Current Characters: Marcille, Trunks
Age: Probably around 100 or so
Canon: Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn
Canon Point: Before the battle with Ashera in Radiant Dawn
Personality: Ranulf is a crafty, mischievous, personable Laguz and right-hand man to the Beast King of the Gallian kingdom, Caineghis. While friendly and unusually understanding for a member of his tribe, Ranulf's outwardly personable nature can mask ulterior motives; for example, during Path of Radiance, Ranulf serves as an ally to Ike and the Crimean Liberation Army, despite also having dispatched a spy among the army's ranks to report on their activities and the worthiness of their political leader, Princess Elincia, as a possible future ally to the Gallian nation.
At the same time, Ranulf's loyalties are clear at all times; ultimately, he answers to Gallia and her king, which means that he's willing to lay down his life in their service. When his identity as a Laguz is revealed in the midst of an anxious town of prejudiced Crimeans, for example, Ranulf refuses to defend himself against their assaults, willing to die at their hands rather than jeopardize the fragile official alliance between the royals of Crimea and Gallia with an international incident.
Ranulf is the first Laguz that the player ever meets, and also the games' introduction to the Laguz and their grievances with the 'human' Beorc, voicing clear disapproval when Ike refers to him as 'sub-human' instead of merely trying to tear the speaker's throat out (a danger with some of his fellow Laguz). When Ike apologizes, Ranulf simply accepts the sentiment at face value, expressing surprise that a Beorc might be so reasonable. Throughout the game, Ranulf similarly reveals himself as someone who's interacted with many hostile Beorc, but still leaves himself open to encounters with a people that his king hopes will become slowly more accepting over time.
As his king's official catspaw, Ranulf is often kept busy running from one interaction to the next, trying to smooth over his fellows' pride, liase with allies, and aid Ike's fighting forces. In this capacity, he has no choice but to face incredibly daunting challenges, including trying to convince General Skrimir that Beorc military strategy has its place alongside brute physical force and facing down General Zelgius and the terrifying Black Knight. He rises to each challenge, however, and even manages to find time to worry whether Ike is getting enough rest or comment on Soren's tight-wound, nervous nature.
Ranulf is, in short, an inquisitive, intuitive, highly adaptable Laguz, slightly distrusting of the Beorc around him but willing to extend a paw in friendship. Though often pulled in multiple directions in his duties, he makes time and friends where he can and mostly comes out of things in one piece.
Abilities: Ranulf is a Cat Laguz, meaning that he appears to be a human with feline attributes, such as cat ears and a tail. His main ability is the ability to transform into a large (think panther-sized) catlike creature, which is considerably stronger and swifter than a baseline human. His specialty is speed rather than strength, like all Cat Laguz, but he's an extremely competent fighter, capable of surviving multiple encounters with some of the strongest characters in-game (legendary knights and generals, for instance). Like all beast-type Laguz, Ranulf has a weakness to fire magic, but boasts many of the physical abilities of actual large cats -- night vision, acrobatic ability, etc.
Aside from his physical abilities, Ranulf is a clever, canny adjutant to the royal Lion Laguz of his tribe, capable of blending into Beorc (human) society, managing spies, commanding Laguz forces, and more. Unlike many of his tribe, Ranulf sees the value of military strategy over brute might, and is also capable of checking his temper in response to prejudice. He also has an unusually strong understanding of political concerns, such that he is able to serve as a "Friend of Nations" and go-between among Laguz and Beorc nations after the war.
Alignment: Piphron. Trust and distrust is an extremely important theme for the Laguz in the Tellius series, as their race has been at odds with the Beorc for thousands of years. While some Laguz outwardly hate the Beorc, Ranulf and other Laguz characters like him gradually develop trust for their Laguz allies over time.
General Sample: The pick felt awkward in Ranulf's hands; it looked awkward, too. "You know, laguz don't really... mine for things. That's really more something of a beorc specialty. Digging around in the dirt with iron tools, breating in rock dust... no sane laguz would sign up for something like that."
Nevertheless, he swung. "...Ow! And have I mentioned that your tools have splinters?"
This called for an alternate approach. He shifted into his cat form, and began digging with his claws instead. It wasn't exactly second nature to him, but at least this was better than the pick. His tail began to twitch in excitement as he loosened a raw gem from the dirt.
"This is what we're looking for, isn't it? Wow, it's so shiny." In fact, it seemed to brighten and flash like fire in the light of the lantern as Ranulf batted at it with one paw. He just... couldn't resist...
"...Sorry. I had to get one good lick in. But hey, it's a rock. It'll live!"
Emotion Sample: Same as above