Malik left behind a wife and two younger sisters when he was taken by the Gredi to Zagerah. He was raised by his two older brothers because his father had been taken a few months before Malik had even been born. His brothers weren’t the best parents and they were both harsh and strict. They had been through a lot over the years and had been forced to practically raised themselves alone. What they cared about was Malik and their other younger siblings – two girls and a boy – and how to keep them all alive. What they would do is while one brother went out to hunt, the other would stay with the children. That way if the one hunting was taken, the siblings still had a brother to care for them, so they never both left the house at once.
Both of Malik’s older brothers relentlessly trained him, teaching him how to fight with a bow and arrow for hunting and a sword for fighting the Gredi. They specialized in fighting multiple opponents because they knew if the Gredi came, they would have to be strong enough to fight them all off.
During a bad storm one night, lighting struck a tree near their hut and the wood easily caught fire. It collapsed inward but Malik was able to slide out with his two younger sisters.
One of his brothers died in the fire. The other, since both older boys had been twins, seemed to be unable to bear losing his twin brother. He helped his younger siblings to a neighbor’s hut who agreed to care for them. A day later, Malik found him dead the next morning; hung from a tree outside the village. Malik never did understand why his brother did that or why he abandoned them. For years, he was angry and bitter, not only for his brother abandoning him but for the fact that now he had three younger siblings to care for alone and he was only eleven years old.
The neighbors had a second child of their own and didn’t have enough food to feed Malik and his three siblings, so they kicked them out. After that, he spent his time hunting food and trying to keep himself and his three siblings alive while he also tried to build a makeshift shelter for them. Unfortunately, that wasn’t one of his strong suits and soon, his little brother took ill. Two days later, the young boy was dead, leaving Malik and his two sisters alone. He returned to the neighbors, begging them to take in his sisters and that he would provide food for them if they would only give them shelter and the neighbors agreed. So Malik hunted, mostly for his sisters, keeping just enough to keep himself alive. By the time he turned fourteen, he had a wooden house build with a single room in it and he stayed in it for a while to make sure his sisters wouldn’t get sick. When he survived the winter in his house, he returned for his sisters.
The next few years were the most peaceful Malik had had since his brothers’ deaths. He and his sisters survived as best as they could and Malik gave them a good life. For years, as men and boys in the village was taken, Malik was so careful that he was never spotted by a Gredi patrol. Even when the neighbor’s husband was taken, Malik still survived. At one point, he was the only man in the entire village left and all of the women agreed to hunt so he could hide and avoid being taken. He didn’t like this idea, but knew the women would have more trouble surviving without him. When he was seventeen, one young woman had just lost her sister and had been left alone. She was sickly and needed help and couldn’t keep up with the house or garden. Malik would often come to visit her and began feeding her what he had caught – at this point, he still went out to hunt and had begun hunting for the entire village since the women in his village weren’t very good at it. Eventually, his sisters started helping the young woman with her garden as she and Malik fell in love. They married and he moved he and his sisters in with her. Her health gradually became better, but Malik loved his wife with all his heart and enjoyed caring for her and his sisters. In the meantime, he taught his sisters and a few other women in the village to hunt, knowing that eventually, he would be taken and they would need to survive on their own. After a year, the women could hunt and live without him, but they all grew close with Malik.
That is, until the Gredi came. They began searching each hut and when they weren’t able to find any men or boys, the Gredi started killing the women and girls. “Guess there’s no point keeping this village alive!” one of them shouted.
Malik couldn’t let them all die for him. He took out his bow and arrow and had four Gredi killed before they realized what happened. When they spotted him, he ran away and actually managed to hide and survive in the woods for three days before they found him and took him to Zagerah.
At this time, the Hunters were particularly brutal and vicious and the slaughter of the prisoners was at the highest count Zagerah had ever had. Out of the entire generation of prisoners that had been arrested within the same few years before Malik and a few months after his arrival, only Malik survived.
He evaded the Hunters longer than any other prisoner ever had at the time.
When this happened, Hindah knew he was special so he had to have him. Nothing lasts forever and neither did this. Malik was eventually caught and taken to the labs on the outskirts of Zagerah. A few months later, he met Jared and the two became good friends. Forgotten is a short story that explores this which you can order now on Amazon.
Until they were both turned into Hunters. Then, everything changed.
But wait, we have one more Hunter to talk about today. Kellarch. He has powers over ice and loves it. The ice caves is obviously his favorite place to hunt, because there he’s at his strongest and he dominates anyone and everyone in his path.
What about before he was this cold-blooded killer?
Kellarch had a wife whom he loved deeply. His father had been taken and Kellarch cared for his mother since the two were all each other had. Years before, his father had built the hut they lived in for Kellarch’s mother. One bad winter, his mother became sick and died. Kellarch felt completely helpless and grieved, especially as an eight year old boy. After that, he scrounged for food, took care of the house, and raised himself. Since had no parents to discipline him or make sure he was safe, Kellarch was often reckless and traveled out of the village more times than he should have. He started trading with the other people living in his village, Averon, but always made sure to take care of his family’s house. One day, Kellarch saw a young girl his age outside crying, so he went to comfort her and found out her mother had just died. That connected them in a way because Kellarch understood her. After that, Riste and Kellarch became close and it didn’t take them long to fall in love. When her father and brother were taken, she was left alone with no one else, so Kellarch moved in with her to help provide. They were married and shortly after, the newlyweds were gifted with their first child.
Kellarch never got to see his child before he was taken to Zagerah. Not even knowing whether it would be a boy or a girl and leaving his precious wife behind haunted him. He became angry and wanted to fight, believing if he killed enough Hunters, he could get free. He put up a few good fights and managed to get away enough that they took interest and took him away.
When he returned, nothing of Kellarch was left except the Hunter we know and see at the beginning of the book Hunter.
Hunter is available for pre-order.
Want to enjoy a story about Kellarch and Riste? It’s featured in my exclusive bonus DVD that I’m giving away along with a magnet and poster. To join the giveaway, click here.
The first four people who comment on this post will win a free character card with either Malik or Kellarch’s picture on it!