The Demon Haunted World
Darguun consists of three regions: the Seawall Mountains, the northern plains, and the southern wilderness. Most of the nation’s population lives in the mountains and along the two major rivers, the Ghaal and the Torlaac. The nation is home to three major goblinoid tribes and the various clans associated with them. These tribes are the Ghaal’dar clans of the lowlands, the Dhakaani clans who rule the mountain depths, and the highland clans of the Marguul.
In the Seawall Mountains, goblinoid tribes and clans continue to live as they have for the last few centuries. They spend most of their time fighting each other, following the law of the strong survive. A powerful tribe made up of the Dhakaani clans hiding deep within the mountains claims to be the direct descendants of the rulers of the old empire, and it plots a return to goblinoid glory.
Travel through the mountains is difficult; there are few established paths, and the mountain goblins are generally hostile to members of the common races. Travelers on authorized business can obtain a banner of safe passage from tribal leaders, but most tribes don’t recognize the authority of other tribes. A banner from the Lhesh Haruuc, whose stronghold is the capital of Rhukaan Draal, provides some protection, but even it doesn’t guarantee complete safety when traveling through the territory of the highland or Dhakaani clans. Many of the tribes keep slaves drawn from the common races, including humans and gnomes. These slaves are captives taken during the Last War, and the chieftains continue to look for new sources to refill their slave pens. The northern plains of Darguun were once part of Cyre. Here, the goblins and hobgoblins have taken possession of cities and villages once occupied by the common races of Galifar. Many of the structures were devastated during the Last War and have been patched together according to goblin sensibilities. The net effect creates a society that appears ramshackle and shabby. The Lhesh Haruuc commands the lowland tribes, using kobold slaves to farm the land and harvest the food to feed his subjects. Tribal conflicts are still common, but travelers who hold a banner of safe passage from the Lhesh Haruuc are usually protected from aggression.
The southern reaches, including the Torlaac Moor and the Khraal rain forest, are wilder and less settled than the northern portion of the nation. Most of the goblinoid settlements in this region can be found along the Torlaac River, with few outposts deeper in the wilderness.
Government and Politics
Darguun is a volatile nation. The Ghaal’dar tribe makes up the majority of the population, and most of the clans in this tribe yield to the authority of the Lhesh Haruuc. They follow because they respect Haruuc’s leadership and military power. Should either of those factors change, Darguun could quickly collapse into chaos and anarchy. As it is, Haruuc has little control over the mountain tribes. The Marguul and Dhakaani clans usually ignore royal edicts, and even the Ghaal’dar clans often fight one another despite Haruuc’s orders to work together.
For his part, Haruuc seeks to reshape goblinoid society to match the model of ancient Galifar. Haruuc wants to create a stable realm for his descendants, but he fears that with his death the nation will fall victim to infighting and ambitious clan lords. He has established a great court at Rhukaan Draal, and representatives of all the clans and tribes can be found there. But despite Haruuc’s best efforts, military might remains the only force the goblinoids respect, and he frequently has to use this power to quell disputes and drive through his edicts.
The Lhesh Haruuc is still firmly in control but getting older. As his strength fades and his battle prowess loses potency, his remarkable skill with words becomes increasingly instrumental in maintaining control over the tribes. In recent years, he has quietly begun looking for talented youngsters from whom he could appoint an heir, approaching the problem from the point of view of a brilliant general needing an equally skilled successor rather than as a king trying to preserve a bloodline.
Most hobgoblin mercenaries employed outside Darguun belong to Rhukaan Taash or one of the other Ghaal’dar clans. A distinctive ring of scars encircles the head of each Rhukaan Taash warrior, just above the eyes. This identifying mark is the result of painful initiation rituals each warrior goes through to prove his worth and readiness for adulthood.
At this point, the goblinoids have little to offer the other nations aside from their soldiers. Many of the dragonmarked house leaders distrust Haruuc, and so are reluctant to commit too many resources to Darguun. While all of the houses maintain outposts in Rhukaan Draal, their members are rarely found elsewhere in the realm.
- House Deneith
- House Tharashk
- Rhukaan Taash (Razor Crown)
- Kech Shaarat (Bladebearers)
- Kech Volaar (Wordbearers)
Traditionally, the modern goblinoids of Draguun worshipped either the Shadow or the Mockery. During the last century they were been introduced to the other gods of the Sovereign Host. Even with their apparent absence the Lhesh Haruuc follows the teachings of Dol Dorn and has done much to restore and maintain the worship of other Sovereigns Host among the lowland tribes. Temples dedicated to Dol Dorn, Dol Arrah, and Balinor can be found in the city of Rhukaan Draal.
The lowland goblinoids live in the rebuilt ruins of old Cyre towns, while the highland and mountain tribes live in natural caverns or simple longhouse communities. The larger Ghaal’dar clans and the Dhakaani clans have their own capitals, but one major city dwarfs all others: Rhukaan Draal, the capital of Darguun and the headquarters of the Lhesh Haruuc.
- Rhukaan Draal(Metropolis)
- Volaar Draal(Small City)
- Wyvernskull(Small Town)
- Gorgonhorn(Fortified Village)
The land of Darguun was once part of Cyre. Over the course of the Last War, most of the towns, temples, and fortresses in the region were razed and abandoned. Dozens of ruins remain—some seized by the goblinoids, others shunned for the curses, ghosts, or other horrors that haunt them.