Thursday, 6 December 2012

Men of Redwald: Gesith

Gesith (Companion)

Gesiths are royal companions, the friends and peers of Cyningas and Æðelingas (Kings and Princes)drawn from the ranks of Ealdormen they are members of the Royal Warband accompany the king at court and in the field, and also rule Scíra (shires) in his name. Most are loyal and true companions to their Kings, but some few are more inclined to be loyal to the riches of the shire entrusted to them. Other’s have merely inveigled their way into the royal company to make it easier to step over the king’s corpse and onto the throne should the opportunity arise.

Gesith: Armour Class: -2[21]; Hit Dice: 7; Attacks:1 Gár (1d6), Broadsword (1d6+2)or Wælseax (1d3+2); Special: Word of Law, Word of Command,; Move: 10; HIDE/XP: 4/120.

Gear: Wíghelm, Lamellar Serc, Scield, Gár, Broadsword, Wælseax, 3 silver armbands, 2 gold armbands 3d6 silver rings, silver brooch, a fine cloak and an gold and garnet cloak pin, golden belt buckle, 3d6 gold rings.
A Gesith who is a personal companion to an Cyning or Æðeling will be in possession of many rich gifts, bestowed upon them by their lord. Those that control a Scíra will have a great many resources to draw upon, a small mead hall, and a hillfort placed to strategically dominate their land.

As valuable as any of these riches are the Gesith’s power to command, and their status as law giver. Within their Scíra their word is literally the law. Anyone below the rank of Ealdorman they accuse of a crime will be considered unquestionably guilty, and subject to whatever punishment they see fit. Any Ealdorman so accused will have the right to take his case to court. If, of course, he manages to get to court.

Because of this they are used to being obeyed and most folk are used to doing as they command. Any NPC’s accompanying the player characters, who are not long term companions or somehow bound by loyalty, friendship, or kinship to the party will turn on them at a word from a Gesith.

For example the characters, in the employ of an ambitious Thegn, are on a mission to convince another Thegn to see their patron’s point of view about the ownership of a disputed farmstead. They’ve decided to achieve this by visiting the rival by night and burning his longhouse. To aid them in this the Thegn has loaned them ten of his Fyrdmen.

On route they decide it’s vital to their mission’s success that they stop off at a locally renowned brewer of small beer to ‘collect taxes’ unfortunately for them the local Gesith arrives to collect the actual taxes. He is not happy about their adventures in freelance taxation and tells them he will see them hang.

The party order the Fyrdmen to cut down the old blowhard, but at a word from the Gesith they quickly turn their spears on our ‘heroes’ who now have to talk, or fight themselves free of ten Fyrdmen, an angry Gesith, and even more worryingly the brewer’s righteously wrathful Ealdowíf.


  1. It's always good when the party's power comes up against authority and deference. Players perceive the 'limits' of their freedom as outsiders.

  2. I hope it makes for an interesting dynamic. It's kinda simulationist. Which I guess makes sense for this setting, though I don't really go for RPG theory much myself. What it does do (I hope) is bring a sense of setting verisimilitude. There's also a bit of genre emulation about it it. It's a very common scene.

    Simulationist. Verisimilitude. Genre emulation. Okay I've made myself feel sick now. :D

  3. Lee would you consider allowing you Redwald material being converted to Heroes & Other Worlds format? The material you have created is fantastic and fits well with the kind of gaming I like. Drop me a line if interested,

    1. I can answer that now with a yes. TFT is my big 'wish I'd got to play it back in the day' and Moldvay basic is an all time fav D&D, and it can be played without maps and minis so HOW went straight on my letter to Santa.