Sunday, January 4, 2015

Rangers of Ryallon

In which Pelya and Tina have a discussion with a ranger and trapper

This is an excerpt from chapter 16 of "Liquid", Book 2 of the Wyvern Trilogy.  In it, the characters discuss the Rangers of Ryallon and the gods that guide them.  It is a world-building conversation relevant to the story.

Note:  This is a 1st draft version that has not received editing yet.


“Don’t the rangers follow Wutare, the God of Nature?”  Tina asked.

“No.  The rangers follow Enowl, the Goddess of Exploration who is the twin sister of her brother Kexlor, the God of Knowledge.  We explore the world, constantly striving to learn and discover.”

“I wasn’t aware of that.”  Pelya sipped her wine and allowed herself to relax some for the first time in days.  Their mission was urgent, but she needed to take a breath and mentally regroup.  “To be honest, I’ve never met a ranger or had dealings with your guild.  Could you tell me more about it if you have time?”

“Of course.”  Ledwid brightened at the question.  “The Rangers Guild has been around for millennia.  Enowl, the honey haired goddess, loved roaming the world of Ryallon.  She rode a stallion of the whitest white that could leap oceans to travel to any continent.”

Tina raised a suggestive eyebrow.  “Was she naked while she did this?” 

“No, of course not.  She preferred wool and leather to protect her from the elements.”  He shook his head in disbelief at the question.  “Rangers still wear brown and green as she did.  It’s best for camouflage in most areas, though white and brown are preferred in mountains and winter.”  Ledwid tugged at his own leather vest.  “At least once a year, she would visit Kexlor in his library fortress.  She brought him books and items of magic and fascination.”

“And was he naked while he read?”  Tina tried to ask the question seriously, but snorted halfway through, drawing more booming laughter from Murton, a grin from Pelya and a dirty look from Ledwid.

“Enowl begged Kexlor to explore with her, but his legs had been weak since childhood and he preferred the safety of his books.”  Ledwid was doing his best to ignore Tina.  “Yet he wanted to see the things she did while she wanted his guidance and knowledge as she discovered new things.”

Murton whispered loudly to Tina while using a hand to shield his words from his partner.  “This is the creepy part.”

Ledwid turned to him.  “Excuse me?”

Murton attacked him with a kiss before assuming an angelic expression, which caused Tina to snort and giggle.

Ledwid tugged on his vest and recomposed himself.  “Enowl of the green eyes and Kexlor of the blue exchanged their right eyes so they could see what the other saw when needed.”

“See?” Murton said.

Tina covered her eye with a hand.  “Oww.  No thank you.”

Ledwid ignored them.  “They were able to communicate with each other from that time on, but to this day, Enowl still visits her brother in his fortress every year.”

“Doesn’t Kexlor hoard his knowledge and keep it from others?” Pelya asked.  “I remember reading that he charges a fee to the other gods for any information they want.”

Ledwid’s expression turned to stone.

Pelya realized she had just offended him.  “I’m sorry.  I meant no criticism.  I’ve studied the gods throughout my life and find them fascinating.  Kexlor and Enowl are Van Gods, both powerful.  For some reason, I never made the connection between Enowl and the rangers.  It makes sense though.  Enowl carried a bow that fired arrows of insanity made by her brother.  He filled each arrow with so much knowledge, the victim’s head would flood until they screamed and died.  The rare few who did not lose their sanity became disciples of Kexlor.”

Tina shuddered.  “That sounds like a painful way to gain divine favor.”

Ledwid relaxed.  “No offense taken.  You are a surprising young woman, Miss Jornin.  A ranger’s primary weapon is the bow.”  He gestured to his in the corner.  “My arrows don’t cause insanity, but I know how to place them anywhere on a body to kill or incapacitate.”

“I hate bow and arrows,” Pelya admitted.  “I’d rather face a wizard than an archer.  Unless you’re in a large group, the archer has the advantage and usually hides on rooftops, or in your case, I’d imagine in the trees.”

The corner of Ledwid’s mouth rose in amusement.  “It’s not easy to shoot from a tree.  Given enough time, I can usually find a perch that grants me enough leverage for medium range shots.”

“That makes sense.”  Pelya turned her wine glass by the stem while she spoke.  “So are the rangers really priests for Enowl?  Did she form the guild?”

“We’re not priests,” Ledwid said.  “As Enowl explored the world, she found companions to travel with her.  She taught them much of what she knew.  Those companions became her disciples and formed the guild.  There are guild houses on every continent of the world.  We rangers are encouraged to explore at least two continents in our life and are welcome at any guildhouse.”

“That’s fascinating,” Tina said in genuine interest.  “What about the forests though?  Rangers explore wilderness everywhere, but Druids protect the forests.  Aren’t Druids and rangers allies?  You both use bows.”

“Choice of weapons does not determine allies.”  Ledwid frowned.  “Rangers and Druids have always gotten along, but there is mistrust there.  The Druids do not like rangers exploring in their forests.  They refuse to let us establish guildhouses in them.  They treat us with respect though and in many cases ally with us.”

In conclusion

This information applies to more than just this book and gives the reader a little more insight to the world of Ryallon, its people and its gods.

All my best,

John H. Carroll