From The Setting Piece Poll for the January Giraffe Call new Donor-New Prompter perks. Please vote, if you haven’t, to tie-break for 2nd place, as there will be a second piece.
As long as there have been humans with spears, there have been hunters; nay, as long as there have been creatures on this planet, there have been hunters.
For many centuries, the various sentient races on this planet hunted each other with no consideration for the feelings or culture of the others; although it is nice in this modern age to pretend that it was, for instance, only humans doing the hunting, or only ogres, the truth is that there are, in the closets of all thinking races, skeletal remains of other thinking species.
The “hunters” we concern ourselves with in this article, however, are another sort indeed. They cannot, as our ancestors could, hide behind the shelter of ignorance or cultural bias, as flimsy a protection as those offer. Nay, those hunters work in the modern day, and they know exactly what it is they are doing.
Who are they? They come primarily from the medium-sized races, although there have been the occasional report of pixie hunters and one rumor of a dragon hunter. They are human, dweomer, elkin, harpy… and their reasons fall along a wide spectrum, but can generally be divided into the categories: the religious, the profiteering, and the sportsman.
There are still sects of religion in almost every race’s temples that say that some other race, or, perhaps, all other races are apostate, evil, demons, minions of chaos, bringers of temptation. And there are knights, champions, sword-bearers, assassins for each of those religions, people of one stripe or another whose violence is sanctioned by their temple, whose life goal is to eliminate threats to their religious purity.
Of the three kinds of hunter, these are the most dangerous. These hunters cannot be bargained with, can rarely be reasoned with, and are very difficult to stop. In addition, they normally have the resources of a large organization behind them: not only are they well-armed and well-financed, but they are usually also well-educated on their targets.
The oft-misquoted “Fear the day you come against an honest man,” could be better phrased, in the world of hunters and hunted, as “Fear the day you come against a foe of faith.” They will kill you without a second’s hesitation nor a moment’s remorse.
The quote I was misquoting: From Here:
“…So hope like hell your captor is an evil man. A good man will kill you with hardly a word.” ~Terry Pratchett, Men at Arms
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