Monday, October 6, 2008

Western Geoff, Part II - the baronies

Date: Tue, 15 Jul 1997 23:37:33 +0000
Reply-To: The GREYtalk Discussion List
Subject: [GREYTALK] {Greytalk] Western Geoff, Part II – the baronies

What follows is the first of what will most likely be a three or four part text listing describing the locations and inhabitants of the western portion of Geoff. If you have any comments, be sure to let me know.

The locations, of course, are keyed to the map uploaded by myself earlier today.

Some of the things I didn't mention are most of the barons have fish ponds on their property, most have extensive stables and falconry facilities, and most have apiary operations to provide honey (both as a sweetener and for trade).

Population is in reference to the number of feudal obligations owed to the Baron in question. It is usually a number of families, but not always. A rough order of magnitude is to multiply by 10 to get the total population. Also, sometimes a number of small farms who each have an obligation will pool their obligations to provide a sergeant or knight instead of foot soldiers, after all a sergeant is worth 3 foot soldiers, and a knight is worth two dozen. However, if that is done, the families providing the obligation must also provide for the sergeant and knight while he is in the field every year, as well as provide his horses, squires, and armor.

Now, without further ado, I present the first three of eight distinct baronies. Those three are Krugerfels, Shimtt Hall, and Klefferstein.

Please let me know what you think.

The Baronies of western Geoff, listed by location of the Baronial Castle

Location 02,06
Baronial seat of Baron Halcock (cn).
Population- 800

Barony includes the feudal village of Hronz (03,07). Klaur Von Halcock (f11) is a former knight-commander from the Grand Duke's army, and he is on “temporarily” inactive duty. The village, as well as the surrounding areas, are filled with many fields of grazeland. The local peasants make most of their living, and pay most of their feudal duties, through sheep herding and the resultant products. Hronz wool goes to make a good many wool stockings used throughout the duchy and exported to surrounding areas.

The Baron has two sons, Hitzee and Fronn. Hitzee has gone off north to the mountains to set up trade with the dwarven miners there. Fronn has set about building a tower along the trail halfway to Shimtt Hall, which he intends to build as a trade-stop between the two Baronies. His one impediment is that the trail is worthless during almost a quarter of the year (half the year if the winter weather is harsh).

Just outside of Hronz is a small chapel to Bleredd, which attracts a number of miners from the mountains every year during high holy days. Since Bleredd is becoming more and more popular especially amongst smiths, it looks as if chapel will be growing.

Shimtt Hall
Location 02,10
Baronial seat of the Baron of Shimtt (cg).
Population of Barony – 550

Vossfran of Shimtt (b12) is the master of Shimtt hall. It is an elegant manor hall, befitting of an accomplished bard such as Vossfran. Although he no longer rides the countryside, he makes his hall a welcome stop to all such travelers that pass through the western part of the Grand Duchy. While riding on to lands further to the west, messengers and couriers will often stop and enjoy the pleasant company that Vossfran has to offers in his hall.

The nearby village of Marak (04,10) is the home of a mage naming himself Isc the Sparrow. The villagers benefit from the many travelers that Isc receives so are not in any hurry to rush him out of the countryside. Besides, he is a grand old friend of Vossfran's.

Unless there is trouble in the area, Vossfran usually prefers to receive his feudal obligations in the form of workers for his grounds, or artisans and craftsmen to improve the life of the various farms that lay within the Barony.

The major export of the Barony, other than cartloads of charcoal retrieved from the forest to the south, is the hoart grown in the area. Hoart is a rather hearty grain native to this part of the world, and is rich and plentiful in the farm fields of the Shimtt Barony. Hoart bread is delicious and slightly sweet. The one drawback of the hoart fields is that they attract a large number of deer to the area, especially in their favored woodland-edge fields. Not a problem, until the deer start attracting owlbears or worse, so the farmers of the hoart often plant very tall and very dense hedges around their fields to keep the deer, and other predators, out.

Vossfran, true to his Velunese ancestry, appreciates the finer things in life. He often speaks in a version of High Keolander, and is rather fond of discussing philosophy and religion with his guests after supper. His seneschal of the hall, Neurd Pholantro, has attracted a number of Advocates of Lirr. They have set up a small “Tower of Worship and Adornment”, as they call it, just outside of the hall's gardens. Fine singing and bell-work can be heard from the tower every dawn, and exquisite performances of the great works of Velunese poets and playwrights accompany every holy day that the Lirr-ites hold sacred.

Shitt Mall would be in grave danger from raids by the trolls and frost giants that range out of the mountains to the north and west, were it not for the residence of one Fician Cessor (10th level knight of St. Cuthbert). His lady, Dame Ythori, and he reside in a small stone keep on a hill overlooking Marak. Ythori fancies herself to be a great lady of society, and demands that Fician and she remain here. In the meantime, Fician has attracted a rather sizable following of knights and sergeants from the surrounding lands. They don't actually owe fealty to Vossfran, but would come to his call if the Barony were threatened.

Location 05,04
Baronial seat of Baron Kruger (lg)
Population of Barony – 650

Otto Von Kruger (F9) rules Krugerfels and the Kruger Barony with an iron fist. He is very strict in his interpretation of the feudal laws that govern his peasants, but he is also very just and fair. Common folk could have a much worse liege-lord than Baron Kruger.

The nearby town of Habben (07,04) falls under the protection of Von Kruger and his knights. Whenever possible, Otto encourages the offering up of knights to his service for feudal duty. He will even go so far as to subsidize a local smith to maintain the armor of a knight who is provided for by a group of farmers within his Barony.

Krugerfels itself is an impressive castle. It is built high on a huge rock overlooking the Ol'Crista river. The rock, known as the Crista Stone, rolled out of the mountains centuries ago, and nestled in the Ol'Crista valley. Then in the meantime, the Elder Kruger (Otto's grandfather, Hengist) cleared the local countryside of frost giants, and began building Krugerfels on the Crista Stone. Little to anyone's knowledge, deep within the stone exists an ancient and forgotten shrine to Tharizdun, peopled and venerated by primeval mountain men back during the Suel domination of the Flanaess.

The actual keep of the castle has four towers, one being much taller than the others, and a central two story high great hall. The surrounding village around the immediate area has a bridge going across the Ol'Crista river, and Krugerfels is on the Crista Stone overlooking it. Immediately about the Baron's throne in the great hall is a stained glass picture (two stories high!) of the Elder Kruger doing battle with frost giants. That picture is overlooking the bridge coming across the river. The picture reminds the peasants every day of the sacrifice the Baron and his men are willing to make for them.

The tallest of the four towers in the keep is still haunted to this day with the ghost of Otto's dead wife, now dead for a number of years.

The Baron's two sons, Eric (an invoker) and Wilhelm (a paladin of Rao) have gone off to the city states south of the Nyr Dyv to seek their fortunes.

There is a chapel of Rao in the keep itself, run by a Celerite of Rao, named Potts. Through generous tithing and cheerful feudal obligation paying, the local peasants of Krugerfels and Habben have collected enough to construct a great cathedral to Rao. Potts is a little scared, however, since he is unsure if the nearby Arch-Celerite in Bissel will see fit to promote Potts to be leader and steward of such a grandiose, important place.

In the nearby mountains (hex 04,02) there is a standing circle of stones built on white bleached ground. Nothing grows in the little mountain niche (not really big enough to be a vale or valley), and it is completely abandoned except for the standing stones themselves.

The place is called, in the ancient Flan tongue, the Circle of Kings. It is a gate used to get to another place somewhere (up to the DM) on the surface of Oerth. The gate is activated by an incantation that should be difficult, but not impossible, to obtain through a sage. The incantation must be read by either a bard or a mage, and while transporting through the gate, magical items stand a good chance of loosing their dweomer (saving throw allowed, artifact level items immune to this loss).
Chuck Turnitsa

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