Geoff NPCs

Originally by:
Erin Smale & Joe Katzman
Thanks to Erin Smale & Joe Katzman for all their hard work on THE GEOFF PROJECT, an indispensable source of information if running a Greyhawk (C) campaign in the Lost Lands.
Copyright 1995-1999, All Rights Reserved.

 

Hornwood NPCs

The Council of Five are not the only leaders within the forest, or even the most personally powerful. Here are some of the other people who make the Hornwood such an interesting place. Enjoy!

Captain Edric Armod

2nd Thief – 7th Fighter – “The Gleaming Points”
(Str 17 [18/00], Cha 16)
AC 4 (scale mail +2)
HPS: 51, AL NG.

Armod was born in the back streets to an unwed and unsupported mother. Raised in the cheap taverns of Gorna with the occasional guidance of his mother’s current paramour, Armod showed his willful streak early. Lacking the parental attention he craved, found identity and gain self-esteem among the violent life of the thieves, urchins, and street rats of Gorna instead.This was nearly his downfall. In the summer of his 17th year, Armod was arrested and incarcerated for his suspected murder of another Gorna youth during a gang turf scuffle. The authorities were unable to prove it, but slapped him with a hefty fine. Lacking funds, Armod was ordered to serve a period of indentured servitude.

Ironically, he was indentured to the Royal Forge’s swordsmith, which served the Gorna militia as well as a great portion of the Geoff military. Armod applied himself completely to his charge, learning much of the craft of swordsmithing and eventually attaining journeyman status. Two years later he joined the Army of Geoff. To him, Gregor’s 1st Pikemen was much like the gang in which he grew up: there were leaders and underlings, a struggle for territory, and a feeling of pride. Most of all, there was discipline to go with that sense of adventure. Armod had the best of both worlds. Within three years he achieved the rank of Lieutenant, second in command to Captain Ambrose Gregor. As Gregor’s accolades piled up so too did Edric’s, and eventually he became a Captain himself.

The tale of Commander Gregor‘s valiant aid during the fall of Fort Resolve is well known, but Armod’s role was no less instrumental. He was called upon to take charge of the Pikemen, serving as a rear guard for Tynnhyr’s main column and a shield against humanoid raiders. His exemplary service in this role earned him the Harrowfyst family’s Gauntlets of Ogre Power, as well as command of the reorganized pikemen when Gregor was given leadership of The halberdiers. Out of honour for his mentor, Armod chose to maintain the attachment of Gregor’s name to the unit.

Traits: Armod is a man of 29 years, though he looks older. His balanced outlook is a product of his experiences. It has served him well, allowing him to remain calm in the face of adversity, stalwart in the pursuit of his goals, joyful when the situation warrants and stoic when it does not. Candid and open, he is well-liked — one always knows where they stand with Edric. He is a man who learned much from the significant mistakes of his youth, and the lessons of his life have prepared him well for the challenges ahead.

Magic: Armod possesses little magic aside from his unit’s armor of rank, the Harrowfyst family’s Gauntlets of Ogre Power, and a Pike +1.  Aftermath: A survivor of the “March of the Thousand,” Edric Armod is now a Commander in Duke Owen‘s Free Geoffite Army.

Fearghal the Fabulous

11th-level Wizard
(Int 16, Con 16, Cha 14)
AC 5 (Bracers AC 6, Cloak of Protection +1)
HPS: 36, AL NN.

The wizards of Geoff are known as a footloose and casual lot among their fellow practitioners, prone to drinking and laying about rather than studying tomes of power. Fearghal lives up to this reputation, as free with a smile and a wink as he is with his wine.

A wanderer by nature, his journeys took him the length and breadth of Geoff during his career, casting spells for the populace and undoing the occasional ill-effects of faerie magic. Indeed, the faerie races and their habits are something of a specialty of his, and he is on speaking terms with several of their clans. Fearghal was in Kurvyll when the Wars began, and though he helped cover the retreat with his spells, he saw little action. The forest was only a few leagues away, and he wasted little time heading for its safety.

Fearghal the Fabulous is now the most powerful human mage in the forest, but remains trapped there because he doesn’t have Teleport in his books. If he meets new adventurers he will try very, very hard to find out whether they possess this spell. If so, he’ll trade a great deal for it and use it to escape. Indeed, he has tried so hard to get his hands on this spell that most significant NPCs in the forest know what his problem is. Their general reaction is one of quiet amusement, though some have managed to trade magical favors in the present for a promise to notify him if they ever come across the spell or someone who has it.

Traits: Despite the image he presents, Fearghal really wants to be known as a great wizard. He just doesn’t want to miss out on enjoying life in order to get there. He is no longer the same man he was, however, and recent events have left the mage uncharacteristically anxious, moody, and depressed. A sense of impending doom seems to hover about him, and his faerie friends delight in teasing him on occasion by creating a small rain cloud just over his head. The wizard is an almost a pathetic/comic figure, but if shown that there is hope he will stop trying so hard to leave and begin to work with his fellow exiles.

Magic: In addition to the items mentioned above, he also owns a Ring of Shocking Grasp, an Arrow of Direction, an Everfull Wineskin, and some scrolls and potions as determined by the DM.  Aftermath: When finally offered a Teleport spell by Rokayas, the ill-starred wizard found that he couldn’t learn it! Fearghal established his long-coveted reputation as a great wizard during the escape; but one should always beware what one wishes for. He was slain in the final battle at the Javan River, on the borders of Gran March. Alas, his body was taken away by the Necromancer Nyeru Darkspring, and was not recovered….

Gaelbhan the Forestmaster

12th Druid of Obad-Hai.
(Str 16, Wis 17, Cha 16)
AC 1 (Elkhide Armor +3)
HPS: 47, AL NN.

Many of the refugees fear this man, whose primary concern is the Hornwood as a whole rather than the humans in it. Though he was one of the figures who helped to provide aid to the refugees at first, the effects which they have had on his beloved forest have changed his mind. He is non-cooperative at the moment, and would probably help enforce an expulsion order if the elves issued one.

Traits: Gaelbhan does care, but the untenable ecological predicament at present causes this to be hidden behind a mask of coldness and anger. Inwardly he feels great frustration, and wonders if letting the refugees flee and weaken the forest may have been a deliberate strategy on the part of Geoff’s invaders. If so it is proving effective, and the day will eventually come when the either a weakened forest will be imperiled from without or old alliances must be sundered forever to prevent it. These thoughts do nothing to lighten his moods.

Magic: The Forestmaster is a formidable figure indeed if aroused, and owns a Staff of Swarming Insects, a Wand of Flame Extinguishing, a Dog Figurine of Wondrous Power, 5 vials of Keoghtom’s Ointment, and many potions which he has brewed himself.  Aftermath: Gaelbhan is much relieved that the forest is no longer under pressure from within, and works hard to ward it against the humanoids of Geoff. He has heard of the refugees’ surprising success from other Druids, and would go to great lengths to help The Wandering Company if they ever needed a favour.

Diolmhain Tallbow

10th/10th half-elf Ranger/Cleric of Elhonna.
(Wis 15, Dex 16, Con 15)
AC 3 (ring mail +2)
HPS: 61, AL CG.

The product of a rare union between a female wood elf and a ranger of Geoff, Diolmhain was raised by his mother’s people. His size and stature belied a quick and deep mind, however, and he was drawn to learn and understand as much as possible about the wood and its creatures.

Trained by the priestesses of Elhonna, the young half-elf soon became a prize pupil, and finally won acceptance from the Tirrien Clan. He has travelled almost all areas of the Hornwood during his 50 years as a ranger there, and is a fearsome foe to those who would despoil his home. Though he prefers working alone, this is not a great handicap. The creatures of the wood speak with him and aid him at need, and more than one humanoid warband has been utterly destroyed by multiple entangle spells, followed shortly thereafter by an insect swarm. Survivors of such expeditions seldom visit the forest twice.

Traits: Unlike most half-elves, Diolmhain is very secure in his place. He considers himself far more elven than human, and the elves of the wood appear to agree. His proudest moment was being asked to join the elves at the Dagor Aglareb, where he served as one of their elite snipers. Two fiends fell to his arrows that day, and many more humanoids felt the sting of his weapons and spells. To fight beside his kin as an honoured warrior was all he could ever ask for.

In the wake of Geoff’s fall the ranger-priest now works as something of an intermediary between the refugee humans and the elves. He isn’t really comfortable in this role, but everyone seems to expect it. In actuality, he feels somewhat hurt by this, as he really considers himself an elf and thought the elves did, too.

Diolmhain doesn’t want to lead. He’s uncomfortable with his father’s people, and far too busy trying to train and feed the refugees so they’ll survive the coming winter. Though he gets along very well with elves, humans tend to interpret his patience and silence as stoic aloofness.

Magic: In addition to his armor, Diolmhain Tallbow carries a +3 Longbow of distance, a +3 Quarterstaff, Cloak and Boots of Elvenkind, a Ring of Sustenance, and several potions prepared for him by the elves.  Aftermath: Still in the forest, where he helps protect the few remaining humans and occasionally goes on deep scouting missions into Geoff proper.

Captain Peadar Vyachan

8th half-elf Fighter.
(Str 15, Dex 16)
AC 3 (scale mail +1)
HPS: 54, AL LN(g).

Peadar is the epitome of the career military officer, an experienced, resolute fellow with a cautious streak. This caution is what has kept him at a captain’s rank despite his 40 years of service, but Peadar doesn’t care. The army is his life, and he lives to train his men in the fine tradition of Geoff’s famous bowmen.

Traits: A loyal and useful ally once persuaded, Peadar can also be a very persistent opponent. Though cautious, he is brave and resolute in the performance of his duty. Originally from Balantree to the north, he was serving in Llandrian at the outbreak of the war. Peadar’s decision to abandon the walls when the town was lost and use his men to cover the refugees’ retreat made some sense, but he still feels the shame of abandoning his post. if given a task now, will hold fast to the end. Warning: this will occur even in situations where the tactic would be counter-productive, unless given a direct order.

Magic: In addition to his armor, Peadar possesses a +2 Shortsword, 10 arrows +1, and Boots of Speed.  Aftermath: Commander Sir Peadar Vyachan survived the March of the Thousand, and once again commands his bowmen in the service of his exiled King. The shame of his earlier defeat has been washed away by the glow of their subsequent victory.

The Royal Court

His High Radiance, Owen 1, Grand Duke of Geoff

15th Illusionist / 14th Fighter
Str 17, Int. 18, Wis. 13, Con. 12, Dex 17, Cha 13.
AC -5 (Bracers AC 2, Cloak of Displacement, Helm of Brilliance),
HPS. 41, AL LG. Born 542 CY.

The third and youngest child of Grand Duke Niall IV, Owen was a boy who neither expected nor wanted to ascend to the throne of his country. Though he grew up to be a fine, strapping lad, he was always more interested in puzzles and exploration than the arts of combat or rulership. Encouraged by his gnomic tutor Fitzmillian Drimspark Owen discovered a gift for sleight-of-hand, and eventually for the arts of illusion. By the time he was 30 he had become one of the foremost illusionists in the land, and even took special training in the renowned gnomic sanctum of Rilliaun — an unheard-of honour for a human!

Had he continued in his studies, some say he might have become the most gifted illusionist in all of Oerik; alas, fate intervened. His elder brother Conaire was killed in a battle with marauding giants in CY 560, and in 573 the Grand Duke died quietly in his sleep. Succession thus passed to his sister Maeve, but her status as a Druidess soon became a source of serious friction. Despite their great respect for Druidism, the nobles of Geoff were unwilling to have a queen whose vows technically subordinated her to the dictates of the Great Druid. Though the nation’s first and greatest king had been a druid, many noted that King Geoff had himself been the Great Druid, thus removing any conflict. Clearly, that was not the case this time.

Faced with this conflict between her vows and her duty, Princess Meave accepted the crown – then stunned the nation by renouncing her claim to the throne in her inaugural speech. Her path, she said, lay as a caretaker for the land and its spirit. Its temporal care would pass to her successor, and that successor would be her younger brother Owen. Then she officially abdicated in his favour, placing the crown on his head and bowing to her new liege.

Owen was not stupid, and indeed had foreseen this possibility. With a heavy heart he put aside his study of magic, and vowed to uphold his duties as Geoff’s Grand Duke. Part of that traditional role included proficiency in the arts of war, and so it was that his father’s death forced Owen to finally take the path his father had always wished: the path of the warrior.

Traits: Owen is a good and kindly man, but his formidable accomplishments as an illusionist are indicative of his mastery of deception and intrigue. He will hew to is word, but that word may not be exactly what one thinks it is unless one listens very carefully. Most outsiders tend to guess that he is CG, unless they are well-versed enough in the lore of Geoff to realize that trickery and wit are a valued and integral trait of all of this culture’s heroes. His countrymen fully expect such behaviour from their leaders, and respect Owen for his ability to preserve freedom of action without violating either his word or Geoff’s customs.

Though he never wished to be king, Owen is determined to make the best of his situation and is a truly dangerous opponent. The same fondness for puzzles and understanding of misdirection which made him a renowned illusionist also make him a formidable strategist, and diligent training has made him a worthy foe in personal combats as well. Wracked by self-doubt at times since the stunning loss of his lands, Owen nonetheless shows a confident and determined face to the world. The March of the Thousand and other stories of individual heroism do much to improve his moods, and those whose deeds are particularly noteworthy will find him a loyal and generous patron. Still, he does have a reclusive and aloof side; many know him, it is said, but very few know him well.

One noteworthy trait of Owen‘s is his love of hunting, especially monster- hunting. He is respected even by the rangers of Geoff for his skill, and with his formidable abilities and faithful pack of Blink Dogs there is little he cannot bring to bay and slay once the chase is begun.

Magic: A millennium of coexistence with the elven and gnomic peoples, and the steady accumulation of magic over that time, has made the rulers of Geoff formidable indeed! As the Grand Duke of Geoff, Owen possesses a number of powerful items bequeathed to his line by each of Geoff’s peoples over the centuries. His crown is in fact a Helm of Brilliance (7 diamonds, 12 rubies, 17 fire opals, 30 opals left), and other gifts from the elves include a potent set of Bracers of Defense, a Ring of Spell Turning, Ring of Shooting Stars, and of course a set of Cloak and Boots of Elvenkind which dates from King Geoff’s days. Owen‘s +4 defender shortsword is an ancient weapon of dwarven war-leaders, gifted to his line 300 years ago in recognition of Grand Duke Niall II’s valour in battle.

Wondrous items indeed; yet it may be the gnomes who have contributed the most valuable gifts. One is a Robe of Disguise, which functions exactly as the hat of the same name. With it the Grand Dukes have often walked among their people undetected to learn of their grievances and hopes, and their rulership has benefited greatly thereby. The second item is the Amulet of Veiling. While wearing it, all attempts at detection or ESP magics are confounded, the magics warped until the caster is deceived into believing that which is most congenial to him instead of what actually is (no save). Scrying attempts are likewise misdirected, and the wearer will be informed immediately. Though this does not include knowledge of the scrying’s origins, it does enable the wearer to instantly project a scene of his choice instead, in the manner of a False Vision spell. Only detections of invisibility will function normally against a wearer of this amulet.

Also included in the royal arsenal are King Geoff’s Staff-Spear +4, and Owen‘s new Cloak of Displacement which proudly wears in place of the traditional elven cloak. He enchanted it himself, using the hides of several displacer beasts slain in his hunting expeditions.

The Grand Duke’s resources are slightly depleted as a result of recent events, but much was either evacuated in time or stored with the elves. As such, Owen and his retinue may be assumed to have several additional miscellaneous items as appropriate for various situations.

Aftermath: At present, Owen‘s focus is on running intelligence operations from his base in Shibboleth. This is an aspect of warfare that has always appealed greatly to him, and fortunately necessity appears to demand this role right now. While he realizes the scope of the challenge his people face, the Grand Duke believes that a combination of solid intelligence, well-executed special missions, and a continuous stream of deception and disinformation operations will eventually unbalance the situation in his favour. He may well be right.

Royal Consort Lady Eleone of Geoff

5th Abjurer
Str 11, Int 14, Wis 16, Con 10, Dex 11, Cha 17.
AC 5 (Bracers AC 5)
HPS: 13, AL LN(g). Born 546 CY.

Eleone was the second daughter of the Baron of Galloway. Pretty but shy, she was infatuated with a young son of Niall’s named Owen who made her alternately laugh and gasp with wonder at his feats of magic during a visit. Owen left to pursue an adventuring life for a time, but Eleone never forgot him and held out the hope to her father that something might yet come of it.

This allowed her to put her father off other arranged marriages for a while, but Baron Galloway’s patience was not infinite. He was about to arrange a marriage with the eldest son of the Baron of Harloch when Niall died and Owen ascended the throne. It seemed that Owen hadn’t forgotten Eleone either, for she soon became his Royal Consort. The couple has been very happy together, and Owen naturally tried to teach his young wife the ways of magic. Puzzled by her limited comprehension, he became quite frustrated until the day his wife demonstrated a spell he was completely unable to master. Once he realized that her personality pre-disposed her to a different path, he quickly arranged for appropriate tutoring.

Traits: Lady Eleone isn’t really serious about magic. She is serious about her family, though, and sees magic as a way of spending time with her husband and protecting her children. Most people in the court aren’t even aware that she is capable of dweomercraft, believing her to have failed Owen‘s attempts at tutoring. Nevertheless, her organizational skills and insight into human nature are respected by all who know her.

Eleone is naturally an orderly person, which makes her a good planner and organizer. At Caer Cherafir and again within their residence in Shibboleth she is the Royal Seneschal, in charge of managing domestic affairs throughout the residence. Though kind, she expects performance. If tasks are not completed or performed poorly, offenders will know. One young bard who made a comment she considered impudent later described “blue eyes that suddenly turned to lightning, and dark hair heavy like an oncoming storm about her visage.” Though not as overtly powerful as her husband, she is nonetheless not to be taken lightly.

If Lady Eleone has a serious fault, it is her over-protectiveness when dealing with things and people she cares about. Rhianna in particular chafed under this burden, though she wrongly ascribes this to her father rather than her mother’s influence.

Magic: In addition to her bracers and spell book, Lady Eleone possesses a silver brooch of elven make, engraved and studded with emeralds. It provides Protection from normal missiles, 5′ radius. The brooch is a traditional adornment for Royal Consorts, but it has been so long since its powers were used that it is not generally considered magical. The Royal Family and certain sages and chroniclers know better, of course.  Aftermath: Eleone is greatly distressed by the loss of Geoff, which she sees as a failure to protect her people. Rhianna‘s efforts help raise her spirits on occasion, but in general she has become somewhat gloomy and withdrawn when not in public. Even her surprise pregnancy recently has failed to stir much good cheer, and not a few of the royal staff are worried about what her disposition will be like in a few months.

Princess Rhianna of Geoff

6th human Bard
Str 11, Int 15, Wis 15, Con 13, Dex 15, Cha 16.
AC 7 (Protection Ring +2)
HPS: 24 AL CG. Born 565 CY.

Rhianna is Owen‘s daughter, and a princess of the realm who has led something of a sheltered life in the palace. Restless and resentful of what she sees as her father’s over-protectiveness, the princess has always been eager to see more of the world. She found a substitute in the tales of the bards that visited the palace, and managed to acquire a fair bit of musical skill from her tutors. As she became a young woman it became clear that the princess was also becoming a skilled bard, and so more formal training was undertaken. She was magically evacuated from Gorna when the lands fell and all was lost.

Traits: Red hair and deep green eyes are traditionally considered a mixed omen among the Geoffites, heralding a mischievous, willful child with a sharp tongue. Rhianna did not disappoint. She grew up playing pranks in the palace and using her natural charm to get out of trouble when she could, and has not completely outgrown these tendencies. Though independent and willful, she is also good hearted, romantic, and somewhat naive. Magic fascinates her, especially alteration, illusion, and conjuration magics.

Princess Rhianna is not what most people would call classically beautiful; in truth, her features are somewhat plain. Yet she is a young lady of unquestionable charisma, and when up to mischief or emotionally animated these traits shine through in her features. Then, too, bards have always referred to her as “the fair princess Rhianna,” and this assessment has spread so that most people now tend to refer to her this way.

Magic: As a member of the Royal Household, Rhianna possesses several useful magic items. Aside from her ring, she also carries a Bag of Tricks, a Potion of Healing, and a Shortsword +1, +3 vs. evil opponents. Sir Pierce Lyrimar has presented her with a Cloak of elvenkind recovered from the Oytwood, a gift she appreciated greatly. Her most precious item, however, is an old instrument known as Azler’s Harp. When struck, the tomes of this harp soothe rage of all sorts and drive away fear, hopelessness, and despair of natural or magical origin within one round of being heard. In addition, all charms and mental controls of any sort are held in abeyance while the instrument is played, and no new charms or suggestions can be laid upon those listening. Normal maximum range is about 80 feet, or more if played under more favourable circumstances like quiet places, certain caverns, etc. The strings glow with faint blue light while they are being played.  Aftermath: The aftermath of the Wars has been beneficial for the princess in some ways, giving her greater freedom of action and removing some of her naivete. She has spent a great deal of time since the Wars among the exiles in the Gran March and Keoland, visiting and offering comfort where she can (see “Marble Halls” as an example). Her magical harp has served her extremely well in this regard, and postings to her personal guard have become coveted honours for many brave and skilled warriors.

Rhianna has become much loved by her people, and much sought-after by suitors. She is shrewd enough to use this to advantage, showing friendliness to all and encouraging them to heroic deeds. As yet, however, she has shown no preference for any one of them. Certainly, the one who does eventually win her heart will have his hands full. Charming and intelligent, the princess is a natural leader possessed of a force of personality that can melt ice…or deliver a blast white dragons might envy.

Llanistaph Curutheg, Court Wizard of Geoff

14th level half-elf Mage:
Str 7, Int 18, Wis 13, Con 9, Dex 12, Cha 15.
AC 3 (Bracers of defence AC 5)
HPS: 27 AL NG. Born 502 CY.

The rare product of a human and gray elven union, Llanistaph Curutheg was accepted by his father’s people and trained in the wizardly arts in the Emerald City of Mirline. After his apprenticeship was done, he travelled Geoff and the surrounding lands for a few years before settling in Gorna. The half-elf’s generosity to the common people soon became the stuff of legends and tales, and he was often found casting spells for free if people lacked the means to pay. When Niall IV ascended the throne he invited the well-liked mage to become Geoff’s Court Wizard, a position Llanistaph has held ever since. He has an excellent relationship with Owen, and they each have deep respect for the other’s magical ability.

Traits: Llanistaph is a genuinely kind individual, but his generosity was also a way to bring him to the attention of the nobility and secure his present position. In truth, he is something of an agent of the elves within Geoff, reporting what he finds back to the Elven Court and subtly influencing both royal policy and national development in the elves’ favour.

With his amber eyes and white hair, Llanistaph resembles nothing so much as a friendly old owl, always searching for knowledge or dispensing wise counsel to someone. Those who know him well ascribe his aura of mystery to natural wizardly prerogative; those who do not know him well fail to see beyond his well-known generosity, quick mind, and vast magical knowledge.

He will not speak of Mirline, and many people believe that he left due to problems there or a lack of acceptance. Certainly, observed interactions with elven emissaries are notably cool and formal. Of course, the wizard does nothing to discourage such speculation, being well-aware how helpful it is to him.

Magic: Llanistaph is an extremely capable mage, more so even than his levels might suggest. Trained by the fabled Sindarin wizards of Mirline, his theoretical understanding of magic equals or even surpasses that of many human arch-mages. His elven-made Staff of Power has 13 charges left, and the jeweled copper headband he wears is a Helm of Telepathy which aids him greatly in his intelligence work. If he succeeds in installing the “right” successor to his office, he will pass them on to her. For protection, he relies on his skill as well as his bracers, Brooch of Shielding (59 hps.), and the lavender & green ellipsoid Ioun Stone which orbits his head at all times. This stone absorbs hostile spells of up to 8th level, and presently has 45 levels left to go.

For dire emergencies he also has a magical link to an extremely rare item: a Rogue Stone sequestered in Mirline. Essentially, the magics he has cast upon the gem allow him to be transported to it at any time by an instantaneous act of will. This will occur even if he is physically or magically held, imprisoned, petrified, or on a different plane. Only measures like a feeblemind spell, extreme delirium, or unconsciousness will prevent its functioning.

Aftermath: The Court Wizard is an integral part of the court-in-exile, and a very valued advisor. He has reverted to his habit of casting spells for free among the exile communities, and is a very active figure in putting together and hiring adventuring companies for missions of importance. Many of these groups have elves or half- elves in them; even in these times, Llanistaph does not forget his long-term mission.

Llanistaph is extremely concerned about the evidence he recovered from the Battle of Realstream, in which he disintegrated an enemy figure and recovered several elven-made items. These Collori (S. ‘cloaked ones’) were known to be skilled warriors and spell-casters, but nothing more was known of their origins and they were rarely seen. He believes his target to have been a valley elf, and the reaction this got from his superiors in Mirline has placed the valley elves and their liege high on Llanistaph’s “to do” list of enemies.

The Sindarin are well-pleased with the mage, and have begun training a half- elven successor. After Geoff is liberated, they plan to introduce her as an apprentice for a few of years until she is ready to take over. Then they will grant Llanistaph’s fondest wish: to be allowed to retire to the fabled city of Mirline, there to live out the rest of his life in comfort and honour.

Other NPCs

Sir Hugo Paisley, Knight Commander of the Watchers

17th level human Fighter:
Str 16, Int 13, Wis 16, Con. 15, Dex 12, Cha 18.
AC -5 (Plate Mail of Etherealness +3 and Shield +4)
HPS: 97 AL LN. Born 528 CY.

It is somewhat rare for a Geoffite to command the Knights of the Watch, but Sir Hugo distinguished himself early in his career as an unflinchingly brave and skilled warrior with real leadership ability. When not commanding cavalry squadrons against the Paynims and Kettites, Hugo could be found near the Barrier Peaks or Crystalmists, helping his countrymen to crush humanoid and giant incursions from that quarter. Rigid and unbelievably disciplined as befits a devout follower of Pholtus, he soon became the choice of both the strong Pholtus faction within the order and of the Geoffite contingent as well. In 573 CY, therefore, he was elected to the leadership by the Council of Watchers.

Traits: Hugo’s bravery and discipline have already been detailed. If he is somewhat rigid and stuffy at times, he is nonetheless a paragon of knighthood. In truth, Hugo desires only glory in battle and service to the lands his order has sworn to protect, and has little time for cowards or mages. All who know him know that his word is absolutely his bond, and that he places the welfare of his order far ahead of his own in all decisions. Though a stern taskmaster and disciplinarian, his fairness is as legendary as his bravery. Soaring through the skies on his griffon as he visits one stronghold after another, he is an inspirational figure to all the peoples of the northwest marches.

Magic: Hugo has accumulated a number of magic items in his long and distinguished career. In addition to his armor and shield, he also carries 2 Javelins of Lightning, a Ring of Feather Falling, and a Periapt of Proof vs. Poison +2, in addition to several miscellaneous potions. His sword “Flamequencher” is a +3 Frost Brand Bastard Sword, and he is specialized in its use. Paynim mages and fellow knights alike often watched in awe as Sir Hugo rode through fireballs and walls of fire unscathed, cutting down mounted opponents left and right before reaching the unfortunate spell-caster and slaying him.

As head of the Order of the Knights of the Watch, Hugo possesses several items which accompany that office:

  1. “ZYGMUNT’S HELM” is a beautifully-made mithral helm which resembles an owl’s head, with “wings” that drop down to protect the ears and sides. Inset into its forehead area is a Gem of Retaliation. The helm is named after Sir Zygmunt Powieczko, the Order’s founding Commandant.
  2. “THE EYE OF PHOLTUS” is a LN-aligned + 5 Horseman’s Mace. It confers Ultravision 120′, Detect Lie 2x/day, and Detects Enemies within 300 feet.
  3. “THE HORN OF THE WATCHERS” acts as a Horn of Valor when winded.

Aftermath: Unfortunately, the same traits which work in his favour as a Knight commander of the Watch have also worked to create a white-hot personality conflict between Sir Hugo and Grand Duke Owen of Geoff. Hugo considers the Grand Duke to be untrustworthy and incompetent, a sorcerer who only plays at being a warrior (unlike his late brother Conaire) and who failed his people when they needed him. Owen takes considerable exception to this attitude, seeing Hugo in turn as a power-hungry individual lacking in subtlety or strategic sense, and one whose conduct toward his rightful king borders on treason.

This conflict has boiled over into open threats of violence on at least one occasion, when Hugo challenged the Grand Duke to a knightly duel during a Council of War. Owen looked him straight in the eye and said that he had no time for such ‘monuments to pomposity,’ that if Hugo wished to fight he could name the time, and that Owen would be happy to send Hugo’s smoking corpse and surviving gear back to the Order when it was done. Fortunately, Commandant Petros of the Gran March intervened and directly forbade any violence between them — or he would banish them both from the Gran March. The conflict has thus been held in abeyance, but the antipathy which spawned it remains and the battle is now shifting into the political sphere.

Arch-Druidess Maeve of the Dim Forest

13th level human Druid of Elhonna:
Str 10, Int 14, Wis 18, Dex 15, Con 13, Cha 15.
AC 2 (Hide Armor +3)
HPS: 47 AL NN. Born 539 CY.

Owen‘s older sister has become something of an enigma to her countrymen, acting only indirectly or through intermediaries to influence events. Though she has risen to become an arch-druidess of Obad-Hai, many now doubt that she still exists.

Maeve does exist, of course, and she has not wholly forgotten her people. The sudden storms which slowed the advance of humanoid reserves from the Crystalmists and gave the desperate Geoffites time to assemble and escape were her doing, and the humanoids who burst from the forest in front of Hochoch did so because of the merciless harrying they were getting from the druids of the Dim Forest. Had they continued onward as planned, Hochoch may well have been surrounded and lost – and with it, the gateway to escape in the Gran March.

Traits: Maeve is a quiet, thoughtful lady who does not regret her decision to abdicate the throne. In the unlikely event that PCs meet her at all they are likely to describe her as abstracted, her mind on different issues. That assessment would be correct. Her vow to act as keeper of the land’s spirit was not made lightly, and there is much for her to do in her role as Keeper of the Dim Forest as well. She sees only the people she wants to see, and then only on her own terms. Given her powers and allies (which include a Green Dragon or two), she is well able to ensure this. When she speaks one has the feeling that she’s choosing her words very carefully and deliberately. Wise people will listen with equal care.

Magic: The arch-druidess has little use for magic items as such given her powers and allies, though she does own a few. Her enchanted hide armor provides protection, and Bracers of Brachiation allow her to move through the trees as easily as she does on the ground. Maeve’s store of potions and salves is outstanding, and she can be assumed to have a number of them with her at any given time. If attacked she will usually disappear, only to return later with spells and allies ready. Preferably when least expected or convenient. Though these resources and her ability to comfortably shapechange into tiger form usually suffice, she does own a Staff of Swarming Insects and a +2 Hornblade dagger for use if necessary.  Aftermath: The arch-druidess is aware that there are lost elven ruins within the Dim Forest, but not where. She will attempt to ward organized human intruders away from the deep forest, however, as a matter of basic policy. Even an elven expedition to retrieve ancient artifacts might meet her opposition if she found out, unless she could be convinced of the need with respect to balance or shown approval from someone she considered a higher authority.

What does concern her are the increasingly unnatural emanations she is sensing from Geoff. Extensive use of necromantic magic by the Lords of Doom is becoming noticeable to her, and she is beginning to take more of an interest in their activities. She has heard about the Wandering Company from Gaelbhann’s reports, and hopes that they can be turned into a counter-balancing force for goodness. Time, and the endless cycle of the seasons, will tell.

N.B. “Marble Halls” is a love song popularized by Rhianna. The irony is that she does indeed have no shortage of suitors of the type she mentions. Yet the song speaks of love and hope while subtly stressing the things that really matter. It has thus become very popular among the exiles (as has Rhianna). Her people may have lost their marble halls, but they shall still have each other….

M a r b l e   H a l l s

I dreamt I dwelt in marble halls
with vassals and serfs at my side,
and of all who assembled within those walls
that I was the hope and the pride.
I had riches all too great to count
and a high ancestral name.
But I also dreamt which pleased me most
that you loved me still the same,
that you loved me
you loved me still the same,
that you loved me
you loved me still the same.
I dreamt that suitors sought my hand,
that knights upon bended knee
and with vows no maidens heart could withstand,
they pledged their faith to me.
And I dreamt that one of that noble host
came forth my hand to claim.
But I also dreamt which charmed me most
that you loved me still the same
that you loved me
you loved me still the same,
that you loved me
you loved me still the same.

AD&D is a Registered Trademark of TSR, Inc. Original AD&D material Copyright 1978 by TSR Games and 1989 by TSR, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Used without permission. Any use of TSR Inc.’s copyrighted material or trademarks in this file should not be viewed as a challenge to those copyrights or trademarks.

Greyhawk is a Registered Trademark of TSR, Inc. Original Greyhawk material Copyright 1983 and 1992 by TSR, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Used without permission. Any use of TSR Inc.’s copyrighted material or trademarks in this file should not be viewed as a challenge to those copyrights or trademarks.

“Marble Halls” is a real song by Enya, whose theme and Celtic style are both very well-suited to Geoff. Any use of copyrighted material or trademarks in should not be viewed as a challenge to those copyrights or trademarks.

© Joe Katzman 1995-97

Author: Turnerbuds