TRIGGER WARNINGS FOR VIOLENCE, DEATH, AND KIDNAPPING
Спи, младенец мой прекрасный
Growing up in the frozen tundra was difficult to say the least. From a young age, Anna was taught how to live a solitary life by her mother. Not just anyone could survive in the Siberian forests that were hours away from the next cabin, if you were lucky. The closest outpost where she and her mother would purchase their clothing and other necessities that they couldn't get from the land was a day's walk away. Skills were important if anyone wanted a decent chance of possibly making it, and she was learning from the best.
Resilience is necessary and defeat is never an option. The small girl learned how to chop up logs for firewood by the age of five and how to butcher a deer by the age of eight. They became second nature to her as she learned the ways of the wilderness: how to successfully hunt and stalk prey and sharpen axes and build a fire that will last for weeks. Once the night had come and there was no more light outside besides the lanterns that she and her mother hung outside their cabin, Anna would rest near her mother by the hearth, playing with wooden toys and masks that her mother had painstakingly crafted for her with the expensive paints that they had purchased once at the outpost. After being told traditional folktales and sung lullabies, the young girl would dream of happy things, completely content with her life and unaware of what was to come.
Тихо смотрит месяц ясный
One day, Anna, now twelve-years-old, was hunting a great elk with her mother. They were aware of the risks that came from attempting to get such a dangerous animal, but it had been a difficult winter and there was practically no food left. Slowly dying of starvation was a far worse fate than being killed at the hands of any forest animal. All of a sudden, the elk reared and charged at Anna, her eyes wide with fear as she stood, paralyzed, as the large animal came closer and closer to the small girl. She had practically accepted her death as she could see the murderous intent of the animal when her mother stepped into its path, holding an axe. Anna had to watch in horror as her mother was impaled by the elk's antlers and brought into the air. Using the rest of her strength, her mother brought the axe that she was holding down onto its head continually as the animal attempted to get rid of her. The antlers eventually snapped off, freeing Anna's mother and causing the elk to collapse.
Anna was too small to drag her mother's dying body back to their home, so she waited with her in the clearing where everything had occurred. Her mother held the little girl, humming her favorite lullaby in attempts to distract her from the dying elk's noises. They remained like that as both her mother and the great beast grew quieter as death neared both of them. Anna was eventually alone. Her mother had told her not to shed any tears for the death of those around her, as everything died at some point, so she held back her tears, difficult for such a small girl. Anna went home, starting the long way back home, after retrieving the broad axe that her mother had sank into the animal's head in attempts to remember her mother.
В колыбель твою.
As she was so young, Anna had not learned all that her mother had to teach her, using her meager survival skills to last the rest of that horrible winter. She managed to follow her instincts in order to survive, expanding her knowledge every day. She grew up, a tear yet to be shed for her mother's death, growing stronger and more dangerous. Anna's hunting began with smaller animals such as squirrels and rabbits, working her way up to foxes and mink that ran rampant through the Red Forest. Eventually, those animals were no longer fun to hunt and she began hunting the animals that the most dangerous hunters typically were terrified of, such as bears and wolves. She was not. Her humanity became a lazy dream and only a reminder of her life before her mother died when she was young.
Her territory slowly became larger and larger and her hunts became more and more successful, Anna no longer needing to survive from hunt to hunt. Then came the travelers that trespassed through her woods. They were unwelcome and unappreciated, seeing that there was only two other cabins within the area, both of the owners having left years before. These humans became her new favorite prey, as they were the trickiest, yet most satisfying kill. These travelers would mysteriously disappear within a day of stepping onto Anna's territory, slaughtered like any other animal. She liked their tools that they carried on their bodies and colorful clothes, especially taking an interest with the young ones' toys.
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Despite all of this, she could never bring herself to kill the little girls. She would take them back to her house, deep in the woods, away from their parents that she had already murdered. The girls reminded Anna of her own humanity that had been torn away from her at such a young age, all the more reason for her to look out for them. She wanted her own children, a closeness with a little one that she could never really have. The little girls were tied by the neck with a rough rope connected firmly to the wall, given the toys and books that she couldn't read (literacy was not necessary to being able to survive) to entertain themselves. The ropes were there as if they escaped, there was no way that they could survive the harsh elements from the Red Forest alone.
No matter how much she "cared" for these little girls, they would inevitably die from sickness, hunger, or even the cold. Every time, it made her even more upset, bringing her closer accompanied by pain and madness. Despite it never succeeding, Anna was intent on trying again and again, raiding the closest villages that were days away, slaughtering the families without a second thought and taking their little girls home with her. Donning her mother's rabbit mask that she had made all of those years ago in attempts to calm the traumatized girls, she soon earned a name for herself: the Huntress, a half-beast in the Red Forest that killed men and ate little girls for her supper.
As World War I dawned on western Europe, Anna remained blissfully unaware of the war and carnage going down, the news never quite making it to her woods. However, the Germans began making their way towards Saint Petersburg, intent on attacking the collapsing Russian Empire. The Huntress wouldn't let these souls survive either, as the travelers no longer came and the remaining villagers had fled, leaving no more little girls for her to take home with her. Huge groups of these soldiers would be found dead, axe wounds discovered all over her body. Their modern technology could not compete with her quickly drawn and thrown hatchets or her superiority with her mother's broad axe that she still used to this day. As more and more groups of German soldiers disappeared, the German Empire stop sending them, realizing that this was a lost cause as the Russian government fractured permanently and a civil war descended upon the country. As both wars came to a close, rumors of the Huntress faded away as well, apparently disappearing into the depths of the Red Forest for the rest of time.
Ты ж дремли, закрывши глазки
In reality, this all had been a plan for the Entity to bring Anna into its own game, which she happily obliged, as she got to continue hunting humans. There were no more little girls to comfort with her lullabies and stolen toys, so she figured that being able to bring death would be the next best thing. Humming her favorite lullaby that her mother sang to her in her moments of death becomes a haunting tune that the survivors grow to fear as she winds up a hunting hatchet in their direction. Anna still dons her mother's mask and uses her broad axe, a constant reminder of what humanity she used to possess.
The Huntress enjoyed this new game, but took an interest in a survivor who soon became her Obsession, David King. She didn't quite know why she chose him out of the bunch, maybe because she enjoyed his screams when her axe made its way into his body the most. It didn't matter to her in the long run. Death comes to all and she might as well have fun bringing it to those that the Entity said deserved it.