Can someone explain the 'good' Bloodborne ending to me?

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Google "The Paleblood Hunter". Its an essay that explains basically everything.

Item descriptions, lad. You must read them all.

But here's the gist of it:
Mankind has wanted a way to transcend humanity. Different people have different opinions on how to reach this point however.

The College of Byrgenwerth seeks transcendence through insight. They think that if they can obtain the knowledge of the Great Ones then they can become them or beings like them. In order to see beyond the ken of mortals and to that of the Great Ones they acquire eyes - literally lining the inside of their heads with them. Under the guidance of Provost Willem, they, "Fear the Old Blood," and never delve too deep - despite Willem using a third umbilical cord to commune with the Great Ones. Perhaps as a result though, Rom comes to reside at Byrgenwerth to conceal Willem from the rest of the school as if to keep forbidden knowledge hidden. Among this knowledge is that of Queen Yharnam of Pthumeru, her stillborn Great One infant Mergo, and the existence of the Blood Moon.

The Healing Church, founded by Laurence after he split from Willem and Byrgenwerth, uses blood as method of communing with the Great Ones. This stems from the fact that the Great Ones desperately want to have children but cannot give birth to live progeny, seeking surrogate mothers such was the case with Queen Yharnam of the long dead Pthumerian civilization. Through communion, members of the Church are blessed with transfigured blood that holds curative qualities. However this turns them into beasts along with those who have been administered the blood.

The School of Mensis utilizes dreams to directly contact a Great One. In particular, they devote themselves to the Moon, "Mensis," being Latin for, "Month," lunar cycles historically having been used as the basis for months. The School lures a Great One to them for communion by using a third umbilical cord along with their cages so that they enter the Great One's domain within the Nightmare Frontier. The Great One they contact is Mergo, an infant born from Queen Yharnam of the Pthumerian civilization. Only Mergo was never alive, stillborn like all other attempts by the Great Ones to have surrogate births using human mothers. This contact destroyed the school, however it created a Great One from their brains, the Brain of Mensis, and it is this brain that gives birth to the Nightmare of Mensis, overseen to a degree by Micolash. One other thing of note is that the School of Mensis and the Healing Church are enemies, evidenced by a dead Choir member locked up by Mensis and a Choir spy gathering intelligence within the Nightmare of Mensis.

The Hunters don't seek communion, but the Hunter's Dream which they find refuge was created from communion with the Moon Presence also know as Paleblood. This was achieved though Gehrman's use of a third umbilical cord. Hunters within the Dream are locked in a cycle of killing beasts during an unending night. The scourge of beasts they seek to end points back to the Blood Moon which is connected to Mergo and the Moon Presence, and by destroying Mergo's Wet Nurse, a hunter may be freed from the Dream by Gehrman, joining other hunters such as Eileen and Djura who also no longer dream. Of course this also dooms hunters to eventually become beasts when the Pale Moon rises again. The order of events remains somewhat unclear though, as does the causes of certain events. For example, the Blood Moon may have been beckoned by the School of Mensis when they enacted their ritual to commune with Mergo, and this may have caused the scourge of beasts to descend upon Yharnam. What seems fairly certain is that the Moon Presence has claimed Gehrman like an adopted child, and by killing him and freeing him from the Dream, the Moon Presence embraces the hunter who inherits Gehrman's role within the Dream.

The true ending involves the hunter using three third umbilical cords to gain such a level of insight that the Moon Presence can be resisted and killed. This is the transcendence that everyone was looking for. They didn't go far enough like Byrgenwerth and the Healing Church or jumped the gun and tried to transcend too soon like the School of Mensis whose minds were not prepared. The importance of the cords cannot be overstated in this regard. By using three, one's thoughts are elevated to the level of a Great One. Then by seeking Paleblood, the wishes of both humans and Great Ones are fulfilled: One transcends humanity without becoming a beast or being overcome by insight, and an infant Great One is finally born. In a way it can be seen as putting all the pieces together, utilizing blood, insight, and dream.

From what I can figure, the idea is that the Hunter (you) become a Great One, akin to Ebrietas or the Moon Presence. This is significant because the various groups that are significant to the main plot (the Healing Church, the Byrgenwerth Scholars and the School of Mensis) were all trying to accomplish this. The achievement you get talks about how you'll "lead humanity to its next childhood", which I take to meaning period of discovery and creativity.

Yes, this is all assumption. Yes, I know waaaaaaaaaay too much about Souls lore. And I don't even watch VaatiVidya.

EDIT:

RedRockRun:
SNIP

NVM, that's knowing too much Souls lore.

Simple: You're a kid now, you're a squid now.

I'm all for the mystery and intrigue, but what gets my goat about SoulsBorne most is, what are the chances realistically speaking of meeting all the obtuse requirements for the missable trophies, just by paying attention to the lore trails?

hanselthecaretaker:
I?m all for the mystery and intrigue, but what gets my goat about SoulsBorne most is, what are the chances realistically speaking of meeting all the obtuse requirements for the missable trophies, just by paying attention to the lore trails?

The series ultimately has rather few trophies that are directly tied to completing questlines or that would be easier to achieve by paying attention to the lore. Most of the achievements aside from the ones you get from just completing the game can be reached by either simple exploration (most of the covenant achievements), or reading the messages written on the ground (like finding Ash Lake and the Dragon covenant, which is next to impossible without either hints or insane OCD).

Perhaps the best example of what I'm assuming you mean would be the aforementioned "good" ending of Bloodborne, where you really need to connect the dots yourself to find and then consume all three cords. What certainly doesn't help that the name for some fucking reason is translated to "Third Umbilical Cord" instead of "Third of an umbilical cord".

bartholen:

hanselthecaretaker:
I?m all for the mystery and intrigue, but what gets my goat about SoulsBorne most is, what are the chances realistically speaking of meeting all the obtuse requirements for the missable trophies, just by paying attention to the lore trails?

The series ultimately has rather few trophies that are directly tied to completing questlines or that would be easier to achieve by paying attention to the lore. Most of the achievements aside from the ones you get from just completing the game can be reached by either simple exploration (most of the covenant achievements), or reading the messages written on the ground (like finding Ash Lake and the Dragon covenant, which is next to impossible without either hints or insane OCD).

Perhaps the best example of what I'm assuming you mean would be the aforementioned "good" ending of Bloodborne, where you really need to connect the dots yourself to find and then consume all three cords. What certainly doesn't help that the name for some fucking reason is translated to "Third Umbilical Cord" instead of "Third of an umbilical cord".

Also doesn't help there are 4 3rd of an umbilical cords.

Silentpony:

Also doesn't help there are 4 3rd of an umbilical cords.

I suspect that's to make sure if you miss one you're not totally locked out of that ending. I think 2 of them are missable(the one with the monster baby and maybe the one at the other Hunters Dream?).

You beconme an infant Great One. A surrogate risen higher by confronting the Eldritch Truth.

In essence, Bloodborne offers you three options.

To forget your horrors, to forget most of all you've done, survive the night with sanity in check as if a bad dream you so often forget in passing. Fated to become a beast yourself in time.

The other option is to be enthralled by the Moon Presence, to bask in its obscene role as a facilitator of the process. To be complicit in keeping the Eldritch Truth of the Old Blood to any fated to try to use its power once more....

Or you can do what few mortals survive the attempt. Through your horror, through the clarity of yur madness and receptivity to the Eldritch Truth of existence that was made painfully clear through the use of the Old Blood you are shaped, twisted, and essentially 'evolved' to achieving the Eldritch Truth.

In all three scenarios you succeed where the others failed. You do not transform into a beast, you do not lose your life, and you are not merely a monster forever anchored to the material world. You transcend.

Because as hinted by the chalice dungeons and the lore directly, Yarnham wasn't the first and won't be the last to channel the Old Blood. The Hunter's Dream will ensnare others in time. The ending is merely your relationship to the Old Blood and what it means for humanity. The happiest ending I would say is awaking from the nightmare, forgetful of everythingthat transpired. Surviving the night and going back home... but therein also lies its most depressing ending because it's proof humans are fated to repeat the cycle again, and again and again.

After all, as a foreigner you cameto Yarnham to achieve salvation from the plague ... once you return, healthy, others will likely make the trip. Blood Ministration will survive, its secrets will be plundered, and a new Beastly Scourge will erupt again... so it's a bittersweet ending.

At the core you went to Yarnham for a cure for your ailment, not answers for your mortality. You wake up from the Hunter's Dream and survive the nght and survive your descent into madness and the Eldritch Truth, by forgetting most everything that happened.

Keep in mind I say forgetting 'most of what happened' ... as various characters also used to dream and inform you as such they know of the Hunter's Dream ... but none of them remember its importance beyond, like the Old Blood, being as if a salvation of the body. None of these former hunters helped save you before taking on the blood healing. They merely kill beasts or kill people who try to kill beasts ... or they go mad and lost in various nightmare realms lost to the Old Blood.

Addendum_Forthcoming:

At the core you went to Yarnham for a cure for your ailment, not answers for your mortality. You wake up from the Hunter's Dream and survive the nght and survive your descent into madness and the Eldritch Truth, by forgetting most everything that happened.

Keep in mind I say forgetting 'most of what happened' ... as various characters also used to dream and inform you as such they know of the Hunter's Dream ... but none of them remember its importance beyond, like the Old Blood, being as if a salvation of the body. None of these former hunters helped save you before taking on the blood healing. They merely kill beasts or kill people who try to kill beasts ... or they go mad and lost in various nightmare realms lost to the Old Blood.

There's one thing you forgot. Gerhman. It's not made incredibly obvious, but Gerhman is trapped there and apparently has been for a very long time. Accept the Sunrise ending by letting him kill you and he stays there. At least in the other endings he's released from the dream, even if that means you either take his place as caretaker or become something not even human.

It's unclear why Gerhman can't just kill himself to end it, but maybe the dream requires someone else has to do it for you, else you just wake up in the same place again and again.

Dalisclock:

There's one thing you forgot. Gerhman. It's not made incredibly obvious, but Gerhman is trapped there and apparently has been for a very long time. Accept the Sunrise ending by letting him kill you and he stays there. At least in the other endings he's released from the dream, even if that means you either take his place as caretaker or become something not even human.

It's unclear why Gerhman can't just kill himself to end it, but maybe the dream requires someone else has to do it for you, else you just wake up in the same place again and again.

Gehrman is why I point to the idea that Yharnam is not the first, and won't be the last. I even hint at the idea that Yharnam is destined to become part of the Chalice dungeons. Its interconnected depths and the secrets within waiting for others in the future. Built over and its secrets over the figurative and literal sands of time and other civilizations that have come and gone. Much like Ailing Loran.

All of this has happened before, it will happen again. And that fits in well with the idea of recurring dreams and the ever deepening dungeons beneath.

And the fact that if you accept the sunrise ending, you are miraculously healed. And that's what you'll remember... though tinged slightly by the fact that you are now a ticking time bomb waiting to become a beast yourself given you have forfeited your right to higher understanding in favour of accepting the blood and its curative properties.

And Gehrman will be there. Waiting still for others to hunt you as word and the secrets of blood ministration passes on to another civilization that has observed your miraculous recovery when you return home to your foreign land.

It's even hinted in the DLC that the knowledge of the Old Blood, and Blood Ministration and the Beastly Scourge, is spreading ...

Gehrman is adopted by the Moon Presence. The Hunter's Dream exists for a painful macabre of finding suitable heirs of the Great Ones. Gehrman is, in tragedy, adopted by the Moon Presence.

In truth his body is likely no different than the state we found Micolash's ...

Once you kill Gehrman, that's it ... I'm thinking the reason why Gerhman can't kill himself is because the Moon Presence would just bring him back. Just like she does with you.

In essence death in the Hunter's Dream itself is its own form of death of the self.

And if you decide to destroy Gehrman, he realizes what he must do ... he must save you from yourself. Gehrman is trapped there, likely has no real body left in a state to return, he just wants to die. But for him, it's final ... and the Moon Presence won't let him leave. Right up until you prove yourself his better ...

To put it buntly .... Gerhman is merely doing what you had done for Micolash.

By you denying Gerhman, it is no different than Micolash and his School of Mensis. And thus, just like you did ... Gerhman is resolute in the necessity of your destruction in the Hunter's Dream.

This is why if you let Gehrman kill you you survive the night. It's not like that for Gehrman. I think Gehrman realizes that he's already passed on outside the dream. But for you? Well, you're still dreaming. You can be saved.

Right until the Moon Presence sees you're a worthy successor... You've proven you're the correct person to continue the Hunter's Dream and the eternal pursuit to find worthy successors of humanity to either replace you, or perhaps ... just perhaps ... inherit the title of a Great One should you assume its mantle.

This is why as an infant Great One, you will be the first to help lead humanity to its further evolution. The Hunter's Dream is yours to wield. Not a slave to it, nor as a temporary sufferer of it ... oh no. It's yours, and what you do with it will have grave consequences for all of existence.

This is why I say the sunrise ending is perhaps the best one. You learn that some secrets aren't worth having, and you do so in time to save your humanity and save yourself by relinquishing that pursuit. You save yourself from either assuming the Moon Presence's mantle, and you save yourself from simply being a slave like "child" of it ...

Right up until the blood drives you mad at the raising of another Long Night, that is ... but for now you are saved.

You can be like Eileen or Djura. It also makes Djura's reason for protecting the 'inhabitants' of Old Yharnam all the more relateable ... it's also why Eileen focusses on the hunting of other hunters. She at the start sees herself in you, and she sees how you might become if you let Gehrman save you. In essence, Eileen is the PC who has already made the choice ... and the fact that if you aid her she dies a woman who was neither enslaved by the Great Ones, nor as a beast-lost hunter ... and for that alone she's grateful.

In essence, Eileen and Djura are the two sides of the coin that the PC may land on assuming they choose to survive the Hunter's Dream.

But both of them share an understanding of the threat that Hunters become ... and are willing to fight that, even if it means their end.

This is why I reckon in Bloodborne you're actually playing the antagonist.

Probably one of the best written 'villains' in videogaming.

Your character is hypocritical, self obsessed with power, and unearthing secrets that are provenly disastrous regardless of the moral question of whether they should be unearthed. You're not really interested in 'wisdom' ... you're no different from a beast yourself towards the end.

Your character is the proof that immorality can be banal and subliminal.

Gehrman is merely acting in the same way you do to Micolash, so to fight him rather than realize from Micolash's example of just what your humanity you're risking ... the gravity of the threats of pursuing this line of inquiry has to the rest of humanity ... by refusing him you're giving in to the most self-destructive aspects of human behaviour. Gehrman is acting from a position of """power""" to control who rules and what passes muster in the Hunter's Dream ... he has no reason to trust you or to let you stay if you refuse to recognize he is trying to save you from yourself.

What happens to all those Djuras and Eileens when he is forced to pass the torch to a relentless, immoral, bloodthirsty hunter that is a match for anything the world can throws at them and seems unfazed by all the torments that can be imagined ... death after death after brutal death you do not back down ... you do not question your actions ... you do not even allow yourself an end to the fighting ...

You're the T-1000, and you love it.

And you do it all without even a real humanly acceptable and rational purpose. And if you do not let Gerhman save you from that... you'll end up as ultimately inept and powerless as he is ... or worse, just imagine what you will be like when you have s guiding hand in shaping humanity ...

Gehrman's Hunter's Dream is a replica of the hidden chapter in the flesh. Gerhman is the price a hunter who communes with the Great Ones for that guidance. Their sympathies boundless but alien to human wellbeing.

Gehrman recognizes that ... but in you and your Hunter's Dream ... that is infinitely more frightening than the salvation you can offer him by replacing him and letting him rest in peace. And he sees that in you the moment you refuse to relinquish your power and much of your pursuit of the Eldritch Truth ... The game even storyline wise incentivizes you relinquishing control. Giving you gold coins and telling you; "Once the night is over you can perhaps spend these..."

But the game artfully evades any direct game reward for collecting them... so the player never takes it into consideration...

It signals in a way your character is slowly losing grips to their humanity ...

Why did you come to Yharnam? For a cure for the plague ravaging your homeland. That is understandably human... why you refuse Gerhman to rejoin your sanity and kinfolk? Because you've lost sight of yourself in the madness and you like it.

This is why when you refuse his mercy, he says something along the lines of; "Oh dear ... what was it? The hunt? The blood? The horrible dreams? It doesn't matter ..." He talks to you as if you're an addict and a beast, as if disappointed and relishes in the idea that he can rightfully pursue the Hunt even in the place where he is bound for eternity.

Disappointed, yes... but hunting beasts is something he craves, and he can see the beast within you.

The Hunter's Dream is burning down because the Long Night is almost over ... Gerhman is nearing the end of his duties. The Moon Presence has listened to his pleas and recruited you to be give him a bit of closure ... but by destroying Gehrman, you prolong it and by doing so the Moon Presence either listens to your desires and embraces you ... or you destroy the Moon Presence, and you become the arbiter of humanity's now ever darker destiny.

All Great Ones lose a child, and long for a surrogate ... why would you be any different after becoming one yourself?

Hence why I say the Sunrise ending is the 'best' ending. In terms of perhaps the morality behind it, IMHO.

Hence why in passing Gerhnam reminds you to fear the old blood ... at least hoping, maybe, this time will be different.

But all of that ... all of it ... is for naught if you refuse, or you assume the mantle of demigodhood.

And keep in mind, there's a reason why I think you play the antagonist, the villain of the story ... in the DLC, in the Hunter's Nightmare, which is a curse upon the Byrgenwerth Scholars and their children, and their children's children (meaning the Churches, then the leagues of Hunters that come after) ... there is a Hunter just like you that remarks your sanity. He tells you to turn back, unless you've an interest in nightmares.

You tell him you don't, and he rewards your lack of inquisitiveness and remarks that is 'as it should be' ... but if you tell him you do have an interest, it all changes.

He tells you that you are as if the spirit of Byrgenwerth reborn, the curiosity within you as you search out for secrets to be unearthed that should remain buried and never brought to light.

And just like the Byrgenwerth Scholars, you maim and plunder ... and you realize the curse of the hidden fishing village was to target beastial hunters such as yourself in the process. If you slaughter the nightmare, you free Maria and Gehrman from it.

Symbolizing that Gehrman is himself a beastly hunter destined for that plane of existence if not for the intercession of the Moon Presence. The fact that you can save yourself from the Nightmare realm of the blood-driven hunters is all too apparent. That the secrets should remain buried, and if you do not ... well that is the price of such horrid curiosity that awaits you.

Eileen and Djura are probably the only Hunters I can think of that escape this twist of fate for a reason, and only by surviving the night can you hope to live up to their example of their humanity that hasn't been driven out of them by such infernal curiosity.

And there's a reason for that ... unlike them, you still have your insatiable desire for power and for knowledge.

As Lady Maria puts it; "How the secrets beckon so sweetly..." and "A corpse should well be left alone..." remarking not on her entrapment in the dream, nor her own body, but the curse laid down of the blood and the damnable pursuit for answers to the unknown of the Great Ones ... and her case, the actions taken in defiling the bodies of the fishing hamlet.

As I was saying, the PC acts not out of good intentions or desperation. Arguably a sane person, and a decent one at that, should have used the powers of the dreaming to leave the city. To flee, or to destroy the knowledge of Byrgenwerth and to burn it down till it's nothing but ash.

But you don't do that. As per the words of the hunters with some semblance of humanity and sanity remaining to them, they tell you to leave the place well alone. They tell you repeatedly that some secrets are not meant to be unearthed.

But you ignore them, and you ignore them to a bitter end. They were not telling you these things to save themselves. They are already damned. They are telling you this because there is a hope of your salvation not to make the same mistakes.

But you make them, you repeat what they did, by refusing to forget most of what you have learnt.

The Sunrise ending is the only one that leads the player to be able to continue to be human andnot be shackled by fate. The Sunrise ending is the only one with a definite, very clear definition of salvation in the form of Djura and Eileen.

It represents the salvation that you can have. That you still have a chance of it. And you'd be positively mad not to take it.

-------

And on that note...

This is principally why I murder Master Willem on each of my playthroughs now. The bastard does not deserve to live. The bastard does not deserve to be hidden from the monsters he helped to create. Rom, the vacuous spider, hides Byrgenwerth and some church members from people. She keeps Master Willem safe and cosy.

"Rom keeps our lost master hidden from us..."

This is why they fight you once you pierce the illusion.

The bastard deserves to die.

In the research hall, you see a much younger Master Willem autopsying the defiled bodies recovered at the fishing hamlet as represented by the statues and altar you use to ascend the hall.

It also paints Master Lawrence in a different light.

It also paints in my head the key reason for the creation of the Caryll runes. In their description Master Willem would have been proud of the Caryll runes ... representing the idea that Caryll split off from Byrgenwerth with good reasons and had no intentions with reconnecting with the organization.

While Master Willem was defiling and experimenting on the people from the fishing hamlet...

Master Lawrence, at least, tried to use the research to help other people. Perhaps due to the suffering and pain caused by Master Willem and the 'First Hunters' of Byrgenwerth.

The old bastard deserves to die, and everything he created deserves to be lost to history save for the anger of those wronged by Byrgenwerth and the terrible knowledge uncovered.

Gerhman suffers rightfully. He bought his first class ticket to Hell, and sympathies should be limited solely to the fact that he doesn't suffer the Hunter's Nightmare instead as he ought to. But at least, at least, he recognizes in you the chance for salvation he cannot, and should never, earn for himself.

He belongs in that prison. And so do you if you choose not to end the Long Night, but rather continue to spill blood.

And the game suggests this itself. After you defeat Lady Maria, the Plain Doll remarks that her shackles have been undone through destruction of the curse placed by the fishing hamlet.

The 'Paleblood Hunter' is an absolver of sin, at least it can be. You can be that absolver of sin. But the absolution of sin comes from the destruction of nightmares. And after all your tribulations, that also involves isolating and cutting yourself from what is the true seat of your power. The nightmare that you are intimately tied to.

Iosefka and the clinic relates as much, right from the start. Seek the Paleblood to transcend the Hunt.

That is your calling. But will you listen to it? Arguably by denying Gehrman, refusing to end the Long Night and your attachment to that realm of nightmares, you have failed.

Of course you can see the flipside of this. You could say Gehrman has suffered enough and choose instead to suffer in his place. And the Plain Doll will thank you by staying at your side dutifully and even coddling you if you transcend your humanity ... but honestly even from the start of the game it tells you should transcend the hunt.

I think the game rewards the Plain Doll's affections regardless of any path you take, precisely because you're still someone worth saving. And ultimately her praying at your tomb if you decide to transcend the Hunt and see a new Sunrise is ultimately telling you that even if you leave Gehrman to his suffering, the Plain Doll recognizes that and sees you as someone worthy of respect as the Paleblood Hunter.

Just another innocent dragged into this mess, but chooses instead to find absolution from the nightmares of their deepening psychosis and blood-addled hunts. Instead reconnecting to their humanity and transcending the Hunt.

The role of the Palblood Hunter is the absolver of human sin. At the start of the game, you merely hunt beasts. "It's just what hunters do..." as Gerhman explains. But with growing insight, your relationship to the hunt transcends.

The Sunrise ending is the only one where you can definitively change humanity's relationship to the Old Blood and the Great Ones. You can burn down Byrgenwerth, you can kill the remaining of the Healing Church. You can set fire to all of bloody Yharnam and grind it down into the ash. You can actively fight other people from divulging the secrets of blood ministration. You can stop people from seeking treatment.

It's a temporary stopgap, but it's one you can mercifully provide. You can't do any of that if you choose to remain in the Hunter's Dream .... arguably by remaining in the Hunter's Dream, you either prolong the Hunts ... make it certain that the hunts will continue ... or just like a Great One, end up communing with humanity as the game hiints that's exactly what you will be like as you "lift humanity up..."

The question of your transcendence to a Great One is ... are you actually making the human condition better ... because quite clearly, the Great Ones do not. And why exactly would you be the exception?

Think of all the debauchery, the violence, the horror, and the madness one must undertake to be "lifted up" ... is that truly what you wish to inflict upon the world? The Great Ones may see such evolution as being "sympathetic in spirit" ... but frankly most of humanity cannot survive such sympathy of the Old Ones and neither should they have to.

Fortunately by picking the Sunrise ending, you have a small ... infinitely small, but extant ... chance of reversing such things.

Think of Djura's lines; "You're a skilled hunter. Adept, merciless, half-cut with Blood like the best of them. Which is why I must stop you..." and "I should think you still Dream. Perhaps give some thought to the hunt ..."

Or think about the Afflicted Beggar when you stop his spree killing; "You call me a beast!?"

Even former hunters recognize the scourge within hunters. They see the beast in the player. Driven only by an insatiablelust for power and knowledge, and yet ironically never stopping to question why. Leading them further into madness and becoming unrecognizable as human in the process.

But the Paleblood Hunter has a choice ... transcend the hunt like Eileen or Djura, or be consumedby it utterly.

Addendum_Forthcoming:
SNIP

Eh, I'm not convinced the player hunter is an antagonist. Yeah, we're mercilessly hunting and killing people, but those people are evil. They may be cursed and mutated, but they got that way through evil acts.

Yeah, Lady Maria is tragic...ish, and really did feel bad about what she did to the kids and the fishing village people, but she still did it. Feeling bad after you spend years torturing and experimenting on people doesn't really erase the action.

Ludwig, Geherman, Lawerence, the VileBloods, they're all literally blood-thirsty lunatics trying to become Gods by drinking blood and discovering cosmic secrets.
Hell Micolash is basically Josef Mengele with a birdcage on his head. These aren't good people we're talking about. They may be tragic, sure, but they're still villains and hacking them down is the right thing to do.

Even the Old Ones are little better that Chaos Daemons. Yeah, they may be "sympathetic in nature" but we have no idea what that means, nor how is shows in the physical world. Remember PinHead thinks he's doing people a favor by mutilating their souls, and the Chalice dungeons are filled to the brim with body horror, torture and mass slaughter, all done in the name of the Old Ones. Maybe they didn't order it, but they sure as hell didn't stop it.

Yeah, we may be the T-1000 mercilessly and unceasingly stabbing these people in the face, but they really do deserve it.

Silentpony:

Addendum_Forthcoming:
SNIP

Eh, I'm not convinced the player hunter is an antagonist. Yeah, we're mercilessly hunting and killing people, but those people are evil. They may be cursed and mutated, but they got that way through evil acts.

Yeah, Lady Maria is tragic...ish, and really did feel bad about what she did to the kids and the fishing village people, but she still did it. Feeling bad after you spend years torturing and experimenting on people doesn't really erase the action.

Ludwig, Geherman, Lawerence, the VileBloods, they're all literally blood-thirsty lunatics trying to become Gods by drinking blood and discovering cosmic secrets.
Hell Micolash is basically Josef Mengele with a birdcage on his head. These aren't good people we're talking about. They may be tragic, sure, but they're still villains and hacking them down is the right thing to do.

Even the Old Ones are little better that Chaos Daemons. Yeah, they may be "sympathetic in nature" but we have no idea what that means, nor how is shows in the physical world. Remember PinHead thinks he's doing people a favor by mutilating their souls, and the Chalice dungeons are filled to the brim with body horror, torture and mass slaughter, all done in the name of the Old Ones. Maybe they didn't order it, but they sure as hell didn't stop it.

Yeah, we may be the T-1000 mercilessly and unceasingly stabbing these people in the face, but they really do deserve it.

So, how do you justify attacking those who don't attack you first? "Eh... they looked suspicious, so surely they were bad guys!"

CaitSeith:

Silentpony:

Addendum_Forthcoming:
SNIP

Eh, I'm not convinced the player hunter is an antagonist. Yeah, we're mercilessly hunting and killing people, but those people are evil. They may be cursed and mutated, but they got that way through evil acts.

Yeah, Lady Maria is tragic...ish, and really did feel bad about what she did to the kids and the fishing village people, but she still did it. Feeling bad after you spend years torturing and experimenting on people doesn't really erase the action.

Ludwig, Geherman, Lawerence, the VileBloods, they're all literally blood-thirsty lunatics trying to become Gods by drinking blood and discovering cosmic secrets.
Hell Micolash is basically Josef Mengele with a birdcage on his head. These aren't good people we're talking about. They may be tragic, sure, but they're still villains and hacking them down is the right thing to do.

Even the Old Ones are little better that Chaos Daemons. Yeah, they may be "sympathetic in nature" but we have no idea what that means, nor how is shows in the physical world. Remember PinHead thinks he's doing people a favor by mutilating their souls, and the Chalice dungeons are filled to the brim with body horror, torture and mass slaughter, all done in the name of the Old Ones. Maybe they didn't order it, but they sure as hell didn't stop it.

Yeah, we may be the T-1000 mercilessly and unceasingly stabbing these people in the face, but they really do deserve it.

So, how do you justify attacking those who don't attack you first? "Eh... they looked suspicious, so surely they were bad guys!"

Well I didn't. If an NPC or beast man didn't attack, I didn't attack them. Those NPCs you have to kill to get some item, I simply went without.
The only one I killed without them attacking first was the Daemon Princecess Ebrietas, Devourer of Souls.

Silentpony:

Eh, I'm not convinced the player hunter is an antagonist. Yeah, we're mercilessly hunting and killing people, but those people are evil. They may be cursed and mutated, but they got that way through evil acts.

Yeah, Lady Maria is tragic...ish, and really did feel bad about what she did to the kids and the fishing village people, but she still did it. Feeling bad after you spend years torturing and experimenting on people doesn't really erase the action.

Ludwig, Geherman, Lawerence, the VileBloods, they're all literally blood-thirsty lunatics trying to become Gods by drinking blood and discovering cosmic secrets.
Hell Micolash is basically Josef Mengele with a birdcage on his head. These aren't good people we're talking about. They may be tragic, sure, but they're still villains and hacking them down is the right thing to do.

Even the Old Ones are little better that Chaos Daemons. Yeah, they may be "sympathetic in nature" but we have no idea what that means, nor how is shows in the physical world. Remember PinHead thinks he's doing people a favor by mutilating their souls, and the Chalice dungeons are filled to the brim with body horror, torture and mass slaughter, all done in the name of the Old Ones. Maybe they didn't order it, but they sure as hell didn't stop it.

Yeah, we may be the T-1000 mercilessly and unceasingly stabbing these people in the face, but they really do deserve it.

I think you're boiling down depictions of right or wrong into justifications to act. What the PC does is morally wrong. Certainly he signs a contract to be the Paleblood Hunter, but that doesn't excuse the pursuit of knowledge that the PC undertakes.

And the culmination of the wrongfulness of the Paleblood Hunter is given in two endings of the game. Only in one ending do we see the Hunter actually ending the Long Night.

Also, Master Willem is totally the biggest villain in the game. Ludwig and Laurence get painted in all too negative a light. The former didn't even know the risk, and was the one that actually tried to help the Yharnamites learn how to defend themselves from the Beastly Scourge the only way he knew how.

So Ludwig is heroic, in a sense, in that he did actively try to save the city.

Laurence, however, was merely continuing the work that Master Willem started by uncovering the knowledge of the eldritch Truth, as well as the experiments on the fishing hamlet he orchestrated and set into motion. We know Master Willem is guilty as sin in the DLC. We see a statue of him experiment on what is the children of Kos.

It was Master Willem, not Laurence, that laid the bedrock for the Beastly Scourge to emerge. Laurence sought communion with the Gods in order to benefit all of humanity (and in vain) ... which is at least better than secret rituals, mass murder and experiments on unwilling subjects without at least some tangible benefit to the rest of the people who suffered unbearably.

Laurence at least wanted some good to come out of it.

He didn't want to be some secret scholar that murders and experiments on people, he did actually want their esoteric knowledge to benefit people. Master Laurence did not see what his church would become, which is a damn sight less bad thn Master Willem actively orchestrating the madness and murder of people in the pursuit of knowledge.

It was Master Willem's direction that set into motion Gehrman's and Maria's fall from grace and their damnation.

No one is saying that these people shouldn't be stopped, but clearly simply killing beasts and ending the Scourge (for now) wasn't your character's only intention unless you character also then seeks nothing more than to end their contract on the side of Gehrman's scythe.

I'm not saying the Paleblood Hunter is evil ... I'm saying that they are wrong if they do anything but submit to Gehrman's blade at the end. Gehrman represents the player's last chance for atonement for what they have done, what they know, the beast within them, and understanding the price of their knowledge and what's at stake is far too great to simply accept anything less than one that should be buried and forgotten.

The Great Ones are "sympathetic in spirit" because they do respond to human emotion and desires. Like the curses against the Byrgenwerth Scholars and their children and children's children (The Healing Church and the Hunters) ...

The Great Ones give of themselves to powerful desires of humanity through communion with them. It's just that these beings are alien to comprehension and that isn't merely a one way street. Their actions, their understanding of humanity, is sufficiently alien that the curses they enact are often disproportionate ... and even their affections are sufficiently alien as to cause hardship for the recipients.

Like when the Moon Presence 'adopts' you after fulfilling her contract and destroying Gehrman. You bask in the Moon Presence. You fall in love with it. It embraces you as if a mother finding their lost child after searching so long to find you, and in turn she will stricken you with Gehrman's curse. Indeed she saved Gerhman from the Hunter's Nightmare that Maria was sentenced to given the abhorrent actions of her past, but that intercession is no less horrible on its own. Trapping Gerhman between life and death, with no hope to return to the world of the living, in a prison of his own making.

The Moon Presence only becomes hostile when you are on the precipice of becoming something greater than her. A Great One born of humanity, and the culmination of its desire to achieve the eldritch Truth. But if you don't consume the cords, and you slaughter Gerhman, the Moon Presence actually embraces you like a mother would its child.

"Sympathetic in nature" but sufficiently alien that their affections might be horrors by comparison due t that gulf of difference.

As I was saying, the player character in't a decent person. The PC thinks in exchange for taking on some beasts they'll get a cure for their plague. Well, in turns out the beasts are far more complex than you even imagined ...

Everything you've seen, you should realize that this can never surface again. That what you uncover should never be known lest history repeats itself. And while the Great Ones will still find communion, at the very lest you can make it so history does not repeat itself sooner rather than later.

It's hinted in game the beastly scourge might actally be a more widespread problem. With hunters avenging dead loved ones from further afield than Yharnam, Yahar'gul and Cainhurst. It's hinted that anyone who has received blood ministration might be a future problem, and arguably foreigners like you from much further afield had blood ministration who have later transformed into beasts. It's even hinted that you might be suffering as if a precursor of the Beastly Scourge, and the intercession of the Moon Presence and her agents, the messengers, retrieving you is what temporarily saves you.

The communion through the Old Blood allows you a temporary retrieve by enlisting in a roundabout way to her duties she demands. A moment's reprieve at best, but nonetheless a reprieve.

"Sympathetic in nature..." but arguably your PC emulates a beast-mad hunter throughout their explots, and if they choose knowledge over restraint at the end, truly become a villainous piece of work that merely prolongs the deleterious communion of the Great Ones and a new Long Night of the Hunt.

That much is clear from how the others respond to you. They remark it in you.

Refusing to wake from the Hunter's Dream is merely proof you're too far gone.

This is why Gerhman speaks to you like he would any Hunter lost to the slaughter, on the verge of being inhuman and unsalvageable.

But nonetheless you will succumb, in time. With the amount of blood you've been draining down. With all the things you've done, it's only a matter of time. But at the very least, with the Sunrise ending you are saved for now. Which is better than nothing. Of course there is only one outcome where you definitly live. You fulfill your contract, you choose to bury as much as possible the memories of everything you know ... in the hopes that it will not be repeated.

To put it bluntly, your PC is no different from the roving bands you maliciously slaughter. Your active pursuit of things best left buried is provenly disastrous, and yet you still seek them out regardless. You never stop. Arguably you didn't know what you were getting into with the contract ... but by not accepting submitting your 'life' to Gehrman, you have actively crossed that line to your own salvation.

Never able to return from the Hunt ... no less a beast and inhuman in all your dimensions.

This is why it's a less obvious form of villainy. You might be able to argue that the Paleblood Hunter only did what they must ... but that is blatantly untrue if the Hunter does anything more than try to put it behind them and reconnect with their humanity and the waking world.

That way lies some form of redemption. Some exclamation point of their humanity The establishment and firm belief that their humanity is worth saving and the incredible dangers of being a Hunter ... even if it is a life doomed to being inconsequential in the grand scheme of things.

This is why the Sunrise ending is the 'good' ending, in a sense.

Silentpony:

CaitSeith:

Silentpony:
snip

So, how do you justify attacking those who don't attack you first? "Eh... they looked suspicious, so surely they were bad guys!"

Well I didn't. If an NPC or beast man didn't attack, I didn't attack them. Those NPCs you have to kill to get some item, I simply went without.
The only one I killed without them attacking first was the Daemon Princecess Ebrietas, Devourer of Souls.

CaitSeith:

Arguably Rom keeps Master Willem and seeming two of his bodyguards hidden from facing the malice of those he wronged... keeping him safe from the horrors of the curse while he languishes back and does nothing despite being the bedrock reason for the brutal end of a civilization and the experimentation and slaughter of the people of the fishing hamlet?

That being said, does Rom share an understanding that she is doing that? Or is she hiding the Byrgenwerth college from people that would otherwise plunder its secrets and make a bad situation worse?

Now naturally she probably isn't doing that because she legitimately won't to stop blood ministration and communion with the Great Ones.

I do agree that Rom doesn't deserve to die. Only Master Willem. And to be fair, yu don't need to kill Rom to get to Willem and make sure he faces up to the judgment of his crimes...

Addendum_Forthcoming:

I think you're boiling down depictions of right or wrong into justifications to act. What the PC does is morally wrong. Certainly he signs a contract to be the Paleblood Hunter, but that doesn't excuse the pursuit of knowledge that the PC undertakes.

And the culmination of the wrongfulness of the Paleblood Hunter is given in two endings of the game. Only in one ending do we see the Hunter actually ending the Long Night.

Also, Master Willem is totally the biggest villain in the game. Ludwig and Laurence get painted in all too negative a light. The former didn't even know the risk, and was the one that actually tried to help the Yharnamites learn how to defend themselves from the Beastly Scourge the only way he knew how.

So Ludwig is heroic, in a sense, in that he did actively try to save the city.

When we encounter Ludwig, he's stomping amidst a literal pile of the corpses of his victims-- so many it's resulting in a river of blood. The only other living thing there begs you to stop Ludwig "the Accursed".

Now, yes, the Hunter's Nightmare is not real, but the events witnessed there are clearly supposed to be echoes of events passed. This is what Ludwig became-- a monstrous, slavering, murderous creature.

It's implied he had noble intentions once. He sure as hell did not have noble results.

Addendum_Forthcoming:

Laurence, however, was merely continuing the work that Master Willem started by uncovering the knowledge of the eldritch Truth, as well as the experiments on the fishing hamlet he orchestrated and set into motion. We know Master Willem is guilty as sin in the DLC. We see a statue of him experiment on what is the children of Kos.

It was Master Willem, not Laurence, that laid the bedrock for the Beastly Scourge to emerge. Laurence sought communion with the Gods in order to benefit all of humanity (and in vain) ... which is at least better than secret rituals, mass murder and experiments on unwilling subjects without at least some tangible benefit to the rest of the people who suffered unbearably.

Laurence at least wanted some good to come out of it.

He didn't want to be some secret scholar that murders and experiments on people, he did actually want their esoteric knowledge to benefit people. Master Laurence did not see what his church would become, which is a damn sight less bad thn Master Willem actively orchestrating the madness and murder of people in the pursuit of knowledge.

Laurence almost certainly broke from Willem long after the massacre at the fishing hamlet. He did not abstain for moral reasons.

What he spread to the people was not just knowledge, but infected blood, after swearing that he would not do precisely that. He is more culpable than any other figure for the Beast Plague afflicting Yharnam.

Addendum_Forthcoming:

"Sympathetic in nature..." but arguably your PC emulates a beast-mad hunter throughout their explots, and if they choose knowledge over restraint at the end, truly become a villainous piece of work that merely prolongs the deleterious communion of the Great Ones and a new Long Night of the Hunt.

That much is clear from how the others respond to you. They remark it in you.

Refusing to wake from the Hunter's Dream is merely proof you're too far gone.

This is why Gerhman speaks to you like he would any Hunter lost to the slaughter, on the verge of being inhuman and unsalvageable.

I'd tend to agree there-- Gehrman sees the danger you pose to yourself.

CaitSeith:

Silentpony:

CaitSeith:

So, how do you justify attacking those who don't attack you first? "Eh... they looked suspicious, so surely they were bad guys!"

Well I didn't. If an NPC or beast man didn't attack, I didn't attack them. Those NPCs you have to kill to get some item, I simply went without.
The only one I killed without them attacking first was the Daemon Princecess Ebrietas, Devourer of Souls.

Rom summoned an army of spiders to attack me the second I appeared. I hadn't attack her or any of the little spiders when she decided I needed to die, to protect her terrible secrets.
And without killing Rom, we'd never have a chance to stop Micolash, so at best Rom is unknowingly helping a horrible person and trying to kill me at the same time, at worst is actively participating in what Micolash and the others have been doing.
And seeings how some Chalice dungeons have statues of Rom in them, and they ain't cheery happy places, I'm assuming Rom is just as steeped in blood and slaughter as all the other daemons.

Silvanus:

I'd tend to agree there-- Gehrman sees the danger you pose to yourself.

To be fair, deleted dialogue of Gehrman has him begging for someone to free him from this Nightmare, he can't do it anymore, he can't go on, and where the hell is Laurence, he was supposed to raise Gehrman up with him.
So its equally possible Gehrman wants to die, and the Moon Presence is controlling him to attack you, seeings how Gehrman is a literal puppet of a daemon.

Silvanus:

When we encounter Ludwig, he's stomping amidst a literal pile of the corpses of his victims-- so many it's resulting in a river of blood. The only other living thing there begs you to stop Ludwig "the Accursed".

Now, yes, the Hunter's Nightmare is not real, but the events witnessed there are clearly supposed to be echoes of events passed. This is what Ludwig became-- a monstrous, slavering, murderous creature.

It's implied he had noble intentions once. He sure as hell did not have noble results.

Honestly I think his intentions were, at least, as if the guardian of Yharnam. How can we blame him for becoming a beast? I don't want to turn this into a numbers game, but Ludwig at least contains numerous Hunts himself.

He mobilises the masses to fight against the Beastly Scourge, without even really knowing why. And yes, that did accelerate the process ... but just think how many people would have died withut Ludwig arming them ... training them to fight ... using church funds to procure basic armour that will give little protection, but at least make the wearer more confident?

Even in madness, even as he was falling to the beast and people were shunning him for it, he asks of you whether his hopes that the church warriors were the honourable spartans were realized?

I don't have any hard and fast facts for this, but I don't think Ludwig was dreaming as the first church hunter.

He, like his followers he recruited, faced corruption and mortal danger every hunt. Unbeknownst the bloodlust it inspired merely accelerated their transformation. Can you honestly blame a monster, a husk of a warrior, when the reason why they are broken and unrecognizable is the unfair weight of tribulation placed at his feet to protect what he thinks is an upstanding society of defenders against the darkness?

Ludwig, the noble defender of Yharnam, is already dead. Only his broken husk remains ... and I think it's important to recognize that distinction.

It's important to note that Ludwig, unlike clerics, transforms into a horse-like beast ... not vaguely lupine-esque like the Cleric Beasts and the Afflicted Beggar. I think that is symbolic that even till his dying breath he was still able to rein in what would otherwise be entirely predatory behaviour.

Vicar Amelia maintains some part of herself even in this predatory state. Clutching her prayer focus, and Vicar Amelia is clearly a sympathetic figure.

Ludwig's transformation, while more abhorrent due to the hunt, is still not as visually predatory as her own and I think that was intentional.

Even in his bastion within the Nightmare there are survivors of arguably the people he lead in the hunts. You can actually keep one of them alive assuming Ludwig's attacks or your own swings do not finish him off.

Which is also intentional as he has dialogue. And in the same criticisms you have about Ludwig's demense, if you're not areful you're no better than he is.

Which is pretty powerful, hidden character development right there.

Laurence almost certainly broke from Willem long after the massacre at the fishing hamlet. He did not abstain for moral reasons.

What he spread to the people was not just knowledge, but infected blood, after swearing that he would not do precisely that. He is more culpable than any other figure for the Beast Plague afflicting Yharnam.

I still lay the blame majoritively on Master Willem as of the DLC stuff at least. It was Master Willem's horrors he inflicted through Gehrman and Maria at the fishing hamlet that laid the groundworks of the Hunter's Nightmare and Scourge.

Blood ministration is tainted, yes ... but it does provide respite. It's hinted the Beastly Scourge has spread due to the actions of Micolash and Laurence both... but in the intro, we gain hints that the blood ministration can also give temporary respite. As if satiation that wouldn't otherwise be there.

As per the words of the curse that elicits the Great One's anger, upon the Byrgenwerth scholars and "their children, and children's children..." meaning the schools and churches, and the hunters that will rise up to fight what terrible knowledge Willem pillaged and mutilated for. The Schools/Churches are the children of Byrgenwerth, and the Hunters are its children's children.

This is why we see blood-mad hunters in the Hunter's Nightmare.

Why we see Lady Maria shackled to it.

Rightfully or wrongfully, all hunters are cursed because of Master Willem and what he did... and as per the intro, communion with the Moon Presence through Blood Ministration saves you from the Scourge. Or perhaps """saves""" with an additional layer of sarcastic overtone.

I don't think it's a coincidence that the moment you sign unknowingly your life away to the Moon Presence as one of her recruited ... that as soon as you undertake the blood ministration that allows for your communion with the Moon Presence (and why you are the 'Moon-Scented Hunter' for channeling her when undergoing blood ministration), a beast is already rising up from the blood and trying to claim you. You are saved by the blood which leads to your proper communionwith the Moon Presence.

You have been granted a reprieve.

That would suggest the scourge lies in all hunters, imbibers of blood or no.

Blood ministration, tainted or no, does still allow one to communion with the Great Ones. They are "sympathetic in spirit" and thus they will hear your earnest pleas ... how they reward you may be worse than the affliction or injury, but in this casebeing a Paleblood Hunter is probably preferable to becoming a beast... that is, at least, that you choose correctly once your contract has been fulfilled.

And if that is the case, Master Willem is core responsible and the blood ministration saves you, at least for a short time. Who can say you won't turn into a beast at the time of another Long Night? But at least for now you are saved.

I'd tend to agree there-- Gehrman sees the danger you pose to yourself.

I think Gehrman also recognizes the danger you pose to all other hunters that come after. Gehrman would have been sentenced to the Hunter's Nightmare if not for his communion with the Moon Presence for his actions working for both Master Willem and Master Laurence. The intercession of the Moon Presence allows him to go to a prison of his own devising. Already dead in the waking world.

On some level, Gehrman wants release. But I think there is a degree of his mercy that rings true.

Gehrman, much like the Paleblood Hunter, both should 'transcend the Hunt' ... the Hunter's Dream burning away at the end? Well maybe Gehrman thinks after he rids the Hunter of their connection, saves them from their themselves, that he can at least rest until the next Long Night.

How can Gehrman transcend the Hunt if the Paleblood Hunter refuses to?

Why would Gehrman, satisfied in the idea that this hunt is now over, entrust that responsibility to another who have proven themselves inhumanly curious and desiring the power of the Hunter's Dream themselves?

As I was saying before ... there is only one ending where you see the sunlight. There is only one guaranteed ending that allows the distinct possibility that the hunt need not happen again. Particularly after your actions at the Nightmare Realm created by the School of Mensis.

But how can Gehrman be sure unless he is the one to see it come to fruition?

So Gehrman's "mercy" isn't a traditional sense of; "I cannot see you suffer in my stead ... please find your worth in the waking world." His """mercy""" is about a clean hunt. One with a beginning, one with a baptism of fire, one with Nightmares slain, and one where the Paleblood Hunter successfully transcends the hunt.

That is the contract you sign.

This is why to him it is to the hunter's helper to clean up after these messes. "Oh dear? What was it? The hunt? The Blood? The horrible dreams?"

It's quite obvious you have fallenfrom grace if you do not accept that it is your duty to transcend the Hunt.

By your refusal, the Long Night will not end. The Hunt will not end. With your passing from the Hunter's Dream, there is a small chance another may never need to be called. You can find "you worth in the waking world" ... rather than cheating through shortcuts to insight and power that created the Long Night and the Hunt in the first place.

It's almost symbolic how Gerhman kills you.

It channels Spanish bullfighting almost. The beast weaken to the point of a clean, precise kill as the beast fades and gives up. And I think that imagery means a lot. Gehrman, the first hunter, is also perpetually the last. The last one to fell the blade against the final beast of the Long Night.

In a way, Gehrman's "mercy" is the same as a swift blow that removes you from the faulty ambitions that bring ruinous disaster to all who dare commune with the Great Ones and ride that hubris to its bitter end.

"May you find your worth in the waking world..." can either be said as if your character is truly able to wield the weight of their mortality and seek enlightenment without the corrupting communion and slave like relationship to them that you had to the Moon Presence.

It can also be said in resolution. As in you opted out... this is the path youchose, so all you have for it is to find your worth in the waking world now that you have completed your contract. I feel like if the latter was the true intent of the words, the Doll wouldn't have said them to you repeatedly when you were in service to the Moon Presence.

I think it's clear you can now do things that you otherwise wouldn't be able to while bound by the Moon Presence, or to find your true purpose in life now that you have reconnecting andbeen saved from your worst nature.

You're free. As terrible, and as lonely as that will be ... it's arguably the only one where you can actually make a truly lasting contribution.

Because what have you actually accomplished in the waking world? Keep in mind that defeating the mechinations of the School of Mensis and destroying a big part of the Beastly Scourge was in a nightmare realm. You were not in the waking world.

Ditto the liberation of those that would otherwise in the future been imprisoned by Kos's wrath.

You defeated Amygdalas in the Nightmare realms. You defeated Rom in a ethereal nightmare plane.

There'sprecious little you have actuallydone in the waking world ... but there are things you can do...

By beingfreed of the Hunter's Dream, you can make a difference without being enslaved... and that's a pretty powerful thing. Dangerous, horrible, and dispairingly ... but also with a degree of hope that carries other hunters who have transcended the hunt before.

In the end, the best you can hope for is to be like someone like Eileen. You can grow old, you can live a long life, and you owe noone anything anymore beyondwhat your own moralcompass should dictate the terms of your actions.

While a slave of the Moon Presence, you can do none of these things...

Silentpony:

To be fair, deleted dialogue of Gehrman has him begging for someone to free him from this Nightmare, he can't do it anymore, he can't go on, and where the hell is Laurence, he was supposed to raise Gehrman up with him.
So its equally possible Gehrman wants to die, and the Moon Presence is controlling him to attack you, seeings how Gehrman is a literal puppet of a daemon.

That dialogue is actually still present in-game. Quite rare to witness, but you can still encounter it in the Hunter's Dream.

I would say Gehrman definitely wants to be freed from the dream. Perhaps he hopes that once Mergo has been killed and the Moon Presence's will is done, he'll be allowed to leave (or die).

Addendum_Forthcoming:

Honestly I think his intentions were, at least, as if the guardian of Yharnam. How can we blame him for becoming a beast? I don't want to turn this into a numbers game, but Ludwig at least contains numerous Hunts himself.

He mobilises the masses to fight against the Beastly Scourge, without even really knowing why. And yes, that did accelerate the process ... but just think how many people would have died withut Ludwig arming them ... training them to fight ... using church funds to procure basic armour that will give little protection, but at least make the wearer more confident?

Even in madness, even as he was falling to the beast and people were shunning him for it, he asks of you whether his hopes that the church warriors were the honourable spartans were realized?

I don't have any hard and fast facts for this, but I don't think Ludwig was dreaming as the first church hunter.

He, like his followers he recruited, faced corruption and mortal danger every hunt. Unbeknownst the bloodlust it inspired merely accelerated their transformation. Can you honestly blame a monster, a husk of a warrior, when the reason why they are broken and unrecognizable is the unfair weight of tribulation placed at his feet to protect what he thinks is an upstanding society of defenders against the darkness?

Ludwig, the noble defender of Yharnam, is already dead. Only his broken husk remains ... and I think it's important to recognize that distinction.

It's important to note that Ludwig, unlike clerics, transforms into a horse-like beast ... not vaguely lupine-esque like the Cleric Beasts and the Afflicted Beggar. I think that is symbolic that even till his dying breath he was still able to rein in what would otherwise be entirely predatory behaviour.

Vicar Amelia maintains some part of herself even in this predatory state. Clutching her prayer focus, and Vicar Amelia is clearly a sympathetic figure.

Ludwig's transformation, while more abhorrent due to the hunt, is still not as visually predatory as her own and I think that was intentional.

Yet, Amelia is not shown killing anything. Ludwig is shown atop a mountain of dead. The visual evidence the game is giving you is not of restraint or morality.

I'm not arguing about whether, once upon a time, he might have been a "noble spartan" like those he fantasised about. The Ludwig we encounter is the one I'm discussing.

Addendum_Forthcoming:
Even in his bastion within the Nightmare there are survivors of arguably the people he lead in the hunts. You can actually keep one of them alive assuming Ludwig's attacks or your own swings do not finish him off.

Which is also intentional as he has dialogue. And in the same criticisms you have about Ludwig's demense, if you're not areful you're no better than he is.

Which is pretty powerful, hidden character development right there.

We're no better than him? How are you coming to that conclusion? How many innocent, un-mutated civilians has the player Hunter killed? Ludwig appears to have a count in the hundreds.

Addendum_Forthcoming:

I still lay the blame majoritively on Master Willem as of the DLC stuff at least. It was Master Willem's horrors he inflicted through Gehrman and Maria at the fishing hamlet that laid the groundworks of the Hunter's Nightmare and Scourge.

Blood ministration is tainted, yes ... but it does provide respite. It's hinted the Beastly Scourge has spread due to the actions of Micolash and Laurence both... but in the intro, we gain hints that the blood ministration can also give temporary respite. As if satiation that wouldn't otherwise be there.

As per the words of the curse that elicits the Great One's anger, upon the Byrgenwerth scholars and "their children, and children's children..." meaning the schools and churches, and the hunters that will rise up to fight what terrible knowledge Willem pillaged and mutilated for. The Schools/Churches are the children of Byrgenwerth, and the Hunters are its children's children.

This is why we see blood-mad hunters in the Hunter's Nightmare.

Why we see Lady Maria shackled to it.

Rightfully or wrongfully, all hunters are cursed because of Master Willem and what he did... and as per the intro, communion with the Moon Presence through Blood Ministration saves you from the Scourge. Or perhaps """saves""" with an additional layer of sarcastic overtone.

I'm well aware of Willem's culpability for the massacre at the fishing hamlet, and the curse that resulted.

Blood ministration cures some ailments and provides respite, and can save a life. This is nothing compared to the horrors of the Beast Plague. The Beast Plague overshadows any and all of these minor benefits. The entire game surrounds the folly of that decision, spearheaded by Laurence, and how it has ultimately destroyed the city.

Addendum_Forthcoming:
I don't think it's a coincidence that the moment you sign unknowingly your life away to the Moon Presence as one of her recruited ... that as soon as you undertake the blood ministration that allows for your communion with the Moon Presence (and why you are the 'Moon-Scented Hunter' for channeling her when undergoing blood ministration), a beast is already rising up from the blood and trying to claim you. You are saved by the blood which leads to your proper communionwith the Moon Presence.

You have been granted a reprieve.

That would suggest the scourge lies in all hunters, imbibers of blood or no.

How does it suggest that?! A Beast rises to claim you after you've taken blood. The Beast is intimately connected with Blood Ministration. It appears as a direct result.

Silvanus:

Yet, Amelia is not shown killing anything. Ludwig is shown atop a mountain of dead. The visual evidence the game is giving you is not of restraint or morality.

I'm not arguing about whether, once upon a time, he might have been a "noble spartan" like those he fantasised about. The Ludwig we encounter is the one I'm discussing.

Which is an unfair distinction, because the PC could end up no different. In fact the Hunter's Nightmare is riddled with such hunters.

I'm well aware of Willem's culpability for the massacre at the fishing hamlet, and the curse that resulted.

Blood ministration cures some ailments and provides respite, and can save a life. This is nothing compared to the horrors of the Beast Plague. The Beast Plague overshadows any and all of these minor benefits. The entire game surrounds the folly of that decision, spearheaded by Laurence, and how it has ultimately destroyed the city.

But that is also an obvious answer. The Blood, while temporary and a stop gap, also provides direct communion. Which is the thing that saves you in the beginning and as I would argue also would save you in the end. And over the course of your adventures, you'll be drenched in the blood and still not be as close to losing yourself completely as you are in the beginning.

You'll be pounding back hundreds of the vials of stuff. Yet never come as close as the night you became a hunter?

Seems coincidental don't you think?

I think I get why Gehrman, and possily the Paleblood Hunter, can fall in love with the Moon Presence. She seems to actively represent the desires of the Hunter's wishes to keep themselves safe in the face of their hardship and beastial-like profession. The Moon Presence not only saves Gehrman, but also embraces you like a mother would its child is you assume Gehrman's place. And so naturally communion with the Moon Presence is what separates and saves you from all the rest of your fallen hunter brethren.

There are characters that are powerfully human, untarnishingly human, despite lifelong imbibers of blood ministration. One of them actively relies on the blood when wounded sufficiently.

And all of them, seemingly, are hunters ... the last people of whom should be safe from the Beastly Scourge. And what do all of them have in common? Communion with the Moon Presence... all of them have received Blood Ministration. Some of them rely on it directly ... some of them even think it is holy beyond compare (Alfred, for instance).

Why would such devotees of the Church and Blood Ministration still hold to that, and their humanity, if the Blood was the be all and end all of the Beastly Scourge?

Why would they be also the only real humans remaining who actively keep their (tenuous) grip on sanity despite both being huntersand both lifelong imbibers of the Blood?

Communion afforded by the Blood is not necessarily that which causes the Beastly Scourge. The School of Mensis proves that well enough having played such a huge role in the nature of the Beastly Scourge. It can also be that that allows you to ave others from the Beastly Scourge. Without the Blood, without communion with the Moon Presence, you could never have dealt Micolash that deadly blow nor ended the School of Mensis' experiment that was a big part of the reason for its emergence.

There is the argument that the blood could have been used well... or maybe there are specifically peple of powerful enough reasons to imbibe it that maintain that link to their sanity and ultimately save themselves in the process. And I would argue we have proof it's not merely the blood, but thecommunion it provides. And the emotions, the will behind the imbiber, that determine the nature of the Beastly Scourge.

The Blood, if treated alone as the reason for the Beastly Scourge, is a scapegoat. Laurence notes as such. The Blood can obviously be used for good purpose, despite it being a shortcut to communion with the Great Ones.

But it's also a shortcut that can alleviate a hell of a lot of suffering.

These people are or were hunters no less. One of them leads a long life that is still as principled as ever, and she falls an old woman for whom even the blood could not save. It's not merely the 'blood' ... arguably it's also the motivations for its use. The communion the blood provides is directly relative to that concept of the Great Ones being 'Sympathetic in spirit' ...

I think by blaming the Blood alone is lazy. Micolash and hisSchool of Mensis is infinitely more like Willem than Laurence. So much sothere was a schism and the Church was actively investigatingthe School of Mensis' involvement in the Beastly Scourge.

To blame the Blood as the root cause of problems, is to ignore the actions and evidence we pull from Micolash's nightmare realm.

"Fear the Old Blood..." is a correct mantra, but that does not necessarily predicate itself solely as Fear only the Old Blood ... for we have direct evidence that the Beastly Scourge was not merely the fault of Blood Ministration.

In fact we have direct game evidence Blood Ministration, and communion with the Moon Presence, is the only thing that saves a Hunter.

How does it suggest that?! A Beast rises to claim you after you've taken blood. The Beast is intimately connected with Blood Ministration. It appears as a direct result.

I answered this in the post...

Blood ministration, tainted or no, does still allow one to communion with the Great Ones. They are "sympathetic in spirit" and thus they will hear your earnest pleas ... how they reward you may be worse than the affliction or injury, but in this casebeing a Paleblood Hunter is probably preferable to becoming a beast... that is, at least, that you choose correctly once your contract has been fulfilled.

It's quite clear the Blood cannot be the only reason for the beastly scourge.

It's a layered tapestry of problems concerning the nature of that communion.

Master Laurence and the healing church was allabout communion and human transfiguration through that contact afforded by the blood. And arguably it was more successful than Willem could have ever imagined. The Healing Church managing to create blood saints ...

But the Blood is not the only problem, it's the reason, the nature, of the communion with Great Ones. And given there is ample proof of this. How the hunt itself transfigures the people into Beasts, how certain NPCs have taken it all their lives without losing themselves to it despitebeing hunters, etc ...

Clearly the Scourge of the Beast, and its temporary satiation, lay not in the blood itself but the nature of the person in the face of that communion.

But there is one, one indisputeable fact ... that you see it in the very first cutscene ... Blood Ministration leads to communion, and communion can save a hunter. And the Blood is the only way you achieve that.

Arguably you are the end result and the most successful in a line of experiments the Healing Church has done. You are a hunter that has had direct communion with the Moon Presence through the Blood. And that alone should be proof enough the Blood alone cannot be the only reason for the Beast. The biggest of them is human ambition and human frailty when discovering such a miracle.

The key root of the Beastly Scourge lay in the curse of Kos (or some might say, Kosm) and the Mensis ritual that studied the Moon and brought into being the Red Moon and using Mergo for its own ends. The Beastly Scourge is directly relevant to the School of Mensis. The being that saved you is itself the Moon Presence. Hell, Mensis literally means the Lunar Phases and it is where we get the word 'month' from despite now no longer being directly attached to the Lunar calendar.

Laurence is not to blame. Micolash and Willem are. While one might remark the Beastly Scourge was periodic, it was also manageable ... the School of Mensis, however, angered the Great Ones ... and this lead to a worsening crisis for which little could be salvaged or salvageable.

Regardless, the Blood alone cannot be the answer.

It ignores way too much shit that Willem and Micolash were getting up to. What they had done. Who they had angered. And what curses they brought to bear.

Imagine if I discovered a ninite that could cure every disease andeven keep you fit. It sells gangbusters ... then imagine if years later, after me, someone creates a nanite that accidentally kills everyhuman who had use my nanites in the past.

Who should you really blame? Probably both of us ... but the degree of guilt is not shared.

Addendum_Forthcoming:
SNIP

I don't think its fair to give cover to the NPCs on the basis the player character might do what they did again. That's not how morality works.
These people tortured children, mutilated and experimented on the fishing village, purposefully infected an entire civilization with a daemon-born STD, and organized generations long hunts to kill STD victims that they themselves made, using Hunters duped into taking the same blood that started this in the fist place, all while communing with other-worldly nightmares in service of personal immortality.
Killing them for their crimes isn't even remotely similar to their crimes at all.

And you can't just assume the player character is as evil or motivated as they have been, simply because its an easy grey fog to muddy things up. At no point in the game are we allowed to mutilated innocents, or experiment on children. At no point do we orchestrate the downfall of an entire civilization, or kill innocents for our personal immortality.
Ludwig, Maria, Gehrman, the others, they are evil. In any other game every single one of them would be the ultimate final boss. Maria is one rock tune away from being the Queen of Hell in Doom, and Ludwig the Accursed could easily double as a Greater daemon in any 40k game.
These aren't good people, and however well intentioned they were, they did evil things and were okay with, in the same way the Nazis really did think killing Jews was for the good of Mankind. Ludwig doesn't get a pass simply because I used Ludwig's sword to kill him.

Killing a thousand monsters is not the same as being a monster killing a thousand innocents.

Silentpony:
-snip-

For starters, there is no 'good' and 'evil' and the game makes that pertinently clear. Things are not that black and white. Eileen is neither 'good' nor 'evil', but we recognize that she died human inspite of all the things that should have remarked otherwise if the Blood and the Blood alone was the sole cause of the Beastly Scourge.

The Great Ones are not 'good' or 'evil' ... in fact they are sympathetic in spirit. They actually listen to humans through their communion. The Moon Presence and her intercession has saved humans directly. The Moon Presence saves you at the start of the game by you communing with her through Blood Ministration.

The problem is that that level of communion is sufficiently alien. It would be as if asking an alien being with no concept of your hardships to aid you. If there is little degree of understanding that gulf of difference, whatever aid they provide is going to be twisted and similarly inhuman.

We have evidence from Micolash's nightmare realm the Beastly Scourge was not merely the Blood...

In fact, as I wrote to Silvanus, Blood Ministration is the only thing thatsaves you from the Beastly Scourge right atthe start of the game. Arguably the infection that you suffer is a direct relation to thecurse placed down by those wrong at the Fishing Hamlet ... and in seeking the communion, Blood Ministration can provide relief and even salvation (however temporary).

The fact that the beast at the start reaches out to you, almost beckoningly, is symbolic of the contract you sign to be a hunter for the Church (initially) ... That you accept the beast within, and thus doomed to be lost to it ... but through the channeling of the Moon Presence, your contract is transformed.

And yeah, the Blood Ministration saves you from that fate.

The Paleblood Hunter is no mere hunter. They have the capacity to be almost a Messianic figure as the Absolver of Sins. Hence the overtly Catholic references the game makes. The Blood, the ministration, fire and its effects on Beasts, the Nightmares, even down to the Ecclesia militans rhetoric and prose.

Even the idea of 'taking communion'.

The Blood can save, but your relationship to that communion is what either liberates or damns you.

And just like Catholic imagery ... Delving into Nightmare realms to attack at the source the problems confronting humanity. As if the pursuit into purgatory itself to provide liberation for all of Man's sorrows. Rising up from death, as if the words of St. Paul himself and struyggling with the beastial that is in all of us as part of Catholic ideas of original sin.

Because make no mistake, the power the Moon Presence gives you is awesome. In fact the Moon Presence gives you the keys to ending the Beastly Scourge by going into Micolash's Nightmare Realm.

The Eldritch Truth laid to bare about the nature of communing with the Great Ones. A power beyond that of any Byrgenwerth scholar. But the problem is, power corrupts. And if you choose power over the belief your humanity is worth saving, worth reconnecting to, you will be lost to the Hunt forever.

The PC is a hunter. They willingly become a hunter in exchange for treating what may very well be amongst the first signs of the Beastly Scourge spreading out past Yharnam, Yahar'gul, Hemwick and Cainhurst. Through becoming a hunter and accepting the call and coming to Yharnam, they make themselves a target of the curse. The Blood Ministration a member of the (presumably) Healing Church saves you. Allowing yu to directly commune with the Moon Presence.

The Moon Presence is not 'good' or 'evil' ... in fact it is incredibly motherly and protective ... as if to sympathise with all hunters seeking communion facing the Scourge of the Beast.

The Moon Presence is, however, incredibly alien ... its designs naturally huge, and thus automatically manipulative to humans that she has recruited. The reason why the PC is neither good nor evil, but merely villainous, is the assumption that doing anything but transcending the hunt (awaking from the Hunter's Dream) is the "good" ending.

If the PC, after all they've gone thrugh, after all they've seen, after all thedangers of communion, decide to refuse Gehrman's offer ... they become no different than Master Willem and the rest of his Byrgenwerth scholars. The PC may not have experimented on the masses, but the PCdirectly benefits and tries to usurp the power and the discoveries the Byrgenwerth College and its children organizations uncovered.

The Sunrise ending is the only one where we see the sunlight and where the Hunt has clearly ended.

In all the other endings, the Hunt does not end.

What's worse, having destroyed the Moon Presence and usurped the Hunter'sDream for yourself, you have actively taken away from the world the one thing that kept you and other sane hunters safe and maintain their grip on their humanity.

This is why the game says that you will help 'lift humanity to its next childhood' ... but as a Great One now, do you really, honestly think that that is the future Humanity wouldwant for itself?

Who are you to make that decision for humanity after all you've seen and done? And the answer to that is quite simple ... you're an infant great one, and your designs are now unknowable. "Sympathetic" only in spirit....

----

So yes .... in summation, the PC is quite villainous assuming they do anything but "transcend the Hunt" ... They might not have experimented on people, but for all of the people's suffering, for all of Yharnam's madness, for your fleeting humanity ... if you refuse Gehrman you essentially toss away the only means of your salvation.

You become no different than the Byrgenwerth scholars that started this mess in the first place. Using the Great Ones as if a cheat code to humanity's enlightenment.

Bloodborne shows you the price of knowledge unfairly earned. This is why Master Willem was painted as positively awful in the DLC. People seem to have thisweird idea that somehow he was 'wise', and 'visionary' ... no, he was cracked and monstrous. The DLC basically prods players thinking that Willem is as if this sagely person that if only the rest of the world listened to him ... fuck no.

He was no different than any other power-hungry madman.

Literally the "goodest" of the humansin the game are Eileen and Djura.

Both of them ex-Paleblood Hunters ... both of them recognize the Hunt for what it is .... monstrous ... both of them recognize the pursuit for answers ion something so lazy and innately awful as communing with the Great One will destroy humanity and the Hunt is good only in terms that it creates a line in the sand between people who recognize their humanity is worth fighting for.

Addendum_Forthcoming:

Which is an unfair distinction, because the PC could end up no different. In fact the Hunter's Nightmare is riddled with such hunters.

Yes, he could. There's no particular evidence that he'll give the most prolific, murderous Hunters a run for their money, though. You're speculating on future events.

Addendum_Forthcoming:

But that is also an obvious answer. The Blood, while temporary and a stop gap, also provides direct communion. Which is the thing that saves you in the beginning and as I would argue also would save you in the end. And over the course of your adventures, you'll be drenched in the blood and still not be as close to losing yourself completely as you are in the beginning.

You'll be pounding back hundreds of the vials of stuff. Yet never come as close as the night you became a hunter?

Seems coincidental don't you think?

I think I get why Gehrman, and possily the Paleblood Hunter, can fall in love with the Moon Presence. She seems to actively represent the desires of the Hunter's wishes to keep themselves safe in the face of their hardship and beastial-like profession. The Moon Presence not only saves Gehrman, but also embraces you like a mother would its child is you assume Gehrman's place. And so naturally communion with the Moon Presence is what separates and saves you from all the rest of your fallen hunter brethren.

There are characters that are powerfully human, untarnishingly human, despite lifelong imbibers of blood ministration. One of them actively relies on the blood when wounded sufficiently.

And all of them, seemingly, are hunters ... the last people of whom should be safe from the Beastly Scourge. And what do all of them have in common? Communion with the Moon Presence... all of them have received Blood Ministration. Some of them rely on it directly ... some of them even think it is holy beyond compare (Alfred, for instance).

Why would such devotees of the Church and Blood Ministration still hold to that, and their humanity, if the Blood was the be all and end all of the Beastly Scourge?

Why would they be also the only real humans remaining who actively keep their (tenuous) grip on sanity despite both being huntersand both lifelong imbibers of the Blood?

Everybody in Yharnam takes Blood constantly. As medicine, as a drug, as a matter of course. The vast majority of them have either lost their minds, turned to mindless violence, or mutated.

Those to whom you are referring-- presumably Djura and Eileen, who are the only other characters who have definitely been to the Dream-- could simply be on the road to turning later. In fact, depending on your actions in-game, Eileen does lose her mind spectacularly.

Djura is retired from the Hunting business. He has turned his back on it. This is why he retains his faculties to a fair degree. The blood-lust of the Hunt is depicted as a major driving force in how the people lose their humanity.

Addendum_Forthcoming:

Communion afforded by the Blood is not necessarily that which causes the Beastly Scourge. The School of Mensis proves that well enough having played such a huge role in the nature of the Beastly Scourge. It can also be that that allows you to ave others from the Beastly Scourge. Without the Blood, without communion with the Moon Presence, you could never have dealt Micolash that deadly blow nor ended the School of Mensis' experiment that was a big part of the reason for its emergence.

There is the argument that the blood could have been used well... or maybe there are specifically peple of powerful enough reasons to imbibe it that maintain that link to their sanity and ultimately save themselves in the process. And I would argue we have proof it's not merely the blood, but thecommunion it provides. And the emotions, the will behind the imbiber, that determine the nature of the Beastly Scourge.

Yes, people with extremely strong willpower can retain their faculties.

This doesn't really disprove a thing. This clearly applies to so very few people, it's of next-to-no use to the citizens of Yharnam, who should abstain.

Addendum_Forthcoming:

I think by blaming the Blood alone is lazy. Micolash and hisSchool of Mensis is infinitely more like Willem than Laurence. So much sothere was a schism and the Church was actively investigatingthe School of Mensis' involvement in the Beastly Scourge.

No, you're reading that into the events of the game. This is not stated. The Choir are investigating the School of Mensis, yes, but we have no idea whether it was any role they may have had in the Beast Plague, or even whether they played a role at all.

Addendum_Forthcoming:

To blame the Blood as the root cause of problems, is to ignore the actions and evidence we pull from Micolash's nightmare realm.

What evidence?

We learn that the Mensis Ritual seems to have opened a door into the Nightmare Frontier, where communion with Mergo is possible. We learn they have captured another Great One (the Brain of Mensis). We learn almost nothing about the origins of the Beast Plague in Yharnam and Loran.

Addendum_Forthcoming:

I answered this in the post...

Blood ministration, tainted or no, does still allow one to communion with the Great Ones. They are "sympathetic in spirit" and thus they will hear your earnest pleas ... how they reward you may be worse than the affliction or injury, but in this casebeing a Paleblood Hunter is probably preferable to becoming a beast... that is, at least, that you choose correctly once your contract has been fulfilled.

It's quite clear the Blood cannot be the only reason for the beastly scourge.

It's a layered tapestry of problems concerning the nature of that communion.

You answered it with personal interpretation, which I do not share. In fact, that whole passage is just the extrapolation you've taken from the scene in question; it's not external supportive evidence or anything.

Addendum_Forthcoming:

But there is one, one indisputeable fact ... that you see it in the very first cutscene ... Blood Ministration leads to communion, and communion can save a hunter. And the Blood is the only way you achieve that.

This is so far from indisputable: you've interpreted this from a highly arcane and obtuse set of events. The player receives blood ministration; then, while unable to move, observes a beast rising from a pool of blood to take him, which then bursts into flame. Finally, he awakes to find his contract.

No, I did not take from that that ministration saved you from the beast plague. It saved you from the ailment which had driven you to seek it in the first place, perhaps, and it (along with the contract) bound you with the Moon Presence.

Addendum_Forthcoming:

The key root of the Beastly Scourge lay in the curse of Kos (or some might say, Kosm) and the Mensis ritual that studied the Moon and brought into being the Red Moon and using Mergo for its own ends. The Beastly Scourge is directly relevant to the School of Mensis. The being that saved you is itself the Moon Presence. Hell, Mensis literally means the Lunar Phases and it is where we get the word 'month' from despite now no longer being directly attached to the Lunar calendar.

Laurence is not to blame. Micolash and Willem are. While one might remark the Beastly Scourge was periodic, it was also manageable ... the School of Mensis, however, angered the Great Ones ... and this lead to a worsening crisis for which little could be salvaged or salvageable.

Again, personal extrapolation, which I do not share.

I do not believe the curse of Kos was the root of the Beast Plague at all. I believe the curse of Kos was the Hunter's Nightmare, awaiting those Hunters who lose themselves to bloodlust.

I do not believe the Mensis Ritual had anything to do with the origin of the Beast Plague, either. I don't even agree that that connection is made in the game.

How could either of those be instrumental to the Beast Plague, when the Beast Plague also befell Loran, which had nothing to do with the curse of Kos or the School of Mensis?

Addendum_Forthcoming:
Regardless, the Blood alone cannot be the answer.

I agree there. There are several other factors which are directly pointed towards in-game: the Ashen Blood disease seems to be a progenitor, and the blood-lust and violence of the person in question also seems to act as an exacerbating factor.

Still, the infected blood is by far the greatest connection, a connection the game makes constantly. Even the name of the game refers to a blood-borne disease. It's the literal meaning of the title.

---

On a side-note, it becomes quite difficult to formulate a response to posts of the length you're writing. While I appreciate that you're taking the time, a lot of it is quite descriptive, which is not necessary for people like myself and SilentPony who know the events of the game well.

Silvanus:

Yes, he could. There's no particular evidence that he'll give the most prolific, murderous Hunters a run for their money, though. You're speculating on future events.

Depends ... most of the hunters in the HN are using dated technologies. Like one which I forget the name of is a direct precursor of the more elegant threaded cane. Suggesting that these hunters have been through a number of engagements that are likely to stretch beyond the Paleblood Hunter's experience (atleast in the waking world).

In fact, watching those crude, murderous, experienced hunters fall to their bloodthirsty natures might by the whole reason for the evolution of the more 'elegant' weapons.

As per the descriptions of the Threaded Cane;

One of the trick weapons of the workshop, commonly used by hunters on their duties. Sufficiently deadly as a rigid bladed cane, but also serves as a whip when its blade is split into many. Concealing the weapon inside the cane and flogging the beasts with the whip is partly an act of ceremony, an attempt to demonstrate to oneself that the bloodlust of the hunt will never encroach upon the soul.

Obviously there was an attempt to make the hunt more ceremonial, more refined and orderly. Quite obviously it failed given how many Hunters have survived with sanity intact?

I think there's enough direct evidence that the Hunt tarnishes the Hunter, in the end. An attempt to demonstrate to oneself that the hunt will never encroach upon the soul.

Safe to say without the Moon Presence's intercession, you'd be no different in the end. Assuming you even survived....

And that's not 'speculative' ... that's just playing the odds.

Everybody in Yharnam takes Blood constantly. As medicine, as a drug, as a matter of course. The vast majority of them have either lost their minds, turned to mindless violence, or mutated.

But clearly, repeatedly shown, the blood is not the only cause of that. Nor is it the only way one mutate and be turned as if a beast (in fact, in game examples). Ones that specifically state do not rely on the blood.

Those to whom you are referring-- presumably Djura and Eileen, who are the only other characters who have definitely been to the Dream-- could simply be on the road to turning later. In fact, depending on your actions in-game, Eileen does lose her mind spectacularly.

Djura is retired from the Hunting business. He has turned his back on it. This is why he retains his faculties to a fair degree. The blood-lust of the Hunt is depicted as a major driving force in how the people lose their humanity.

I'd include Alfred, personally. He hints at having been there, and given the large number of tombstones in the Dream and an understanding that the Moon Presence saves one with their communion, and that the Paleblood Hunters have a very unique scent ... I'd say it's more than like Alfred was a former Moon Presence communioner.

It may also be the reason why he considers the blood still holy. Forthe same reasons and mean it has provided the player.

"You're a hunter! I knew it! That's exactly how I started out!"

People can smell it on you. As confirmed by Gascoigne's daughter. They don't merely smell the blood you've painted yourself with, you give off a specific scent. As confirmed by others and that's recognizable to people who don't Hunt, nor have been 'blessed' by the Moon Presence.

And frankly, need I have to remark, the blood is the only way you not only gain that communion with the Moon Presence, the blood also saves you from that beast via that Communion. The intercession of the Moon Presence saves you, that should be more than clear. And frankly to explain that communion as anything less than due to Blood Ministration is the truly most speculative answer here.

Which is why the Blood only can't be the cause. The blood clearly allows communion with that which saves you and gives you the greatest means to destroy the Beastly Scourge.

As in, without the blood, you'd be powerless to stop it.

Again, personal extrapolation, which I do not share.

I do not believe the curse of Kos was the root of the Beast Plague at all. I believe the curse of Kos was the Hunter's Nightmare, awaiting those Hunters who lose themselves to bloodlust.

It wasn't just the hunters.

The curse extended to the scholars, the church, the school, AND the hunters.

They plainly state that as you first go into the HN. It is plainly narrated to the player, as if to dispel any queries the player might have.

They don't give that little limerick for no reason.

'Curse the fiends' (Master Willem and the Byrgenwerth Scholars)

'their children, too...' (Church and the School of Mensis)

'and their chidren, forever true...' (The hunters, both of Gehrman and the Church)

That was thecurse that the fishing hamlet gave onto theGreat Ones. And the Great Ones are "sympathetic in spirit". They answered and provided...

Arguably the whole reason it snatches you is precisely because it is sentencing you. It is passing judgment. Why would they do that if it wasn't your fate, and how precisely does the Hunter save themselves without Communion with the Moon Presence?

They even call them 'Amygdala' for that purpose. They can smell the hunter, given the amygdalae are powerful centers of emotion and emotional processing in the brain that relate to long term memory and LTM-store, and are heavily influenced by olfactory senses. It's also a part of the brain that one might truly call 'primordial' ... a part of the brain that can invoke and influence a person's actions on a very deeply ingrained level and provenly even on an unconscious level. Hence the Nightmare realms ... why the Hunter's Nightmare looks like a twisted recreation of a person's long term memory of familiar places.

Not merely the blood ... no, the Hunt. People don't smell the Blood you use or have painted yourself with.

Ask any smoker. Smokersdon't really smell the smoke they emit, but go five days without a cigarette and that scent is almost divine. If people are still using the Blood (and why wouldn't they be?) the scent they refer to wouldn't simply be that.

Moreover, there are characters that specifically call you the 'Moon-Scented Hunter' ... which means that their experiences with hunters having communion with the Moon Presence is not very uncommon. And they almost trust you on those grounds alone given the likely protection against the Beastly Scourge that provides.

Also, once again, thanks to Blood Ministration.

Addendum_Forthcoming:

Depends ... most of the hunters in the HN are using dated technologies. Like one which I forget the name of is a direct precursor of the more elegant threaded cane. Suggesting that these hunters have been through a number of engagements that are likely to stretch beyond the Paleblood Hunter's experience (atleast in the waking world).

In fact, watching those crude, murderous, experienced hunters fall to their bloodthirsty natures might by the whole reason for the evolution of the more 'elegant' weapons.

As per the descriptions of the Threaded Cane;

[Snip]

Obviously there was an attempt to make the hunt more ceremonial, more refined and orderly. Quite obviously it failed given how many Hunters have survived with sanity intact?

Nothing here would indicate that the Player Hunter will match Ludwig's bloodlust, or even come close.

Scarcely anybody has managed to survive with sanity intact. I can think of two characters (the sceptical man, and Djura), and an arguable third (Eileen), who still loses her mind depending on your actions.

I think there's enough direct evidence that the Hunt tarnishes the Hunter, in the end. An attempt to demonstrate to oneself that the hunt will never encroach upon the soul.

Safe to say without the Moon Presence's intercession, you'd be no different in the end. Assuming you even survived....

And that's not 'speculative' ... that's just playing the odds.

The Hunt does tarnish the Hunter. I've said that myself.

The Moon Presence's protection may be keeping the player safe; it's a fair hypothesis, though still speculative. Even so, this doesn't mean communion via blood affords the same protection. Almost everybody who has taken blood is a slavering madman or a beast.

But clearly, repeatedly shown, the blood is not the only cause of that. Nor is it the only way one mutate and be turned as if a beast (in fact, in game examples). Ones that specifically state do not rely on the blood.

Which examples are these? Who has mutated to beasthood, who also abstains from Blood?

And frankly, need I have to remark, the blood is the only way you not only gain that communion with the Moon Presence, the blood also saves you from that beast via that Communion. The intercession of the Moon Presence saves you, that should be more than clear. And frankly to explain that communion as anything less than due to Blood Ministration is the truly most speculative answer here.

The intercession of the moon presence is probably what protects the player hunter, yes. It affords you a protection it is not affording the thousands of others who take blood.

It is not the blood that saves you. It is the moon presence's particular interest.

It wasn't just the hunters.

The curse extended to the scholars, the church, the school, AND the hunters.

They plainly state that as you first go into the HN. It is plainly narrated to the player, as if to dispel any queries the player might have.

They don't give that little limerick for no reason.

'Curse the fiends' (Master Willem and the Byrgenwerth Scholars)

'their children, too...' (Church and the School of Mensis)

'and their chidren, forever true...' (The hunters, both of Gehrman and the Church)

That was thecurse that the fishing hamlet gave onto theGreat Ones. And the Great Ones are "sympathetic in spirit". They answered and provided...

I'm aware of all this. It does not prove that the Beast Plague was a part of that curse.

Notice that the Beast Plague hugely predates the massacre. Notice that it affects people utterly unrelated to any of those groups you mentioned: Byrgenwerth, Mensis, the Church, the Hunters. It ravaged everybody, citizenry and Hunter alike.

Notice that Willem, who was directly involved in the massacre but abstained from blood is not affected by the beast plague.

Silvanus:

Nothing here would indicate that the Player Hunter will match Ludwig's bloodlust, or even come close.

Scarcely anybody has managed to survive with sanity intact. I can think of two characters (the sceptical man, and Djura), and an arguable third (Eileen), who still loses her mind depending on your actions.

Not specifically Ludwig's, though arguably the crimes of Maria and Gehrman were worse, also imprisoned in the Hunter's Nightmare (as in Maria, Gerhman himself is spared that fate because of the Moon Presence just as you are not forced to be there due to you are dreaming yourself) ...

Actually I would say that Maria and Gehrman are about 1000 times worse than Ludwig.

But then again I never said one would definitely be as beastial as Ludwig, I did however say that there's a good chance you'd be just as mindless as the hunters within. Hell you could be worse regardless without the blood ministration that seems to allow you a steady escape and the capacity to transcend the hunt.

In fact, as the story goes along the Amygdala actively snatches you and passes judgment.

The Hunt does tarnish the Hunter. I've said that myself.

The Moon Presence's protection may be keeping the player safe; it's a fair hypothesis, though still speculative. Even so, this doesn't mean communion via blood affords the same protection. Almost everybody who has taken blood is a slavering madman or a beast.

Almost everybody. Not everybody. Especially those hunters who still use copious amounts of blood, and have had communion with the Moon Presence.

Also not a hypothetical. All the people that are hinted or directly state as such are sane/non-beastial hunters. Regardless of how much blood they use. Regardless of if they use the blood. But what seems to be singularly known, the blood can allow one communion with the Moon Presence.

Which means the blood is the only reason you are safe, and the only reason you managed to gain the power to destroy the Beastly Scourge. No hunter 'uncut with blood' has that power.

One might say "We are born by the blood. Made men by the blood. Undone by the blood..."

And the player seems to be doing a whole lot of undoing, particularly of all the machinations of the Byrgenwerth Scholars. I argue that that limerick has nothing to do with the Beastly Scourge. Everything to do with the nature of communion.

Which examples are these? Who has mutated to beasthood, who also abstains from Blood?

Caryll runes, specifically the Beast Rune, can raise your beasthood stat to 100 on its own. Caryll runes don't require blood. In fact the Caryll Beast rune was forbidden.

It doesn't specifically state one who abstains utterly, but what we do know is the Caryll runes are not reliant on the blood. In fact the only readily available means to cause downward modification of the beast stat in the game is insight. Insight actively diminishes the effects of both frenzy and the beasthood stat.

Description of the Rune Workshop Tool:

Runesmith Caryll, student of Byrgenwerth, transcribed the inhuman utterings of the Great Ones
into what are now called Caryll Runes.

The hunter Who retrieves this workshop tool can etch Caryll Runes into the mind to attain their wondrous
strength.

Provost Willem would have been proud of Caryll's runes, as they do not rely upon blood in any measure.

The Beast's Embrace rune;

After the repeated experiments in controlling the scourge of beasts, the gentle "Embrace" rune was discovered.

When its implementation failed, the "Embrace" became a forbidden rune, but this knowledge became a foundation of the Healing Church.
Those who swear this oath take on a ghastly form and enjoy accentuated transformation effects, especially while wielding a beast weapon.

And just in case you argue that 'Caryll's Runes' is different from Caryll Rune...

The Beast Rune description;

A secret symbol left by Caryll, runesmith of Byrgenwerth.
A transcription of the roar of a labyrinth beast,
the bearer of the "Beast" rune has accentuated transformation effects.

"Beast" is one of the early Caryll Runes. as well as one of the first to be deemed forbidden.
The discovery of blood entailed the discovery of undesirable beasts.

It's safe to experimentations with the beastly scourge, and communion with the great ones, and its research, was going on a hell of a long time before Yharnam has even fallen, or even the arrival of the Healing Church began dishing out the blood.

The intercession of the moon presence is probably what protects the player hunter, yes. It affords you a protection it is not affording the thousands of others who take blood.

It is not the blood that saves you. It is the moon presence's particular interest.

So the fact that the Blood Minister of the Healing Church recruits you as a hunter, gives you blood ministration, you actively dream like he said you would, and knows what the Paleblood is?

Oh, yes... Paleblood... Well, you've come to the right place. Yharnam is the home of blood ministration. You need only unravel its mystery. But, where's an outsider like yourself to begin? Easy, with a bit of Yharnam blood of your own... But first, you'll need a contract...

-------

Good. All signed and sealed. Now let's begin the transfusion. Oh, don't you worry. Whatever happens... You may think it all a mere bad dream...

Basically the Blood Minister is telling you exactly what happens if you chose to transcend the Hunt. How would he know that if he wasn't also a hunter (as per his attire), and hadn't also sought communion with the Moon Presence, and hadn't been through exactly what the player is about to suffer?

And it just so happens that such a person who performs blood ministration contractually obligated you to the hunt, and provides the blood ministration, precisely so that you can also commune with the Moon Presence? And you just so happen to be saved by the Moon Presence regardless of the actions of the Blood Minister?

That sounds way more sketchy than just assuming the Blood didn't help you. I'd say the contract and transfusion is literally the only way you commune with the Moon Presence.

After all, with communion the Great Ones are sympathetic in spirit. You seek the Paleblood, you sign a contract with the Healing Church to be a hunter in exchange for communion, you receive the Blood, and you find the Moon Presence, and if choose correctly it all seems as if a bad dream.

That makes far more sense than some nebulous concept that that can be done without the blood.

Hence why I say blood ministration can save one from any disease. And I reckonthat extends to0 the beastly scourge.

I'm aware of all this. It does not prove that the Beast Plague was a part of that curse.

Notice that the Beast Plague hugely predates the massacre. Notice that it affects people utterly unrelated to any of those groups you mentioned: Byrgenwerth, Mensis, the Church, the Hunters. It ravaged everybody, citizenry and Hunter alike.

Notice that Willem, who was directly involved in the massacre but abstained from blood is not affected by the beast plague.

But also note, in game stats wise, the beasthood stat is dirently influenced and reduced by insight stat (also reduces frenzy effects if I recall). Which is why I make the argument those who can take bucket loads of blood, yet still be fine, are all those humans that simply know enough of about what is actually happening they do not fall completely. That they have already 'transcended the hunt'.

This is no guarantee of protection (Laurence, though arguablyhe never dreamed and was a primary sufferer of the curse), but it seems way too much of a coincidence that to assume otherwise is purely speculative.

In fact, the weird thing is your beasthood stat is modified by the clothing you wear ... like the Ashen Hunter set that set fire to Old Yharnam ...

Addendum_Forthcoming:

Not specifically Ludwig's, though arguably the crimes of Maria and Gehrman were worse, also imprisoned in the Hunter's Nightmare (as in Maria, Gerhman himself is spared that fate because of the Moon Presence just as you are not forced to be there due to you are dreaming yourself) ...

Actually I would say that Maria and Gehrman are about 1000 times worse than Ludwig.

But then again I never said one would definitely be as beastial as Ludwig, I did however say that there's a good chance you'd be just as mindless as the hunters within. Hell you could be worse regardless without the blood ministration that seems to allow you a steady escape and the capacity to transcend the hunt.

In fact, as the story goes along the Amygdala actively snatches you and passes judgment.

I don't know why you're bringing Gehrman and Maria into this point; whether they're worse than Ludwig or not is irrelevant to the question of whether the Player Hunter is.

You said it's unfair to judge Ludwig on the acts he undertakes once he's lost his mind, and that we should judge him on his actions pre-beasthood. But we know almost nothing of his actions pre-beasthood. The only Ludwig we encounter is the mad, beastly kind.

Also, again, it's speculation to say the Amygdala "judges" the Player Hunter. It's also quite credible that the Amygdala merely recognises what you're carrying, and whisks you away to the locale it symbolises (the eye of the blood-drunk Hunter sends you to the Hunter's Nightmare; the tonsil stone sends you to the Nightmare Frontier). Hardly much of a "judgement" if you can just teleport out via the lanterns.

The fact is that the game tells you very, very little, and players have filled in much of that with speculation. Much of it is credible, but almost all of it is debatable. I simply don't agree with a lot of what you've drawn from it.

Addendum_Forthcoming:

Almost everybody. Not everybody. Especially those hunters who still use copious amounts of blood, and have had communion with the Moon Presence.

Also not a hypothetical. All the people that are hinted or directly state as such are sane/non-beastial hunters. Regardless of how much blood they use. Regardless of if they use the blood. But what seems to be singularly known, the blood can allow one communion with the Moon Presence.

Which means the blood is the only reason you are safe, and the only reason you managed to gain the power to destroy the Beastly Scourge. No hunter 'uncut with blood' has that power.

One might say "We are born by the blood. Made men by the blood. Undone by the blood..."

And the player seems to be doing a whole lot of undoing, particularly of all the machinations of the Byrgenwerth Scholars. I argue that that limerick has nothing to do with the Beastly Scourge. Everything to do with the nature of communion.

The connection you've drawn between Hunters who "use copious amounts of blood" and those who are sane is extremely tenuous; almost non-existant.

The "sane" seems to consist of the player Hunter, Djura, and... the sceptical man? Who else? Why do you believe those characters have imbibed so much more blood than everybody else?

And this "protection" must require gallons of blood, seeing as almost everyone in the city was taking it in place of both medicine and alcohol, and yet they've all fallen to the beast plague-- including Hunters, who've been taking much more than the citizenry.

Addendum_Forthcoming:

Caryll runes, specifically the Beast Rune, can raise your beasthood stat to 100 on its own. Caryll runes don't require blood. In fact the Caryll Beast rune was forbidden.

It doesn't specifically state one who abstains utterly, but what we do know is the Caryll runes are not reliant on the blood. In fact the only readily available means to cause downward modification of the beast stat in the game is insight. Insight actively diminishes the effects of both frenzy and the beasthood stat.

Description of the Rune Workshop Tool:

Runesmith Caryll, student of Byrgenwerth, transcribed the inhuman utterings of the Great Ones
into what are now called Caryll Runes.

The hunter Who retrieves this workshop tool can etch Caryll Runes into the mind to attain their wondrous
strength.

Provost Willem would have been proud of Caryll's runes, as they do not rely upon blood in any measure.

The Beast's Embrace rune;

After the repeated experiments in controlling the scourge of beasts, the gentle "Embrace" rune was discovered.

When its implementation failed, the "Embrace" became a forbidden rune, but this knowledge became a foundation of the Healing Church.
Those who swear this oath take on a ghastly form and enjoy accentuated transformation effects, especially while wielding a beast weapon.

Right, so we don't actually have any in-game example of a character canonically doing this.

I'm happy to concede that transformation into a beast is possible without blood. It still remains clear as day to me that by far the most common cause of the plague was infection through the blood, and it is this which has affected almost the entirety of the city.

Addendum_Forthcoming:

So the fact that the Blood Minister of the Healing Church recruits you as a hunter, gives you blood ministration, you actively dream like he said you would, and knows what the Paleblood is?

Oh, yes... Paleblood... Well, you've come to the right place. Yharnam is the home of blood ministration. You need only unravel its mystery. But, where's an outsider like yourself to begin? Easy, with a bit of Yharnam blood of your own... But first, you'll need a contract...

-------

Good. All signed and sealed. Now let's begin the transfusion. Oh, don't you worry. Whatever happens... You may think it all a mere bad dream...

Basically the Blood Minister is telling you exactly what happens if you chose to transcend the Hunt. How would he know that if he wasn't also a hunter (as per his attire), and hadn't also sought communion with the Moon Presence, and hadn't been through exactly what the player is about to suffer?

And it just so happens that such a person who performs blood ministration contractually obligated you to the hunt, and provides the blood ministration, precisely so that you can also commune with the Moon Presence? And you just so happen to be saved by the Moon Presence regardless of the actions of the Blood Minister?

That sounds way more sketchy than just assuming the Blood didn't help you. I'd say the contract and transfusion is literally the only way you commune with the Moon Presence.

After all, with communion the Great Ones are sympathetic in spirit. You seek the Paleblood, you sign a contract with the Healing Church to be a hunter in exchange for communion, you receive the Blood, and you find the Moon Presence, and if choose correctly it all seems as if a bad dream.

That makes far more sense than some nebulous concept that that can be done without the blood.

Hence why I say blood ministration can save one from any disease. And I reckonthat extends to0 the beastly scourge.

You really don't need to keep providing quotes; I'm very well acquainted with the dialogue from the game.

I've not made any claims about the Blood Minister, so I'm not really sure what you're trying to prove to me, here. I'd say it's highly likely the Blood Minister has knowledge of the Moon Presence (or has met it himself), given that he mentions the contract.

This doesn't mean much regarding the blood transfusion. Again: hundreds of thousands of people have taken blood as medicine, as alcohol, as a drug. It has afforded them no protection, as they crawl about the streets, howling.

From my perspective, the Blood Minister performs the transfusion to save you from the ailment from which you are suffering when you first come to Yharnam. This blood does not protect you from beasthood; I'd say it even almost infects you (given that the beast you envision rises from a pool of blood, immediately after transfusion). The Moon Presence protects you, as the Minister probably knew it would.

Addendum_Forthcoming:

But also note, in game stats wise, the beasthood stat is dirently influenced and reduced by insight stat (also reduces frenzy effects if I recall). Which is why I make the argument those who can take bucket loads of blood, yet still be fine, are all those humans that simply know enough of about what is actually happening they do not fall completely. That they have already 'transcended the hunt'.

This is no guarantee of protection (Laurence, though arguablyhe never dreamed and was a primary sufferer of the curse), but it seems way too much of a coincidence that to assume otherwise is purely speculative.

In fact, the weird thing is your beasthood stat is modified by the clothing you wear ... like the Ashen Hunter set that set fire to Old Yharnam ...

Willpower and knowledge can give resistance to the beast plague, yes. This doesn't counter my point.

If the beast plague is a result of the curse from the fishing hamlet (laid upon Byrgenwerth and its "children"), then how does the curse clearly affect groups which are utterly unrelated (the citizenry of Yharnam)? How does it impact people who predate the massacre (Loran)?

And, if Willem is spared by his insight alone, then it's a pretty shitty curse, isn't it?

Addendum_Forthcoming:
Actually I would say that Maria and Gehrman are about 1000 times worse than Ludwig.

Does that matter though?

Curse the fiends,
their children too
and their children, forever true

The curse is endless. There's no evidence that any of the people it effects actually took part in the hunters sin, for which the curse was levied. It's not clear if hunters in the modern sense even existed, or if the curse was levied upon the Byrgenwerth scholars and simply passed down to the hunters as their modern descendents. They're not cursed because they're bad people or because they're somehow worse than other hunters, they're cursed because someone prayed for them, and for their descendents, and for their descendents, and for their descendents and so on and so on into literal eternity to be cursed.

Simon even mentions this directly as he lies dying in the lighthouse. The hunters nightmare isn't fair. The universe of bloodborne isn't fair, and it's "gods", while they sometimes listen, are not always kind or even comprehensible.

Addendum_Forthcoming:
So the fact that the Blood Minister of the Healing Church recruits you as a hunter, gives you blood ministration, you actively dream like he said you would, and knows what the Paleblood is?

See, you've assumed that the blood the minister gives you is the paleblood. But there's one problem, your character is still looking for paleblood after the transfusion. You ask Gilbert about it when you meet him, and he tells you about the church.

So the minister is explaining to you what you need to do to get the paleblood you want. Specifically, unravel the mystery of Yharnam.

You go to the cathedral, and this sets in motion your journey which ends with travelling into the nightmare of mensis, thus unravelling the mystery at the heart of Yharnam, the mechanations of the healing church and ultimately the hidden ritual performed by the school of mensis in their misguided attempt to seek an audience with the great one Mergo.

The other clue we have is the paleblood is mentioned specifically in relation to the moon presence, the being that organises the hunt. ("The nameless moon presence beckoned by Laurence and his associates. Paleblood.") The goal of the moon presence and its hunt seems to be to "hunt the great ones" (from a note in the lecture theatre), specifically the ascended great ones in the nightmare. We can infer this because the hunt ends when we kill Mergo's Wetnurse and get the special "nightmare slain" message.

But my theory, and it's just speculation, is that seeking paleblood refers to our ultimate goal being to seek (and ultimately defeat) the moon presence, thus presumably ending the hunt permanently or "transcending" it.

Why we would want to do this is a mystery. If I remember right, there's some cut content which implies that originally our character was on a quest to save their homeland from a terrible plague, which explains why they would come to Yharnam in search of blood, but not specifically "paleblood" and that content being cut means we can't really read into it. All we know is that we came to Yharnam seeking paleblood, paleblood is somehow linked to the moon presence, and one of the endings of the game involves slaying the moon presence and thus ending the hunt, and in this ending we also personally "transcend" by becoming an infant great one.

Why the blood minister knows the moon presence and the messengers will choose us out of all of the people with the "Yharnam blood" isn't clear. For that matter, how he knows about the moon presence at all isn't clear.

Silvanus:
And, if Willem is spared by his insight alone, then it's a pretty shitty curse, isn't it?

Well, Willem clearly believed that insight and beasthood were opposed somehow, and it's a view shared by a lot of characters in universe who seem to have a fair idea of what's going on (Micolash, for example). I see no reason not to assume it's true.

It's also clear that insight carries its own risks. Statwise it makes you vulnerable to frenzy (which seems to mean insanity or the mind-warping effects of the creatures of the nightmare). Under certain circumstances, it seems possible that gaining "more eyes" or even "lining your brain with eyes" can be very literal.

Thematically, bloodborne borrows very literally from Lovecraft, and in Lovecraft's work being aware of the true nature of reality is generally not a good thing. It's perhaps a curse in its own right.

The message I took away, and again pure speculation, is that both the Healing Church and the Byrgenwerth scholars are right and both of them are wrong. The characters who seem to be most okay are those who would have a moderate amount of both blood and insight. An excess of one or the other seems to be really, really bad. Blood without insight makes you a beast. Insight without blood makes you insane or "vacuous" (in Japanese, the word used is a little more offensive). The characters who remain relatively okay throughout the night are generally defined by having either both or neither.

evilthecat:

Well, Willem clearly believed that insight and beasthood were opposed somehow, and it's a view shared by a lot of characters in universe who seem to have a fair idea of what's going on (Micolash, for example). I see no reason not to assume it's true.

I'm not really sure we should believe a thing Micolash says. He seems mad beyond the typical Yharnamite level. He seems to attempt praying to Kos repeatedly, for instance, despite the fact Kos died long ago.

Insight and beasthood are opposed, at least mechanically. That much is true. Yet, I see no reason to believe the beast plague has anything to do with the curse at the fishing hamlet. The beast plague predates it, and affects people who have no relationship and are not descendants.

evilthecat:

It's also clear that insight carries its own risks. Statwise it makes you vulnerable to frenzy (which seems to mean insanity or the mind-warping effects of the creatures of the nightmare). Under certain circumstances, it seems possible that gaining "more eyes" or even "lining your brain with eyes" can be very literal.

Thematically, bloodborne borrows very literally from Lovecraft, and in Lovecraft's work being aware of the true nature of reality is generally not a good thing. It's perhaps a curse in its own right.

The message I took away, and again pure speculation, is that both the Healing Church and the Byrgenwerth scholars are right and both of them are wrong. The characters who seem to be most okay are those who would have a moderate amount of both blood and insight. An excess of one or the other seems to be really, really bad. Blood without insight makes you a beast. Insight without blood makes you insane or "vacuous" (in Japanese, the word used is a little more offensive). The characters who remain relatively okay throughout the night are generally defined by having either both or neither.

Almost nobody is okay, however, so we don't really have a functional sample-size.

We can only truly look to Djura and the Sceptical Man as examples of sane folk. The latter is highly unlikely to be insightful, or to use blood much in excess of what ordinary citizens do.

Djura, I suppose, is likely using both in moderation-- but still, the game doesn't really indicate that that is his saving grace. The differentiating factor for Djura is that he's retired from the Hunter profession, and thus hasn't let the bloodlust get to him.

Silvanus:
I'm not really sure we should believe a thing Micolash says. He seems mad beyond the typical Yharnamite level.

If you think that madness is a sign of ignorance, then you haven't been paying attention.

Silvanus:
He seems to attempt praying to Kos repeatedly, for instance, despite the fact Kos died long ago.

Did she?

We have no idea what death or time actually means to a great one. I mean, in a sense most of them probably are "dead" in that their consciousness has ascended to the nightmare. We fight the orphan of Kos in the nightmare, despite the fact it was "taken" in the waking world and is presumably dead there (likely harvested for its umbilical cord). Micolash himself is actually "dead", since it's implied to be his corpse that functions as a gateway into the nightmare. The inhabitants of the fishing hamlet also invoke the wrath of mother kos, and you'd think they know what they're talking about, since they're likely responsible for the nightmare existing.

But then, Micolash also asks "...do you hear our prayers?" implying that even he isn't sure if Kos is listening.

Silvanus:
Yet, I see no reason to believe the beast plague has anything to do with the curse at the fishing hamlet. The beast plague predates it, and affects people who have no relationship and are not descendants.

This I agree with you on.

It seems to me like it's something a lot more fundamental. The beasthood is somehow inherent to humans (and Pthumerians) and seems to represent their kind of base, animalistic nature which the blood stimulates or brings out. "The indescribable sound is broadcast with the caster's own vocal cords, which begs the question, what terrible things lurk deep within the frames of men?"

By contrast, insight perhaps represents how much knowledge a character has and therefore how close they are to the nightmare, hence why it allows you to see creatures of the nightmare like the Amygdala (and the doll) for what they are. In this sense, characters with high insight have begun to move beyond their human nature and become like the dwellers of the nightmare themselves, so it makes sense that they are less bestial.

Silvanus:
Almost nobody is okay, however, so we don't really have a functional sample-size.

True, but a lot of people don't turn into beasts or kin.

evilthecat:

If you think that madness is a sign of ignorance, then you haven't been paying attention.

Oh, I'm sure Micolash has a great deal of arcane knowledge. I don't dispute that. But he's not a reliable source in the least.

Did she?

We have no idea what death or time actually means to a great one. I mean, in a sense most of them probably are "dead" in that their consciousness has ascended to the nightmare. We fight the orphan of Kos in the nightmare, despite the fact it was "taken" in the waking world and is presumably dead there (likely harvested for its umbilical cord). Micolash himself is actually "dead", since it's implied to be his corpse that functions as a gateway into the nightmare. The inhabitants of the fishing hamlet also invoke the wrath of mother kos, and you'd think they know what they're talking about, since they're likely responsible for the nightmare existing.

But then, Micolash also asks "...do you hear our prayers?" implying that even he isn't sure if Kos is listening.

I very much doubt the inhabitants of the hamlet had any true understanding of what they were communing with; they seem to have been reduced to either mindless sycophancy or directionless violence.

Most Great Ones we encounter, we encounter in the waking world (the numerous Amygdala, Ebrietas). Whether death is not the end for Kos is speculation: we do not hear anything from it after its death, and see only Micolash praying to it (and receiving no answer).

True, but a lot of people don't turn into beasts or kin.

Most such people are actually ordinary citizens, though, not Hunters-- citizens unlikely to be particularly insightful at all.

Silvanus:
I very much doubt the inhabitants of the hamlet had any true understanding of what they were communing with; they seem to have been reduced to either mindless sycophancy or directionless violence.

I don't think anyone has any true understanding of what they are communing with. That's kind of the point. I would say if anyone has a chance of being close though, I'd put more trust in the insane and corrupt than in reasonable characters.

Silvanus:
Most Great Ones we encounter, we encounter in the waking world (the numerous Amygdala, Ebrietas).

Ebrietas is special in this regard though. She is specifically the one who was left behind or abandoned, presumably when the great ones ascended to the nightmare. Killing her also gives the typical "prey slaughtered" message. It may have something to do with the fact that she is perhaps a celestial child. She has a slight resemblance to the other celestial children. Then again, Mergo is also a celestial child in a sense so it doesn't completely hold up, but it's not clear if Mergo was ever actually born. Encountering Mergo resulted in the brains of the school of Mensis being "stillborn", for example, which is an odd choice of words and implies Mergo himself might have been stillborn, and thus "lost" like the other children of great ones.

The Amygdala are very, very different to the other great ones we encounter, in that they are a roughly homogenous class of beings rather than unique creatures like the moon presence, mergo, kos, oedon, mergo's wetnurse and even ebreitas. In fact, other than the one we fight in the nightmare they all appear exactly the same. It seems more likely that they are simply powerful nightmare creatures, since they fit the pattern of other nightmare creatures better than they do actual great ones.

The only creatures which give the unique "nightmare slain" message are Mergo's Wetnurse, the Moon Presence and the spirit left behind when the Orphan of Kos dies.

Silvanus:
Whether death is not the end for Kos is speculation: we do not hear anything from it after its death, and see only Micolash praying to it (and receiving no answer).

I think the general theme is somewhat implied though.

The orphan of kos "returns to the ocean" after being slain (as we see its essence floating out to sea). As the deep sea rune says, "Great volumes of water serve as a bulwark guarding sleep, and an augur of the eldritch Truth." Death is kind of implied to be a transition here, perhaps even a kind of sleep, but it's not clear if it's actually an end in the sense we would understand it.

The idea of death being analogous to sleep is also incredibly Lovecraftian, and well, we're talking about the bit of the game that is literally a homage to The Shadow Over Innsmouth.

Silvanus:
Most such people are actually ordinary citizens, though, not Hunters-- citizens unlikely to be particularly insightful at all.

I don't know. Most ordinary citizens seem completely gone, mostly devolved into beasts but we do find the occasional brainsucker in Yahrnam too, suggesting that a few became kin. By the blood moon phase, practically every house in NPC yields "no response". The handful of survivors we encounter generally either have some reason to have insight (Adella was abducted by the school of Mensis, Arianna and "Iosefka" are impregnated by a great one) or have incredibly closed minds (the old woman is blitzed on sedatives, the skeptical man is skeptical). Maybe the latter just aren't big users of the old blood. I admit it's all speculation though.

evilthecat:

I don't think anyone has any true understanding of what they are communing with. That's kind of the point. I would say if anyone has a chance of being close though, I'd put more trust in the insane and corrupt than in reasonable characters.

I wouldn't. Even if you would, though, you did single out Micolash as someone who seems to know what's going on, which I'd heavily dispute. Quite aside from madness, I'd regard him as an obsessive cultist, and perhaps even an idiot.

What trustworthy information do we gain from him? And how do the hamlet's citizens seem knowledgeable?

Ebrietas is special in this regard though. She is specifically the one who was left behind or abandoned, presumably when the great ones ascended to the nightmare. Killing her also gives the typical "prey slaughtered" message. It may have something to do with the fact that she is perhaps a celestial child. She has a slight resemblance to the other celestial children. Then again, Mergo is also a celestial child in a sense so it doesn't completely hold up, but it's not clear if Mergo was ever actually born. Encountering Mergo resulted in the brains of the school of Mensis being "stillborn", for example, which is an odd choice of words and implies Mergo himself might have been stillborn, and thus "lost" like the other children of great ones.

The Amygdala are very, very different to the other great ones we encounter, in that they are a roughly homogenous class of beings rather than unique creatures like the moon presence, mergo, kos, oedon, mergo's wetnurse and even ebreitas. In fact, other than the one we fight in the nightmare they all appear exactly the same. It seems more likely that they are simply powerful nightmare creatures, since they fit the pattern of other nightmare creatures better than they do actual great ones.

The only creatures which give the unique "nightmare slain" message are Mergo's Wetnurse, the Moon Presence and the spirit left behind when the Orphan of Kos dies.

The "nightmare slain" message occurs only within the Nightmare (or the Dream), and demonstrably does not appear for every Great One. It's not a reliable metric.

Great Ones exist outside the Nightmare, and no indications are given that real-world deaths are just avoided by continued existence in the Nightmare. In fact, we see Kos dead within the Nightmare, even.

I think the general theme is somewhat implied though.

The orphan of kos "returns to the ocean" after being slain (as we see its essence floating out to sea). As the deep sea rune says, "Great volumes of water serve as a bulwark guarding sleep, and an augur of the eldritch Truth." Death is kind of implied to be a transition here, perhaps even a kind of sleep, but it's not clear if it's actually an end in the sense we would understand it.

The idea of death being analogous to sleep is also incredibly Lovecraftian, and well, we're talking about the bit of the game that is literally a homage to The Shadow Over Innsmouth.

Indeed. In fact, this is something I thought of bringing up before: the denizens of Innsmouth are not knowledgeable, as you characterised the hamlet's residents. They are victims, pure and simple, mad and tragic.

I don't know. Most ordinary citizens seem completely gone, mostly devolved into beasts but we do find the occasional brainsucker in Yahrnam too, suggesting that a few became kin. By the blood moon phase, practically every house in NPC yields "no response". The handful of survivors we encounter generally either have some reason to have insight (Adella was abducted by the school of Mensis, Arianna and "Iosefka" are impregnated by a great one) or have incredibly closed minds (the old woman is blitzed on sedatives, the skeptical man is skeptical). Maybe the latter just aren't big users of the old blood. I admit it's all speculation though.

Still, the majority of non-transformed people we encounter are citizens, not Hunters. Quite a few, in fact, if we save them at the Chapel. This simply doesn't square with the notion that use of both blood and insight is the key.

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