Across the wilds of Tor’stre Vahn, a band of hunters works in service to the empire of Andel-ce Hevra. Danger fills their lives. Each day, each hunt, demand their cunning and bravery.
But the creatures of the highlands and the plains, the ever-lurking threats to the empire’s plans, are only part of what drives the hunters toward their prey.
What they desire above all is freedom.
Who are the hunters of Tor’stre Vahn?
Each finds their own way to the elite ranks of the hunters of Tor’stre Vahn. A few of Andel-ce Hevra’s soldiers prove themselves worthy each year, demonstrating natural prowess and a gift for detecting monsters hidden in plain sight.
Others choose to join the hunters as a way of protecting their village from the dark creatures of the wilds. The council demands the servitude of a certain percentage of the townsfolk brought under their “protection.” Those who are able often select to remain as near to their homes as possible instead of becoming soldiers trapped in the city.
And there are still others who escape the ranks of the Sharai to become true hunters. They are often the fiercest of all.
Escaping the Sharai
As the Council of Andel-ce Hevra spread its shadow across the untamed reaches of Tor’stre Vahn, they wielded the religious influence of the priests to turn the tide of loyalty in their favor.
The priests villainized the region’s witches and druids. The druids were harder to uproot as they remained in close-knit conclaves. But witches could be found in every hamlet and village.
First the priests forbade the magic that was the witches’ birthright. Then as a show of strength, they rounded up the witches and imprisoned them in the holy city of Haven.
In a perversion of the witches’ annual rites and celebrations, the priests hold mating rituals at the four solar tides. The children who result from these unions either remain in Haven’s brothels or are forced to join the ranks of the Sharai.
The Sharai serve as the first wave in the onslaughts that plague Andel-ce Hevra.
Before the armies can address a threat, while the hunters plan their strategic attacks, the Sharai serve as the border, the barrier, between the wilds and the settlements under Andel-ce Hevra’s control.
The one possible escape for those destined to join the Sharai is to prove themselves worthy of joining the hunters.
Though the priests continue to blame the witches, the hunters, the witches, and the sharai know the truth: Until the land returns to its natural balance, until the council relents, the wilds will continue to assault Andel-ce Hevra and its empire.
The land returns like for like.
The Empire of Andel-ce Hevra
One thousand years ago, a band of priests, generals, and powerful politicians united against a common enemy—the empress who ruled Andel-ce Hevra.
The druidic sorceress had wielded power over them and their people for long enough, they claimed, and it was time to take back the control of their city.
The empress fled the city, disappearing into one of her many animal forms. They found her hiding place in the woods, and they destroyed her.
The priests, generals, and politicians returned victorious and appointed themselves the Council of Andel-ce Hevra.
As time passed and the council grew in power, the senators urged that their influence should continue to spread. They set their sights on the entirety of Tor’stre Vahn. One by one, the towns and civilizations beyond their borders fell to their might.
Incorporating the hunters into your version of Azuria
One of our goals for our adventures and this site is to provide you with a framework that you can tweak or adjust for what best suits your home duet game. If the backstory of the Sharai is too dark, for instance, feel free to adjust their origin to something that better fits the Azuria at your table.
The hunters make for a great adventurer’s background, perhaps as your ranger’s backstory, or a group the party seeks out and asks for help as they roam Tor’stre Vahn.
Famous Hunters from Age of Azuria
My favorite hunter in Age of Azuria is, of course, Briseras Ravisthinia, one of the main characters of the series who we meet in book two, Hadvarian Heist. Briseras was destined to join the Sharai until one of the hunters passed through Haven. The hunter, Rajas, saw the young Briseras fighting a group of older boys. He scared them off and asked if she would like to leave Haven and join the hunters.
Briseras said her goodbyes to her mother, and Rajas took her into the mountains to begin her training. Her specialty is hunting vampires.
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