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.