Hadregash is the strongest of the four goblin hero-gods who helped organize the goblinoids into the first tribes. Goblinoids now worship him, along with the other barghest heroes: his consort Venkelvore, wolflike Zarongel, and ugly Zogmugot.1
Long ago the goddess Lamashtu stole four barghest servants of Asmodeus and brought them into her service. (Goblin First Songs alternatively claim that she gave birth to the barghests.)2 These barghests found that when they killed mortals, each drop of spilled blood would turn into a goblin. Lamashtu adopted them as her children, and in exchange they swore loyalty to her.34
Hadregash became fond of goblinoids, particularly hobgoblins, and taught them tribal loyalty, strategic thinking, and deference to authority. He also spread to them the belief that they should rule Golarion, and the other races are only worthy to be slaves. The three other hero-gods, jealous of Hadregash's power, once tried to unite against him: they promised to tell him the secret of Zarongel's pelt of living fire as part of a trap to bring him down, but Hadregash was too powerful and made a swift, violent retribution. After the three other hero-gods surrendered and promised to never raise arms against him again, Hadregash allowed them to live, satisfied that they were fully subjugated to his leadership.25
However, during the fight he was wounded by the others, and his blood later dripped onto a nearby worm. This transformed it into the first goblin snake, which delighted Hadregash so much that before tending to his wound, he spilled his blood on more worms to transform them. To this day, some believe those snakes resemble Hadregash.2
For their safety, Lamashtu eventually relocated herself and the goblin hero-gods from the Universe to the Outer Rifts. She drew a corner of Hell across the Maelstrom to her realm Kurnugia, which became known as Basalfeyst, the goblin hero-gods' new realm. Before departing, Hadregash charged his lieutenants with the task of conquering Golarion in the name of goblinoid supremacy.26
Hadregash appears as a muscular barghest with smoke-coloured fur. Hobgoblins usually depict him as a hobgoblin clad in dark iron armour and carrying a blood-stained flail in one hand and a chain attached to a human or elven slave or prisoner in the other. In both forms, he is depicted sneering with glinting eyes expressing cruel guile.2
The other barghest hero-gods respect and follow Hadregash because of his great strength. All four wish for goblinoids to dominate Golarion, but their methods differ: Hadregash considers Venkelvore too hungry and willing to eat the lesser races, Zarongel too reckless in combat, and Zogmugot too clever for her own good. Lamashtu is proud of their strength and does not care about Hadregash's lawful affinity, and in turn all four remain loyal to her.542
Asmodeus considers Hadregash to be too bloodthirsty for his taste. In Kaoling, his priests often disagree with those of General Susumu over battle strategies, but their followers always obey when a decision has been made. Hadregash is opposed by all good-aligned deities.2
Most of Hadregash's faithful are hobgoblins due to their militaristic culture, where Hadregash's teachings lead them to respect hierarchy and consider their chieftains to be particularly blessed by him. Goblins respond well enough to Hadregash's strength in leadership, but bugbears are too disorganised and interested in sowing chaos for most to worship him. Non-goblinoid worshipers of Hadregash are even rarer, since one of Hadregash's commands is to establish global goblinoid supremacy.2
Priests of Hadregash are most often martial clerics, warpriests, or inquisitors. They study, dress, and act more like military officers than religious leaders, with a disciplined routine of perimeter patrols, troop inspections, and maintenance of their dress armor—even among goblins, where such discipline is harder to come by. They tend to their congregations by working to protect them through fostering organized, unified numerical superiority in battle. Among hobgoblins, they also manage and maintain their stock of slaves and sacrifice those who can no longer serve—or refuse to.2
Shrines and worship
His goblin followers worship at small home shrines, with goblins paying tribute with songs and especially shiny baubles taken from humanoids. (While Hadregash prefers blood sacrifices, he directs hobgoblins to goblin tribes that stumble on powerful magic items.) In large goblin tribes, one of its members might gain Hadregash's divine favor and become a priest, at which point this worship becomes more communal in nature.2
Among hobgoblins, worship—much like the rest of their culture—is more organized than goblins, though no less simple and subdued. Their altars are drenched and encrusted with the blood of sacrifices, and are kept near slave pens from which hobgoblin priests of Hadregash draw their regular sacrifices.2
Particularly devoted followers of Hadregash declare their obedience by spending a full hour vocalizing goblinoid superiority in all its forms and among all its races.2
Few who worship Hadregash believe that holidays are worth the resources spent on them. One type of event, however, does bring a tribe together in Hadregash's name.
A ritualistic tournament held whenever more than one hobgoblin vies for a vacant role as chieftain, the Rite of Newblood often results in a single surviving winner, or with any survivors being named by the winner as advisors to the new chieftain.2
Goblins abhor writing as tremendous blasphemy, and most hobgoblins do not bother. Rather than a formal unholy text, goblinoids who venerate Hadregash share the First Songs, an ever-evolving collection of rhyming chants and songs whose few constant entries focus on the goblin hero-gods.2
For additional as-yet unincorporated sources about this subject, see the Meta page.
- “Other Gods” in Gods and Magic, 51. Paizo Inc., 2008 .
- “Hadregash, Greatest Supreme Chieftain Boss” in Assault on Longshadow, 72–77. Paizo Inc., .
- Classic Monsters Revisited, 20. Paizo Inc., 2008 .
- “Chapter 3: The Great Beyond” in Planar Adventures, 204. Paizo Inc., 2018 .
- Inner Sea Gods, 189. Paizo Inc., 2014 .
- “Chapter 3: The Great Beyond” in Planar Adventures, 206. Paizo Inc., 2018 .
- “The Outer Sphere” in The Great Beyond, A Guide to the Multiverse, 28. Paizo Inc., 2009 .
- “Other Dimensions” in The Great Beyond, A Guide to the Multiverse, 49. Paizo Inc., 2009 .