Night of the Hunter

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Walker of Darkness, Apr 6, 2015.

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  1. The city of Salgerul, once a quietly grim city of the privileged, is now a plague and riot infested city of fear. The plague is not the only infestation the city now faces, as creatures once thought to be only stories to scare children have risen from the dark. Werewolves, Vampires, and other cursed creatures now stalk the night. Many see them as nothing more than monsters, perhaps born from the plague itself. Others, such as the church, believe the creatures are demons, or created of them. They have formed a Hunt for these monsters, the church's holy Executioners walking the city streets in the dead of night, silver swords in hand. In the name of God, they strike down the nightmares. But they are not alone in their hunts. Others yet have taken up weapons, simply calling themselves Hunters. Tonight, however, the Hunters become the hunted.

    A young man races through the burning streets of Old Salgerul, the once home of the nobility in the city. Fires have been set to nearly all of the buildings, and before him, his own home is ablaze. The pained cries of human and beast alike filled his ears as he ran towards the burning mansion. He lowered his shoulder as he reached the gate, ramming it open without slowing, and continued to the door. He slowed only slightly the shift his weight as he ran up the stairs, using the momentum of his last step to kick the door free from it's hinges. The roaring flames told him time was short, if not already lost. "Mother! Father!" he cried, darting about the ground floor. "Alexander!" he called out, wondering if any of his kin were even here, or alive. He ran up the stairs, catching himself as several steps gave way. He moved slowly now, unable to see far through the choking smoke of the upper floors. He stopped, however, when he stepped and heard a small splash. He was confused, as the raging fire now engulfed the house, how could any liquid remain? When he looked down, he saw a pool of crimson, and followed it's trail to his brother's room. The door ajar, and the sound of flesh being torn coming from the room did not ready him for what he saw within. Through the smoke, he could make out the disfigured forms of a woman and a small child on the floor, and a hulking figure hunched over them, tearing away flesh and bone even as it's body burned from the raging flames. The creature turned from it's feast as the young man slowly stepped into the room, his mind numbed from the sight. With a savage, howling roar, the creature lunged at him just as the roof and floor gave way around them.


    It has been nine years since the church began it's Hunt, and seven since Old Salgerul was razed to the ground. Dawn was breaking as a Hunter entered into the workshop that served as a gathering place for their kind to forge weapons and tools, a rare place of safety and common ground deep within the more dangerous and abandoned part of the city. A elderly man approached the Hunter, irritation clear on his face. "And what brings the 'Grey Wolf' to this humble workshop, eh boy?" he said with a sneer. The hunter pulled down the face wrap that was covering his nose and mouth to answer, revealing the large scar that cut from his forehead, through his right eye and down to his jaw "I need silver bullets, nothing more."
    "You might as well ask the church, then, boy. They're the ones with all the 'holy' metal." the old man turned away to return to his work. The hunter unbuckled the belt at the waist of his tattered, dark grey duster, and tossed a pair longswords not unlike the one belted to his back onto the bench beside the old man. "Your sarcasm is noted, Gafgarion. Melt them down, I only need twenty shots. The rest of the silver is yours as payment."

    Gafgarion paused as he picked up one of the swords. It was a Executioner's blade, forged of silver and steel, tempered in holy water. "Amadeus, this is the third time this month you've brought me a church sword. Hunters are starting to think you kill the men yourself for the silver, thinking you're not much more than a beast, my boy." He looked up at the younger hunter, worry on his face. "Tell me, how did you get these two?"

    "I chanced upon a pair of church hunters, Gaf. They were surrounded by werewolves, looked like they had found a den not too far from here. I dropped in behind the beasts, trying to split their attention and give the choir boys a better chance. It didn't go as well as I hoped. One was bitten and the other in a pool of blood when all was said and done. The one that still had some breath in him asked me a mercy, to let him die a man. I granted it, took the blades as not to let them go to waste, and razed the den and the bodies of man and beast alike." Amadeus sighed as he finished, "Would that I had arrived sooner, maybe I wouldn't be bringing any swords to you today."

    Gafgarion set the blades to the side of the furnace as he listened. "Boy, I may hate your pragmatism, but you're still a hunter that hasn't gone to the blood yet. I'll have your rounds ready by dusk, come back then. In the meantime, maybe you'll actually partake in the Communion. The magicks would help you hunt, and you know it."

    Amadeus paused as he walked out the door, placing his ragged tricorne atop his head. "I will not take of the blood of beasts to hunt as they do. Only a man can kill a monster, Gafgarion, and you've seen what becomes of those who delve too deep into the blood for power." He pulled up his face cover and left, passing by several returning hunters and their glares of contempt.
  2. Eyes watched in terror as creatures of the night came to haunt the village that was her home. Sharp breaths were taken, tears at her eyes and the sound of screams filled her ears. The terror needed to stop. These creatures snuck through the night, being unnoticed and waited to strike. They craved to feed on the souls of the living, needing them to survive. Her hands covered her mouth, her lips trembled and gasps came. Body shaken with fear, seeing those red eyes staring at her. Teeth bared, sharp like razors. Claws ready to tear and skin her alive. This creature did not welcome her.

    "Get out of there, child!" A man shouted, and pulled her back from the back of her now dirty white nightgown. He pulled her back, shoving her behind him as another man came forth, shooting his crossbow that held a different power that no normal crossbow would. The child had tears fall from her green eyes, her black hair was in a mess. "Aria, go!"

    "I-I c-can't. Where is my mum?!"

    "Dalek, take her and leave this place. Do not come back here because there will be nothing left. Now go!"

    The man who had shot the crossbow was almost quick to protest, but he noticed the young girl was not going to move. Keeping his weapon in his left hand, he grabbed her hand with the right and pulled her towards him, lifting her up. Now he carried her, and her small hands slapped at his armor to try to get away from him. There was no use, but she didn't give up as she banged at his armor, yelling out for her mother until the village has left her sight.

    The years have gone past and everything from the past was wiped away from memory. Those red eyes were an image of something that made something go off in her head. She wanted to rid of the creatures of the night to make the world a safer place, trading off a possible normal life. This hatred for these creatures made her seem like a demon herself. Training to destroy and hunt had transformed her from being a innocent girl to a gruesome destroyer of things dark. Her eyes lost their certain innocence to something chaotic.

    "Aria, come."

    Dalek, the one who saved her all those years ago, remained to be her partner. They trained together, and he taught her the ways of the craft of destroying the beasts. His personality was stern, and much different from his carefree nature he had before the demons attacked his home all those years ago. His crossbow was his weapon still, his arrows were all made of silver. Expensive, but it was silver melted from armor and weapons they came across doing their journey.

    Aria gazed at him from where she perched in a tree, a cloth shielded the bottom half of her face. There was a hood that she had over her head. Wearing all black armor to camouflage within the late night, and her own silver twin blades strapped to her back. She was stealthy, which made her also deadly.

    Jumping down from the tree, she landed gracefully and lightly onto her feet. "We shouldn't go back to that place, Dalek. Those hunters believe that we already are monsters who sided with the Devil himself for power," she commented, her voice was stern and calm. It sounded like there was no emotion exuding from her silk like voice.

    A slight chuckle came from his lips. "I would rather be feared than loved, my dear," he spoke honestly. "Now come." He went forward, heading towards the hideout of the hunters.

    Following after, the woman noticed hunters coming in. All of them wore different garbs, and mostly they avoided the two completely as they walked. The both of them treated like monsters when they truly weren't.
  3. As Amadeus passed the other hunters on his way out of the workshop, he walked by a pair who the others seemed to simply avoid. He glanced the man and woman over as he passed without slowing his stride. The man's crossbow caught his interest for a lingering second, as it seemed odd to him. Most hunters used rifles or pistols. None the less, he continued towards the gate to leave. As he passed through the iron gate, a voice gave him pause. "Off to kill more choir boys, Grey Wolf? Or are you hunting children for their silver broaches now?" came the snide remark. Amadeus glanced over his shoulder at the hunter, his green eyes seemed for a fleeting moment a beastly yellow in the light of the morning lanterns. The brown clad hunter stepped back in concealed fear as Amadeus simply turned and continued on his way without a word. "You're a fool," another hunter criticized the former. "and be glad he doesn't see you worth the killing."
    "He is nothing but a animal in need of putting down."
    "And yet he cowed you with nothing but a glare," the second laughed. "A man cursed with the power of demons struck with childlike fear of a boy with nothing but a blade and his wit, both of which are sharp enough to split you in two" he continued to chide.
    The first hunter turned away, "enough of this" he mumbled, shoving his way into the workshop after being ridiculed.

    Amadeus' night might have been over, but his hunt was not. He checked his belt pouch as he walked purposely through the empty streets. "One elixir, two shots, and a knife" he mumbled to himself, taking and loading one of the rounds into his pistol. Dawn had fully risen by the time he made it to his mark. His pace slowed as he reached one of the old graveyards, knowing his prey would be on alert. Slowly weaving his way through the headstones and mausoleums, the Grey Wolf silently stalked among the dead, seeking the still living who was soon to join them. The sickening sound of bloodied flesh being pounded drew his attention towards the west. Coming around the corner of one of the larger mausoleums, he saw a man in a long blue duster hunched over a few bodies. Raising and striking the broken forms with his now crimson mace, over and over. Amadeus slowly approached the man, drawing his pistol, and stopped several paces away. "Nathaniel," he spoke the man's name, but no answer. The mace struck the bodies again. "Nathaniel Blake," he spoke again, and again no answer. The mace struck the bodies again. "You have been lost to the blood, Nathaniel" still no answer. The mace struck the bodies again. "I will at least make it clean." The mace struck the bodies again.

    Amadeus cocked back the hammer of his breech pistol, but as he did, Nathaniel turned to face him. "I always knew you were one of them, boy." His face was twisted into a beastial form, hair wild, and teeth elongated and sharpened. "I knew you would be the one to come after me when it happened," he let out a growling chuckle. "Everyone will end up like them eventually," he motioned towards the bodies. Glancing them over, now that he could seem them more clearly, Amadeus could see they were men, women, and even children who had been in the midst of turning into beasts themselves. their faces and bodies twisted and deformed more from the transformation than from the flogging of Nathaniel. "And you, boy," Nathaniel spoke again, "you'll be the worst of us all. I can smell it, I can see it in you!" He laughed again as their gaze met for a moment. As yellow, sickly, but sadistically intense eyes met with the almost inhuman focus of the green eyes of the Grey Wolf. "Make it clean, boy!" was the only warning Amadeus got before Nathaniel lunged forward.

    The flock of nearby crows took flight as a shot rang out.
  4. "We are different from the rest of them, Aria, and you know that we are," Dalek commented. His footsteps were somewhat heavy due to the armor that he wore, but he still had spes that seemed to make people question him. A man of his body build, being muscular yet skinny at the same time, shouldn't move as fast as he did. The power he had made people look the other way, knowing his skill in slaying.

    The woman did not make a comment as she walked with him, keeping her eyes on the surroundings. There was nothing to be feared, but there were pickpockets that roamed through the streets. A sigh fell from her lips, following as he changed direction once again. Their heading was quite unclear, but she learned not to question his decisions. "We are too old fashioned, our techniques of slaying do not reflect that new age of the rifles and pistols other hunters use," she now spoke, knowing that she was stating a flat truth. "Our teachings are behind times, it seems."

    "Father was an old fashioned man, so his teaching will be passed down from us if we choose to continue our bloodlines," the male responded. The street turned to dirt, and he brought her to a different part of the village. Clearly they were heading elsewhere than the shop that he wished to go to for supplies. Something was pulling him in this direction, feeling a sense of disturbance in instinct. It was more of a sixth sense that he developed over the years of being the chaotic hunter that he was.

    A scoff fell from her lips, not liking the mention of continuing their hunter bloodline. "I wouldn't mesh this life with my children, and I believe that I will not even have a child," she mentioned. "The emotion of love is completely void to me, I do not wish to experience it. Like you said, I would rather be feared than loved." A slight smirk crossed her features that was hidden behind her mask, and then it slowly disappeared as she heard a gunshot ring out during the night and the sound of crows.

    "Seems like someone is hunting," she spoke, her voice sounded monotone once again. Being curious, she headed to where she heard it and Dalek simply followed with no protest. Perhaps maybe this hunter would draw attention from the demons that lurked, and maybe they would have to help in a way. Not that any hunter should need the help, but it was only the correct thing to do.
  5. His hand was shaking, but why? The shot had knocked Nathaniel back, his charge, and soon his life, cut short. He lay sprawled out upon the ground, the hole in his chest gushing forth blood. Nathaniel was laughing. "I knew you had it in you!" he bellowed out, "A true Hunter of Hunters!" Amadeus barely heard him, his mind focused on one question. Why was his hand trembling? Nathaniel laughed again, now wheezing as his voice and his breath started to grow weaker. the man could see the look of shock on Amadeus' face. "Something I say get to you, boy? A Hunter can't be seen shaking in fear! I told you, boy, we all end up like this someday!" Amadeus snapped back into focus, Nathaniel grinned wickedly. "You know as well as I do...boy..." his voice growing weaker still, his eyes no longer able to see, "...this is the end we Hunters have. We die to the...beasts we hunt...or we become one..." With his final word, Nathaniel's body went limp.

    Amadeus stood for a few moments before he noticed he had not lowered his pistol. He holstered it with a unsteady hand. For several minutes, he stood, gazing down at his prey. His hand was still shaking, but why? He had heard dozens of blood maddened hunters say the same things, with similar and differing words. He is a hunter of not only beasts, but of men. Men who have fallen to the taint of the beast blood, letting them die as men still before they become beasts. And always, the men he hunts say the same things. 'This is how we all end'. But what was it this man said that struck him so?

    Amadeus began to feel ill, both his hands starting to shake violently. He pulled down his face wrap, and with some effort, pulled the elixir from his pouch. He downed the flask in several large gulps. Letting out a loud sigh as he finished, he tossed the flask to the side and stumbled back against a tree. In the morning shade, he unclasped the sword on his back and set it against the tree beside him, slowly slouching down to sit. He needed to rest a short while as the elixir did it's work. Amadeus knew he would be vulnerable, and needed to stay alert, but exhaustion slowly took him as he drifted off.
  6. Dalek stopped her for a moment, grabbing her by the shoulder as he seemed to smell a foul stench with every step they took. "Wait, we are not going any further," he told her, his voice was filled with warning. However, he made a sound of distaste as she lifted his hand from her shoulder. "Aria, why don't you just listen to me for once? You get that trait from father, and it's the worst trait of them to have."

    "Shut up, Dalek, I am tired of you running your mouth," Aria responded as she continued to move forward. "Leave me if you don't want to continue on, go back-"

    "Sometimes I just want to rip your lips from your face," Dalek responded as he stopped in his tracks, crossing his arms over his chest. Then he motioned her to go forward. "Go. I will be here. I am just not going to go further."

    Aria continued to move, and then stopped as she came across a body. That was the stench that Dalek smelt. She grimaced then stepped forward, now seeing another hunter slouching on the tree. Stopping in front of him, she peered down and nudged him slightly with her foot. "You, it isn't wise to lower your guard in these parts," she spoke. "You also seem like you need assistance."
  7. He wasn't sure where he was. All around him was dark, he could see nothing. As he looked around, he noticed that he could feel nothing below him. He knew he was standing, but his feet held to no ground. Amadeus realized then that it was not that he could see nothing in the darkness, but that there was nothing to be seen. The sound of howling caused him to turn, looking for it's source. It seemed to come from all sides, above and below, near and far. He could feel heavy breathing on the back of his neck, but there was nothing there. Feel claws digging into his flesh, fangs at his throat. But there was nothing there.

    He awoke with a start when he felt the nudge, his hand shooting up to the hilt of his sword as he snarled and looked about. When he saw the woman before him, his grip on the blade and his expression eased, but only slightly. He raised his face wrap before speaking, "I have taken ill, yes, but I require no assistance." He continued to scan the area, and could see another figure in the distance. He seemed alert, but not hostile. Amadeus doubted he could even see him from where he was standing. "I assume the man further out is a companion of yours?" he questioned Aria. He took a moment to glance her over before she could answer, and added a second question. "you're not one of the old man's hunters. Not with the way you're dressed and armed. Who are you?" He was not in much position to question, while his garb was not unlike that of the workshop hunters, it was more his own. His choice of weapons also placed him as a oddity among hunters, using the sword of a fallen White Knight church hunter and not a rifle or axe like most others.

    Unknown to them, another had been watching the events of this morning unfold. Seemingly pleased, they quietly left, unnoticed.
  8. Aria looked down at the man, listening to him speak and she was growing tired of his rambling already. So many questions, and comments, that seemed too trivial. A laugh escaped her lips, finding all of this amusing. No one ever spoke words to her, or Dalek, as some people did fear the duo. They feared them because they were different, and they were associated with demons when they were not even close. They did their work and that was all they did, nothing more.

    "Aria," she responded, looking down at him. "The man further up is my brother, Dalek. We have traveled here out of curiousity, but we have found that we are too frightening for the other hunters. Perhaps it is our aura that we give off, it makes us look intimidating, I suppose." She crossed her arms over her chest, still looking down at him. "And you, who are you?"
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