Official Werewolf Hunters Handbook
Reginald Benedict Von Bartleby
Take dictation Ruckus, but don’t write “take dictation Ruckus, and don’t write this either. You’re making me nervous, why on earth are you already writing. Still going? Do your antics ever cease? Having a good laugh? Stop writing. You are hopeless. I’ll edit this out myself, make a note Ruckus that I will have to return and thoroughly proofread this prologue, and likely the entire manuscript. Fascinating. In earnest now, the prologue, ahem. Quite dry in here. Don’t distract me now, once I’ve begun I will require my full concentration and focus. I’ve framed it perfectly in my mind. Ahem. Quite dry. Pass that, no not that. Peel your eyes from the page and look at what you are handing me. The tea Ruckus, the tea, the tea and nothing else. And the cup, of course the cup. A fresh cup if you please your hand has been in that one. Alright, here we go. I simply cannot fathom beginning with you looking at me like that. Look elsewhere. Your neck cannot sustain that, look directly ahead, better yet at the page, look at what you are writing. Fine, yes you’re quite skilled. Wonderful penmanship yes, very well proportioned, that’s enough. Enough damn you. I may pace while speaking do not be alarmed, I suspect to be quite animated throughout the process. The process, that sounds good doesn’t it? This is important work we undertake Ruckus, it’s important we start off on the right foot. It is crucial we appear as nothing else but experts in our field, supremely knowledgeable and the indisputable authorities on werewolf hunting, I will not have you make a fool of me. My reputation is at stake not yours. Count yourself lucky if your name appears in the final manuscript at all Ruckus. I omit it out of no personal slight only that dual authorship makes the ready uneasy, as do you, your mannerisms, way of speaking, etc. We are not clowns Ruckus, we are certainly not that. Now… hm, how long have I been speaking? A refresher on the tea if you please. Have I mentioned the dryness, in the air I mean. It’s quite draining actually, very hard to focus, nevertheless I must persevere. Ahem, you hold in your hand the Official Werewolf Hunters handbook, this tome may come to act as the only shield between you and the deadly beast you pursue. In fact the odds of your surviving even with the benefit of my knowledge are firmly stacked against you. Only one of the thousands in possession of this guide will have the good fortune, inherent skills, and supreme aptitude in all things to survive an encounter with a Lucronis Lycanthrope. Do you hear something Ruckus? A buzzing. Feint but unmistakable. There is a gnat about the room Ruckus. Find it please, and eradicate it. Set the pen down. You will not be able to do it and write simultaneously. I have already commended your penmanship. You are wasting my precious time Ruckus, it will evade you indefinitely this way. It’s right there… there… right there… there… look… right there… get up on the chair, its… yes… set the paper aside. It will require at least one free hand. No, not that way. I refuse to act as audience to this disgusting stratagy, put your tongue back inside your mouth. No I am not impressed, I am disgusted, we will never speak of this moment again and it will never be exposed for the public’s evaluation. I am not a clown, have I already said that?
I am beginning to question the idea of the prologue all together frankly. The mood has left me completely. I pour my heart and soul into something that will likely be skipped entirely. No, better to save it. Scratch the prologue. Better yet, take and utterly destroy whatever you have put to that page. We start fresh tomorrow Ruckus. Ah, it’s finally getting dark, may as well step out into the night, perhaps the forest will yield a clue yet as to where our little lycanthrope may be hiding. Set the pen down this instant.
Chapter 2: Why Werewolves?
Yes, why werewolves, why not any of the other myriad monsters that terrorize us, that make of us their prey. Why do we not hunt vampires, ghosts, reanimated corpses, fish people that muck about in lakes, transforming mad scientists, witches, ancient mummified members of egyption royalty, possessed toys, or children? I will allow myself this brief diversion to explain to what merrit I find the hunting of such creatures. Vampires I will not cover here, I intend to write a Official Vampire Hunter’s handbook that will touch on the subject.
Let us begin with Ghosts, supernatural phenomena, poltergeists, and let’s move right past them. I won’t waste our collective time with phantoms that relocate our silverware, that pester religious paraphernalia, that keep us up all night with there attention seeking, almost drunken behaviour. Ghosts are a waste of energy and the best solution is to ignore them. Neglected and without encouragement they will manifest elsewhere, and at best horrify a family that has beget too many bastard children. Moving on.
Reanimated Corpses: these are a bit more tricky but luckily they are also terribly rare. So rare in fact the chances of anyone ever needing to hunt one at all are infinitesimally small. There is one notorious family that seems responsible for the majority of such cases, and they are hardly worth mentioning. I dined with them once and was ejected from the premises after insisting that one particular guest, a bescarred ungentlemanly sort, cease eating soup, out of the communal bowl with his hands. I upturned the soupterine upon his head, and was handled quite roughly to the door by him but a moment after. Poor manners are the more prevailing monsters in this case, and for them I have no cure.
Next, Fish people that muck about in lakes: Do you truly desire to hunt these creatures? It is, I assure you, the least glamorous occupation of all. Allow me to set the stage; you are waist deep in filthy, stagnant, reeking water, dead fish bubble to surface all around you, leeches bother about your legs and abdomen, a duck attacks you continuously. There is a smell unlike any other, part decomposing sea creature, part fetid sewer, part, inexplicably present, mans mouth who has consumed too many pickles. You at last come across the monster, it’s eating a goose, or it’s trying to, its choking in fact. You consider helping it, out of some misplaced pity, think better of it, watch the creature die. There, some hunt, congratulations. Of all members of the Monster Hunting Society, those that hunt these beasts are looked down upon most.
Transforming Mad Scientists: Not unlike hunting men, only they are more aggravated so allow me amend my previous thought, not unlike hunting drunken men. If you can kill it with a stick it’s hardly worth hunting(see also vampires in upcoming treatise.)
Witches: Now these are another matter. Witch hunting is quite difficult as witches themselves are clever, conniving, and capable prey. There is one reason I do not attempt to tackle this task and that is the Church. They have made such a bumbling mess of the matter that I can hardly stand to have my name associated with the title of Witch Hunter. I almost wish the witches luck in their endeavours and have in fact found a number of them to be quite helpful in the hunting of other monsters. To defeat a witch merely make friends with it, give it an onion to eat, of which I have found they are terribly fond.
Mummies: Ah mummies, I still have a curse or two I’ve yet to remove from when last I marked one as prey. It is the curses we must fear for the mummy itself is little more than a bundled up skeleton. Avoid awakening ones wraith first and foremost, but if the matter cannot be helped, take to the keeping of cats. Fire is quite effective also if a bit unruly, and that, for legal reasons, is all I will say on that matter. (But if Samuel Griffin continues to spread slanders regarding a certain museum fire I can assure him action by my attorneys shall be taken. You go right to Hell Samuel Griffin.)
Possessed Toys: If you are gotten the better of by a toy you should consider a different hobby. Might I suggest birdwatching, or growing potatoes, you are not cut out for much else.
Children: Whether they are possessed or just unruly, confine them to small spaces and give them nothing in the way of food. They should waste away in little time, and cease to trouble the reader.
Chapter 21: Are your loved ones Werewolves?
By now you should be well versed in identifying werewolves. This may sadly be insufficient. A true werewolf hunter must remain objective above all else and never fear turning to face the creature in whatever form it takes. This form may be as deceptive as the reader’s own mother, father, sister, brother, child, cousin, lawyer, stepchild, etc. Does this person prefer the nighttime hours? Do they show a propensity for meat, particularly in the raw? Do they gnaw at things, their own nails, sofa cushions, bones, chewing gum. Do they scratch themselves with the foot rather than the finger? Do they were an abundance of brown, or do you spot large bloodstains amongst their clothes? Do they play often with dogs, street dogs, foxes, or wolves? Do they enjoy being scratched and enjoy scratching. If they display even one of these myriad behaviours the reader must never rule out that this person is likely, and therefore should be considered definitely, a werewolf.*
The reader may find themselves swept upon a moral maelstrom, perhaps even going so far as to share these suspicions with the offending party, this should be removed from consideration entirely. A werewolf, feeling even remotely threatened by discovery, will flee or possibly attempt violent measures to maintain anonymity. I suggest pricking them with a silver needle, or tack, a blade would also suffice. Watch carefully, observe and document any interesting reactions. Are they unreasonably upset, take careful note. Do they yelp, not unlike a dog would, record that. Do they later show signs of infection, well that’s certainly interesting. If on the other hand they react in an unsurprising manner the reader should not be dissuaded but rather try again, and again, if necessary. It may take 100 pin pricks but if on the 101st they reveal themselves to be a werewolf it will have been worth it. Once they are discovered the reader must put aside all former attachments they felt for this subject and act quickly to kill them.**
*Chapter 6 “…If one suspects, or it is suggested, that a person may in fact be a werewolf, it is imperative that the reader take this supposition for absolute fact. Let the world bare the burden of doubt, a werewolf hunter must always be certain, not only for their safety but for the safety of the people they would protect.”
** See Chapter 27, Killing a Lycanthrope.
Chapter 29: Earning a living as a Werewolf Hunter
Some have enquired how I may dedicate my life to the hunting of Werewolves, and if there is, in fact, money to be made from it. I was born into some modicum of Wealth as the Von Bartleby name carries with it certain distinction and pedigree, so require little additional funds to support my modest lifestyle. That being said, I have found that, upon attaining some level of notoriety, offers for sponsorship were presented by various businesses in exchange for mentioning their products and ensuring personally the quality thereof. Most notably in my case is Victor Chapman’s Well Oiled Machine Cogs. Simply alerting the public to Victor Chapmans Superior Well Oiled Machine Cogs, and the benefits of utilizing them in place of older more dangerous cogs, has afforded me some greater comforts. It was really no trouble as I already toted and bandied about the strength and durability of these excellent quality factory strength cogs, how any industrial enterprise hemorrhages money in fact in un oiled cogs, having to replace them with greater frequency. Don’t be fooled by imposters either as only Victor Chapmans Well Oiled Machine Cogs carry the guarantee of superior quality. Buying another cog puts the worker at risk, I’ve no problem saying, and factories in the habit of implementing sub standard cogs see an increase in worker death and injury. A wise modern progressive industrialist knows that while these workers may be expendable, replacement cogs are hardly cheap, and just one purchase of Victor Chapmans Well Oiled Superior Machine Cogs will see increased output, decreased costs, and revenue multiplied many times over. Even the Official Werewolf Hunters handbook would be remiss in not mentioning Victor Chapmans Well Oiled Machine Cogs and so I have. And now we must move on.
Chapter 32 Mistakes
Mistakes will be made over the course of your hunting expeditions. Even when you act with precision, sound logic, and with the safety of others foremost on your mind, it is possible some may perceive your actions to be mistakes. That is another topic to be covered later. For now let us focus on some common mistakes/errors that might be made, by you.
Forgo food prior to a hunt, our senses become honed while hungry and even this slight advantage can be the difference between life and death.
Do not bring with you a hound: They may select the werewolf as the new pack leader and turn on you. Leave them at home, or better yet set them free and trouble yourself no longer with caring for some lowborn beast.
Attempting to keep a werewolf as a pet: Remember only one day a month are they in fact werewolves. All other days the court judges you an abducter, a kidnapper, a threat to society.
Neglecting to know the hunting ground: Spend days, weeks if necessary becoming familiar with the area upon which the hunt shall happen, failure to do so gives all advantage to the beast.
Assuming men with beards are werewolves: Men with beards are almost always werewolves, good work, this not a mistake. Not to be confused with men who wear mustaches.
Maintain positive relations with a barber; Do not steal their hair, drink their barbasol when their backs are turned, dull their scissors or scold their children. No matter how you may be tempted to, a good relationship with a barber is a must. This does not apply solely to werewolf hunting.
Carry a lantern or torch: These are silly contraptions used by fools and errand boys, mailman, and mobs. Use one at your own peril, they do nothing but dull what little sight you have.
Dressing as a werewolf yourself: This is the quickest way in which to be shot by another werewolf hunter. Not to mention a werewolf is hardly interested in making friends or in finding a companion. Dressing as a deer, boar, rabbit or toad is also not recommended by neither is it discouraged.
Carrying 2 or even 3 silver bullets: One is enough. You should be a trained marksman at this point, having more than one bullet encourages one to fire more than once. This puts people at risk, it also encourages certainty before firing. In the unlikely event of two werewolves, this will have been poor advice and the mistake would be having followed it.
Going it alone: A werewolf hunter requires a companion, if nothing else to act as bait.
Chapter 33- The Future of Werewolf Hunting
Advancements will be made, in technology, in machinery, in our knowledge of what we consider now mysterious. The steady juggernaut of progress presses ever forward so it would be absurd to assume these advancements will not reach the world of the werewolf hunter. What then can we expect? Will all the comforts of home be afforded the future werewolf hunter. Sitting atop some mechanical beast will we recline and enjoy a fine Darjeeling, will we read casually from a book all the while the hunt in the hand of our automatons? Will it determine with certainty the werewolfs identity? Will it fire unerringly into its prey? I can only hope this never becomes the case and not for any reasons of relevance or my fear to fall from it.
I see already the new generation of hunters attempting to implement new devices; lanterns designed to dazzle and confuse, goggles to penetrate the darkness, tracking rats, exploding silver aerosol balloons, hats that look like plants, herbs and tinctures to enhance perception, porcupine quill armor, werewolf deterring spray etc. Have any of these methods had success? Of course not, the werewolf will not be bamboozled by cheap tricks, it will not be turned away from its kill by odors or body armor. To assume that these methods will make up for some personal failing or from failure to adhere to strict hunting protocol, will only yield yet another bloody victim of the werewolf’s insatiable need to kill/feed.