Monday, January 3, 2011

The Rankethlek 101

The Rankethlek is the freedom fighting organization that was given life by Kethranmeer's desire to free his people from the control of The Fallen Empire of Man and the Fallen in general. They are a large and widespread organization at this point, and the majority of them are fighting men, as that is the nature of most Soulless. They even have their own free city, heh, aptly named Steeltown, near the border of Volungshemle.

I'll be honest, Soulless, even ones free from the Fallen, aren't terribly creative.

The Rankethlek has few tenets. The main being the cultivation of a strong willpower. Most PC and NPCs that are members of the Rankethlek would have Iron Will and Improved Iron Will. Kethranmeer actually had the highest Wisdom of the Rebellion Arc group. The other main tenet is free will. No creature, living or otherwise, has the right to make choices for others or to deny them their freedom. If for some reason Xein had jumped Derf and attempted to trephinate the crazy out of his head, Kethranmeer would have split Xein's Dogdamn melon with that massive blackstone hammer of his, not because he likes Derf. Kethranmeer isn't a super good judge of character, but he recognizes an unbalanced meatbag when he sees one. No, jumping Derf and putting a hole in his skull goes against Kethranmeer's beliefs about free will. The Rankethlek does not truly seek the downfall of The Fallen Empire of Man, or even to carve their own country out of that kingdom's already established borders. They merely desire the choice to serve or not serve the Fallen. If that does mean tearing the Necropolis apart brick by alien brick and staking the Council of the Dead out in the sun, then they will do so.

The Rankethlek is led by five Soulless. These Soulless were the first, after Kethranmeer, to be granted freedom from the Fallen by A'lst's process. They have been without Fallen in their minds the longest, their wills are iron, stronger than even the hulls that are their flesh, and each of them is a hero to his people. They are bound by a code and by a dead father, and there is no wedge that can be driven between them. D'alton and Xein should actually be pretty familiar with these guys, they used to regularly visit the lower portions of the mansion.

Mokethneer is the true son of Kethranmeer, built from the steel and wolf-iron and springsteel of his father's body. He is the leader of the Rankethlek and the brilliant tactician and inspiring commander that keeps the fires of freedom burning in the lightning and steel hearts of his people. His will is as iron as his father's was and he is utterly committed to the freedom of his people. Unlike his father, he is truly a leader, he is not the strong silent type like Kethranmeer. He is loud, angry, demanding, and he misses the calm presence of his father. At this point, the rebellion against the Fallen is his rebellion, his father sowed the seeds, and A'lst aided in the growing, but Kethranmeer died long before true rebellion could begin. Mokethneer is the one that sought out Omne-4 and begged him for aid. It is Mokethneer that forged an alliance with the Fremwightan. Unlike his father, Mokethneer's outer plating is made of springsteel, rather than wolf-iron, making him much quicker and more agile than his father. He wields two axes with his metal limbs and is a cyclone of hacking blades in battle. Mokethneer should be extremely familiar to the group, they were there when Kethranmeer killed him the first time.

Kerencarthal is a sluggish beast of metal, huge, over sized limbs and fists studded with wolf-iron. He is a living weapon and is Mokethneer's second in command. He is as cunning and willful as any of Kethranmeer's sons, but he is not a leader or tactician in the same way Mokethneer is. He is quiet and thoughtful and his personality bears more than a passing resemblance to their father's. When he speaks, it is because he shares something important with the group, and his brothers and allies know the merits of allowing him to speak his mind when he decides it is needed.

Unlike his four brethren, Carenkere is not made of springsteel or wolf-iron, or even base steel and iron. He is made entirely of copper and bears no weapon. Though he is not a sorcerer, Carenkere's knowledge of sorcery is unparalleled in the Rankethlek. When reborn soulless recover from the destruction of the Fallen that are their minds, it is Carenkere and his lieutenants that teach them to steel their new minds against the influence of others. Carenkere goes unarmed, but he is not defenseless, in his chest is a heart of lightning so bright and violent that when he strides forth into battle, the power of the storms rings his fists and does his bidding.

Tolenmeer is a small soulless, like Mokethneer, he is built of springsteel, though he lacks Mokethneer's bulk and makes up for it with greater speed. Tolenmeer is the marksman and rake of the group. The devil may care gunslinger that makes no plans and never thinks beyond the next bullet he fires. His attitude is an affectation, and his mind is as much a steel trap as any other soulless of the Rankethlek. When things are grim among the first five of the Rankethlek, it is Tolenmeer that breaks the quiet, it is Tolenmeer that shoots Mokethneer in the ass when he grows too serious among his brothers.

Kethlunran is barely returned from the madness of his rebirth. His mind is an impenetrable wall of rage and hate. His rage is a cold and crystalline though, and it fuels his every action, but it is bound by chains of will and kept locked within his metal body and only turns to violence and death when he wills it. He is a cold and dispassionate steel sentinel among the Rankethlek and he is the unstoppable force that they unleash against immovable objects in their path.

So those are the Rankethlek, the first of the Soulless freedom fighters after Kethranmeer. They are terrible, terrible foes to face in battle. If they have been wronged in some way, it would be most prudent to find a way to get on their good side.

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