruyne
13 Jul, 2021 11:46

"Once you've been chased by angry pumpkins with legs, you've really seen it all." really love that line XD I love the idea of them all just being a mismatch of features depending on their master sense of aesthetic XD   Can the hobgoblins die of starvation or do they only feed in the hope of satiating some hunger that is part of their being?

14 Jul, 2021 11:04

Hahaha thank you :D   And it's more of a metaphorical hunger. As long as they are in the Faelands, they are more or less sustained by its ambient magic... But being cannibalistic, hungry, ravenous, or similar traits are 'story elements' that comes and goes with them, depending on the situation :D

15 Jul, 2021 07:32

I love this rendition of hobgoblins! And I... almost feel bad for them...? Weird!   They seem a little bit like little lovable scamps/bastards xD


Cathedris, the world of God-husks and New Magic, welcomes you.
15 Jul, 2021 16:48

Yeah, they don't have it easy... But some of them are also mini-serial killers, so there's that xD

16 Jul, 2021 06:54

Hmm... okay, I feel bad for all but the mini-serial killers, and probably their friends. :P


Cathedris, the world of God-husks and New Magic, welcomes you.
17 Jul, 2021 23:27

The hobgobbomancers made pacts with the Fae or other magical creatures to learn this type of magic? What they had to give in exchange?

Am I writing or procrastinating? Take a guess and visit Hanzelot
18 Jul, 2021 07:17

Hmm, probably things that the Fae thinks would be funny... Which is probably bad news. :D   I'm not sure exactly though. In a pinch, ask them to do specific things to cause chaos or be entertaining, blood and magic, or even give some poor sap up to become a Changeling!

8 Aug, 2021 18:58

The fae truly are all about a e s t h e t i c aren't they? These seem to be no exception!