Leading up to War of Nytefall: Eradication, I had really stayed within the vampire world for enemies. You did have Duragians being a major first in Loyalty and they return in this volume. Yet, there was a third faction that appeared from time to time without a pattern. This would be the vampire hunters, who I could never really get a strong handle on. Even now, I make notes to add them into the action with big plans for them and it never happens. Why is that? Well . . .
- There’s no central organization to the vampire hunters of Windemere. I made such a thing for mercenaries, monster hunters, and am working on one for ruin divers. One could say that vampire hunters are a niche of the middle group, but that organization hasn’t turned up during this time period. By the time they do, Dawn Fangs are accepted and vampire hunting isn’t much of a thing. So, I don’t have any scenes of them planning or preparing.
- Because of their lack of organization, they get used as hired guns and this means they really only show up for combat. There’s a hunter who shows up in Eradication and will be a bigger force later, but he’s an outlier. Every other time, I have them be the pawns of vampires or hired to go after a specific target. This means the ‘group’ doesn’t get much meat for evolution since it’s rare that any of them survive. They’ve become the fodder of the series.
Is this a bad thing? I really don’t know. The truth is that nearly all of the stories I have planned are very specific to the vampire world and turmoil within. Hunters are outside forces that have no interest in the politics that are ensuing. They show up to kill and eliminate the monsters, which goes against the narrative that the Dawn Fangs are fairly mortal in how they emotionally function. In this respect, hunters turn out to be the bad guys. More so, they are hateful villains that don’t see what the audience is looking at when they face off with the ‘heroes’. Sure, Clyde has monstrous tendencies, but it’s starting to be revealed that part of it might be because his emotions run so high and his power is immense. Having a group set out to destroy these beings doesn’t put them in a very good light.
While I do more with hunters in this book, I do wonder why I threw them into the mix at all. The biggest reason could be because of previous vampire stories. We’re led to believe that there is a group of mortals trained to fight vampires. Van Helsing, Blade, Buffy, Abraham Lincoln, the Belmonts, etc. all stand against the threat of blood-sucking death for the species. 9 out of 10 times, the stories focus on these characters and the vampires are the bad guys. You see vampires get mowed down by the skill and power of the hunters who have be blessed or trained to handle these monsters. Yet, flipping the roles for a story brings in a different picture because hunters don’t work in large groups, aren’t usually as organized as their prey, and make weaker fodder for combat scenes. This means, they become more annoyance than major threat.
Do I wish I did something different with them? I’m not really sure if I could have because of the overarching plot. As I said, the power and humanity of the Dawn Fangs turn the hunters into an archaic group. There’s really no need to hunt them down, which means their attacks are unwarranted. Since Dawn Fangs are nearly impossible to sniff out by standard means, the hunters need to be hired for a specific target. This goes against the idea of them being a noble force for good and makes them come off more as money-loving mercenaries. I might alter War of Nytefall: Savagery to show this and put a nail in the vampire hunters’ coffin. It has a little more to do with them than previous volumes and the one after could do it too. Although, I really have to wonder if this is necessary since they weren’t as big a factor as I expected.
A final note that I just realized: Duragians pretty much stole the main driving force behind vampire hunters. With them in the picture, I didn’t need this separate group. Oh well. Seems I really did just add them because they’re a staple of the genre.