Didn’t Make The Cut: Firstborn Hobgoblins as Warlock Patrons

In the “Book of Conflict”, when discussing hobgoblin religion, we touched on a topic under the heading “Other Firstborn Hobgoblins”. Here, we explained that the hobgoblin pantheon, known as Gheru-bareg, was actually composed of Firstborn hobgoblins and that there were other Firstborn hobgoblins besides those who are currently deities (Sidebar: Other Firstborn Hobgoblins).

These particular Firstborn hobgoblins, while not gods themselves, were special immortal legions of hobgoblins incredibly old and with unfathomable levels of combat experience. They are generally sent to the Material Plane as envoys of the deities and are referred to by simple names such as envoy, representative, scout, or warrior to keep them from standing out individually.

Still, some among them might see themselves as equal to the hobgoblin pantheon or might wish to assert their individuality. Should any decide to do so, they could exist as significant powers and influential entities in their own right, even without being gods. Naturally, among these Firstborn hobgoblins, it’s possible for some to be more powerful and experienced than others. Logically, the stronger ones might be more inclined to think individually and to drift away from the influence of deities.

In the final section of the “Book of Conflict”, stats for some Firstborn Hobgoblins are available. The nameless examples here ranged from CR 9-11. Of course, these are the ones more practical for use in games. In an epic game, it wouldn’t be surprising to have multiple CR20+ Firstborn hobgoblins. Some of these high-level entities might have taken steps toward becoming deities and might even be considered as warlock patrons. After all, aren’t warlock patrons non-deity but powerful outsiders? Some Firstborn hobgoblins might have ventured down this path.

Some of these Firstborn hobgoblin warlock patrons might be in close communication with existing hobgoblin deities. Particularly, patrons in contact with deities like Vual (neutral, deity of freedom) and Chaxar (good, deity of knighthood) could emerge. Although Malath (evil, dominant leader of the pantheon) might be too dominant to allow such ventures, some evil patrons in communication with Befuun (evil, the deity of spellcasters) and Ychelcu (evil, the deity of death) could be seen.

Regardless of alignment, Firstborn hobgoblin warlock patrons can be utilized across a wide spectrum. As a suggestion, it would be better for theme and lore consistency not to overlook the fact that most are “warlike” outsiders. All Firstborn hobgoblins were created by the Defeated One (evil, creator god of all goblinoids) to be warriors. Naturally, what they know best and have been doing for thousands of years is warfare. The most basic use of such warlock patrons would be along these lines.

However, contrary to all propositions, could there not be a Firstborn hobgoblin warlock patron who is tired of wars and has become completely pacifist? Of course, there could be. What about a protective patron selecting warlocks only from a specific hobgoblin, goblin, or bugbear subrace? Similarly, another who harbors a terrible hatred against a specific goblinoid, brutal race, or a completely different species? Certainly, why not? Perhaps in a setting you create, where Brutal Races are the dominant species, all warlock patrons are Firstborn hobgoblins. This topic is entirely at the discretion of the DM and players.

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