The latest issue of the 9th Scroll is here! You can read all about it in the news.
My colleague tjub asked for Hobgoblins to go along with the Infernal Dwarves of the Barren Mountains, so here goes a remnant of fantasy Cimmerians, with cues taken from the Andronovo and Koban archaeological cultures, settled in the fantasy equivalent of the steppe inlands of Anatolia (which attracted Turkic nomads following the battle for Manzikert):
The steppes of Vetia and Augea are nowadays largely dominated by Makhar Humans and Ogre tribes, with Hobgoblins being a persistent but minor part of this volatile, shifting landscape. It was not always such. The very first true lords of the steppes were Hobgoblins, for it was they who first mastered mounted combat and spread terror far and wide with their wolf chariots and riders. The Fourth Age, that ruinous age of iron and barbarity, saw Orcs and Goblins rise like a savage tide in Vetia, and their Hobgoblin cousins were likewise ascendant on the vast steppes in the inlands of Vetia and Augea. Later on, the Hobgoblins were overshadowed by Ogres and Humans, but the Fourth Age were their absolute peak of dominance on the steppes. Yet Hobgoblin ascendancy predates this age, for the very first hordes of mounted steppe nomads appeared during the late Third Age, when their chariots and later wolf riders struck terror into western Augea and pillaged far afield. The warlike exploits of these most ancient of Hobgoblin tribes were the subject of alarm and fear during their heyday, and echoes of this chaos and scare still lives on in scattered legends and surviving writings, in the shape of odd tribal names and short descriptions of war and fabulously unlikely conquest of cities by cunning Hobgoblins armed with bronze weapons.
While the original tribal confederacies that ravaged the late Third Age are long gone, leftovers from this initial age of greatness still lingers in the steppe-like inland of Minor Augea, for here the Kundrocerian Hobgoblins roam the small steppe, serving as vassals to the Infernal Dwarves of the Barren Mountains and clashing with local enemies such as Vermin Swarms, Orcs and Goblins, as well as Avrasian and Chiomarean Humans.
The many varied landscapes of Minor Augea are home to several archaic remnants from earlier ages, who have managed to preserve much of their ancient way of life and war. The Kundrocerians are the most archaic, and their tribes are still alive and kicking as ruthless slavers, raiders and ambushers; an echo of great invasions during bygone ages of ruin, still sporting wolf chariots and ravenous riders with devious cunning in their quivers and cruelty in their eyes.
Please share your thoughts, criticism and ideas on this Hobgoblin sidekick proposal for the fantasy Hittite Infernal Dwarves of the Barren Mountains.