Descending from the peaks and slopes of Felsspitze Mountains, the Goblinoid hordes that make up the Bergspeer Tribe are universally viewed as a nuisance, albeit a potentially deadly nuisance, across the Mountain Principalities. The Tribe’s warbands made up of Dratokarttin Goblins, Bugbears and other associated creatures tamed or bullied into servitude are ever on the lookout for unsuspecting caravans, villages and even towns that they can raid for loot, the occasional slaves, and for the thrill of causing wanton destruction. Presiding over the chaos of the warbands is the mysterious and ominous figure known simply as ‘the Elder’, who rules the warbands from the permanent encampment of Speerhaus, hidden high up in the mountains.
The head of the Bergspeer Tribe is known simply as ‘the Elder’. No one outside of the tribe has given conclusive proof that they have seen this individual in the flesh, and very few concrete facts have distilled from the confusing mass of information and misinformation that swirls about ‘the Elder’. All that has been established is that ‘the Elder’ is a male Goblinoid of some description, and that they are incredibly old. Dratokarttin Goblins from the Bergspeer Tribe that have either been captured and interrogated, or offered up information freely have all confirmed that ‘the Elder’ is not a title that changes hands but has only ever been one individual who has lived well beyond the normal lifespan of a Goblin. For the Bergspeer Tribe, ‘the Elder’ is regarded and revered as being the first Goblin to have ever existed in Turoza, or possibly even Ulskandar. As ‘the Elder’ is so venerable and precious to the tribe, he rarely leaves the tribe’s home base of Speerhaus, deep within the Felsspitze Mountains, whose location is hardly known of outside of the tribe, and is very difficult to get to, and can be completely inaccessible during the winter months. The Tribe’s roving raiding parties are instead led by War Chiefs, who gather minions to their cause by sheer force of will and bravado alone, and through the promise of great rewards from raiding this settlement or that, or defeating this enemy or the other. When out with their warbands, these War Chiefs often make it sound as if they will take over the whole of the Bergspeer Tribe themselves, and rule it as a monarch, and many of these War Chiefs and their warbands will come to blows when beyond the borders of Speerhaus. However, in the presence of ‘the Elder’ all of these War Chiefs are awed back into being snivelling, grovelling servants, any sense of bravado left far behind. ‘The Elder’ oversees a vast anarchic system of Goblinoid warbands and he offers blessing to the raiding activities of the War Chiefs, directs them in a crude way, and demands a tribute of spoils from all of the ill-gotten gains every warband eventually comes back to Bergspeer.
Little is known about the extent of the Bergspeer Tribe’s assets, and given that a large proportion of the tribe are itinerant, moving through the area of The Mountain Principalities, in their warbands they have little interest in farming or industry in any meaningful or industrial sense of the term. The only land that has been officially claimed by the tribe is the footprint upon which their ramshackled permanent camp of Speerhaus stands. Even this home-base is not supported by significant agricultural activity, with most of its inhabitants living off raided supplies brought back by the warbands.
The Bergspeer tribe is in essence a moving mass of armed individuals. Calling the tribe a ‘military’ organisation would be going a step too far, as the many warbands that make up the tribe often fight in a very disorganised, individualistic fashion, that often revolves around the quick despatching of weak enemies and the grabbing of loot. Most Bergspeer warbands will quickly dissolve in the face of concerted resistance, especially as the size of a warband is completely unregulated, and can consist of as few as 10 individuals, though most are much larger. Some War Chiefs have managed to create highly disciplined, well equipped warbands, that bear more resemblance to a Hobgoblin Legion than the disorganised rabble that normally make up a warband, and these warbands can be devastatingly effective. Occasionally, ‘the Elder’ can exert enough discipline to get the tribe’s warbands to work together, so that a larger, stronger, target can be attacked and overwhelmed, but the longer such operations drag out, the more squabbling that is likely to break out between the warbands. ‘The Elder’ himself is said to maintain a personal bodyguard, predominantly made up of Bugbears, known as his ‘Enforcers’, who not only protect ‘the Elder’, but act as his voice and arm amongst the scattered warbands operating beyond the home base of Speerhaus. Enforcers are often dispatched by ‘the Elder’ to relay orders to the War Chiefs, and discipline those that have drawn the disapproval of ‘the Elder’. Even the strongest and most self-assured of War Chiefs will quake in their boots when a group of Enforcers appear in their camp.