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.
After becoming visible, it will embrace the Hunter and wrap its tentacles around him. In the next scene the Hunter is confined to a wheelchair.
"And so, the hunt begins again." - Plain Doll.
If the Hunter manages to "use" 3 One Third Umbilical Cords before the end of the Gehrman boss fight, he/she will break through the embrace.
1. "The nameless moon presence beckoned by Laurence and his associates. Paleblood." - Lecture Building
2. "Three third cords." - Lecture Building
3. "Hunt the Great Ones, Hunt the Great Ones." - Lecture Building
4. "Master Willem was right. Evolution without courage will be the ruin of our race." - Lecture Building
1. "Madmen toil surreptitiously in rituals to beckon the moon. Uncover their secrets."
3. "The Mensis ritual must be stopped, lest we all become beasts." The beckoning of the Blood Moon is connected to the Scourge of Beasts.
4. "Nightmarish rituals crave a newborn. Find one, and silence its harrowing cry." In order to stop the Mensis Ritual, the Hunter must "silence" Mergo.
The Mensis Ritual that beckons the Blood Moon is concealed by the spider, Rom.
1. "The spider hides all manner of rituals, certain to reveal nothing, for true enlightenment need not be shared." - Byrgenwerth
2. "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 Blood Moon is directly connected to the Scourge of Beasts and when it is beckoned, a womb will be blessed with child.
1. "When the red moon hangs low, the line between man and beast is blurred. and when the Great Ones descend, a womb will be blessed with child." - Byrgenwerth
2. "The red moon hangs low, and beasts rule the streets. Are we left no other choice, than to burn it all to cinders?" - Old Yharnam
3. "To escape this dreadful Hunter's Dream, halt the source of the spreading scourge of beasts, lest the night carry on forever." - Hunter's Dream
4. "The Mensis ritual must be stopped, lest we all become beasts." - Yahar'gul
To "transcend the hunt" the Hunter must seek the paleblood associated with The Moon Presence
4. "Seek paleblood to transcend the hunt." - Central Yharnam
The same figure is found on a magical eleavator within The Nightmare Frontier , . The Moon Presence may be connected to the inhabitants of this freakish realm.
At some point, The Moon Presence conceived The Hunt. It isn't known exactly why, but when the Moon hangs low, Hunters are sent to kill Beasts.
Perhaps the creature is out for blood, perhaps it is partial to all that human drama, perhaps it acts out unknown, celestial ideas.
There to lend a hand is Gehrman. Though he holds the title of "First Hunter", he is only a servant, one charged with a chilling task.
Little is known of Gehrman's past, but he proved himself a great inventor of weapons and protective garbs. He is also the founder of "The Workshop".
His title of First Hunter marks Gehrman as a pioneer and first hunter of Yharnam. "The Hunt" on the other hand, may be much much older.
Norse mythology tells the tale of Odin, godking and "discoverer of the runes". Discoverer, not inventor, for runes are even older than the gods.
The Bloodborne godking "Oedon" is no doubt derived from Odin, likewise, Bloodborne contains runes, and Souls has always used ideas from Germanic myth.
Runes are the primordial words that form the true language of the universe. They are words of power, their mastery allows one to command the universe.
In like manner, the runes of Bloodborne are never described as being invented or created, they are described as discovered or "transcribed".
"This transcription of the Great Ones' inhuman voices ripples like a watery reflection." - The Lake Runes
"This transcription of the Great Ones' inhuman voices depicts downreaching currents." - The Sea Runes
"A transcription of the roar of a labyrinth beast," - Beast
"A transcription of Eye, as spoken by left-behind Great Ones." - Eye
"A transcription of Moon, as spoken by the Great Ones inhabiting the nightmare." - Moon
"After the repeated experiments in controlling the scourge of beasts, the gentle Embrace rune was discovered. - Beast's Embrace
"A Caryll rune discovered by the old hunter Ludwig along with the Holy Moonlight Sword. - Guidance
To transcribe means "to translate", "to duplicate", "to decipher" and "to reproduce". Incidentally, transcribing refers to the reading and expressing of DNA.
This wording suggests that Runes exist outside human language, and that Caryll Runes are just workable translations, or imitations.
If Caryll Runes are truly like Odin's runes, then every one of these "words" has existed since the dawn of time, and perhaps even before that.
If this is the case, then "Hunter" existed long before Gehrman, "The First Hunter". It is impossible to know how far back Hunters go.
"Beast hunting is a sacred practice, our prey might differ, but we are hunters, the both of us."
"Oh, beg pardon, you may call me Alfred, Protege of Master Logarius, hunter of Vilebloods."
"Well, once a group of young Byrgenwerth scholars discovered a holy medium deep within the tomb."
"This led to the founding of the Healing Church, and the establishment of blood healing".
"In this sense, everything sacred in Yharnam can be traced back to Byrgenwerth." - Alfred
The Legacy of Byrgenwerth
All the horrific events unfolding at Yharnam can be traced back to Byrgenwerth, the tomb of the old gods , carved out below Yharnam.
"Byrgenwerth" is composed of two German words: "bergen" which means "to hide" or "to shelter" and "werth" which means "worth".
What these bones used to be is unclear. There are those that look human, others rather resemble large wolves or small horses.
I've labeled it "The Centaur Scene" owing to to the half man - half quadruped figures that appear within it.
Another engraving is tied even closer to Byrgenwerth. Labeled "The Forest Scene " it shows humans meeting a great deer in a forest
"Well, once a group of young Byrgenwerth scholars discovered a holy medium deep within the tomb." - Alfred
"But today, the college lies deep within a tangled wood, abandoned and decrepit. And furthermore, the Healing Church has declared Byrgenwerth forbidden ground."
There is some dispute amongst lore enthusiasts as to what this "holy medium" was and where it was found.
The most popular theory, which I don't agree with, is that "the tomb of the gods" is neither Byrgenwerth nor the Forbidden Woods but a place beneath it.
Willem, Laurence, Micolash, Gehrman, Maria, and Carryl were individuals at the Byrgenwerth College,
an institution dedicated to the furthering of knowledge and the exploration of the massive Labyrinth built underground. - Redgrave
The general thesis is that "the tomb of the gods" refers to The Labyrinth and that people began digging out The Labyrinth at Byrgenwerth.
It's a decent enough idea, The Labyrinth is a place where Great Ones are "burried", and The Labyrinths have a catacomb structure.
Furthermore, The Labyrinth is referred to as the "tomb of the gods":
"Ritual chalice found in the Church of the Good Chalice.
Use in a ritual at the tomb altar in the Hunter's Dream to break the seal of the old underground labyrinth.
Let the chalice reveal the tomb of the gods; let blood be the hunter's nourishment. - Pthumeru Chalice
Alfred states that the tomb of the gods is carved out below Yharnam, which does suggest the idea of a set of tunnels being dug out.
"Byrgenwerth is an old place of learning. And the tomb of the gods, carved out below Yharnam, should be familiar to every hunter." - Alfred
"The old labyrinth was carved out by the Pthumerians, superhuman beings that are said to have unlocked the wisdom of the eldritch Truth." - Central Pthumeru Chalice
But what cannot be found in the Byrgenwerth area are is the tunnels where the digging could have taken place.
All digging in the Byrgenwerth area seems to involve digs near the surface, there are no tunnels and no recognizable relics from The Labyrinth.
For me this is quite a stretch, there's no way of knowing what's beneath the trapdoor and there are no signs of excavations at the Byrgenwerth facility itself.
If they were digging there, there'd be debris, barrels, transports, but Byrgenwerth is the cleanest site in the area, with nothing there suggesting manual labor.
I find the trapdoor theory itself illogical, because why would one excavate a ruin - from a single hole - inside the Bloodborne equivalent of a university building?
The idea that the Forbidden Grave - Forbidden Woods area is not the tomb of the gods, appears implausible to me.
That still leaves Alfred's strange phrasing:
"Byrgenwerth is an old place of learning. And the tomb of the gods, carved out below Yharnam, should be familiar to every hunter." - Alfred
If the Byrgenwerth area is the tomb of the gods, then it must be below Yharnam, and it must be carved out or Alfred's statement isn't true.
Is it carved out? There are signs of digging, the barrels do show some kind of material being transported, the windmills may have been used to process hard materials.
This would of course require an enormous effort, carving out the whole of Byrgenwerh, but considering the massive scale of Yharnam's architecture it is not unthinkable.
The Holy Medium of Blood Healing
"Well, once a group of young Byrgenwerth scholars discovered a holy medium deep within the tomb." - Alfred
This "holy medium" was found in the tomb of the gods, and whether that is Byrgenwerth or The Labyrinth, the remaining question is: "What was this medium?
"The short story is that a group of scholars in Byrgenwerth discovered blood of incredible power in the tombs underneath, old blood." - Redgrave
The most popular theory is that "medium" refers to blood. Many lore enthusiasts adhere to this theory. They could well be right for blood is referred to as a medium.
Human or not, the oozing blood is a medium of the highest grade, and the essence of the formless Great One.
Both Oedon, and Oedon's inadvertent worshippers, surreptitiously seek the precious blood." - Formless Oedon and Oedon Writhe
The inhuman blood referred to is quicksilver, the essence of Oedon, and both runes improve your quicksilver management in some way.
The meaning of medium in this context is that of an intervening substance, as air, through which a force acts or an effect is produced.
But medium also has another meaning, that of conduit. In this sense, medium may also refer to a person like a seer, a prophet or herald.
"Well, I'm a simple hunter, quite unfamiliar with the ins and outs of the institution."
"But I have heard that the holy medium of blood healing is venerated in the main cathedral." - Alfred
"The holy medium of blood healing is venerated in the main cathedral".
Assuming that Alfred's referring to the Grand Cathedral, the object of veneration may be found at the Grand Cathedral altar.
Considering these strange characteristics, the omnipresence of headlessness and the connection to quicksilver, the statue may very well depict Oedon.
Should it not be Oedon, then it stands to be an important servant. One who experienced some unique mutations and is connected to The Labyrinth.
Headlessness is an important characteristic of certain gods: Coyolxauhqui (Aztec Moon goddess), Chhinnamasta (aspect of Kali) and Ganesha (elephant headed god).
Coyolxauhqui is an enemy of the Aztec Sun god, she leads the stardemons against him but ends up beheaded. Her head is tossed into the sky and becomes the Moon.
Ganesha is a benevolent god, he's the God of Beginnings and the Remover of Obstacles. But he is the son of Shiva (the destroyer) and Parvati (who's also Kali).
There is of course the matter of gender. Can Oedon, named after Odin, appear as a woman? According to me, yes, quite possibly so.
Bloodborne's Great Ones are all sexually ambiguous and Lovecraft's Nyarlathotep (The Moon Presence) is a proficient shapeshifter.
The Moon Presence fits very well with the character of Coyolxauhqui, the evil leader of "stardemons" who moved to kill her mother and her brother (the Sun)
The headless lady appears above the sleeping Laurence. Laurence is a fiery fiend that bleeds lava, he represents another link between a female powerfigure and lava
So seeing these women, appear in connection to signs of lava, could be From's way of communicating that they're actually witches.
This art may also display the Pthumerian Queen, and there is a great deal of vagueness in how this relates to the three women, Oedon, and The Child of Blood.
Beside Oedon and The Queen, the great one Kos is another character of great importance. This gigantic female is worshipped by The School of Mensis.
Beside the headless lady, Laurence's Skull has a prominent place at the Grand Cathedral and may therefore be Alfred's "holy medium of blood healing".
But I believe Laurence's role is rather that of a catholic saint, an exalted follower of the faith. Such men are said to bear an uncanny likeness to god.
The headless lady is seen pouring blood/mercury into Laurence's Skull, implying Laurence's wasn't the first "Blood Saint", he may even have been a victim.
In short, the empty throne could symbolize the Judean concept of Merkabah, The Throne of God, also named The Chariot. Which is significant for two reasons.
First, Merkabah symbolizes man's ascension. Various esoteric thinkers have speculated that Merkabah is a pathway to a higher spiritual plane.
Second, Merkabah can personify God in his role as judge and punisher. If true, Merkabah would be the primary godhead of The Executioners.
The empty throne could also be an authentic Souls symbol, for the series has attributed great symbolic significance to "the empty throne" in both DS2 and DS3.
"The last king of this land, King Vendrick, as he was called…"
He was less of a king than you might imagine.
He found the strength to rule his people, and when the Undead were born, cursed…
He found more strength, to face them.
But in the end, he never took the true throne." - Nashandra, DS2
"Brave Undead, seek the throne.
Follow the symbol of the monarch, and do what must be done." - Nashandra, DS2
"Do you intend to link the fire? Then you must first take the throne.
Prove your worth. Find the ancient crowns. Seek adversity, and they will be yours. And your wishes, granted." - King Vendrick, DS2
Coveter of the throne... I am Vendrick, ruler of Drangleic.
Seeker of fire... deliverer of crowns...
Seek adversity. As befits you, seeker of fire, coveter of the throne." - King Vendrick, DS2
The Lords have left their thrones, and must be deliver'd to them.
To this end, I am at thy side." - Firekeeper, DS3
"Noble Lords of Cinder.
The fire fades...
...and the lords go without thrones.
Surrender your fires...
...to the true heir." - Firekeeper, DS3
What this altogether means is left unspecified, but the essence of Merkabah may not be far off, as the king is also a symbol of the rule of law.
To reiterate, Alfred's "holy medium of blood healing" could refer to the headless lady, it could refer to the empty throne, it could refer to Laurence.
The throne has no immediate connection to blood, unless its relation to "ascension" is related to the philosophy of blood healing.
Laurence has a clear connection to blood, he may even have been a Blood Saint, yet he may rather be a subsidiary of blood healing, not its holy principle.
That leaves the headless lady, who may be Oedon, who likely is the Great Lady that appears all over Yharnam and who may be related to the Pthumerian Queen.
I posit that the headless lady is the most likely candidate for being "the holy medium of blood healing". This corroborates the idea that the medium is a person.
Other words for holy medium are "prophet", "seer", "herald", "messenger". Nyarlathotep - The Moon Presence - is the messenger of the outer gods.
Oedon is connected to mercury, "Mercury" is the Roman messenger of the gods and was, by the Romans, considered identical to the Germanic god Odin.
It makes a lot of sense for the Grand Cathedral to be devoted to Oedon, who just might be depicted in this church as a winged woman that pours mercury.
Thus, it's quite possible that "the holy medium of blood healing" is this woman, and if it's Oedon then the character can represent both "blood" and "person".
Humans meet a great deer inside the Forbidden Woods, recognizable by the giant tombstones on the left. There are trees and various other animals as well.
The primary concepts attributed to forest gods are fertility and abundance. They also had a dark side, as they represented predatory animals and unseen dangers.
Fertility often implies sex. Pan is extremely lewd and Cernunnos' horns are taken to represent "aggressive power, genetic vigor and fecundity."
Scholars like Ronald Hutton have argued that the strong connections between sex and pagan "horned gods", lead Christians to identify these pagan gods with Satan.
Satan, whose appearance is not described in The Bible, may therefore have derived his modern represention from Pan and other horned gods.
Considering that Pan is the original Satan, and that is Pan is the son of Hermes (= Mercury --> Oedon) meeting him must have been of great importance.
Qilins are often depicted with fire all over their bodies. They are said to appear with the imminent arrival or passing of a sage or illustrious ruler.
Laurence himself is a sage, so his transformation could be an ironic mockery of his own passing, but it could also be related to the passing of the old man.
The Qilin is said to be clear-sighted, it is able to flawlessly recognize evildoers. Should they threaten the innocent, it will employ its fearsome flames.
Such ideas and powers befit a high cleric, to judge men flawlessly, in accordance with God, and to punish them by means of fire.
There's a preexistent tale about a Qilin that may be quite illuminating. Its tale is told by Studio Ghibli in the anime "Princess Mononoke".
It is named Shishigami or Great Forest Spirit, he's the living soul of the forest and shifts between two forms: that of qilin and that of "Nightwalker".
But the forest is threatened by the expansion of a nearby human settlement, Irontown. A bloody conflict rages between humans and the beasts of the forest.
Eboshi, the female leader of Irontown, is scheming to behead the forest god. With the head, she hopes to gain self-rule for Irontown and end the conflict.
Mononoke and A*****aka eventually manage to return the head to Shishigami, but Irontown is left destroyed and the forest too is severely compromised.
Gehrman is a servant of The Moon Presence and he will eventually try and kill you, but Gehrman himself laments his fate.
Outside his house if one has 15 Insight or above and Amelia is met:
"Oh, Laurence... what's taking you so long... I've grown too old for this, of little use now, I'm afraid..."
Outside his house after defeating Rom, The Vacuous Spider:
On the Wheel Hunter Badge it is stated that the wheel represents destiny, this could mean the wheelchair stands for Gehrman now being bound to fate.
Likely you are then bound to gather more Hunters, train them, then slay them after The Hunt. Such is the will of The Moon Presence.
A widely held view is that The Moon Presence resembles Lovecraft's Nyarlathotep, the crawling chaos.
"I saw the world battling against blackness; against the waves of destruction from ultimate space; whirling, churning, struggling around the dimming, cooling sun." - from Nyarlathotep, Lovecraft
"Screamingly sentient, dumbly delirious, only the gods that were can tell. A sickened, sensitive shadow writhing in hands that are not hands, and whirled blindly past ghastly midnights of rotting creation, corpses of dead worlds with sores that were cities, charnel winds that brush the pallid stars and make them flicker low. Beyond the worlds vague ghosts of monstrous things; half-seen columns of unsanctifled temples that rest on nameless rocks beneath space and reach up to dizzy vacua above the spheres of light and darkness. And through this revolting graveyard of the universe the muffled, maddening beating of drums, and thin, monotonous whine of blasphemous flutes from inconceivable, unlighted chambers beyond Time; the detestable pounding and piping whereunto dance slowly, awkwardly, and absurdly the gigantic, tenebrous ultimate gods the blind, voiceless, mindless gargoyles whose soul is Nyarlathotep." - from Nyarlathotep, Lovecraft
"The most realistic and horrible nightmare I have experienced since the age of ten" - cited as inspiration for Nyarlathotep - Lovecraft.
Nyarlathotep is said to have a thousand forms through which he may manifest. He's the only "outer god" described as a polymorph.
He has countless names: "The Crawling Mist", "The White Man", "The Faceless God", "The Bloated Woman", "The Skinless One", "The Pharaoh", ...
As outer god, he outranks Great Old Ones like Cthulhu. He's very active on Planet Earth and is the only Lovecraftian god that interacts with The Dreamlands.
An entity with an endless amount of forms is something without a definitive form and can consequently be called "formless".
Another aspect linking the two together is that the ancient Greeks equated formlessness with the primordial chaos that preceded creation.
In this sense "formlessness" can be equated with darkness, death, evil and the primordial abominations of Lovecraft.
When Nyarlathotep interacts with humans he typically assumes the form of a tall, thin man. Gehrman is a tall, thin man.
Though Gehrman is most likely a seperate character, he is the proxy by which The Moon Presence interacts with the Hunter.
When you analyse anagrams of Gehrman a lot of combinations depict him in a negative way.
Partial anagrams include: Ragmen (rag seller), germ, hag, harm, to hang, to reman (to supply more men), age, mange, nag, ...
Full anagrams are:
Hr Mange (Her Mange, German for sir mange)
He Mr Nag
Mr G Hena (Gehenna is a hellish place in Hebrew mythology where children where cast into fire for the evil god Moloch)
Ngh Mare (Nightmare, with ngh also sounding like the German nacht = English night)
Ghr Name (Grr...name, Gehrman pauses briefly before giving you his name as if he has trouble remembering it)
Gehr also sounds like the German geier which means vulture.
Beneath is a rendering of human Nyarlathotep made by Bracey100. He has dropped his guise to transform his head into a deadly tentacle.
The Moon Presence is strongly tied to a number of Caryll runes. These include Communion, Moon, Hunter and Formless Oeon.
Its face with one large opening and 3 small ones, matches up very well with the symbol of Communion .
This symbol can also be found on Mergo's Wet Nurse. It's present on the large amulet she wears .
The symbols also fit certain Tarot cards. Their importance is discussed under Tarot Cards and Bloodborne.
The High Priestess is the Tarot card linked to Communion. The High Priestess is the female counterpart of The Hierophant.
The Hierophant is a symbol of subtle and unseen power. He most likely represents Formless Oedon.
Explaining "Formlessness" with Caryll runes and Tarot (contains much speculation)
To do this, Formless Oedon must be flipped upside down It's then possible get the 3 dots of Communion to overlap the 3 dots of Formless Oedon.
It creates a picture not unlike how The Moon Presence first manifests
The purpose of this idea is to explain the formless nature of Oedon. Oedon has no form, but The Moon Presence does have form.
It's been suggested that formless merely refers to being invisible, but that's a fairly superficial interpretation of "formless".
The formless nature of Oedon is the reason he's considered the highest Great One. This suggests something more than invisibility.
Something that's formless may transform into a toxic mist, a great monster or be invulnerable altogether.
In Tarot every card has an Upright and Reversed state. The Reversed state means flipping the card upside down.
When Reversed, the card's meaning is opposed to the original meaning.
Positive qualities become negative qualities, the original projections are overruled and the new projections are entirely different.
This may entail that Oedon's nature can be reversed. Though normally formless, when he does have form, he becomes The Moon Presence.
This also fits with the nature of Communion. The opposite of a formless, unseen god is one that's close enough to commune with.
This could make the whole process of trying to "commune" with The Moon Presence, a ritual designed to constrain it to a single form.
The reason The Hunter doesn't fight back, may not be a lack of physical strength. He/she simply cannot shake off the embrace of something that's "formless".
The rune Moon can be seen as two vertically opposed versions of the Nahr Alma symbol.
In Dark Souls 2 Nahr Alma was the god of blood and patron of the Brotherhood of Blood covenant.
The Brotherhood of Blood formed the primary PvP covenant and focusses on indiscriminate invading. It has an evil reputation.
The Nahr Alma trident also appears on two of The Moon Presence's tails , .
The rune Hunter can also be seen as a reversed version of the Nahr Alma symbol.
The Moon Presence isn't the only one connected to a trident shape, amygdalans display a trident shape on their back and tail .
A plausible explanation for this, is that Hunters are unknowingly serving the bloodthirst of an evil god.
It's worth pointing out that this symbol predates the Souls series entirely.
Those who bear the Mark of Sacrifice will live where the world of the living and the world of the dead converge.
This mark subjects the protagonist to a harsh life, where he will have to defend his life against endless waves of demons.
Check out The Hanged Man Tarot here to learn more about how hunters are connected to sacrifice.
The blood of The Moon Presence is a pale red , not green, brown or grayish black. See Blood Lore by Rakuyo.
The skull of The Moon Presence is shaped like a droplet which also makes it resemble Yin or Yang, a flame or a soul .
The holes in its skull may change shape and size (though this could be an illusion) and when wailing it resembles a DS2 giant .
The malicious eyes on its tails are concentrated on the front side of its tails and not so much on the back of its tails.
It has 4 main tails which asymmetrically sprout extra tails of various shapes and sizes.
One or two of her tails are trident shaped, a possible reference to Nahr Alma, the Dark Souls 2 god of blood. ,
The Symbol of Nahr Alma may be found in many symbols. Particularly it is found in the rune Moon.
The trident is symbolic of Poseidon, Neptune and the sea. The trident is also a symbol of the hindu goddess Kali and the hindu god Shiva.
"There is a beast here whose form resembles a fox with nine tails. It makes a sound like a baby and is a man-eater." - Guo Pu
"When a fox is fifty years old, it can transform itself into a woman; when a hundred years old, it becomes a beautiful female, or a spirit medium, or an adult male who has sexual intercourse with women. Such beings are able to know things at more than a thousand miles' distance; they can poison men by sorcery, or possess and bewilder them, so that they lose their memory and knowledge; and when a fox is thousand years old, it ascends to heaven and becomes a celestial fox." - Guo Pu
The ribcage could entail a connection to Gaping Dragon . The being became corrupted by mortal desires, and ate until it burst open.
Its arms are very bony and its tentaclehair resembles both fire and the horns found on Abhorrent Beast . No definitive connection is known.
The Orphan of Kos also has very bony arms . There are also various links between The Orphan and the Moon, see Orphan of Kos Lore by Rakuyo
The main opening in its skull can actually look like a freakish eye .