What scares a hobgoblin?

A portion of a talk given at Greyhawk University’s recent folklore conference entitled “Haunts and Hobgoblins: A Cultural Investigation into Clan-driven Fear” is replicated here for those who were not able to attend.

Most hobgoblin fears and phobias stem from two sources. The first, and more obvious, is source is the constant state of warfare that almost all hobgoblins participate in. Since the potential for death and disfigurement is an regular occurrence in almost every hobgoblin clan, hobgoblins across our sample set were afraid of losing arms or eyes, being cleaved in twain, and being unsuspectingly maced. While we understand that hobgoblin society is complex enough to maintain law and hierarchical standings, the institutionalization of violence, feuds, vendettas, and raiding stokes many hobgoblin fears.

The second, and only slightly less common, contributor to hobgoblin anxiety is a surprisingly intricate belief system surrounding haunts, ghosts, remnants, and specters. There seems to be an obvious correlation between the feud-driven Clan system and the fear of otherworldly revenge. In the vast majority of cases studied, we found certain areas that no hobgoblin passed through; even elite members of Clans avoided these areas. In about half of the cases, there was an attending fear of madness and/or possession by the dead.

There was no statistical difference between genders in either numbers of fears nor intensity of fear.

Yes, I am afraid of ghosts

Yes, I am afraid of ghosts

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