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.
The Mysteries of Cainhurst Garb & Architecture
Warning, Editing in Progress
Varying between decadent and menacing, Cainhurst offers some of the most interesting dress in the game.
Excluding the crown, all sets are typified by art nouveau depictions of flowers and plants. Such art is found all over Cainhurst as well.
Another quirk specific to Cainhurst is the use of symbolic salamanders .
The word "salamander" most commonly refers to a kind of amphibian but it's also used to denote fire elementals.
Other such elementals include sylphs (wind), undines (water) and gnomes (earth). These casts were originally formulated by the 16th century philosopher Paracelsus.
Three salamanders can be found on the Knight's Garb: Here's one on the front - Here's one on the back. . They also appear on the female version .
Smooth skinned lizards adorn the wooden bookstands of the Cainhurst library. I believe these to be salamanders as well.
It's important to note that salamanders aren't necessarily symbols of The Vilebloods. They may simply be traditional symbols of House Cainhurst.
Besides fire, salamanders are strongly related to poison. One legend tells of salamanders being so poisonous, that any tree they touch will bear poisoned fruit.
They are also revered for their immunity to fire. Salamander blood is said to immunize one against fire, so is clothing made from (spiritual) salamander hair.
Salamanders were said to feed on flames, or exude substances that immunified them against the flames. The pyromancy "Flash Sweat" may derive from such legends.
Plant Art of Castle Cainhurst
Aside from plants textures, Cainhurst can be linked to "flowers", possible Lumenflowers: .
This red gemmed flower looks just like the mutated flowers found atop the Research Hall .
Other flowers display tentacular curls , which echo the way The Moon Presence is depicted in art .
What this means is that both salamanders and plant art have been part of House Cainhurst since the time of The Old Hunters.
"Ah, there's something I want to tell you. A bit of wisdom from the eminent Master !"
"Once, a scholar betrayed his fellows at Byrgenwerth...and brought forbidden blood back with him to Cainhurst Castle."
"It was there that the first of the inhuman Vilebloods was born." - Alfred
Before the first Vileblood could appear, Cainhurst had to betray Byrgenwerth, and with it the whole scientific enterprise of The Healing Church.
It's even less likely that the style of her attire, and the golden salamander, were designed after this betrayal, and thus after the creation of the first Vileblood.
I conclude therefore, that plant art and salamanders were intially symbols of House Cainhurst, and only subsequently became the style of The Vilebloods.
Plant art suggest connections to Lumenflowers, or perhaps to growth. But in the broader Souls universe, plant symbolism connects to much broader themes.
Bloodborne is home to prominent and unusual vegetation. Like Izalith, or Things Betwixt, The Labyrinth is overrun by a myriad of roots .
Based on its role in DS1, vegetation, especially "petrified vegetation", carries ties to fire and chaos, and to the "primordial world" of "fog" and "archtrees".
Yggdrasil and protagonist Gutts are thematically connected. Yggdrasil is a tree gnawed at by serpents and dragons, which holds up and connects the nine worlds.
He himself is a symbol of strength, a spire around which these dimensions twist and turn. Forced to bear both worlds, his existence is a living hell.
This has been his fate ever since he was branded with the Mark of Sacrifice . This Mark served as the precursor of the Darksign, and The Hunter Rune.
Because of these ties, the plant art spread throughout Yharnam may refer to "Strength", "Communion With The Spirit World", "Hell", "Chaos" and "Dragons".
The presence of salamanders in Cainhurst art adds particular credence to the fierier aspects of these associations, Chaos, Dragons and Hell.
Symbolic fire also is contained within the woodcarvings of Cainhurst Castle, which get increasingly ominous, evoking images of hell and the apocalypse.
An angel seems caught up in the tumoil in the center, and from the bottom appears a grim skeleton, hanging upside down. It seems to portray the end of the world.
Fire and Cainhurst
Inside Castle Cainhurst, there is a dining hall filled with portraits. Among the most interesting, is this painting of a middle aged woman .
She has bell like adornments on her upper chest. These appear elsewhere, they appear on Chime Maidens .
The DS2 Firekeepers wore red . Chime Maidens are similar to Firekeepers. They can resurrect The Undead indefinitely , like Bonfires.
While this is not certain, it's possible that this tradition of red cloth, with connections to blood and/or fire, traces back to DS2, to The Drakeblood Knights.
The Drakeblood Knights were a mysterious order of knights, that worshipped dragon's blood. They appeared in the Crown of the Sunking King DLC.
They believed that by obtaining dragon's blood, they could achieve a true understanding of life, and transcend their own banal existence.
When the armor returned in DS3. The red cape was stated to symbolize their "yearning for blood", giving them a more vampiric quality.
The Drakeblood Knights were among first Souls characters to have an important connection to blood. They are not to be confused with Brotherhood of Blood.
Led by Sir Yorgh, The Drakeblood Knights led a raid on The Slumbering Dragon of Shulva. The plant backfired, and all the knights sunk into the Eternal Sanctum.
The word "sunk", found on the DS2 Drakeblood Set, is of particular interest, as it implies that the knights vanished underground, and may have survived.
Beneath the surface, they may have found some way to continue their line, transferring their beliefs to what would become the Pthumerian race.
In DS2, remnant Drakeblood Knights use the Spirit Tree Shield. It's linked to a spirit tree, and makes mention of a "god of dream", named "Quella".
If the "spirit tree" is indeed some Yggdrasil/Kushan Emperor like entity, it would strengthen the bonds between The Drakeblood Knights, roots, and the Chaos of Izalith.
The Vessel Shield displays a pregnant woman holding her protruding, orange belly. She is surrounded on all sides, by what appear to be plant motifs.
The servants of Aldia performed ritual sacrifices, and these egg shaped masks were said to deflect the terror and indignation of their victims.
The Vessel shield depicts a priestess, who devoted herself to appeasing "the ancient flame". This ancient flame could be related to Aldia's research as well
Priestesses devoted themselves to appeasing the raging flame, and according to The Retainer Short Sword, all priestesses had vanished from Eleum Loyce.
"Long ago, the retainers attended to the priestesses, but with their disappearance, the retainers were left to wander frigid Eleum Loyce without purpose"
It's likely that priestesses were once sacrificed to the ancient chaos, becoming pregnant in the process. It may have taken the priestesses underground.
Her blazing blood may have come from her Pthumerian heritage, it may have come from what was in the cup, or from some synergy between the two.
Besides having blazing blood, Maria is able to go into a state of levitation . Her blood can manifest in ways that are remarkably bizzare.
During one of Maria's airborn strikes, a chimerical feline materialized within her blood . When she goes into phase 3, something materializes above her, a face .
No known Great One has fire abilities, which makes this power all the stranger, and all the more likely to be related to the Pthumerians.
From Software is known to be ambiguous, and to attribute many strange qualities to "Fire". Some forms are considered benevolent, others are considered wicked.
Early into DS1 you learn that pyromancy is heresy and that clerics despise it. Clerics do worship Fire, but in the form of Miracles, The Gods and their Light.
Nito, Lord of The Dead and the sorcerer dragon, Seath, were both Lord of Fire. These Lords don't practice pyromancy, and their relation to fire is at times quite vague.
"God's Wrath", the precursor of the Miracle "Wrath of The Gods", is derived from the Soul of The Dragon God, who is described as "The Sultan of Chaos".
The Soul of The Dragon God was also used to create the first "Fireball" and the first "Firestorm", suggesting that Lighting and Pyromancy could have a common root.
The First Flame, the progenitor of the Souls of Lords, may have been something like The Dragon God, a beast at the root of both Lightning and Pyromancy.
The Witch of Izalith and her Daughters of Chaos, attempted to revive The First Flame. The result was The Chaos Flame.
In DS3, the Curse-Rotted Greatwood, a pregnant, humanoid tree, is worshipped above the hall of "The Mound Makers Covenant".
The Mound Makers have in their possession: the pyromancy "Warmth" and the katana "Bloodlust" which causes heavy bleeding, a reflection of the covenant's motives.
It's quite likely that these sights are akin to what happened in Izalith, and both areas draw connections between roots, Fire and pregnancy.
From Software's decision to fill Izalith and Blighttown with insects, wasn't made frivolously. Connecting insects to fire and defilement is something they typically do.
It all began in Demon's Souls. From the Nexus the player has access to five different areas, one of them is The Valley of Defilement and Stonefang Tunnel.
The centipedes are produced by a giant, parasitic heart . This monstrous, chained up lump of flesh, is the non-aggressive forerunner of the Brain of Mensis .
The Souls tradition is to link "insects" to fire and/or defilement, with a supplementary link to "queen" in Demon's Souls.
Cainhurst may be related to insects. They're already linked to salamanders, defilement, and "queen", and they have a courtyard filled with insectoids.
Bloodlickers are based on pretas , also called "gakis" (credit - JSF). These are souls cursed to eternal hunger and a neverending craving for putrid nourishment.
Visceral Attack refers to a number of things: instinct, fear, the noxious, the senseless, and the "viscera", the internal organs located inside the abdomen.
By means of a Visceral Attack, an enemy is eviscerated, insides strewn about the place. Gakis - pretas - are not drawn to blood, but to the disembodied excrement.
"Dreg" literally means "waste product", it refers to leftovers and sediment. It can also be used to accuse someone of being socially inferior, a criminal, or a loser.
Their item description states that dregs are "heavy" and that they will "sink to the lowest depths imaginable", like a villain.
This corroborates the idea that "dregs" is derogatory and "like sediment", and it fits into the theory that Bloodlickers are attracted to excrement.
But the river of blood is actually contaminated by droppings , most likely left by Ludwig, most likely after he ate people.
There may be a "Shinto" background to all of this. Shinto teaches that contact with death, feces, menstruation or childbirth afflicts one with spiritual impurity.
Shinto also associates impurity with stagnation. The analogy is that, when a river stops running normally, bacteria and diseases pile up, causing impurity.
In the Japanese version of DS3, Human Dregs are called Human Stagnation, further associating Dregs with impurity and feces. (Credit - JSF & Redgrave)
"Haven't you seen enough of these wretched beasts, freakish slugs, and mad doctors? Sentence these fiends to death. With the help of your League confederates. What do you say? Why not join the League?"
"Now, there is one thing you must know. By the oath of the League, those who bear its rune will see vermin. Vermin writhe deep within all filth, and are the root of man's impurity. All vermin are to be crushed. The League exist to expunge all vermin, ridding us of any trace of human corruption. And so, until we are rid of all vermin, you must continue to hunt and kill." - Valtr
The item description of "Blood Rapture" conjures up images of sex and blood, the desire for the queen and the raw euphoria of blood.
Such descriptions insinuate that The Vilebloods fancied feasts during which they gave in to vampirism and unrestrained hedonism.
Rosaria is the covenant leader of the DS3 invasion covenant - Rosaria's Fingers. The maggots she's connected to, could be kindred to the dark serpent, Pus of Man.
Hunters of The Nightmare are "blood-drunk", meaning that they're insane and homicidal - "frenzied"- like primordial Manus, whose humanity "went wild".
"Dark miracle taught in the Cathedral of the Deep.
Summons insect swarm to feast on foes.
These insects which lurk in the Deep have tiny jaws lined with fangs to tear open the skin and burrow into the flesh in the blink of an eye, causing intense bleeding."
The Deep is either an alternate name for The Abyss, or some twin phenomenon. It is a source of darkness, worshipped at The Cathedral of The Deep.
The Primordial Serpents in turn are being with very pronounced teeth, with which they can tear apart even Titanite. They're also described as exceedingly gluttonous.
In DS3's Irithyll, weapons like The Pontiff Knight's Curved Sword have been eaten away by insects, proving that these insects can chew through metal.
Hell itself is described in The Bible, as a place abound with the "gnashing of teeth":
Matthew 8:12, while the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
Arguably, "gnashing of teeth" can refer to expressions of pain, or expressions of anger, just as easily as it may refer to the act of chewing.
In recap, both The Vilebloods and Witches of Chaos are considered heretical by the local clergy.
Both are connected to insects. Both are architecturally connected to plant life. Both are connected to fire.
The Witches of Chaos are connected to the filthy, heretical Blighttown. Blighttown and Izalith are abound with insects.
Before DS1, the "Great Swamp" was the Valley of Defilement, filled with the heretical "Depraved", like the sinners of Cainhurst.
All these areas are connected to female figures of power. In chronological order, "Maiden Astraea", "The Witches of Chaos", "Queen Annalise of the Vilebloods".
It's worth noting however that Cainhurst isn't the sole group connected to insects.
The Corruption Rune
The Corruption rune is comprised of two patterns with separate origins.
The first pattern consists of two entwining, vertical lines. The second pattern consists of three horizontal arches.
The caduceus is formed by a pair of snakes, wrapped around a staff, ending in a pair of wings. Hermes used it as a wand.
The Black Witch's Staff also depicts the two serpents, and it's easy to imagine this being related to the Primordial Serpents: Kaathe and Frampt.
Berserk's god, The Idea of Evil, mirrors his own symbol, through the giant entwining veins sprouting from him . They may be connected to the Third Cord .
The Idea of Evil is also known as The God of The Abyss, which creates a strong parallel with "The Abyss (DS1)" and the twin serpents who sprouted from it.
Warning this section contains depictions of extreme, graphical violence and sex, and allusions to extreme sex and/or violence.
In the Berserk manga, The Symbol of God plays a double-sided role. It's a symbol used by The Holy See Religious Order, and evenly so by the heretics they persecute.
It's quite possible that the scenes surrounding Goat Head inspired The Vilebloods, and that Corruption is actually based on his phallus caduceus.
The three arches of Corruption could stem from The Devil Tarot card. Three arches are formed from The Devil's wings, The Devil's thighs and the iron chain.
The sadistic undertones of Cainhurst, the fetid nature of The Bloodlickers, the satanic nature of Berserk's "heretics", all corroborate this conclusion.
A rotten, defiled, sadistic queen, named Annalise, makes referrence to the rectal. Annalise may have been derived from DeS' "Queen Latria" - queen of the latrine.
Hateful Maggots could be another reference to the rectal, as these creatures, contrary to their Vile Maggot precursor, nest in the intestine , not the flesh .
Cainhurst Castle is littered with statues. Besides being a manifestation of excessive luxury, the statues are distinctly sexualized - .
Kos herself may be linked to Venus Cloacina, "the venus of the sewers", and the Aztec goddess Tlazolteotl, the lecherous "eater of filth".
On the back side of Logarius' throne , a moisture stain shows a naked woman, legs kept together, bending over, ready to be mounted.
Annalise's throne room has a rather unusually vaulted ceiling . It contains many more nodes and ridges than a realistic ceiling would require.
This makes the ceiling resemble a complex ropework, the kind once invented in Japan for the purpose of torture. It is now a form of decorative bondage or "Shibari".
Closer inspection of the Noble's Dress reveals a sexscene, of sorts. Here's a version without notes , here's one with notes .
These sights hint that Cainhurst was once a very sexual place, with indications of sadomasochism, osbscene rituals and decadent feasts.
Naturalism a broad term, covering a very wide range of ideas, from variations on materialism to social and political ideologies.
Technically, a "naturalist" is a person involved in the study of life forms, though conceivably it can be used to denote a promoter of any form of naturalism.
Naturalism has strong ties to atheism and scientism, it's also related to those social and moral ideas that hinge on "natural law"
One natural law seems inherent to Cainhurst: the belief that one should accept the natural order of things. The idea has always been popular among aristocrats.
Nobles have often believed themselves to be natually superior to their subjects, and that all class distinction was supported by God himself.
The right of the strongest is inherent to this ideology, and the right of the strongest is the default reasoning of a sociopath.
Right of the strongest is an idea often attributed to vampires as well, predators, which are stronger and faster than humans.
Naturalism can also be interpreted as "giving in to natural urges" or "to do as in nature", the ideal reasoning for those who act as predators and live unbound by rules.
Autarchy means self-rule, the first principle of this form of government is that every individual rules himself.
It is related to anarchism - a form of government without government. "Anarchists" is another anagram of Cainhurst Castle.
They're complex terms, part of contemporary political philosophy. They exist in many different forms, from modest to radical.
The question remains to what degree The Vilebloods are truly emancipated. They serve their queen, and whichever deity put her in place.
It's also a question if slavery to bloodthirst constitutes true freedom, or a diminishment of human consciousness.
The word "carnal" is predominantly used to denote sexual acts. Etymologically the word means "natural" and "of the flesh".
Carnal refers to wordly, material things and can therefore be connected to the anagram "naturalists", discussed earlier.
In medieval times people attributed the material to Satan. In fact, "satanist" is another anagram of Cainhurst Castle.
Another anagram is "Actualists", which refers to the philosophy that nothing exist but the actual world around us.
This can be interpreted as meaning: "morals do not exist", or as an invitation to embrace unrestricted materialism.
"Anti-cult" is an anagram and may refer to The Vilebloods being againsts religious congregations in all forms.
It may also mean that The Vilebloods are the cult that is the antithesis of other cults.
"Ultrachic" may be formed, a possible reference to decadent luxury.
Another word is "arcanists" which can refer to "the natural", "cults", "witchcraft" and the Renaissance.
Tantalus is mythological figure, a Greek king who offended the gods, by offering his own son as a sacrifice.
As punishment food would forever escape his grasp. Whenever he tried to drink water, the water would back away from him.
"Catharsis" is another anagram of Cainhurst Castle, it refers to the purging of emotions. A "cathartic" is an agent, stimulating the evacuation of feces
"Saccharins" are artificial sweeteners. They taste very sweet, but have almost no nutritional value.
These concept are highly compatible with the Bloodlickers' curse, as they cannot relieve their hunger, and are bound to worthless excrement.
"Sarcastic" is another anagram. Sarcasm is a form of humor that employs bitter comments and harsh criticism.
As a symbol it represents threefold destruction, and as a trident it relates to Neptune/Poseidon, water, fishing, and blood.
Farnese de Vandimion & The Lore of Cainhurst
Warning this section contains depictions of extreme, graphical violence and sex, and allusions to extreme sex and/or violence.
She's actually quite mad. As a child, she once escaped the house, to where heretics where awaiting execution, and started setting the trapped people ablaze.
Eventually she forces Serpico, her lifeling companion, to burn his own mother, who had been falsely accused of heresy. To her, this was a vital show of loyalty.
There are a number of links between Farnese de Vandimion and Castle Cainhurst.
-links to fire
-The Symbol of God resembling Corruption
-The Holy Iron Chain Commander being traditionally a female, is analogous to the Pthumerian Ihyll being traditionally a female.
The Vandimion estate is a massively oversized construction , much like Cainhurst and the typical Souls universe stronghold .
In the manga, the mansion comes into view after Farnese travels there, by chariot . At the time it was snowing , just like it's always snowing in Cainhurst .
The mansion itself is entered through a large lobby with a marble floor . Cainhurst is entered through a large hall with a marble floor .
The empty mirror found in Cainhurst , is also found in the Vandimion lobby , in the form of an equally useless ornament.
The insignia of the Vandimion family is the clover , which made it into Cainhurst as well, as a telltale sign on the back of the stone king .
The gaudy ceiling of the Vandimion ballroom , with its row shaped extravagance, likely inspired the equally ostentatious ceiling of the Cainhurst library .
The cryptic damage bonus "Righteous", which typically affects Vileblood themed enemies, may actually be made clear through a passage from Berserk.
Gargoyles aren't ghosts, but bats have a longstanding association with the paranormal, and have often been regarded as both spectral and physical in nature.
Nonetheless, I believe that Righteous was at first based on silver being able to dispel paranormal entities, and afterwards assumed the form it's seen in today.
The Pthumerian Culture
"The old labyrinth was carved out by the Pthumerians, superhuman beings that are said to have unlocked the wisdom of the eldritch Truth." - Lower Pthumeru Chalice
The Pthumerians are a tall, white haired people, that live in a place called "the tomb of the gods", otherwise called the Pthumerian Labyrinth.
Another such clue is the presence of labyrinth drinking horns at the Cainhurst Castle dinner table , along with gilded versions of the flirtatious maiden .
Pthumerians also make small sacrificial pyres , and they suspend sacrifical victims , which is a practice also seen in burnt Old Yharnam .
Cainhurst in turn is connected to Salamanders , fire spirits, who the DS3 "Great Swamp Ring" identifies as the descendants of Chaos Demons.
Dragons and Chaos Demons may not be all that different. In Demon's Souls, "The Sultan of Chaos" was an archdemon called "The Dragon God".
"A spell mimicking the raw power of the Dragon God, Sultan of Chaos. Its devastating flame is impossible to control." - Firestorm
In Demon's Souls, and in medieval mythology, dragons where never that distinct from demons, they simply constituted a different type of malevolent chimera.
If Dragons are just another kind of Demon, then Chaos Demons, Chaos Insects and Eternal Dragons may all be manifestations of a singular fiery chaos.
As discussed above, the great roots that creep into every inch of The Labyrinth may be the akin to the roots that covered Izalith, the tentacles of The Bed of Chaos .
Izalith's roots are likely related to The Stone Archtrees, once derived from Yggdrasil, the mythological world tree, whose roots are gnawed by dragons and serpents.
Either way, living beneath the surface, the Pthumerians may have encountered some Old One - Yggdrasil - Kushan Emperor like entity and begun to worship it.
Though this would explain a number of things, it isn't necessary that The Pthumerians stem from anything outside of Bloodborne, it's merely a supporting theory.
Sufficient to say is that The Pthumerians stand to worship something similar to the chaos of Izalith, and that they might be Dragon worshippers as well.
In this sense, the ingesting of insects could be related to this kind of chaos worship, to become one with the chaos, and perhaps even become a dragon.
That could in turn explain the fiery powers of Lady Maria , powers that old concept art suggests is directly related to her Pthumerian heritage .
The Chaos Flame, and Pthumerian women like Maria, may be rooted in an even deeper connection to fire, The Bonfire of The Dark Souls universe.
As mentioned above, the ability of Chime Maidens to indefinitely resurrect the undead , reminds of Dark Souls Firekeepers and Bonfires.
Firekeepers are blind, and often defenseless. Chime Maidens are mad, and trifling warriors. Like Firekeepers they traded strength for more spiritual talents.
Another element of the Pthumerian culture is "beheading". The Labyrinth is abound with statues of women, one veiled figure is often seen without a head .
In the Bloodborne Cinematic Trailer, the statue of a headless woman drips, what seems to be quicksilver , into the cracked skull of Laurence .
In Cainhurst, the statue of the flirtatious maiden is frequently tipped over , decapitated, and always decapitated in exactly the same manner.
The flirtatious maiden is - curiously - always missing her right arm . The veiled woman of The Labyrinth is also - at times - missing her right arm .
These sight are likely linked to an historical figure, a ritual, or a deity, and there's a number of real world goddesses that are known to have been beheaded.
Coyolxauhqui was an Aztec Moon goddess, who once led 400 Tzitzimimeh, or star demons, against the manifestation of the Sun - "Huitzilopochtli".
Coyolxauhqui and the Tzitzimimeh were the children of Coatlicue, they felt dishonored when she became pregnant with Huitzilopochtli, and plotted to kill her.
Before they could succeed, Huitzilopochtli burst from her womb, fully grown and clad in armor. He obliterated the demons and dismembered Coyolxauhqui.
As the legend goes, he threw her head into the sky to become the Moon, so that their mother would still be comforted by the likeness of Coyolxauhqui.
At dawn, Huitzilopochtli, as the Sun, repeats his victory over the stars. At dusk, Huitzilopochtli throws Coyolxauhqui's head into the sky, to become the Moon.
Coatlicue - whose name means "skirt of snakes" - is an Aztec fertility goddess, the mother of Huitzilopochtli, Coyolxauhqui and the Tzitzimimeh.
She's also called "Teteoh innan" - mother of the gods - "Toci" - our grandmother - "Tlazolteotl" - goddess of dirt - and Cihuacoatl "snake woman".
Her feet and hands are adorned with claws and her breasts are depicted as hanging flaccid from pregnancy. Her face is composed of two facing serpents.
The serpents represent blood surging from her neck, referring to the myth that she was sacrificed during the beginning of the present creation.
Coatlicue is a manifestation of the pimordial earth, a womb and grave, a loving mother and an insatiable monster, in which sense she mirrors the primordial beast "Cipactli".
In her headless state, Coatlicue can be seen as an embodiment of the caduceus, the Symbol of God, Corruption, The Devil and Oedon.
The Cinematic Trailer shows the headless lady pouring quicksilver, which is associated with Oedon, magic and the caduceus.
These goddess are all earthly, lewd and fierce, worshipped as great mothers, ravenous and terrifying, bestowers and destroyers of life.
In her aspect of Tlazolteotl, Coatlicue is the lewd eater of waste, the patroness of adulterers, the goddess of filth, sin, and sexual misdeeds.
Standing to join such beings are The Moon Presence , but also The Great Kos, who as a slug is a detrivore, and could be related to "Venus Cloacina".
This hookes up with Cthulhu Mythos deities like Shub-Niggurath and Ubbo-Sathla, who are said to "excrete" offspring in a manner that is revolting.
Chinnamasta - The self-decapitated Goddess - is one of the ten "Mahavidyas or "aspects of the goddess", which also incorporates Parvati and Kali.
Durga, The Goddess, the female aspect of spirituality reveals itself in many forms, some beautiful and others terrifying, like Chinnamasta.
Chinnamasta is generally depicted as a red woman holding a flaying knife. Two servants join the goddesss, in drinking the blood from her severed neck.
Chinnamasta is "the all-awakened", achieving full enlightenment by offering herself to herself, simultaneously becoming sustenance and devourer.
She is is accompanied by two Mahasiddha "great perfected ones", Mekhala "Elder Mischievous Girl" - and Kanakhala "Younger Mischievous Girl".
According to legend, the sister were living an unhappy existence in their village, until a guru visited them and instructed them in the worship of Vajravārāhī.
For 12 years they studied, until the guru revisited the sisters. Insisting that they bring him an offering, he asked the sisters to offer their heads to him.
Compliant, the sisters severed their heads and placed them at his feet. Their bodies danced around the guru, while their heads sang in reverence of him.
The guru then rejoined their heads and the sisters became Mahasiddha. In the course of time, they bodily assumed Khechara, the Paradise of Dakinis.
The activities of Hemwick Charnel Lane may refer to the legend of Coatlicue grinding up the bones of previous ages , to make a new race of humans.
Rahu is the head of the Svarbhānu, a great demon who split into a head and a trunk, both of which became possessed by a demon snake, siring "Rahu" and "Ketu".
Both are considered inauspicious, though Ketu can generate a surge of fame or creativity, but can also cause insanity and sociopathic detachment.
The Knights of Hearts
In The Labyrinth, there lie the countless remains of ancient killing fields, dating from a bygone chivalrous age . Most of which are found in boss arenas.
These remnants are all adorned with hearts . While common in the Bloodborne decor, hearts are prominently featured on Sword Hunter Badges .
These hunters, also known as Holy Blades, are what remains of an ancient line of heroes that date back to a very early age of honor and chivalry."
A curious thing about the armor found in The Labyrinth, it all consists of completely solid pieces . There's no way for a human being to fit inside of it.
This suggests that the armor doesn't belong to human beings, but that the remains constitute golems, artificial warriors akin to the Manikins of The Harvest Valley.
"The peculiar art of puppetry is vestige of the two lost lands. The Queen, entranced by the poison, used it to beckon unknowing souls to the defiled valley."
"A queen breathed life into these dolls with the very miasma that afflicted her poison-drenched bosom, so that she would have slaves to serve her temperamental will."
"Helm of the rampart golems, granted life by the Ivory King.
The golems were charged with the containment of the creatures of chaos whithin the boundaries of the wall.
When the doors of Eleum Loyce were flung open, the place turned frigid and lifeless, but the golems remained dutifully on guard."
- Rampart Golem Helmet
"My name is Melentia.
You a stranger to this land?
All we get is strangers these days. Everybody's gone and run off!
Drangleic's been a pile o' rubble since the war fought long, long ago.
When the Giants crossed the sea."
"They say these trees grew from the remains of the Giants.
From each carcass sprouted new life, growing into what you see now.
But you know what they also say. Don't believe what an old hag says!"
- Merchant Hag Melentia
"Long ago, the King crossed the seas, pillaged the land of Giants, and brought back a "prize".
It was then that the golems materialised.
The Giants are no ordinary barbarians. A singular rage burns within their hearts.
My father, and his father, both fought the Giants on this very land.
The Giants have wills of steel.
They cannot find it within themselves… To forgive the misdeeds of our lord."
"Soon, the Giants will descend upon this fort.
It is revenge, for the Kingdom's misguided barbarism.
The venerable Lord built this kingdom to bring prosperity to His subjects.
What has transformed him so, I can not imagine."
- Captain Drummond
"My Lord made magnificent findings on souls… An accomplishment for the ages…
He vanquished the Four Great Ones… And built this kingdom upon their souls.
Our King has watched over this land… Since ages long, long ago…
King Vendrick…We must fight back… Or the Giants will take Drangleic…"
"The King commandeered their power… And created the Golems.
With the Golems, the king created this castle.
To celebrate victory… And to show his love, his gratitude to his Queen…"
"The Queen… Brought peace… to this land, and to her King.
A peace so deep… it was like… The Dark… "
- Chancellor Wellager
The Giants were defiled by Vendrick's deed, what he stole from them was sacred, and he used it to create these slave children, all for power and wealth.
This absense of a true face, of a true head, could point to attempts at diminishing their intelligence, to make them helpless and thus easier to control.
The knights of The Labyrinth may have been such golems, but it's also possible that they were "turned to stone" like the Stone Soldiers of Drangleic Castle .
If the labyrinth armors are like Manikins, then they may stem from a character similar to Mytha, who does thematically resemble The Vileblood Queen.
If the armors are like Golems, they may stem from a character similar to Nashandra, or a character similar to King Vendrick, or any other "true king".
The Ivory king, discussed above, knew how to make Golems, The Drakeblood Knights have ties with King Vendrick (see Vaatividya), so perhaps they kept Golems.
Perhaps the Radiant Sword Hunter Badge quote: "an ancient line of heroes, dating back to a very early age of honor and chivalry." refers to a Dark Souls like era.
Logarius as a "true king"
Logarius once invaded the castle and subdued its residents, and though he appears to be a guardian of sorts, he may rather have only replaced its ruler.
Logarius' himself wears the remnant of a once yellow garb , both of them wield staves, The Old Monk wears a crown of thorns , symbolizing martyrdom.
By his extraordinary length, Logarius shows himself to be of Pthumerian descent. His sword and staff, have Pthumerian designs , .
The undulatig design of his blade is typical of a flamberge, "a flame sword". His scythe/staff mirrors the flame manipulating rod of a Pthumerian Elder.
The Ardeo has a shape that's distinctly phallical, a complex also observed in Anor Londo . This phallical theme could have a very grim explanation.
Many clues relate Fire to punishment and self-chastisement . Perhaps these strange twists of morality point to the true nature of Executioners.
Demon's Souls "Old Monk" is a sorcerer, and a king. At one point banished by the queen, The Old monk returned in a golden garb, with foul Demons in tow.
"The Queen banished her depraved old husband from the land.
He returned in strange golden garb with foul Demons in tow.
They pillaged great Latria, land of the learned, and locked us in this dungeon.
Since then, they've been feeding off our souls…
Telling us over and over that if we go above, we will be granted redemption."
- Once Royal Mistress
The queen's husband was a depraved man, who returned as a "monk" to dethrone his former spouse. The king of Cainhurst may have been no different.
Statues in the Cainhurst dinner hall are specially arranged, in such a way that the king seems to grab butt , as both characters are royalty, this could signify incest.
Incest is the sort of depraved behavior that can get a husband banished. In regard to incest, there are parallels between Logarius and "The King of Midland".
Of all armorpieces, the Cainhurst Helmet stands out as extraordinarily detailed and its embossments display numerous scenes related to the plot.
The helmet also contains a number of False Eyes. There's a particularly well developed one at the height of the ear . It's only present on the left side.
Those in Fishing Hamlet have a much more dreary appearance . They're near blind, their slimy hair droops straight down and their back is covered in organs .
Cainhurst Castle contains another mysterious reference to slugs. A young girl tiptoes on a shell-like pedestal, appearing strikingly similar to the goddess Venus.
In her right hand she holds what could be a slug or a shell. This could also be One Third of Umbilical Cord, required for ascension.
Serpico is the bodyguard and lover of General Farnese. He senses that Guts might try to kill his royal blooded mistress, and draws his sword against him.
A similar, but more slimelike growth can be found in the Research Hall, clawing around the piston powering the great elevator .
Yahar'gul can be accessed early on, in the form of The Hypogean Gaol, in which case it will be comprised of completely different enemies, and display no "Blood Moon".
Another such area, The Abandoned Workshop is, though not magically protected, clearly "hidden" and "a secret", only accessible through a special series of steps.
Remarkable patterns appear on the great bridge leading up to Cainhurst Castle , patterns formed by small black stones.
This "melting" created depressions in the bridge, along with these unusual patterns. These patterns appear elsewhere, they appear on the Unseen Headstone .
It could be that "the unseen" really is a category in and of itself, comprised of areas not defined by being "physical" or "Nightmare", but defined by being "concealed".
Connection to Mergo's Loft
"Opaque mirrors " are invariably cracked, black screens, some of which Micolash can use as teleportation devices , which is their most likely function.
Opaque Mirrors are all identically cracked, and the cracking patterns eerily resemble the cracks shown by the picture lying next to Lady Maria .
Opaque mirrors are adorned with lions , as are Mensis chairs . Which suggests ties with Cainhurst , or at least ties to the Pthumerian line .
All attendants of Mergo have small wings on the back of their armors . This further relates them to bats, but it could also indicate "Celestial Children ".
There's distinct correlation between "wielding sickle like blades" and "flight". The Pthumerian Descendant is another sickle wielder , predictably capable of flight .
Such sickles may all have been created for the same reason, to harvest a victim's head , and give the head to something like "The Brain of Mensis ".
Connection to Research Hall
"Ah, there's something I want to tell you. A bit of wisdom from the eminent Master Logarius!"
Its meaning is unclear, but here's a list of possible meanings.
- Sir Alonne: Like Maria, the samurai knight from DS2 can be found sitting down with a large lightsource behind him . Both warriors use katana like weapons and Cainhurst Knights are themselves samurai themed.
- Grand Archives Scholars : The Scholars dip their head in wax to give themselves candlelike heads . These heads also resemble the traditional hairstyles of the samurai. In Japanese it is called the Chonmage, outside Japan it may be known as "samurai buns". The theme of the Grand Archives Scholar fits the Research Hall. Some of the Scholars' heads are lit like a candle. Why they do this is unclear, but it may be a form of sacrifice. This theme of fire/sacrifice may be connected to Lady Maria. The wax , a material that can be used to form lifelike imitations of people, could be related to Maria's imitation, The Plain Doll .
- Dragon God: The Dragon God is a giant man shaped dragon and one of the four archdemons in Demon's Souls. His soul was used to create the very first versions of Fireball, Firestorm and God's Wrath (Wrath of the Gods). The samurai has two great arrows emerging from his sides . The Dragon God had to be defeated by using two giant spearguns to immobilize his arms. When the Dragon God was speared the giant projectiles would stick out from his body in a kind of cross shape, like the arrows on the Samurai. This creature could be "the idol " on the Cainhurst Helmet. It's not uncommon for an animal god to be represented as a human or vice versa, so it's at least possible that the samurai is actually a monstrous god. What makes this more interesting is that the Dragon God resided in the realm of the "Burrowers ". The Burrowers were a race of people that mindlessly kept on carving out more underground tunnels. These creatures behaved very much like the Pthumerian Watcher's Gravedigger . This realm was also the greatest source of Crystal Lizards , which looked a lot more like actual lizards than their Dark Souls incarnations , who gained a more insect like appearance. With giant, mineral based insects "burrowing" within the Stonefang Tunnel, this may not have been a coincidence. Above, I discuss the possible connections between dragons, minerals, trees, insects and "Chaos". The "Burrowers" of Stonefang Tunnel somehow managed to fuse themselves to mineral . Dragons are said to be mineral based lifeforms, so the appearance of infused minerals on the Burrowers could relate them to dragons like Seath the Scaleless , or half-dragons like Crossbreed Priscilla . The "Scale Miners" may have been looking for mineral based "scales", to infuse into their bodies, which would make the scales similar to the "Dragon Scales", collectible in DS1 and DS2, such scales could be traded for magical "stones" or used to upgrade weapons of stone. Mineral scales like those seen on the Burrowers, resemble what is seen on the "scalemail" of the Pthumerian Tomb Guardian . The daggers used by the Pthumerians are close to identical to the DS1 Drake Sword . Connections like these add to the idea that Pthumerians worshipped "dragons", and perhaps demonic subsidiaries like Salamanders and insects .
Parallels between Queen Annalise and Maiden Astraea
Maiden Astraea is a noble, who drops the "Pureblood" Demon's Soul. This soul can be forged into the Blueblood Sword.
"A white iron straight sword born from the soul of the demon Maiden Astraea.
The sword of true nobility, endowed with the essential power humans are born with, which increases its attack power." - Blueblood Sword
Before the start of the game, Astraea ventured into the grey fog that enveloped Boletaria. At the time, she was already famously known as The Sixth Saint.
Like many heroes, she failed to stop The Old One. Instead she settled down in a great swamp and became an idol of worship to the Depraved Ones.
Ever since that Demon witch came here, everything has turned foul. All the men worship her like she's the Virgin Mary.
The same men who would snatch my child away from me! This was a much better place before she came.
I was the apple of every mans eye. You’re here to rid us of her, aren't you? Well, don't show her any mercy! - Filthy Woman
Maiden Astraea became a demon long before the players meets her. Her soul can be formed into 3 different spells, each mentioning her corruption.
Spell from the Demon Maiden Astraea's Soul
Generates a cloud of plague.
It is natural that those who take in all that is impure are themselves the most impure of all.
Spell from the Demon Maiden Astraea's Soul
Fully recovers another by touching them.
Though Astraea is the most impure demon of all, her works are equal to those of divine beings.
Miracle from the Demon Maiden Astraea's Soul
Returns any Phantom near the caster back to their own world, granting them their living body.
This miracle is a countersign of the corrupted former Sixth Saint Astraea.
Astraea birthed the blood covered Plague Babies, Annalise seeks to give birth to a "Child of Blood", to which end she ingests "Blood Dregs".
The word "dreg" refers to "the lowest". The "dregs of society" are "the scum of society". Dregs mean "waste", filth" and things that are "unwanted".
It as if Annalise wants to to surround herself with "depraved", and soak herself in toxic filth, like Astraea did in The Valley of Defilement.
Both Astraea and Annalise are characterized as women of bewitching charm and beauty. Both women are guarded by a male champion.
Both Astraea and Annalise behave as helpless women, they only ever taunt the player, and will not turn hostile, even in the face of death.
Annalise is a noble, defined by her Pthumerian blood. Astraea is a noble, who drops the "Pureblood" Demon's Soul, root of the "Blueblood" Sword.
The Blueblood Sword is "endowed with the essential power humans are born with", which in Dark Souls wording means "endowed with the dark".
In DS3, "the elusive, essential property unique to humans" - Anri's Straight Sword - is "Luck", a stat related to Hollowing, Bleeding, Curse and Poison.
The Idea of Evil is a manipulator of destiny. The Idea forged the bloodline that would produce the silver haired Griffith, who he has been gracing with success ever since.
The links with the Pthumerians are tangible. Griffith as the pale haired "Übermensch", The Pthumerians as a tall, white race, with undercurrents regarding "purity of blood".
If true, The Pthumerians are to be regarded as those humans cultivated by the god of darkness, a sociopathic master race, sanctified by god's divine favor
What typifies a Child of Dark, is its ability to ensare "a king", or otherwise "a great male warrior", like Velstadt, or The Fume Knight, seduced by Nadalia.
It's quite possible that Annalise is continuing this history of temptation, and is trying to turn the player into another guardian, like Vinland or Velstadt.
Logarius' failure to end The Vilebloods may have been the victory of Annalise's magnetism, even if this victory led to her being defiled and imprisoned.