The Mistborn Rangers
Origins and Hierarchy
There have always been trappers, frontiersmen, scouts and guides throughout the Stolen Lands who’ve helped their fellows and neighbors with timely warnings and assistance when needed. The Kings arrived years ago, and defeated the Stag Lord and slayed many of the beasts that had stalked both the Narlmarches and Kamelands, removing the major threats to communities and individuals that would become part of the realm. Once the Kingdom of the Mistmarches was formally organized, the Kings did not forget the rural backbone of the land, and quickly worked to ensure that those people were both represented in the new government, and protected by it.
Sly Surlakov, a former knight of Brevoy, became the realm’s Lead Ranger – a position often called a Warden in other lands – and worked hard to train and manage those first volunteers, drawn almost exclusively from the body of experienced outdoorsmen in the lands. Although separate from the city police forces, under Sir Akiros, and distinct from the small leadership cadre that would one day form the nucleus of the Army of the Mistmarches, the Rangers have always been a quasi-military organization, with ranks and a hierarchy of command. That said, the command structure of the Rangers is far more horizontal than vertical, with fewer steps between top and bottom that in most military forces.
In charge of the Mistborn Rangers is the Lead Ranger, who also fills a seat on the Lower Council of the kingdom. Equal in stature and authority to the Treasurer, Councilor, Marshal, and High Priest, the Lead Ranger is charged with ensuring that the Mistborn Rangers are properly trained, equipped, deployed and managed so as to ensure the safety of the rural lands of the realm, with a special focus on protecting roads and farmlands and watching the northern and southern borders – those with Brevoy and Galt.
The Lead Ranger has a small command staff, varying in number over the years, to assist in matters of personnel, logistics, procurement, and other issues essential to the proper leadership of a large, dispersed organization. He/she is also assisted by a deputy, who serves as the executive officer to the organization. Under this top level of command exist the six region commanders, each holding the rank of Ranger Lord. Within each region are a number of companies, each commanded by a Captain. Team leaders hold the rank of Team Sergeant. Most everyone else is either a Ranger or a Ranger Recruit. While some other ranks exist – Command Sergeant, for example – there are very few staff ranks.
When Lead Ranger Surlakov was disabled in the fight against the Kellid barbarians during the Varnhold Campaign, he was replaced by Tessara, a long-time resident of the region with deep roots in the Narlmarches. Unexpectedly promoted to the Upper Council by King Anton, she was openly referred to as ‘Queen Tessara’ by him and King Pik – something that caused some political commotion within the Mistborn Rangers and kingdom at large. By the end of the War with Pitax, the Queen had seemingly disappeared, not only vacating her duties as Lead Ranger, but dropping out of the Upper Council, as well.
The new Lead Ranger is a well-known former trapper, Durjen Foleshun, a dwarf. He has worked hard for the last few months to clean up the organization and give it a tighter sense of purpose, after almost a year of war turned so much focus away from the original mission. The politics of the (former) queen also brought great turmoil to the Mistborn Rangers, and Foleshun is doing his best to improve morale and eliminate the factions that developed during her tenure.
The Rangers are organized into Teams, Companies, and Regions. Each Team has 5-10 members, depending on where it’s located, its current assignment, and other factors. Teams are formally numbered within their respective Companies, although some have names they’ve earned or been given over time. Companies are usually made up of three to five Teams each, and are also named after the town out of which they are based. Teams are formally identified by Company name and Team number. For example, Team 2 from Myralanna would be formally known as “Myralanna’s 2nd,” while Mistahven’s 1st is more often known as “Sly’s Own,” as it traces its lineage to the first Ranger team organized before the kingdom formally existed.
There are currently six Regions, listed below with their subordinate Companies and numbers of Teams each.
- Central – responsible for the plains and steppes around Misthaven, extending northward to Myralanna and east to Silverstep. Made up of Mistaven (5 Teams), Myralanna (4), and Silverstep (3) companies.
- Narlmarches – responsible for the massive forest, it is made up of Tatzylford (4) and Lyrano (the old forest keep) (4) Companies.
- Slough – tasked with monitoring the massive swamp and safeguarding traffic through it, it is made up of Freeton (3) and Last Stop (3) (situated on the border of the Narlmarches and the swamp).
- West – the newest region, it covers the newly-conquered former Pitax west and south of Freeton. Pitax (3), and Togrin (3) (northeast of Pitax). This region is still mostly under military jurisdiction.
- North – responsible for lands north of Lake Hooktongue and east and west of it. Burmovton (4) and Drellander (small settlement 30 miles north of Freeton) (2).
- Varnhold – responsible for the mountains that separate the Kamelands from the Varnhold Annexation and the steppes to the east. Varnhold (5).
Teams typically patrol on a schedule, with one team on rest/retraining, one on retraining/quick reaction, and the others patrolling their given areas within each region. Teams usually rotate on the duty roster every 2-3 weeks, and most Rangers are assigned to a given Company for about a year before being moved elsewhere in the Region, or to a different Region entirely. Rangers who serve more than one enlistment (two years) typically see themselves serving across the kingdom.
Uniforms, Rank, and Equipment
All Rangers, when on duty, wear an insignia on the left side of the breast, high and just below the shoulder. Many choose to use it as a clasp to hold together a sash or cloak. The insignia is universal, and identifies the wearer as a Mistborn Ranger. Wearing the device by anyone else is a crime in the realm punishable by fines and imprisonment, depending on the context of the offense. The insignia is made of dull steel, and circular with the likeness of a single tower behind two wavy lines, representing the official symbol of the Kingdom of the Mistmarches.
Rangers are also assigned a dark olive hooded cloak, which they are carry with them while in the field at all times, and with its generous cut and sturdy cloth acts as blanket, raincoat, and moderate cold weather cover.
Rank devices are worn just below the Ranger broach. Typically only team leaders and officers where any rank while in the field.
All Rangers are equipped with a suit of light armor. In fact, only light armor is allowed while on duty, unless one’s medium or heavier armor is so significantly enchanted that it is as flexible as light armor. Each Ranger is also equipped with one melee and one ranged weapon of standard quality, along with a light riding horse and other necessary field equipment.