unlike the lofty choir boys, the school of mensis took its base of operations below the grand cathedral; first in byrgenwerth, then in a peculiar, out-of-the way village called “yahar’gul”. if the school of mensis was an “upper echelon of the healing church“, then the relationship between the church and byrgenwerth must not have disintegrated immediately after laurence’s departure. after all, the mensis students you summon and their professor wear the byrgenwerth student set.
you may also be wondering about their stupid hats. the mensis cage is a dumb device for idiots.
The cage is a device that restrains the will of the self, allowing one to see the profane world for what it is.
It also serves as an antenna that facilitates contact with the Great Ones of the dream.
what’s annoying is that it probably works. more on that later.
i don’t know how, but the school of mensis found another entrance to a labyrinth that lead them to the decrepit and ancient city of loran. the hunter accesses loran via a chalice; its possible mensis used the same method after finding the chalice…somewhere. idk you get it from a boss drop. they could have just dug a big hole for all i know. though overlapping in aesthetics with pthumeru (i have no reason to believe that anything other than pthumerians made civilizations down there), the differences between the two locations was startling. pthumeru is relatively intact and well-maintained, albeit a bit spiderwebby. loran is being smothered in desert sands and harsh winds. the air is so dry that static electricity crackles nonstop.
they found magnificent phantasms and life-giving blood in pthumeru and isz. in loran they found…more beasts. no sign of any great ones; only “trace remains of medical procedures” but, much to everyone’s collective unease, it wasn’t clear if what they were looking at were “attempts to control the scourge of the beast, or the cause of the outbreak”. it didn’t take a genius to put it all together: what’s happening to yharnam has already transpired and desiccated this lost city. the beast plague was not a novel problem and others had already tried, and failed, to eradicate it. the aforementioned “trace remains” refers to the unbelievable amount of blood vials just laying around loran for the taking. h-hey guys why is there so much of our healing blood in the underground wolf city we just dug up. is that good.
i think it makes sense to view loran and isz as the divergent paths that yharnam could devolve into. isz was addled by the cosmos, but the truth of the great ones is that they too are mere mortals like us. loran, conversely, embraced beasthood and everlasting life via the old blood. but in a pthumerian society, choosing beasthood meant rejecting their roles as servants and surrogates for the gods…but life in loran seemed hostile for great ones and their kin*. the blue sparks in the air are identical to those summoned when using bolt damage items, and the appeal of bolt damage is that it does bonus damage to kin enemies. so if the air is hostile to the great ones and their little seedbeds, they’re bound to be super pissed off.
Curses are caused by inciting the anger of the Great Ones,
and used to hex others. Special materials are required to
complete the ritual.
To try one’s hand at curses, first seek the Bastard of Loran.
bastards of loran (yucky dead kid usable item warning) are mummified remains of infant loran silverbeasts1 formed in the womb of women infected with the beast scourge. silverbeasts are pthumerians transformed into beasts, probably. this is based on the color and their admittedly unimpressive fire magic, but it is fire magic nonetheless. a curious note is that bastards of loran can only be farmed from silverbeasts in the chalice dungeons. other locations won’t drop them. another thing to note is that bastards usually have fathers. so who was it?
this is the “great one beast” restored by the incredible foxy hooligan.2 “restored” is putting it lightly. there was a low res model found with some animations and now somehow it works in game as a thing you can fight with a hacked ps4. insane shit. amazing. very sad they cut this. he looks like a total bastard to fight. i would have loved it. there’s a mechanic where you can burn off his fur and make him nakey lol.
anyway, its name in the files is “silverbeast”. loran (loran only) silverbeasts are named “disciple_of_silverbeast”. there WAS a connection here! a great one that is also a beast feels like a difficult plot contradiction to reconcile but i assume its a “great one” exactly like how ebrietas is a “great one”; in name only. alas…we can only speculate.
the little bastards were used by later church tomb prospectors to open a cursed and defiled wing of pthumeru looted from the lower pthumeru dungeon. that’s for another time. another horrible, horrible time.
ailing loran (so it is known) is an odd little place for both hunter and scholar. inventive hunters were drawn to the taboo novelty of the dungeon, eager to get their hands and eyes on the unique and long-lived beasts within. despite the inherent horror of staring at your terrible fate right in its face, these fellas saw the silver lining in this dreadful affair: cool loot!!!! mensis attracted a wide range of absolute maniacs who were eager to experiment with whatever they could get their hands on, including two men who are only mentioned in item descriptions: irreverent izzy and archibald. archie doesn’t get a bad-ass nickname. sucks to be him.
both were captivated by different aspects of the undead darkbeasts they stumbled upon and invented some pretty cool shit. izzy created weapons from their bones3 to take advantage of their (and man’s…) unending hunger for blood. archibald, on the other hand, invented a plethora of weapons and items inspired by the ethereal blue sparks emitted by the creatures. the tontritus in particular is one of the most useful weapons in the game; it kills the absolute shit out of kin type enemies. killing the things that the church was trying to create/emulate/befriend is probably why hunters of archibald’s time didn’t really appreciate his contributions and he had to make his spark hunter badge in secret.
right outside the walls of yahar’gul, archibald kept a specimen, or a pet. darkbeast paarl was one of many darkbeasts in loran, but the only one to be given a name and his own yard to run around in. in return for this kindness, he ate archibald and burps up his pendant after you beat him to death. some people weirdly think that paarl is archibald transformed into a beast despite the fact that their names are spelled/pronounced differently and the dark beast is freakishly old. he ate him! fact facts, kid!
izzy, on the other hand, disappeared after his inventions and love of beasts were declared heretical, leaving behind a hefty handful of admirers and fellow church heretics comprised of both those who embraced their beasthood and those who realized the innate humanity of the beasts. his thumbprint on the upcoming implosion of the church can not be overstated: izzy’s willingness to cross what was seen as a firm boundary between Them and Us was one of the first major blows against the dogma (lol) of the church.
tomb prospectors cut their way through the labyrinth until they reached its bottom. following in the footsteps of the logic that the pthumeru tomb prospectors took the same path that the hunter does, they would have encountered another beast possessed soul, a poison spewing beast that ripped it own skin off in a desperate frenzy to feed on its own blood, two beasts with broken hitboxes that have some suspiciously human looking faces4, some powerful cleric beasts i’m sure won’t be a precursor of things to come, and the ancient, ungrateful darkbeasts. the fauna here is considerably less interesting than isz, which makes it much easier to write about lol. whew!
what the school of mensis didn’t know, (and to be fair how could they?) was that the beast plague of loran had been accelerated by the introduction of a poisonous malady called “ashen blood”. by opening the chalice seal on loran, they had introduced ashen blood to yharnam.
okay, it could have been the hintertomb too, since it’s overflowing with slow poison, but it’s more dramatic this way….trust me.
at some point, willem lost faith in laurence and presumed he had forgotten the adage of byrgenwerth: “fear the old blood”. while the healing church asserts that they were the ones who made the so-called forbidden woods forbidden, the door to the forest from the cathedral was guarded by one of willem’s two loyal, but insane, servants and only the students knew the password. alfred has the weirdest take on this situation, stating that byrgenwerth was “abandoned and decrepit” and that hes not sure how many students are still alive there. he does not elaborate on why they would not be alive, except that i presume no one has seen them since the gate closed. or maybe he’s stupid. either or.
these schools represent a central thesis in bloodborne’s many themes: should man aspire to raise himself up to be worthy to be a recipient of god’s grace? or should he succumb to his own basest instincts and be his own master? better to reign in hell or serve in heaven?
also flora versus fauna, for some reason. there’s a lot of weird dichotomies in this game. vampire versus werewolf. hunter versus the hunted. ocean vs sky. freaks versus geeks. moon versus mud. classic stuff.
* oops i forgot this one lol. there is, quite literally, ONLY kin coldblood to be found. they are all dead.
1. note the open rib cage, twisted neck, and deformed nose on the little bastard. if that isn’t enough for you, he has some wispy silver hairs.
2. the location is obviously not loran, but it is a cut chalice dungeon location being showcased in the same trailer.
3. left on layer 2
4. although…i don’t think they were here yet. i think the abhorrent beasts are tomb prospectors that embraced beasthood and took residence in loran. its the faces…and…a later character…