One of the founders of our hobby and one of the most unsung contributors to Dungeons & Dragons, Len Lakofka has passed away at the age of 76.
Along with the many adventures, classes, spells, and rules he created, Len was also father of the Suel in Greyhawk, designer of their gods, and namesake of the Lendore Isles.
The value of his work goes without saying, but his presence will be sorely missed. The adventures of Leomund go on.
Recently we have begun to address the population of Gran March, and this addresses those that are of Gran March. There is a population doc circulating.
However, this does not address the question of Refugees. There is a reasonable expectation, particularly due to the gross availablity of land that Gran March would want refugees, and refugees would find Gran March desirable.
We should have refugees in numbers from Geoff, some from Bissell and a lesser number from the Uleks.
In small numbers I would expect a few from the Wild Coast, Hold of the Sea Princes, and the Lands Conquered by Iuz.
Remember, Refugees are running away from something, not too anything. Many will run till they simply cannot run anymore. Gran March, should be a very desireable destination, for two reasons.
One, it was relatively unscathed during the Greyhawk wars. Though this is probably luck, it will be percieved by the Everyman as being a result of their excellent army.
Two, nearly anyone can serve in the army, and thus those who have lost a great deal can serve and get back a little in the way of revenge.
We need some input here, as this will affect base population. Also, we will need to discuss the requirments for staying in GM, and for joining the army.
When I add some flavor to the army, I plan on putting a bit about refugees in there. For example, LGG states that many refugees from Geoff crossed the river and joined the army in an effort to help take back their home land. I don't suppose there would be entire companies made up of refugees, but I suspect that you would see more Geoffites in Hochoch than in the rest of the GM army.
Hammar, I think we need to look at the LGG under Geoff. I think that there may be Geoffite Companies due to a completely different style of fighting. Lets check, they are famous archers, but I dont have the LGG at the office.
Also I would think that entire units, the more elite, retreated back across the river in toto, and are in and around Hochoch.
I checked under Geoff, in LGG, and while it does mention archers in the fall of Geoff, it only mentions that they were sylvan elves and half-elves. It doesn't say anywhere I could find that the archers were renowned.
It does mention that many soldiers pledged themselves to the armies or Gran March or newly reclaimed Sterich. It goes on to say that they encourage the re-taking of Geoff from afar, and "...The largest group of these warriors is based in the all-but-annexed town of Hochoch..."
I think that the leadership would be foolish to refuse them entry into the army, but allowing a unit to be composed largely of Geoffites would present the possibilty of entire units deserting back to Geoff if a juicy opportunity presented itself. Do you see what I mean? Even if I were in charge, I would make sure to split up the Geoffites into other companies to make sure that if they left for home, the unit would not be heavily affected. I think it goes without saying that the Commandant, and KoW, Magnus would certainly think that way.
Cool, sounds good to me. Only if a unit survived nearly intact, or with some remnant of the command structure, would I even consider maintaining it, and one would then have to assume that they would go back to Geoff. As you quoted, any such unit would be located on the very front lines anyway.
I'll keep that in mind, and we can flesh out a few "provisional units". Essentially, ones that are pledged to the GM army for as long as the giant occupation lasts or something like that. In fact, that could be a good bit of RP flavor. Imagine a unit that is ready to head back across the river, but the Commandant won't release them from their contract, or something like that.
This just keeps getting better and better. Soon we have to map our Baronial Units. We may use the Rainbow Company as one of those, what do you think? I would still like to keep it part of the army, though maybe pare down its size, to say 800 or so.
Please pardon my ignorance, but I don't recall the size of the rainbow company from you. However a unit 800 strong taken from either the specialty corp (appx 950) or from the foot (appx 3100) would significantly weaken either corp. I think it most likely that their numbers would be drawn from the specialty corp, given their unique mission and make-up.
In my experience (RL and RPing) when a smaller unit accomplishes great things, it earns them that much more honorand prestige. Therefore, I would suggest that we keep Rainbow company's numbers below 100. Effectively, what that will allow us to do is populate the rainbow company with elite warriors, while allowing DMs to create other elite units of their own choosing without significantly diminsishing the army's numbers.
No problem, what you were looking at is a "historic," review of the Company, and its sizing in the Hateful Wars, when it comprised nearly the totality of GM's committment.
However, I think we all should take a look at the History/Timeline. The standing army is 18,000. I think this number has been hanging around since the 83 boxed set.
I have to believe that currently the army is larger than that. If now is not a time for increased vigilance, there never will be. There is the remnants of the Geoff army in Hochoch, along with the KoW & some of the GM Army. GM has units in Furyondy, Ulek, Bissell, and Sterich as well as trying to patrol the Dim and Rush March. The Baronial Armies have to be at full capacity, or this little wagon wont roll.
The compnay you reference here is not a standing army unit, but one that was created at need. I think having a 100 man core is reasonalbe during peace time (which is before the GH Wars.)
If they have 3,000 men in Hochoch (and from the description in Liberation Of Geoff, they have to have at least that many); 2,000 men in Furyondy (and I think there is more); 1000 in Ulek (wouldnt even be a token force), and 3000 men in Bissel or on the border. This would put 9000 or half the standing army fielded.
Hammar, you are military, you know the stresses of this, I have to belive that they have activated old units and increased the size of existing ones to accomodate the current situation. I would say that the Commandant has issued an edict to activate several thousand reserve units until the other forces are brought home.
Therefore, I would have to believe that the current size of the GM army, with refugee units and everything is currently at 27,0000 and all the militia and veterans units are ready for action. There just doesnt seem to be any other way to keep up with GMs committments.
OK. I am posting here in response to the discussion in the GM Mapping on refugees because this part really does not have much to do with mapping, except maybe some burned villages.
Going by the figures in Medieval Demographics Made Easy, the land between the Javan, Realstream and Dim Forest should be able to support a theoretical population twice the size of Geoff’s before the invasion. The land between the Dim and the Rushmoors should be able to handle twice that. Being well watered, that should be some very fertile land. Together, the population carrying capacity of those areas should be about 400,000. Of course, the land would not be ready to support such populations because it would not have yet been cleared except around the population centers and some outlying homesteads or scattered manors.
There would have to be quite of bit of hunting and gathering going on. That is what most of the local monsters are doing in those areas regardless of their type (wolves, goblins, lizardmen) and what a lot of refugees will be doing while they try to set up their new homes or feed those clustering around Hochoch and other centers.
Just taking a few WAGs, I would say that such activity takes 10 times more area than farming and that the human population of the combined areas jumps from roughly 40,000 to 80,000 with the refugees. If the capacity of the whole area for hunting and gathering is only 40,000, it will be virtually all used up by all the refugees and existing humans. But as I indicated before, the land is probably already being used by various monsters. Generally, they cannot co-exist. Druids must be going crazy.
Just for arguments sake, let say the only monsters are goblins and they individually need half the area of humans. That makes for 80,000 goblins that need to be either killed or moved. Add in some underutilization for both pre- and post-refugee stability and diversity of monster population and you still have thousands of monsters going all over the place killing the refugees or running away.
It would not be about the way to say that there are some 5,000 goblins, xvarts or whatever in the area that have existed under the radar in small groups but because of the refugee influx mass together for protection in a few groups as they head for the Dim Forest sacking existing villages along the way. They might even be bumped right back, depending on what they ran into there. In addition to that, add a few thousand wolves and bears and about a dozen very young dragons preying on the refugees because the refugees come into their territory taking their game. Maybe some more powerful monsters actually move in for the easy human pickings. Keep going to you can account for a monster population that consumes the equivalent of 10,000 to 40,000 refugees.
Indeed the Army and the Watch would be running around killing things, but they could not keep up with it, especially if they are watching the west for Giants. They probably cannot even keep up with the news. Adventurers wanted!
pSmedger explained on Greychat that the Flaness does support a population every bit as dense as that of medieval europe. However, you have to also count goblins, kobolds, bugbears, trolls, Giants (who count for a lot) and Dragons(who count for a whole lot). With this in mind, the populations should be about right.
This is the reason that I want to finish my pop density map... because where the population is concentrated, it is every bit as dense as medieval eurpoe. Where it is not, it is sparse indeed. I am thinking though, that I will have to do this by hex in order to make it right, then forward that.
I have already broken down the core population by the baronies, races and cultures (oerdian, suel, flan, baklunish and mixed). The cultures are defined by how a person would identify themselves ie. Scottish Americans, African Americans, etc, or those that have specific language or name ties. Or absolute racial features. The mixed... well they are more like me I guess.
So, once we have this little masterpiece, then I will really help tackle the refugees...
I am posting some notes from Liberation of Geoff that speak to canon and refugees.
Meanwhile, back in Geoff, the giants' control over that
land was bruised in 586 when soldiers of Gran March and the
Knights of the Watch succeeded in reclaiming the town of
Hochoch on Geoff's extreme eastern border, which had been
occupied by orcs, ogres, trolls, and a dozen hill giants. As
things now stand (the current year being 591 CY), Hochoch
has been "temporarily" annexed by Gran March and (along
with parts of the Oytwood) is being used as a base for attacks
on giants in Geoff as well as the smuggling of goods into and
people out of the Lost Lands. P 5
This means that Hochoch was occupied for a while and likely fell about the same time as the rest of Geoff.
Reclaimed in 586 CY, Hochoch has become the home of many
of the soldiers, knights, and mercenaries that freed it. Packed
with refugees from further west, it is a good place to hear
first-hand accounts of the battles against the giants and
rumours of what may lie to the west. P 6
I suspect that the mercenaries are from Geoff perhaps the troops that Hammar was talking about. This also suggests that a number of refugees are in Hochoch. I agree with Wolfsire that in most case refugees tend not to only as far as they need to because they do want to go back.
This speaks to the treatment of the luck ones and some idea of what happen to survivors but most were killed
The surviving humans were given a
choice: chop down the trees of the Hornwood under the
direction of the fire giants, or die. Most chose to work.
Acres of forest were cleared; humans were brought in from
Oytmeet (as well as those who had fled Gorna or other
cities and later been rounded up) to plant these new clearings
P 66 LoG
there is a special note about Midwood who's villagers made a pact with a Fog Giant
The town elders considered the offer and promptly
accepted, seeing the loss of their silver to the giant as a
better option than losing their lives and those of all the
other townspeople. True to his word, Seshey took their
silver but harmed no one. P 55
This attack was sudden swift and quite sophisticated
The attacks on Gorna and Oytmeet described below are example of the methods used in the attack
A well-organized force
of orcs, ogres, and armored fomorians crept along the northern
reaches of the Stark Mounds and forced a wedge into the
The small army of orcs and giant-kin that hit the city was carefully concealed. Following the Blue Oyt, they marched on Oytmeet before news of the attack on Pest's Crossing could travel westward. Under the cover of night, skilled orcs assassinated the tower guards and allowed the rest of the army to enter unchallenged. Guided by magic from the orc shamans, they found the guard garrisons and slew most of them quietly
in their sleep. By the time alarms had been raised the city was at a severe disadvantage, and most of its people fled blindly into the night.
The fact Oytmeet fell before it even knew of the attack means a swift and well planned attack and to me means that there is unlikely to have been 35,000 refugees.
Other towns were either ill prepared or defences were lacking to adequately defend themselves and also fell quickly. The whole campaign appears to have taken 1-2 months From Reaping to Harvester. The only people for Geoff with a hope in heck of survivng either were lucky enough to be made slaves of the giants or were on the eastern edge of Geoff.
Here is a quick map I made showing Giant army movements in green and counter attacks in blue based on what I have read. The northern most giant movements into Dim Forest have not be heard from. The grey map is out of Liberation Of Geoff. It is not mine.
was finally ready to strike in the middle of High Summer, sending messages to all of her subject tribes to attack when the large moon was new. Hordes of giants, giant-kin, and humanoids thundered into Geoff, Sterich, and the Yeomanry Although the stout peasants of the Yeomanry were able to drive the invaders back into the mountains, the evil horde swept into the other two lands, destroying those that opposed them and scattering most of the population, sending the survivors fleeing into the forests and across the border into nearby countries P 4
I think Sterich had more time to have refugee and they, as it suggests in LGG, joined the army and the Knight of Dispatch and fought there way back into their country with every intension of returning. I believe the Geoff just did not have the time to re-act. Again I am not saying there were not refugees from Geoff, clearly there were. I am saying there could not have been 35,000.
We also need to remove ourselves for our world as well at times and place ourself in a more Medieval mindset with the dangers of a more predatory world and magic. In our modern world we have killed our predators.
Something more to think about. _________________ "Its a dangerous business going out your front door." JRR Tolkien
Unless you are a Greyhawk Heretic.
I hadn't read your response to this until today, Ivor but I think you are dead on correct. I think the only way that 40,000 Geoffites made it out was if their original population was around 400,000. A 10% escape rate seems pretty logical to me, considering the ferocity and efficiency of the giants' attack. Does anyone else agree with that assesment?
Hammarr_Jaerome: “A 10% escape rate seems pretty logical to me, considering the ferocity and efficiency of the giants' attack. Does anyone else agree with that assesment?”
I am just going off of intuition, but I think 10% is way too low. Giants move fast and are deadly, but I see them as tanks with artillery, but not machine guns. A normal human cannot stop them, but they cannot kill or capture virtually everyone unless the population lines up for it.
IvorMac’s quote is relevant there: “destroying those that opposed them and scattering most of the population, sending the survivors fleeing”. OK, who is going to volunteer to oppose a giant? By the quote, not most of the population.
I think it is more likely that 90% survived the giants, and the refugee figure is dropped down from there by capture and death by other means along the road/in the wild. Capture would not be all that easy for giants. They could capture many, but are they motivated to run about the country? Death by other means will certainly happen, but unlike most of us moderns, peasants are likely a little hardier and wary. Large population migrations did happen in the Dark Ages and before. I could easily see 50-75% of the population as surviving.
I see no problem with only 11,000 refugees in GM, but I think that would leave a lot more elsewhere, perhaps many living in holes in Geoff. There is probably room for such hidden retreats. I could see a higher number too, but do not think it is necessary for realism. Perhaps the biggest factor in keeping out large numbers was that Hochoch was occupied and would be a target again.
I think it is important to realize how much land vs. person there is in GH. Even before the giants invaded, there was a large amount of land versus the population. The idea that the majority of the population is still hiding out in the country side is perfectly plausible, if not the first answer one may come up with. It is less than the number of homeless in NY city. I think that there are many refugees withing their own country. Without outside aid they would eventually succumb to total barbarism, but that does not mean that they would disappear.
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