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Geoff

Page history last edited by Fendar 11 years, 9 months ago

Region 6: South-West Flanaess, Sheldomar Valley, Geoff Demographics

Gyruff political map, Other Gyruff maps, Bardic Lore

 

 

GEOFF, GRAND DUCHY OF

 

The Grand Duchy of Geoff, one of the nations harder done by in the Greyhawk Wars, which now stubbornly clings to its holdings despite the monsters that ravage its wilderness, and the severe battering both its people and its cities have taken at the hands of a rampaging giant mob.

Geoff now stands as a proud, defiant nation against both its giant foes and those who swore the nation would fall. Despite the great damage that was wrought in the war, the people stubbornly cling to the desire to rebuild their home and guard against any further incursions. Were it not for the actions of a brave group of heroes, the entire nation would likely have been lost?

Approximately fifteen years ago, in 576 CY, Geoff and the March of Sterich to the south had been gaining increasing independence from Keoland, something which caused great consternation in the royal court at Niole Dra. King Kimbertos Skotti had been attempting to wrangle economic concessions from his client states and woo them back into the royal fold, something which he had been failing miserably at. Thus, the Throne of the Lion grew increasingly distant from Gorna and Istivin, the capitals of Geoff and Sterich.

At this time, rangers had reported increasing giant activity in the Crystalmist Mountains west of the duchy, including hints that a massive army was being organized. The leaders of the giants were unknown, but the fearsome King Snurre Iron Belly, ruler of the fire giant hold of Muspelheim in the Crystalmist Mountains was correctly identified as the 'official' leader.

While Snurre had the charisma and aura of power to lead the giants, any fool would know that he was too stupid to organize such a massive undertaking. When the first wave of raids began, Grand Duke Owen and Querchard, the Earl of Sterich, took the initiative and dispatched parties of adventurers to forestall the attack, and identify the true leaders of the giant army.

Whether the heroes succeeded in the latter goal is unknown to the public, but it is correctly known that they managed to slay Nosnra, Grugnur and Snurre, the leaders who held the giant alliance together. Without the leaders, the grand alliance fell apart. Individual bands, stirred up by the lust for plunder and glory, all attacked of their own initiative, in disorganized gangs.

Geoff and Sterich were forced to fight for their lives by 581 CY, and the struggle swiftly grew desperate, as the giants just kept on coming. Only two months after the fighting began, in response to increasingly desperate pleas for aid, did King Skotti marshal his troops in the defense of his western vassals. Keoish reinforcements arrived just in time, as Gorna was under siege and all of south and western Sterich were under giant control. Only after four more years of vicious fighting, by 585 CY, were Geoff and Sterich free from the giant menace.

But the victory had come at a terrible cost for Geoff. Pregmere and Pest's Crossing were in ruins, and Gorna had been damaged by siege. Thousands had been killed, and many more were made homeless. Monuments and temples were burned. Rebuilding began, but it was painfully slow. Recovery from the war would take years?

 

Society and Culture: Geoff was founded centuries ago by a variety of races moving into the same fertile area of land. Unlike the violent Aerdi who were swiftly crossing the central Flanaess, the Suel and Oeridian visitors managed to establish friendly relations with the native Flan, who taught them the secrets of survival within the strange new land, and introduced them to the local demihumans.

This harmonious mix of races and cultures has made modern Geoff into a nation where all the differing races live together in principles of mutual friendship and respect for each others' heritage and unique contributions to society. Geoffites are known for their welcoming attitudes towards strangers, who might otherwise be regarded with suspicion in Keoland proper.

The society the original Flan had created has been retained in Geoff, unlike in Sterich to the south. This society is organized around a warrior elite derived from the old Flan tribes, now with the Oeridian and Suel equivalents intermingled within. This warrior aristocracy allows considerable freedom to its citizens, who are, outside of this warrior elite, generally equal in all ways, though with a deference to elders, also retained from the Flan. A broad sense of collective spirit exists among the entire nation, so that all people below the aristocracy, regardless of wealth or race, are regarded as equals. Slavery was banned in Geoff long ago, and women and demihumans are treated just as well as the men.

The warrior aristocracy is responsible for defense of the realm, and retaining and training peasant levies as necessary. They elect a single Grand Duke to rule over them, voted into office by all the peers of the warrior class. Six hereditary counts rule over the six high counties that make up Geoff as a whole. A monthly council is gathered with the six High Counts, the Grand Duke, and representatives of the demihuman lordships, to discuss matters of national importance and settle disputes.

The commoners will always refer matters directly to their high counts, without having to deal with the stifling bureaucracy common to other realms. The human counts generally travel around their domains, to remain strong in the eyes of the people and hear their concerns.

Hill forts, large longhouse-type stockades surrounded by stone walls, and squat stone monastery-like citadels are the high points of Geoffish architecture. Smaller villages tend to be made of wood and skins, which can be easily dismantled and removed as necessary. Totem poles and other such monuments typical of the western Flan stand comfortably alongside the bronze and granite statues of famous statesmen that the Oeridians love, for Geoff is a land in harmony.

Geoff is a land of harmony, but this harmony makes many of its people insular and somewhat suspicious of outsiders. Persistent raids from the Valley of the Mage and evil demihumans in the Lortmils, and past after-effects of the civil wars of the Crystalmist dwarves have soured many Geoffites on outsiders, with the tendency that it may take some years for settlers to be accepted as being 'from Geoff'.

 

Military Structure: Oeridian culture has made its greatest impact on the army, which is far more organized along traditional lines than the rest of Geoff's society. The Oeridians take the lead in strictly disciplined heavy cavalry which easily mow down the humanoids recruited by giants. The typical overrunning tactics of giants are rather ill-suited against the formidable pikemen, bolstered by Suel battle-mages. Flan and elven archers tend to rely on stealth tactics, picking enemies off one at a time and causing general harassment rather than being used in open conflict. Gnomes and dwarves make up the heavy foot, using their own special training to slug it out with giant invaders. The human light infantry tends to be very green and prone to mistakes, often being recruited from peasant levies in time of need.

Geoff's armies have little experience with artillery and sapping, as they have rarely had to put sieges to use, and they prefer to send raiders out by secret ways to snipe and harass siege-workers rather than use their own artillery. There are no slingers, hobilars or mounted archers to speak of.

 

Ruler: His Radiance Grand Duke Owen is a quiet but gentle man, one of only middling height and no real build but with a sharp mind, blindingly fast reflexes, and incredible personal charisma. He has governed Geoff well for years; so well, in fact, that the warrior peers took the unheard-of step of selecting his son Count Hustin to take the throne when his father steps down.

Grand Duke Owen rarely wears heavy armor, as it interferes with his powerful illusion magic. His own individual tricks as an illusionist have turned the tide of many a giant battle, and he served his people well during the war years. He wields a heavy flail in combat, preferring to enter combat on foot, so that he may cast spells as needed.

Owen dislikes bragging, haughty people, preferring those that remain simple and down-to-oerth like himself. He is on good terms with King Skotti, realizing that Niole Dra's power-grubbing is less Skotti's doing than those of the greedy bureaucracy and the scheming Lashton. Now a rather old man, he has seen more of war than most people have, and he is tired of it. Very angry at the damage done to his realm, Owen has retained his kindly character, though bitterness and sadness have eaten away at his resolve in 591. He is known to break down in private, when he thinks no one sees him, though he always puts on a brave front until Hustin is ready to take the throne.

Owen?s family is well-noted for favoring the Old Lore Bards among his court, and this is one of the few nations left in the Flanaess where the Old Lore is still practiced openly and among more than a few people. Count Hustin is well-noted for his ability on the lute and the harp, while the sylph-like Marianna, Owen's wife, is said to have some nymph blood in her veins, so well does she sing.

 

Foreign Relations: Geoff, until the Wars, enjoyed warm relations with everyone else in the Sheldomar Valley. The goodness and honesty of the people, and its open and welcoming society spread its good name in comparisons to Sunndi and Veluna. With Keoland's royal court reluctant to come to the aid of Geoff in her time of need, many of her citizens are calling loudly to secede completely from the Throne of the Lion. Sterich sympathizers are calling on Owen to lead them as well, distrusting Marchioness Resbin's motives.

Many common Keoish citizens are feeling sympathy for their western cousins, although the court at Niole Dra is deaf to the outrages even of their own people. Skotti has attempted to calm the situation, though Lashton's spitting response, sent in the response of a dream spell to Owen, says that if Geoff does try something like this, her ruin will be complete. Such open threats are not welcomed by Geoff, and so relations between the Kingdom and her vassal state are at their lowest point in years.

 

Region 6: South-West Flanaess, Sheldomar Valley, South-Western Flanaess, Sheldomar Valley map

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