A technique developed by participants in the Tournament of the Masters of Luck and Death, these questers range at the edge of an ongoing quest or ritual and watch for events or entities. If this happens, they join that event and interact with it. Thought by some scholars to be related to the Waltzing and Hunting bands of the Empire of the Wyrms Friends.
Ranging and Joining is dangerous, but considered less dangerous than pure Ranging, as long as the questers stay in proximity (whatever that means) with the main ongoing quest or ritual. In large heroquests, Rangers and Joiners are typically chosen by spirits, lot, or even just find themselves in the role due to the mysteries of the ritual itself – some say that is the Luck referred to in the Masters of Luck of Death.
There have been 22 Tournaments of the Masters of Luck and Death in the history of the Holy Country, and as result, many sophisticated heroquesting techniques have been disseminated through the Holy Country, Dragon Pass, and even Prax. These techniques are different from those taught and used with such great effect by the Lunar Way, but are potentially no less effective.
This is why questers who Range are so much more dangerous than those who simply re-enact existing stories; they discover new myths. And this is why the Lightbringers Quest is so dangerous and so powerful – like the Red Goddess Quest, it always involves Ranging.
Now Ranging and Joining is not nearly so dangerous – one watches at the edge of a story for a hint of another. An anonymous character gets a name and becomes adventure, or a passing mention becomes a story in its own right. This might provide a new key detail to an important myth, or might be a tangential eddy that swirls around wherever but becomes beloved by local storytellers.
But as the world dies and the Greater Darkness envelopes everything, perhaps you don’t undertake the Lightbringers Quest, but you could help free an imprisoned goddess, mend a broken god, aid the last spark of Light against the forces of Winter, or still manage to find yourself at Redemption’s Edge by following the Burning Footprints. You use the same techniques Sartar, Tarkalor, and perhaps Kallyr and Argrath learned when they participated in the Tournament but did not seek its prize.
Every big magical ritual has many participants in many roles:
- We have the leads – this might be Orlanth gathering his family and followers together, or Ernalda bringing forth life.
- We have their immediate companions – this might be Humakt, Issaries, etc.
- We have the chorus of celebrants who sing prayers and offer sacrifices and gifts of power.
- We have those who defend the ritual – warriors, guards, usually Humakti.
- We have those that have been brought or summoned into the ritual – curious spirits, dangerous enemies, opposing powers and elements, etc. Some are brought in to participate, others are fought off.
- And often present are those who watch to see what else is going at outside the ritual. What else has the magic bought into the area? That’s the folk who Range and Join.