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Ever since the Cro-Magnons huddled around their fires and told stories of the Wolf outside their caves, the True Fae have reveled in their hunts. The Hunterhearts are those who were caught up in those hunts, yet managed to escape before they became beasts irrevocably. They are a kith of near-infinite variety, drawing on affinities with all manner of predatory beasts and even the more abstract nature of the animalistic hunter. All Hunterhearts share the aura of the predator, something that can bleed through the Mask and make humans uncomfortable. Sometimes, though, it comes across as a vibrant sexuality, which can be either intimidating or attractive.
Beyond that, Hunterhearts show the expected variety for a kith with many possible animal aspects. Ears, teeth and eyes are some of the most frequently altered physical features, and some display small claws or patches of fur along the shoulders, forearms or shins. Those Hunterhearts who are imbued more with the spirit of the hunter than any particular beast may take on features akin to multiple animals, or feral traits akin to old legends — antlers, pitch-black skin, long nails, shaggy hair and the like. The most common feature is that their teeth, claws or horns are always more distinctly dangerous than those of other Beasts.
These Beasts were absorbed into the wild hunts of the True Fae. Some Hunterhearts were kept as hunters themselves, running before the horses of their Keepers to catch a scent, flush prey from the bushes and finally to fall on the quarry with tooth and nail. Other Hunterhearts were the hunted, developing their bestial traits as a survival response. Breaking the chain of predator and prey was the most difficult thing, but it was also the gateway for human reason to return.
Not all Hunterhearts actually had to hunt, of course. The kith includes those Lost who were kept as vicious animals without knowing the limited freedom of the chase. These were the lions and bears kept for pit-fighting, the shackled guard dogs, the monsters in the labyrinth. They may not have learned how to hunt, but they developed a vicious streak all the same.
Fairy tales abound with the intelligent predator: the Big Bad Wolf, Puss in Boots and Tom Tildrum, Reynard the Fox and Old Man Coyote and so many more. Practically every known culture has some tales about the predatory animals that were closest to them. Sometimes they’re the foolish animals that are undone by the clever tricksters, but these animals can also be the ones playing the tricks.
The demonic huntsman is also a common element in folklore. The most famous example is of course the Wild Hunt, particularly appropriate because those humans the demonic huntsmen hunted were often said to be forced to join the hunt themselves. In some cases, the huntsman was said to seek human or animal prey; in other cases, he hunted other fae, such as Odin pursuing the huldra.
Repelled by cockcrows, cannot cross running water at night, repelled or injured by monkshood, cannot harm dogs, must eat raw meat, immobilized by a ribbon tied around the neck