Hunters, unlike the Men of Letters, isn’t a uniform group of people. They’re individuals who choose to collaborate with others or don’t. Traditions about collaborating amongst hunters can vary, although usually they form a network. How these networks of hunters collaborate with the Men of Letters also varies around the world. Usually at least some of them have a direct working relationship with the operatives.
The history between the Men of Letters and hunters isn’t a very pretty one, since in Britain where the organization was founded, hunters were and are regarded as little more than a means to an end. Nearly animals, rather than civilized human beings. This attitude has rooted itself in some individuals elsewhere too, or might have existed between local families of knowledge and hunters even before the Factions were formed. The contrast mostly isn’t that stark these days, but the tension is there even in the most tightly collaborating areas.
Usually a hunter is a normal human being that for some reason or another knows about the supernatural and has decided to fight the monsters to save lives.
Hunters have existed around the world for as long as there has been confrontation between humans and monsters, but they’ve become a concept much later. These days being a hunter is something that you choose or life chooses for you, either through some tragedy, or it might already run in the family for generations. In some families throughout history the knowledge of the supernatural has transformed from hunting into something else, making them keepers of knowledge and the early chroniclers. Some hunters like to point out that the Men of Letters own their origins in part to hunting traditions.
The life of a hunter rarely is a very glamorous one and it’s always full of tragedy and danger. To retire from hunting isn’t something people get to do in old age very often, and parting with it earlier is hard. A sense of responsibility for other people’s lives is strong in hunters, and they often feel honor bound to tend to their duty. A domestic life of their own is something only few hunters pursue, because the job runs the risk of following them home putting everyone at risk.
Thus many hunters lead a life with very little tying them to any place or any person, but they take comfort in their own community. Being a hunter is being a part of a family, whether you know the other people or don’t. But with family also comes an honor code, and the hunters arduously keep each other in check, so no one crosses the thin line over from hunter to monster in human form.
Killing is part of the job, so is hurting or sometimes even torturing, but there is a clear distinction between doing it for the right reason and doing it because you can. And the subject of violence can’t ever be someone who isn’t clearly a monster or at the very least directly, actively responsible for having people killed by them. And even so hunters should always try to leave humans to be judged by human law. Sometimes this is simply difficult, since human laws don’t take into account the existence and nature of the true world.
Hunters are usually very apt with weapons of many varieties and with physically taking on monsters. They know a variety of magic that shield them from or even actively attack monsters, but they are for most part no witches or strong practitioners of magic.