Creatures of the Cold Wastes (3)

Today, Hobgoblins are under the cold spotlight of the 'Cold Wastes' series of posts, even though they are not featured in the Fafhrd and Grey Mouser tales. Rather, they are a reminiscence of my early gaming days. As most gamers my age (I'm 43), I started with 1st ed AD&D. For some unfathomable reason, Hobgoblins in that game were invariably portrayed in Japanese armour and helmet. At the time, I was already fascinated with all things East Asian, hence the hobgoblin was a particularly beloved monster of mine.

Many years later, the Monstrous Compendium of 2nd ed AD&D had its 'hobgoblin' entry illustrated by the talented DiTerlizzi, who portrayed the hobgoblin with an Inner Asian rather than East Asian demeanour. Again, this illustration struck me as very evocative of an imaginary Inner Asian cold wilderness inhabited by dangerous humanoids.

I've borrowed the illustration for today's post. For a Celestial Empire game, and given its vaguely Mongolian outfit, I will consider this creature as an Inner Asian variant of the more civilised Chīmèi (魑魅 – see p113 of the rule book), and call it a Dímèi (狄魅 – 狄 means 'Northern barbarian', and 魅 is short for 魑魅).

Differences with the Chīmèi as described on p113 of the rule book:
  • Lamellar armour 6 AP, and round shield
  • spells: only INT/4 spells are known
The above modifications are to convey the idea that the Dímèi rely more on brute force and less on sorcery than their Southern brethren...

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