Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Witch Hunter General Rides In

Witches are only one part of the equation for many stories. Out there lays the one thing that even the forces of evil fear, the Witch Hunter General and his men. These men are both stalwart champions of good and scourges of evil. Turmoil and death follow in their wake to a degree only paralleled by the most fiendish witch. Their arsenal is vast, their knowledge of their prey complete, their interrogation skills consummate. None dare to stand against the General and his cadre. There is no hiding. There is no pleading--except to plead guilty. There is nowhere that their influence and power does not reach. Wicked, beware. Who are these enigmatic paragons? How frequent are they encountered? How many are there? Most importantly, how do they impact the horror expressed and demanded by witches, singularly or even by the coven? All will be revealed for goodness' sake.

The question of how many will depend on your setting. More witches mean more witch hunters in only some cases. More hunters could mean lesser skills or more dangerous witch powers. It is important that the hunters do not overpower the setting and dissipate the horror. They can be so powerful and unstoppable that witches have no chance against them when push really comes to shove, but this might be mitigated by the wait for the Witch Hunter General and his men to come to the rescue or the level of collateral damage created by the conflict between the two sides. Do not forget the flip side that where the hunters go the innocent fall prey to them as well over hysteria, jealousy, and other general finger pointing. They are feared by all who do not feel they measure up to that level of righteousness. Pride comes before the fall as well, be warned.

Secrecy is one of the weapons in the witch hunter's arsenal. Fear of the unknown extends to the wicked just as much as the virtuous. Stories from the witches' perspective doing away with hunters are possible if not mainstream. Extended stories of the witch hunter's training and seminaries will tend toward a more fantasy than horror feel, especially with the hunters working from such a strong base position. Even with a story from a hunter's perspective--regardless of whether high or low in rank--less is more to maintain the mystique. The line between folklore surrounding the hunters and their true power can be revealed, but benefits from being unleashed little by little--much as the most spectacular part of any story must be the climax. Come back next time for a look at the signs of witchery, witch's habits, and the tools of the witch hunter's trade.

Mood: seasoned.
Music: Fear Is The Key by Iron Maiden and Catch Me If You Can by Alice Cooper.

Iron Maiden: Fear of the Dark
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Alice Cooper: Along Came A Spider
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