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 Lore of Old Yharnam and Blood-starved Beast

The full story on what happened in Old Yharnam in still being investigated but some parts have already been substantiated.

The involvement of The Moon Presence

In the Old Yharnam church where you encounter a crucified Blood-starved Beast there is an altar.

On the altar there are several golden embossments    and the Moon Presence appears in at least two of them.

In the first , she appears in the lower half of the picture with her head tucked against her chest. You can detect two of her trident shaped tails  .

In the second , she's likewise located in the lower half of the picture and you can once again recognize her trident shaped tails left and right of the picture.

There may exist a connection between The Moon Presence and the Norse goddess Freya.

Norse gods are divided into two great tribes: "The Aesir, the kinsmen of Odin" and "The Vanir, the kinsmen of Njörðr".

Freya is a Vanir, or Wane (think Waning Blood Gems). Vanir were known as gods of fertility (alien conception) and harvest (hunting)

Freya is known as the greatest practitioner of "Seiðr" which is a kind of sorcery. Seiðr involves alteration, manipulation and prophecy.


Destiny in Norse mythology is controlled by the Norns, who are identical to the Greek Sisters of Fates.

Destiny is also attributed to Freya, who is the greatest reader of the future and even gets into trouble over her prophesying.

Freya may manifest as a "triple goddess" in the form of a maiden, a mother and a crone.

The Norns constitute such a triple goddess and may simply be a manifestation of Freya. Norn also simply means "magician".


Before they joined houses, the Aesir and Vanir waged a terrible war, known as the Aesir/Vanir war.

According to the Poetic Edda the Aesir/Vanir war began with Gullveig.

"Gullveig" is by prominent scholars believed to be Freya. (source Wikipedia: Gullveig)

"She that remembers, the first on earth,
when Gullveig they with lances pierced,
and in the high one's hall her burnt,
thrice burnt, thrice brought forth,
oft not seldom; yet she still lives.
Heidi they called her, whitherso'er she came, the well-foreseeing Vala:
wolves she tamed, magic arts she knew, magic arts practiced;
ever she was the joy of evil people."

This is a second translation:

"The war I remember, the first in the world,
When the gods with spears had smitten Gollveig,
And in the hall of Hor had burned her,
Three times burned, and three times born,
Oft and again, yet ever she lives.
Heith they named her who sought their home
The wide-seeing witch, in magic wise;
Minds she bewitched that were moved by her magic,
To evil women a joy she was."


This Gullveig/Freya character bewitched minds, tamed wolves and was a joy to evil people, especially evil women.

But it was not The Moon Presence that was burned in Old Yharnam, not in her current form anyway.

Within the cathedral of Old Yharnam a large Blood-starved Beast is crucified.

Blood-starved Beast Crucified Front Bloodstarved Beast Crucified Back 

She has been staked (speared) and most likely burned while crucified. The same happened to the other beasts of Old Yharnam .

The Moon Presence is a godlike being. If the above theory is correct then she is a master of Seiðr, alteration.

It would be possible for her to appear in Old Yharnam in a different form, the form of a Blood-starved Beast.


There are resemblances between The Blood-starved Beast and The Moon Presence.

The limbs of The Blood-starved Beast    much resemble the tails of The Moon Presence    in terms of color scheme and patterns.

The limbs of Blood-starved BeastHHeBoth bosses appear to be in a state of rot and their ribs are showingThe Blood-starved Beast has especially pointed ribs  which could be thought to resemble the teethlike ribs of The Moon Presence .

The Blood-starved Beast has a face that's still relativily human , that is to say: "not canine".

Instead its skeletal face looks more like that of Paarl , a Darkbeast who fights and moves a lot like The Moon Presence and Blood-starved Beast.

Paarl has his electric "blast and scream ", Blood-starved Beast has its poison "blast and scream ". The Moon Presence screams while summoning mist .

It may also be that the bizarre split hide of the Blood-starved Beast is connected to the split nature of The Moon Presence.

Gullveig is described in the Poetic Edda as a the well-foreseeing "vala (modernized)" - a word used to described a powerful female shaman, seer or witch, "a völva".

The word "völva" is interesting because it is also used in mycology - the study of fungi - to describe "the remnant of the universal veil" of a mushroom.

The universal veil protects the fruiting body while it matures. The veil eventually bursts open, leaving only a remnant of itself at the base of the mushroom   .

The term "universal veil" is interesting because of its likeness to "the veil of darkness", the chaos that surrounds creation, and which is antagonistic to life.

The Blood-starved Beast has a hood, bursting forth spore like pathogens . That makes it like a mushroom, and therefore connected to the concept "volva".

It's possible that The Moon Presence was once part of a "universal veil", that it split open , turning it into a dark mother of creation, antagonistic to life.


There was a heretical cult

Old Yharnam Heretic 2 Thumb.jpg Old Yharnam Heretics Thumb.jpg

All over Old Yharnam you can find figures wearing red robes who are strung up and hanging upside down.

Some believe that these hanging corpses are Pthumerians whose blood has been harvested.

In favor of this theory is that the corpses are very tall , but this increased size could also be a symptom of the Scourge of Beasts.


Red as a color is also worn by Graveyard Hags and by the pyromancing Chime Maidens that accompany the One Reborn bossfight.

Sinner Mid-Action Crop 2 Thumb.png  

Red is the color of the "Rotted" buff which can be bestowed by the witchlike Labyrinth Ritekeepers, or by making a "rotted" offering.

Cainhurst Castle Drapes 2 Thumb.jpg

Red is the color of the Vilebloods which are also connected to symbols of fire. Red is worn by the Firekeeper Hags of Dark Souls 2.

Pyromancy is traditionally considered heretical in Dark Souls and is connected to witches.

Likewise the Graveyard Hags behave a lot like witches and the Chime Maidens of the One Reborn have clearly done something against "God's will".

The Healing Church is heavily prejudiced against the Vilebloods just like the clerics of DS1 were prejudiced against the Chaos Witches.

In Dark Souls, Pyromancy can also be used to create poison spells. The Old Yharnam Beasts are poisonous when their eyes glow red.

Outside the cathedral you can find pentacles , which are typically associated with witches and also The Devil. (see Tarot Card, The Devil)

This cult may very well have filled the role that the Chaos Witches filled in Dark Souls.

What exactly happened to the cult isn't clear.

They might have stirred up trouble they couldn't contain or they might have been subject to an all out attack by The Choir, or The Healing Church.

In the end Old Yharnam was unsalvageable and left to the beasts. Who benefitted from this situation isn't known.

Djura, the Ashen Hunter stayed behind in Old Yharnam defending the beasts that he still believed were people.

The Powder Kegs are themselves called "heretical" and Djura may have been linked to the cult personally or by practices and philosophy.

It could be that Djura feels for the beasts because he knew them personally and once called them friends.

It's also possible that Djura sympathizes because he is himself a heretic.

He understands what the beasts are and what they wanted to be. Perhaps he even feels responsible for what happened to them.

Within The Church of the Good Chalice there stands an altar with 3 females kneeling over a dead old man .

Only the middle female is mature, the females at her sides appear very small and young. They are identical in appearance.

There's more to these two girls than first meets the eye. Their faces  look like masks and much resemble the ashen cast dead of Pompeii   .

The bottoms of their dresses display bizarre curves   and resemble lava . That could make them fire versions of The Slime Scholar  .

This "lava" resembles the shroud that The Old Man is wrapped in  . The chests of the girls also display strange veiny growths (see faces).

Beneath the girls a strange scene is depicted . A large crowd of people has gathered around what appears to be The Old Man's dead body.

Closer examination displays a tall man hanged over the body with a malicious grin . He looks like a crossbreed of Snatcher  and Kaathe .

I believe that the scene depicted is Bloodborne's version of The Last Supper.

The Old Man displayed could be a firegod who is the son of Oedon in the same way that Jesus Christ is God and "The Son of God".

In Bloodborne however the apostles do not eat bread representing the flesh of Christ, but the flesh of Christ himself.

Lovecraft himself is also known for using Christian themes and turning them into horrific images.

The females could have been adherents of fire and the Sun, and were likely of some importance to the heretical cult of Old Yharnam.

Outside The Church, the rock appears warped, volcanic  . "Volcanism" may be connected to the ash found throughout Yharnam   .

"Ash" has certain connotations, linking it to The Undead Curse and The First Kiln , and also to minor elements like Nadalia Bride of Ash .

Further consequences of the eating of The Old Man/(God) are discussed under Darkbeast Lore.


Trivia & Notes

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Old Yharnam Gargoyles








    • Anonymous

      02 Nov 2017 16:25  

      why is everyone assuming the moon presence is female or the blood-starved beast, it hasn't been confirmed ever by the producers

      • Anonymous

        12 Jul 2017 18:51  

        tbh I... don't really see the Moon Presence in those gold plates. They look more to me like women in shawls, but it probably looks unclear either because the gold is melted, or, you know, the texture was just rendered poorly. Not to say the Moon Presence wouldn't have anything to do with Old Yharnam, considering its existence is one with the Paleblood Moon, and Old Yharnam was the first arena for the Hunt, and apparently the first location in Yharnam in which the red moon appeared.

        I think what Djura means when he refers to the beasts as "people" is that they aren't the same as the beasts that plague "New" Yharnam. Those beasts are driven by bloodlust and desire to hunt other beasts, whereas the victims of Old Yharnam are perceived as beasts by Hunters / the mobs of Yharnam in order to literally dehumanize them, and to make it easier to justify killing them. It looks like the "ashen blood ailment" that "triggered the scourge of the beast" could have been a legitimate disease that the Healing Church wished to obliterate, and so they sent the Hunters to slaughter the infected, obviously based on the methodology used to combat the Black Death in the middle ages. This senseless violence quickly drew the attention of the Paleblood Moon and the Moon Presence.

        Thanks to the Old Hunters and their belief that fire purified their polluted prey, Old Yharnam was set ablaze, and the Healing Church, possibly at the behest of Laurence, sealed the gate to the Cathedral Ward, trapping the Old Hunters and the beasts of Yharnam alike. Djura and his cohorts realized the hypocrisy, which might explain what he means when he says "he no longer dreams," and why he remains in Old Yharnam after revoking his Hunters' vows. Likewise, this is why the beasts of Old Yharnam fear flame, whereas "newer" beasts carry fire wherever they go--beasthood is a mentality, not a biological contagion.

        • Anonymous

          12 May 2017 18:19  

          I've come to notice that whenever i do anything that gains insight via a consumable or facing a boss, I always heard a sort of faint, male whisper. I never understood what it said but after reading this, I think it's Oedon himself trying to make contact.

          • Anonymous

            21 Feb 2017 08:44  

            Oedon is a great one, explicitly stated by runes to be formless in nature. I've always thought of it as Oedon being almost like a radio broadcast, to which your blood can become attuned. The figure you say appears to be Oedon is one I interpret as simply being a generic sickly individual, one who's about to be healed by this rad new "blood ministration" treatment they've got at this Church of the Holy Chalice that just opened downtown.

            • Anonymous

              Norse gods?24 Sep 2016 21:20  

              im gettin sick and tired of the reference of the nordic gods here it has nothing to do with the game

              • Moon Presence taking the form of blood starved beast?26 Aug 2016 19:19  

                No way, moon presence is ancient. This is not the first hunt. Djura says"I think you still dream..." or somthing like that. He was in the dream before, a hunt that was surely lead by the moon presence in the past. Even Eileen the crow, who has already become old, knows about the doll, let her kill you when you first meet her, she will say "tell the doll I said hi'. Or somthing like that. If that blood starved beast was once moon presence, it should be bones by now. If moon presence, descended and temporarily became a blood starved beast, not likely either. Blood starved beast was not born that way. Its skin was flayed as it was tortured, and the blood it hungers for is not only the blood it lost. Its a desire to punish those who hurt it. It wants so much revenge that it is starving for the blood of its enemies, humans. Moon presence, with its mind powers, would never allow anyone to hurt it to that extent. Plus the form of blood starved beast is inferior. Moon presence is powerful already. If it found reason to descend(which is bad idea, as it can be hunted by hunters) it would use its classic form, with all its powers intact.

                • There was a cult 100% Those insane witches in hemwick for instance26 Aug 2016 19:08  

                  The bell ringers and other dungeon people,pthumerians, were a cult of sorts. They worshipped the great ones too, and their queen, Queen Yharnam, was the surrogate mother of the great one Mergo, who probably causes the blood moon and aggravates the old blood/beast curse. You can even call the healing church a cult. They worship blood.

                  • With the powder kegs calling themselves heretical...26 Aug 2016 19:02  

                    Its more of other people labeled them like that. These hunters took part, and pretty much did most of the killing in the burning of old yharnam. Im sure normal people, or normal people who have not turned beast yet, were killed and this stained their rep. Another possible reason for the heretical label is how different their methods were. The origianl hunters were led by gherman, and were made to be silent stealthy killers. Quiet hunters who could stalk their prey and blend in with crowds. Weapons were canes and retractable saws that could be concealed/were not too obvious. Back before the beast curse got intense, things like killing civilians becoming beasts had to be done quietly. The powder kegs branched off from the original path and had stake drivers and boom hammers, and beast cutters. Nothing quiet or steathly here. The style was flamboyant, obvious, fiery and powerful. Probably happened when the beast curse became more well known, and every one knew people were becoming beast for some reason.

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