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”