Taer'Sulei, the Frontier Rangers
Some stories say that once they were the honour guard of a great king who ruled the entire region when it was naught but shining cities. Others that they were an order of warrior monks pledged to protect the land, or even just a collection of farmers who banded together as the beasts of the Madjan closed in on their homes. The word Taer’Sulei translates from Madjan into “Watchers at the Gate”, which is both who they are and what they do. Made up of warriors, thieves, mages, and priests from all walks of life, every member of the order of frontier rangers has pledged to keep the madness of the cursed lands away from the civilization which would dwell there. In their infancy, this meant being monster slayers, but after the reign of the Hellfire Lich, they evolved into an army designed to fight from the shadows. It was just in time, as the first war with Scything Crag followed soon after, and the Taer’Sulei fought it from the front lines, the Ranger Lord Keluran leading the forces of a battered Temir against the hordes of the black rock.
How do they work?
With the support of various cities, members, and border lords, they maintain patrols and the occasional outpost all along the border chain, watching for any horrors which might trespass. Patrols also exist inside the border chain, and certain ambitious groups have been trying to establish outposts further out, though most of those were destroyed during the war. The Taer’Sulei are run by a council of thirteen Ranger Lords, who vote on all relevant decisions and function as warleaders in times of need. Even the greatest of the lords is still expected to patrol now and again, because no one in the organization can afford to lose their edge. Despite its militancy, the Taer’Sulei maintain a rather fluid organization, members encouraged to travel and learn new skills, as the warrior for whom duty becomes routine is the warrior who becomes unaware. The rangers have many orders within their ranks, from the Hedge Knights, wandering warriors who follow an old code; to the Dead Man’s Hand, a group of brutal killers who have sworn vengeance against the peoples of the Crag.
People of note
Saint Walker, a goliath from Tachros, is the army’s archivist, recording the names of the fallen at the memorial at Samartia. Saint is his name, which causes some confusion, but his role is a vital one. The ranger’s pact is service in life and memory in death, as the sutras say. The author of the sutras, Detrayana, has long since died, but his five hundred and twenty-one sutras are often said to be the Taer’Sulei’s catechism, and indeed it seems that few have understood what it means to watch the borders better than Detrayana.
Where do they reside?
The rangers reside wherever they are, these days. In their glory days, they maintained a permanent presence in every border fort, ruling it as small lords, in charge of the frontier. But now the forts belong to various unaffiliated lords with their own agendas, some friendly to the Taer’Sulei, and some preferring the protection of the Ivory Throne or even the Therengrad Spellbinders’ Ring.
The Taer’Sulei’s Relationships
The Taer’Sulei stand in opposition to the armies of Scything Crag, and see them as the largest threat to civil life in Temir. As such, they maintain good relations with the Kinalae faction of Tachros, who urge the destruction of Scything Crag at every senate meeting, though the rangers realize the difficulty involved in such an effort. The terrain between the borders and the Crag is rough and fraught with danger, making it impossible to move an army through without the considerable expenditure of both resources and lives. They also have a longstanding pact with the Aecha Ostai, who have been training ranger mages for as long as anyone living can remember, the two organizations’ respect for each other growing in the defense of Isard two years ago, when the Taer’Sulei led the offensive against the siege.