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Critical Role Wiki

Hobgoblins are a race of goblinoids in Exandria known for being great soldiers and military strategists. Those on the continent of Tal'Dorei almost exclusively use their talents to selflessly serve the Iron Authority and worship Bane, while those of Xhorhas tend to serve either the Luxon (if part of the Kryn Dynasty) or Lolth (if part of the Children of Malice).


Hobgoblins are Medium-sized humanoids who usually reach a height of between 5 and 6 feet and tend to weigh between 150 and 200 pounds.[1] They are generally described as having red,[7] brownish-red,[8] or deep reddish-brown[9] skin. They may have wide[10] or pointed noses.[11] Aside from the hair on their heads, which can include a beard and may be dark red[12] or simply dark,[13] the rest of their bodies are unusually smooth.[14]

The hobgoblins of Dumaran, having been twisted by Lolth, have dark black hair and pale yellow eyes.[2]


During the Calamity, Bane revealed himself to the dranassar, a strong, cunning, multitudinous race of humanoids then living in what is now Xhorhas. Many of them, enthralled by Bane's power, followed him willingly, and their capital of Ghor Dranas became the seat of the Betrayer Gods' power. Those who opposed him were bent to his will and were corrupted first. When Bane needed loyal legions, he made some dranassar slaves into hobgoblins; for other roles he twisted the dranassar into goblins and bugbears. As the war raged on, even those loyal to him were corrupted to fill the ranks.[15][16]

Ultimately, Bane and his goblinoid legions were defeated by Melora and her Free Children on what would be called the Beynsfal Plateau. For centuries after Bane's defeat, those hobgoblins who remained on the Beynsfal Plateau asserted power over the other goblinkin, and launched grand military campaigns to grow their holdings, but conquest was always followed by collapse. Then, around 722 PD,[17] the Iron Regiment devoted itself entirely to Bane, impressed their kin into military service, and began a series of conquests called the Iron Tide that conquered the entire Beynsfal Plateau in a decade and has brought it all under its firm control.[18] That empire has lasted through at least 843 PD.[19][20]

Meanwhile, following the Calamity the hobgoblins left in Xhorhas were scattered, and they fought the clans of the Iothia Moorland for scarce resources. They drew the attention of Lolth, who seduced the hobgoblins of Dumaran into the Children of Malice and granted them power over the spiders of the Vermaloc Wildwood.[2]

In early 812 PD, as Vox Machina infiltrated Thar Amphala, they encountered a hulking abomination made of stitched-together hobgoblin parts, spikes, and iron plates patrolling the streets of the dark city in the Shadowfell.[21]

The Curse of Strife[]

Though Bane was defeated by Melora in one of the final battles of the Calamity and banished beyond the Divine Gate,[22] all three races of goblinkin are still affected by the curse of strife, which allows Bane's voice to prey on their minds and compel them to evil. Hobgoblins are specifically prodded toward regimentation and conquest (lawful evil).[4]

The curse can be broken, but it is nearly impossible for a goblinkin to do so on their own. There are several ways it can be done:

  • A goblinkin born within 100 miles of a Luxon beacon does not inherit the curse. Any creature transfigured or reborn into the body of a goblinkin (such as through consecution) is likewise free of the curse.
  • In the Lushgut Forest, the Vinewreathed Enclave is a druidic order of bugbears and goblins who broke free from Bane's influence decades before 836 PD.
  • After being reduced to 0 hit points and returning to consciousness, they can make a Wisdom saving throw (DC 20), with advantage if they were brought back to life. On a success, the goblinkin breaks free from the curse of strife.
  • A goblinkin targeted by remove curse can also make this saving throw, with advantage on the save if the caster is a trusted companion.[4]

Unless the curse is broken early in life, the individual is likely to retain the same attitude toward law and chaos.[4]



Bells Hells encountered multiple hobgoblins in Bassuras: one crazed-looking individual appeared to be part of a small gang of ruffians attacking Dusk,[23] and another was selling pickles from a cart.[24]


The Iron Authority[]

Iron Authority and Rifenmist Jungle

The area controlled by the Iron Authority and the Rifenmist Jungle into which they are extending their rule. [art 2]

The hobgoblin empire controls the entirety of the Beynsfal Plateau and is pushing into the Rifenmist Jungle to subjugate the natives. Its capital is Tz'arrm, and the Iron Emperor Tz'Jarr's palace there is the 30-foot helm left behind by Bane after his defeat in the Calamity. The rest of Bane's shattered armor helps to bolster the Authority's war machine. The Iron Authority brought four other city-states on the plateaus under its control: "Rybad-Kol, city of the Forge Lords; Hdar-Fye, the necropolis of Prince Hdar; Ezordam-Haar, eyrie of the red pegasi; and Ortem-Vellak, the petrified elventree." Each of those city-states is run by a general loyal to the Iron Emperor.[25]

The Iron Authority is extremely hierarchical and regimented, with each person knowing their place exactly: whom they serve, and who serves them. This structure is promoted by constant, stirring propaganda and enforced by numerous secret police. One-tenth of the population are goblins living as second-class servants. One-fifth of the population are other races captured as slaves in the Authority's wars of conquest, and the slaves are generally laborers used to chip iron scraps from Bane's shattered armor or forage for food.[22]

Hobgoblins farther afield, north of the hostile Rifenmist Jungle and separated from the Authority's propaganda, can be somewhat more independently minded, even if their warband is loyal to the Authority.[26]

One hobgoblin who has risen to the near-divine power of a lesser idol is Ghaladron, Traitor to the Iron Crown.[27]


Hobgoblins are a common sight in Xhorhas.[4]



Dumaran and nearby features, including its relation to Rosohna, from Explorer's Guide to Wildemount.[art 3]

Dumaran is a fortress built into the western side of the Penumbra Range, facing the Vermaloc Wildwood. The hobgoblins of Dumaran are descended from survivors of the Calamity who fought the clans of the Iothia Moorland for resources. This population converted to worship Lolth and join the Children of Malice. As a result, these hobgoblins were transformed in appearance, granted dark powers, and are culturally different from typical hobgoblins found throughout the Kryn Dynasty.[28]

Hobgoblins of Dumaran despise the drow of the Kryn Dynasty for turning their backs on Lolth in favor of the Luxon. Under the command of Head Matron Vivurk Tonn, the drow and hobgoblin houses of Dumaran prepare to one day destroy the Kryn Dynasty by building paths through the Penumbra Range towards Rosohna. For the time being, the hobgoblins raid those traveling through the Vermaloc Wildwood at night, commanding the giant, poisonous arachnids living in the forest to aid in their efforts.[29] Between 810 and 820 PD[30] they decimated an entire clan, leaving only one survivor that was adopted by the Dolorav tribe.[31]

Kryn Dynasty[]

Hobgoblins are particularly common near Rosohna,[4] and one of the seven villages of the Many Hosts of Igrathad is the militant hobgoblin settlement of Oshinik-Ka, marked by stone bunkers and barricades.[32] Goblinkin born within 100 miles of a Luxon beacon are free of Bane's curse of strife, and the Kryn Dynasty has forged close ties with goblinkin.[4]

In the Ghostlands just north of Rosohna is a nomadic war band of hobgoblin Children of Malice, led by Ironeye Jaglord Brukk.[33]

A few hobgoblins (and bugbears) in the lands of the Dynasty still worship Bane in a cult called the Lords of Strife.[34]

Named hobgoblins[]


  • Gaola Mistwick, who manages the bars at The Maiden's Wish casino in Kymal
  • Ghaladron, Traitor to the Iron Crown
  • Prince Hdar, the namesake of the Iron Authority city-state of Hdar-Fye, is or was presumably a hobgoblin.[35]
  • Tz'Jarr, the Iron Emperor
  • Zuun'dak, son and only heir of Tz'Jarr



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 175.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 138.
  3. See D&D: Volo's Guide to Monsters, 5th ed., p. 119.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 174.
  5. See "The Fey Key" (3x47) from 0:50:22 through 2:24:23.
  6. See D&D: Xanathar's Guide to Everything, 5th ed..
  7. See "Cornered" (2x53) at 1:45:41.
  8. See "Race to the Tower" (1x102) at 15:29.
  9. See "Intervention" (2x63) at 3:22:28.
  10. See "Wood and Steel" (2x58) at 3:27:26.
  11. See "Cornered" (2x53) at 1:45:41.
  12. See "Intervention" (2x63) at 3:22:28.
  13. See "Cornered" (2x53) at 1:45:41.
  14. See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 125.
  15. See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, pp. 125–126.
  16. See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 173.
  17. See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 76.
  18. See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn, p. 113.
  19. In early 843 PD the Qoniira Tetrarchy, perceiving omens of terrible things to come, sent people south toward the Iron Authority to see if that empire had anything to do with the omens.  See "Exandria Unlimited: Kymal, Part 1" (E2x01) at 0:06:11.
  20. At least several months later, the Maiden's Wish casino in Kymal had a buffet option called the Iron Authority Grill.  See "Exandria Unlimited: Kymal, Part 2" (E2x02) at 1:52:28.
  21. See "Race to the Tower" (1x102) at 0:15:30.
  22. 22.0 22.1 See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 79.
  23. See "The Hellcatch Valley" (3x24) at 2:33:46.
  24. See "A Stage Set" (3x32) at 0:27:23.
  25. See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, pp. 76–77. See also pp. 79 and 126.
  26. See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 126.
  27. See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn, p. 40.
  28. See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 138. See also pp. 46–47.
  29. See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 138. See also p. 48.
  30. The Chronicles of Exandria - The Mighty Nein, p. 37. Based on Zeenoth's estimation about Yasha being in her twenties, and assuming she was at least four when she was found.
  31. Critical Role: The Mighty Nein Origins: Yasha Nydoorin, p. 6
  32. See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 141.
  33. See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 48.
  34. 34.0 34.1 See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 134.
  35. See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn, p. 114.
  36. See "Wood and Steel" (2x58) at 3:27:26.
  37. See Call of the Netherdeep, pp. 45–46.
  38. See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, pp. 251–252.


  1. Depiction of a hobgoblin from D&D: Monster Manual, page 187. This page contains unofficial Fan Content permitted under the Wizards of the Coast Fan Content Policy. Not approved/endorsed by Wizards. Portions of the materials used are property of Wizards of the Coast. ©Wizards of the Coast LLC.
  2. Clipped from a larger image in Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, p. 76.
  3. DDB Explorer's Guide to Wildemount - Sources on D&D Beyond. This file is unofficial Fan Content permitted under the Wizards of the Coast Fan Content Policy. Not approved/endorsed by Wizards. Portions of the materials used are property of Wizards of the Coast. ©Wizards of the Coast LLC.