I was recently very interest in From Software's latest release: Elden Ring and inspiration hit me almost like a train. That I also was recently playing for the first time Bloodborne also got ideas cooking and mixing in my head. A few lore videos and some gameplay footage to get myself better situated without spoiling too much (still haven't played ER) of the world and suddenly I find a link between the two stories.
This one is a side project to help me unwind and to see if I can get more inspiration for other works that aren't Blood God (greedy lil' fuck is taking all the creative juices for itself). I might get things rather wrong, since I am following this narrative mostly from what I understood from the lore of both games (which isn't much cause nobody really understands what the fuck is going on) and my experience with BB. I'll try to not fuck up too much, but please do cut me some slack.
With all of this said, let's get this bread!
Prelude: A Call from a Far Land.
Epithet extracted from a secretive rune: "A secret symbol left by Caryll, runesmith of Byrgenwerth. A transcription of "moon", as spoken by the Great Ones inhabiting the nightmare.
Gain more Blood Echoes.
The Great Ones that inhabit the nightmare are sympathetic in spirit, and often answer when called upon."
It watched over the city, emotions muted due to its ascended form; he had transcended the Hunt and acquired Pale Blood, becoming a Great One himself. Godhood is a strange thing; power beyond the measure of the common man, yet much more restrictions existed on how one could exercise said power.
The planes of existence were layered upon each other, the Dreams (or Nightmares for that matter) only revealing their wonders to those capable of understanding them; those who had Insight about the Eldritch Truth. Yharnam would survive, if barely, due to his timely arrival upon the city and subsequent divine intervention.
However, His newly found power did not blind to the truth. The greed of the Healing Church would bring about another Scourge – if not them, another group would try to experiment and mess with matters outside of the scope of their capabilities; it happened with the Pthulmerians before, occurred with Yharnam now and would probably happen in the future again. An endless cycle of carnage and bloodshed due to careless curiosity.
He should not care about it, his apotheosis surpassing the human limits – the Hunt's very limits – and removing him out of their scope. Yet, even in all His glory, he forgot not his origins. The memories were foggy, mundane even when compared to all His current power. Nonetheless, His ascension was caused none other than Himself. The process was painful and he lost count of the times his human flesh – enhanced as it was – had suffered defeat. Yet, He persisted, and aided by the other humans that He had encountered during his Hunt, he had arrived at the Eldritch Truth.
He defeated the Gehrman the First Hunter, host of the dream of the Hunt and He defeated the one that empowered him, The Moon Presence itself. The Hunter's Dream was His to command, as it was His the power to bless other hunters so that they may defend the people. He had severed the Curse of the Hunter's Nightmare, and lay to rest the defiled and agonized. He severed Mother Kos's (or some might say Kosm) Curse and hunted her inheritance. So, He did care about the city. About those hunters that still lived there, and those that might arrive in the future.
He heard the pleas (and the rare thankful prayer) and so He did bless them. For that was what a Hunter was to do.
He sat across the lap of the plain doll, the delicate porcelain fingers caressing his wet skin with care and affection. She sat on the chair that previously served as Gehrman's resting cradle, tending to him.
He might have transcended the Hunt, but instead of abandoning it, He adopted it. Made it part of His domain. Pushing frenzy on the minds of those that carelessly pursued both the Old Blood and the Hunt would not stop them. Mad men such as Nicolash had not stopped their dogged pursuit, only a Good Hunter would solve such issue.
"Oh, Good Hunter, what troubles thy mind?" The soft voice of the Doll called His attention. A squirm of a tentacle and a gurgling noise left Him, the inhumane noise seemingly understood without any issue. "They must find their answer, you need only aid their efforts."
He remained quiet, but his mind returned to His blessed hunters: the Stubborn Powder Keg Djurga and His beloved Eileen the Crow. Old hunters, yet still persistent in their efforts to do something for the better, instead of repeating terrible mistakes; their current mission one that would require tenacity and skill, things both had plenty of. The Healing Church was to be brought to its ruin, their perversion allowed to run for too long.
He also felt the warmth of his bond with the Queen of the Vilebloods. Cainhurst would be reformed under his guidance, but the process would take long. Time which the new god of the Hunt had plenty.
A distant echo called his attention. Ever since His ascension He had been vigilant, being careful about communication with other higher beings; His human experience with them bringing forth a wariness that He was bound to maintain for all eternity. The Old Ones seldom communicated with lesser beings, His attitude a rarity among them. They were sympathetic to pleas, but their answers rarely were ever fully heard, their blessings granted with nonchalance in exchange for madness.
The doll must also have heard the noise, her grasp over His form tightening the slightest bit. She would never harm her precious Hunter, but it did worry the caretaker. Powerful as He was in the Dream, He was still young in His godhood.
He extended one of his tentacles up, the tip of the limb glowing with energy. The sight was magnanimous, almost like watching the birth of a new star. The wisp of power born ascended, trying to understand the happenstance behind the occurrence.
It returned soon enough, for time was something variable inside the Hunter's Dream. When the star wisp returned, it collapsed into various other fragments of light, the motes brimming with gathered information about a distant land.
He would have dismissed it, were it not for the wailing cries that echoed in His domain. The doll brought Him into an embrace, likely wishing to soothe Him as she too understood the language.
A vassal molded with runes and the might of the stars.
A world with the certainty of dead tainted.
Their pleas, their cries begged for salvation. For protection. For something beyond the current stagnation.
Someone broke a powerful oath, severed the connection between themselves and a greater force, temporarily banishing the consciousness of an Old One away from their plane of existence. The land was now unclaimed, various other powers trying to firm their hold upon this new land, now that it was without a master.
"Are you sure that this is wise, Good Hunter?" The doll questioned her beloved, but still obeyed. She brought him to the bath Messengers, the lovely dream children. They were lazily floating in the waters, but the arrival of the doll and their Hunter brought forth mirth and joy in the emaciated-looking beings. They clapped and beckoned their master to join them in the water.
He let the doll deposit His body in the basin, the messengers soon adorning Him with His own tophat. A gurgle from Him had the white-skinned creatures flailing around in joy, more than happy to be of use to Him. A few dunked in the water, eager to be the first to return with His request.
The doll remained quiet by the small basin, a serene and placate expression painting her porcelain features. Eventually those messengers that left returned, extremely joyful.
"I see that you had success in your endeavors, little ones." Soft spoken as only she could be, the plain doll extended an open palm to one of the returnees. The being happily deposited the item on her hand, the other messengers presenting the items to Him. "Good Hunter, I feel the echoes…they are muted, but certainly present."
The Hunter let a tentacle grasp one of the many offered golden lights, His eyes peering inside it and unleashing the truth behind it.
Akin to the Caryll Runes, yet different. Similar in purpose as to Blood Echoes that one fast glance would classify them as the same, a mere name swap no significant difference. The ones that He was grasping were very moldable, easily capable of becoming something else. Yet, they also allowed Him to peer deeper into this newly discovered world. These runes were smaller parts of a whole, of that He was certain.
"I can feel an ancient power in them, but they no longer bask in its intent." The doll pointed out, carefully offering the golden mote to Him.
He grasped it and took the power inside, feeling a new rush wash over His body. He let a tentacle out from the bath, the messengers whining about His departure. The doll picked His body from the water and brought Him to her chest, uncaring of the water that followed Him and soaked her dress.
A decision had been made. One out of many that He was to make, but for now the only one that mattered. His squid-like body shivered, the tender hold of the doll soothing.
"If it is your choice…" She rarely displayed emotions, but He could feel the worry in her. However, it was something in His nature that beckoned him to answer this desperate prayer. Besides, it was not as if He was abandoning His duties or causing Himself apoptosis. It was something more, and something less.
Here, His word was law. The Dream was His to command, and so it would obey. He was once human, and while this current form was the result of His ascension, the base for it was His previous human flesh and blood. Beckoning that nature to come out was not easy, but then again so was transcending the hunt! It took effort and not a small fraction of His power, but with under the glow of newly birthed stars and supernovas, his human flesh was reborn.
It nothing like the monstrosity he fought in Yahar'gul. For He was not forcefully bringing the dead to life, nor was He debasing other life; His human body was merely brought forth from inside his divine body. It lacked the strength to bring forth His acquired power as the Owner and Host of the Hunter's Dream, but it was strong flesh; capable of harnessing blood echoes and this foreign runic power.
The Good Hunter was reborn, and ready to fight.
Ascended flesh stared into mortal flesh, the same soul inhabiting two distinct bodies. His muted emotions flared forth in his human body, but they also lacked all the more in his Great One. His birth name was long forgotten during the Hunt, but his human flesh needed a new name for its new journey. He was sympathetic to the plight of the inhabitants of the…Lands Between, but instead of following in the footsteps of the Great Old Ones, he was going to carve his own path.
That required a fresh start and a new name, much like once he arrived as a foreigner in Yahrnam.
His mind brought forth the names of many powerful past Hunters, wondering if He should pay homage to their memory by using one of their names as His own.
No, let the dead rest in peace. Those that wish to be forgotten shouldn't be so easily disturbed. Human language flowed in His mind, not a common occurrence unless it be a prayer directed to him. The thoughts of his human body echoed in his godly mind, the new ability a welcomed thing.
"…" His human-self tried to speak, but the non-use of his vocal chords for so long made the task a chore.
The doll watched the two interact with warm eyes. His ascension had been a good thing for the world, but she missed seeing the human-self do His work, pursuing his goals with the determination that only humans could display. She left the duo for a moment, reaching the large storage chest that was filled with the many items he had acquired during His long Hunt in the waking world.
Delicate joint hands fished the entirety of the Hunter Set from the chest, the attire clean and pristine due to her work. His godly form may have had no use for them anymore, but they still stood to tell a story of their own; besides, her diligence and work paid off, seeing as he now had need of the clothing, birth providing Him only nakedness.
A wet gurgle and a deep voice spouted simultaneously, the doll raising her head to attention. The Good Hunter's human voice, oh how sweet it sounded to her! To hear it brought forth strong emotion from the doll, something warm and pleasant that burst from inside her heart. She contained the emotion for now and headed closer to the now newly named Orion. It suited him perfectly.
The Good Hunter's human form was male and his frame was of medium port. Not too thin neither too cumbersome, the perfect body to be effective with all the trick weapons that he possessed. He stood at the same height as her, a new addition since He previously stood a little under her height; his hair was still the same black mess as before, although it seemed to be smoother and streaked with various ash-colored meshes. The same scar ran vertical to his right eye, a previous reminder of his past profession he once confessed to her, however, his previously onyx-black eyes now were a lavender-purple that reminded her of the smooth skin of his godly body. Stubble covered his lower face, which for now remained mild.
"…Good Hunter…" She made her presence known and offered His garments, the human only now noticing his lack of clothes.
He took the offered garbs, moving as if unused to. He was stronger than when he arrived in the Dream for the first time, yet not as powerful as He'd been when facing Gehrman or the Moon Presence. His presence was soothing still, his rebirth masking, yet not fading the Eldritch Truth from him.
"I forgot how good you looked in that dress." He spouted, buckling the belt of his trousers, yet lingering when it came to the various items that made his garb.
She stared at him, unblinking for a while as he sighed and donned the cottons and leathers that offered medium, unrestricted protection. She had forgotten that simple side of her hunter, always the smooth-talker. She let her eyes down a bit to stare at the metal that adorned his left ring finger, the intricate and ornate design something lost to most. It was also the proof of his marriage with the Queen of the Vilebloods, which also made him their King.
"Are you perhaps…jealous?" His voice was still deeper than she remembered, but she turned her head to face him again. Jealousy…that was not something that she truly knew anything about; she was made to love hunters, but her feelings for the Good Hunter were of her own accord. She wished to see him happy, all her being fully dedicated to his desires. Jealousy would run contrary to her goal.
"I see you regained your dry wit."
He offered her a smile. If she recalled correctly he was a military veteran before his arrival in Yharnam for blood ministration. The war in which he fought was unknown to her, but it was the cause of his pursuit of healing through the means of blood. And also of the crass language he'd sometimes spout when returning to the Dream.
Finally finished with his garb, the Good Hunter approached the plain doll with open arms, a silent invitation for her to lay about on his arms. Another one of his quirks, this was a fairly common request when he found his spirit wicked and weak after travelling through the waking world. What was it that he used to say? '…After a war a soldier only wants two things; the warm embrace of a woman and the cold embrace of sleep…'
It might have been something to that effect, she mused. Still, an easy enough request. She approached the Good Hunter and leaned against his frame, resting her head on his shoulders...
Being with his godly-self and basking in his presence was good, but this warmth of flesh was without equal.
Their embrace lasted enough, he decided. He had decided to do something, and so there was work to be done. Separating from the doll took effort, his human body unwilling to part yet with her. He managed to do so once unhuman runes echoed in his mind, their language madness inducing for anyone else that wasn't extremely strong-willed. His godly squid-like body spoke something which eased the process of separating from the doll.
Orion – it still felt new and raw in his mind, his new name – left the doll and made his way towards his other self, carefully holding it and bringing it back to the basin of the bath messengers. Human eyes stared back on the reflective surface of the water, the man taking in his appearance. It was odd, strange to be both human and god at the same time. Still, this was a choice of his own making. The plight of those people from that distant land…it resonated deep within him. So deep as to touch his humanity.
The ascended Hunter carefully set his squid-like body on the arms of the waiting doll and headed to the storage chest that lay open, the items inside neatly organized for him. He tightened his loose garbs and began to fill his many pockets with items he deemed necessary for his journey. It would not do for him to arrive empty-handed wherever it was and risk getting himself killed by whatever it was tormenting the Lands Between.
His task tone, the hunter then turned to the nearby workshop table. Various hunting tools rested neatly there, cleaned and well taken care of by the ever so patient doll. All his acquired weapons rested here, one resting on the table, no doubt in the process of being cleaned. They would soon get dirty again.
Still, Orion rested his hands over the heavy and intricate design of Ludwig's Holy Blade. The weapon he had used to slay Gehrman and the Moon Presence. His most favored weapon. Unlocking the longsword from the greatsword-sheath was done as easily as breathing, Orion finding that he could easily hoist the heavy sheath-blade on his back with one hand. That was new.
He then glanced at all the firearms he had available, all pristine and fully tuned for maximum effectiveness. He was quick to pick up Evelyn, the wooden stock grip oh so comfortable in his hands. He holstered the pistol and packed a back-up alongside it, the iconic Hunter's Pistol. To avoid being over encumbered with weight, he also opted to pack a secondary, lighter weapon; the Blades of Mercy easily fit among the strapped tools in his belt. He was about to leave, but the glint of something hanging on the drawers got his attention. A neck-chain, a gift from Eileen before she slunk off to somewhere safe after his victory after the Bloody Crow of Cainhurst; instead of the usual incense dispenser that was so common among hunters – especially those of the church – it housed all the pendants that he had acquired. He had found her, but what happened then was a tale to reminisce another day. He quickly placed the chain around his neck, the clink of the various badges a comforting thing.
The Ascended Hunter finally finished his preparations. He turned to face the doll holding his godly-self, nodding to her and then fully focusing on His slimy frame. God and man, one being, one will and one soul.
He knelt by his god-self and began to feel his eye lids grow heavy.
[New grounds for the start of another Hunt. This time we hunt not due to contract or obligation, but of our own accord. The time is nigh, and it seems that there are beasts all over this new workshop. A Hunter must Hunt, and so will we! FOR TONIGHT Orion, the God of the Hunter's Dream, joins the hunt.]
AU END NOTES
No comments, just creative juices oozing.