Earth's Children
Sex: Male
Race: The Others
Culture: Mamutoi
Camp: Lion Camp
The Clan of the Cave Bear: not mentioned
The Valley of Horses: not mentioned
The Mammoth Hunters: appears
The Plains of Passage: mentioned
The Shelters of Stone: mentioned
The Land of Painted Caves: mentioned

Ranec is a member of the Lion Camp and the best carver of the Mamutoi. He was the son of Wymez, a Mamutoi man, and an Aterian woman. Ranec and Wymez shared the Fox Hearth. Ranec became the love interest of Ayla and rival to Jondalar in The Mammoth Hunters. However, Ayla ultimately chose Jondalar and Ranec ended up mating Tricie, a former lover whom he was fond of.

Physical Appearance[]


Ranec on the cover of The Mammoth Hunters.

Ranec is of mixed ethnicity. He has rich, deep brown skin, wiry black hair, and black eyes that sparkled when he smiled. He was of medium height and build, but his self-confidence showed in his economy of movement.


Although Ranec was friendly and self-confident, he did not like to talk about his carving. When complimented, he normally made light of his skill. As an artist, Ranec had a profound love of beauty and spent much of his time searching for it. He collected beautiful objects. Ranec was popular with women, who often wanted to see how the dark-skinned man compared to other men.


Birth and Early Life[]

When Wymez was a young man, he went on a Journey. He went southeast past the Black Sea and then skirted the eastern and southern shores of the Mediterranean Sea. Wymez met many people and learned new ways, but he wanted to see how far west he could travel. After several years, he reached the Strait of Gibraltar.

There, he met some people called the Aterians whose skin was so dark that it seemed black. He fell in love with a woman who had a compelling smile and dark flashing eyes. When she agreed to join with Wymez, he decided to stay there with her. He and his mate had a son whom Wymez named Ranec.

A few years after Ranec was born, the neighboring camps became hostile. The Aterians had moved to the area from farther south, and some people from neighboring camps did not want to share hunting grounds. Fighting broke out, and the rivals kept killing off the Aterians, one after another. Eventually, the Aterians began to distrust anyone with lighter skin, including Wymez and Ranec.

Wymez and his mate decided to leave. They traveled north to the strait, where some people made small boats to cross to the other side. It was the wrong season for crossing, and the boat capsized. The woman drowned, and most of her belongings were lost. Wymez and Ranec finally returned to the Mamutoi during a Summer Meeting. Wymez had been gone for ten years.

Wymez's sister, Nezzie, adopted Ranec and took care of him.



Ranec met Tricie at the previous Summer Meeting. He was attracted to the pretty artist with vibrant red hair. She was a red-foot that summer and took her role so seriously that she would not even consider an experienced man at first. However, she eventually acquiesced to Ranec's advances.

Their relationship was serious, although Tricie would not agree to a formal Promise while she was a red-foot out of fear that it would anger Mut and cause her to withdraw her blessing. Tricie later gave birth to a son by Ranec who she named Ralev, showing some of his distinctive coloring and features. It is also mentioned that some other women gave birth to children with darker skin and features which showed clearly they had been sired by Ranec.


Ranec and Ayla were attracted to each other from the time they first met. In time, Ranec came to see Ayla as the ideal woman -- possibly an incarnation of the Mother herself -- and fell in love with her. However, Ayla did not reciprocate Ranec's love, even though she cared for him and shared Pleasures with him.

Jondalar was jealous from the outset and grew increasingly fearful of losing Ayla. In time, Jondalar's jealousy and insecurity created a rift between them, culminating in Jondalar's leaving the Mammoth Hearth. Ranec was quick to seize the opportunity and spent as much time around Ayla as possible.

Ranec repeatedly asked Ayla to consider joining with him at the Summer Matrimonial. Ayla was still in love with Jondalar, but she reluctantly agreed to join with Ranec once she was convinced that Jondalar no longer wanted her. Ranec and Ayla announced their Promise at the Spring Festival, but those close to Ayla saw that she did not seem to be looking forward to it. Ranec himself seemed oblivious and idealized Ayla, putting her on a pedestal so to speak, which also made her somewhat uncomfortable.

On the morning of the Summer Matrimonial, Jondalar decided to return to his people. Ayla pursued Jondalar on horseback and quickly caught up to him. The couple finally reconciled, and when Ayla returned to the camp, she broke Ranec's heart by breaking their Promise. They parted on amicable terms, though it is implied that Ranec never truly got over Ayla, even saying he would love her for the rest of his life and in the spirit world.


Italics indicate an adoptive relationship.

Ancestors: Wymez (father) and an Aterian woman (mother)
Issue: Ralev (son by Tricie) and others*
Extended Family: Nezzie (paternal aunt), Danug (first cousin), Latie (first cousin), Rugie (first cousin), and Rydag (first cousin)

  • Deegie said that she had seen a couple of children with Ranec's essence at the Summer Meeting.