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The Rendezvous

Two hundred and eighty four years ago, in the summer of 1088 DR*, a ranger named Cyrbroun Gildingfoe set up camp in a valley in the northern Sunset Mountains*. By chance encounter, another ranger by the name of Lorathain met Cyrbroun in the valley and they hit upon an idea. When they parted in the morning they told every ranger that they met of their idea and by the next year there were over fifteen rangers camping in the valley. It is said that it was here the first whisperings of the gathering orcs in the Stonelands* were voiced for the coming war at the Battle of Bones*. Every year a few more rangers would show up. Sometimes those who arrived in the valley the year before would miss the next few years only show up again. Some became regulars, bringing their own specialty wines, ales, breads, meats, leathers, mounts, or other goods to every meeting. No official name has ever been giving to this, part festival, part information sharing, part old boyís club (though often the female rangers equal or out number the males). After roughly a hundred years of this casual meetings it slowly became known, amongst the rangers, as the Rendezvous though some call it the Gathering and even some the Party. Currently there are nearly half a dozen Rendezvous across the face of Faerun. In a few of these places, such as the original Rendezvous and the Nether Mountain* Rendezvous, a sort of permanent camp has been erected.

In the valley of the original Rendezvous a small keep was erected in 1342. Mulurus Harthop (N male half-elf Rgr14/Com1) currently lives in the keep and welcomes all rangers who pass through the area when the Rendezvous is not being held. When the rangers gather for the Rendezvous, the keep is abandoned and Mulurus spends his time with the rest of the rangers at the other end of the three mile long valley. This is the site of the largest of all the Rendezvous. On average forty to fifty rangers will be at the gatherings during Midsummer* and the Feast of the Moon*. The majority of these rangers are undead hunters or demonfoes, where they descend upon the Battle of Bones* and the Skull Gorge* to hunt their darkest enemies. Currently many rangers with the Cult of the Dragon* as their favored enemy are using this Rendezvous site as a staging ground for their attacks against the cult at the Well of Dragons* to the northeast. They are doing their best to recruit new soldiers for their guerrilla war. It is going badly, though, as for every three rangers that head out against the cult only one usually returns.

At the Nether Mountain* Rendezvous an eighty year old ranger, by the name of Teril Kaervin (NG male human Rgr11/Brd3/Com1) has erected two towers; the first of which is a 50 foot round tower that stands to the side of the bottom of a waterfall and rises 100 feet into the air (a full 40 feet above the top of the waterfall) and is named the Spraybase tower. The second tower sits at the top of the waterfall, is 50 foot in diameter, raises 80 feet into the air and is named Watersdrop tower. From the 8th floor of the Spraybase a bridge extends and connects to the 3rd floor of Watersdrop (creating a slight incline up towards Watersdrop, as the 8th floor of the Spraybase is even with the 2nd floor of Watersdrop). The towers are situated so that, while on the roof of Spraybase one can see down the 2 mile long steep valley, but not over the lip where the valley is pinched off by two merging ridges. Atop Watersdrop one can see over the lip and into the farthest end of the valley that lies beyond the ridges and even a portion of the rolling planes between the Nether Mountains* and the Spine of the World*. Rangers camp, usually at the base of either of the towers, moving freely between the two levels by way of the towers. In addition to Teril, four other rangers make this site their permanent base of operations in the north. The majority of these rangers have orcs and giants as their primary favored enemy, though goblinkind and dragons rank a close second. A friendly rivalry has sprung up between the regulars of this site and the hamlet of Jalanthar* to the south on the opposite side of the Nether Mountains. Both have begun to keep a tally of the number of orcs slain in the region. Though Jalanthar* is by far the larger of the two sites, with far more able bodied rangers to hunt orcs, the Rendezvous site is swiftly catching up to Jalantharís number of kills. This is often because many rangers out of Silverymoon*, Sundabar* and Citadel Felbarr* pass through the Rendezvous on their journeys between the Moonwood*, Cold Wood* and the Rauvin Mountains*. Above is a ranger's sketch of the Nether Mountain* Rendezvous while looking over the waterfall and down the valley on a clear day.

One other Rendezvous of note is the Rendezvous of the Shaar*. This Rendezvous is organized by Lady Kelmaritha Keeneyes (N female moon elf Rgr9/Ari1) who, with a few other rangers, wanders endlessly across the plains, never camping in the same spot twice. She and her companions do their best to hide their tracks, and cover up their camps, so as to make finding the Rendezvous a test of a rangerís abilities. Generally there are a total of three rangers, with two pack animals, moving across the Shaar*. So thick and healthy are the grasses that often within minutes of the groups passing the tall blades have sprouted back up from being walked over. Add to this that the rangers do their best to conceal their movements that, at any given time, the DC to track the Rendezvous is 20. Afternoon thunderstorms, and the constant winds that blow across the Shaar* can also increase this DC.

When the Rendezvous originated it was common to meet only once a year, for a tenday, starting on Midsummer day. But as time passed it became an increasingly useful tool for the rangers of the land to meet and share stories, rumors, and news of events and happening such that, at any given time, there are between three and twelve rangers camping out at any particular Rendezvous. During Midsummer* and the tenday starting with the Feast of the Moon* there can be anywhere around twenty or more rangers camping out. The first few days of these gatherings are spent learning what others have discovered of the movements of orcs and giants and other threats. After these first few serious days the Rendezvousí atmosphere begins to shift to that of a large party. The ale and mead that many of the rangers bring is tapped and drank until dry. Games of skill and chance are played by all, the most common being axe throwing, old menís bones*, chess, fishing (often bare handed), hunting, and wrestling. Often, the older regulars place bets on guessing "the heartís hatrid" of new faces to the Rendezvous. When news of a fallen ranger reaches one of these gatherings an evening is dedicated to their memory. Each who knew the fallen comrade speaks his or her mind, sparing nothing in creating this oral obituary. The better speeches are often handed down at later gatherings to remind all of their place in the scheme of things.

Generally the rangers at a Rendezvous are Neutral Good, though all rangers are welcome. When arguments between rangers occur, fights have been known to break out and they can often be fatal. Though these fights are often looked down up, the general attitude is to let each individual handle themselves accordingly, stay out of anotherís fight unless you are one of the targets, and share your experiences of the wild openly.

An open invitation extends to all rangers to attend any Rendezvous. Non rangers are generally not welcome though no one to date has turned any non-ranger away from the gatherings. Typically non-rangers are ignored or patronized unless they happen to be druids or bards, who are always treated with some measure of respect unless they prove themselves otherwise. It has been known, for a few of the more outspoken and isolationist rangers to make speeches in front of non-rangers, for the need of the gatherings to be ranger exclusive. Though this has never been taken to seriously. The Rendezvous is not a Harper* establishment but there are usually a few Harper* rangers amongst the others during the gatherings and Harpers* have found the Rendezvous an excellent source for information on the more wild lands of Faerun*.