Rangers are members of the unit who have come into a great realization of what and who they are. Once a hopeful becomes a ranger, they are no longer allowed to renew their earth pendant.
A ranger's Pledge
titanium rings: perseverance
modified trizantine weave: co-existance of ranger & world
aluminum ring: completeness for which all rangers strive
gold & green: unit colors, to remind a ranger what started their journey; for the part of the wolf that walks with a pack
gold colored device (i.e. the maple leaf): personal representation of the ranger, for the part of the wolf that walks alone
How does a hopeful become a ranger?
We consider it a personal choice for a hopeful to become a ranger, but in most cases, it should just be the natural flow of things. They have proven to themselves their dedication to the ranger lifestyle both in and out of Dagorhir. The four pillars are fully ingrained into their system, have become like air and water. There are few--if any--niches of their character (both their personality and persona) that they cannot explain promptly after a question. Many of their worthy peers have spoken to and acknowledge their skill or service. Rangers of the unit may recommend their taking the step to ranger. Ultimately, the hopeful must have great understanding of who and what they are, where they are headed, and why the unit's concept of responsibility has such an impact on the world around them.
Once their decision has been made, the hopeful prepares for their vigil, that being a flame they must keep alive from sunset to sunrise.
- Should the flame die, including reducing to either coals or smoke, the hopeful may attempt the vigil again after six months have passed.
- Like any challenge, the vigil demonstrates the four pillars of the Rangers:
- integrity: The hopeful must follow the vigil to the letter, even if there would be none to notice their offense. No one but the hopeful and Nature are allowed to alter the flame's chance for survival in anyway. The hopeful will not write on the experience, either during the vigil or anytime after. Memories and truths taken from the vigil should persist in the oral tradition only; while we cannot monitor outside activity, hopefuls and rangers should advise their friends and peers to not write about their vigil, be it privately or publicly.
- perseverance: The hopeful must go without food or speaking for the entire length of the vigil. They are allowed to leave the fire for no more than five minutes at a time, only to go to the bathroom.
- awareness: Nothing can be brought to the hopeful or the fire's area during the vigil: everything must be in place before sunset--extra clothing, blankets, water, fuel, equipment needed to sustain the fire. This pillar gives the hopeful no excuse to be unprepared. If it rains or snows, the flame must survive. If they get cold, they cannot go back to a tent nor convey a message for someone to bring a blanket to them. If they have to leave for a bathroom break, someone else must watch the fire without altering it unless it becomes a danger to bystanders or the environment. How the hopeful arranges for these watchers is up to them. If the hopeful requires food or medication due to a medical condition, this must be discussed with other rangers prior to the vigil. The hopeful must maintain a safe area around the fire at all times. Every factor must be taken into account; failing to do so speaks to the hopeful's progression.
- reflection: The presence of the other pillars strip away the extraneous to what should now be natural, what is part of the hopeful's very core. Lack of speech forces them into silent self-examination. Others may come and go, to speak to the hopeful, to offer a story or song or memory of their time together, to test them briefly in sparring--anything that lies sensefully within the bounds of the vigil. Integrity puts their mind off of worrying whether or not their actions and state are within the vigil's bounds. Perseverance pushes them through the small hours of the morning. Awareness applies to their knowing thoroughly their surroundings and themselves. Reflection, as always, completes the picture; the future ranger comes into the true realization of their position on their neverending path.
- At sunrise, the new ranger extinguishes the fire and sleeps. When the ranger possessing their Pledge wakes, they place it around their neck.
- Within the three months after their vigil, the ranger must perform some act of great charity. Most commonly, this is a feast for the unit, their peers, and anyone with whom they crossed paths--with no cost to the feasters.
If a hopeful decides when they become a ranger, what stops anyone from saying "I'm a ranger now!" two seconds into their hopeful pledge?
Such a question reveals the purpose of a thorough investigation of the member's character from the moment their interest in unit membership has been known. The rest of the unit takes it upon themselves to find accurate and trustworthy reports of the potential hopeful's worth and integrity, and to find first hand evidence themselves. If the above situation does ever arise, it speaks to the failure of the Rangers initial investigation.
What is expected of a ranger?
Rangers strive to put their best into whatever they apply themselves, whether it be teaching, fighting, telling stories, serving Dagorhir and their chapters; they hold themselves to higher standards than the hopefuls, yet remember that no one is perfect, nor free of misfortune or mistakes. They should know that in order to stay in prime condition, a frequent exposure to such activities is key. The concentration of their time should be on others, not as heavily on the introspection as they knew as hopefuls, now for whom they are examples and mentors. The rangers seek out potential hopefuls so as to preserve the ranger lifestyle. Periodic challenges are no longer required to renew their pledge, but are encouraged to hold them strictly as tests; their challenges must not be labeled or announced as such unless directly asked.
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