Finding Flerd the Giant Slayer

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THE LIBERATION OF GEOFF

The Giant Slayers part 1: Finding Flerd
(Campaign Notes by Thomas Kelly)
A campaign based on Living Greyhawk Geoff and Against the Giants.

“Neumann wants a rebellion,” Bryn insists. “Bad enough that I need writ from the governor what to drink a single cider. Now he says we can no more speak our own tongue?”

“Cause he knows our tongues are making sport of him behind his back,” Ansgar laughs. He quaffs his third cider and pounds the mug on the tabletop to summon the maid for more. “Another round for the heroes!” he motions to his friends.

“You can’t pay for your own cups, cuss, quit saying you’ll pay for us,” chides the gnomish bard. Squint’s fingers find the strings of his shalm. He strikes up a lively reel, but the music stops abruptly when the wooden door of the speakeasy flings open. Ansgar leaps to his feet, nearly tipping the table. Customers freeze in fear; their laughter and conversation falls silent. A man steps through the open doorway. Every patron of the establishment recognizes the stern, scowling face of Cadofyth Parn, a commanding officer of the Army of the Liberation. “Alcohol consumption without a writ! Speaking in the Flannish tongue!” he scolds the crowded room.

“Yes sir,” Ansgar concedes too readily.

The captain fixes his stern gaze upon the young ranger, “Best pour me a cider before I report the lot of you to the constables.” A devious smirk spreads across his face. The patrons cheer and clap the officer on the back. Squint resumes the reel.

Calling all Giant Slayers

Trailing behind the commander, stepping lightly through the door and into the light, comes a grinning elf. “I found this pour lost elf wandering the camp,” the cadofyth announces. “May I present Gundoriel Thingolin, back from fey Dimwood!”

Bryn leaps up and throws her arms around grey elf priest. “I thought we might never see you again,” she gushes in the elvish tongue. He shrugs sheepishly.

“We have had a few adventures without you, elf!” Ansgar says as Parn and Gundoriel join the rangers at their table.  Bryn presses her elvish friend with questions about his months in the fading feylands of Dimwood Forest, but he only shakes his head.

After the barmaid pours up ciders and collects coins, Parn admits, “Not for cider and Flan-speech did I seek you out tonight, friends, but a quick trot back into those occupied lands from which you only just returned. We have a rumor from Darlon Lea, our exiled ranger lord. He claims that Father Trantle survived the invasion and still lives, dwelling among those unfortunate slaves, our kinsmen who labor under the lash of the giants.”

“I don’t know who that is,” Ansgar shrugs, unimpressed by the name of Father Trantle.

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A Little Bit of Wood

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THE LIBERATION OF GEOFF

A Little Bit of Wood
(Campaign Notes and Adaptation by Thomas Kelly)
Based on Living Greyhawk module GEO1-05 by Wesley Wright.
Beware total spoilers.

Bryn sighs and sweeps her sleeve across her face to wipe the perspiration from her eyes.

Fang lifts and cocks his head quizzically as he trots beside her. “I’m worried about Gundoriel,” she explains to the uncomprehending dog. The mud-packed roads of the encampment have baked dry and solid under the mid-summer sun. This is the camp of the Army of the Liberation outside Hochoch’s walls. Bryn and Ansgar navigate the maze of streets, shacks, and tents to make their way toward the command tent of Cadofyth Parn to which they have been summoned. “It’s been nearly six months and we’ve still seen no sign nor heard word. How could we have left that noble elf to such an evil fate?”

“An evil and miserable fate, indeed! I thank the gods ‘twas not me you abandoned in the arms of that soggy river nymph,” Ansgar agrees too readily.

Bryn rolls her eyes, “You wish!”

“I never!” the young ranger objects, blushing red through his whiskers. “Don’t even like daffodils,” he mutters.

“And what of Boots? Will we ever see our dearest friend again? Have we forever lost them both in fey lands? Fie on the shadows of the Dim Forest! Let the light of Pelor burn it!”

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Summer’s Passing

THE LIBERATION OF GEOFF

Summer’s Passing (Campaign Notes-SPOILERS by Lyle C Brown)

Based on Living Greyhawk module GEO2-06 by Eric Menge and Diane Hazlett

An IC report to the Midnight Ravens by Hodkin Surefoot:

While recuperating from our most recent adventure, my companion Foruk and I were “requested” to assist the Druids’ Circle with a dilemma. It seems the Circle was in need of a new Archdruid. Apparently they had selected Gwenllian, sister to our dear Brennin, for this position. There was just one problem, Gwenllian was in the Fey Lands as a personal “long term” er … ”guest” of the Seelie Fey King. As such, she was at the least unaware of her new destiny. Additionally, while she may decide she would like to embark on this new career, it seemed highly unlikely that her host would allow her to leave.

This is where Foruk and I come in. Along with four other intrepid adventurers, the Circle solicited our assistance in retrieving Gwenllian from the lands of Faerie.

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Caves of Twilight Resplendent

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THE LIBERATION OF GEOFF

The Gifts of the Fey part 2: The Caves of Twilight Resplendent 
(Campaign Notes and Adaptation by Thomas Kelly)
Based on Living Greyhawk module GEO1-03b, by Eric Menge and Sholom West.
Beware total spoilers. Read part one here.

“Wake up, mortal!” Cold water sprinkles Bryn’s face, forcing her to wakefulness. A strange-sounding voice urges her in cross and impatient, gargling tones, “Enough with your slumbering! The queen expects you, and you will be a sorry to keep her waiting!” Bryn opens her eyes to behold a scowling sea-green faerie crouched over her. His webbed hands flick more water into her face. He motions toward a nearby bench on which her clothes are laid out. “Get dressed. Lilly Petal and Cottonseed have brought watered wine and bread to break your fast. Your companions are already up and dressed.”

Bryn shakes her groggy head and tries to remember the details of the previous evening. It’s all a blur—the ballroom, the costumes, the fey, the music, the stars. Was I drinking wine? I can’t remember! Nothing for it now. She slides out from under soft blankets and dresses herself. The green-skinned faerie impatiently bids her eat, and she obliges him with a few bites. The door opens and Ansgar, Boots, and Gundoriel enter the room. “Good! You are all ready,” the faerie observes. “The queen’s grace is in her court. Don’t make her wait!” With no further ado, the nixie turns and paddles off down the hallway, his webbed feet leaving small puddles of water with every footstep.

“Wait, if you please! Where is the queen’s court?” Bryn inquires.

The nixie turns back and offers a condescending smile. “Precisely where it needs to be.”

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One Good Turn

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THE LIBERATION OF GEOFF

One Good Turn (Campaign Notes-SPOILERS by Lyle C Brown)

Based on Living Greyhawk module GEO2-05a-b, by Don Lawson

Summer 592 CY

A Report to The Midnight Ravens

Knave Hodkin Surefoot was contacted by a servant of High Seneschal Cuthalion regarding an important mission in service to the Brennin (the Grand Duke). It seems the Brennin was seeking an allegiance with the Elves of the Oytwood, but they required a service be performed for the Weeping Council before such alliance would be considered. Along with my friend and companion the half-orc Foruk the Silent, and two other adventurers, we were sent before the Weeping Council to receive our assignment. The council requested the we venture into Gorna itself, seeking the Tear of Corellon, a very powerful elvish artifact which was lost during the Giant invasion. The council had ascertained that the Tear was being kept in one of the fire giants’ temples, in the center of Gorna.

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Gifts of the Fey

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THE LIBERATION OF GEOFF

The Gifts of the Fey: The Fey Woods (Campaign Notes-SPOILERS by Thomas Kelly)

Based on Living Greyhawk module GEO1-03a, by Eric Menge and Sholom West

The Army of the Liberation needs rangers to escort some certain Geoff-folk from Hochoch to an olven village tucked away well within the Dim Forest. Ansgar, Bryn, and Boots volunteer for the assignment. They are eager to escape Hochoch for most any reason. A long, hungry winter and the dismal circumstances under which the refugees live have deflated their spirits. An adventure into that dark forest under the promise of spring seems like the cure. Gundoriel, their Grey Elf companion and priest of Correlon Larethian, expresses his reluctance to accompany them on account of rising tensions between the Woods of the Dim Forest and the Greys of Oytwood. Bryn plies him persuasively, “Who will look after us without you?”

The Negligent Nanny

The rangers complete their mission under the ever-night of those shadowed boughs and turn back toward Hochoch. A breath of spring warms the chill from their bones. The heavy crowned trees that give the Dim Forest its name allow little light to penetrate, but in patches, here and there as the trees thin near the edge, warm shafts of sunlight spill through, gladdening the heart. The snows have melted, the rains abated, and the song of birds, returning from southern lands, celebrates the warmer weather. Then comes another sound on the morning air—the sobs of a woman’s inconsolable weeping. Bryn’s vicious war dog, Fang, bounds ahead, and the party follows. They come across a peasant woman seated on the ground at the base of an old ipp tree, her arms wrapped about her knees, her face streaked with tears. Fang nuzzles her gently and whines sympathetically, startling the woman. She shrieks, leaps to her feet, stumbles back from the dog and looks wildly about, surprised to see the three rangers and a Grey Elf regarding her. Ansgar speaks first, “Soft now woman! Put away your tears. What misfortune makes you weep so piteously?”

The young woman, a girl called Alys, explains, “A nanny I am to a young lad called Dyvan. I fell asleep beneath this ipp, under some enchantment I reckon, and the boy wandered off and crossed the Laughing Brook where I dare not go.”

“Fortune is with you. We are hunters and trackers,” Ansgar boasts. “We’ll find your missing lad and return him to you quick enough.” These words console Alys, and she describes the boy, a six-year-old no taller than a halfling, head of curly dark brown hair, green of eyes. Bryn translates all this for Dunglorin who does not speak the common tongue of the Flanfolk.

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The Gonfalon of Geoff

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THE LIBERATION OF GEOFF

The Gonfalon of Gyruff (Campaign Notes-SPOILERS by Thomas Kelly)

Based on Living Greyhawk module GEO1-04, by James Quick

The last five years of life in Hochoch have not been easy for the refugees. It’s been that many years since the Marchers liberated the city. The population has swollen with Gyric refugees returning from the Gran March and Keoland. Among them are adventurers and opportunists aplenty. Gran March controls the town, refusing to cede power back to the Gyric people. Food remains in short supply. The only commodities in abundance among the refugees are fear and distrust. Riots, teetering on the edge of revolt, have become regular occurrences, and some parts of the town have been put to the torch during periods of unrest. To help quell the riotous behavior (and to preserve supplies for the soldiers of the Gran March), the provisional governor, Karl Neumann, has declared a prohibition on the sale of and consumption of alcoholic beverages within the walls unless with a writ from his office. Moreover, the sale of hard liquor is banned within a league of the walls. This night, however, Governor Neumann has issued a writ of authorization to serve alcoholic beverages during a one-night only celebration at the Hochoch amphitheater.  The occasion is a Gyric bonfire celebration for the fifth day of the festival of Richfest, an important holy day on the Gyric calendar. The town watch, supplemented with Gran March soldiers tonight, is on hand to patrol the event and keep the festivities contained.

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Rangers of Geoff

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The downtrodden land of Geoff is my favorite “stomping grounds.” From the time I first started thinking about writing Greyhawk fiction, I wanted to write about the epic events that transpired during the Living Greyhawk liberation of Geoff.

I’m now slowly building a section of the website dedicated to the region. New today on the Liberation of Geoff page, find a document titled “Rangers of Geoff.” It consists of the ranger archetypes created for the Living Greyhawk Geoff regional metagaming materials. It also contains a cool two-page print of ranger hand signals used by those brave resistance fighters campaigning for the Contested Lands.

Additionally, I came upon a document titled “Geoff Slogans” which includes some t-shirt ideas from the beleaguered Geoffites. Here’s a few of my favorites:

“If you run, you’ll just die tired.”

“Don’t tread on me again.”

“Geoffian Longbowmen.  No problem too big.”

“Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask, ‘Where can I hide?'”

“And just how many times has YOUR country been overrun by giants? Then shut up!”

“Not many people have earned the title of Giantslayer. But I bet damn near all of ’em come from Geoff.”

Finally, you can also find my campaign adaptation-summaries of adventures in Geoff using the original Living Greyhawk modules. Distribution of the no-longer available LGG modules is utterly forbaden, but campaign summaries fall under fair use. So far my home group has played through four of the modules, but I’ve only gotten three of them written up. There’s more to come, but here’s the first two. (Beware, total spoilers. That’s sort of the point.)

Runaway

Cat and Mouse

The Gonfalon of Geoff

Runaway

THE LIBERATION OF GEOFF

RUNAWAY (Campaign Notes-SPOILERS)

Based on Living Greyhawk module GEO1-01, by Geoff Christy

Three young refugees, children of the giant invasion, dream of crossing the Javan into Oytwood and joining the elves in their ongoing campaign of guerrilla warfare against the giants in occupied Geoff. They go by the names Ansgar, Bryn, and Boots. Ansgar and Bryn have some type of romantic relationship (it’s not clear). Boots trots along as their third-wheel sidekick. The three of them grew up together over the last eight years among the Geoffite refugees. They are new initiates to a band of Gyruff Rangers charged with patrolling the protected zone around Hochoch. The young rangers are eager to leave the zone and exact revenge from the giants. They especially resent the impositions of Gran March over Hochoch and over the refugee population. They consider themselves Patriots of Geoff, and they talk of joining the Gyruff Liberation Army—if only they had a recommendation or some notoriety which might give them a position and make them eligible for something more than guard duty and patrolling the protected zone. The Army of the Liberation, which seeks to operate independently of Gran March, does not have resources to sustain the number of refugees who would volunteer for the promise of food and shelter, and for now, only select heroes and proven men of arms are accepted into the ranks.

Back from a long patrol, the three young rangers are taking a meal at the Two Tents, a camp tavern in the refugee camp outside Hochoch, when they hear a rumor of a goblin incursion. A certain guardsman called Lucian tips them off, telling them that a band of Oytwood Elves pursued and slew the goblins, but several of the rascals escaped. If the patriots hurry, they might track down the escapees before the Knights of Gran March arrive and steal the glory. This Lucian fellow is actually an agent of the soon to be declared Army of the Liberation, and he is keen to test the mettle of the three young rangers. He has asked his friend, Gundoriel Thingolin, an elf of Oytwood, to accompany the three rangers and keep an eye on them.

The goblin situation came about like this. A goblin named Fenik, belonging to the orc and goblin garrison occupying Preston, became disillusioned with his future prospects and decided to defect. He stole a book of strategic information about the disposition of the garrison, presumably to use to bargain for his life should he be captured by the enemy. Without telling them he intended to defect, he deceived a small company of goblins under the command of his brothers to accompany him on an alleged “secret mission.” Fenik hoped to cross the Javan and escape to the safety of the Dim Forest. A troop of Oytwood elf resistance fighters observed the goblins leave Preston. The elves followed the band all the way into the protected zone around Hochoch before ambushing them and slaying all but seven. At the same time, the captain of the garrison at Preston dispatched a small troop of orc hunters and trackers to chase the goblins down and retrieve the stolen book.

None of this is known to the three young rangers when they agree to the adventure. A fourth character, an Oytwood elf named Gundoriel who speaks not a single word of Oeredian nor Flan, joins the rangers, offering his services as a priest. Bryn speaks elvish and serves as translator.

The four adventurers travel through the night. By first light, they come upon the battlefield. Several wild dogs savage the remains of goblins strewn across a field. Gundoriel recognizes the arms and gear, and he tells the rangers that he believes the goblins are from the host stationed at Preston. The largest of the wild dogs wears a spiked collar from which hangs a type of medallion. Ansgar nocks an arrow to take a shot at the large dog, but his companions stay his hand. Gundoriel uses his elvish persuasion to calm the large dog and he approaches it with caution. The rangers examine the medallion which identifies the dog’s name as “Fang,” and they recognize the symbol of the Gyruff Rangers. They take the dog with them on their quest, but the dog is unruly, and it does as it pleases.

The rangers pick up the trail of the goblin survivors of the battle and pursue them back toward Hochoch. They have not gone far at all when they are beset upon by a small band of orc hunters from Preston who also were in pursuit of the same goblins. A fight ensues, and the orcs are slain. The rangers resume tracking the escaped goblins. They follow the tracks to a nearby farm. At the edge of a half-harvested field, they discover a recently abandoned campsite where some six or seven goblins bedded down for the night. Following the trail further they find evidence of a skirmish. Farm tools lie abandoned on the ground. A blood trail and marks of a body being dragged away lead them to a nearby farmyard. Inside the barn, they discover the corpse of a teenage farmer’s son.

The rangers approach the farmhouse, but the farmer comes out and attempts to send them away, assuring them that all is well. The rangers make as if to leave, but they suspect the truth. They rush the house by stealth from different sides, entering through windows and forcing entrance through the front door. Several goblins are inside, filling sacks with provisions and eating the farmer’s chickens. The farmer, his wife, and a young son are also present. The farmer attempts to block the rangers, urging them not to fight since the goblins hold his daughter hostage in the loft above. Nevertheless, a battle ensues.

Assisted by the vicious goblin-hunting dog Fang, the rangers make short work of the goblins, but three remain in the loft above holding the farmer’s young daughter hostage. The goblins in the loft attempt to escape by breaking out through the thatched roof. Gundoriel, Bryn, and Boots engage the first escaping goblin outside the house. Blows are exchanged, a goblin slain, and Boots is wounded. Upstairs in the loft, a goblin called Fenik holds a knife to the girl’s throat and asks for safe passage in exchange for the girl’s release. He speaks common tongue, the other goblin does not. He identifies himself as a deserter, and he offers Ansgar a certain book, stolen from the orc captain at Preston (Grugh-nal Firespear), as a surety that he will release the girl once he is clear of the house. He tells them, they must first slay Harl, the other goblin with him. Harl does not realize that Fenik has led their band in a desertion, and he will not cooperate with releasing the hostage. A short fight ensues. Harl runs a pick through Ansgar, but Bryn slays the goblin. Ansgar nearly perishes. The healing prayer of the elven priest saves him from the Nerul’s scythe.

The rangers agree to Fenik’s terms. Along with the rest of the members of the family, they withdraw to the barn while Fenik drags the girl away toward the woods. Fearing treachery, Ansgar sets off in pursuit, but Fenik has kept his word. He releases the girl. The girl runs to her parents. The goblin disappears into the woods, moving too quickly to pursue.

Cavalrymen from the Gyruff Liberation Army arrive and take statements. They instruct the heroes to turn over the book they obtained to Captain Parn. The book turns out to be a spellbook in secondary use. It contains several spells, but it also contains scrawl written in an orcish hand: troop numbers and strategic information on the garrison at Preston. Captain Parn says, “This is of great importance to us. It will help us much. Please leave me now so I may speak to my superiors about this. It would please me if you would leave your names with my aide.”

Back at the Two Tents, the heroes are toasted by other patriots of Geoff and given a round of drinks.

Continue reading “Runaway”

The Game of Princes

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Part Four of THE FALL OF GEOFF as told by Rhys of the Ash to Morwenna the Fair
Edited by Thomas Kelly

Some saviors lost their zeal and showed a tyrant’s face beneath a guise of friend – CY 587-588

The rangers of Gyruff and the surviving Longbowmen of Gyruff maintained a fierce border war on the edge of the giant-occupied lands. They made no headway, but their vigilance prevented the giants from raiding deeply into the liberated lands. Little thanks did they receive from the March.

At Richfest, the Marshal of the Gran March forces in Hochoch declared the city and its surrounding lands a “protectorate” until Gyruff could be restored. The declaration changed little in actual governance. March soldiers and the Knights of the Dispatch had governed the town through martial law since the liberation, but the nobles of Gyruff in Hochoch decried this turn of events, as they had no say in the new government. They sent angry letters sent to Withington and the Court of Gyruff in Exile.

In the spring of CY 588, the Marshal of the Gran March ordered the construction of wooden forts along the border of the liberated lands. The Gyri saw it as Gran March entrenching its position rather than working to free Gyruff. The Marshal used soldiers to suppress riots among the residents of Lean-to Town and Hutville outside of Hochoch.

The Marchers managed to upset the elves too when they began logging the Dim Forest and the Oytwood for the construction of their border forts and roads. The grey elves of the Oytwood sent a terse message to the Marshal. They warned the Marshal that they had a long memory. They remembered the Marshal’s ancestors. If the Marshal did not put a stop to the timbering, they would stop it for him. Incensed, the Marshal called their bluff. It was not a bluff at all. The grey elves closed their borders and laid deadly traps for the woodcutters. If the traps did not kill the trespassers, the elves themselves hunted and killed anyone they considered invaders.

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