The Yharnam Blood Hunt Diaries: Entry 13 – Castle Cainhurst
I really didn’t think he’d go that far. Was it all he had left? Was that it? He had seemed well enough before he left, but I guess you can never really know what is going on in someone’s head.
Investigation results: I made my way through Hemwick again. While I had somewhat de-populated the area last time, there does seem to be something that keeps a lot of stuff in and around Yharnam from staying dead. Additionally there were also those shadow-beings the Witches summoned popping up around the place. I couldn’t really find any witches around though, but that was also not what I was here to look for.
I was starting to wonder whether I had just waited too long and the coach had left without me, when I heard the sound of horses coming down the road. The road that I had earlier confirmed led to nowhere. And sure enough, two horses came along, pulling a grand stagecoach. There was no driver, and the door opened on its own.
While I hesitated for a moment, I did eventually get inside. The door closed, and I could feel the stagecoach turning around and going back whence it came. I couldn’t really look out from the coach as it had no windows, but I could feel it rolling over what felt like solid ground. After a short while it started getting really cold. As if we had suddenly gone into winter.
Sure enough, once the coach stopped and I got out, Castle Cainhurst and its surroundings were before me: completely frozen over. It was a proper castle, all right. Large, majestic, and foreboding. Imposing, really. I glanced back at the stagecoach and found it completely frozen over. The horses were dead. Looked like they’d been dead a while. I am not sure what that means. Magic? Or another sign of how this place is affecting my mind?
I walked up the steps to the castle, making sure to close my coat properly. The wind was really biting. As I approached, the portcullis raised up, entirely on its own. I found no one manning the machinery. The only things in the courtyard were creatures that looked like overgrown fleas, or ticks, their bellies bulging from blood they’d feasted on. I made sure to end each one, and pop their bloated stomachs, though I am no longer sure why I was so intent on doing so.
When I got close to the entrance doors, they also opened on their own, though just enough for me to walk inside without squeezing. Within I saw several servants furiously scrubbing the floors and walls. They looked more undead than alive, and I wondered if they’d just been doing this for decades? I could also tell there was something else in the room, even if I couldn’t pinpoint it.
I heard the sobbing though. It was impossible to miss. It seemed to come from everywhere. So I started walking around the right side of the room. If there was a trap, it would most likely be sprung in the middle. Suddenly I could sense something striking at me from behind, so I quickly rolled and turned around. It looked like a tall woman in black dress, blind-folded, and wielding a large dagger.
She went down quickly as I struck back at her, but instead of blood, all that came out of her was ghastly smoke. I quickly realised it must be some sort of spirit. And then I realised that it was not just my eyes playing tricks on me, but that I could actually see the very faint outlines of more of these spirits walking slowly around the room.
I fought my way through them, ignoring the servants, and made my way up the stairs. Through a dinner hall, and up to the ramparts of the castle. Up there I was accosted by gargoyles, who were making the bare minimum effort to pretend they were statues. They seemed to be lacking the patience to pretend for long, maybe because no one’s been around for ages.
Across the courtyard I could spot a tower that had an extension that went all the way down. I thought maybe there was an alternate exit or a shortcut there, so that’s where I headed. I came across another servant on the way, and I was prepared to ignore them as well, until I noticed they were carrying a rapier. I approached slowly, trying to judge their intent, and I noticed they seemed to be either blind, or just really, really short-sighted. I wasn’t noticed until I got really close.
That’s when they sprang into action. While in appearance they looked too hunched-over to move beyond a walk, in reality they were quite quick, and knew how to handle that rapier. They still went down quickly of course, because it was me they faced, but it was a surprise for a moment there.
When I arrived at the tower, I saw that inside was a massive library. The biggest I’ve ever been to. There was no way I could even skim all the titles in there to see if anything stood out. It was also absolutely infested with the spirit women, and the hostile type of servants. It took me quite a while to clear the whole thing out, and to find a way up to the top.
I did glance at some of the titles on my way through, but it seemed to all be the expected stuff. Books on local customs, local geography, etiquette, the royal line, various natural sciences, diaries of visits to foreign countries, and so on, and so forth. For a place as blood-obsessed as Yharnam, Castle Cainhurst really didn’t seem to have any blood-related texts, aside from the one talking about the royal bloodline. Maybe they were just in an area of the library I forgot to look.
Getting on top of the roof, I was able to climb my way over to the final part of the castle. I didn’t discover any way of getting inside, only a ladder reaching up to the rooftop there. I thought I might find a way inside up there, but instead I found a large frozen man wearing a crown.
I was understandably quite confused by this, but as I drew close, he suddenly started moving. While he was clearly frozen, and probably dead, he was still somehow active. Everything about him looked decayed, and at first his movements were slow and sluggish. He cast a variety of spells towards me and tried to keep his distance.
However, as our duel progressed, he seemed to be warming up, or at least losing the stiffness in his limbs. He got progressively faster, and began charging into melee with me. He seemed to abandon spell-casting for the most part, and instead seemed intent on striking me down with his sword and scythe. Unfortunately for him, he hadn’t warmed up enough to be a match for me.
I did wonder whether whatever had kept him around until now meant I wouldn’t be able to strike him down, but that was not the case. He dropped eventually, and the decay of his body seemed to speed up, as he turned to dust before my very eyes. The only thing that remained was the crown.
By some impulse I picked it up and put it on. While I enjoy nice clothes, I have never been particularly interested in jewellery. As soon as it was on my head, I could see the air distort in front of me, and the wind picked up so much I couldn’t see any more for a while. When it died down, a whole other part of the castle was in front of me. As a test I took the crown off to see if it would vanish again, but it seemed like it was permanent now that it was manifest. Whatever spell had kept it hidden was broken.
I felt some trepidation as I walked up the steps inside. The top room, while littered with statues, appeared to be the throne room. In one chair I saw a woman, and she also saw me. She introduced herself as Annelise, Queen of Cainhurst, and ruler of the Vilebloods. And the last of the Vilebloods. Everyone else had been hunted down.
I bowed to her, as I only think it’s proper to show some respect for royalty. Especially one willing to actually talk to me. I asked about the man I had fought outside, and she explained that was Logarius, the leader of the Church’s hunters. He had sealed her in here, and vowed to guard the crown that would break the seal for the rest of time. Or until he got defeated, as was the case.
Then she offered me an alliance. Against the Church. I am not sure if she knew my reason for coming to Yharnam, nor my deductions about the Church being the most likely culprit, but regardless it didn’t take all that long to decide to take her up on her offer. She granted me certain things, then told me she had a plan. She told me to take an unopened letter of summons from the nearby desk, and deliver it to a person whom I understood to be Alfred from her description.
I already knew he had been searching for a way to get here, but why would she want him to come here? She wouldn’t tell me that, but said that after I had delivered the letter, I should come back here.
In the end I did as she said. Alfred seemed very grateful at receiving the letter, and set off immediately. By the time I got back to the Cainhurst throne room, he was already there. He had donned a strange headpiece, and he was absolutely spattered with gore. In the queen’s chair was only a pile of flesh left.
In a somewhat deranged tone, he proclaimed that he had done it. He had beaten the final Vileblood to a pulp, and finally his Master Logarius could do down in history as a true martyr. If it was that easy, I wondered why Logarius hadn’t just smashed her himself, rather than sealing her in. I asked him what he was going to do now, and he said he was going back to his shrine to make the final preparations.
As he was leaving, I went up to the throne. The pile of flesh almost seemed to be still moving, and then something compelled me to reach out and pick up a large chunk of it. I am not sure why, but I took it with me. I just had a feeling it would be needed.
Once I got back to the Cathedral Ward, and confirmed nothing had really changed in Oedon chapel, I went to visit Alfred’s shrine. I found him there. Dead. It seems like suicide, but it is hard to be absolutely sure. Did he have nothing left to live for now? Was that all that kept him going? The queen also spoke of being tired of all this. Perhaps that’s why she wanted him to come.
I think the only path left to me now is going to Byrgenwerth. Now I have this crown, and this fabulous dress I picked up from the castle. The queen is dead, long live the queen. And so the Queen of Blood sets out for Byrgenwerth, the supposed source of everything that’s happened in Yharnam, and maybe where I will get some more answers.