Red Hand

The Red Hand goblin tribe is a properly a chiefdom under the warchief Uglúk, a brilliant and charismatic warlord who united dozens of fractured and warring goblin tribes under the pretense of goblin brotherhood, revenge against humankind, and religious and traditional devotion to Maglubiyet. These ideals were sufficient to unite the tribes, but the glue that holds it together is actually the cult of personality surrounding the red dragon Nalavara, the devil dragon, whose efforts in the Goblin War nearly conquered Cormyr and resulted in the death of King Azoun IV. Though rumors of Nalavara's return may (or may not) be true, sufficient members of the Red Hand's council of chieftains (who wield little authority, but can sway their tribes) believe in the dragon's return, or at least fear to challenge Uglúk's claim, that the tribes remain united.

The Red Hand tribe draws its name from the large hobgoblin print (in red paint) slapped onto the breastplate of the tribe's armor. The first lieutenants were stamped with Uglúk's print, then that duty was resigned to individual council chieftains, and today lieutenants print their men with their own prints. Those who Uglúk (or Nalavara?) exalts above their clan commitments to serve under him personally are instead stamped with a dragon's claw in a secret rite, in which Nalavara is said to scratch the breastplate personally, serving both to remind the goblin of who he serves, and that no armor can protect him from her wrath if he fails in his duty.

The Red Hand is based around the settlement of Manan Ba'arin in the Stonelands.

History of the Red Hand

The Red Hand was originally twelve unaligned bands of hobgoblins, all veterans of the Goblin War of 1371 DR. Cormyrian anthropologists recognize the following tribes (and assigned their common names):

  • The Blood Drinkers
  • The Brutal Legends
  • The Iron Swords
  • The Man Eaters
  • The Mud Bloods
  • The Murderfaces
  • The Rage Drakes
  • The Rogues
  • The Silver Snakes
  • The Skin Changers
  • The Spikes of the Manticore
  • The Stonebloods

When Uglúk and his Skin Changers began their conquest of the other goblin tribes, he made a practice of killing the existing warchief and his family as a sign of his power to the other members of the tribe, leaving them leaderless. In a few days, he would demand that the tribe sends a chieftain to a meeting with his council, thus forcing the tribe to choose the bravest chieftain from among their ranks, and to force this new chieftain to instantly conform to Uglúk's will.

Members of the Red Hand

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