Nahr Alma

Much like the Darkwraiths before them, the Brotherhood of Blood are a covenant dedicated to invasions, using the Cracked Red Eye Orbs they have collected to safely slaughter others as dark spirits. Unlike the Darkwraiths, however, they do it as “blood warriors” (血の戦士) in service to their God of Blood, Nahr Alma. As depicted in his statue, this god represents death and discord, triumphantly standing over the bones of warriors with a Grim Reaper’s sickle in one hand and an unbalanced scale in the other. Even his original name Doroma (ドロマ) matches his sphere — the Japanese doro describes the sound of oozing liquids, like blood. Bloodshed is the end to the means itself, and so his disciples abandon any connection to the worldly domain in order to embrace unhesitant and unrepentant slaughter. This penchant for chaos even extends to within the covenant, blood warriors commonly competing against each other in death matches to earn more orbs. In short, it is a cult for psychopaths. None better embody this than Tichy Gren, or Little Greneyn, (小さなグレネイン) with his obsessive glee over anything related to bleeding.

Hood of apostles of the God of Blood Doroma. Personal effect of Little Greneyn that increases the acquirement of souls when felling enemies.

Those who worship Doroma abandon all worldliness and simply walk the path covered in blood.

Despite this major departure from the knights of New Londo, the Brotherhood’s dedication to the darker side of our human nature still puts them in bed with the Dark. Aside from their boost to soul absorption when killing, the robes of Nahr Alma’s disciples possess notable resistance to the Dark and curses — fittingly, the set’s unused name was “Dark-despatcher” (闇送り) with connotations of sending victims along a funerary procession. Indeed, Gren wears these robes and additionally wields a sickle imbued with the Dark along with hexes. There is no denying that worshiping the God of Blood bleeds over into studying the taboo Dark arts. Naturally, all of these practices put the Brotherhood in direct opposition to the Blue Sentinels, though Gren considers them just more bodies to gut. In fact, Nahr Alma’s disciples love looting Tokens of Spite from fallen enemies, proof the hatred and malice they goaded from their victims as they suffered their unjust deaths. The fact that these are even required to join the Brotherhood shows that indulging in every dark desire is intrinsic to the covenant.

This brings questions to Nahr Alma’s identity to the forefront. For one, does he even exist? Unlike Evlana and Pharis, there is no male character, medial and non-medial alike, who fits the general image of this god. The Brotherhood’s items likewise doesn’t leave much evidence to him interacting with his followers. For instance, the covenant ring doesn’t actually possess any magical effect. As its description reveals, its ability to increase bleeding actually reflects the wearer’s own zeal to be bloodstained — you would have to be that kind of person to willingly take actual part in this cult. The original text even reaffirmed this lack of intrinsic power, though this line was removed with the big fix to presumably avoid any confusion with regards to the ring’s game mechanics. His covenant similarly doesn’t provide any unique spells attributed to him. The fact that the developers cut the Nahr Alma set’s prerelease description referencing his “divine protection” only adds to this notion that he is an idol, contributing nothing to his worshipers’ magic arsenal.

Hood of Little Greneyn.

That which received the divine protection of the war god Doroma and soaked in much blood is much heavier than it looks.

Ring of covenantors of the “Brotherhood of Blood”.

There is no particular meaning to this ring. Because it seems that the essence of the oath originates in the heart of those who want it.

Those who have confirmed the covenant embrace their desire to be stained in blood and just slaughter the owners of other worlds.

Perhaps the God of Blood only exists to justify his followers’ atrocities. By inventing a deity dedicated to bloodshed, entire countries could rationalize war as a divine mandate — the cut robe text even describes him as a war god instead of a blood god. If nothing else, Nahr Alma is a convenient figure for humans seeking unsavory ends. And if there is a god behind the idol, then more power to the legitimate adherents. Indeed, there is no denying that Nahr Alma’s disciples treat him as an actual deity, with the magic weapons provided by the Brotherhood of Blood being primarily used for secret ceremonies or religious festivals. The scythe bearing his name in particular even requires faith to wield. But whether that translates to an actual god, male or otherwise, is another story. The only devotee of Nahr Alma we meet is Gren, and this tiny man casts his unholy hexes with the chime of the God of Tears Caitha — or perhaps that is the answer.

Sickle of Little Greneyn. Personal effect of those who worship the God of Blood Doroma.

Originally a ceremonial tool. Imbued with the power of Dark.

What kind of ceremonies can’t be revealed here.

Sickle that possesses a crescent moon-like blade.

It is imbued with magic power, and seems to have originally been used not as a weapon but as a tool for festival rituals.

Caitha requires dead to mourn and bloodshed for tears shed. There is no god who benefits from Nahr Alma’s work more than her. Even ignoring that, the goddess’ relatively obscure wicked nature is apparently no secret to the Brotherhood of Blood adopting her bell’s power. Moreover, if she herself is simply an alias for Velka, then what is one more alternate identity? There are no doubt quite a few similarities between Nahr Alma and the Goddess of Sin. Adherents separating themselves from worldly connections? Scythes imbued with the power of magic or the Dark, both requiring intelligence to wield? Secret ceremonies involving the Dark? Festival rituals celebrating iniquity? There is an incredible overlap. The only other parallel are the pyromancies Gren sells, some related to Quelana, but this is likely more to do with fire’s connection to chaos than the gods behind the spell arts — Great Chaos Fireball is the highest reward for ascending the Brotherhood’s ranks, after all. And if there is any god with the eclectic affinity for worshipers using both Dark and flame, it is Velka. Nahr Alma thus seems less of a guise for humans to let loose with their darker passions than for the Goddess of Sin and Tears to.