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This page contains lore theories by Rakuyo. Please understand these are musings and interpretations by a player, and are not to be taken as official or representative of other's views.

 

Kin Lore

 



Celestial Larvae  Rom & Children  Celestial Mob
Ebrietas, Daughter of the Cosmos  Brainsucker  Fluorescent Flower Garden Of Eyes  Living Failures
 


(Theoretical and Developing)

 Kin form a subgroup of Bloodborne enemies, they are described by the Kin Coldblood as "the inhuman kin of the cosmos, brethren of the Great Ones.

The meaning of "Kin" is often confused with "extraterrestrial looking enemy". This is, unfortunately, a gross oversimpliflication.

There are many alien-looking enemies that could be falsely recognized as Kin, but only those enemies affected by Kinhunter Bloodgems are true Kin.

Enemies that may be mistaken for Kin are: CrawlersYetisSilverbeastsWinter LanternsSlime ScholarsChurch Doctors and Hateful Maggots.

Another common mistake is to assume that all "Great Ones" are Kin. The Moon Presence, Amygdala and Mergo's Wet Nurse are not Kin.

The only Great Ones that are true Kin are EbrietasCelestial EmissaryThe Living Failures and Rom the Vacuous Spider.

Among regular enemies, the true Kin are Celestial LarvaCelestial MobFluorescent FlowerBrainsucker, Children of Rom and Garden of Eyes.

Kin are quite diverse in their appearance and they also share many traits with non-kin. This makes it difficult to tell Kin from non-Kin by looks alone.

Careful examination does reveal some characterizing traits which - while not perfect - help understand and describe Kin.

 

Kin appear near places of learning

Byrgenwerth houses 5 types of Kin: Brainsucker, Fluorescent Flower, Garden of EyesRom and the Children of Rom.

In fact - with the exception of the Choir Hunter NPC and Master Willem - Kin are the only living beings at Byrgenwerth.

Celestial Larvae are also present in Byrgenwerth, but they are all dead. Their corpses come in two forms: rotten or dried out.

The Forbidden Woods that surround the Byrgenwerth facility contains Celestial Mobs, another Kin enemy.

 

Kin appear in Iosefka's Clinic, The Research Hall, Cathedral Ward, Upper Cathedral Ward and the Great Isz Labyrinth.

Iosefka's Clinic harbors a Brainsucker and one or more Celestial Mobs, depending on how many people the player sent to Iosefka's Clinic.

Cathedral Ward has only a single stray Brainsucker, but Upper Cathedral Ward - controlled by The Choir - houses 5 types of Kin. 

Upper Cathedral Ward contains Brainsuckers, Celestial Larvae, Celestial Mob and the bosses Ebrietas and Celestial Emissary.

Upper Cathedral Ward contains The Orphanage which was "a place of scholarship and experimentation" as is read on The Orphanage Key.

 

Research Hall is a place of learning by definition and leads up to the Kin bossfight against The Living Failures.

 

Great Isz is the labyrinth typified by its abundance of Kin and pale blue interior. The Great Isz Chalice is the cornerstone of The Choir.

 

"Remnant of the Eldritch Truth encountered at Byrgenwerth.

The initial encounter marked the start of an inquiry into the cosmos from within the old labyrinth, and led to the establishment of the Choir."

- Augur of Ebrietas

 

"The Great Isz Chalice became the cornerstone of the Choir, the elite delegation of the Healing Church.

 It was also the first Great Chalice brought back to the surface since the time of Byrgenwerth, and allowed the Choir to have audience with Ebrietas."

- Great Isz Chalice

 

"According to the Choir, the land of Isz lies in contact with the cosmos, which allowed the Great Ones to function on transcendental planes of thought."

- Great Isz Root Chalice

 

Great Isz is also the only labyrinth where you can fight Celestial Emissary and Ebrietas.

 

Notably there are no Kin in the Lecture Building, just Slime Scholars. It's not impossible that Slime Scholars are in the process of becoming Kin.

 

Kin are connected to the Arcane element

That's not saying much in Bloodborne, many enemies can deal Arcane damage and have elevated Arcane defenses.

Still, most Kin have elevated defenses to Arcane and many among them can cast Arcane spells.

An exception to this is the Garden of Eyes, who is an outlier when it comes to Kin traits. They, and Rom, have only average Arcane defenses.

Spells can be cast by Rom, Ebrietas, Celestial Emissary, Fluorescent Flower and the elite versions of Brainsucker and Celestial Mob.

For your information, the meteor spell of Fluorescent Flower deals Fire damage, and its Arcane looking blue spit also deals fire damage.

The meteor spell does have an Arcane style casting sequence, where the meteor appears to be summoned from outer space.

Garden Of Eyes and Celestial Larva  are the Kin that cannot cast spells. Celestial Larvae do have elevated defenses to Arcane.

Logarius and The One Reborn have an extraordinary Arcane defense, but their spells deal Blood damage.

Other enemies that use magic are: Slime ScholarsLabyrinth RitekeepersFish WitchesChurch Doctors and Witches of Hemwick.

Also capable of Arcane attacks are: MicolashHostile HuntersGehrmanOrphan of Kos and Amygdalans. Other examples may exist.

Micolash, Orphan of Kos, Ludwig, Yharnam, Undead Giant, Blood-starved Beast, Cleric Beast, Amelia and Laurence also have high Arcane defenses.

The same is true for Bloodlicker, Hateful Maggot, Bound Widow, Church DoctorChapel Giant, Nightmare Apostle and Winter Lantern.

 

The spells of Kin typically have a blue hue. There are two exceptions to this. 

Ebrietas can conjures up a purple aura. Fluorescent Flower is capable of summoning a fiery meteor from "outer space", which deals Fire damage.

To compare, LogariusThe Orphan of Kos and The One Reborn always cast red Arcane spells. Witches of Hemwick cast blue and purple spells.

 

Kin have plant like traits

To keep things simple I will use the word "plant" to refer to true plants, fungi and primitive organisms whose behavior is similar to that of plants.

 

Starting with the Garden of Eyes which has the word "garden" in its official name.

Several lore scholars have interpreted this as literally meaning that its eyes are cultivated.

Its possible that this is done for the purpose of harvesting them. Byrgenwerth does contain countless jars filled with eyeballs Jars of Eyes.

On the other hand, the eyes of the Garden are yellow Garden of Eyes. All the eyes in the jars are a normal white.

It's possible that the eyes are instead "planted" on the Gardens. Master Willem may have thought this a means of transcending humanity.

 

Ebrietas incorporates a number of traits that could be considered plant like.

The tubes she is covered in are sponge like Tube Sponges. Sponges are plant like animals that filter food from water.

They give her strange head the appearance of an anemone Sea Anemone, another plant like animal.

Her wings lack webbing and don't look like realistic wings, but more like a complex of tendrils Ebrietas' Back.

Instead of claws, she has tentacles. These may at first appear to be only cephalopod traits but Ebrietas' tentacles also branch into more tentacles Ebrietas' Branching Tentacles.

Branching is a plant trait and does not occur in cephalopods.

 

The Celestial Emissary and his Celestial Mobs guard the Lumenflower Garden Celestials in the Lumenflower Garden in Upper Cathedral Ward.

These Celestials have oversized heads which remind of the sporebearing hoods of mushrooms a mushroom. They can also be thought of as cephalopod heads Blue Squid.

Their wrinkle faces Celestial Face in particular resemble the spore containing folds Mushroom Folds of a mushroom.

Their eyes are very small and stick out a little Celestial Eyes, like little dots. Their long, slender fingers likewise end in little white dots Celestial Fingers.

The fingers of the Emissary are relatively firm Fingers Emissary and make clawing motions towards the player.

But the fingers of Mobs "jiggle" when they sprint towards you  (video coming). It makes their fingers look boneless. 

This effect of "jiggling" doesn't come from the fingers themselves. Instead, the effect comes from alternating their arms at the joints.

This is open to interpretation, but I believe that their white dotted eyes and thin, white dotted fingers represent fungal traits.

A fungus will live most of its life underground. There it exists in the form of many white threads Hyphae, called hyphae.

The fungus searches for food by growing at the tips of the little white threads.

When it finds food, the hyphae will penetrate and envelop the food source. This results in familiair scenes of mold Mold.

When a Celestial charges at you "fingers first" I believe this immitates the predatory behavior of a fungus, with the fingers being the hyphae.

The small dots at the tips of the hyphae are all a fungus has for eyes. Likewise, the Celestial has white dots for eyes and white dots on slender fingers.

The Celestial's charge of also resembles the charge of a walking dead. Walking dead will extend their arms for the purpose of grabbing prey.

I've always found it interesting how the Celestials immitate these motions but never grab you. They just charge "fingers first". 

Fungus can be traced back to Great Isz, where giant spores bud from the floor and strange mold deposits are found on everything.

This may be the Tomb Mold, which grows from blood and rotten flesh and matures to bear giant spores - Tomb Mold Item Description.

Celestial Mobs are the most prevalent Kin within Great Isz. They could very well be connected to the bloodthirsty mold.

 

The Living Failures protect a gigantic cluster of Lumenflowers Lumenflowers Research Hall. In this sense they're the mirror image of Celestial Emissary and his mobs.

One theory coined about The Living Failures is that they are early attempts at creating a Celestial Emissary.

This is certainly possible considering the similarities in their appearance. They also both appear in the garden of a learning institute and use similar magic.

Still, their exact function is uncertain. It's not certain that they were created with the same idea in mind, or that the Emissary is the finished product.

 

Fluorescent Flower's relation to plant life is rather obviously demonstrated by the luminescent flower sticking out of its eye Fluorescent Flower, Glowing Eye.

Besides the flower, Fluorescent Flower has characteristics of ivy (Aralia in Latin). 

A more common observation is that Fluorescent Flower resembles a centipede, which it does. 

Insect characteristics however don't explain the long white threadsFluorescent Flower Upper Hairson its upper body, nor the strange hairs Fluorescent Flower Hairs Central Limbs attached to the limbs of this creature. 

They also don't explain the flatness of the central limbs. These hairs and limbs rather resemble the aerial roots of ivy Aerial Roots Poison Ivy.

 

The Brainsucker is a being that has lost its mouth and eyes. These have been reduced to featureless holes from which tiny tendrils "sprout".

Its most plant like aspect is that it is a host for "insight slugs". The exact nature of this bond is discussed under Insight and Kin.

 

Celestial Larva has tiny tendrils for wings. These may yet turn into the complex wings of Ebrietas.

Like Ebrietas, Celestial Larva "wings" have no webbing, instead they look like tendrils.

Like Ebrietas, Celestial Larva has arms that are tentacles. Like Ebrietas, these tentacle arms branch into additional tentacles.

The Celestial Larva has 3 sub-tentacles, These tentacles are the size of toes, but the branching is present.

Celestial Larvae have different eyes than Ebrietas. These eyes resemble suction cups, but they also resemble mushrooms Celestial Larva eyesMushroom Rubidus.

 

Rom's plant traits came in the form of countless luminescent plants that sprout from her abdomen Rom Abdomen.

Her abdominal skin even looks like dried out soilRom Soil CracksDry Soil. It looks like Rom is a fertile bed for these pretty plants.

Patterns on her tails Rom Tail Patterns also remind of the plant art found in Bloodborne architecture, though this open to interpretation.

 

Kin are connected to "concealment"

The most obvious example is Rom, the Vacuous Spider who's stated to conceal the Mensis Ritual.

 

"The Byrgenwerth spider hides all manner of rituals, and keeps our lost master from us. A terrible shame. It makes my head shudder uncontrollably."

- Cathedral Ward

 

"The spider hides all manner of rituals, certain to reveal nothing, for true enlightenment need not be shared."

- Byrgenwerth

 

Ebrietas is a being concealed by The Choir in Upper Cathedral Ward.

The Choir sought audience with Ebrietas in the labyrinth of Isz. The Great Isz Chalice, that unlocked this hidden realm, became their cornerstone.

It's possible Ebrietas is herself the "Eldritch Truth encountered at Byrgenwerth" - Augur of Ebrietas.

The Eldritch Truth is a thing concealed for a reason. It's a thing capable of driving one mad.

Mad cultists and mad scientists dabble in the matter, much to their detriment. 

 

The Living Failures are, likewise, a dark secret.

The Research Hall reveals the shocking secret of the Enlarged Head Patients and The Living Failures are set up as the climax of that area.

The connections between concealment and The Living Failures may yet be more profound, for The Living Failures are able to blacken the sky.

When they summon their meteors, the sky changes to a starred darkness Failures Summon Dark. Does this mean that The Living Failures can change day into night Twilight of the Summoning?

The Lumenflower cluster they protect appears very important, it's possible that it's this cluster that revives The Living Failures when they fall.

The function of Lumenflowers is uncertain, but the word "lumen" refers to light. This suggests that light and Lumenflowers are connected.

The appearance of such Lumenflowers near creatures that can change the light of day, could mean that Lumenflowers and Failures are two parts of a whole.

It's possible that creatures like The Living Failures are responsible for changing day into night, and night into day.

The Lumenflowers may a source of light for the day sky. The Living Failures may be able to regulate it, creating the cycle of night and day.

This idea is not so far fetched when you consider how many bizarre anomalies can be found in the Bloodborne sky.

(to be continued)

 

Fluorescent Flower is the only enemy that drops Arcane Haze.

Haze is traditionally an atmospheric phenomenon where dust, smoke and other dry particles obscure the clarity of the sky. - Wikipedia

Haze is formed by particles emerging from farming activaties, traffic, industry and wild fire. If these particles induce mist, it is called "wet" haze.

The word "haze" may also be used to denote visibility-reducing aerosols. These are caused by complex chemical reactions in the atmosphere.

Examples of haze: Abuja HazeHaze Striped SunHaze Purple

 

Celestial Mobs display bioluminescence  Bioluminescence. They have luminescent eyes and some have luminescent tentacles Emissary Luminescence.

In the animal world, bioluminescence is used to lure prey - mimic other animals - and communicate with members of the same species.

This means Celestials could be capable of special forms of misinformation and communication.

They could be telepaths. They could be using luminous patterns to communicate with the Great Ones. They could also be spies or "impostors".

 

Another possible use for bioluminescence is so called " counter-illumination camouflage".

Counter-illumination is a method of camouflage in which an animal produces light to match an illuminated background - Wikipedia.

In practice, a squid may light itself up to match the ocean surface. As a result the squid may avoid being detected by predators below.

It is my theory that Celestials may have been using counter-illumination, and their blue color, to match the sky or water.

This sounds outrageuous, but Bloodborne has a very strange sky, the sky may appear painted , it may be parted by impossible lines Failures & The Nightmare Sky.

The Moon may appear red or white depending on which area you are in. Defeating Rom changes the sky, but only in certain areas.

The Choir believes that the sky and the cosmos are one. This is stated by a lore note in Cathedral Ward, just below Upper Cathedral Ward.

The item description on The Cosmic Eye Watcher Badge adds to this philosophy.

  

"Badge of a member of the Choir, elites of the Healing Church.

The eye signifies the very cosmos.

The Choir stumbled upon an epiphany, very suddenly and quite by accident.

Here we stand, feet planted in the earth, but might the cosmos be very near us, only just above our heads?"

 

In the Bloodborne sky, snow may hang in suspension, clouds may move behind the Moon and light may shine without the Sun.

It's possible, if not likely, that the sky is fabrication of the Great Ones. The Kin, brethren to the Great Ones, may play their part as well.

In Fishing Hamlet, Yharnam can be seen from above through the waters. This may hint that the true nature of the sky is water.

If a squid can use bioluminescence to conceal himself within a luminous, blue background then Celestials may do so as well.

Celestials may dwell in the blue sky, unobserved and inconspicuous. It could be the perfectlocation from which to monitor humanity.

 

Brainsuckers have the distasteful habit of intruding skulls and preying on the brain within. This may be thought of a a form of concealment.

Having one's brain invaded by their grotesque tentacles costs Insight. Insight is a form of perception and has sometimes been called "the inner eye".

Without Insight there are things in Bloodborne that you will literally be unable to see, hear or experience.

A full list of these effect can be found on the page "Insight". By robbing you of Insight, the Brainsucker is concealing these things from you.

 

The Garden of Eyes has no known link to concealment, again the Garden of Eyes is an outlier when it comes to Kin traits.

 

Celestial Larvae are hidden away in Upper Cathedral Ward or Great Isz. They are also "potent unseen thinkers for the Healing Church".

"Key to the Orphanage, birthplace of the Choir."
The Orphanage, shadowed by the Grand Cathedral, was a place of scholarship and experimentation, where young orphans became potent unseen thinkers for the Healing Church.
The Choir, that would later split the Healing Church, was a creation of the Orphanage." - Orphanage Key

 

The Blue Elixir is a consumable that induces invisibility. It could form another link between Kin and concealment.

The Elixir is specifically named for its blue hue. Many Kin have skins that are blue, they use blue Arcane spells or appear in blue-green Great Isz.

Blue is the color of The Living FailuresThe Celestial Emissary, The Celestial Mobs and The Brainsuckers.

Fluorescent Flowers produces a blue dischargeFluorescent Flower Discharge and its flower is blue-greenFluorescent Flower. Blue-green defines the Great Isz DungeonLabyrinth of Isz.

Many Kin use blue spells: Rom, Ebrietas, Celestials (Emissary/Mob), Brainsuckers, Fluorescent Flower and The Living Failures.

 

The places where the Blue Elixirs appear, are tightly connected to scientic inquiry.

It is awarded by Iosefka for sending patients to her clinic. These patients are turned into Celestials Mobs by the unscrupolous doctor.

There are 4 Blue Elixirs to be found near the dag cages in the Forbidden Woods. This is the part of the woods that leads to Iosefka's Clinic.

The Hostile Choir Hunter in Byrgenwerth drops 3 of them. Byrgenwerth is full of Kin and the hunter is wearing Choir Garb.

Another 2 can be found in Upper Cathedral Ward. There's another two to be found in The Nightmare of Mensis.

The Nightmare of Mensis has no established connection to The Choir or Kin, but it is linked to the School of Mensis and its inquiry into the cosmos.

There are 10 Blue Elixirs to be found in the Research Hall. Blue Elixirs are dropped by Celestial Mob, Church Doctor and Church Giant.

 

The Kin and Insight

As discussed above, Kin appear near places of learning. 

In the real world, insight has been sought after by all manner of scholars: scientists, philosophers, theologists and those that adhere to esotericism.

The reasons for seeking insight vary. Countless have sought insight for its own sake, others wanted to know how to live their life.

Only recently has humanity developed the idea that insight is a powerful means of solving practical problems.

Science defined this form of insight. It is unparalleled in its ability to work verifiable data into models that help explain the world.

To accomplish this, science holds admissible data to strict norms. Its theories face heavy competition and are under pressure to produce verifiable results.

 

As effective as this setup is, problems emerge precisely from science's attempt to be simple and concise.

A more natural definition of insight is "that which begets a feeling of understanding".

Modern science makes no promise that its theories will bring about "a feeling of understanding". 

In fact, many people aware of scientific merit are left bewildered by its findings.

As a result, many people look for insight beyond science and sometimes even in conflict with science. 

 

Some will claim that these forms of insight are false, that they do not constitute "true insight".

But for all the importance attributed to "insight", it's a difficult matter of defining what insight really is.

 

In early times, insight was often indistinguishable from "knowledge".

This knowledge did not have to make accurate predictions or leave people with a feeling of understanding.

Knowledge was meant to be known, it was to be taught as fact and then accepted without question.

Only in recent history have human beings begun to expect - even demand - that insight/knowledge solve our practical and existential needs.

 

The norm of history is indoctrination and copywork. This mindset was almost as common in the schools of science as it was in religious institutions.

Being an insightful man meant being a knowledgeable man, a walking library of human knowledge.

How this knowledge was acquired, and what exactly its benefits to society were, was a subject only thinly explored

Only the ruling elite could touch the subject. They only did so on their terms.

Once knowledge was accepted as canon, its value was established. Afterwards the ruling elite regarded its social value as written in stone.

Because this knowledge was regarded as the truth, merely knowing it imparted profound insight into the nature of things.

 

But is knowledge the same as insight? Seeds "know" when to sprout, bacteria "know" how to make protein and recreate themselves.

It is often thought that insight requires consciousness. But what is it then? Is it the realization of knowledge? Is it a feeling?

If it is a feeling, then is one feeling of understanding equal to another? If it is a realization, is knowledge then not perceived as something outside ourselves?

If we realize that we know, then that experience is distinct, seperate from the knowing itself.

That is why this form of knowing has its own word "self-awareness". We know that we know, unlike bacteria which don't know that they "know".

Science and philosophy have struggled for centuries to define the true nature of insight.

Many schemes exist, but so far no one can teach insight to a computer.

To this day people can't agree whether or not insight exists in animals. The main reason for this is that people can't agree on what insight really is.

 

Bloodborne capitalizes on this enigmatic nature of insight and provides an answer that is both imaginative and insane.

In Bloodborne, Insight is a stat, a form of currency and is sometimes used interchangeably with "eyes on the inside".

Insight can be acquired by finding bosses and areas for the first time. It can also acquired by defeating bosses and crushing human skulls.

 

"Fragments of the lost wisdom of the Great Ones, beings that might be described as gods.
Use to gain Insight.
At Byrgenwerth Master Willem had an epiphany: "We are thinking on the basest of planes. What we need, are more eyes."
- Great One's Wisdom

 

"Skull of a madman touched by the wisdom of the Great Ones.
Use to gain Insight.
Making contact with eldritch wisdom is a blessing, for even if it drives one mad, it allows one to serve a grander purpose, for posterity."
- Madman's Knowledge

 

Master Willem's epiphany about "needing more eyes" reappears on the item description of Iosefka's Umbilical Cord.

"A great relic, also known as the Cord of the Eye. Every infant Great One has this precursor to the umbilical cord."
Provost Willem sought the Cord in order to elevate his being and thoughts to those of a Great One, by lining his brain with eyes.
The only choice, he knew, if man were to ever match Their greatness."

"Use to gain Insight and, so they say, eyes on the inside, although no one remembers what that truly entails."

 

There is evidence to suggest that this search for "eyes on the inside" has to be taken literally.

Accursed Brew - "Skull of a local from the violated fishing village.
The inside of the skull was forcibly searched for eyes, as evidenced by innumerable scratches and indentations.
No wonder the skull became stewed in curses.

They who offer baneful chants.
Weep with them, as one in trance" 

Before entering the Research Hall, the player must ritualistically insert an Eye Pendant into the skull of a stone patient Eye Ritual.

"Plant eyes on our brains, to cleanse our beastly idiocy." - Micolash, Host of the Nightmare

"Provost Willem sought the Cord in order to elevate his being and thoughts to those of a Great One, by lining his brain with eyes.
The only choice, he knew, if man were to ever match Their greatness." - Iosefka's Umbilical Cord

Brains aligned with eyes can indeed be found on supernatural beings like Amygdalans and The Winter Lanterns. Yet the true significance of this is unknown.

Aside from Byrgenwerth and Micolash, the Witches of Hemwick also avidly search for "eyes".

Such Witches are the elite versions of Eye Collecting Witches, known for their eye-scooping attacks.

These enemies look very similar, but Witches have impressive powers like summoning Mad Ones and casting Arcane spells.

Eye Collectors only ever have access to physical attacks. Another difference can be found on their clothing.

While Witches are distinguished by the countless eyes adorning their garb Witch's Eyes 1 Witch's Eyes 2 - Eye Collectors only ever wear shells on their clothing Eye Collector Clothes.

This suggests that collecting eyes is indeed changing the Witches, granting them supernatural powers and Insights unknown.

 

Apart from "eyes of the inside" Insight has some relation to "phantasms". The item description on the Milkweed rune reads: 

Milkweed

"A Caryll rune envisioned by Adeline, patient of the Research Hall.
A translation of the inhumane, sticky whispers that reveal the nature of a celestial attendant.
Those who swear this oath become a Lumenwood that peers towards the sky, feeding phantasms in its luscious bed.
Phantasms guide us and lead us to further discoveries." - Milkweed

 

Empty Phantasm Shell is a Hunter Tool that adds Arcane damage to your weapon.
 

"Empty invertebrate shell that is said to be a familiar of a Great One.
The Healing Church has discovered a great variety of invertebrates, or phantasms, as they are called. 
Shells with slime still harbour arcane power, and can be rubbed on weapons to imbue them with their strength." - Empty Phantasm Shell

Another phantasm/invertebrate is the Augur of Ebrietas. This blue-green slug can be used to summon its master, Ebrietas

"Remnant of the eldritch Truth encountered at Byrgenwerth.
Use phantasms, the invertebrates known to be the augurs of the Great Ones, to partially summon abandoned Ebrietas.
The initial encounter marked the start of an inquiry into the cosmos from within the old labyrinth, and led to the establishment of the Choir." - Augur of Ebrietas

A Call Beyond is a phantasm that can be used to create a small exploding star.

"One of the secret rites of the Choir.
Long ago, the Healing Church used phantasms to reach a lofty plane of darkness, but failed to make contact with the outer reaches of the cosmos.
The rite failed to achieve its intended purpose, but instead created a small exploding star, now a powerful part of the Choir's arsenal.
At times, failure is the mother of invention." - A Call Beyond

Finally, the Pearl Slug is a Ritual Material found within the labyrinth. They are familiars of the "left-behind" Great Ones.

"Material used in a Holy Chalice rite.
Of the all the strange lifeforms that reside in the nooks and crannies of the old labyrinth, the slugs are clear signs of the left-behind Great Ones." - Pearl Slug

 

What are phantasms?

"Phantasm" means as much as "hallucination" or "illusion". It can also be used to mean "an apparition", "a specter" or "a ghost".

By illustration, a "phantasmagoria" was a form of horror theatre that existed from the 18th to the 20th century.

Its operants would use "magical lanterns" and rear-projection to create scary images onto screens or smoke. 

The more resourceful practicioners used actors, mirrors, sound effects and everything possible to create a convincing spectacle.

Aside from mirages, "phantasm" is also an old scholarly term used to refer to "mental images", meaning images that exist within a person's mind.

Such phantams refer to visual-auditive-tactile information derived from memory, or created through imagination. They have a distinct sensory connotation.

Phantasms may be considered opposed to "abstract", "non-visual" ideas. As such they're in no way directly related to reason, math or logic.

Neither are phantasms considered to be any kind information that is present in the mind, but can't be directly experienced as such.

It's possible that these phantasm-invertebrates are rather something like "dreams" or "fantasies", more like experiences than ideas.

If true, "The Choir using phantasms to reach a lofty plane of darkness", could mean they used "dreams" and "fantasies" to reach a lofty plane of darkness.

This actually fits very well with the importance of dreams in Bloodborne and the work of Lovecraft. 

The Choir didn't reach The Eldritch Truth through rigorous logic, they reached it through astral projection, nightmares and hallucination.

 

If these phantasms are "hallucinations" and "fantasy", and The Choir used them to gain Insight, one may be led to think that these insights are false.

This is certainly possible, and the "left-behind Great Ones" may indeed be demons, but there's another side to this as well.

Dreams and fantasy have always been profound sources of inspiration. They can enrich our lives and they can advance our knowledge.

Those who wish to teach, or explain anything, should know that many of our most abstract principles are best encapsulated as an image.

As such, dreams and fantasies can indeed be augurs of an "Eldritch Truth", one that may go beyond imagination.

 

Lovecraft wrote about a dimension called "The Dreamlands", a vast network of realms that can be entered via dreams.

Somewhat like The Matrix, a death in The Dreamlands creates a shock, the result of which can mean physical death.

A dreamer can also learn to control the dream, becoming very powerful in the process. So much so, that one could create cities and people out of nothing.

Unlike The Matrix, time flows differently in the dream than it does outside of it. One hour on Earth represents a week or more in The Dreamlands. 

 

http://www.yog-sothoth.com/wiki/index.php/Dreamlands

"The Dreamlands have its own pantheon known as the Great Ones, but they resemble powerful immortals rather than true gods.

Ordinary humans can wound, deceive, and seduce them. Their dominion is protected, however, from mortal challengers by the dread Other Gods.

The messenger of the Other Gods is Nyarlathotep. He's known to treat the Other Gods and the Great Ones alike with evident contempt. 

Otherwise, the rest of the deities of the mythos, who figure prominently in Lovecraft's other writings (such as the Great Old Ones and the Outer Gods), have little interest in or influence over the Dreamlands."

 

It's easy to imagine how the Hunter's Dream and the Nightmares may also be something like The Dreamlands.

Lesser known is that the other areas, while not named after dreams, display bizarre natural anomalies more akin to a dream than a physical world.

These anomalies are not only otherworldy, they are also inconsistent across areas. A full list of them will be presented in the future.

If a bizarre natural phenomenon appears in all areas of a universe, it likely still belongs to a single coherent world, albeit a bizarre one. 

But bizarrities that are inconsistent across space and time, indicate a universe where the natural laws themselves are inconstant.

The idea of a dream helps explain how such a universe might work. Another possibility is that the world is itself unformed.

An unformed universe is one were natural constants are replaced by fundamental chaos. This creates a number of possibilities.

This could be the natural state of an infant universe. It could also point to a universe that is dying, disintegrating as result of chaos' march to victory.

 

What does it mean to acquire Insight?

Phantasms are invertebrates, and phantasms are like dreams, dreams may be used to reach The Eldritch Truth.

Bloodborne "Insight" leads to eldritch wisdom and madness. It is accumulated and it lower resistance to Frenzy.

These phantasms, who are like living illusions, may very well be the "Insights" that lead to both madness and "eldritch wisdom".

If true, then what does it mean to accumulate Insight? What does it mean to reach eldritch wisdom through illusion?

The answer to this may lie in how "phantasms" are the opposite of "objective observations". Both are sensory impressions, but one is true and the other false.

An old idea about demons is that they represent inversion. To demons, right is wrong, lies are truth, order is chaos and beauty is hideous.

In a demonic world, it may be required to look for truth in the illusionary. It's also possible that, that which is considered "the truth", is based on such illusions.

Such thinking about "evil" and demons, fits very well with the gods Lovecraft. These evil gods, who stemmed from chaos, followed a logic antithetical to life and order

Hideous beyond human understanding, only madmen would ever follow them. Naturally, that meant they drove many insane, their followers included.

Because the very sight of them drove one mad, only the confused ramblings of the insane could tell you anything about them.

 

How might one obtain Eldritch Truth from phantasms?

An introductory class of philosophy will often point out the problem of using the "imperfect senses" to determine truth.

An easy way to illustrate this is the argument between the Greek philosophers Plato and Aristotle, now over 2400 years old.

The Greek philosopher Plato believed that all sensory impressions where imperfect reflections of higher ideas.

Such ideas might also be called archetypes or universals. Plato was incredibly infuential on medieval thinking and the formation of the concept "phantasm".

Phantasm is synonymous with illusion, and therefore falsehood. In applying Platonic thinking to "phantasms", all phantasms would be false reflections of a higher idea.

The phantasms, the invertebrates, might be interpreted as imperfect renderings of a single truth, The Eldritch Truth.

It's very popular to, when discussing Plato's theory of Ideas, also cite Aristotle's opposing theory.

While Plato believed that observations concealed a universal truth, Aristotle believed that observations are the fundamental truth.

Aristotle believed that abstracts must derive from observations, whereas Plato believed that only rational pondering could gain authentic truth from observation.

The different philosophies would handle the phantasm-invertebrates quite differently. Aristotle would try and acquire as many phantasms as he could

From these phantasms he would try and postulate the nature of The Eldritch Truth. Plato on the other hand would try and procure The Eldritch Truth immediately.

From the invertebrates he would try and derive the bare essence of phantasms. From this essence he would seek contact with The Eldritch Truth.

Bloodborne style, Aristotle would try and fit as many slugs as possible into his skull. Plato would subject the slugs to experiment and try and "distill" their essence.

 

The way the player amasses Insight is fundamentally Aristotelian. Insights are amassed by seeing bosses, defeating bosses and finding areas.

This is the equivalent of amassing experiences, or observations. Holding the Insights has no good effects besides, arguably, lowering your "Beasthood".

Acquiring Insights lowers your resistance to Frenzy and make enemies stronger. Some enemies can't be encountered unless you have Insight, like Hemwick Mad Ones.

The buffs your enemies get, and the new enemies you encounter, indicate that Insight is changing the world around you.

There's several ways of tackling that problem. One possibility is that Insight is slowly pulling you into a dimension were ghosts and magic are as real as anything.

 Another possibility is that the Insights, the phantasms, are exercising their own power. They're creating tangible illusions, because that's what phantasms do.

In regards to the decrease in Frenzy resistance it, may simply mean that all these illusions and experiences are making it easier and easier to enter a psychosis.

It's also possible, and this is a more popular theory, that they're drawing you further and further to something called "The Eldritch Truth".

If the game stays truthful to Lovecraft, The Eldritch Truth means  something like "Eldritch Abominations" and the very sight of it drives one mad.

A human really has no choice, he/she must go mad. In this sense Eldritch Truth and Frenzy may be one and the same thing.

The Insights lower the resistance, making it easier and easier to gaze upon The Eldritch Truth, which means it's easier to go completely insane.

A more hopeful theory is that The Eldritch Truth can be grasped if one has enough "willpower" or "paleblood" or "blood echoes".

 

Though not Lovecraftian, there is merit to this idea that the Eldritch Truth is something that can be faced and dealt with.

The way the Eldritch Truth is spoken about in item descriptions, does suggest that it's something that can be survived.

Augur of Ebrietas - "Remnant of the Eldritch Truth encountered at Byrgenwerth.
Use phantasms, the invertebrates known to be the augurs of the Great Ones, to partially summon abandoned Ebrietas.
The initial encounter marked the start of an inquiry into the cosmos from within the old labyrinth, and led to the establishment of the Choir." 

The Eldritch Truth was encountered at Byrgenwerth. Those attending may have been: Gehrman, Master Willem, Laurence and Ludwig.

Admittedly these characters are quite mad when the Hunter meets them, only Gehrman still appears somewhat lucid.

Item descriptions however, infer that these characters did remain functional leaders, for some time, after the event at Byrgenwerth.

That is to say, they didn't bash their heads into the wall, attack random people or talk nonsense. Or if they did, then the item descriptions don't say.

 

The Augur of Ebrietas is a remnant of the event at Byrgenwerth. This insinuates that Ebrietas was, in some form, also present at Byrgenwerth.

If The Eldritch Truth left behind The Augur of Ebrietas, then The Eldritch Truth may in fact be Ebrietas, and Ebrietas left behind the Augur.

The Isz Chalice reads that The Choir met with Ebrietas in the labyrinth. It also connects Chalices to Byrgenwerth.

Great Isz Chalice - "A chalice that breaks a labyrinth seal.
Great chalices unlock deeper reaches of the labyrinth. The Great Isz Chalice became the cornerstone of the Choir, the elite delegation of the Healing Church
It was also the first Great Chalice brought back to the surface since the time of Byrgenwerth, and allowed the Choir to have audience with Ebrietas."

If The Choir met with Ebrietas, and Ebrietas imparts - or is - The Eldritch Truth, then it's strange that Choir members like Iosefka are fully functional.

There are many item descriptions that point to the exact opposite, that Insight begets madness.

"Most tomb prospectors, members of the Healing Church chosen to explore the old labyrinth, are unable to withstand the weight of the old knowledge, and go mad. This attire is worn by those lost souls.
Truth oft resembles madness, inaccessible to the dull of mind. Those who go mad are merely thoughtful souls who failed to reach any conclusions." - Madman's Set

Madmans's Knowledge - "Skull of a madman touched by the wisdom of the Great Ones.
Use to gain Insight.
Making contact with eldritch wisdom is a blessing, for even if it drives one mad, it allows one to serve a grander purpose, for posterity."

Sedatives - "Liquid medicine concocted at Byrgenwerth. Calms the nerves.
Those who delve into the arcane fall all-too-easily to madness, and thick human blood serves to calm the frayed nerves of these inquisitive minds.
Naturally, this often leads to a reliance on blood ministration."

Kin Coldblood - "Coldblood of inhuman kin of the cosmos,
brethren of the Great Ones. Use to gain unspeakable Blood Echoes.
Dare not to delve into the world beyond humanity,
the eldritch Truth touched upon long ago at Byrgenwerth."

"Unending death awaits those who pry into the unknown" - Brador

This discrepancy can be explained in a number of ways.

1. The Eldritch Truth affects people differently. There may be those that retain their sanity because they are, in some way, special.
This could be because of personality, willpower, echoes, blood, perhaps they are in fact "chosen" by The Great Ones.

2. The Eldritch Truth can be split into parts or layers. The whole truth drives one mad, but its fragments do not.
Those that kept their sanity, were only revealed a part of the truth, enough to become crazed but not irrational.

3. Choir members and NPCs like Gehrman were never revealed The Eldritch Truth, not directly anyway.
Everything The Choir knows about The Eldritch Truth is secondhand knowledge, based on the words of the mad.
The Choir may have systematically sacrificed people to The Eldritch Truth. The scientists took notes, then used more people.

 

     

 

 




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