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    Imperial Rangers of the Aerdi
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    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Feb 13, 2020
    Posts: 35
    From: Emigre from Mystara

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    Sun Dec 26, 2021 3:30 pm  
    Imperial Rangers of the Aerdi

    William “Giantstomp” Dvorak turned his all seeing eye to creating ranger schools of the Flanaess recently, and asked for some suggestions on the Discords. When he asked about evil ranger schools I suggested this, and thought I’d note it here in case he doesn’t use it, so it wasn’t lost to the ether. I have added to my earlier notes upon further thought.

    Initially I used the name the Imperial Rangers of the Great Kingdom. However, it then occurred to me the Great Kingdom is somewhat of a hodge podge of Houses and fiefdoms, each with their own military units and forces. Thus the rangers would be the same. How to have a ranger school that provides some consistency across the Great Kingdom and its successor states? The answer to me is that the Rangers are a very old order, that emerged in the early days of the Kingdom of Aerdi and grew with it. It is an old and revered order, that makes its fall the more tragic. Other ranger schools might exist or have come into creation in the Great Kingdom since, but the Rangers of the Aerdi were the original benchmark which facilitated its growth as an order for a profession that tends to be fragmentary by nature. When the Great Kingdom was proclaimed, the Rangers of the Aerdi were an old and respected order whose name could not simply be changed. However, they gained the Imperial title to reflect they were an order with the approval of the Overking, and nominally within his chain of command.

    Unlike the Knights Protector, the Rangers were an order that fell into evil, becoming a tool of corruption and tyranny under the House of Rax. Over time the Rangers who had been established to protect and nurture the forests and woodfolk, and other wilder places, of the Aerdi became their oppressors.

    Commanders were replaced with toadies and Hextorite beliefs infected the rank and file. The Rangers are now a dark shadow of their former greatness. Many of the good ranger groups that now exist in the Great Kingdom were established in reaction to the oppression of the Rangers.

    The rangers are nicknamed by the common folk as the “Grey Wolves” for the grey cloaks they wear as uniforms. And for the fact they now prey on the peasants and common folk.

    So the Imperial Rangers as Hextorite influenced warriors provide a DM with an equivalent of Robin Hood and his Merry Men (and women) but working FOR the Sheriff of Nottingham. Rob from the poor and take their cut as tax farmers. A group of them could easily be a recurring villain or nemesis for PCs playing in the Great Kingdom or its successor states.

    The Imperial Rangers can still have a regional character as they are not a vast and unified military or paramilitary force. Rather they exist in the different areas of the Great Kingdom (or its successor states) where rangers are needed. For example, the Adri Forest, the Grandwood, etc, and their surrounds. Or regions where the Overking needed rangers to enforce or promote his rule. Such as the borders of Sunndi, or the Glorioles.

    With the collapse of the Great Kingdom after the Greyhawk Wars, the Imperial Rangers continued as tools of Grenell in the North Kingdom, Xavener and his provincial rulers in Ahlissa, and the other successor states. Their character is likely to change further over time as those rulers continue to use them. For example over time the Imperial Rangers under the control of Drax or Xavener are likely to change to become a less tyrannical tool of rule. Those operating under the Crandens near Rel Deven are likely to have never assumed this character. Or they formed their own rangers to avoid their depredations.

    Joined: Mar 06, 2021
    Posts: 1

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    Sun Dec 26, 2021 6:30 pm  
    Great Stuff

    I love your idea, and I don't think you'll be disappointed with the attention I give to rangers in the Great Kingdom.
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