Author’s Note: This is a work of fan fiction, written to pay tribute to both the video game Bloodborne and the visionary author H.P. Lovecraft. I in no way seek financial gain from it, and the settings, concepts, and some of the characters within remain the intellectual property of From Software and Sony Entertainment.
Prior installments in this series:
They say that when a man experiences events of extreme horror, of such nigh on existential ruin, that his mind can often erase portions that his sanity might yet remain intact. We choose not to remember physical or mental pain in it’s exacting detail, lest the truth of it break us. Attempting to recall the events that follow, with my hairy hand shaking uncontrollably over this sure to be accursed parchment, I can only wish that such wisdom were true.
What I recall here happened in a blur of moments, a convergence of time into base seconds. The first thing to happen as I emerged into the room was an immense bang so loud and shocking that it took me a length of time to realise that a weapon had been discharged, and a further few seconds to realise it had been discharged at me.
Petr, sat in his wheelchair in the corner like a demented pharaoh, had fired a blunderbuss from the hip. The room was long, and the ammunition consisting merely of shot pellets, so the hit was not as forceful as it might have been, but nethertheless I was staggered. Shrapnel pellets hit my hands, garb and face, opening wounds and welts that would scar me thence forth as I staggered, but such was the horrifying, grotesque, mind befuddling tableau that faced me that any pain was quickly forgotten.
In front of Petr knelt Tiber the mute, his hands bound behind his back. His face was a ghostly white that mirrored the sparse, unforgiving moon that streamed through the open shutters beyond Petr, who with shaking hands was already reloading his weapon, the smoke from the previous discharge not yet cleared. But Petr was not the most dangerous horror to a curse that sacrilegious chamber that night.
Looming over Tiber was a being of such vulgar fascination and dread that the very knowledge of it’s existence will likely cause many a man to lose whatever faith he had in this cruel universe. I will describe it here out of a selfish need to provide myself with catharsis.
The being was humanoid in stature, and about five foot at full height, but there any similarity between its kind and our race ceases to exist. It’s skin was a sickly, translucent pearl shade, and it was grasping poor Tiber’s head with six elongated, spiked digits. It balanced itself upon webbed feet more akin to an amphibious creature, and from my rear-side view appeared to be wearing a robe of some ragged, oil stained material. But the true horror was what emanated from what passed for a head on this demon, this insult to life and sanity itself. A long, bulbous tentacle, as thick as a man’s thigh, had extended from its crown and had channeled itself wormlike into the gaping wound in Tiber’s skull! As I watched with mounting horror, my blood drunk rapture now evaporated, the tentacle undulated with bulging rhythms, causing a propulsion of lumps that began at the tip and worked their way backwards to the creature’s own brain. It was obvious what was occurring here, even if I did not want to believe it: the creature was devouring Tiber’s brain, his very being! And given Petr’s position as onlooker, had been doing so for many nights now passed! Thus explained his muteness, his dumbness, the poor man had been losing his faculties to this thing! And worse, Petr had clearly been allowing this all to happen! He had perhaps struck some faustian bargain with this devil, in exchange for his own safety, and was feeding Tiber to it piecemeal! The horror!
My awful epiphany was interrupted, however, as clearly disturbed by the boom of Petr’s blunderbuss, the creature now turned to face me, slime dripping from it’s tentacle as it was hastily retracted from Tiber’s skull with a sticky slurp. Tiber collapsed to the floorboards, fitting violently from the sudden withdrawal, and I was brought full face to the horror before me. I now saw that below it’s prime tentacle writhed a mass of smaller, seething feelers writhing like snakes in the space where a face should have been below a void like slit where might have been eyes. The being hissed violently at me, then lunged forth. It moved with surprising ungainliness, waddling like a damaged child, yet it covered the distance quickly. Why did I not run, you must be thinking, and evict myself from the room post haste? Well the truth was I was entranced, afixed to the spot by either fear, enchantment or just a morbid curiosity as to what would happen next. Hissing and suckling before me, the creature grasped my head between cold clammy hands, and began to extend it’s feeding tentacle. It would desoul me as it had wretched Tiber, and there was nothing I could do to prevent my fate.
A squelchy thwack was heard and the creature staggered forward into me, releasing it’s grip. The trance broken, I looked up in alarm, to see Valtr behind it, brandishing his cane. The tin hatted saviour had crept in behind through the open window. I fancy the creature looked confused, if such a thing were possible, as it struggled to compute this new threat. Tentacles a fluttering, it began to turn about on unsteady legs. But it did not get far. With such force I would swear the man must have been of inhuman strength,Valtr plunged his hand straight through the creature’s back, and with a sickening crunch did rip it’s pale translucent heart straight from it’s body. Pale blood and organs squirted all over the constable’s finely pressed tunic, and the being emitted an inhuman shriek before collapsing to the floor by my feet.
I did not have time to celebrate my miraculous fortune, however, as behind Valtr I noticed that Petr had finished reloading his weapon and was preparing to fire again at Valtr’s back. Now I screamed myself, and lurched forward, ramming into the wheelchair bound wretch of a landlord with such pace that we both went careening backwards on his wheels.The blunderbuss fired into the air behind us, adding to our momentum, and we quickly careened with a smash of tinkling glass out of the window and into the night air. As we fell he wrapped his bony old arms around my neck and screeched in my ear:
“It’s all your fault!”
We hit the ground two stories below and the impact winded me, the wheelchair broke apart on the hard cobbled street below. Petr’s body cushioned my fall however, and I found that after a fashion I could stand, although I tasted blood and ached all over from both the bruising of the fall and the welts from the shot I’d taken earlier. Staring down I saw that Petr was clearly dead, his body now truly broken where my fall had crushed him.I had just began to extract the blunderbuss from his cold dead fingers when I noticed the hunter towering above me.
He was very heavily armored and armed, of excessive girth, and wearing a wide brimmed hat. He brandished an enormous whip of iron chains and cast a hideous outline against the moon then towerering above the street beyond him. Through obviously blood drunk eyes he surveyed the scene before him, of me above the crushed body of Petr, and abruptly sung his whip to strike me.
“You plague ridden rat!” He bellowed in an inhuman roar as he brought his chains to bear upon me. Throwing my arms in front of my face I dropped to my knees and begged for my life, all courage deserting me.
“N-no! I’m not…Don’t…”
A shadow moved at abrupt speed and positioned itself between me and the hunter. In the moon and gas light I saw the curved beak of a crow mask, and the flow of robes. Two gleaming curved swords swung in the twilight. The hunter tried to react bringing his chains around to face the crow, but he was too late. The blades snipped and split, arcs of blood shot into the night air, and he collapsed, gurgling, his chains hitting the cobblestones.
The interloper came and stood over me, covered in fresh blood, swords still dripping. I waited, for an end, for a beginning, I no longer cared.
“Well, enough trembling in your boots.” said a motherly female voice. The shock nearly shook me from my trauma, a woman! And perhaps an elder one too by her tone! The crow lady gestured to the fallen hunter.
“Oh, and try to forgive him. After all, a hunter must hunt.” She chuckled lightly after this last utterance.
I staggered to my sore feet once again, still in shock.
“Ssh…” she chided. “And it’s…good that you’re afraid. After all, fear is what separates us from the beasts. Let’s just say I’m a…I’m one that provides balance, to the hunt. Still, I must away. Try to keep your hands clean.”
And with that this beaked angel, this black feathered saviour, turned to leave.
“W-wait!” I stammered. “I’m with…do you know…Valtr…”
She turned around. “Valtr? Ahh, but it does ring a bell… be careful. I know a thing or two about hunters of beasts. And that one has more than a healthy appetite for them…take care.Know eventually… all hunters must die.”
And with that she was gone.
“I’m not a hunter!” I yelled into the ether behind her, the sound of the distant hunt echoing through the foggy thoroughfare. “I’m not a hunter!”
But there was noone there. Petr’s body twitched at my feet as I turned and ran back into the dwelling.
I ascended the stairs two at a time. Passed mine own floor, and stumbled breathless into the room that I had just exited by way of defenestration. But fate is a cruel mistress, and she had one last horror in store for me that night. Sitting amid the corpses of Tiber and the creature was Valtr. His cane at his side, his bucket helmet removed and upturned, he was but casually eating the last of the heart he had so gallantly ripped from the creature’s body. As pale blood dripped from his chin, he spat a rubbery heart valve from his mouth into the bucket beside him and grinned.
“Vermin”. he stated.
I ran. I ran from the room, descended, barred myself in mine own lodgings. There, I collapsed to my knees and I laughed. I laughed at myself, at Valtr the beast eater, at the kind crow and the hunt, at Yharnam,at the Healing Church at the cruel joke of a cosmos that cared not for our foolish desires, aspirations, or whether we mortals lived or died.
Afterwards, the days became a blood-addled blur. I skulked the streets. I drank blood until the bar mysteriously closed and was boarded up, then I sought blood from increasingly dubious characters who resided in alleys, and from the mad old occult women of Hemwick Charnal Lane. I visited Amele often, and we partook of the blood together. Eventually, she moved to live with me in the lodgings in Central Yharnam. Valtr had disappeared that night with both the corpses, I did not see or hear from him again. Rumour had it that he had started some “league” with vague aims, I cared not, I had my blood and was grateful. No One came to investigate the events of that night, even the healing church seemed to have it’s hands full with the chaos that was descending upon the town. I saw not the Crow lady again either. The hunt nights came with increasing frequency, and we boarded up the house and made a fastness of it. Residents disappeared,animals acted strangely, strange beasts stalked the streets. One night the sky glowed orange as the Healing Church burned Old Yharnam to the ground. It is said after that they fortified themselves inside Cathedral Ward, abandoning the very population they professed to govern and heal. My nightmares continued unabated, and the infant’s cry could be heard at all hours. We cared not, me and Amele, caught up in our blood drunkenness; our lust, which I now see was our own way of resisting the terrible changes afoot in the world outside.
What is lust, after all, if not a raging against the futility of attempting to live in a cosmos hellbent on facilitating your own destruction?
My ink well ran dry two chapters ago, as you see I have written this final section of the account in blood from a vial, my last, of which I will imbibe the rest shortly and be done. I hope that my narrative is of enough coherence to serve as a warning at least. Do not come to Yharnam. There are no miracle cures in this universe, and there is no salvation for man. He is as doomed by his own curiosity as a castle built of sand before a tidal wave.
The hunt is on again tonight, and I fear this time it may be the last. The red moon has descended, and the last vestiges of order have been eroded. Chaos reigns beyond these walls, and there is only one thing left to be done. I reach now for my strong box and remove Petr’s blunderbuss. As I say I have never had much courage, but I will now do what needs to be done.
I will go out into this dread night. I can hear the infant’s cry and the sounds of the hunt, and they call to me, a siren as seductive as Amele’s caress was all those moons ago. But, ahh, yes, Amele- there is but one last task I must complete before I join my kin on the everlasting hunt. I must repay her for the kindnesses she has shewn me. The vermin that resides in her belly as I write must be crushed. I can hear her screams now, reaching a crescendo, yes it must be done! Blunderbuss in hand I head for the door…Goodbye dear reader…I leave this last adage…
(barely legible) FEAR THE OLD BLOOD.
Visit the Bloodborne Wiki