The ringmen are the bards and poets of the fire ring. Not one group or organization, these are but members of a single occupation. The ringmen travel from town to town, feast to feast, telling tall tales, and singing songs to break the heart or lift the spirit. But what, you ask, is there to make these men different from any other wandering singer? Well, friend, I’ll tell you.
For starters, they have alliegences all their own. To become a ringman, one must first swear alliegance to the Wand’ring gods-the deities that grant to men the powers of song, prose, and charm. The Wanderers are threefold: Thymon of prose, Yuliir of charm, and the Nir of song.
Thymon is the greatest of the three, and most well known. He is portrayed most often as a sunny dispositioned, fair featured man. He is the one who inspires men with running syllables and leaping rhymes.
Yuliir is shown as a giant of a man, with stunning features and a well built frame. He is the embodiment of physical charm and charismatic personality.
The Nir are the most secretive of the Wanderers. Few even know of their existence, and even fewer know their purposes. The Nir are shown in art as three women in flowing dresses of brightest silk. In reality, they are actually one being, in three parts. The Nir are the voices of song in men’s minds, whispering new notes and verses in their ears.
The ringmen pay homage to no man, and no man should expect it from them. Usually, when invited to take part in a feast that is being held, the ringman will return the favor by entertaining the collected guests for the evening. The blessings of the Wanderers enable the ringmen to be the best of the best of all poets, singers, and tale-tellers. Many a king has wished that the ringman who he had hosted the night before would stay on indefinitely, and many have tried to make them stay. The ringmen, however, are often highly skilled sneak-thieves as well as bards. So they will mostly be able to escape any kind of prison or dungeon that they have been put in.
To become a ringman is simple, you have but to pledge yourself to the Wanderers. There is no grand ceremony, no great show, just a personal pledge. Because of this and the very nature of the ringmen it is very possible for one ringman to have never met another, however, most of the time, the new members will join because they were inspired by another ringman.
There is no moral code, set of rules, or even basic guidelines for the ringmen. Each is his own man, each can do as they want, and they must take any consequences that arise.
Because of their lack of structure and laid back approach to worshiping their gods, the ringmen are not recognized as a real religious organization by most churches, not even that of Thymon (that is, the one that is separate from the devotees of the Wanderers).
The history of the ringmen is long and fairly simple. The Wanderers, during the creation of the "civilized" races, placed gifts in most of them. Some received more than others. While most men simply used their gifts for profit, some realized that they were given something special, and that they should be thankful. These few were the first ringmen.
-Sevaline, a powerful baronet, has taken captive half a dozen ringmen, all at different times, and is keeping them from escaping somehow. Others of their order are determined to rescue them, but first they need information on how they’re being kept. Is it blackmail? Magic? Or are they just dead?
-A group of adventurers is needed by a church to act as "cult stoppers". They will be outfitted by the church and then sent out against different cults, including the ringmen, since it is seen as such by that church.
-While travelling, ringmen often pick up many tidbits of information. Parties of adventurers could learn quite a bit by befriending one of them.