Perhaps the most famous – certainly the most effective – monster hunter known to us is Tanya Moody. Her trademark was the slow patient stalk; she would collect observational data on her quarry, oftentimes for weeks, only striking once she was certain what she was dealing with and how to kill it in the safest fashion.
It is common knowledge that Tanya Moody took copious notes during her observations. This has led the unscrupulous and the gullible to occasionally claim that they have uncovered one of her journals. These are without exception fakes. For all her prolific writing, it seems Moody never laid hands on a blank sheaf of pages in her life. All of her surviving notes whose authenticity can be verified have been found in the margins of guidebooks to the supernatural penned by other hands. The bulk of these notes consist of Moody offering scathing criticism of the other writer’s assertions in a clear, precise hand. Moody was eternally correcting the misconceptions and inaccuracies of other supported scholars of the monstrous and diabolical.
“Albertus, like many, attests that a holy symbol will hold a vampire at bay, and is very smug about the implications. This information is true, barely, but is utterly useless. Even if one is able to reliably ward off the beast, it does nothing else to bar their behavior. One’s arm is trivially disrupted, and with it, the ward. If all you really want is to make it leave you alone, you’d be better served by the judicious use of fire.”
For someone who depended so heavily on observations and verifiable facts, it is ironic that so many legends have sprung up around Tanya Moody. It is said that the merest sight of her face within a community would send all manner of monsters running in fright. And the fact that many successful monster hunters’ careers began with uncovering an old tome with margins bursting with Moody’s commentary has led some to say that her writings actively seek out those fated to such a career. Indeed, these legends are fueled by a note Moody would write, without exception, in every book she annotated, which seems to be advice to those who might come after her (though it could just as well be a reminder to herself).
“When you come into a village, never take anything at face value. People will see your presence as an opportunity to settle old scores or remove undesirables. But the ones that appear monstrous are often merely harmless outcasts. And the truly monstrous tend to hide in plain sight, protected by a cloak of power, majesty, and status, and the privacy that comes with all that.”