It was night. The air outside was cold but none of the gathered minded much. The only light from from the fire they were huddled round and from the occasion lantern in the windows of the cottages of the village. There were ten gathered round the fire, eight of them 'free' hunters. Or at least they were.
"So what did you all do?" The village elder said calmly but in a disappointing tone, eight envelopes from him all holding the futures of the eight young hunters sitting in front of him. When a hunter breaks a rule or a law they were summoned back to there home village for assessment and punishment. So to have eight of them at once was an odd occurrence.
"Well Byrian and I are just here because we're in the neighbourhood and thought we would drop by. Plus we heard rumours the others had been up to stuff" the youngest looking one said. He had the standard yellow eyes and curly blond hair. He stood out from the others massively because of how small and lean he was. He wasn't the youngest though. He was 22, same age as two of the others gathered.
"Lousie, Byrian, you are here because you are too nosy" stated the village elder calmly. When the two nodded, he sighed annoyed, "Then please explain to me why HQ have sent envelopes for you to?"
"We have done nothing" Byrian shrugged. Byrian when standing, was the tallest, so it seemed odd to many that he went around with Louis, even odder when you knew there bloodlines. He had reddish hair which when slightly past his shoulders. His left ear was pierced and he had a wolf fang handing round his neck. His skin was tanned from being in the sun a lot. He was slightly older than the others at 24.
Sitting by him was a younger man with the same skin complexion and red hair. However his hair was shorted and spiked up messily, giving him a punk type look. On his right bicep was an old scar which cut diagonally. He also had a bandage warped around his head from his incident. He was also 22
"So why sent an envelope?" the man teased poking his cousin in the stomach.
"Shut up Luson" growled Byrian only slightly seriously, poking him back.
"Behave" ordered the villiage elder, "Honestly you would think you would all grow up after all this but you all are still the same brats you left as aren't you?"
"isn't that a good thing" a woman pointed out. She had big puffy hair that looked almost dark blue or purple. She had a side fringe which covered the left half of her face, but they all knew she had a tattoo over her left eye. It marked her as a demi, while her eyes showed her to be a hunter. She also was 22.
"Aimee..." the villiage elder shook his head in vain. "Your brother would be disappointed"
"Where is he anyway? I would of though with his position and everything he would be the one to tell his our fates" Aimee commented, the others murmuring in agreement.
"He wanted to, but with the pressure at the moment, he had other duties to attend to with the white lilies than with his misbehaving strays"
"Strays?" moaned one of the twin woman who sat around the fire.
"Don't tell me you're using the same name as that mutt Rayne does for us all" they moaned in unison. Both were identical, expect for one had there hair up in a left sided ponytail and the other a right. There hair was ginger, with brown tips. They were the youngest at 20.
"Don't disrespect Rayne you too, his powerful. He's also got one of you as a pet"
"He's also a friend" Aimee muttered.
"I'll ignore that comment Aimee, friends don't keep other friends as pets" the village elder said harshly.
"You don't know the first thing about there relationship Elder" the whole group said silencing the elder.
"I see, back to the matter at hand, Aimee since your so eager to talk what did you do?"
"one name says it all for mine. Danvni" the groups whistled.
"As in King Danvni of the Dragoon courts?" the Elder said lifting an eyebrow. "Why do you know him?"
"We all know him" shrugged the group.
"This is going to be related to those schemes and quests you got yourselves into when you were all children isn't it?"
"that's why we know him, yer. I owed him a favour so he called it in. Nothing too big normally, but I got caught. I'll spare the details but it got ugly" Aimee admitted biting her lip, "I guess HQ are fed up of me committing so many minor acts."
"I would thing so" the elder muttered, "The stories I hear about what you get up to are worrying to say the least" Aimee shrugged as the others giggled.
"What about you Kyra?" asked Aimee looking at one of the woman who had so far reminded silent.
"I pissed off a red court vampire lord" she said quietly, "saved a poor kid he was using as a blood bank and sex toy. He was pissed and tried to kill me, so I killed him" Kyra said calmly, playing with her brownish hair. Like Luson and Bryan her hair had a copper tint to it but it wasn't nearly as clear.
"What else did you do Kyra" The elder said annoyed, knowing there was more to this story.
"burned his house down..."
"Ah" the group said, "court sued for damage?"
"three hundred pieces of gold" Kyra admitted blushing.
The group whistled, "have to be carefully these days" commented the last hunter. Another woman called Naime. She had platinum blond hair which was cut short.
"what am I going to do with the lot of you? So squad 213, what did you all do you get sent back here?"
Luson, the twins (Tia and Kat) and Naime went silent staring into the fire. "Jake. He wanted us to deal with a demon who recently got out of Cesontaia" Luson began. "The Intel we got was wrong, and the mission fell apart. The demon overwhelmed us but even he was surprised by what happened next. There was an earthquake" The air grew silent. Even the fire seemed quiet.
"It destroyed the cave structure he had been staying in. Naime and I got got with his servants easily, but Tia, Kat, Jake and Sammy weren't as lucky.
"The demon said knocked out me and Tia before the collapse, so only Sammy and Jake were left to save us. But Jake..." Kat trailed off.
"From what Sammy said, Jake was crushed in the first quake by a piece of the ceiling. We were also nearing crushed but the Demon... Lord Sek, he saved us.." Tia finished looking down at her hands.
"Sammy was the price" The elder finished. He poked the fire and got it burning brightly again as it had withered down. "I understand"
"I hope Lord Sek is a good one" Kyra said quietly, but they all knew that was unlikely. The demons that won the right to leave there own territory weren't normally know for being nice. There was an awkward silence as everyone went into there own thought
"Here" The elder said breaking the silence by giving out the envelopes. They all took them and opened them slowly. The colour drained from most of there faces.
"Shit" Kyra cursed.
"Warden?" Byrain asked.
"Yer of Trover"
"Shit" the all said gathering around her. Trover was deep into red court terrority
"Do they want me dead?"
"wait Trover... that's Vainishs brother city. You're be fine. I think" Luson said trying to calm her down.
"Vainishs brother? God help me" Kyra moaned.
"From what I understand, they requested you Kyra. Lord Vainishs seal was on the envelope" The elder said simply.
"What's that vampire up to?" wondered Aimee, not looking at her own fate.
"We're being recalled for a year" Kat and Tia said in unison, "But there's a warning we may be put on warden detail when that years up"
"I'm being made into a Warden too" Luson said, "Based in Asul. Pack territory" There was an almost angry edge to his voice. Byrain squeezed his cousin's shoulder reassuringly.
"Calm down Luson. The Pack can't hurt you" He said. Luson and Bryain family had a … hate for the pack. There bloodline gave them an automatic rivalry with them, but the Pack had also ruined the lives of many of there family.
"Same here, but I'm in Dala" Naime said. They all whistled. Dala was at a crossroads between hunter, Dragoon, Pack and red court territory. As Warden placements went, it was a hard one. You had to deal with the problems of three of the major players as well as being close enough to the hunter HQ for them to notice if you let any shady dealings go by.
"umm, I'm in Asemelle"
They all froze and looked at Aimee in disbelieve, including the Elder.
"They made YOU a warden?" The Elder said taking the envelope off her, "There must be a mistake. With your brothers name maybe?"
"No, they've used my whole name. Aimee Drake Zoya" Aimee pointed out. "I guess they want me to use the name Zoya from now on..."
"Probably wise considering your history and your brothers reputation" Aimee winced at that comment. The others she had managed to let go but she was hurt by that one.
"Asemelle, that's a massive responsibility, how am I supposed to deal with that?" Asemelle was a port town at the entrance to Eulas Bay. For many it was the last stop before travelling outside the territory to exotic countries. For many it was a hiding place as well. Asemelle was the capital of the black court territory, 'Ganye' named after the head. They were the oldest court of vampire around.
"I guess you going to have to" Louis said, looking down at his own envelope.
"What do your to say?"
"Twelve strays, two down already. Stay strong hunters. We will need you in the coming years. Also Louis and Byrian, be warned, Warden posts are already chosen for you, should you also break the rules" Louis read out.
"Two down... which two? Rayne has James, Lord Sek has Sammy and Jake is dead. Shouldn't it be Three down?" Luson pointed out.
"Rayne, if we asked, would likely let us have James back if we needed him, or give us some help. They probably only count Sammy and Jake" Aimee reasoned.
"Maybe" the village elder said quietly looking around at the the hunter, deciding not to tell them that HQ only counted Pets as down. Dead they would simply say. Oh well they can figure that on there own.