The Moonstone Hills, west of Firetop, are inhabited by a large number of wild humanoids – orcs, kobolds, gnolls and bugbears. But the largest number of savage creatures that live there are the hobgoblin tribes.
They have dwelt there for many years, amongst the winding badlands. Some say that the broken towers and forgotten temples are part of a broken empire that they once ruled over. Whatever the truth of it is, the bobgoblins are now a semi-nomdic people, setting up their camps and tents wherever it suits them best, and moving between seasonal hunting grounds whenever the need arises. They are a martial people, taking great pride in their weapons and armour, and training hard from birth with the traditional weapons of their tribe.
They are usually led by chieftans chosen from among their own kind. Sometimes, however, they will serve larger or more powerful creatures, such as giants or ogres, when such creatures are smart enough to quell the clever hobgoblins.
As well as a long-running battle with the dwarves of Stonebridge, the hobgoblins attack any caravans they can for loot and gold. Otherwise, they keep large herds of various cattles, or feed on berries and roots that their children and women gather.
There are seven great tribes in the Moonstone Hills, all usually at each others’ throats. Only the presence of a common foe will unite them. However, of late, predatory bands of the hobgoblins have been found working in concert, and apparently searching amongst the broken towers and ruins of the hills for something. They all now bear a common heraldry, a black and gaping mouth with white teeth, and they call it the Maw.
The seven great tribes are: -
Particularly proud of their prowess with swords, the Shatterfists have a series of mines in the northwest of the hills that they maintain with slaves. Their blades and armour are amongst the finest of all the hobgoblin tribes.
A disparate group of barbaric warriors, more mobile and traditional in their garb. They are some of the toughest hunters and trappers of the hills.
Dwelling in the southern regions of the hills where the terrain is more open, the Hill Wolves own vast herds of bison and cows, and their success with animal husbandry has made them rich. So rich that they keep large numbers of mercenaries to do their fighting, and are often found leading packs of orcs, goblins, varags and even gnolls into combat.
Maces of Stone
A proud tribe, that dwells near the northern edge of the hills. Their sufferings at the hands of the Zhengisi slavers that occasionally take them has made them hate practitioners of magic particularly, and they have developed fighting styles that make them particularly effective against mages.
Cattle thieves to a hobgoblin, this widely-distrusted tribe make their living taking what was not theirs to begin with. But they also live in a frugal way, trying to keep to a natural way of life, and their ties with the spirits of nature are strong.
As well as maintaining good herds of animals, the Bears train many beasts of war, ranging from terrifying wyverns to vicious war dogs, all of which fetch excellent prices from neighbouring tribes.
Shrieking Wind of the Steppes
Their name has no exact translation in the Common tongue, but they are unique amongst the other tribes in that they have forsaken their nomadic way of life to live in the ruins of a huge, shattered fortress possibly of elven design that stands in the very heart of the Moonstone Hills. From some source in that place they have taken a very unique understanding of magic, and their leaders and chieftans are all powerful magic users, although often physically withered as if they have exchanged vitality for greater magical power.