Gaspar Correia – Welcome to a special edition of Minimum Wage Historian. It’s special because I’m doing it. Today I will speak about a topic that is widely ignored by so-called “scholars” and “historians.” This is a serious issue that needs to be clearly understood and deserves more study. I am, of course, talking about the history of Monster Hunting. I know what you’re thinking already. You’re thinking, “but Gaspar, we already know about monster hunting! What more can we possibly learn?” You may know how to take down a master vampire or an alpha werewolf. Heck, you may have taken out a Cthulhoid once. That’s not what I’m here for. Today I’ll be sharing the history of monster hunting. To appreciate the noble sacrifices of today’s monster hunters, we should…no, we MUST understand the past and learn about their heroes and sacrifices.
Let’s start with the earliest examples that my extensive research has uncovered. In ancient Egypt, we have discovered depictions of people (ordered by the Pharoah Hapsetshut) fighting various monsters.
Forget what you’ve seen in movies: mummies aren’t just lumbering, moaning idiots. They’re very dangerous and very tough. They were often sorcerers or generals and Egyptian history’s plagued with mummies returning from the grave to usurp power. It’s only through the dedication of these ancient and unnamed monster hunters that world history has been, thankfully, human-centric.
Alexander the Great’s armies encountered monsters during their journeys. As undefeatable on the battlefield as his armies were, a pike formation wasn’t much good against a ticked off Rage Demon. So, Alexander formed a small, but specialized unit to deal with supernatural threats. Many of their stories have come down to us in inaccurate myths, but we can still find the kernels of truth within them.
Now, with professional armies, the Romans didn’t use mercenaries and relied on the might of the legions. However, within the Preatorian Guard there was a special unit “Monstrum Venatorum.” For centuries they successfully defended the empire from supernatural evil, but with the unstoppable influx of Germanic and Asiatic monsters into the empire, they eventually were worn down to a few members who separated and went off to different parts of Europe to train more localized units of monster hunters.
I know what you’re thinking, “But Gaspar, how could these ancient warriors fight and kill such dangerous monsters when our modern hunters with guns and high explosives have such a hard time?” They used different methods than us. Let me explain by example. The Frankish king, Charlemagne, understood the threat of supernatural evil. He employed the best sorcerers and alchemists he could find. I know history reports that he went to Rome to be crowned emperor, but the real truth was that he went there to acquire certain holy weapons that could be used to slay evil. The Vatican’s secret arsenal is a wonder to behold. You think Charles Martel was nicknamed “the hammer” after a battle formation? No, he had a warhammer blessed by St. George himself. Alchemy also played a great part. They would make powder and potions to put on armor and weapons and sometimes ingest to make ones self stronger and tougher.
The Varangian Guard of the Byzantine Empire were well known monster hunters. These semi-civilized Vikings worked directly for the Emperor. Many of the Nordic sagas come from these Varangians and many tell of tales of fighting trolls, ogres and other such monsters. You think they just made it up? Shame on you.
The Crusades introduced European monster hunters to a score of new threats. Djinn from Syria became a problem as well as golems from Jerusalem.
During the Renaisance there was a revolution in monster hunting. Inventors in Florence came up with many interesting solutions to monster problems.
And so monster hunting advanced and evolved. But as sorcerers and alchemists became less common, hunters relied more on technology and large guns. In the 1800′s with the advent of repeating firearms, it replaced the more mystical means of battling evil almost entirely.
In 1895 what would become the world’s premier monster hunting agency was founded by a man named Bubba Shackleford. This was, of course, Monster Hunter International. It is still run by the Shackleford family to this day.
Modern monster hunting is quite a lucrative business. With government paid bounties, a good team can earn a lot of money. But don’t expect a long, healthy life.
Now, you too can enter the monster hunting profession. With the “Monster Hunter International Employee Handbook” you can learn all the tricks of the trade. Learn all about it here.
MHI Employee Handbook.
Zach – Gaspar?
Gaspar – Huh?
Zach – You know that’s a series of books written by Larry Correia, right?
Gaspar – Oh, is it? I had no idea. I wouldn’t break the sacred historian trust with my audience by promoting my descendant.
Zach – Alright, for all of you, check out Larry’s books, Monster Hunter International series and the Grimnoir series. All awesome books. But, they want to produce an RPG but need funding to do it. You can learn all about it here: Monster Hunter RPG.
Read the books, play the game. You’ll thank me.
Gaspar – And keep an eye out for those squid demons!