You get used to the wind, the silence, the desolation. The burn? Aye, it’s bad. But when you stop feeling it – notice a sudden warmth in your fingers, your toes, your ears – that’s when you have to worry.
We are the Warders. Protectors of the Light. Heralds of Winter. I know! Bloody heroes, right?!
When a world is ready to give up its final breath–bleed out the last of its warmth, when there is nothing left but the graves and the ice and the Hunger–we go back. We go back for those too stubborn, too dumb or too weak to leave.
A few of them, we save. Most we put to the sword, or feed to the fire. If that’s the only way to save them from the Hunger, we burn them and shed not one tear of regret. To be blunt, most men haven’t the stones for it.
I don’t give a damn for the gods. I fight to keep the flame alive. The weak, flickering ember of life, it is ours to protect.
With a crack, the flint sparks and the torch sputters to life. The young Half-Elf smiles as she feels the warmth on her face, her hands. She regards the cold and silent wood around her, a weave of dark shadows frosted with snow and moonlight.
The twine is coarse between his fingers, the bow is taut, the arrow ready to spring from his fingers. The Elken sights down the arrow, a straight shot into the man-creature shuffling towards him. He tilts his head, exhales softly, and releases.
The Wood Elf steps out from behind the tree casually, his brown leather armor making no sound. Stepping into the campfire, he unfurls a scroll and reveals it to be a map. Once again, he has slipped into the enemy fortress and returned to his cohorts, unnoticed.
The wardens of the Dying Worlds, the Rangers are Crows who in life served as hunters, trappers, spies and scouts. In death, these wilderness defenders are often selected by the gods to act as outriders, messengers and the advance guard for the Dying Worlds. They scout the world for survivors, scavenging the ruins for resources and torching anything that remains.