- "Dere's nuthin in life as proper as hunt'n from da back of a 'ard taught wolf. Dere speed an' grace makes da world flow by as a stream. Prey who manage to give a good fight'n die with some dignity are way better dan does wot scream and soil der britches, but I take whatever I catch all da same..."
- —Brodai, Hobgoblin Warrior
The Hobgoblins are a distinctive sub-species of plain-dwelling Goblins that are found only within the lands to the far east, in the rolling untamed plains of the Eastern Steppes, where lies the domains of Hobgobla Khan, the greatest Greenskin empire in the known World. The Hobgoblin race are considered traitors by all of their Greenskin cousins, not because of their unbelievably treacherous nature, but by their treacherous betrayal of the Greenskin Uprising of Zharr-Naggrund.
Though hated by their kin, the Hobgoblins are nonetheless the scourge of the steppes; feared, hated and powerful in almost equal measure. Hobgoblins are widely abhorred for their cruelty, wickedness and their appalling standards of hygiene. Few Imperial Scholars would be perverse enough to note the importance differences between an ordinary Goblin and a Hobgoblin, and the truth is that the two sub-species are really quite similar.
Physically the Hobgoblins are slightly taller, almost as tall as a man, yet they still walk in a stoop posture, with a smaller nose, needle-like teeth and a perpetual sneer. Their red eyes are sly and shifty and almost all Hobgoblins have a distinct bony hump on their back, further emphasizing their slovenly slouch. This bony plate that protects a Hobgoblins back most likely evolved due to one single defining characteristic that is more extreme than all of other Greenskin race. To all those that ever faced a Hobgoblin in person, they are known famously for being horrendously, irredeemable, remorselessly, and unbelievably conniving and treacherous in their behaviors beyond those of any creature living within the world today.
Hobgoblins are completely untrustworthy, so much so that they would back-stab a friend or ally just to further their own gains without even a second thought, and would more often then not switch sides to those that can pay well, or so just happens to be on the winning side. Indeed, Hobgoblins have a deep suspicion of any creature that doesn't betray its own comrades as soon as it is slightly more advantageous to do so. Self-preservation is a very strong instinct in the Hobgoblin's mind, and they will endure any indignity to prolong or improve their miserable lives, or avoid suffering and anything like hard work. Like other goblin species, the Hobgoblin are crafty, sneaky, treacherous and near down-right the most evilest race in the world. In fact, compared to Goblins the Hobgoblins seem to bring this way of life to the extreme in their own society. Within their tribes and clans they seem to form a rather twisted society where back-stabbing, assassination, and use of poison is considered perfectly legitimate and often is a celebrated or distinguishable way of advancing in their society. Honour, traditional morals and the spirit of cooperation is entirely foreign to a Hobgoblin's mind.
When Hobgoblins are not fighting amongst themselves, they make war on other races, mostly towards the great empire of Cathay, whom they have spent much of their history fighting against. However, these Hobgoblin clans would also come across nomadic tribes of Northmen such as the Kurgan and Hung of the Eastern Steppes. Like the Hobgoblins, these human warriors are primarily nomadic horse warriors and huge running battles between thousands of mounted troops regularly sweep across the steppes, staining the plains red with hundreds of battles that have raged on for countless generations. In an effort to stem the tides of the Hobgoblin, the Emperors of Cathay built the the Great Bastion -- a thousand mile long wall hundreds of feet high, which protects Cathay's northern borders from the worst Hobgoblin or Chaos incursions. Yet the Bastion itself is just simply far too large for the Grand Empire to completely garrison, so the occasional ravening bands of Hobgoblin raiders would break or scale the walls of the Bastion and cause havoc to the rice fields and villages that lie just beyond. The Hobgoblins, for all time, will always be the ever-present threat towards the races living in or near the lands of the Eastern Steppes, and will be forever known as the Scourge of the East.
- Warhammer Bestiary (2nd Edition) -- pg 26