Bounty Hunter Lore
Don't stare. Yes, they're real, forged in Harrando by a master Smith. I've brought thirty Men to justice in these shackles. Some men hunt beasts, some hunt treasure, some hunt monsters. I hunt men. My name? That's for my friends. I have no friends, not here anyway. The days of peace and glory are over. The High King is dead, his Kingdom is all sundered, and despite what the Bishops say, it doesn't look like his successor is going to appear anytime soon, if ever. Unfortunately, the King's Law died with him. The Dukes and Warlords of old are reborn, each clinging to their tiny strips of land and trouncing everyone around them. Where once bands of Knights rode the land in shining armor, protecting the innocent, now legions of bandits and brigands terrorize the countryside. They burn, steal, and plunder with impunity. Every day someone loses their family or watches all that they own vanish in flames. Sure, we can't die anymore, but we can still starve. The world is cruel, and you can cry to the Church all you want about it, but the All-Father doesn't seem to be listening. And what of the "noble" Duke or Prince who's supposed to be protecting you? He's too busy hiding in his keep and counting all his taxes to go stop any marauders. He might even be taking a cut of the spoils. What hope do people have of finding justice?
If they can afford it, they have us.
Manhunters are becoming common sights these days, moving slowly from tavern to tavern, town to town, either on a hunt or looking for work. You can often tell a Bounty Hunter by the manacles he carries at his belt; however he may intend to bind his target, manacles are as much a symbol of a Bounty Hunter's trade as a tool of it. If a merchant, lord, peasant or even a whole village knows the name of a villain they want to see face justice, they talk to us. We're the finest hunters and trackers in the world, save maybe for the Horwathi plainsmen. We find our quarry and bring him back. Whatever it takes.
We're not judges, and we're certainly not assassins. A hunter's business is his quarry and their delivery, that's all. If the village who hired me wants to hang the bandit I bring them, or forgive him, or burn him at the stake after he's skinned alive - that's their business, not mine. If you want somebody killed, go hire an Assassin. If you want somebody killed with a lot of panache you can't afford, hire a Black Mask. If you want to kill them yourself, hire a Manhunter. Most folk don't trust us, and there are some who've spit in my face and called me a dog. Well, dogs are bred to hunt. You can be sure some of them won't look at me on the street but will come find me as soon as their world turns cruel.
Most of our work boils down to vengeance, one way or the other. The real trick is to keep it from getting personal. It's not easy work, but I've been at it a while. I can read a trail that's a week cold. There are men in every tavern between here and Irydni who watch comings and goings for me, and who are quick to remember names and faces. Between them and my fellow Hunters, there's few places left anyone can run where I can't find them.
Which brings me to you. You're Harris Trevayne, right? It doesn't matter how I know. You've a brother named Dalton. It seems he's had himself some fun over in Berrenger. Killed nearly a dozen, and stolen some things too. A lot of grief to pin on one name. The Lord Confessor and three Guilds besides have contracts out on him. But I see you know that already. Wait, let me guess: you don't know where he is. Maybe that's true. Maybe it's not. In the end, it won't make any difference. There are eight of us hunting him, some of us masters. We just wanted you to know that. You want to fight me now? Bad idea. You tell your brother that we're on the Hunt. Like any dog, we just won't stop either. Why don't you go warn him, and save us all some time? As you will. We'll still get him. And once the Temple of the Flame has him, wellâ€¦ probably best not to think to much on that. Tell me where he is now, and I can make sure that one of the Guilds gets him instead. That way you might get to see him again. No? Very well. We can wait, you know. Some say all Time has ended, so what difference is it to us?