The light of the full moon revealed a village, a village where people ran in panic. A group of wooden houses had caught fire, sending great flames rising up into the sky. The air was filled with the foul stench of burning wood and the snapping of the fire. The flames lit up the area around it, revealing the source of the fire - a huge Leviathan called a Gobul. The massive creature had knocked the houses down, causing them to fall on top of their own fireplaces and burn.
The Gobul, eyes burning with a rage even hotter than the fires, advanced into the village, snapping at the heels of the humans that fled from its wrath. These particular humans needed to be punished. These humans had slaughtered several of its family in the region known as the Wet Rainforest. It had followed the blood dripping from the armor of the hunters that had killed them. Now, the Gobul was able to take its revenge.
Hunting Horns suddenly sounded in the night. The village's hunters had come to defend the villagers against the huge fish-like monster. There were three in total - one was bedecked in Rathalos armor and carried a Great Sword made from Rathian materials. This hunter charged toward the Gobul, yelling a battle cry as he unsheathed the sword. He didn't get far - inflating its back, the Gobul bowled him over, crushing him under its spiny weight.
Another hunter took aim with a Blangonga Bow, firing a single arrow aimed at the Gobul's eye. Catching sight of it in the last second, the Gobul burrowed into the earth and tunnelled deeper into the village.
Erupting out of the ground, the Gobul was shocked to find its progress halted by a ceiling of wood and rock. Growling in frustration, it pounced again, this time crashing through the hard wall. It found itself inside of a human dwelling; looking for a way out, something caught its eye.
It was a human woman, staring at it with a fear so great the Gobul could practically smell it. Her body heaved with contractions - the Leviathan realized that she was about to give birth. The memory of tender human flesh entered its brain, and it licked its chops as it advanced on the helpless mother.
Suddenly, the door crashed to the floor of the building. The Gobul turned to see the hunter with the Great Sword standing in the doorway, with a young girl peeking out from behind his leg. Punctured in several places, and with the Gobul's neurotoxins flowing through his bloodstream, the hunter swung the weapon, shouting angrily as he defended his wife and their soon-to-be-born child. Tricky and light on its fins, the Gobul quickly dodged and retaliated with a snap of its gaping jaws.
Behind the battle, the mother gestured to her daughter, who, hesitating at first with a glance at the monster, ran to her side. "Take your brother to the Elder," the mother whispered urgently, handing her the newborn baby. "Your name is Hydra, after the running water. Run as fast as you can. Run like the water you were named for, before the Gobul notices!" With that, and one last glance at her doomed mother and father, the girl named Hydra ran for the Elder's house as fast as her legs could carry her.
By now, the Gobul had made quick work of the hunter. Tossing his lifeless corpse aside, it continued to advance toward the mother, a fresh scar slashing down its right eye. The woman muttered a prayer to the gods before she was flung into the air and swallowed alive.
Sixteen Years Later...
Taka watched his sister fight two Ludroth on the beaches of the Idyllic Ocean region. Here in the Central World, which lay between the regions of Moga and Minegarde, one could meet monsters of all shapes and sizes. He clutched his miserable training sword in his hands, meekly looking on as his sister, Hydra, made mincemeat out of the pair with her Yian Garuga Dual Swords, the Raven Tessen.
Sometimes Taka shuddered at the thought of risking his life defending the village of Mediatas from monsters, like the Gobul that he had been told had killed his mother and father practically the moment he was born. However, he knew that it was inevitable that he would someday become a hunter. His village, and most likely his life, depended on it.
There was a war going on in the Central World, and had been going on for hundreds of years. Hunters and monsters clashed frequently, with the hunters usually winning and stepping over the corpses of their victims. Already, many kinds of majestic Elder Dragons and once-common Raptor Wyverns were thought to be extinct. And the many surviving monsters showed no mercy with the humans that had slaughtered so many of their kind.
Taka, soon after he was born, had begun to see that he was very different from the other villagers. One, he was tall, thin, and lightweight. He was also slightly timid, and terrified of the thought of the ferocious monsters that prowled the Central World. However, these differences paled in comparison to the one thing that he had only recently been able to control - he had the power to shapeshift into anything he wished.
No one knew how he had acquired this power. Some said that it was a gift from the gods, others said it was a curse. However, he knew that it was unnatural to an extreme degree, and had never used it since becoming strong enough to control it just under 8 years ago. Before, he had uncontrollably shifted from form to form several times each day.
"Pay attention!" snapped Hydra, gesturing to the two dead Ludroth on the beach. "I offered to bring you along and teach you how to fight a monster, and you're lost in thought. Again!" Shaking her head, she headed into the forest behind Taka, saying over her shoulder, "Let's get back to the village, Taka. I've had enough for one day." Taka, looking back at the water as if a Lagiacrus could come erupting from the surf at any moment, cautiously followed his sister.
Back at Mediatas Village, Taka's one and only home in the Central World, he and Hydra stopped suddenly as they saw a crowd in front of the Village Elder's dwelling. Hydra, as the village's best hunter, quickly parted the crowd as if parting jungle plants in the Wet Rainforest. Taka slipped behind her as the crowd came together again, as if made of water.
In the front of the crowd was not only the Village Elder, but all of Taka's best friends - Illeera, Taahnn, Ryka, Kread, Mylie, and Relcia - as well as his worst adversaries, Kiem and Hornt. "What's going on?" asked Taka nervously. "What has happened?"
His closest companion, Illeera, stepped forward and leaned in close to him. "Nothing's happened," she whispered in his ear. "But the Village Elder has picked us to be Mediatas' next hunters."
To Be Continued...