The Yharnam Blood Hunt Diaries: Entry 5 – Into the Cathedral Ward
I wonder about this doll. When I first arrived she was clearly lifeless. I sensed no heat, no heartbeat, no scent of life. But now I’d be hard-pressed to tell her apart from your average human. I’ve caught her napping, and I’ve seen her praying at one of the graves. Clearly she has some will of her own. However, trying to question her or Gehrman about it is fruitless. At best, Gehrman implies she’s just a well-crafted golem.
She seems more willing to talk about this place, though. Apparently countless hunters have been using this place as their home during the hunts. When I asked how long the hunts have been going on, she couldn’t give me a clear answer. But I gather it’s been a while.
Investigation results: Upon returning to the Oedon chapel, I found the old lady had made her way there. I had not expected her to be that quick about it. Granted, I had spent some honing the edge on my axe, and doing maintenance on the blunderbuss, but I also get the feeling that the passage of time in this “dream” does not necessarily correlate to the passage of time out in Yharnam.
Regardless, she said something about how this was all the fault of us outsiders. That we had tainted the pure blood of the Yharnamites. At first I thought she meant just the state of things tonight because of the blood theft, but I got the feeling she was talking about the need for the hunt to begin with. It might just be the rambling of an old woman, but maybe there’s something to it.
I have been finding more documents as I’ve been moving about here. They talk about the “plague of the beast”, which started at some unspecified time in the past when people started becoming blood-thirsty and transforming into beasts. From what I gather, the Healing Church started the hunt and called for hunters in the name of culling these beasts and killing the “cancer” they represent before it could spread. The efficiency of this is questionable, as we are seeing now.
Going by what I’ve read and heard, either the Church have been looking for a cure ever since, or they deliberately started this plague to cover up something else. Granted, the latter is largely conjecture on my part. I have yet to see any actual proof of what or why the Church would need the hunt as a distraction. So let’s be generous and assume they have indeed been looking for a cure for the plague.
The Cathedral Ward is aptly named. I don’t think I’ve ever seen this high a concentration of cathedrals anywhere. On one hand I would assume this meant a lot of priests as well, but looking inside, some of these cathedrals seem largely ornamental. More like a fancy mausoleum with one or more large stone caskets as centrepieces, than a place of worship. Curious. In one of them I discovered a lever which moved a casket and revealed a stairway leading down. I will investigate that later, I would rather get a better overview of the street level first.
Listening to the few people willing to talk to me back in the main town, I was almost expecting the whole of the Cathedral Ward to be dead or hostile, but I have found survivors. Most of them are shut up indoors, and while they seem more willing to actually talk to me here, they also seem less coherent. I am not sure if the fear is getting to them, or something else. I did see a strange flash of light by one of the fences, after all. It exuded menace so strongly that I felt it before I saw it, and was able to duck away from it.
I had a more fruitful encounter with a man called Alfred. He is also a hunter, but of a different sort. He said his task is to hunt the Vilebloods, though he didn’t seem interested in explaining that further, since that is “not my prey”. Though in exchange for agreeing to co-operate with him, he was willing to answer a few questions. I asked about the Church, but he didn’t tell me much I hadn’t already discovered on my own. The only new information was about a holy medium the church uses for “blood healing”, and the location of the Church’s councillors.
Remembering the note I found in the chapel’s library, I asked about the Byrgenwerth spider. He didn’t know about any spider, but he could tell me of Byrgenwerth itself. Apparently it has always been the centre of learning in the area, hosting academics and people exploring the tomb of the gods underneath. If I understood correctly, the tomb pre-dates the founding of Yharnam. It was the Byrgenwerth scholars who discovered the aforementioned holy medium deep within the tomb, which led to the founding of the Healing Church.
According to Alfred, the college at Byrgenwerth now lies abandoned, and has been for a while. The Church has even declared it forbidden ground, though he didn’t seem to know why. On a night like this, it seems like the Church’s power is fairly weak though. I doubt I’ll run into trouble from them by going there. Whatever might be lurking there could be another matter. Alfred’s final advice was to find one of the scholars, if any remain. Only they know how to open the gate to the place.
In return, I told him what little I had to share so far, and promised I’d come back once I had investigated some more.
Speaking of trouble, the Cathedral Ward is host to giants. I do not know whether they are just mutants of the blood like everything else, but they are large, strong, and surprisingly fast for their size. While I’ve not had too much difficulty dealing with them, I have to be careful as my regular tactics of overpowering enemies with heavy blows does not really faze these things. I have to wear them down gradually.
Those little imps were able to provide me with a key that allows further access into the Ward, though they charged well for it. I now have to decide whether I want to pursue that direction, or have a look down that stairway I opened up.
One thing that has been bothering me, though. Why are there so many chained-up coffins everywhere I go? The number alone gives me pause, but the chains just make me more curious. Do they expect whatever is in them to try to escape? And why haven’t they been buried? I have yet to see any reference to this among my discoveries, and I’m not sure if that means it’s too recent, or if it’s just accepted as normal around here.