Given that I’m currently fighting gremlins of my own (the guest access where I’m at could give the censors from 1984 a lesson in information control), it seems appropriate to close out the year with one of the malicious fey—in this case, the mysterious hobkins.
Like all gremlins, hobkins delight in causing chaos and destruction. Unlike other, more hands-on gremlin species, their particular joy comes from tricking their victims into destroying their own possessions—startling a maid into hurling her precious looking glass through a window, for instance, or goading a smith into dulling a masterwork dagger digging for nonexistent rats in the walls (simulated via ghost sound).
Then there are the hobkins malefactors. Gifted with psychic magic, they are able to control and direct other hobkins. Worse yet, they are not content with causing their victims to destroy mere possessions—they want their victims to destroy their loved ones. When a hobkins malefactor and his coterie descend on a village, he won't rest until every child in the vicinity is slain…ideally by his or her parents’ hands.
Interestingly, hobkins are somewhat out of phase with the Material Plane. What this means—whether they are more tied to the realm of the fey, some other dimension, or some other alien genesis is up to you.
A hobkins has fixed his glowing eyes upon the son of a glassblower. He torments the boy to the point of madness, hoping to get him to destroy five years of his father’s work—the stained glass windows for the new cathedral.
A hobkins is obsessed with an intelligent magical sword. Whenever the sword gets a new owner, the hobkins attempts to trick the owner into destroying in. After years of such pursuit, the sword has become quite paranoid, neurotically begging its owner to take more and more outlandish steps to protect it.
The Roanoke Colony has vanished. Adventurers dispatched to investigate find the village intact but abandoned. Further inspection reveals a site of slaughter in the dell below the village—children murdered by adult hands, then a mass suicide of those selfsame adults. The culprit is a hobkins malefactor and his allies. Worse yet, they had help—a black-hearted girl named Virginia Dare, whose malice originally attracted the gremlins, and who now lives among them as a queen.
—Pathfinder Bestiary 5 131
Happy New Year, everyone! Here’s to a fantastic 2017—and many more monsters, radio shows, and other surprises to come!