By hollitz 2 Comments
I’ve never been one for PVP.
So imagine my consternation when I found myself bending the knee to Annalise, Queen of the Vilebloods. She offered me her tainted blood, and I drank it. I took an oath to a PVP covenant.
I stepped out of the circle of candles and approached the throne. A prompt appeared to talk to the Queen. She chastised me, reminded me of my place, and told me to kneel. I went back to the circle, and I did. I found myself charmed by Queen Annalise and I planned to spend my next date with Bloodborne invading other hunter’s worlds and collecting dregs.
The next time I loaded up the game, I went to the Nightmare Frontier and rang my sinister bell. While waiting, I explored, found and killed the chime maiden in my own world, and waited some more. No dice. Maybe there weren’t enough people in the zone. So I decided on an earlier area, the Cathedral Ward. I rang my bell and set out on my rounds, checking back in with NPCs I’d talked with earlier.
It was there that I came upon Alfred. I began talking with him again, interested in taking a lore refresher course while I waited to do my Queen’s bidding. Apparently, I’d forgotten that we’d previously spoken about Vilebloods. I selected that option again and learned that the old man I’d slain in order to gain access to the throne room was Alfred’s master. He’d stayed at Cainhurst to keep the queen sealed away.
Happy that I’d gotten a little backstory, I was ready to close out the conversation menu when I noticed that I could give Alfred the blank invitation to Castle Cainhurst that I’d found.
I gave it to him.
His dialogue immediately made me regret my decision.
But he looked so weak. What could he hope to do to the Queen of the Vilebloods, whom his master sealed away instead of killing?
Still, I couldn’t shake the feeling that the best course of action would be to draw my kirkhammer and smash his skull in.
But I didn’t.
I returned to Cainhurst, to the throne room, and found Alfred in his Pyramid Head cosplay, covered in blood, standing before two empty thrones where there was previously one.
I talked to Alfred. He was absolutely intoxicated on his own power. Mad.
I approached the throne and picked up all that was left of my queen.
The item description was dismissive, disrespectful.
While in the item menu, my eyes happened across my rune loadout. The ingenuity of the last rune slot wasn’t lost on me. That slot glowed bright blue. The only runes that could fill that slot were labeled as oaths. I’d sworn an oath.
And I’d lead an executioner into my queen’s throne room. Her death was as much on my hands as it was on Alfred’s gaudy helmet.
So I stood, facing him, realizing that I’d killed his master and he’d killed mine. We were karmically even.
But, in my short time in Yharnam, I’d already amassed a collection of sins that required atonement.
When the time came to send survivors to Iosefka’s Clinic or to the Cathedral, I chose the clinic. I’d spoken to a few friends and none of them had even talked to Iosefka, thus, they didn’t have the option to send survivors there. Being that Iosefka was more hidden, and being that Bloodborne was a video game, I surmised that her clinic was the secret, correct place to house those fleeing from the Hunt.
It quickly became apparent that this was not the case.
Even after delivering just one person to her, it was clear that Iosefka was doing some kind of medical procedure on these people.
But I kept sending folks there. Because it’s a video game, and I’d started down a path, and I wanted whatever reward lay at the end of it.
While exploring the Forbidden Forest, I found my way back to Iosefka’s clinic. The place was seemingly overrun by strange, bobble-headed beasts. I snuck up behind the first one and smashed it into the ground with my kirkhammer. And it dropped something good—a rune if I remember. Nice! I killed another, and then another. They were easy, and they all had interesting drops. But they didn’t appear to even notice me, or fight back. Only after dancing in front of them for a few seconds could I even provoke a response. But even then, they didn’t put up much of a fight.
I’d killed all bobbly creatures but one, who stood in the hall, bathed in moonlight, staring quizzically at the sky through second story window. I wound up an R2 attack and smashed it.
It dropped a pair of shoes.
Arianna’s shoes to be precise. The item description told me what I’d already guessed. The shoes belonged to the sex worker that I’d sent to the clinic from that dingy Cathedral Ward alley.
Iosefka had to pay. And she did.
And now Alfred had to pay.
I maneuvered behind him and wound up an R2 attack.
He gave me a warning.
I wound up again.
It wasn’t an easy fight, but I prevailed, and as Alfred was dying, using his remaining breaths to cry out to his master, a Blood Dreg popped into my inventory. The item I’d been hunting for earlier. I finally had a dreg, but I no longer had a queen to whom I could offer it.
I approached the circle of candles.
I was no longer prompted to kneel.
So I used the gesture that the Queen had taught me upon my induction: Respect.
If there were more executioners in Yharnam, they’d meet the same end as Alfred and Logarius before him.
I saved up for the Cainhurst armor, knowing full well it would be the last time I’d switch gear on that character.
And when I crossed the finish line, I’d do it as a disgraced but still proud knight of Cainhurst.