Rangers of the Gnarley Forest
The rangers of the Gnarley are some 200 strong, most of them born woodsmen, with a few half-elves among them. This group has become more cohesive during the Greyhawk Wars, and no few of them fought in Furyondy as volunteers. Tales of that war leave them in little doubt of the threat evil presents.
The group is democratic and has no leaders who issue orders or directives, but there are seven Ranger Knights who meet at Corustaith every two or three months to share information at the Gilded Acorn there. Each Knight has his own following of younger rangers who swear a personal allegiance to him. In return, each Knight undertakes to train the younger rangers as needed, and holds an annual feast for all his juniors each Brewfest. The oath is not very restrictive, involving promises to protect the integrity of the forest, to help good folk in need, and to revere a Power of Good (usually Ehlonna).
Ranger Knights do not have formal delineations of territory or spheres of control, although each has a particular area (which may overlap with others) where he has good friends and expends most of his protective efforts.
The rangers strive to bring good folk together. They have very warm relations with gnomes, most woodsmen, and with the swanmays and werebears of the Gnarley. They are very cautious in dealings with elves; they are respectful to them, but do not trust them. Cool politeness is the order of the day.
Gnarley Rangers have their own secret tongue, one that is part vocal and part subtle hand and eye signals. This language concerns events and phenomena important in the woodlands and to the ethos of good. Thus, if one ranger looks at someone and then casts his gaze down and to the right, a second ranger viewing this will know that the first ranger considers that person evil or dangerous. An almost imperceptible (to non-Gnarley Rangers) clenching of a fist accompanying this shift in gaze indicates that the ranger feels the person is certainly evil or very dangerous. The Gnarley Ranger language is complex and quite subtle.
The Gnarley Rangers are concerned with the forest’s welfare, not with politics, and they do not care about the squabbles of Dyvers and Greyhawk over territory. They would like to see Celene’s influence diminish, but they don’t regard the Free City as exactly a bastion of righteousness and morality. However, they are glad to see the militia helping to protect woodsmen, and individual friendships between rangers and militia leaders and officers have begun to blossom.