Abridged History of the 10th Age
The goblin-kinds comprise a great bulk of the Youngest Races of Arunë. The goblins and goblin-kin arrived during the dark times of the Third Age. Like the gnolls, goblin-kin came from the east, crossing the Straits of the Moon and entering the domains of the created (and uncreated) races. Scholars of all kinds attribute this mass migration to skirmishes in the eastern regions between the Trolls (who had arrived there only recently in the Third Age after being driven back by the elves) and the goblins dwelling there in the east.
Goblin legends speak of a great fear, a fear of Trolls as a dominating, driving force that came and enslaved many of their kind. It is no wonder, then, that they fled. Little did they realize that in the dark places of the west those creatures still lurked.
Goblins are an organized folk, dividing themselves into kingdoms and sub-kingdoms. In many cases Hobgoblins act as overseers, since they commonly form a knightly caste within goblin societies. Goblins are an easily dominated folk and only feel comfortable with other close goblin-kin—Hobgoblins and goblins get along well. Goblins are constantly dominated by Trolls and Orcs, Ogres and other larger and more impressive creatures.
This is one of the reasons why goblins make pacts with Hobgoblins – they are large, militaristic, and smart. Goblin-kings rarely delegate real power to Hobgoblins, preferring to keep them at arms length as part of a military noble class.
Larger and stronger than their small cousins, Hobgoblins most often serve as knights and upper level nobility within goblin kingdoms. Sometimes they even act as kings and overlords themselves (though this is unheard of on the far side of the Straights of the Moon). Why they do not gravitate to this position of leadership is unknown (though of course, Reynarius di Llun has some theories on the matter which he expounds loudly at all opportunities).
Hobgoblins have also been known to domesticate Minotaur Lizards for the purposes of using them as mounts. These Hobgoblin-knights also tend to hire themselves out as small self-contained mercenary companies (when not in the service of some Goblin king) and can do considerable damage to a countryside in a very short period of time.
Goblins from beyond the Straights of the Moon are of a different breed. While they are still short and squeaky, they have far more perminent social organizations and have developed strange cultures all their own.