Monday, 10 December 2012

Men of Redwald: Héahgeréfa and the Geréfan

Héahgeréfa (High Reeve)

A Héahgeréfa is a Ceorl who polices a Scíra for his Gesith. They are in charge of keeping the peace, especially amongst the lower orders, and enforcing the law, (the word Sherriff is derived from High Reeve). When the Gesith is away at court or war they also attend to his administrative duties.

Although a mere Coerl by birth a Héahgeréfa’s word has the power of the Gesith they serve. Thegn’s and Ealdormen tend to solve problems between themselves with the sharp end of a blade, but may still find themselves subject to arrest by a Héahgeréfa and his men if they murder their wives, cut down a slave or freeman, or commit other such non-political crimes in cold blood.

Most Héahgeréfa tend to reflect the Gesith they serve. A noble Gesith will be served by an honest Héahgeréfa, a corrupt and violent Gesith will have a likeminded Héahgeréfa. Of course the occasional goodly, but unobservant Gesith might have a rat of a man policing his Scíra, and sometimes an honest Héahgeréfa might stand up to a ruthless Gesith. The latter tend not stay in office (or the world of the living) for very long.

The Héahgeréfa and his men, the Gerefan don’t carry blades, after all their job is arrest not doom miscreants, so they carry the Stæf which as well as being a means of defence is a symbol of their office and power.  

Héahgeréfa: Armour Class: 6[13] ; Hit Dice: 4; Attacks:1 stæf (1d6 subdual); Special: Chain of Shame; Move: 10; HIDE/XP: 2/75.

Gear: Leðeren Serc, Stæf, Inwitwrásn.
As well as the Stæf all Héahgeréfa carry the Inwitwrásn, the Fetters of Shame. Anyone who finds themselves chained in the Inwitwrásn will find that all but the most loyal of allies, or blood kin, have turned against them and treats them as good as guilty. But even loyal allies and blood kin will be wary of openly helping those who wear the Inwitwrásn such is the stigma attached to them.

Geréfan (Reeves)

The Geréfan are deputies to the local Héahgeréfa. For every Hundred in a Scíra a Héahgeréfa is likely to have five Geréfan he can call on. Most of them are farmer’s sons in search of little more excitement and respect than can be found on the farm, and although not exactly quick witted they’re all stout hearted lads, and more than happy to crack heads when the need arises. They are equipped only with a Ságol(a cudgel) and a length of straw to chew on.

Geréfan: Armour Class: 8[11] ; Hit Dice: 1; Attacks:1 Ságol 
(1d3+1 subdual); Special: Easily Deputised, Night-Night Sunshine; Move: 10; HIDE/XP: 1/25.

Gear: Ságol

Geréfan are easily deputised so if the party run afoul of a Héahgeréfa and his full complement of fifth teen Geréfan and slay seven of them before they make their escape, next time the Héahgeréfa tracks them down he’ll still have a full complement of Geréfan. They’re also pretty handy with their cudgels and on a roll of 18-20 on their to-hit roll the victim is knocked unconscious for same number of rounds as the damage done.


  1. 'A Héahgeréfa is a Ceorl who polices a Scíra for his Gesith'

    - this is the most hardcore 'This is Redwald - learn those nouns!' sentence yet.

    Nice one - another layer of authority to hassle PCs with -mwa ha hah

    1. Haha. Now I have an image of Gerrad Butler bellowing "THIS IS REDWALD!" before handing out the grammar books.

      I figure if someone isn't reminding the players they're outlaw scum something is wrong. :D