Geoff (Greyhawk)

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Greyhawk Realm
Geoff Duchy.jpg
Grand Duchy of Geoff
Motto
RegionSheldomar Valley
RulerGrand Duke-in exile Owen I
GovernmentFeudal monarchy swearing fealty to Keoland
Established
Capital
Major Towns
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
ResourcesFur, wool, copper, silver, gold, timber, gemstones
CoinageGriffon (pp), lion (gp), eagle (ep), hawk (sp), owl (cp)
Population90,000
Races
LanguagesCommon, Flan, Keolandish, Elvish, Halfling, Orcish, Goblin, Giant
Alignments
ReligionsOld Faith, Pelor, Allitur, Obad-Hai, Beory, Ehlonna, Phyton, Fharlanghn, Saint Cuthbert, Norebo, the Seldarine, gnomish pantheon
Allies
Enemies

Geoff is a fictional land that is part of the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game. Geoff was first described in 1983 in the World of Greyhawk campaign setting, where Geoff is properly known as the Grand Duchy of Geoff, and is a ducal political state of the fictional continent called the Flanaess.[1][2]

Besides being in literature and serving as a potential land of adventure for players of the Dungeons and Dragons campaign, the Grand Duchy of Geoff was selected by The RPGA and Wizards of the Coast as a region for its Living Greyhawk campaign (2000–2008). As a result, thousands of role-players enjoyed adventures and other gaming events held in Geoff.

History[edit]

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.[3]

Geography and climate[edit]

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. Its 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.

People[edit]

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.

Population[edit]

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.

Religion[edit]

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.

Languages[edit]

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."

Government[edit]

The Duchy of Geoff is a feudal monarchy allied with other nations of the Sheldomar Valley and swearing fealty to the Keoish crown. The national capital is Gorna.

Administrative divisions[edit]

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.

Executive branch[edit]

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. Grand Duke Owen returned to Geoff in CY 591 to begin the effort to drive the giants from Geoff.

Legislative branch[edit]

The distribution of legislative authority is not detailed in sourcebooks. It is likely, based upon the "six high counties" mentioned in the Living Greyhawk Gazeteer, 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.

Heraldry[edit]

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.

Economy[edit]

Resources[edit]

Prior to 584 CY, Geoff's most valuable resources were fur, wool, copper, silver, gold, timber, and gemstones.

Currency[edit]

Geoff's standard coinage consists of the platinum griffon (pp), gold lion (gp), electrum eagle (ep), silver hawk (sp), and copper owl (cp).

Transportation[edit]

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.

Military[edit]

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 guerilla 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[edit]

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.

Cantrevi[edit]

There are currently thirteen cantrevi in the Duchy. This includes the gain of three new cantrevi gifted by Keoland in late CY594, as well as the loss of Arweth to the Gran March and Knights of the Watch in CY594.

Each cantrev is ruled by a Gyri warlord. Smaller cantrevi are ruled by Arglwyths, while larger ones are ruled by Llwyri (singular is Llwyr, sing. fem. is Llwyress). Llwyri are the highest level of nobility in Geoff, with Argglwyths being the second highest. However, there are no Arglwyths under a Llwyr - each Arglwyth has their own cantrev. Each cantreval leader serves the Brenin, who leads all of Geoff.

To compare the Gyric nobility system to (generally) the English nobility system (which is similar to the system used in most of the Sheldomar valley), Llwyr and Arglwyths are Earls, or powerful military leaders. Arglwyths might be considered Viscounts, perhaps. Swearing fealty to Llwyrs and Arglwyths are Brehirs, or Barons.

Noble ranks are generally inherited. However, all Llwyri and Arglwyths have to be approved by the Old Faith Druids. The approval by the Old Faith in large part rests on successfully undergoing a special ritual - success indicates that the Land of Geoff approves of their claim.

Cantrevi vary in size, geography, and resources.

Traditionally, the rulers of the Cantrevi (plural of Cantrev) were the leaders of large tribes or clans of Gyri. Over time, the tribes settled and began farming. Eventually, tribes or clans started claiming specific areas of land which became the first Cantrevi.

At various times in the history of the Duchy, the leaders of the cantrevi have engaged in warfare to settle disputes. A Llwyr or Arglwyth may be overthrown by force, but must ultimately gain the support of the Old Faith to retain the title and any lands acquired. Warmongering is not necessarily a negative quality for a Llwyr or Arglwyth, though the requirement for Druidic approval tends to keep such tendencies in check.

Llwyri and Arglwythi have on several occasions claimed the throne (usually when a Brenin is absent or has died). This has led to civil war between cantrevi. Any ultimate victor must of course be approved by the Old Faith and the Land.

The Llwyr of Eynyth has thus far always been the Brenin. The position of Brenin came about because the Llwyri and Arglwyth ceded power to him so that there could be one warlord for all the Gyri. Traditionally, the Llwyri and Arglwyths have had little interference from the Brenin in how they run their cantrevi. In a certain sense, they consider themselves sovereign kings in their own right.

This attitude has changed slowly over the years CY591-596, with the Brenin gaining more and more power. Events in the last few years have also changed things. With the vanquishing of the giants, Grand Duke Owen is more popular than ever. With many Llwyri and Arglwyths killed in the fighting, Owen has appointed his supporters to fill the vacant positions.

Dwarven Nations[edit]

The Dwur (Dwarves) of Gyruff are organized into three Clan Holds. Clan Deepholm, made up of mountain dwarves, 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. Stonereaver's are mountain dwarves. Clan Underhill is composed of hill dwarves and resides in the low hills or Urtcheck. Clan Underhill is known for their mining skill.

Elven Nations[edit]

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.

Gnome Nation[edit]

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.

Meta-Organizations[edit]

The Living Geoff campaign has a number of meta-organizations to which player characters can belong. These provide additional detail to the setting.

Military Organizations[edit]

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)[edit]

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 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.

Cross-Regional Machinations[edit]

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 Events[edit]

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:

Teasers[edit]

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.

Convention Interactives[edit]

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)[edit]

In January 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.

List of RPGA Living Greyhawk Geoff Modules[edit]

Year 1 modules added the player character levels together to determine the difficulty (Tiering system). Year 2 and later modules used an average of the character levels (also known as APL - Average Party Level) to determine the difficulty.
Code IS : Introductory Modules for first level characters only

Module #TitleLevel Range
CY 591 Modules (2001)
GEO1-01RunawayTier 1
GEO1-02Cat and MouseTier 1
GEO1-03Gifts of the Fey (2 rounds)Tier 1
GEO1-04The Gonfalon of GyruffTier 1
GEO1-05A Little Bit of WoodTier 1
GEO1-06Return of the Grand Duke (2 rounds)Tier 1
GEO1-07Shadows of a Fallen StarTier 1
GEO1-08Floating Down the RiverTier 1
GEO1-09Expedition to the Barrier Peaks (2 rounds)Tier 2
GEO1-10Shhh... (2 rounds)Tier 2
GEO1-11Feather and FoulTier 1
GEO1-12A Pressing MatterTier 1
CY 592 Modules (2002)
GEO2-01A Wise Man's Son4-8
GEO2-02Veins of Trust4-10
GEO2-03Last of Nine2-8
GEO2-04A Flower for a Giant's Grave2-8
GEO2-05One Good Turn (2 rounds)4-10
GEO2-06Summer's Passing (2 rounds)2-8
CY 593 Modules (2003)
GEO3-01Small Knowing Soul4-10
GEO3-02Mourning of a Risen Son4-10
GEO3-03Curiosity Killed the Cat (2 rounds)6-12
GEO3-04Break in the Silence4-10
GEO3-05Debts Past Due2-8
GEO3-06Rites of Eternal Spring (2 rounds)4-10
CY 594 Modules (2004)
GEO4-01A Necessary Evil4-10
GEO4-02A Stormy Night in Hochoch4-10
GEO4-03Grace as Pure as Snow2-8
GEO4-04Forest of Stone4-12
GEO4-05Vision of a Lighted Path6-12
GEO4-06Winter of Discontent2-12
GEO4-07Return to the Barrier Peaks12-16
GEO4-08Massacre at Clear Sky4-12
CY 595 Modules (2005)
GEO5-IS1Never TarryLevel 1 only
GEO5-IS2Heroes Never DieLevel 1 only
GEO5-IS3An Echo in the DarknessLevel 1 only
GEO5-IS4Wagon WheelsLevel 1 only
GEO5-01The Mantle of Heroes2-8
GEO5-03The Weight of Words2-10
GEO5-04Facets of Power6-12
GEO5-05A Key With No Teeth8-12
GEO5-06Fate of Heroes2-8
GEO5-07Bound in Clockwork8-12
GEO5-08Sorrow as Deep as Night4-10
GEO5-09Citadel of the Storm King12-18
CY 596 Modules (2006)
GEO6-IS1Grace as Pure as SnowLevel 1 only
GEO6-IS2Child's PlayLevel 1 only
GEO6-IS3The Old WaysLevel 1 only
GEO6-01Shattered Houses2-6
GEO6-02Dead Silence2-6
GEO6-03A Dark Realm Divided2-6
GEO6-04Delusions of Grandeur2-8
GEO6-05A Gathering of Shadows (2 rounds)4-10
GEO6-06A Gathering of Storms2-8
GEO6-07Lady of Oak and Oracles4-10
CY 597 Modules (2007)
GEO7-IS1Six Swords For HireLevel 1 only
GEO7-IS2The Hills are AliveLevel 1 only
GEO7-IS3Pointed ArgumentsLevel 1 only
GEO7-01By Light of Twain Moons4-10
GEO7-02Blood Feud2-10
GEO7-03Breath of the Ancients (2 rounds)6-12
GEO7-04Orb of War4-10
GEO7-05A Whisper of Thunder4-10
GEO7-06Spearbreaker4-12
GEO7-07The Great Game2-16
GEO7-08Grey Matter4-12
CY 598 Modules (2008)
GEO8-01Prince of the Oytwood6-12
GEO8-02Whisper in the Wind4-12
GEO8-03Where All Shadows Lie6-12

Triads[edit]

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:

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gygax, Gary. The World of Greyhawk (TSR, 1980).
  2. ^ Gygax, Gary. World of Greyhawk Fantasy Game Setting (TSR, 1983).
  3. ^ *Holian, Gary; Erik Mona, Sean K. Reynolds, Frederick Weining (2000). Living Greyhawk Gazetteer. Wizards of the Coast. p. 192. ISBN 0-7869-1743-1. 

External links[edit]