Though the main Hobgoblin nation, such as it is, resides of a different continent to Eramar, sizable number of Hobgoblins of a less warlike disposition count the wilds around Rook, as well as Nyhavn, as their home. Formed from what are effectively renegades and separatists from the main Hobgoblin regime of the Okran Mhel, these groups have relocated to maintain their life away from unending military endeavors and campaigns. With assistance from several of the Heroes of Rook, these encampments and settlements continue to grow and thrive, assisting with the banditry and wildlife problems surrounding the wilds outside Rook, whether Rook condones it or not. Strong ties have been forged with Goblin Quarter and indeed several ‘agents’ of the new fledgeling battalions, known collectively as the Haem Orrech, reside within the Quarter under the cover and protection of the Goblins who reside there.
Understandably, with the exception of those surrounded by goblins in Goblin Quarter, the hobgoblins of the Haem Orrech are almost exclusively in units comprised only of hobgoblins. Though a sizable contingent live within Nyhavn, they tend to keep to themselves whilst maintaining a polite and cordial relationship with the other inhabitants of the town. With each small settlement, or societal group within another settlement, the hobgoblins are generally organised into units that still echo their military origins, a unit leader having seniority and overall operational command. Such a position is awarded via merit, and the nature of the group often has a previous leader promote a promising member to their position, taking a mentoring role till they deem the promoted member ready to either take over the unit, or lead another.
An expanding population means that each potential generation represents either a bevvy of new units or effectively reinforcements. Though the Haem Orrech no longer partake in the military campaigns of their former home, some habits die hard. It is for this reason that the various battalions, a collective formation of units, still aim to defend and expand upon bases and land. Each unit itself tends to comprise of ten to twenty members, depending on casualties and how experienced the group it, with fewer often meaning the unit as a whole is older and has had the chaff weeded out.
A battalion however has no set number of units, but instead focuses on one location. With the move to many of the stone and wooden shaped locations around Rook, this has meant that most of the battalions have adopted a more loosely designated territory, having units spread out across multiple smaller locations. Due to this, the younger members of a unit serve as messengers between units and in time of need or necessity actually migrate between units when required.
With the hierarchy practically set in place by the units and battalions the Hobgoblins themselves are well organised and methodical in their interactions and dealings with each other. The main issue comes from dealings with other races. Though the Haem Orrech intends to leave behind the hobgoblin’s overly warlike roots, to most outsiders and Hobgoblin is simply a Hobgoblin, and thus highly likely to conform to the consistently aggressive and territorial nature widely regarded to be an inherent part of their race. This understandably has led to these renegades being remarkably more circumspect than would normally be the case when it comes to their neighbours. Though pleasantly surprised by their reception in Nyhavn, the Haem Orrech aren’t naive enough to expect this treatment anywhere other than Goblin Quarter, who harbor several agents mainly due to the added assistance of procuring materials from outside Rook.
The hobgoblins settled around Rook take good care to try and maintain bases out of the way of common paths and roads, working to silence any witnesses from attacks against bandit camps and similar ‘enemies’ of Rook. That no lone forester has stumbled across them and reported it to Rook is either a testament to the hobgoblin skill of maintaining orders or slightly suspicious, though as of yet the number of woodsmen, foresters and hunters who disappear hasn’t been reported as appreciably higher.
Overall it is said a single unit commands all the battalions who have split from their former empire, just one unit who represent the entire overarching command structure of the Haem Orrech. Which unit that is however ius up for debate, with multiple units claiming the title and mandate, whilst not working against the others doing so. It is likely such an occurrence is part of a simple yet effective shell game to preserve the leadership against the occasional attacks from their former nation.
Each encampment still holds true to the regimental lifestyle, with regular drills and training to ensure the populace is kept sharp in the case of danger. Even the younger members are taught basic warfare from the age they can walk and hold a weapon and tales tell of the child soldiers used by pragmatic, if remarkably unkind, hobgoblins from history. As expected then, the worship of deities who govern war is widespread within the hobgoblin ranks and no matter how much the Haem Orrech may state they are now angling towards a more pacifist life, such practices regularly continue.
One practice most outside the hobgoblin community aren’t often informed about is their use of ritual tattoo and scarification. Though not as prevalent as some orcish tribes, many milestones in a hobgoblin’s life are marked upon their bodies as a personal record of the deed or event. This is in part why many older hobgoblins have a particularly leathery skin, as the scarification process causes the skin to thicken as a lattice of scars and tattoos are woven and inked across it. What is interesting to note is that heavily contrasting inks are very rarely used, for to broadcast personal achievements would be seen as prideful and lacking respect to those who have accomplished more. Instead inks only a few shades darker, or indeed lighter, than the skin are used so the marks are visible, but only to those who pay unduly close attention or those that are close enough to the individual to merit a more private viewing.
As consummate omnivores, hobgoblins have little issue with food and don’t bring morals to the dining table. Should something be killed and also happen to be edible, then it’s classed as a meal. Though other races may baulk at eating other sentient races, hobgoblins rarely see any issue, especially as by their reasoning the original owner has no further use for it. This cannibalistic pragmatism doesn’t mean that they will go out of their way to consume other sentients however - most food is sourced by hunting and foraging.
It’s surmised that such cannibalistic tendencies aren’t even overly favoured, but instead a byproduct of a no-nonsense approach to warfare and the demands of supplying a functioning army. Instilled across generations as far back as any hobgoblin can remember, and given the lack of concern or taboo over the matter, it seems to be a habit that is unlikely to break even with the proximity to Rook. Indeed, it’s likely one of the reasons the goblins are happy to liaise with the hobgoblins, naturally having no provision for their favoured meats whilst living within Rook.
A great delicacy for Hobgoblins however tends to be sweet fruits and hardy root vegetables - such fare often being unlikely to be supplied to an army on the march or even garrisoning an area. As such with the Haem Orrech now having much more static grounds for settlement, fruit trees and vegetable patches are a more common sight in the woods for those used to travelling the less frequented paths.
Tens of generations ago, the Okran Mhel, loosely translated as ‘the soldiers of Okran’, was formed by an enterprising hobgoblin general by the name of Ghel Okran who managed to amalgamate the various warlike tribes of hobgoblins. Forming an army of conquest, Okran’s army forged their way across the continent of their origin and, after the construction of a vast fleet, across the seas to their neighbouring continent to continue their conquest. This military crusade was so successful that rather than splinter into several smaller armies upon Okran’s eventual natural death the empire instead lasted. Something of a novelty for hobgoblins, this led to the establishment of several city fortresses from which to continuously sally forth and conquer more and more of the surrounding areas.
Such a life would content many a hobgoblin, though some wished for more with each contact with another subjugated and demolished settlement. A small number of dissenting hobgoblins saw what they were destroying and annexing and wished for the same, and it was through this desire than the Haem Orrech was born. With the attributed meaning of ‘those free under Haem’, the nascent group set about co opting more members of units and, in time, whole units themselves. Of course such a course of action was fraught with danger, for to go against their overarching orders was the highest treason and almost unthinkable. Such was the desire for a life free from constant warfare that the group managed to expand even with the threats of execution and worse, battalion decimation.
Though Haem was a revolutionary, the fate of many revolutionaries is death, and Haem was in no short order captured and executed for his transgressions, with his home battalion being decimated as punishment for not rooting him out themselves. This however had opposite the desired effect, turning Haem into a martyr and figurehead for the movement. Gathering their resources and what soldiers they could, the Haem Orrech forged their way north and broke apart from their former nation and cities, constantly harassed by those hobgoblin armies loyal to the old status quo.
Over years the renegades were whittled down in a series of skirmishes and drawn out attacks that saw their number deplete faster than new recruits could be tempted to join. Down to their last few battalions, the Haem Orrech came across their greatest fortune - the Heroes of Rook. Helping to set up the first true settlement and a base of operations, the Heroes of Rook gave the Haem Orrech that which they needed most at that time - a place to start calling home, and a respite from constant war. Further assistance saw the hobgoblins establishing trade with the halfling settlement of Hrolkshar of the Shar Collective, trading local flora for provisions and the materials required to expand. Recent developments have seen agents from the Haem Orrech living within Goblin Quarter, transported there by their own prowess. Provisions and liaising with the Heroes of Rook once more saw several dangers from around Rook eliminated, allowing the hobgoblins to take up residence close to, but not openly within, Rook. The locale of Nyhavn has also allowed another sizable hobgoblin enclave to maintain a presence near Rook whilst not being close enough to be a noticeable threat.