between adventures, or it may be incorporated into a campaign, possibly as a springboard for an expedition involving the entire party (the ranger must complete a quest for his cleric, and recruits other companions to help him).
A ranger's term as a clerical follower may have a variety of consequences, for weal or woe. On the good side, he may make some powerful new contacts and learn some new skills. He may even acquire a new follower or two of his own (a low-level cleric or fighter decides to accompany the ranger when he leaves). On the other hand, the ranger may become burdened with new duties to perform (in exchange for his training, his clerical superiors now expect him to offer extra donations every month in their honor). At any time, he may be unexpectedly summoned to the clerical stronghold to help train novices or defend against attackers.
Though they generally avoid organizations and communal events, many rangers
participate in informal get-togethers called
or moots. At forgatherings,
rangers can exchange ideas, barter for supplies, and participate in contests of skill, as well as catch up on gossip and blow off steam. Attendance at forgatherings is by no means mandatory, but most rangers look forward to the opportunity to spend a few days socializing with others who share the same general philosophy and professional challenges.
These are often times of much merriment and celebration. Old friends are greeted warmly and new rangers are initiated, sometimes with raucous practical joking. There are food and fun for all, and tests of skill and prowess to pass the time and take each other's measure.
A ranger can go through his entire life without ever hearing about a forgathering, let alone attending one. But chances are that sooner or later, he'll hear a rumor about an upcoming forgathering, or receive an invitation from another ranger. He may also notice strange symbols etched on trees or stones, intended as guideposts to lead attendees to the forgathering site (depending on how secret is the location of the meeting, a ranger might need the trail sign proficiency to translate the symbols).
In most cases, forgathering attendance requires no prior arrangements. These gatherings are by their nature informal, and they are rarely interrupted by serious business except under the most unusual circumstances. Any ranger who shows up is usually welcome; rangers who bring extra meat, fruit, or wine to share are welcomed with open arms. Attendees are expected to supply their own bedding, tents, and food. First-timers may be required to perform extra chores, such as guard duty or trash disposal.
A ranger may bring non-ranger companions with him as guests, providing the guests keep to themselves and stay out of the way. The ranger is responsible for his guests' behavior; should they cause trouble or make nuisances of themselves, both the ranger and his guests will be summarily ejected. It's unlikely that ranger will be welcome at any