The One Ring Second Edition: Rangers of the North

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The One Ring – The Lord of the Rings™ Roleplaying Game presents players with 11 different Cultures to choose from, including two Advanced Cultures. The first, the High Elves of Rivendell, has already been mentioned. The second is one of the most popular and requested Cultures from first edition – the Rangers of the North.

Rangers of the North

‘…in the wild lands beyond Bree there were mysterious wanderers. The Bree-folk called them Rangers, and knew nothing of their origin.’

When the Realm of Arnor ended long ago, the Dúnedain of the North did not abandon their struggle against the Enemy, but passed into the shadows and out of the history of most Men and Elves. Severely diminished in number, they became a secret people, wandering in disguise among crumbling walls and ruined towers. For almost a thousand years they dwelt in hidden places, in lonely woods and silent hills, but they never ceased to keep watch over the borders of their former kingdom as Rangers of the wild.

While the years have lengthened, the task of the Dúnedain has always been the same: to keep the folk of Eriador free from care and fear. They tirelessly patrol the region’s many paths and roads and protect those who journey across them. They labour secretly, keeping to themselves while in the wild, and rarely giving their names to the travellers they save or to the folk whose farms they guard at night, when evil things come out from dark places.

There is little glory to be gained as Rangers of the North, as their valour cannot be rewarded with honour, and their deeds are seldom sung. The memory of their noble heritage is preserved in Rivendell, where their long strife against the Shadow is remembered and recorded. Since the days of their last king, the sons of the chieftains of the Dúnedain have been fostered in the house of Elrond, and it is there, in Imladris, that the heirlooms of their lost kingdom are treasured.

The Rangers are the last descendants in the North of the Dúnedain, kings among Men that once came to Middle-earth over the Sea out of Westernesse. When they do not disguise their features, they are tall and lordly, towering above most Men living in the North. They are often silent and grim of countenance, and look wise and mature beyond their years.

Ranger adventurers are seldom encountered, as they rarely forsake their duties — even when found journeying under foreign stars, a Ranger is almost certainly on an appointed mission. But younger Rangers may be encountered on occasion abroad, as the Dúnedain of the North see fit to engage in periods of errantry, and ride far afield disguised as merchants, sellswords, or just as simple wanderers, to extend their knowledge of the world. 

Art by Mauro Alocci and Giuditta Betti.

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