Warning: Unlike "The Hunter's Diary"This content deals with events that did not happen during one of the sessions Codex Venator. They are secondary stories, insights into characters and "filler" episodes written during the break. It is a Christmas special of Codex Venator: Off Season!

This you are about to read concerns Guido Trivulzio but it is not narrated in the form of a diary. Guido many times omits things or aspects of his character that he is not ready to face, not even on paper. In this episode you will see him a little closer, besides his black armor.

Welcome to the Christmas special 2019!

codex venator

The snow caressed the roofs and streets of Milan. The white flakes filled the air, taking away all noise. Although everyone was making preparations for the following day, the streets were quiet and calm for those who walked on the snow. The freezing air whipped those foolish enough to leave the house.

Guido Trivulzio advanced slowly in the snow. The cold black armor, which protected its appearance from prying eyes, became heavier with the passage of hours and snow. His pace was determined and, despite the risk of slipping, his usual pride accompanied his steps. Villa Trivulzio was ready for the following day's celebrations and the Primo Cacciatore seemed satisfied and adequately fed. Guido felt he deserved free time and, like every time, there was only one place he would have liked to be. The weapon that had once belonged to the war knight hung on his belt. A long sword that, in Guido's few words, could have solved any problem with the snow. It was not his intention to catch the eye, the snow could be an excellent ally in his night walk.

In the midst of the white and gray that ruled over the colors of the city of Milan because of the snow, traces of blood stood out like paint on a canvas. Guido stopped, watching the red streaks on the ground. The hand immediately ran to the sword and the other to the shield, unfortunately without finding anything. He often forgot to bring all his equipment on walks. Until that night it didn't seem necessary. "Not bad," he said to himself, "the sword will suffice."

The traces of blood seemed small, a clear sign that a small being had been the victim. "Maybe a dwarf, or a half man," Guido hoped. "Let it not be a child". The black-armored hunter looked around. If the tracks started from that point, something must have happened. After some time he noticed the open window above him. The heat and light from it were completely absorbed by the snow. Was it possible that something had fallen, or had been thrown, from that height?

Determined to find out the truth, Guido launched in pursuit. Fortunately the tracks were clear and, despite everything, it seemed that the snow could not cover them. Something was wrong. Less evident, probably because of the lack of blood, were the hoofprints that Guido discovered several minutes later. He knelt and tried to recognize those strange signs. No bell rang in his thoughts. The truth eluded him.

The hunter found the end of the tracks and with them the child's body. A shadow was bent over him but, as soon as he saw Guido, he vanished with wide jumps. The black-armored crusader immediately ran to the boy, his glazed eyes made him realize how late he was. He hugged his body to his chest and, at that moment, the bells rang at midnight.

"Drop the boy, monster!"

Those words roused Guido's mind from the pain in which the discovery had precipitated him. He turned his head in the direction of the voice. A man stood ten paces from him. Despite the snow, it was impossible for the eyes not to outline the bills. A long red cloak protected an athletic body, perhaps even taller than Guido, whose clothing left no doubt. He was a warrior, as the sword and ax beside him clearly showed, and his tired gaze betrayed anger. The mouth, framed by a grizzled beard, opened again.

"I told you to leave the baby. Last warning! "

Guido did not recognize the man but his instinct as a fighter suggested that he might be a hunter. Yet in him there was no trace of anything that identified him as such. He had a completely different dignity and, by eye, anyone would have mistaken him for the greatest of warriors. 

Guido put the boy on the ground. He took a cold breath and stood up, drawing his sword.

"Listen to me. The creature who did this ... "

It was his instinct to parry the blow of the man and to interrupt the sentence he was saying. The sword had flown towards the black armor with the speed of lightning. Fortunately, after dying from the same trick, Guido had learned not to fall for it. He stopped the lunge and quickly hit the ax. He tried to answer but, seized by the moment, he lacked conviction with his sword. The man's weapons surprised him very quickly shortly after, biting the air around his armor. Fortunately for him, the Milanese blacksmiths were not known throughout the peninsula just for the beauty of their creations. Realizing that he could use his black rind to gain an advantage, Guido became more daring with his blows. He pushed the man against the wall and, just before parrying one of his blows, invoked the flames from his nightmares. The blade of the sword of war lit up in the night, chasing away the snow and causing the warrior to lose concentration for a second. When the fire came to sting his throat, the man proved more attentive to his interlocutor.

"Let's try again"

Guido said, in a voice that betrayed the euphoria of the clash. His lungs inhaled the cold winter air.

'I'm not the one who killed the boy. I came just before you and I ran away the creature »

Guido's words did not seem to breach the man's anger. The next words were similar to a growl.

"Try it! You're not exactly a reassuring figure, black knight »

The flames of Guido's sword bitten the man's neck, who stoically held back the pain.

«You are alive, stranger. Your every breath is proof that I don't want to kill you. You would have already died if my wishes had been different "

A few seconds passed during which the man thought. His eyes studied the blade of flame and the man in black armor. After a while Guido read the newfound reason on the stranger's face. He spoke a silent word and the flames died on the blade of the sword. There was a long stalemate, at the end of which the black knight held out his arm to the man.

"Guido Trivulzio"

The stranger took his arm and squeezed it out of respect.