Remains of the Fey
Strongmen and Scoundrels
Magic is in decline; it is a dismal fact. But even before its ebb from the fabric of the world, there were plenty with no aptitude or taste for it – the majority of the human population, at least, would be hard-pressed to summon a quill pen from across the room. Why exert yourself when you could just walk over to it? But there are other paths to heroism – “normal” physical and mental capabilities, if trained, are often sufficient, and there is no shortage of those who make a difference without depending on the flagging source of magic.
Fighter (or duelist, or man-at-arms, or soldier) is a wide umbrella term for all those armed and armored men and women who engage in physical contests of skill and strength. Many of them serve or have served in the military, but plenty others are mercenaries, self-trained or otherwise, or constables, or toughs in the employ of crime lords. What does unify these individuals is their martial prowess and interest in improving their technique.
The hunters and explorers of the United Kingdoms, rangers are drawn to the natural world out of love or necessity. Some are quiet folks, skilled with the bow or rifle and adept at taking deer and other game down silently at distance. Others crave the rush and respect of taking on big game with nothing but a sliver of steel between them and their quarry. Some rangers even train domesticated (or even wild) animals for companionship – this often extends to shared hunting. Most lords would train a dog for a this purpose, but wolf-hounds, hunting cats and raptors are sometimes seen alongside the eccentric and skilled. Regardless of specific training, rangers are often used as scouts and guerrilla troops by the military during war-time because of their ability to navigate new landscapes, stalk their prey, and bring a swift end to a hunt.
Nimble in both mind and body, rogues are figures that prize grace and subtlety over raw strength and force. Among the higher classes, the rogue is most likely to be a duelist, a dilettante, or a gentleman-adventurer, as comfortable in a sword-fight as a fancy party. Among the lower classes, rogues tend toward the seedier side of life; they are the thieves, cutthroats, grifters and tomb-robbers of the world. Either knows how to handle himself in a wide variety of situations, and both can be invaluable when adventuring into the unknown.
Nearly all officers have had considerable experience with the military; while they may not have seen war, they have experience leading men and women into battle. Some are tactical geniuses; others know how to win the hearts of their soldiers, pushing them to acts of heroism and self-sacrifice. Either way, any group of adventurers or soldiers stands a far better chance of surviving with an experienced officer leading them into battle. Officers also usually possess some measure of political acumen in order to continue the fight off the battlefield.