Rangers

Wolves dressed as men

This is my oath, from the wilds, I stand my ground, forever watching the places that men fear. This is my oath, my blade and bow will strike down whatever threat comes near, but my hand will be offered to those I do not need to fear. This is my oath, I will defend the wilds from the destruction of man, with claw and fang if I must. But guide those who know the right path. For we keep the peace of both worlds to one day, find peace between them. But until that day comes, I will stand ready for all the struggles that will come to pass. This is my oath, and it will never be broken so long as there is breath in my body and blood running through my veins.- The Ranger's Oath

Composition

Manpower

Grouping Types

Rangers don't need to be in actual large numbers to be highly dangerous, but they do have some system to how they group themes when on a mission.   Loner: A single ranger such as this often is on a mission alone, such as scouting, messaging, negotiating, or hunting. This does not mean that they are not a threat. They can still take down multiple enemies at a time if the conditions are right for them. Some rangers prefer to work alone so no one slows them down or attracts attention.   Duo: Rangers that work in pairs that work together in sync to get the job done. It often creates a bond between the two that is stronger than most other ones. These rangers are often on stealth missions such as elimination, hunting, and scouting. Both can be extremely dangerous in stealth together.   Pack: Often work in groups of ten to go on large-scale missions that need multiple rangers to accomplish. These large groups are considered the most dangerous due to their organization and skill. Many can compare them to a pack of wolves on the hunt. Squads are often made up of rangers that trained together before they were even rangers and know one another every move before they even do it. They are also heavily equipped to deal with many different situations. These numbers are often used in raids, ambushes, assaults, elimination, and suppression.

Equipment

Survival

Survival gear is often the most important equipment that belongs to rangers for it could mean life and death for them if they do not have the proper gear to survive. It  
  • Fire Starter - a fire is life
  • Mortar and pestle - to properly make medicine or poison
  • Rope and gripping hook - to reach areas to far to reach
  • Torches - light the way in dark places
  • Herbal pouch - to heal wounds or cure poison
 

Armor

  Ranger Armor : The official armor used by all rangers to carry out their assignments. Its key feature is that of stealth and camouflage with the right amount of protection the ensure that the safety of the wearer remains unseen.

Weaponry

Rangers use a variety of weapons that are quick and efficient to complete the missions.
  • Short sword - most common weapon due to it being fast and easy to use in tight spaces
  • Falchion - A practical weapon due to its speed and strength for cutting through none metal armor and foliage.
  • Dagger - Often used for stealth kill, duel wielding and skinning
  • Short Bow - Often used by rangers that prefer to be in the thick of a fight and wanting to carry a smaller bow
  • Long Bow - The best archers and marksmen use the bow to bring chaos to the enemy at a distance
  • Tomahawk - Often carried for a quick draw if dealing with retreating and multiple enemies when bow is too close
  • Long sword - For those who want more strength to their attack when fighting, especially with armored opponents
  • Hand axe - To be as fast and a lethal as much as possible
  • Staff - Some just want to pacify their opponents rather then kill them

Structure

Rangers of the Forest Guard are not one united force under one banner but several that serve at one of the castles that they are stationed known as Fort High Tower, Greenwatch Keep, Greyhold, Helmen Castle, and Oaken Tower. With each one having their coat of arms and officers to lead them in their section of the Great Forest.   Banor : The nobles that rule over the borderlands are responsible for supporting the Border Guards in their region and are directly in charge of them.   Warden Commander: The Rangers leader at one of the castles they are stationed at. They are responsible for missions, information gathering, and diplomacy when dealing with those outside the guard. Along with having all the captains report to them during their meetings.   Captains: Several captains are organized to be in charge of several groups of rangers. From there, they assign duties and train them to be effective fighting forces commanding them on missions if necessary.   Sergeants: Each group has one to maintain the order on an assignment. Ranger sergeants are notorious for keeping cool under stress and inspiring their men to keep fighting even when things look grim.   Corparal: Responsible for keeping supplies and equipment and assigning duties to rangers they are assigned to on and off assignments. Along with organizational planning and ensuring that orders are fulfilled by their sergeant.

Tactics

Never face a ranger on their turf, it's like fighting a bear in its den. Only the bear knows how to stay quiet before making the kill! - Talus Joboren, Commander of the 21st battalion of Ardania
  Rangers never look for a fight, but they will end one. Their fight often deals with what terrain they are in and uses it against their enemies.  
  • Skirmish - When facing a superior force, it is better to hit them while they least expect it and cause enough damage to them until retreating only to wait for the next chance. Finally, after exhaustion and lack of resources to destroy them.
 
  • Ambush - Nothing causes more chaos and confusion to the enemy than a good old fashion ambush with traps and everything to cause panic and deal damage at a mass scale.
 
  • Diversion - when dealing with the enemy, it is wise to cause a distraction so that they move away from the object and execute it properly.
 
  • Stealth - to be able to jump on the enemy means success, and when needing to hide when you are being looked for makes it easier to get out alive.
 
  • Traps - A pitfall or a falling log can work wonder in dealing with enemy.
 
  • Terrain advantage - The terrain around is the key to victory when your enemy has no idea where they are and what is around them.
 
  • Rushing - when waiting is no longer an option for a full-scale attack on the unsuspecting enemy and to show them no quarter to fight back.
 
  • Fear Tactics - fear is a good motivator for dealing with the enemy, whether it is slitting the throats of one enemy and leaving the other one to leaving traps to catch the enemy off guard.
 
  • Wild Call - a language created by Rangers using animal noises to manipulate the enemy around them and to avoid detection.

Training

Several exercises are used to make a ranger a lethal killing machine: stealth, survival, combat, endurance, and knowledge.   Stealth: it is often through a series of tests known as the shadow trial, which involves three tasks to complete. The first is the silence test, which involves the ranger stealthfully sneaking up on seasoned rangers without being noticed. The second is the hunted test, which involves the ranger avoiding getting captured by a group of rangers for an extended period. The third and final test is the wild test, which involves hunting an animal successfully without it noticing you.   Survival: It often revolves around testing your skills in the wilderness, such as foraging, hunting, and finding safety in the wilderness, which can last for several weeks.   Combat: training with weapons and hand-to-hand combat. Each ranger trains with a bow to improve aim and accuracy, along with choosing what type of weapon to use in combat. Hand-to-hand combat is also necessary should you find yourself unarmed and need to finish your opponent quickly. They are also taught to fight dirty to ensure they win, as the only rule to battle is survival.   Endurance : This involves reaching the limits of one's body, which involves beatings, starvation, and sleep deprivation, among many others. This is to help them last longer if cut off from their comrades or captured by the enemy and not tell secrets under torture.   Knowledge - Knowing what lives and exist in the terrain you're working in is very important to surviving and keeping the peace. It is also essential to know ciphers and code languages to better communicate with one another without the enemy knowing what it is. It is best to know several languages too, to have better relations with groups that live within your boundaries.   Unity - Training exercises are often needed for proper teamwork and are often done in scenarios for successful or gone wrong missions. Squads also compete to test their skills with one another to learn and improve.

Logistics

Auxilia

Due to them being a part of the Forest Guard Rangers will often be working alongside others to help them in certain situation.   Brush Watchers: Volunteer militiamen that are a part of the guard to act reserve forces in case trouble is nearby.   Banner men: Often soldiers loyal to the Banor of the region to lend aid in dire times.

Upkeep

Ranger often lives off the land to survive rather than paying for supplies they often hunt and forage for it. Much of their gear is made from what they hunt from leather to rope. The only thing that they need is metals for some of their equipment and weapons. Which makes them a surprisingly cheap unit to maintain. A single ranger only costs forty silvers and most of that is just pay alone.

Recruitment

Rangers are not the most sought after due to the superstitions that surround them. But those who join their ranks often are outcasts of society, come from long lines of Rangers, or just feel that they have a sense of duty to defend others. They often come to Forest Guard to try out to become rangers rather than standard recruitment methods since they are not welcomed in most places. Most recruits come from forested regions, found in the Kingdom of Ardania but most hail from border settlements near the Great Forest with it being rarer for recruits coming from deeper inland. With many of them ranging between the ages of fourteen to thirty. Both of which can be men and women as they care little for that sort of nonsense when needing manpower as long as they can fight. Often those who know how to hunt, forage and track are more likely to become Rangers.   They are often given a set of tests to see if they are even worth the effort joining often testing their senses of perception to make sure they know their surroundings. Along with their skill with a weapon to see what level they are at. From there, they have to go through a week-long survival training exercise to see how well they can survive in the Great Forest with supervision as recruits dying to tend to look poorly and any chance of future recruitment along the way. Those that manage to making it through the week will be put into training to become a Ranger.

History

Origins

  The first notion of creating the Rangers was first introduced by the warring kingdoms of Ardania after the fall of the Kingdom of Frenik, during the Forest War by the Forest Tribes of Ve’tal. Seeing how serious the threat that the inhabitants of the Great Forest were, the rulers at the time wanted to create a unified force that could deal with a threat like this from spreading out the forest and into the kingdoms. The first rangers were composed of highly trained soldiers from each kingdom to make up a force of a few thousand men to be the first to hold the line if the tribes started an attack. Of course, these soldiers were not used to the terrain and were unprepared to deal with them. Soon enough, they recruited people that ventured through the forest, such as hunters, herbalists, and foragers, to teach them the proper way to survive in the wilderness. They also began to adopt the ways of the forest tribes in guerrilla warfare to prepare themselves better to fight them. Being officially called the Forest Wardens due to their mission of traveling the untamed wilderness to protect the kingdoms. But that would never come, for the tribe would disband their alliance and return to lands once they felt safe from the threat of invasion.   Seeing that the threat of invasion was over, the newly formed wardens remained at their post and regularly kept an eye out for trouble. They would often be the first to deal with all types of trouble, especially when Beastmen and tribesmen would go on raids. These skirmishes would often be small and not as deadly since they would return to their lands once their war party's numbers diminished, which was often quick due to the ranger's tactics. But there would be a few instances where these skirmishes would rise into small-scale wars that would last for months, let alone years, once in a while. Some of the most well known of these conflicts would be Wulver Border War and the Garma uprising. But no full-scale wars would ever come to pass, and they would often deal with criminal activities such as smuggling and bandits that used the Great Forest as a haven. A few cases of the native wildlife getting out of control and causing death and destruction in their wake. Leading to hunting parties to take down these beasts and monsters as soon as possible to ensure they cannot cause any more damage. They would also create peace with the tribes so long as mutual agreements progress and both sides mind one another's business.  

Joining the Kingdom

  When the Kingdom of Ardania was formed, the Forest Wardens that existed before the kingdom's founding was reorganized into the Forest Guard and were more well equipped and funded than their predecessors. With improved training methods and tactics to suit their needs, however, their numbers were decreased as it was deemed unnecessary to have too many of them as the Banors of the region were equipped to deal with any threats that came out of the forest. By becoming a smaller fighting force, they became better organized and stuck to using stealth and guerrilla tactics to make up for it.   They were also divided up to serve different groups under a fort, with five total known as Fort High Tower, Greenwatch Keep, Greyhold, Helmen Castle, and Oaken Tower. They were stationed to patrol a particular forest area for more efficient operations. Making them respected and feared by friends and foes alike for their skills in the field. There they would continue their duty as peace wardens and often intervene if trouble managed to cross them. From here, they would be called Rangers due to them often going into the forest and traveling considerable distances to carry out their duties rather than standing guard, often searching for trouble before it could reveal its ugly head could do any damage.  

Outcasts of Society

  Due to their line of work, they rarely interacted with citizens in the kingdom. Rumors and superstition soon revolved around them, many of which people believed, such as using dark magic or dealing with demons to gain natural power. Making many look down on them or just act hostile towards them. They are often forbidden to go to some establishments or towns as well. But the settlements bordering the forest trust them more because they know the danger that plagues the region, and they often solve these problems, making their life easier. Allowing them to have some respect for the risks they take in protecting the people from harm. They often stay in their holdings or the forest as they are more welcoming than anywhere else.  

Facing the Unknown

  While forest tribes and Beastmen are often a problem at specific times, some threats still can not easily be solved, for other dangers lurking in the forest's deepest reaches, these threats can range from dangerous animals to the supernatural. Which often is up to rangers to keep them at bay. Events like these are often kept away from public knowledge to avoid panic. Rangers are often some of the few people who have ever known about things such as these and face them head-on the best they can. Often doing their best to either end the threat by crushing or holding it at bay for as long as possible. It is one of the reasons they have small outposts inside of the forest to keep an eye out for trouble to ensure they are the first to know if any changes happen to allow them to move out to intercept them as soon as possible.

Historical loyalties

Though Rangers are loyal to the Kingdom of Ardania to serve and protect its border along the Great Forest they have stronger loyalties to the Forest Guard that they serve under. Along with loyalty to their fellow Rangers, more notably the ones they serve at the fort they are stationed at, which causes rivalries to come and go to prove who is the best of them. But they will aid one another if the need arises from time to time.
Type
Special Forces
Founding
1444 BCA
Overall training Level
Elite
Assumed Veterancy
Veteran

Cold and Calculated

Never let emotions get in the way of your duty, a cool head keeps you alive, and a passionate heart will kill you. -Fredrick Lumbren
  Rangers do not let emotion get in the way of their mission or people who trespass in their domain. They only give you one warning, in the form of an arrow a few inches away from your head, and that its. If you turn back, they leave you alone, but if you don't, then you won't be facing a man that is hunting you down, but a wolf in the form of a man, and when you finally slip up, it all over and the forest will take you with nothing to remain.    

Brotherhood Above All Else

Never forget those who stand beside you, for they are your brothers though you are not born of the same blood. That does mean the bonds you have forged together mean nothing. -Galas Curts
  Rangers stand by one another like a family through the bonds they forge, like they were all kin to one another. They only have each other, for everyone else rejects them due to false rumors and lies about them. But when one of them is harmed though no one is safe from their wrath when it comes their way.  

The Power of the Bow

 
The bow is something that feels natural to use no matter how much time has passed, for it is a part of us if we are born to use it -Carne
  The bow is the weapon for many rangers since it doesn't make noise, and no one knows where the shot came from once fired. It is the perfect tool to fight a foe much stronger than you and greater numbers. A ranger can use a bow in any condition and terrain as they rarely have trouble with it. Being able to pick off targets with ease through their training with it.  

Masters of Stealth

We are the shadows that lurk behind every corner where men and beasts go. None will see us unless we allow it to be. -Old Ranger
  Rangers have learned to be as silent as possible; very few can detect them before it's too late. This, of course, has caused rumors to spread that they use magic to do this. But it is entirely done through many techniques that give them such an advantage. To face a ranger in their environment might as well be trying to fight with a blindfold on.  

Weapon Dancers

While a Ranger’s greatest asset is stealth, speed is also in our favor as it allows us to move quickly enough to catch our foes off guard before they can even react. - Ranger Instructor
Rangers are known for their skill with the bow, few people ever consider how to go they are when in melee, and the idea tends to frighten them as very few fight them close and personal. Due to their dangers, rangers have created a fighting style that relies on speed and agility, known as Wind Dancing. This technique allows the user to fight against more dangerous opponents that may outmatch them by using their speed to strike at them fast and quickly avoid their weapons by deflecting with their weapons or dodging as if they were dancing. Often being used to confuse, overwhelm or tire an opponent out before the final blow. This is why most Ranger often use light weapons as they are more reliable than large cumbersome ones and brought about their duel wielding techniques that come with it as shields are rarely used due to the trouble in forested terrain.  

Squad Structure

 
Each of us has a part to play when going out into the forest. We must remember what is needed and do what we do best when the time is right. -Veteran Ranger
  Each member brings a particular set of skills when joining a squad, and they are shown with an animal symbol sewn into their shoulder pad.  
  • Wolf - The name for all squad leaders; they are calm and collected when under pressure and know when to execute a plan. They are also known to be respected by their men and feared by their enemies.
 
  • Hawk - The name of the marksmen of the squad, they are known for having the best eyesight and being able to hit a target from great distances and never missing. They are also known for their tracking skill, as their eyes can see distortion from movement and actions.
 
  • Bear - The name for the fighter of the squad, they are in the thick of battle when they are needed, wearing heavier armor and more aggressive weapons. They are also known for their strength and can do the thing that most of them can in terms of strength
 
  • Rabbit - The name for the watchmen of the squad, they are quick to react when there is danger and can hear things that most others can and are often used as a runner to relay messages since they are often the fastest.
 
  • Crow - The name for the forager of the squad, they are often known for the attention to detail that others might overlook, such as information and items. They also know what place to avoid unnecessary danger and where food might be at what time and place.
 
  • Fox - The name for the skirmisher of the squad, often used to cause distractions to lure away enemies from a target. They are also known for ambushes on unsuspecting enemies following them.
 
  • Owl - The name of the strategist of the squad. They are the group's brain and know when a plan is bad or good. They can use whatever terrain they are on to execute a successful plan.
 
  • Snake - The name for the assassin of the squad, they are known to be the first to be sent to deal with unsuspecting enemies without gaining attention. They are also known for their use of ciphers to keep messages hidden.
 
  • Stag - The name of the scout of the squad; they are around to make sure that the area is safe to move around. They are also known for their caution during a mission to ensure that there is no threat to endanger the squad.
 
  • Badger - The name of the hunter of the squad, the hunter knows how an enemy will react to different situations and use that to their advantage. They are known for their courage and never back down from a fight, even when the odds are against them.


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