Name: Vlad Bacescu
Online Portfolio: https://vladbacesci.artstation.com/
The monster hunters of Morwald were renowned throughout the land for the reckless practice of drinking monster blood in order to gain some of their unholy power. The process is highly dangerous for the hunter’s body, and even moreso for their mind. As such, the would-be hunters keep the volatile force under control by tattooing intricate arcane patterns on their bodies, designed to reduce the toll the foreign blood takes on them.
Young Athelisa was never given the choice. She was only seven years old when her village was razed to the ground by a wandering pack of monsters. Buried alive under the crumbling walls of her former home, she was forced to claw at the flesh of a dead beast caught under the debris to survive. Eventually, after days, she was rescued by a party of scavengers who discovered her under the rubble, but, by then, the creature’s blood had already changed the poor girl; her hair had gone pale, her blood black and her eyes vacant.
She was taken to the north, at Morwald, and presented to the elder monster hunters in an almost catatonic statele. Unlike the others, her body showed no sign of rejecting the corrupted blood; however, the elders, unsettled by her empty glare, demanded that she go through with the tattoo ceremony, frightened that the taint had broken her mind. The grueling ritual took three days to complete, while the child continued to stare into empty space, unnervingly oblivious to the pain. As the final incantation was uttered, she pushed the priests away with inhumane strength and tore down the doors of the hall, escaping into the surrounding forest. The hunters attempted to track her, yet she had vanished without a trace. They never saw her again.
These days, so many years later, the people have begun to whisper tales of a silver haired young woman clad in black armor and wielding a mighty spear, who stalks the roads and slaughters the rampaging beasts at every turn. In some places, she is revered as a hero, while others scorn her as a demon. It matters not to the impassive Athelisa. In truth, the hunter’s tattoo had returned her clarity from the tainted blood’s grasp, but at the cost of her emotions; Athelisa became unable to feel happiness, regret, anger, or anything at all. Still, her dead eyes hide a singular feeling she yet clings to: a cold hatred for the creatures who took away her family and her chance for a peaceful life. Soon, they will all know the tip of her spear.