Witchhunter Isaacs was having a bad day.
At the tender age of 26, he was the youngest witchhunter ever to obtain the rank of Master of the Hunt, and be placed in charge of an entire wing of hunters.
Unfortunately for Isaacs, this appointment was over the taxation and petty offenses wing. The years he had spent in his youth drilling and training for fights with the worst of witches and demons were now used to bounce a pen off the wall of his office. He had arrived at four exactly this morning, opening the office, and beginning to work through his never-ending mountain of tax fraud allegations. The provisional government, having outsourced their investigations to the witchhunters, made no discretion in what they sent. Every single allegation, every single suspicion, was sent, and it was up to him to decide which merited his men’s attentions.
When the other witchhunters arrived, hours later into the morning, he immediately had to diffuse an argument between two bickering recruits. They weren’t particularly happy with their placement into the taxation department either, and had decided to take it out on one another. He dealt with it, as he always did, and returned to his desk to find yet more paperwork mysteriously appearing in his absence.
By the time of closing, he had dealt with half a dozen unruly civilians, a very irate doll that had been wrongfully confiscated, and a fae noble who couldn’t understand that the nondescript office building was not, in fact, an embassy. Now, Isaacs sat in his office, looking over a report of an unsanctioned figurine doll, and listening half-heartedly to a concerned shopkeep telling him of some new disturbance.
“I saw it, with my own eyes!” The shopkeep insisted. “Some unholy combination of wolf and doll! And some effeminate witch following behind it! There’s lycanism in the city!”
“Lycanthropy, sir. It also isn’t a crime, so long as they aren’t going around biting people anyways.”
“When I was your age, witchhunters actually took their job seriously, protecting us from these menaces!”
“Would you like to make a formal allegation?”
“Can you tell me what this… ‘effeminate’ witch looked like? Coven markings? The doll?”
“They looked… I don’t know, like wolves! There can’t be that many of them in the city.”
“Three million sapients live within city limits sir, along with half a million other entities. I need more to go off of than, ‘wolves.’”
“Some fucking witchhunter you are.” The shopkeep stormed out unceremoniously, Isaacs breathing a sigh of relief as he quickly scribbled down 𝘤𝘭𝘪𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘣𝘳𝘰𝘬𝘦 𝘰𝘧𝘧 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘵𝘢𝘤𝘵 on the intake sheet. Maybe he could actually get out of the office early today…
“Sir?” A sheepish boy looked around the corner of the office door, somewhat afraid. “Sir, someone from the Church is here…?”
“Send them in.” He leaned back in his chair, exasperation taking over for a moment. Why was the church bothering him? They didn’t deal with taxation…
A priest walked in not a second later, forcing Isaacs’ to regain composure before the clergyman noticed how annoyed he was. The priest didn’t comment on it as he sat down, instead immediately passing a bound folder across the table and looking at Isaacs expectantly.
“I’m sorry, I don’t think I got your name?” The witchhunter asked slowly, flipping the folder open to reveal a selection of photographs of various witches and notes along the borders describing the scenes they were in. Standard surveillance, but not his department.
“Father Luke; my current calling is in the administration of the Bishop of Diligence.” He motioned to the folder. “The Curia has particular interest in the witches listed within this folder. It would like you to investigate their finances and their doings, for any violations.”
“…I don’t think I’m the one you should be talking to, Father.” He blinked, looking over the surveillance again. “My office handles the order’s relationship with the provincial government, we don’t take orders from the Church’s Curia. I feel like that’d be… much higher up?”
“I understand the confusion, but please understand, discretion is of the utmost important in this matter. Your efforts are but a small part of a much larger investigation. This means that, at times, the proper channels must be circumvented.” The priest flipped through his messenger bag, eventually retrieving a letter and handing it over to the witchhunter. “This is authorization from your representative to the order. Please send any of your findings directly to my office. May your work be blessed, child.”
“Can I at least-” The priest had already left as Isaacs attempted to sneak in a reply, leaving him sitting in an empty office, holding a letter in one hand and the folder in his other.
Gods, he hated priests.