In honor of Shifter’s first anniversary coming up in just a few days—on July 1st—I wanted to talk about one of the important Christian themes in the book.
In it, the Alpha of the Dragon shapeshifting clan, Sirath, wants to burn villages and slaughter all the humans. Beroan is a dragon shifter, and he knows how wrong this is. He wants to find a way to stop it, but the first step he must take is doing the right thing. No longer will he go when Sirath commands him to fly with the other dragons and burn the villages. He defies Sirath and doing so leads he and his family to shame and even danger.
As a result, he’s forced to betray his family for the sake of the right thing.
Doing the right thing can be so very hard sometimes. It’s even worse if you’re the only one willing to do the right thing. If your friends and maybe even your family chooses not to do the right thing, your willingness and desire to do the right thing even when no one else will, could falter.
When the world seems to stand against you, know that God is on your side. You are not and never will be alone. Once, David stood up against a giant. He was only a boy. But Goliath was massive and vicious. He literally had the entire Israelite army full of trained soldiers shaking in their boots. None of them were willing to trust God and fight Goliath. So, a little shepherd boy named David had the faith to stand up to Goliath and fight him. He trusted that God would give him victory and God did.
More than that, later, David went on to become king of Israel and God led him to many, many more victories because of David’s faith.
Beroan had to do the same with Sirath. Some dragons believed in and followed him. Others didn’t, but none of them were willing to stand up to him. Beroan was. He was willing to do the right thing.
Our world may not consist of having to fight a giant in a battle, or a dragon in one for that matter. But the giants and dragons in our world take on a different appearance and meaning. Maybe you’re the only one willing to pray at lunch at school. Or maybe you’re the only one willing to witness to someone on the street, or willing to not give in and cuss. Maybe your friends or family want to watch a movie you know is wrong, but you are afraid to face the giant and stand up to it to do the right thing.
Whatever your giant or dragon is, you may be absolutely terrified to face it. Maybe it isn’t even the dragon or giant that scares you; maybe its being willing to face your friends and family who aren’t doing the right thing. Like Beroan, you need the strength to do what’s right, no matter who’s against you. Like David, you need the courage to face a giant that everyone is terrified of.
You can only find the strength and courage you need through Jesus Christ.
If you face the giant and dragon in your life, with God by your side, you can’t lose.
In honor of Hunter’s Anniversary that just passed us a few days ago, this year, I decided to write a collection of short stories from the same world—Averell.
Rebels explores the world of Averell and gives us an insight into how things got so bad. How the Aretul took over, why they created the Hunters. Inside the stories, we discover that the Hunters—these evil men who killed so many innocent people, who terrorized prisoners and were the villains of Hunter—weren’t all bad. Or at least, they didn’t start off that way.
Once, they were men. Innocent men and somehow, along the way, their paths got warped and twisted by darkness.
How far can a person go, how much darkness can a person take, before they’re too far gone and no longer able to be redeemed?
This question is explored in Hunter just as much as it’s expanded upon and explored even further in Rebels.
In reality, there is no sin you can do that God can’t forgive you for. He’s already died for it on the cross through Jesus Christ.
All you have to do is reach out and take it. If someone gave you a soda as a gift, you’d have to reach out and take the soda, and drink from it, for it to be useful to you. That’s what you have to do with Jesus Christ and the salvation He offers.
Rebels is officially out in eBook on Amazon and hopefully soon, available for print too!
Allen Steadham is a Christian author and good friend of mine. His books, Mindfire, Jordan’s World, and Jordan’s Arrow have all been published by Ambassador International, the same publisher who published Hunter and Shifter, books one and two of my Valiant Series. His work is inspiring and I love finding good fantasy books to read that are also clean and filled with the Christian faith. Allen’s books are a great example of this.
Where did the idea for Jordan’s Arrow and this series come from?
I wanted to explore a new Christian fiction genre. Initially, I thought I would write a fantasy trilogy. But considering most of it was taking place on an alien world with alien humanoids and animals, I realized it was actually science fantasy that I was writing.
I started with the simple idea that the young woman main character, Jordan Lewis, was abducted at the age of seventeen and taken to another world. Then I included her mother, so at least she had some connection to Earth and her family.
Next, I brainstormed with my wife and spent a lot of time praying about how to make the central theme of the book (and series) a Christian one, something I could expand on through the series. The theme turned into a simple but powerful one: God reigns over the entire universe and there’s no place He can’t reach you. That covered the first book, Jordan’s World.
Jordan’s Arrow takes place six years after the first book. Jordan has established her roles in her tribe. She’s a wife and a young mother, with a five-year-old son and a newborn daughter. She is also the new Chieftess over the Mountain Mokta tribe.
But war has come to Algoran from a tribe known as the Gulstaa, old enemies of the Mokta. Jordan finds herself a key player in a world war, which is terrifying for her. She’s inexperienced and unfamiliar with this new foe. But she has a unique perspective and some special abilities no one else has, the result of a blood transfusion from a legendary Mokta figure. She also is determined to protect her family, her tribe and restore peace to Algoran…if she can.
Wow! That definitely sounds exciting. It’s amazing how stories end up after praying and brainstorming. The titles are really creative – Jordan’s World and Jordan’s Arrow. What meaning does the title Jordan’s Arrow (as well as the others) have with the story?
To give the full meaning would give critical spoilers. However, I can say that the “arrow” is symbolic. It is far more devastating than any physical weapon.
Jordan’s World was about Jordan deciding which world was her home, Algoran or Earth.
Ah, I understand. That makes perfect sense. Everything seems to have meaning in this story, even the title. So, what was your process when building this world and the people in it?
Since Jordan took a journey across Algoran (in Jordan’s World) to find the aliens who took her and her mother and marooned them here, it gave a chance to show the physical environment and a number of different animals and peoples. Each race and tribe had their own culture, many had their own languages. It was fascinating.
I was able to go further in Jordan’s Arrow, showing how those different peoples during wartime. Alliances were tested to the extreme. Enemies became new allies, when faced with destruction by a mutual foe.
I love coming up with new races and creatures in the fantasy genre. But how do you balance out the inclusion of God and faith with the plotline in the story?
I balance it by including God and faith from the beginning, entwining elements of both into the foundation elements. Jordan may have been taken by aliens to another world, but God allowed it (in this story) for a reason. And once on Algoran, God has a plan to use Jordan for His purposes. She has free will and is faced with a choice in Jordan’s World. After she makes that decision, the entire course of her life changes. She doesn’t become a Christian yet, but she knows God is real and working in her life.
She sounds like a strong and well-developed character. Out of all of them, who are your favorite characters and why?
I love the main cast: Jordan, Bopol (her mate/husband), Zoska (Jordan’s best friend) and Reiban (Zoska’s mate/husband).
Jordan is pure-hearted and determined. She makes mistakes but tries to learn from them. Bopol is strong and courageous, super-protective of Jordan, his close friends, and his tribe. Zoska is the snarky rebel character. She’s hilarious but also very practical and downright dangerous when provoked. Reiban is a natural leader and a great storyteller. He has a lovable cluelessness at times but is very brave.
Aww. They sound like such loveable characters. For now, though, let’s talk about you a bit. What books do you have planned after this series is done?
I’m working on a Christian Steampunk trilogy. It’s set on an alternate Earth in the present day.
Oooh that sounds cool! Did you intend for this series to be more than one book or did it start off as a stand lone at first?
I always intended the Jordan of Algoran series to be a trilogy. I imagined it that way from the beginning.
You’re earlier book, Mindfire, was a Christian superhero, so Jordan’s World and Jordan’s Arrow are two completely different books. What made you jump from a Christian superhero novel to a Christian fantasy-sci-fi?
I wanted to make a fresh start. Mindfire (my superhero debut novel) was familiar territory for me. I’d written superhero comics for most of thirty years, mostly around the same characters. I knew their histories and storylines. It was wonderful that the Lord let me craft them into a modern Christian novel, but now I wanted to do something completely new.
The idea of jumping into a new genre was exciting. As I mentioned before, I thought it would be fantasy at first. But I’m a sci-fi geek, specifically a Star Trek geek. I suppose it was inevitable some of the sci-fi would leak into whatever fantasy story I’d come up with.
Combining the two genres must have been exciting for you! If Jordan’s Arrow was a movie or TV show, what actors would play the main characters?
That’s a really tough question, even though I think the Jordan series would make fantastic movies!
Here’s my thoughts at a quick glance:
Jordan Lewis/Jordan SnowFire: Lindsay Morgan (Raven from The 100)
Bopol: Greg Finley (Drake on Star-Crossed, Tony Woodward/Girder on The Flash)
Zoska: Tati Gabrielle (Gaia, Indra’s daughter, on The 100)
Reiban: Hartley Sawyer (Ralph Dibney from The Flash)
Chieftess Kitranor: Morena Baccarin (Inara on Firely/Serenity, Vanessa in Deadpool)
SnowFire: Gina Torres (Zoë from Firefly/Serenity, Jessica Pearson on Pearson)
Ilsketh, leader of the Gulstaa: Marie Avgeropoulos (Octavia from The 100)
It’s hard to think of but also exciting too! Last but not least… Where do you see yourself and your books in the next ten years?
Lord willing, I’ll still be writing novels. It’s hard to say where the books and I will be. That depends on God and His Will for my life. Wherever it is, I’ll be satisfied.
God’s will is always what’s best for us and our lives! Thank you so much for coming here to be interviewed!
Jordan’s Arrowwill be released on February 7th!
“To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die . . . A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.”
War has come to Algoran. The Gulstaa nation is determined to expand their territory with merciless resolve. Their end goal is revenge for a past defeat-they want to conquer the Mountain Mokta and anyone else in their way.
Jordan SnowFire is now the Mokta Chieftess. She has the daunting task of stopping a conflict she never asked for. Will she seek the wisdom of God or the wisdom of her tribe? What impact will the blood of SnowFire flowing through her veins have on the way she conducts this war? How far will she go to protect her family and the Mokta people?
Meanwhile, Erica Melendez finds herself trapped in the middle of the hostilities. Tragedy forces her away from the Ullvarr village and into circumstances she never imagined when she came to this world. Can she survive long enough to be reunited with Jordan?
Loyalties are tested. Decisions are made. And Algoran will never be the same after Jordan’s Arrow finds its target.
Writing this backstory not only is going to be difficult and challenging, but…. Difficult and challenging. Somehow, I’m supposed to tell everyone more about the main villain throughout the Valiant Series, also known as The Dark Master, all without giving away spoilers for any part of the Series.
Where to begin?
The Dark Master is evil incarnate. He is Corrupted and his goal is to spread Corruption throughout the galaxy – yes, there is a galaxy in the Valiant Series. Averell is only one planet within this galaxy.
Long, long ago, before Zagerah was built, before the Aretul even split up into warring factions, The Dark Master sent his agents to Corrupt them. Slowly, the darkness spread through the Aretul. As they gave into it, their need for power and control grew and festered.
This caused the split between the Aretul factions; disagreements on how to wrest control of Averell from the people and how best to accomplish this. With The Dark Master’s guidance, one Aretul faction, the most powerful of all of them, were able to experiment and create the first generation of beings who were meant to be perfect.
Naturally, The Dark Master doesn’t tolerate failure, so after several decades when it became obvious they were never going to create a perfect being, The Dark Master had better things to do. Or eviler things, depending on how you look at it.
Of course, this all changed when the Light arrived. Radon, the one The Dark Master longs to see utterly destroyed. When Radon’s interest shifted to Averell to find the Chosen there, so did The Dark Master.
And it was he who got to the Chosen first, long before Radon did.
The Dark Master sunk his claws deep into the Aretul and into their failed creations. Zagerah became his first fully Corrupted servant, followed by Hindah. Both men sought more power than they already had, power that The Dark Master’s Corruption gave them.
With every new experiment, The Dark Master’s Corruption spread into each and every new Hunter. The Aretul lab workers learned how to wield it on their own and when they began infusing it into the Hunters during the experiments, their failures became less and less.
The spread of his Corruption gave The Dark Master the connection he needed. Averell’s people had been oppressed and now even his darkness spread and seeped into their hearts the more they in to despair and stopped fighting and resisting.
The Dark Master has one Averell. But it is only one planet in the galaxy and Radon will never give up his search for the Chosen.
I am so sorry I forgot to post this yesterday, but it’s here today along with the final post of my Launch Week Character Posts.
The purple-skinned, silver veined original Hunter isn’t widely known, not even in Zagerah, the prison he was named after. Or perhaps the prison was named after him.
No one really knows.
None of the Hunters really know about Zagerah, let alone who he is, where he comes from, or why he looks the way he does. In Hunter, it’s quickly discovered what his silver veins can do and everyone regrets that they ever found out in the first place.
Zagerah existed before even Hindah did, back in a time before the prison was ever built. At this time, the Aretul lived in scattered factions with some villages following one or another. It was a period of intense war and one particular Aretul faction wanted to create the perfect being to slaughter their enemies and rule the planet. More than that, they wanted a being so perfect and so powerful that they could ensure no one would ever rebel or take it from them again.
The first several Hunters were completely different from the ones we know today. They had no special abilities; just speed and strength and even that came with a terrible price; mutations both physical and mental. They were sent out among the villages to kill those who fought back and resisted, sent to assassinate and kill the Aretul’s enemies, including other factions.
But none of them were perfect and what was worse, none of them could be controlled. However, that is a story for another time, another book and that isn’t why we’re here.
Zagerah’s father was a cruel man so he ran away in hopes of having a different life. His father soon caught him and punished him severely for what he did. A few months later, his father sold him to a different Aretul faction to try for peace. They treated him cruelly, so one day, he killed his new masters and ran away.
After running for so many hours that he exhausted himself, Zagerah fell into a deep pit and ended up beneath the labs where the Aretul constantly worked to create the perfect Hunter. At the bottom of the pit, rocks made from a magical silver ore pierced his skin and grew into him. Zagerah lived through the process, but the Aretul found him and wanted to test these strange silver rocks.
It was soon discovered that whenever he touched any of the other experiments, he could control them. Whenever he stopped, unfortunately, so did his control over them.
The Aretul spent years trying to figure out a way to make it permanent. Cutting the silver out of his body not only nearly killed him, even with smaller pieces removed, but placing them inside someone else never allowed him to control them. They realized they needed a way to make the silver rocks come alive, but how?
One Aretul scientist was so desperate for the perfect Hunter that he experimented on himself. This mutation developed within his mind and he became crazy but had the ability over purple fire. One day, he shrugged his shoulders and thought, “Why not?”
He burned Zagerah alive. Nearly dead, the other Aretul managed to save Zagerah’s life but he was in recovery for years. Despite his health, the experiment had worked. The purple fire melted the special silver rocks until they literally became the liquid running through his veins, coloring them silver. Because he had been hit with silver fire, the burn scares were purple, making his skin appear purple colored.
When he recovered enough for them to test it, they and Zagerah all realized he could slide the silver liquid out of his body and use it to control the other experiments. This still didn’t solve how all their experiments became failures with mutations and there was one more problem.
Eventually, his liquid silver drained from their bodies and his control over them ended. So the Aretul scientists figured out how to make a chip that held the liquid silver. Implanting this chip inside the failed Hunters allowed Zagerah to control them. The Aretul labs soon learned that erasing an experiment’s memory made the Hunters more loyal to them, so they only used Zagerah’s controlling technique as a failsafe in case they ever tried to rebel.
Soon, one of their own volunteered for an experiment and his became the first to have strength and speed without a mutation of any kind. More than that, he developed a strange new ability, all without a mutation; he became the first Hunter…
Municx is widely known in Zagerah as the man who has survived the longest in Zagerah. This naturally makes him the man with the most experience and a natural leader since the other prisoners all turn to him for help and advice, which he’s eager to give. It’s a way to make up for the losses he has faced in his past and his failure to protect his son.
Before Zagerah, Municx’s own family started a rebellion against the Aretul. It spread to two other villages near theirs before the Gredi came and captured all of the men. They killed the women and left the children alive, forcing them back onto one single village to fend for themselves. A harsh winter had come, so Municx and only a few others lived. He knew they wouldn’t make it in their village; it had no crops and winter kept any game they could hunt away. He was only seven at the time, but a fairly decent hunter and still wouldn’t be able to catch anything.
So he and the survivors traveled to the nearest villages. The other two had already been wiped out as if they had never existed. The Aretul didn’t want word of rebellion spreading to the other villages to give any of their people any ideas, which was why the three villages were dealt with quickly and quietly.
By the time they arrived in Averon, Municx was the only survivor left; the other two had frozen to death. He was near dead when a woman found him and nursed him back to health along with her daughter. The two were the closest to a village healer Averon had.
The healer’s daughter, Ganna, and Municx enjoyed spending time together. He worked hard and provided for Ganna, her mother, and the other villagers when he could. For Muncix, he was already an adult before he’d even become a teen but that was alright with him. He was careful.
Soon, he and Ganna married and had a child of their own. At the time, they both believed she would never be able to have children, so their son was a blessing.
Then Municx was taken to Zagerah.
He did everything he could to be careful, patient, and smart to stay alive. Even if he never made it out of Zagerah to see his wife and child again, he vowed to stay alive for their sake. Over the years, Municx protected many other boys that reminded him of the father he could have been, but losing his child was something Municx came to accept with time. His hope and prayer was that the child had been born a girl, that way she would never have to face Zagerah or the horrors that existed within it.
Municx’s backstory may be shorter when compared to the others but he plays the part of an experienced, wise old man in a place where most men don’t grow to be that old. He’s the unmentioned leader of a special group of prisoners that eventually adds one more to their family:
A new prisoner named Dalex.
But who is Dalex and why are all the Hunters suddenly interested in him? Find out with Hunter which you can pre-order now.
The first four people who comment on this post will win a free character card with Municx’s picture on it!
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.
Wexx was 16 when he was first arrested by the Aretul and taken into Zagerah. His entire village was raided when he was 11 and only he and his younger brother escaped. The Gredi killed all the women and took all the men and boys and threw them into Zagerah. Wexx and his brother escaped with a few other children to the nearest village nearby – Averon, the same village that Gabriel and Averella were from.
Wexx’s little brother – 9 at the time – became quick friends with Gabriel, who was 11. He looked after his brother and had become practically a father to him. One day when Wexx had been coming back from a hunt, he saw that Gredi were at his hut.
Everyone in Averon had hidden inside their houses. Fearing the worst, Wexx dropped the creature he had just killed for food and rushed to his home. There, the guards were dragging his brother – age 12 – out of the hut.
“No!” Wexx screamed, immediately unsheathing a sword he kept with him. He stabbed one of the Gredi before three more moved into action. He fought them bravely but in the end, they subdued him and started to take his brother way. “W – wait! I’ll go in his stead!”
The Gredi men laughed at him. “That’s not how it works, boy,” one said.
“I’m older and a better fighter than he is. Take me,” Wexx offered.
The Gredi agreed and threw his young brother down on the ground. As they bound Wexx to the creatures to run him to Zagerah, one of the Gredi stabbed his younger brother.
Wexx screamed and cried out, thrashing in desperation to get to his brother’s already dead body.
“We said we’d let him go. I didn’t say I’d let him live,” the first Gredi guard responded with a sneer.
Wexx’s heart shattered. His last living family member, his little brother, a boy that he was supposed to protect, was dead and it was all his fault. Wexx spent years blaming himself as he tried to adjust to life in Zagerah.
Lehlax found him after a few months at a time when Wexx was starving and half dead. Lehlax did what he could but he himself had only been here two years and had barely survived. Wexx learned to rely on Lehlax and the two became like family along with Municx and a few other prisoners they grew close with. Wexx had to face much more grief over the years as he watched all of his friends die, except Lehlax and Municx.
It was three years after Wexx had been thrown in Zagerah when Sine arrived. The young man was only 17 at the time and had just watched his mother die of starvation. Their village was on the brink of complete destruction due to a severe drought in their area, a drought that kept game from coming close enough for the men to hunt.
So Sine and his father had traveled farther out to hunt creatures in hopes of keeping what was left of their village alive. “I knew my father was a better hunter… that our village would have a better chance of surviving. So when we ran into the Gredi patrol I drew their attention away from him. He begged me not to,” he told Wexx one night when they stopped to rest.
“Sometimes we do what we have to,” Wexx murmured in response. In his mind, he thought back to when he volunteered to go with the Gredi in hopes that they would let his brother go. Only to have them kill his brother anyway.
At least he died quickly, Wexx couldn’t help but think. Not like here.
The two became good friends and stuck close with one another and Lehlax and Municx. They didn’t have their families, but they became a family all the same.
Now, in Hunter, one more prisoner will join their family in hopes of surviving Zagerah…
Pre-order Hunter now:
The first four people who comment on this post will win a free character card with Wexx’s picture on it!
Averella is a unique female protagonist. The moment that her sick brother, Gabriel, is taken into Zagerah, she makes a tough decision. She grabs her father’s gear and disguises herself as a man because women are never taken to Zagerah and she knows Gabriel won’t survive on his own as sick as he is.
Needless to say, she’s a bit reckless and doesn’t really think things through. Not only does she abandon a depressed and distraught mother, but she didn’t think about the fact that even if she found Gabriel, they would still be stuck in Zagerah.
What she does is practically equivalent to a death sentence. But she doesn’t think about herself, so in a way, Averella is very selfless when it comes to her loved ones. She only thinks about them and is very desperate to keep Gabriel alive.
For Averella, life was normal, or as normal as it could get on their world, Averell. Their people live in scattered villages, oppressed by their government, the Aretul. Families live in fear that any time a man or boy steps outside, the Gredi will take them. In Averella’s village, every house and family have experienced a loss in some way or another.
Her mother and father loved them deeply and tried to care for Averella and Gabriel the best that they could. Her father was afraid that one day the Gredi would choose to take families, or the women and girls too, so he taught Averella how to fight with a sword. “So you can protect your brother and mother,” he told her, knowing that only she would be able to protect the family if something happened to him. So she learned how to fight with a sword, just in case.
At the time, it was too dangerous to take her out hunting – rumors had spread from another village that a man’s daughter had been killed after he had been taken. So he didn’t want to risk taking Averella out, not even to show her how to hunt in the event that he was taken, so she could still provide for them. Instead, he contacted his neighbors and friends, who all promised each other to take care of their families if they were taken.
Anytime he went to hunt, Averella’s father was always careful. Meanwhile, Averella’s mother took care of Gabriel, who was so sick at times he couldn’t get out of bed. For a while, as a boy, they thought he would die. But they prayed and God answered their prayers and saved Gabriel’s life, even though he stayed so sick.
Averella grew up training with her father and a sword and then working with her mother tending their garden together.
Often times, her mother would get together with the other ladies of the village and exchange much needed goods and sometimes just sit and visit. As a young girl, Averella always looked up to them and admired them especially as they would put their goods together, like hide from the animals the men would hunt, and sew clothes and armor for the men to wear if they went outside the village.
Her mother taught her and life was fairly good for them. At least, until her father was taken. It happened in the middle of the night; many of the men hadn’t gone out since food was plentiful so the Gredi were getting antsy. They raided the entire village, going into the village and took several of the men, including Averella’s father.
She woke to screaming and when she stumbled out of her bed, she saw her mother clutching Gabriel tightly and crying. By the time she ran outside, the Gredi were in the distance and she never saw her father again.
After that, Averella had to help pick up the slack left over by her father. Her mother fell into a deep depression, even to the point of refusing to get out of bed. With Gabriel so sick he couldn’t leave the house, many times, Averella had to go out hunting alone.
The first time she went hunting, she only had the sword fighting skills her father taught her, which wasn’t any help against some of the creatures that roamed the woods. The first two nights she never caught anything and the third night, she encountered a dangerous one. It clawed her up really bad and she would have died if another man hunting from another village hadn’t helped her. He mended her wounds and helped her back to her village. For days, her mother and a woman named Ganna who was good with herbs helped her recover.
Not even a week afterward, they were low on food and Gabriel was getting worse, so Averella had to go back out there, as scared as she was. She faced up against the creature again and this time, she killed it. It fed them for a week and they were able to share extras with their neighbors, Ganna and her son, who was starving after her eldest son had been taken a month prior.
After that, Averella became who her mother and brother needed her to be; to hunt their food, skin it, cook it, mend their clothes, help tend to the garden and Gabriel. Many nights she went on a lack of sleep.
She and Gabriel tried to bring their mother out of her depression. It took several years, but eventually she started doing the cooking, mending and gardening again, which helped Averella.
Until the events of Hunter begin.
Some people might say that what Averella did was reckless. After she was arrested and thrown into Zagerah, many of the women in the village talked about her. “How could she do something so reckless and foolish?” one woman asked another.
“She did it to protect her brother,” Ganna responded, coming to Averella’s defense. She admired Averella for being strong for her family, similar to the way her eldest son always had been before he had been taken. Averella had saved Ganna and her son and Ganna would always be grateful. She felt it was tragic and sad that such a brave young woman would endure whatever horrors existed in Zagerah. That of course, reminded Ganna of her son and her husband. Where were they? What had happened to them? Were they even alive? No doubt her husband was dead by now, but had her son survived these nine years?
Averella was dragged through the gates and then reality hit her. She was now trapped inside Zagerah.
I’m super excited for today’s post which is about the main antagonist of Hunter, named Hindah. He’s pretty much been a mystery and no one knows much about him. Well, today I’m here to give you more information on him; finally!
Hindah grew up in a time before Zagerah had been built. At this time, the Aretul didn’t have complete control over the planet and instead, the Aretul was divided into many different political factions. Some people served some factions and others worked for different ones. Many of the people joined forces to rebel against the Aretul.
Hindah was loyal to his father and the faction of the Aretul they worked for. He grew up being taught to fight but also to learn. In fact, one of the head scientists in the lab was Hindah’s mentor. At the time, Zagerah had been their first and only successful Hunter – the others all had flaws of some sort. Even then, technically, Zagerah wasn’t a Hunter, but he could certainly control them. At the time, they wanted more organization and structure, a controlled environment to test the Hunters. So they expanded the land and were in the process of building Zagerah.
They had a few breakthroughs and when they did, Hindah volunteered. They needed someone with a certain type of blood and strong genes that he had but his father was too old at the time.
The experiments were similar to what Zagerah went through, but with a slight variation. There were crystals that grew nearby that caused anyone pain if they came near it. So the scientists embedded these crystals into Hindah’s body. The pain of them being inside him alone almost killed him. His father actually tried to have them stop the experiments but Hindah wanted to be the first successful Hunter – he wanted the credit and honor for being the one to have had it succeed, especially when it was him that it succeeded on. After a few days, they raised his body temperature and combined that with several different drugs and eventually, the crystals melted. These didn’t become liquid like Zagerah’s veins did. No, instead they formed tattoos along his skin and after that, he was able to make them come alive, attach to people, and cause them intense pain as much as he wanted.
Hindah was the first successful Hunter. He was strong, fast, and had all of the enhanced senses. He had a powerful ability, one that would be useful in hunting and killing the human rebellion scattered throughout Averell. And he would be their first step in a much, much larger plan – one to create the perfect, most powerful being they could.
They had done it.
At least, they thought they had. Like the Hunters before him, Hindah had a flaw. His wasn’t an outright flaw like the previous Hunters had had; they always had a mutation or disfigurement of some type and if it wasn’t physical, it was mental. Never before had a Hunter been created that was perfect.
Though Hindah didn’t have a disfigurement or mutation, he had been given a weakness. Anytime he was near fire or burned, he would weaken, lose his powers, and be like any other human. The scientists were baffled, but as Zagerah continued to expand, they needed a place to keep the prisoners of war and someone to deal with them.
For years, Hindah and Zagerah did this alone. At least, until their next successful experiment worked: Norvach. To their disappointment, he had been given a weakness too. As the years passed, the world changed. The previous Hunters, disgraces with mutations and disfigurements, had all been locked away, never to see the light of day again. The Aretul’s factions had either joined together or been wiped out and the people of Averell had become oppressed. Men and boys were taken as war prisoners and the women had their fingers broken to keep them from teaching their daughters how to fight.
Generations passed and whatever had been done to both Zagerah and Hindah had given them longer life than a human. Over time, the generations of Averell lost their will to fight back. They started living in fear. Zagerah and Hindah were joined by Norvach and others as slowly the last generation of Hunters died away and a new one arose – one that the Aretul labs weren’t satisfied with.
This new generation was flawed and still had their weaknesses.
As the Aretul sent Hindah and the other Hunters to scour Zagerah, killing the weaker prisoners and capturing the stronger ones to bring to the labs, the Aretul scientists never stopped trying to create a perfect being – the perfect Hunter.