A written statement on the confederation of lycanthrope outlaws known as the Wild Hunt. Includes a list of known members, current and former, with additional personal observations.
Written by Mx. Johanna “Jo” Raab, of the Half-Light Wardens bracket, at the request of Ms. “Anne,” leader of the Mages of the New Dawn. Delivered to Mx. Kadsbee Sinclair, also of the Half-Light Wardens, on Saturday the 30th of August, 1880.
— K. S.
Sat., Aug. 30, 1880
ON THE WILD HUNT
Can’t say much that’s certain about the origins of the Hunt, or about its members, or about the curse they share. All I know is that it has criminals from East an’ West Gevance: all of who ended up runnin’ to the Trin Mountains, where the law didn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of trackin’ ‘em down. An’ at some point, they all met up an’ became a
group pack, I guess. Don’t know where the lycanthropy fits in — if they were werewolves before they became the Hunt, or if they became werewolves at the same time the Hunt was born. But either way, it happens when you join. Dependin’ on how many other criminals had the same idea of hidin’ out in the Trin Mountains, the pack that I encountered might not be the only one of its kind. But I hope to Trin that the Hunt is all there is.
In the winter, the Hunt holes up in a den on the western edge of the Trin Mountains: a deep system of caves repurposed into a hideout. But the rest of the year, the Hunt moves all over, makin’ camp wherever there’s huntin’ to be had. Sometimes, they come down to raid homesteads on the edge of the wilderness, but they usually jus’ keep an eye on more established routes through the mountains — for trade caravans, or wagon parties, or any traveler they think they have a chance of takin’. No military convoys. The more lightly defended, the better.
The Hunt seems pretty equal in practice — everyone pitches in to keep things runnin’ smoothly, everyone has a say about where the pack goes and what it does — but its hierarchy is also very real. Vast majority of pack members are “Lesser Hunters.” Then there are a handful of “Greater Hunters” — they make up a sort of council that advises the pack leader, an’ enforces their orders. An’ that leader is the “First Hunter.” No matter what decision the pack might come to about somethin’, the First Hunter has the final call. An’ unless anyone’s foolhardy enough to challenge that call — an’ risk fightin’ for the right to be First Hunter — that call is heeded.
The Lesser Hunters
Half-orc. Oldest an’ greyest in the pack, an’ definitely the most experienced outlaw. Did a lot of tattoos for people, an’ for Bonnie especially — had quite a few himself. Friend of Warner’s, if only because he could actually take Warner in a fight.
Not much of a talker, but he always listened whenever I needed to get somethin’ off my chest.
Jacob and Judith Ezra
Human twins. Real tan, with long brown hair — hard to tell ‘em apart at a distance, but Judith was a little taller, an’ Jacob had more acne scars. Also, Judith was meaner, an’ Jacob was smarter. Little unnervin’ how much they moved an’ talked like one person, but they took a shine to me, so I got used to it.
Us farm kids gotta stick together, I guess.
Human. Dark skin, curly black hair. Nonbinary, like me — guess it’s no surprise that out of all the Lesser Hunters, I ended up closest to them. Cheerful, always ready to make the best of a bad situation. One of the scouts, along with Bonnie.
They must have been able to follow my path when I fled the Hunt… did Lev cover up my tracks? Could that be why it took the Hunt so long to catch up to me?
Earth genasi, I think — her skin looked kind of like a stone worn real smooth, an’ it sparkled a bit in the sun, like all her freckles were flecks of mica. Very steady, an’ a deep thinker. Always had a good sense for where the Hunt should set up camp, an’ where water an’ food could be found.
Think she’ll become a Greater Hunter now that Bonnie’s dead. Out of all the Lesser Hunters, Petra was the only one Deb actually took advice from.
Dwarf. Ginger hair an’ beard. Magic user — studied at one of the Academies, might even have been Abbed here in Silverton. Knack for engineerin’. Always wanted the Hunt to take a crack at a military convoy, jus’ to get at their weapons, but Deb never allowed it.
Honestly, if he wasn’t so good at fixin’ an’ firin’ guns, she or Warner probably would have killed him long ago.
Tiefling. Reddish skin with long, black horns, like a goat’s. Kind of a smartass, but a fuckin’ fantastic marksman — I thought I was a crack shot, but he definitely showed me a thing or two. Used to freelance as a guide for anyone lookin’ to cross the Trin Mountains, but never said why he stopped.
I wonder if the Hunt got him the same way they got me.
Human. Young, blonde, and tiny. Newest to the Hunt before I came along, so she did a lot of the chores an’ cookin’ around camp. Thomie was sweet to pretty much everyone, but she was always a little bit chilly towards me.
Probably ‘cause she used to be Deb’s “favorite,” before Deb took a likin’ to me. Maybe she is again, now that I’m gone.
The Greater Hunters
Dwarf. Short silvery hair, arms covered in tattoos (thanks to Francis). Best damn tracker I ever met. Real knack for findin’ an’ handlin’ herbs. Helped Moriah nurse me back to health; first of the Hunt to really be my friend. She’s dead now, but I figured you’d want to know about her anyway.
Even if you didn’t, it wouldn’t feel right to not include her. Especially considerin’ what she tried to do to me.
Tiefling. Bluish skin with pale, curling horns, like a ram’s. Another magic user — think she used to be with the First Church of Trin, but I can’t imagine someone as sour as her bein’ clergy. Great healer, but a terrible bedside manner. An’ even though she was kind of a snob about it, she was willin’ to teach me magic.
No one’s ever taken that chance on me: no one but her.
Human. Big, blond, scar above right ear. Close with Deb — guess you could call him her “right-hand man,” or somethin’ like that. Real brute, an’ nasty in a fight, but he always acted brotherly towards me.
I think he was really holdin’ out for me to join the Hunt: maybe even more than Deb. Probably why he invited me on the first raid of the season. Guess it never occurred to him I didn’t have his stomach for bloodshed.
The First Hunter
Human. Chestnut braid, maroon eyes, mole by her mouth. A good leader: canny, charmin’, persuasive. Didn’t take it well when things didn’t go her way, though. She never talked about her life before the Hunt — always said that the past was the past, an’ all that mattered was who she was now — but I got the feelin’ that she’d survived a long time in this harsh world, an’ that she wasn’t the type to let anyone or anythin’ get in the way of her livin’ in it a little longer.
Maybe this is the wrong tack to take in somethin’ official like this, but if I’m goin’ to tell you every last thing I know about the Hunt, an’ about why they’re so hellbent on huntin’ me down… you should know that I loved her. Trin help me, I really did. An’ she acted like she loved me. Praised me to high heaven, called me her “sweet thing,” kept me close an’ made it clear to everyone that I was hers.
But... I know now that Deb only loved what she thought she could turn me into. An’ it still scares me so bad that she believed so much in that future beast that she was willin’ to hurt so many people, me included, jus’ to sink her claws in me.
What did she see in me that was worth all that hurt? What was so wrong about me?
… Anyway. Hope this information helps. The Hunt’s done enough harm to enough people, an’ if the New Dawn can use this to take ‘em down — maybe even De La’Coen with ‘em — maybe what I went through will have been worth somethin’. Even if you can’t use any of this, I can’t stay quiet about this anymore. I mean, I don’t really have that option now, but even if I did, I wouldn’t take it.
I jus’ don’t want to run anymore. I want to walk in the sun, an’ not be afraid of the shadow I cast behind me.