The Half Elf character gives up the choice of any other Background, and are a Ranger of the Steel Realms by class.
The Darkland Ranger is a specialist at survival in the Darklands of the Steel Realms. The are trained from an early age to endure the terrible conditions of the sunless world of the lands under the rule of the gods of darkness in the east. The half-elven biology, their inherent anger and passions that get the best of them are forged into a weapon. They have seen the worst of Orrish behavior close up, and they know that there are always those who would trade with darkness for profit. They are a dour, pessimistic lot usually. Young druids often train with Darkland Rangers – teaching them their craft at the fringes of the civilized lands and following in their footsteps into the Darklands. Half Elves in particular though seem immune to the horrible depression, unchecked aggression, and evil them seems to affect those who spend long periods of time under the Curtain of Night and the fringes of Orrish society. As such, they are the perfect scouts to monitor the events of the Darklands and serve as watchers to warn the west of large attacks and happenings that are important. They also serve as a reason for those of other races to continue to safeguard the lands where their kind make their home – outcast and outsiders to others. They are more prevalent in the south, closer to their people and a place of refuge and safety. They often interact closely with the High King’s Rangers to monitor and track personages or places of interest to them.
Skill Proficiency: Survival and Investigation
Tool Proficiency: Disguise kit (disguise themselves to look and smell like Orrish from a distance)
Equipment: Disguise kit, Leather Armor, Medium Shield (light – wicker and hide). Darkland Rangers start with no money.
Feature: Seen the Unspeakable
The Darkland Ranger has been exposed to the worst of behavior, cannibalism (perhaps even had to participate), rivers of blood and foul evil beyond comprehension to most. They manage to block it out somehow, through their curse of the half breed heritage. The Darkland Ranger is inured to the treachery, bias, and machinations of the politics and cultures of the lands of light. Uniquely, they gain their Proficiency Bonus on Sanity checks. They are also protected by the Druids of the realms with rituals and rites and their Essence loss as a Ranger is counteracted by a gain in 1 Essence to resist evil influences of spirits in the fallen lands of the east.
They are selected at an early age for the same traits that their training and service ingrain in them.
– I always have a plan for what to do when things go wrong.
The Darkland Ranger never walks into a room without figuring out exists, never sleeps except with their bed against the door in an Inn and a way out a window or even through a wall. The way out of dungeons is never compromised unless the reward is tremendous.
Duty – I’m loyal to my friends and return the help I am afforded.
Everything done is for the love and protection of family, friends, hearth and home. To suspect a friend is worse than to be betrayed by one. A Darkland Ranger never leaves an area without repaying a debt.
– My honor is my life.
Honoring the role of the ranger, and its message of first line defense is critical. Those who cannot see it are no friends of mine. Those who understand will be mutually protective in my path outside of Darkland Ranger and my life beyond it. I must strive to honor that memory and values that hold evil at bay.
– I have no respect for those who cannot survive on their own as I did in the Darklands if they had to.
While defense of the homelands and innocents there is important, one cannot depend on a friend who is not, if needed, also self sufficient. That is an unequal bond.