dwarf rangers

Rangers ain't easy to love and they're harder to hold   They'd rather give you a song than go digging for gold   Notched battle axes and old faded leather   And each night begins a new day   If you don't understand him, an' he don't die young   He'll prob'ly just ride away       Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be rangers   Don't let 'em chase goats or hunt ten point bucks   Let 'em be miners and blacksmiths and such   Mamas don't let your babies grow up to be rangers   'Cos they'll never stay home and they're always alone   Even with someone they love       Rangers like moonlit night skies and clear mountain mornings   Little leaves in their beard and starry views in the night   Them that don't know him won't like him and them that do   Sometimes won't know how to take him   He ain't wrong, he's just different but his pride won't let him   Do things to make you think he's right       Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be rangers   Don't let 'em chase goats or hunt ten point bucks   Let 'em be miners and blacksmiths and such   Mamas don't let your babies grow up to be rangers   'Cos they'll never stay home and they're always alone   Even with someone they love       Most dwarves like the underground and many spend as much time underground as possible, but even with life stones, dwarves rely on the surface world to meet many of their food needs.   Both the Dwarf Kingdom of Meckelorn and the Dwarf Kingdom of Stahlheim are both very hidebound traditional societies.   Not every dwarf is a traditionalist at heart. A lot of dwarves who do not fit into society leave dwarf society entirely and seek their fortunes in other lands, others leave for a few decades to seek their fortunes and then return.   Others don't want to separate from mainstream dwarf society entirely but they want some space and freedom (or they just like sunshine and the wind in their hair). A lot of these dwarves become rangers visiting mainstream society, or what they call "the Unders", three or four times a year at most.   In addition to providing meat, furs, and reagents, dwarf rangers ultimately are valuable to their mainstream cousins because they see things and hear things providing news of the surface world to give their cousins warning of outside events they wouldn't find out about with their heads literally buried underground.     Dwarf rangers have their sub-culture that is apart of and yet distinct from mainstream dwarf subculture. They don't like rules or schedules and they are often bachelors or spinsters.   Dwarf rangers are tough as nails (they have to deal with any threats of the hills and mountains by themselves) so they are usually competent fighters but they do not make very disciplined soldiers.   Dwarf ranger subculture often elevates deities that dwarves usually don't pay much mind to such as Zarthus and Nami. Whomever they pray to, ranger piety tends to be very informal by dwarf standards.     Both Meckelorn and Stahlheim have a fair number of rangers. While Meckelorners and Stahlheimers have a rivalry, rangers have far more kinship with rangers of the other nation than they do with the civilized folk of their same nation.

Perception

Social Status

Status is low but the rangers take a sense of pride in their otherness and developed a unique subculture.

History

Originally, rangers, those who hunt game and tend livestock, were a very low status job that only poor dwarves were saddled with. Over the centuries, the profession's cultural norms have changed. Dwarf rangers have a subculture both a part of and apart from mainstream dwarf society. Where once dwarves were mostly forced into the lifestyle by circumstances, now some choose the life because while it sometimes provides isolation, it often provides freedom.

Rangers on the Others

  Hear the words of Beznak Bristlebranch, Deep Ranger     Greystone Clan : They are the epitome of older clans. Proud, haughty, tradition bound, reluctant to get their hands dirty.   Red Shaft Clan: Before their recent loss, none of the old clans were friendlier to rangers than the Red Shaft Clan, but they needed a scapegoat for their defeat. They don’t realized that many rangers died trying to defend their lord and that our losses were just as great.   Red Scales Clan: They rarely throw derision at our profession, but they also rarely buy or wares or hire our services.   Dragonbane Clan : We used to get along with the clan, but now that clan wants to make themselves respectable, they have taken to the notion that snubbing their nose at rangers will make them look respectable.   Heart's Fire Clan : We have a good trading relationship. They often hire rangers to guard their caravans.   Order of the Stone: We sometimes cross paths and we get along well enough. They respect honor and tradition but temper their haughtiness with a modicum of humility, or perhaps it is just stoicism or false modesty.   Priesthood of Mera: We don’t mix well but we both understand that family is determined as much by your actions as by your blood.   The Sóleið: I like the sun well enough and give Khemra her due, but I don’t need the Keepers to throw hundreds of rules at me.   Priesthood of Phidas: Unnecessary at best, untrustworthy at worst.   Maiden Guard: We rarely cross paths, but rangers and the Maiden Guard are indirectly competing to recruit strong female warriors. We tend to get the free spirited lasses and the Maiden Guard tend to get the conformists.   Armorers Guild of Meckelorn: We don’t need their fancy gear. A true warrior’s greatest weapon is his wits and strength of will.   dwarf influenced kalazotz: They are worthy allies, or so I’m told. They prefer deep caves and we prefer the open sky, so we rarely mingle though we both perform vital and often unappreciated tasks for Meckelorn and Stahlheim.   Meckelorn : Stahlheim may be liberated, but we have not fully secured our homelands, so we must stay vigilant. We are their first line of defense.   Stahlheim: They pay us well for our services but the guilds are infringing on our freedoms more and more. At some point it doesn’t matter how much gold they flash at us, we can only be pushed so far.   Mondert : We love the land and they love the sea. To each his own.   Kantoca: These are decent humans. Even their lords are not afraid to get their hands dirty and are usually well traveled. They prefer hills over mountains of course, but they are tougher than most humans.   Borderlanders : Kindred spirits if ever there were any. I like most of these humans and the dirtier Bordlerands I don’t like are easy enough to avoid.   Fumayans : The Booters are decent humans and brew a good ale. They are hard working and tough.   Swynfaredians: They cover up their weakness and sloth with magic. Even if they conquer all the human lands near them, I doubt they will dare challenge us in the mountains.   Codenya: We love the mountains and they love the forest. To each his own.   Uskalans: I never met anyone from the vampire king’s land personally. I only hear rumors. The rumors are dark indeed.   orcs: Their numbers are rebounding, they are just not rebounding in the mountains, at least not yet.   Goblins : We are well accustomed to thwarting their thieving schemes, or I thought. The appearance of the new jumping breed is more troubling though.   Kobolds : All the other dwarves act like kobolds are these exotic unknowable entities with unknown shifting allegiances. It’s not that difficult! There are three groups: Laershin, Gilgren, and Tiamalans and once you learn to tell one from the other you know how to deal with them.
Demand
Staple, dwarf rangers aren't always welcomed warmly but they are very vital to their societies.
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Cover image: Symbol of the Nine by Pendrake

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