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PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2021 9:29 pm 
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After defeating a vampire, the intense, ruthless Hunter Jelcine comes across a strange little girl...

Warning: reader discretion is advised, mature themes.

Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Epilogue

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Last edited by Adrassil on Mon Feb 08, 2021 7:47 am, edited 5 times in total.

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 Post subject: Chapter 1
PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2021 9:30 pm 
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A Poor Girl by Benjamin Agar

Year: 2489 AHV (After Holy Victory)

Age: Late Industra era

Country: The Republic of Isstarrsia

Walking along the roadside, Jelcine frowned, stopped and looked over her shoulder. Her huge axe blazed into being in an explosion of white light.

'Show yourself,' she snarled down into the forest. 'I am not in the mood for any shit.'

She was never in the mood "for any shit" but that didn't matter.

For a few seconds, Jelcine waited but was answered by silence.

'Whoever you are! I am a Hunter we have the ability to sense magical auras, almost every being emits an aura, I know you are out there! So come out! Or I will find you! And...'

About two metres down the road, a bush rustled and Jelcine readied her axe.

A little girl stepped out. She looked about six or seven, but Jelcine felt she was older. The light, floral dress she wore was unsuited to this time of year in Isstarrsia.

'You...You stopped the vampire,' said the girl. 'You killed the vampire attacking our town.'

Jelcine shrugged, it was a statement not a question.

The girl started to approach Jelcine, looking up at her with wide eyes.

'Can you help me?'

The question took Jelcine off guard but she kept her composure.

'Help you with what?'

The little girl's eyes filled with tears. 'My daddy...My daddy.'

Jelcine had never been particularly enamoured of children but she couldn't help drop into a kneel and take the girl in her arms.

'Your daddy? What happened to your daddy?'

'Help, please,' she sobbed into Jelcine's shoulder.

Jelcine then felt the bloody, ragged opening in the back of the little girl's head as the child went limp.

'Shit!' she snarled, picking the girl up in her arms. She had to find a doctor, she had to get back to town.

'Shit. Fuck. Hold on, kid.'

She started running.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2021 8:46 am 
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Interesting start to a story. Looking forward to the rest :)

Small note on your cover. Drop the "By" in front of your name. You never see that on professional covers, and people know that the name on the cover is from the person who wrote it.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2021 10:03 pm 
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Prince of Spires wrote:
Interesting start to a story. Looking forward to the rest :)

Small note on your cover. Drop the "By" in front of your name. You never see that on professional covers, and people know that the name on the cover is from the person who wrote it.


Thanks a lot, this story would be my least favourite of the collection so far, but I still like it. And you're...100% correct about the cover, will have to go and make versions without the "by" now lol. Thanks.

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 Post subject: Chapter 2
PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2021 8:58 pm 
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Jelcine stepped out of the clinic, onto the wooden verandah, and she was greeted by the noon sun and the busy street. Many motor vehicles, their exhaust pipes spewing black smoke, drove along the main road as numerous locals walked the wide sidewalks. The doctor was now treating the girl's wounds. She was going to live. Thank goodness. At times like this Jelcine wished she'd learned more healing magic.

Jelcine exhaled a breath she didn't know she had been holding. The doctor hadn't recognised the girl. He said the blow she'd suffered to the back of the head was from a blunt object. She'd been hit hard.

Jelcine fought back her tears and stepped off the verandah onto the sidewalk. What kind of sick being would do that to a child? A little girl!
Her first thought was the vampire, but Jelcine had slain it a day ago, and the doctor said the wound was recent, only about an hour old.

She was going to kill the son of a bitch, whoever the fuck they were.

Jelcine frowned and scratched her head.

It looked like she'd have to talk to the local Jaroaian priest.

She scowled and started down the street.



The large, varnished wooden doors burst open as she pushed them. She didn't mean to, even after all these decades she could still forget her strength.

The priest in his gaudy white and gold robes, looked over his shoulder at her, his eyes wide through his half-moon spectacles. He was old, for a human, at least in his late sixties. His white beard was thick and well-groomed, his eight-pointed star staff held in a red, veiny hand.

'I know you are a Hunter, and you are all so special and different. But would you please concede to normality somewhat and open the door like a normal person, please,' he said.

Jelcine scowled. She hated having to do this.

'One of your flock needs your help,' she said, trying to keep the mocking tone from her voice.

The priest looked at her.

'What is wrong?' he said.

'Come with me, said Jelcine. 'I will explain on the way to the doctor's.'

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 Post subject: Chapter 3
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2021 6:10 am 
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They stepped out on to the verandah of the clinic, the priest's craggy, tanned face was paled.

'Do you recognise her?' said Jelcine.

'No,' said the priest. 'No, I do not.'

Jelcine sniffed. If a Jaroaian priest didn't recognise her, that meant she was most likely not a local. Perhaps she and her father had been travelling here and been ambushed by bandits?

'You found her on the road leaving west from the town?' said the priest.

'I did,' said Jelcine, wondering where the priest was going with this.

'We have better go there,' he said. 'Maybe we can find something there?'

Jelcine frowned. 'What makes you think I want your help, priest?'

He glared at her.

'She might not be one of my people, but I am duty-bound to help this little girl. Jaroai would demand it.'

Jelcine clenched her jaw, she knew for a fact that Jaroai would not 'demand it' even if he existed.

'As a priest of Jaroai, I am here for the people. Even if they are not of my flock and especially if they are an innocent child, you must allow me to help you in this, as I aided you kill the vampire.'

'Alright,' she said. It could be a Jaroai though she doubted it. If it were one, the little girl most likely wouldn't be alive. Jaroai was fiction, but the Jaroai were real. She'd heard many terms over the decades used to describe the. Aliens, monsters but most Hunters loved the term, 'Eldritch Abomination.' Jelcine had never got it. They were the real enemy; they were the ones that established the Jaroaian religion through their avatar, which led humanity in their conquering and enslaving the elves and dwarves. But you never know, the girl could be bait, she could even be a Jaroai. Those things can shape-shift into almost anyone and anything, sort of from what the Hunters understood it was an extremely advanced form of light magic that only they were physically capable of doing, for some reason.

Although Jaroai couldn't hide their magical aura, which allowed any Hunter or priest to sense their presence.  

Jelcine shook away the thought; she was being paranoid. She turned and started off.

'Let's get going.'



'This is the place,' said Jelcine and pointed. 'The girl emerged from the underbrush, there.'

The priest stroked his beard as he studied their surroundings. The old gravel road, the brilliant trees which hung with shining green leaves enclosed its sides like walls.

'Did you look where she might have come from?' he said.

Jelcine frowned. 'No, I am afraid not, I was too busy hurrying the girl to a doctor so she wouldn't die.'

The priest frowned back. 'Your sarcasm is not appreciated, Hunter. I was merely asking.'

'Yeah, well. It was a stupid question, priest.'

He sighed. 'You are not the first Hunter to have come here since I became the priest for this town. He was a dwarf, and he was overtly hostile toward me as well. Do all of your kind hate us who represent the faithful?'

'Is that a rhetorical question?'

He glared at her. 'If so, then why do you? I do not understand.'

Jelcine rolled her eyes. 'Right now, that is not important. What is important, we find the girl's father and find out what did this to them.'

He studied her for a few weighted seconds before sighing again. 'Yes, you are correct. But I will find out why. One day.'

'Yeah, good, you do that,' said Jelcine.

She walked past the priest and to the edge of the path. She knelt and studied the trail of broken branches and blood.

'Can you track her?' said the priest.

Jelcine looked over her shoulder at him.

'Yes, I am pretty sure I can,' she sighed.

'One thing,' said the priest ignoring her sardonic tone. 'How did she get out here?'

Jelcine shrugged again, unsure where the priest was going with this.

'The nearest road leaving the town is fifteen kilometres south-east of here. How did she get so far?' he said.

'Maybe. Whatever it was that attacked them lured them off the road?' said Jelcine. 'Or forced them there, at gunpoint, or whatnot?'

'Do you see any sign of anyone else having moved through the underbrush? Where is their vehicle?'

Jelcine looked again.

'No, just the girl's tracks. They could have been stopped a few kilometres down the road, though.'

'You think you can follow it to the source?'

Jelcine didn't dignify that with a response. While she wasn't the Hunters' best tracker, even a fucking neophyte could follow the trail.

She stood up and started into the forest.

'Wait. Wait,' he said, following her.

'Oh, I'm surprised you're willing to get your fancy robes dirty.'

'I suggest that you watch the track, I'll extend my sense for any presences ahead.'

'Just be careful not to fall on your face,' said Jelcine. 'Because I'm not helping you, if you do.'

​​​​​

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 Post subject: Chapter 4
PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2021 8:21 pm 
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They followed the trail for a good ten minutes when the priest stopped.

‘I sense a presence, about fifteen metres ahead,’ he said in a whisper.

Jelcine turned to him, unsurprised the priest had sensed it before her. Her skill as detecting auras was below par due to her focusing more on the physical rather than magical aspect of being a Hunter.

‘With magical potential? Normal?’

‘Normal,’ said the priest. ‘Moving, in a hurried pace, back and forth.’

Jelcine raised an eyebrow. ‘That it?’

‘Yes, unless there is someone or something near which can hide their magical aura,’ said the priest, it was impossible to miss the accusation in his tone.

‘Hmm, strange. Maybe you should stay here. Let me go first; you make so much noise I’m surprised whoever this is, didn’t hear you from miles away.’

The priest’s beard creased, and he groaned. ‘Yes, you are correct, as much as it pains me to admit it. Part of the learning toward priesthood is not how to move quietly through under-brush, I am afraid.’

‘Oh, really? I would never have guessed.’

‘Yes, yes, there is no need for more sarcasm. Go, but do not be afraid to call if you need my aid, Hunter.’

With a nod, Jelcine melted into the shadows.



It didn’t take her long to sense the presence too, and a little while later she heard a voice. Someone talking to themselves. She couldn’t make out what they said, but she could tell it was full of manic rage and male, definitely male.

Jelcine clenched her jaw; she did not like this.

Sun streamed through the leaves ahead, indicating there was a clearing.

She didn’t slow, though, and the closer she got, the more she could make out of the man’s words.

‘The little bitch. How dare she.’

It set Jelcine’s teeth on edge, and she peeked into the clearing.

It was a tall, well-built human male in his mid-forties. He was bald and wore a chequered shirt with jeans. He would’ve been handsome when he was younger, but had long gone to fat.

He paced in front of an old, badly made hut in the tiny clearing, his movements violent, jolting.

‘I shouldn’t have fucking told her,’ he snarled. ‘That little fucking bitch. Fuck. Fuck.’

The man rounded toward her, forcing Jelcine to pull herself back.

‘The ungrateful little shit. The ungrateful little bitch. I shouldn’t have told her about the vampire. The Hunter. Fuck.’

He raised his head to the sky.

‘Jaroai,’ he roared. ‘How could you do this to me?’

‘Jaroai doesn’t exist,’ said Jelcine as she stepped out.

The man started.

‘This is all on you, you sick fuck.’ she said.

‘Who the fuck are you?’

‘You know exactly what I am.’

He flinched in realisation. ‘You’re that, Hunter. The one who killed that vampire.’

‘I am,’ said Jelcine. ‘And that means you’ve gotta choose your next answer carefully, kidnapper.’

‘Kidnapper? I ain’t no kidnapper.’

‘Where’s the girl’s father? Did you kill him?’

‘I’m her father.’

That took Jelcine off guard.

‘What?’

‘Give me back my girl,’ He snarled. ‘You’re the damn kidnapper. Fucking bitch.’

Jelcine’s eyes widened as the realisation hit her. ‘She wasn’t...she wasn’t asking me to save her daddy. She was asking me to save her from him.’

The man just looked at her, blinking like the simpleton he was.

‘You hit her in the head when she tried to escape,’ said Jelcine.

‘The little bitch. She was scared because of the vampire, so I told her about you. And that you’d killed it. Ungrateful. It’s because of you. I’m her father she belongs to me! And-’

Jelcine dashed the distance between them in an instant, and her fist smashed into his ribs. She felt one snap. And he was sent flailing into the dirt.

The man screamed, but he was back on his feet with surprising speed. He threw a hook at her face. Jelcine leaned back from it and slapped aside his following jab. She weaved his straight punch then caught his wrist. Snapping it with a twist.

He howled, and the howl turned into a gurgle as she covered his throat with an arm and shoved him against the wall, pinning him.

‘She doesn’t belong to anyone,’ she snarled, and in a blaze of white light, she held her axe. ‘The reason no one recognised her was because you keep her here, locked up. Like a fucking slave. Didn’t you? Didn’t you?’

The man writhed, he gasped and gaped like a landed fish.

‘What have you been doing to her, you sick fuck? Why else would you keep her in secret like this?’

Jelcine brought up her axe.

‘Hunter,’ an authoritative voice called, causing her to pause, she turned. The priest approached from the forest, hands raised. ‘Stop.’

‘You said you would help if I called you.’

‘Yes, I am guilty of a lie; I am only human.’

‘Did you hear what this sick fuck said?’

‘I did, but you cannot kill him.’

‘Why not? He deserves it. And don’t go on that it’s not Jaroai’s will or that crap.’

‘I will not. But no, he does not,’ he said. ‘I know this man; his name is Geoge; he seemed like a good man. A pillar of the town.’

‘So fucking what? Who cares?’

‘I do, all of us do,’ said the priest. ‘If you just kill him you are sparing him. It is the easy way out.’

Jelcine laughed. ‘Bullshit. Just when I thought you priests of Jaroai couldn’t be any more full of shit.’

‘No, it is the truth. Give him to the Rule Enforcers, allow him to see the anger it causes the community. Let him suffer the indignity and humiliation of what he’s done. Suffer through the consequences of his actions. If you kill him now, he will be spared that.’

‘What happened to the whole burning in hell thing you idiots pontificate?’

’I...I don’t know what that means. But you don’t believe in that, do you? I won’t judge you for it; I am not Camarian. Most of us in Isstarrsia don’t believe in executing non-believers just for not believing. Deep down, you must wish for him to pay for his crimes and know it. So please. Don’t kill him.′

The man’s face was turning blue now, the fingers of his good hand scratching at her arm.

With a snarl, Jelcine stepped away, and he slumped to the grass, gasping, clutching at his neck.

‘Good, you made the right choice, Hunter,’ said the priest.

Jelcine let out a roar and kicked the man in the chest, sending him spinning off the ground and smashing against the wall. His agonised shriek was almost deafening.

‘That’s enough,’ the priest said.

‘Yes, yes it is,’ said Jelcine. ‘Just enough.’

’Understandable. Now if you can just wait here, I will go back to the town and get the Rule.

Enforcement officers to carry him to the, to the-′

He was interrupted by Jelcine picking up the large man with one hand then slinging him over her shoulder as though he were a child.

‘Come on,’ she said while walking past the gaping priest. ‘We’ve got justice to serve.’

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My short story Of An Asur living in the land of Bretonnia:

http://www.ulthuan.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=35367&p=714658#p714658


Last edited by Adrassil on Mon Feb 08, 2021 7:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Epilogue
PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2021 7:45 am 
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Jelcine stood on the verandah of the doctor's building. Her large green staring eyes up at the clear, night sky. She was lost in thought. She wasn't the type for introspection; things were either black or white. Right and wrong. She'd always believed that ever since she was a neophyte. Her teachers had tried to teach her to see in shades of grey, understand why people did bad things, why the mindless masses needed their Jaroai, why they needed to waste their time in churches and talk to the man in the sky.

To empathise. How could she empathise with such idiots?

She was pushing seventy now, but she still looked in her early twenties, her lifespan extended due to the Ritual. But she was still vampire hunting when most Hunters her age were transferred to the more complex jobs. They were infiltrators, spies, assassins.

Jelcine had never cared. This was what she wanted, killing evil rogue vampires. It wasn't always easy, but it was simple. Maybe that was the reason she wasn't promoted? She refused to see the grey.

Jelcine sighed and cracked her neck. She was getting tired of it, tired of the bullshit.

'You did the right thing,' said the priest as he approached. 'Do not look so sad, Hunter. He will face justice.'

'I never thought I would ask this, priest,' she said. 'But why?'

He smiled and stood next to her, leaning on the handrail.

'Holklon.'

'What?'

'My name is Holklon,' he said and held out his hand.

Jelcine smiled back and shook his hand. 'Jelcine.'

Holklon sniggered. 'Maybe one day, you will tell me your real name.'

'Maybe,' she said with a shrug.

Holklon sighed. 'Geoge came to our town three years back. Even since then I knew he had a secret-'

'Why didn't you look into it?'

'Because everyone has their secrets, Jelcine, some greater than others and I will admit he had me fooled he seemed like a good man-'

'You should've-'

'I should've done a lot of things. If I had been more zealous, overzealous like many of my colleagues and barged down his door. I would've saved the girl years ago. Don't you think I know that? But if I did that with everyone who I suspected had a secret in this town, there would be no doors left in the town. He had a wife, a sweet woman, and went to my services every week. Geoge attended the gatherings, helped in the community. And he did so, even after his wife died.'

'How did she die?'

'Cancer, a year back. Jaroai bless her soul,' he said, making the sign of the eight-pointed star with a quick, crinkled hand.

Jelcine clenched her jaw. 'I talked to the doctor. He said that she had...bruises, bad ones...low ones.'

Holklon swallowed, his eyes falling for a second.

'I should've killed the fuck,' said Jelcine. 'I should've torn his fucking head off with my bare hands.'

'No, not even now.'

Jelcine laughed. 'You sound like my master.'

Holklon raised a bushy eyebrow. 'Master?'

She shook her head. 'Never mind. What's going to happen to her now?'

'I will take her to Savarth. There's an orphanage there; they will take her in. Look after her and-'

'No.'

'What?'

'Let me take her.'

'Why?'

'She's my responsibility. That's why, please, just trust me.'

'Jelcine...'

'Look, Holklon. I'm sorry I was rude to you before. You are a good man. A better human being than I am, and I know you care. But after the horrific shit, she's been through there will not just be physical trauma but psychological too-'

'And they will-'

'They will try, Holklon. But we can heal it. We can make sure she will come out of this sane, happy, able to live a normal life. They helped me, after all, I'd been through, and now they will help her. They will make sure she'll be okay. Just, please trust me. Please.'

Holklon studied her for a long moment.

'You Hunters, you aren't just travelling mercenaries. Are you?'

'No.'

He sighed. 'I don't want to know. You are aware I could lose my priesthood for this?'

'I am, and I'm sorry if you do.'

'Alright...alright. I will trust you, Jelcine. You can stay at the chapel until she is well enough to leave.'

'Thank you, Holklon. What's her name? Did her arsehole of a father bother to give her one?'

'Selleste. It's Selleste.'

Tears welled in Jelcine's eyes. 'Th-That's a beautiful name.'

'A beautiful name for a beautiful little girl.'

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