Difference between revisions of "Geoff"
|Line 1:||Line 1:|
|caption = The arms of Geoff, as depicted in the ''[[Living Greyhawk Gazetteer]] (2000)
|caption = The arms of Geoff, as depicted in the ''[[Living Greyhawk Gazetteer]](2000).
|name = Grand Duchy of Geoff
|name = Grand Duchy of Geoff
Latest revision as of 22:16, 13 November 2014
|Grand Duchy of Geoff|
|The arms of Geoff, as depicted in the Living Greyhawk Gazetteer (2000).|
|Ruler||Grand Duke-in exile Owen I|
|Government||Feudal monarchy swearing fealty to Keoland|
|Provinces||(formerly) six high counties, numerous elven lordships among nomadic woodland tribes, and a few dwarf and gnome lordships in the Stark Mounds; (currently) several ill-managed "provinces" commanded by the most powerful giants inhabiting former human cities|
|Resources||Fur, wool, copper, silver, gold, timber, gemstones|
|Coinage||Griffon (pp), lion (gp), eagle (ep), hawk (sp), owl (cp)|
|Languages||Common, Flan, Keolandish, Elvish, Halfling, Orcish, Goblin, Giant|
|Religions||Old Faith, Pelor, Allitur, Obad-Hai, Beory, Ehlonna, Phyton, Fharlanghn, Saint Cuthbert, Norebo, the Seldarine, gnomish pantheon|
Geoff, properly known as the Grand Duchy of Geoff, is a ducal political state of the Flanaess.
As described in the original World of Greyhawk Fantasy World Setting setting, the Duchy of Geoff was at peace and safe from the ravages of war that threatened the continent. Later published boxed sets and supplements such as From the Ashes, Greyhawk Wars, Against the Giants: The Liberation of Geoff, and the Living Greyhawk Gazetteer described how the region was transformed in Common Year (CY) 583 / Flan Tracking (FT) 2463 as armies of giants from the Crystalmist Mountains mounted a brutal invasion. Much of the Duchy was destroyed or enslaved.
Geography and climate
Geoff is situated in the western Sheldomar Valley region of the Flanaess. The nation is bordered by the Crystalmists to the west, the Barrier Peaks to the north, the Stark Mounds to the south, and the Javan River to the east. It's closest neighbors are the Valley of the Mage to the north, Gran March to the east, and Sterich to the south. Geoff encompasses the entire Hornwood, most of the Oytwood, and the western portion of the Dim Forest.
Due to its isolated position, Geoff experiences some unusual weather. Morning fog is quite common near the Dim Forest, contributing to northeastern Geoff's reputation for secrecy and hauntings. Rain is plentiful, with short, violent thunderstorms. Geoff experiences significant snowfall in winter, especially in the mountains and western regions.
The human folk of Geoff show strong Flan racial characteristics, tempered by Suel and Oeridian influences. Sylvan elves inhabit the Oytwood, Dim, and Hornwood forests, and dwarves dwell in the Crystalmist and Barrier Peaks mountain ranges. Gnomes are present in the hilly regions south of Gorna. Halflings are also found in Geoff.
As of 591 CY, the population of Geoff was numbered at 90,000 persons, the vast majority being humans. Elves, halflings, dwarves, and gnomes make up less than 20% of the total population. The land also includes vast numbers of uncounted orcs, goblins, giants, and other fell creatures.
The most popular deities in Geoff are those of the Old Faith: Pelor, Allitur, Obad-Hai, and Beory. Other popular deities include Ehlonna, Phyton, Fharlanghn, Saint Cuthbert, and Norebo. The Seldarine and gnomish pantheon also have strong followings.
The most widely-spoken languages in Geoff include Common, Flan, Keolandish, Elvish, Halfling, Orcish, Goblin, and Giant.
In the Living Greyhawk campaign, the Flan language of Geoff is based on Welsh. The country is called "Gyruff" in Flan and its people are the "Gyri."
Prior to 584 CY, the Grand Duchy of Geoff consisted of six high counties, numerous elven lordships among nomadic woodland tribes, and a few dwarf and gnome lordships in the Stark Mounds. Currently, there are several ill-managed "provinces" commanded by the most powerful giants inhabiting former human cities.
Geoff's chief of state is the Grand Duke, also known as the "Brenin." The Grand Duke rules for life. The current Grand Duke is Owen I, who has been living in exile in Shiboleth, Gran March since 584 CY, due to the nation being overrun by giants during the Greyhawk Wars.
The distribution of legislative authority is not detailed in sourcebooks. It is likely, based upon the "six high counties" mentioned in the Living Greyhawk Gazetteer, as well as the town descriptions in Against the Giants, The Liberation of Geoff, that there was some provincial and town legislative authority.
In the Living Greyhawk campaign, each Cantrev is ruled by a Llwyr (baron) or Arglwythi (baron for smaller cantrevi). These Llwyri, along with the Peers of Geoff (adventurers and other worthies named by the Duke) and other selected officials (High Mage, Ex-Chequer, etc.), form the High Court. The High Court provides legislative support for the Duke. The Old Faith Druids are somewhat separate from the rest of the Duchy, having some autonomy and at the same time influencing both executive and legislative decisions for the Duchy. The Dwarven, Elven, and Gnomish nations are autonomous and not bound by laws made by the High Court.
Geoff's coat of arms is blazoned thus: Per pale sable and argent a griffin rampant counterchanged. The coat of arms is illustrated at the top of this page.
Prior to 584 CY, Geoff's most valuable resources were fur, wool, copper, silver, gold, timber, and gemstones.
Geoff's standard coinage consists of the platinum griffon (pp), gold lion (gp), electrum eagle (ep), silver hawk (sp), and copper owl (cp).
Since the giant incursions, Geoff's roads are in disrepair. Traveling upon them is relatively safe, however, as giants tend to ignore roads to take the most direct overland path.
Prior to 584 CY, Geoff's military consisted of archers (mostly sylvan elves and half-elves), cavalry and pikemen. Very little evidence of an organized Geoffite army currently exists. Survivors of the giant invasion mounted limited guerrilla warfare or fled to Gran March or Sterich, and from there encourage the retaking of Geoff. As of 588 CY, many Knights of the Watch and Dispatch are based in the town of Hochoch, mounting small raids.
Geoff in the Living Greyhawk RPGA campaign
The Grand Duchy of Geoff is also a playable region in the Living Greyhawk game. Players who join the RPGA can create characters (PCs) from Geoff and advance in level as they explore the region through adventures ordered from the RPGA for home play or at gaming conventions.
The Geoff region has been consistently ranked in online polls as one of the favorite Living Greyhawk regions amongst players.
The Duchy of Geoff is divided intro 13 cantrevi. Each is varied in its geographical features, resources, and military might. The catrevi are: Araul Anterth, Blodyn Cain, Cymeravon, Daden Bryd, Dwyr, Erynyth, Ffrwythlon Dol, Gwyrth Bryn, Melgorn, Rhad Derwyth, Rhwng yr Coed, Rhychdir Rhos, and Ystrad Cloer. In addition, the three elven nations, the Dwarven lands in the mountains, and the gnomes of the Stark Mounds further divide up the Duchy. The Cantreval history and political system is complex.
The Dwur (Dwarves) of Gyruff are organized into three Clan Holds. Clan Deepholm is just West of the cantrev of Ystrad Cloer and is home to the Three-Hold Thane that rules over all dwarves. Deepholm is known for its ale and its military might. Clan Stonereaver's hold is in the Barrier Peaks and the clan is known for their magical capability. Clan Underhill is composed of Hill Dwarves (the other clans are Mountain Dwarves) and resides in the low hills or Urtcheck. Clan Underhill is known for their mining skill.
The Dim forest is largely overtaken by the forces of the Shadow Dragon, though many elven towns remain in elven hands (predominantly Wood Elves). The Oytwood is home to the Grey Elves and the Weeping Council which guides them. The High Elves reside in the Hornwood, recently reclaimed from the giants and led by a new High King.
The Stark Mounds is in the southern area of Geoff and creates the border between Geoff and Sterich. In these rolling lands live the Noniz (Gnomes). There are 13 clans of Gnomes led by a king, who rules from Moundgnomery. They are constantly targeted by goblinoid units under giant control due to several pivotal contributions the gnomes have provided to the Gyri in the war against the giants. The giants hope these goblinoid units will prevent further gnomish interference.
The Living Geoff campaign has a number of meta-organizations to which player characters can belong. These provide additional detail to the setting.
Historically, the military of Geoff was divided up into cantreval units. These could come together during times of war. This did not work well during the initial giant attack, slowing response time and contributing to the ease with which the giants gained control of the Duchy. During the war against the giants an Army of Liberation was created and cantreval units were disbanded. With the victory over the giants in CY595, the Army of Liberation was disbanded and cantrevi could once again maintain armies. In addition, a central force called the Brenin's Fist was created to provide a more rapid response for Duchy-wide defense.
In addition to the cantreval militias and the Brenin's Fist, two other organizations provide military might. The Longbowmen of Geoff are an independent organization that attracts the finest Gyri archers. The Olwythi are rangers, monitoring the wilderness and serving the Gyir as well as the land. Both were formidable opposition to the giants.
Events of the First Five Years (2471-2476 FT)
The Geoff Living Greyhawk campaign began in 2001 (591 CY or 2471 FT - Flan Tracking), placing would-be heroes in Hochoch, the only free town in all of Geoff. Players enjoyed a compelling five-year story arc allowing them to play a part in freeing Geoff from the giant armies. Triads and volunteers created a wealth of background information, a multitude of organizations their characters could join and help shape, and engaging and challenging modules and interactives.
In December of 2006 (596 CY / 2476 FT) the players and their characters succeeded in freeing Geoff from the giants through a combination of module and interactive events that defeated both the giant armies and their mysterious Sakhut leaders. Geoff was one of a few regions to allow retiring characters the option of becoming part of the setting.
Triads in the Geoff and Gran March regions created tension between the two regions as the Gran March was shown to have designs upon the town of Hochoch, adding a vivid cultural and political dimension to the gaming environment. Through a nefarious deal, the town of Hochoch ceased to be controlled by Geoff and was given by the Gran March to the Knights of the Watch. This resulted in the town ceasing to be part of the playable region, becoming the seat of power for the Knights of the Watch, and creating further enmity between player characters in the two regions.
Online play was a halmark of the Geoff region. Players used the Living Geoff Yahoo group to post player character stories. Soon the player characters began to interact with one another. The Triad blessed this interaction, bringing NPCs to the forum and making the events official. After volatile events, the Triad created the Geoff Online Yahoo group solely for the purpose of online in character interactions.
Notable incidents that changed the region include:
- Vadis Skaa mocking the Old Faith (resulting in the Knights of the Watch almost storming the Half-Orc camp of Clear Sky)
- The repeated naming of the evil god Iuz in the Boar's Knuckle tavern (resulting in a permanent portal to the Abyss appearing in the inn, and the building being condemned)
- Players gathering their power to close the portal in the Boar's Knuckle Tavern
- The folly of a PC named Havoc, who broke local rules and was captured by the Griffon Guard and placed in a slab of stone until given over to his region of Veluna
- A PC rogue who took the head of a stone giant was accompanied by other PCs in returning the head to its kin, setting the events for a future module
- The Doll House event, resulting in a giant spy becoming an ally to Geoff
- A ball where PCs could woo important NPCs for lasting relationships
- Melwyn Greatarm's interruption of a wedding
- The background (off of the main list) machinations of groups such as the Midnight Ravens, Evro Lygadi, Enosi, and Peers of Geoff.
- The expulsion of several members of the Geoff Peers due to attempted assassination of a Cantrevi Lord.
- A schism between members of the Old Faith regarding discussion on the weakening of Gyri blood.
The Geoff region became known for releasing teasers (often prior to a convention) that communicated recent events to players, added background to the setting and its NPCs, and created interest for conventions and module premiers. The quality of the teasers was due to many authors and proofreaders, but was in no small part due to the overall storyline vision of Triad members Sholom West and Eric Menge. Sholom West was the driving force behind many of the early storylines and a great deal of the background, while Eric Menge was instrumental in establishing teasers and metagame information.
The Geoff Region enjoyed a wide variety of role-playing and battle interactive (BI) events beginning in July 2001 with the Battle of the Bloody Ridge. The interactives helped to attract players from other regions to conventions and to spread Geoff's reputation across the LG player base. Area gaming groups such as Plan B, Gryphon's Wrath, The Regulators, and Boomkegs volunteered to create interactives.
Events of the Second Five Years (2477-2482 FT)
In January of 2007 (CY597 / 2477FT) the second story arc began, slowly revealing a renewed threat from the Shadow Dragon in the Dim forest. Various important women (The Daughters of Geoff) have shown to be central to emerging events. Finally, the gnomish kingdom seems to be facing threats from within and may destabilize the region.
While a comprehensive list of all volunteers that have made the Geoff region such a success is not possible, the Triad members that have made this possible and who lead all the efforts can be recognized:
- Sholom West
- Tim Joslin
- Mitch Harrelson
- Rob Canterman
- Brian Lamprecht
- Eric Menge
- Brad Lester
- Marc Yudson
- Alisa Clary
- Sean Hillman (current)
- Jose Ortiz (current)
- John Pieper (current)
- Gygax, Gary. The World of Greyhawk. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, 1980.
- -----. World of Greyhawk Fantasy Game Setting. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, 1983.
- Holian, Gary, Erik Mona, Sean K. Reynolds, and Frederick Weining. Living Greyhawk Gazetteer. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 2000.