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Smudge 5/12/2015 8:15 AM
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Was never here.
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I had mine ready, along with the corned beef and cabbage
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Everyone have their green ready for tomorrow?
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First: That was a beautiful tribute Vali. Thank you for sharing with us! :)
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Shared something that I've kept to myself for far too long...
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Forums : Your Characters' Story(s) > Hunter - 1 [Prompt: Changes, Druid Back Story]
SaneDitto (Member) 6/26/2012 1:46 AM EST : Hunter - 1 [Prompt: Changes, Druid Back Story]
Posts: 131

Hunter was like all others of its kind. It was "born", in a manner of speaking, from a creation forge within the bowels of Cyre, when the Last War still raged and such living constructs were highly valued as implacable soldiers, unaffected or resistant to the many complications of war that would plague a fleshbound comrade.

From its gestation, Hunter was trained to be a soldier. Over its first few months, it learned the intricacies of the many weapons it held and used in its hands, and the many stances and styles devoted to extracting efficient use out of its weapons. It learned the sweet taste of victory, the bitter shame of defeat, the dual solace of friendship and hate, and the fear of oblivion as it roused from the state of incapacitation its teachers and masters used to teach the finality of death. It also learned the horror of ennui as it clawed well-worn fingers against the hard-packed walls of its tomb, the dirt scarred with deep grooves carved over months of enforced isolation.

As with all warforged, Hunter fought in the Last War. Sold and bought by Breland in a rare and startling attempt to bolster one of their weakened Ranger bands, Hunter learned the art of reconnaissance, flexibility, and archery under eyes that demeaned and distrusted, eyes that shifted to grudging respect and caramaderie over years of toil alongside comrades who traversed all manner of terrain and handled all manner of opposition to be the eyes of the Brelish military. It is as a Ranger that Hunter obtained its name, birthed as an alias that grew to be as true as Hunter itself.

Following the destruction of Cyre, the twelve remaining nations of Khorvaire signed the Treaty of Thronehold. Depending on the people asked, the Treaty was either a hope of peace, a bitter betrayal of loyalty, an unwelcome shift in a life once accustomed to war, or not worth the paper it was written on. Upon hearing of the Treaty, Hunter's band dispersed, but Hunter itself stood on the training field for weeks, ignoring the taunts of passersby mocking its intelligence as it waited for the orders that would remove what it thought was a temporary truce until allegiances were broken and the battle would start again. It waited until its shifter warden approached and ordered Hunter to leave, forcing the warforged to begin embracing a life so contrary to what it experienced and expected until now. Unable to comprehend the concept that its primary purpose and reason for creation was no longer needed, Hunter floundered, bereft of the very structure it was created and taught under, like a man drowning without another to throw a buoy. 

Over the months, Hunter sought for purpose and meaning within its short, and now rootless, life. It labored tirelessly within warehouses and docks around Khorvaire, hauling cargo and much-needed supplies. It squirreled into ravaged shipwrecks where none of flesh would dare risk life and limb diving, retrieving salvage from their untouched depths. It toiled in mines teeming with metals, patiently chipping off chunks of valuable ore and storing them in rickety carts to haul back to the surface. It traveled briefly as a member of an adventuring party, using its knowledge of silence and stealth to infiltrate and scout an outpost filled with bandits, former soldiers who--like Hunter--sought a meaning to their lives and settled on pilfering passing caravans. Using the information gleaned from Hunter's expeditions, the party made their preparations, cast their protective wards, and stormed the outpost. It was a long and cruel battle, but Hunter's thorough reconnaissance served the adventurers well, and they ultimately overthrew the bandits. In recognition of its role, Hunter was tasked to transport the bandit leader's scalp as evidence of their victory, and the group enjoyed a few nights of companionship--companionship that Hunter found itself wistful for--before dispersing to pursue their own goals.

Hunter settled into a steady stream of jobs. It learned nostalgia amidst the refreshingly simple layout of its life--seek a mission giver, complete its mission, and accept the payment to enable repairs and refits in preparation for future missions. Hunter did not care whether its tasks were done for good or for ill, for such things were left to those who had the luxury of idleness to speculate. Though the Treaty declared warforged as free citizens, many viewed them as a reminder of the horrors of the Last War, horrors they denied with insults, spitting, and back-breaking work. Paid a pittance to perform more dangerous jobs than fellow fleshbound workers, Hunter was compelled to labor continuously to maintain an acceptable standard of living, and even then, poverty would occasionally force it into returning as a work-beast, working long hours for little money and persistent accusations of being a "job stealer".

It is under one such temporary job as a guard for a group of villagers attempting to harvest trees to rebuild their home that Hunter's life took on a new direction. Elders who opposed the logging and sought a neutral, if not sympathetic, listener spoke to Hunter, confiding their reservations over cutting down such an old and revered part of their village, but the aftermath of the War left many remote villages short of much-needed supply, and the alternative was to live without shelter. That they scraped the money to hire a warforged to guard them spoke of their dire need for protection from the many roving bands of attackers, ranging from bandits seeking loot to the occasional indigenous beast, and while Hunter acknowledged the spoken words, it never shared them. Such affairs were not of its concern.

Not until the villagers started disappearing at night, that is. The survivors that witnessed swore they saw flashing lights--and one insisted they looked like glowing apples--that would appear off into the distance and bob, like wisps. Then one of the villagers would glow, something would launch itself at the villagers, and the unfortunate person would disappear into the woods with a scream, never to be seen again. After catching on to their method, Hunter tracked one such victim through the forest, though with great difficulty; despite hauling a body, the predators were somehow still able to cover their tracks. Hunter was something else if not patient, and it calmly tracked the attacker's signs towards a den nestled in the overhang of a cliff. Snarling emerged from within.

And that was the last thing Hunter perceived before a hard and heavy object cracked against the back of its skull.

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