Finding a spouse and choosing a Hunting partner are two of the most important life decisions most of the young men in the Hunter clans make. In some ways, the Hunting partner is a bit more fraught, because most people don’t have to trust their lives to their spouse’s skills and judgment on a regular basis. Most. There are elements of skill, judgment, trust, and personality matches that all have to click. Which explains why Lelia will Hunt with Arthur and/or André alone, but not the senior Hunter, and vice versa.
All the younger Hunters train together, and get to know each other’s styles. Some are more about brute force (Skender, Master Itzak in his more active days) others lean on finesse and sneakiness (Karol, Arthur, Nikolai), or a blend (Florian, Ladislu, Ianku). Some Hunters can adapt, others need a partner who is a better fit or balance for his style. The older Hunters won’t assign partners, but they will subtly encourage the youngsters one way or another. There’s nothing formal about picking a Hunting partner, no ceremony or formal announcement, but the men sort themselves out, and train to fight as pairs or trios.
Brothers are not encouraged to be Hunting partners unless there are other males in the family. Why should be obvious. Florian and Marius, Skender and Boianti, both sets had older male siblings, so in a worst-case scenario, the family would still have a male to inherit and run the farm and sire the next generation. The age difference can also affect if the brothers pair up, although in the case of Arthur and his brother, their shared traumas and personalities counterbalanced the age gap. Since Marius and Florian are twins, well, despite what Florian says, the ten minutes between their arrivals doesn’t matter too much.
In some ways, Hunting partners are closer than brothers. Florian has a key to Nikolai’s house, just as Niko has access to Florian’s parents residence, and they share pot right. Niko’s wife treats Florian as a brother. Marius would have the same privilege, if he were not married. Sharrie has no problem if Niko has to stay with them for any reason, but it’s not the same. Technically, Florian and Nikolai are formal partners, and Marius is semi-retired from Hunting because of running the farm. In reality? Until Marius and Sharrie have children, Marius will Hunt with Niko and Florian. The three know how each other will react, and how they fight, and can sort matters out without needing more than a few words. Florian and Niko being strong Sensitives helps smooth things. It took a lot of training and practice for the trio to reach this level of skill and trust.
So, what about the magic workers who Hunt with the Hunters? Of the women, only Lelia is counted as a true Hunter. Mistress Talyssa, Corava, the others assist the Hunters as magic workers, and can defend themselves if they have to, but they do not Hunt the same way as the men do. They’re not trained, and they have their own duties and responsibilities. If Mistress Talyssa is closing a gate, she’s not going to be trying to deal with the beasts that came through it. That’s not her job. Keep in mind, too, that the magic users of the Clan are not as strong as André, Lelia, and Art. Jude’s not, Corava’s not. André is accepted as a Hunter, although his primary duty is to do magic. A few of the “puppies” challenged Arthur’s declaration of Lelia as a Hunter, until they had to deal with her personally. When she nailed the young fool with her weighted fist and knife hilt, that pretty much put a stop to the stupidity. Especially when Arthur and the senior Hunter only fussed because she’d not gutted the guy, only left him sick at his stomach and hurting for week and a half. Her putting bullets into abyssal beasts also played a role.
Arthur Hunts with Skender. So will Ladislu, in part because he watched Arthur and has learned when to steer clear of the senior Hunter and how to defuse Skender’s temper (somewhat.) No, the relationship between Arthur and his big brother isn’t normal. It was, once, but time, stress, and differences in personality have caused what the others observe today.
Fascinating the depth of the world you have created.
You should put this sort of information into a Familiar “Reference” ebook that we can buy. 😀
Agreed! In your copious free time, of course 😉
This description makes a few stories more understandable now. When there’s a Lesser or Great Hunt, many or all the Hunters turn out and fight in their teams, directed by Arthur or his brother. That also explains the pre-engagement shakeouts of who goes where under which leader. I’d re-read the fight chapters to keep track of what happened.
Did I forget to “click the boxes”?
Thirded! This kind if world-building background adds richness and depth to the main stories.
Nice fill in on the backstory, thank you!