Immortality, at any cost
This new version of Hunter is inspired by some insightful feedback by PoisonAlchemist. PA's comments highlighted issues with the internal consistency and motives of Hunter, and also some things in my head which never made it onto the page. After chatting with PoisonAlchemist and others, I decided to re-write this character as a new submission to allow a side by side comparison. Presented here is the new Hunter, co-written by PoisonAlchemist.
I dream of rain; I dream of gardens in the desert sand
--Sting, Desert Rose
Once known by another name, the port city of Dragon's Wake suffered terrible tragedy, from which it is still recovering.
With power borne from their unusual markings, men and women of the Five Orders of Ivory Tower are guardians and rulers of the Desert Realms, and guides to the people. But what secrets lay beneath their strange tattoos?
Honor is in the Eye of the Beholder
The journey had been a long one and now they had entered the mountains. After an entire day spent on paths cut into the mountainside and through moss covered coniferous woods, they encounter a desperate young mountain tribal. He is searching for his beloved wife and his elder brother, both of whom he got separated from after an unsuccessful attempt to kill a cave bear. The last thing he saw was the cave bear in full pursuit of his wife. He could not help her as he had been knocked to the ground by the raging beast, and was struggling to regain full consciousness. The tribal will be clearly nervous and urges them to look for his wife during their travels. He will stay in his village a couple of miles to the north and pleads for assistance should they recover his wife, whether she be dead or alive.
On the next day of travel, they will journey upon a dim track in the forest and while they are preparing to ascend another path cut into the mountainside, they hear moans of lust from somewhere nearby. Upon closer inspection they will spy a young tribal woman in the heat of the act with an elder tribal male. They are consummating their forbidden love on the cold mountain moss, and beside them lay the skinned and slaughtered carcass of a huge bear.