A Cainhurst Carol: A Festive Tale of Yharnam

A Cainhurst Carol: A Festive Tale of Yharnam

Tis’ the night before the Winter Solstice, and the sounds of revelry reverberate through all the ancient stone walls of Cainhurst Castle.

In the lavish banqueting room, Queen Annalise is in her cups, holding court to her enraptured flock of dukes, duchesses, knights and general hangers-on- each competing to be the one who laughs loudest at her jests, or to be the first to refill her ornate goblet full of writhing, corrupted blood…

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In the great library, hooded scribes sit cackling merrily at the reading tables, relieved from their archival duties for this one night of the year alone, and exchange drunken anecdotes of debauched nobles long past, for the Cainhurst line is known for its hedonism…

In the entrance hall, young maids giggle and gossip, taking dainty sips of blood that later turn to very inappropriate gulps, and talk of their favoured knights in manners which are so very unseemly…

Why, even the stone gargoyles which adorn the ramparts seem alive this Winter’s Solstice eve, one could almost say they are looking hungrily down at the whinnying, frost-bitten horses, still chained to their coal-black carriages in the freezing courtyard, where the blood drunk guests have left them in their keenness to be within the royal presence…

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But there is one princess who is not in such spirits this evening, for hers is the disposition of a dreamer.

Noelle, alone but for her cousin in a chamber atop the tallest tower of Cainhurst, is thinking only of a story told to her by one of the castle maids earlier in the evening, which has seized her young imagination. The maid had said the tale was a very ancient one from her village, its origins now lost to time, concerning the Frozen Father and his elves.

In this ancient eldridge fable, the Frozen Father would come to visit on Winter’s Solstice eve to reward all the good little princes and princesses who had kept their veins pure. He wears a great red robe and has a long, frozen white beard, the legend says, and brings a huge, sparking wheel of gold as a gift. He shall be accompanied by a band of faithful elves, who assist him in his duties.

This was why young Noelle shuns the blood this evening: she knows in her heart that if she keeps herself pure the Frozen Father will come to her and gift her his wheel of gold!

Her cousin Arianna cares not for the tale, and in fact suspects the maid who told it of being a Choir Intelligencer from the dreaded Healing Church! Now we come to think of it, has that very maid been seen this evening since she told the young princesses this yarn? To Noelle’s dismay, her cousin intends to report the maid to Queen Annalise, as soon as she is sober after the festivities!

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Crestfallen, Noelle steps out onto the balcony of her tower, leaving Arianna alone in the bed chamber with a blood vial. That girl is so decadent, she thinks to herself. No good will come of her! The Frozen Father will favour me…

The chilling wind bites as Noelle stands upon the cobbled ledge that encircles her tower, and a tempest of snowflakes cascades around her blonde hair. The snow is piled a foot deep over the ramparts of Cainhurst Castle, and the full solstice moon bathes the gothic spires in its celestial glow. The surrounding lake is an inky black reflection of a starless sky. She pulls her white garb tighter against her freezing pale skin.

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In the distance, the twinkling lights of the city of Yharnam sparkle against a mountainous background. Mayhaps one day she will visit that fabled city, when the quarrel between her family and the Healing Church is ended? Young princesses often dream of more than a life of just bombast and nostalgia, do they not?

And now, across the bridge that connects the castle to the mainland, she spies a figure marching through the snow… He is garbed in a red robe, his white beard is lined with frozen icicles, and he holds aloft a great golden wheel. Noelle’s heart leaps in her throat, she can scarcely believe her young eyes…it is he! The Frozen Father from the story! Behind him, his band of elves is also marching, although they are much larger than Noelle was expecting, and brandish axes and scythes to cut their way through the snow…

Ecstatic at these tidings, Noelle rushes back into the bedchamber to tell Arianna the wondrous news. Her cousin’s reaction is not to Noelle’s liking, in fact, she beseeches Noelle to run away with her to Yharnam via a secret tunnel, but our princess will not have her dreams taken from her so easily.

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She abandons the paranoid Arianna, and bolts down the stairs as fast as her legs can carry her. Through the banquet room, where the drunken knights barely notice her take a meat knife from the dining table as they fawn over the Queen and boast of the victories and blood dregs to come.

Through the library, past the hooded scholars who in their blood drunkenness have resorted to hurling darts at one another- one almost hits our princess, but she cares not: her Frozen Father is waiting.

Racing into the entrance hall, the spectral maids try to grab her but she shakes them off. Somewhere, a mournful war horn sounds. Approaching the door she shrugs off her garb and slashes at her pale arms with the meat knife as she runs. She reaches the door and wrenches it open, drops the knife, dashes out and falls to her knees in the snow, bleeding arms outstretched, crimson rivulets of fresh blood running down and dripping onto the white, icy ground.

“Look Frozen Father, I have been good! My veins are pure!”

And sure enough, the Frozen Father is waiting for her, with his wheel of gold.

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MERRY CHRISTMAS AND MAY YOU FIND YOUR WORTH IN THE NEW YEAR!


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5 comments on “A Cainhurst Carol: A Festive Tale of Yharnam”

  1. Avatar Fexelea says:

    I loved it, thank you!

  2. Avatar Nodos says:

    A great tale. A peculiar yet in its own way, beautiful point of view.
    Thumbs up good hunter, a carol we all needed to hear. :00015:

  3. skyandcosmos says:

    Thanks for the kind comments, and thanks for reading! I am currently working on a new "full length" Tale of Yharnam with nautical theme, which should be ready in the new year.

  4. Avatar Fexelea says:

    A nautical theme! Will it be linked to the warf

  5. skyandcosmos says:

    I won’t give away too many plot details for now- it will be based on the log of a Captain from a foreign land who undertakes an ill-omened charter to sail to the Yharnam area….


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