[WP] “After I die, you must bury me deep. Deeper than any of the monsters we’ve hunted. The world can't afford it if I escape.”
Even retired, Ragnar built weapons for younger Hunters. That was how the greater demon found him.
Alone, and old, Ragnar had still nearly managed to kill the beast before Yvan heard the commotion and come to investigate. Now the man was dying, body littered with deep claw marks, blood soaking into the sawdust below him. Black crept over his skin, a sure sign that the demonic wounds were fouling in the worst way.
Demons loved to Raise Hunters. To make them mindless ghouls that hunted the living as they had hunted monsters in life. It was the worst kind of vengeance. Some Hunters took precautions. Others killed themselves to prevent it. All agreed that becoming a ghoul was worse than death.
Ragnar, of course, was ready. It was only a matter of time before someone came for him, and he knew it.
“Bags of salt in the workroom,” Ragnar gasped out, one hand determinedly holding a bandage to his chest. “Beside it, silver and Rowan shavings. Mix ‘em and cover my body in them.”
Silver for the curses. Rowan to keep him bound. Salt to block foul magic from finding some way to break the bindings. Things all Hunters had in stock, but Ragnar packed shotgun shells with them to hunt ghouls and sold them to other Hunters.
“I will,” Yvan promised through tears. Evan dying, his old mentor was protecting the world. Ragnar gripped his hand tighter. “Make sure you do it,” he drove the point home. “I glow with curses- not just from this one. When I die, those come home to roost.”
Yvan hadn't know that, but it was unsurprising. Many curse-marks waited until the will of a hunter slipped before they could activate. Ragnar’s never had, and his body was covered in arcane sigils, all simply waiting for the old hunter to fail.
“I will, I swear,” Yvan promised again. “The demon burns already.”
As soon as he put the final shot in the beast, he doused it in salt and holy oil to burn until there was nothing left. When Ragnar was buried, he would sweep up the remains and jar them to keep it from reconstituting.
“Good boy,” Ragnar coughed, bringing up bubbles of dark blood. “After I die, you must bury me deep. Deeper than any of the monsters we’ve hunted. The world can't afford it if I escape.”