welcome back. in the time since the last post, elden ring came out. most people have already finished it, but i’m saving it as a very special treat until after i finish several overdue projects. at the pace i’m going, this should only take me until the rest of my life. those who have been following me on twitter know there’s just been a constant parade of things to do that never seem to end. so, of course, my fist move is to shove aside all my responsibilities so i can write about bloodborne for a few hours. (future bea here: i guess i meant “days”)

i’ll start off with something to chew on for da real bloodborne fans out there (i’ll do my best to break it down for bloodborne neonates so it sounds the least incomprehensible): let’s talk about Formless Oedon! the pervert great one.

(future bea here: i dont know why this is 1500 words. what the fuck)

here’s formless oedon.

 

he’s formless. no file photo available. he is specifically described as a great one who is “lacking form, exists only in voice”. unsurprisingly, the non-entity is also a near total mystery. if you scratch the surface of arianna’s quest, we can at least infer some information and make an educated guess about his role in her pregnancy (hint: it’s exactly what you think) AND his role in the lives of other bloodborne women (hint: see prior).

the first we hear of oedon is when we pick up the “oedon tomb key” after throwing panicked molotovs at father gascoigne until he dies. the key tells us that “…the church is abandoned, and some say that the residents of Oedon have all gone mad“, which i guess might still be a shocking surprise if you’re that early in the game and have never experienced a horror story in your entire life. everyone in this game is completely nuts, that’s half of the game. anyway: the only occupant of the oedon chapel (at first) is the appropriately named “oedon chapel dweller”. we love the oedon chapel dweller; he’s a little sweetie pie. he looks like someone put dog shit on a plate and then threw a towel on it to cover it up but that’s not his fault. he’s just as god made him.

 

look at that smile!

 

oedon chapel is a certified safe zone thanks to his hard work. so come on down and bring all your pals! no, really, you can. it’s the only place where you can send npcs and they have a chance at surviving until the end game. they’re not gonna be in great shape, but they will be there. most of them.

the npcs you can bring to oedon chapel are the suspicious man, the old woman, adella the nun, arianna and, if you’re a dummy or a sadist, the suspicious beggar. the only ones of interest to us (and oedon) are adella and arianna, two young women with exceptional blood. adella is a “blood saint”, a woman who has been specifically groomed to produce blood that’s. i don’t know. it’s better, okay. arianna has vileblood.

 

 

oedon still makes himself at home in his own chapel; on a balcony you can find the “secret” +4 rune “formless oedon” just sitting around in a chest. the description reads:

Human or no, the oozing blood is a medium of the highest
grade, and the essence of the formless Great One, Oedon.
Both Oedon, and his inadvertent worshippers, surreptitiously
seek the precious blood.

(it means “secretly”, i didnt know.)

the other runes have to be obtained by killing specific npcs. the +1 is found by sending gascoigne’s daughter to fauxsefka for experimentation. this is the daughter that gives you the music box. the music box shares the same awful melody during the fight with mergo’s wet nurse at the end of the game. mergo is presumed to be oedon’s child with the pthumerian queen (another woman with uncommon blood) due to the queen’s presence near the arena and mergo’s apparent formlessness. i still dont know why the music is the same. it can’t be because it’s a banger. c-can oedon be music as well as voice. i dont know. it’s scary.

 

 

anyway, the +2 and +5 runes are in pthumeru and pthumeru ihyll chalice dungeons. the final +3 is obtained from killing the oedon chapel dweller. nothing personal, kid.

now let’s talk about the other oedon rune: oedon writhe.

 

 

there are 3 version of oedon writhe. the first is found on adella the nun‘s corpse. the second is dropped by fauxsefka if you kill her before the blood moon. if you wait until after the blood moon, she drops a third umbilical cord with this description:

A great relic, also known as the Cord of the Eye. Every
infant Great One has this precursor to the umbilical cord.

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

hmmm. i assume that fauxsefka stole this cord from willem so she could go solo, but now it also clearly reads as her motivations for her off-the-books experimentation. not sure that oedon was really into it though. i’m going to reasonably assume we don’t cut an umbilical cord out of her.

the final rune is in the pthumeru ihyll chalice dungeon. this is the level with both the queen and her screaming baby (presumed to be mergo). defeating her reveals the baby is stillborn. you know this bc you get it as a prize. whoopee.

so to recap v quickly:

formless oedon (for his bros): little girl, oedon chapel dweller, queen yharnam

oedon writhe (for his hos): yharnam again, adella, fauxsefka

“ahhhh!!” i can hear you screaming. “who cares!!” well: i think we can trace the lineage of arianna’s baby directly within the text of the game. like, of course we can reasonably assume it’s oedon because she’s just suddenly pregnant and no one in the chapel is going “holy shit did you see that monster impregnate arianna that was crazy”. also, when you kill her (non-formless, which is odd) child, the umbilical cord description reads:

Every Great One loses its child, and then yearns for a
surrogate, and Oedon, the formless Great One, is no
different. To think, it was corrupted blood that began this
eldritch liaison.

but why arianna? what made her so different that it succeeded? it can’t JUST be the vileblood; after all, annalise is right there waiting for oedon to give her a fucked up baby eating her vampire cummies or whatever the fuck she’s doing with blood dregs. it’s impossible to say for sure, of course, but arianna did one thing that no one else in the game did.

the chapel dweller is not popular with his fellow yharnamites. every npc ignores him. except…

 

 

 

Ahh, kind hunter. Thank you.
So, that lady, you told’er about this place?
Well, she.. she actually talks to me!
Well, only now and then, and she don’t mince words…
But… she’s a kind one, I can tell.
A good woman! Hee hee…

in hindsight perhaps making small talk with the guy whose god exists as a voice was poor judgement. i choose to believe that oedon exists also as the music box song and that’s why he has a worshipper rune (oedon writhe) in gascoigne’s kid and why that horrendous song shows up during the mergo’s wet nurse fight. can a god make a song be so bad that it forms a living tumor shaped like a baby in your body? bloodborne posits: yes.

arianna goes crazy after giving birth. if you consumed 4 or more of her blood, you get the unusual dialogue “i’ve never been happier…” before she loads up dark_souls_laugh.wav. arianna’s baby is a celestial child, a presumed infant larvae of ebrietas, daughter of the cosmos. these little critters are first encountered in the experimentation hall the choir called “the orphanage”. the purpose of the orphanage appeared to involve caring for the celestial children (which are labeled “kin” by the game, judging by blood color and the damage they take) as well as taking human children and mutating them into celestial emissaries for god knows what reason. honestly, the text in-game seems to suggest they just did it because they could. fauxsefka, a choir member, was attempting to do something similar with the people you send her.

i’m not sure what they were doing in the orphanage but i don’t think it was on the level. i wonder if there’s literally only one “womb that will be blessed with child” when the blood moon occurs, and every great one has to rush to be the first one in like it’s a wal-mart on black friday. maybe the choir was trying to min-max their chances of getting that baby by making the finest wombs in the cosmos. if so, then it’s funny (?) they got undercut by someone who wants to kill their seafood platter-looking baby with a brick.

 

the hunter, out loud, to no one: “okay”

 

weird detail: if you kill the celestial child, arianna dies as well with a blood curdling scream. but if you SHOOT the child, arianna screams and merely passes out. they’re two different animations?! and im pretty sure they’re not animations seen anywhere else.

lastly, i wonder if there’s anything to be gleaned from oedon’s connection with quicksilver bullets and their propensity for slaughtering beasts. all of oedon’s runes up your quicksilver bullets in some capacity, with the item description for the bullets noting that “…ordinary bullets have no effect on beasts, and so Quicksilver Bullets, fused with the wielder’s own blood, must be employed“. the rosamarinus, a device that sprays quicksilver mist, has an interesting description in light of all this:

A special weapon used by the Choir, high-ranking members
of the Healing Church.

Sprays a cloud of sacred mist, created by using blood-
imbued Quicksilver Bullets as a special medium.

Arias are heard wherever sacred mist is seen, proving that
the mist is a heavenly blessing.

“Oh, fair maiden, why is it that you weep?”

it does sing, as advertised.

oedon’s chapel repels all beasts because of the anti-werewolf incense, but that same incense is not found in the other churches and cathedrals. very odd…much to think about. perhaps…a rivalry…?

i think that is literally everything there is to say about formless oedon.


 

dear fucking god.

let’s just get into it.

 

 

the pile of laundry on the right is master willem. or “provost” according to the art book and some item descriptions. while his contemporaries split off to form the healing church for blood based worship, willem remained steadfast on maintaining his eyes-on-the-inside doctrine as the headmaster of byrgenwerth. you can’t really tell from the game but apparently he is terminally yucky when you meet him.

 

it’s not cum

 

willem facts: his blood is a pale grey. he has mushrooms growing on his back for some reason. and if you punch him enough times barehanded he’ll t-pose with the chair and it’s very funny.

oh yeah, the mushrooms. when we meet willem he’s in bad shape. you find him in his lunarium after obtaining the key with the description:

In his final years, Master Willem was fond of the lookout,
and the rocking chair that he kept there for meditation.
In the end, it is said, he left his secret with the lake.

it reads like he’s super dead. granted, not a lot of people have been to byrgenwerth lately, but i think people would have noticed if the guy in the huge rocking chair with the gold pope outfit died for real. but he’s not dead, he’s right there. rocking away and groaning wordlessly while trying to communicate that he wants you to go jump in a lake.

i’m not sure if we’ve talked about “phantasms” yet so i’ll give a quick descriptor: they are invertebrate familiars of the old ones. they are largely parasites and slugs. they make up a majority of the special arcane items in the game and some of the materials for chalice dungeon entry. they can be found in the lecture building (the augur of ebrietas), the orphanage (blacksky eye, pearl slugs, and a call beyond), and byrgenwerth (pearl slugs and the empty phantasm shell). all places dedicated to the study of the great ones and the evolution of mankind.

what happened to the phantasm in the shell? why does the eye rune willem drops after you atomize him in one hit have all this blue slime on it?

 

 

and why does that slime look exactly like the “dubious liquid medicine” blue elixir?

 

 

not too sure that’s willem, frankly. i don’t even think it’s anything sapient. just something that moved into a bigger shell when the opportunity arose.

enough of that. let’s get started. the good news about writing all of that is that, maybe. just maybe. the actual entries will be reasonably short.


 

doll bleeds paleblood

“seek paleblood to transcend the hunt” turns out to be the easiest part of the game. here’s the speedrun:

  1. get killed by the werewolf in iosefka’s clinic
  2. pick up the hunter’s weapon of your choice.
  3. hit the doll*

behold! a paleblood guy!

the palest blood in the game belongs to the doll. it is undeniably and unmistakably #fff white.

 

it is NOT cum

 

we already discussed the moon presence and its connection to the phrase/name “paleblood” so i guess we can’t be too surprised when the lady it made turns out to bleed white gunk. its a very literal name.

okay. i am very sorry to inform you now that ahead of time, i wrote a large blood color explainer that doesn’t elucidate anything and only serves to create more questions. but we’re going to go over it now because it does a good job of demonstrating some of the weirder conscious and deliberate aesthetic choices made by the fromsoftware team. the greater purpose of this in the grander scheme of things is to help explain how we differentiate great ones from their distant relatives, kin. it’s not easy. lots of arguing about this still in many places on the internet.

there are 3 kinds of enemy classes: null, beast and kin. these rules largely determine what kind of elemental damage to do against the target, but some very odd and specific choices were made regarding what is considered kin (lesser or manufactured beings not unlike great ones) and what is not. kin tend to have grey blood; humans, pthumerians, beasts and great ones (?!) have red blood. examples of unusual red blood choices include: rom’s body, the brain of mensis (well…it is a legitimate great one after all), ebrietas, moon presence, kos, and the orphan.

“kin” within the fiction ranges from man-made attempts to communicate/replicate the great ones to less great celestial beings. human-made kin were not only intended to facilitate audiences with great ones, but as stepping stones toward the goal of evolving humanity past its current potential. humans can be made kin if they “line their brain with eyes”. the archetypal kin have alien anatomy and arcane powers (for this reason they are often the arcane magic blue in hue). examples include celestial emissaries, the false flower centipede, the crawlers from the nightmare frontier, celestial larvae, and brain suckers.

unusual examples of kin include rom’s head (?), the non-boss amygdalas, winter lanterns and ebrietas again. thats right. she does both. so do all the fish people in the dlc village. i’ll mention that slime scholars “bleed” grey goo but it’s more likely just more goo since they are not counted as kin. they are very failed attempts to transcend…unlike master willem who as far as i know is not classified by the game as kin, but bleeds the same as them.

 

THAT’S cum

 

now, you might be thinking “hold on, what about mergo’s wet nurse? she’s a great one, right?” probably not? she doesn’t bleed anything she just emits like, a black smoke. this smoke is also emitted by the wandering nightmares (canonically, just scrap parts of the nightmare that are running around reality), the “mad ones” conjured by the witches of hemwick and the ghost ladies from cainhurst and the labyrinth.

 

*okay you might need a point of insight before you do this. in that case either make a beeline for the madman’s knowledge in the sewers or go look at the cleric beast.

 

“hail the nightmare”, translated

if it isn’t bad enough that bloodborne has lore in the latin lyrics of the boss music, the latin is also terrible and nearly incomprehensible

translation by dragoman525 on reddit. he claims to be a latin professor and i dont know why someone would lie about that so im deferring to his expertise.

all together now!

 

Solo: Maledictus                                          O cursed one,

Chorus: Donum libas                                  You pour out your gift offering,

Solo: Inficimur                                              we are infected!

Chorus: Maledictus bestia                         O cursed beast;

Solo: Maledictus                                           O cursed one,

Chorus: Pater, do si donas                         O Father, I am giving, if you are giving,

Solo: Inficimur                                               we are infected!

Chorus: Argentum aquae in tenebris.     quicksilver in the darkness.

Chorus: Mater, sanguine                            O Mother, from the blood

Redemptoris a se                                          of the Redeemer, your people

Exiet, exiet, pleba tua sa—(unknown)     shall come forth, shall come forth safe from themselves.

Chorus: Vale, vale,                                        Farewell, farewell,

Solo: Inficimur                                                We are infected!

Chorus: In tenebris aquae.                          waters in the darkness,

Solo: Maledictus                                             O cursed one,

Chorus: Et argentum aquae.                       and quicksilver,

Solo: Inficimur                                                 we are infected!

Chorus: Et argentum aquae.                        and quicksilver.

Chorus: Sanguine!                                           In the blood!

Chorus: Sanguine!                                           In the blood!

it’s a good start but even as a layman i can tell there’s problems. like where the hell did the “o”s come from? while he intended to translate with the spirit of the song as he understood it in mind, i believe he has only a passing familiarity with bloodborne. i’m going to take a red marker to this with all the misplaced confidence of a youtube essayist.

Maledictus!                                                  We are cursed!

Donum libas!                                              Pour your offering!

Inficimur!                                                    We are corrupted!

Maledictus bestia!                                    Cursed beast!

Maledictus!                                                We are cursed!

Mater, do si donas!                                  Mother, I give if you give! (?)

Inficimur!                                                   We are infected!

Argentum aquae tenebris!                    Dark silver waters!

Ave Sanguine!                                          Hail blood!

Redemptoris nostrae!                            Our Redeemer!

Exiete!                                                        Go forth!

Exiete! Flebatur (?)                                  Go forth! something about weeping

Vale, vale!                                                 Farewell, farewell,

Inficimur!                                                  We are tainted

E tenebris aquae!                                    From the dark waters!

Maledictus!                                               We are cursed!

E argentum aquae.                                  by the silver waters!

Inficimur!                                                   We are infected!

E argentum aquae.                                  by the silver waters!

Sanguine!                                                    Blood!

Sanguine!                                                    Blood!

 

notes: “donum libas” seems a little undersold in the original; “libas” is like pouring something for a sacred ritual. like pouring one out for a homie. “do si donas” isn’t anything, so i must be hearing that wrong. “donas” is like “you gift” and not really “you give” (i think?). that line that’s impossible to hear is truely impossible to hear. i have no idea how that guy got “quicksilver” from “silver water”. i like it, but i don’t get where it came from.

frankly the least comprehensible parts are the silver water bits but that’s def what they are saying. idk where “in” came from in the original.

i have cleaned up a lot of this including finding the right words that made actual sense. i want you all to know i was just doing to copy and paste the other guy’s work, but now it’s 5 am and i’m still hacking away at this latin like i’m a little british preparatory school boy from 1918 and my test is tomorrow. i feel semi-confident with this. why did i do this.


gerhman’s leg

oh my god, this one is easy for real. the dlc sends you back to the time of the old hunters and you can get their special pants as armor. the item description reads:

Old hunter trousers that protected countless hunters from the beasts in an older age.

A widespread belief of the period was that “beast blood crept up the right leg”, and this led to the double-wrapped belt.

there’s two other leg armors that feature the belts. one is the decorative version of the old hunter trousers which are “decorated with brass trinkets.”

At the time, some hunters believed that certain metals would ward off beast blood.

On a night of the hunt, it is no wonder that people would resort to superstition.

 

funnily enough, the right leg is the one your character slams all his blood vials into. i think i figured out why it creeps up the right leg, guys. the only other trousers with belts are djura’s ashen hunter trousers which are also covered in ash to “ward off blood”. taking no chances, very wise.

gehrman himself has a right peg leg.

 

i cannot believe he’s wearing black shoes with brown pants. everything about him sucks.

 

i love imagining gehrman learning about germ theory and getting extremely pissed off.

you know, you might not have thought about it, but there’s another place where beasthood infects: the left arm.

the sullied bandage from your blood ministration places the IV in your left arm. the cleric beast has that one really big arm that everyone makes the masturbation jokes about. check out the sleeves of your hunter armors…they’re wrapped in bandages…! the generic huntsman enemies in central yharnam also have one really jacked up left arm where they have been, presumably, getting their blood drips.

no half of your body is safe from the beast scourge, apparently.


 

hunter’s rune depicts a hanging corpse

this is the hunter’s rune (or mark).

 

 

if you want to go back to the hunter’s dream, just think about this until you die.

the hunter’s mark has ancient origins. it appears in the deepest parts of the labyrinth, including yharnam’s…wedding altar? in her boss room.

 

this straight up looks like a youtube thumbnail

 

i’m not getting into marriage in this post. that’s for another iceberg tier and is probably another 50,000 words.

the gravestones in the labyrinths reveal the evolution of the symbol over time: (source)

 

 

it used to be much more obvious that it was depicting a hanging man. this method of exsanguination was clearly popular in parts of yharnam; for example, (sources: 1 2 3) they can be found in the labyrinth, the fishing village, and old yharnam.

 

 

it’s not explicit why this is done. the hunters mark in your inventory essentially kills you (the bold hunter marks, the finite version, do not) and the rune version marks one as a “hunter of hunters” (self-explanatory). i have two theories. this is:

  1.  exsanguination as a means of preventing the dead from rising (the locked coffins around yharnam imply this is a big problem lately). i feel like it would be pretty hard to come back from the dead once there’s no blood in you.
  2. exsanguination for yummy blood mm tastey

next!


 

madman’s knowledge is a slug

 

 

it’s slug.


 

rom’s real eyes

rom is gross.

 

 

looking closely at her head reveals:

  1. the many eyes dotting her head and back are human (this scans with the in-text suggestions that rom was an ascended student created by byrgenwerth somehow).
  2. she has two primary eyes above her slit nose and leech mouth. forming a face.

rom is a dud. but one of the more impressive pupa they managed to cultivate (her smaller spider-lings and the garden of eyes fly enemies also have human eyes, hinting that they were once human and now are even more fail versions of rom). she was blessed with an arsenal of arcane powers that she can use to near effortlessly send you and mensis reject damien back to your ancestors, but they sort of completely destroyed her brain in the process of making her kafka-esque. when you first enter the boss arena, she doesn’t even react to you until you hit her and then she panics and teleports away (women are always doing this).

the original japanese name is more direct and calls her an idiot. “vacuous” is a good word for english, since it also reflects why she remained useful to the bygenwerth scholars: she’s good at hiding secrets and keeping undead queens you pilfered from a labyrinth hostage.

knowing that there are multiple amygdalas running around yharnam, this image…does something. i was going to say “explains ___” but i realized i had no idea what it was explaining. it explains nothing, it’s just an observable pattern that implies a tenuous connection and invites you to speculate on it. they got me again!

 

what did she mean by this

 


 

winter lanterns have the doll’s body

as described on the tin:

 

hey dude! i’m a faerie! let me in!

 

yes, it’s got the brain of mensis as a hat as well. this image doesn’t show the winter lantern’s legs, but they’re just multiple tentacles fashioned into “legs”. another very mysterious repeating motif. what the fuck are “winter lanterns” (we know where the name came from, long story)? were they trial runs for the working version of the doll? are they the remains of the patients in the research hall (they ARE in the dlc after all and seem to be entirely confined to the nightmare)? who is plopping these brains onto a porcelain version of gehrman’s sexual fantasy? are they just doing it to be random?

 

the world……may never know. good, we need something to argue about sometimes.

 


 

eileen and djura once dreamed

kind of a wet fart to end on; it’s simply not a very compelling revelation. maybe it is if you’re still under the impression that the dream is personalized in some way. to be fair, these are very easy to miss; you only hear the dialogs confirming these under certain conditions.

when you’re killed by eileen in the grand cathedral at the end of her quest, she says the following:

You still have dreams? Tell the little doll I said hello.

basically “tell your wife i said hi”. eileen please, im already dead.

djura has two lines of dialog about the hunter’s dream. the first is spoken during his friendly encounter, which you have to activate by sneaking in the back way.

I no longer dream, but I was once a hunter, too.

the second is another kill quote:

I should think you still have dreams?

Well, the next time you dream, give some thought…

the “thought” he’s referring to is the fact that beasts were once people. he’s still reeling from this discovery, somehow. i figured that out the millisecond i saw a werewolf and said “that’s a werewolf”. maybe djura blew his head up one too many times like greg kelly.

 

 

when djura realized he was slaughtering sick people (technically i guess, i don’t think they’re getting better dude), he quit the hunt and could no longer return to the dream. eileen became disheartened by the gradual, steady corruption of her former hunting partners from their excessive blood use so she took on the “hunter of hunter” mantle to assure them a dignified death. much more important than your stupid dream. it seems as though the vast majority of hunters kill and kill and kill endlessly until they are killed or driven mad or transformed. only a rare few break the cycle, however they choose to do so.


 

final word count: 4577. see you next time. bye.

1 thought on “justifying my own bloodborne iceberg p3

  1. Old Kharkanas says:

    Looking forward to the next one of these, especially “All Songs Translated”. One thought I had about the Winter Lanterns is that the forms we see aren’t their true forms, and the familiarity is a illusionary, a mental block to prevent its true nature from being revealed to us, the glimpses of which cause frenzy. This is contradicted a bit by how the Mensis brain is also made of the same helpers, so who knows. Another theory I’ve enjoyed is that the frenzy is due to their appearance leading the hunter to glimpse some truth about the messengers or dolls that is the typical “go mad from the revelation” type of understanding, even more so than other parts of the story, but what that understanding is is left unstated. They do indeed lead to spirited debate.

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