Dominion of the Red Tide
The Dominion of the Red Tide is the largest hobgoblin kingdom in the world. Located on a remote and inhospitable archipelago in the far north, the Dominion is known to the outside world mostly as an exporter of fear and piracy. Their navy is small but well-trained; this fact, combined with their territory’s distance from other major naval powers, has preserved the Dominion for nearly a century against all would-be invaders.
The Dominion’s main adversaries consist mostly of scrags and sahuagin invaders, though they did displace several Darfellan tribes in the process of establishing their borders. This has caused tension between the Dominion and the local Darfellan, tension which occasionally becomes known elsewhere in the world. The only other serious opponent of the Dominion are the occasional sorties undertaken by other major navies in response to Dominion piracy, as well as other pirates who are themselves looking to take a piece of the Dominion’s wealth. It is not uncommon for privateers bearing letters of marque and reprisal from Ostan or other nations to attempt to make their presence known in Dominion waters; such privateers usually find themselves taken in the night by the fearsome Red Marines.
The Dominion enjoy relatively civil relations with the Aventi; the two societies’ extremely lawful tendencies allow them to relate to one another formally, and treaties exist between the two cultures to govern such relations.
The emblem of the Dominion is a red tidal wave on a blue field spangled with nine white stars, one for each clan.
The Dominion is ruled over by the Council of Nine, the warchiefs of the nine clans. The positions are by right of arms; any hobgoblin may challenge the leader of his clan for leadership of the clan and thereby take his place on the Council. These fights are not always to the death; the hobgoblins are pragmatic enough to know that a strong warrior is a terrible thing to waste. Deposed warchiefs are prohibited from re-challenging for a period of thirteen moons, and must achieve a great deed in service to the tribe before that time has passed.
The Dominion was originally composed of nine disparate tribes of hobgoblins across the world. Roughly a hundred years ago, these nine tribes held a summit at the top of the world, where it was decided that their respective clans’ needs would be best met through uniting and conquering. Treaties were struck, and a navy was massed, and the hobgoblins set themselves to the task of taking some land and creating a kingdom.
The Dominion is rigidly lawful. Everybody has clear expectations and obligations related to their role in society. Punishment is swift and harsh. Corruption is uncommon, but so is mercy. Those who are not of use to society are turned out at best, or killed at worst.
Every hobgoblin male is required to enlist in the navy at the age of sixteen. The term of service is a minimum of four years, only after which is a hobgoblin man permitted to take wives and begin a family. None are exempt, not even scholars, wizards, or clerics.
Obeying orders is the paramount ideal in Dominion society, and society as a whole is strongly regimented and militaristic. Those who have a difficult time conforming frequently leave of their own accord long before their proclivities lead to trouble.
The territories of the Dominion are arrayed near the mouth of a major northern glacier. The face of this glacier occasionally weeps red, iron-rich water, which occasionally spreads across the Dominion’s waters. On these occasions, the tides are reminiscent of blood; viewing this as an omen, the original Council of Nine adopted the red waters as the symbol of their new domain.