The Holy Blades

Item descriptions cite Ludwig as both the source of the Healing Church workshop and the first of its hunters. What possessed him to become a hunter is evident from the emblem his workshop first issued: a sword hilt possessing nigh-blinding radiance. In a Victorian-style setting, this Radiant Sword Hunter’s Badge harkens back to a time of chivalric romance, when knights were still honored as heroes who valiantly fought for the good of God and country. In other words, Ludwig wanted to revive that Golden Age of nobility to protect the Healing Church and Yharnam from the beasts. Indeed, there was already a subculture of gentlemanly sophistication among Gehrman’s hunters, so Ludwig was only building on that spirit of civility with an added air of chivalry — the only thing imagined to be more proper and noble than a gentleman is a knight. But it wasn’t genteel hunters who actually inspired the man to embrace such an antiquated concept.

Acquiring the Radiant Sword Hunter’s Badge enables purchase of the tomb prospector set, implying that opening graves in the labyrinth was key to Ludwig’s hunters. In fact, given his early association with Gehrman and the Healing Church, the man was most likely another Byrgenwerth student who ultimately followed Laurence to Yharnam. In that case, it is only natural that he turn to archeology for answers. Answers to what, exactly? Their predicament at the time. With blood ministration making beasts all the more horrifying, Gehrman’s workshop likely struggled to keep up. Small and nimble weapons are fine when the monster is basically still a man, but those swords and saws might as well be twigs against hulking monstrosities. On top of that, the sheer number of prey to hunt was certain to multiply as Yharnam continued to wholly embrace Byrgenwerth’s fancy new treatment. The old school style coming out of a small shop simply wouldn’t cut it. They needed to adapt.

Enter Ludwig, a blood minister returning to his roots presumably to find the power to. And whilst descending deeper down places frozen in their long-dead times, the academic-turned-graverobber would come across knight armors and weapons aplenty. One sword in particular caught his attention. This blade possesses arcane power unlike any other, able to reshape itself into a greatsword by drawing out power from both moonlight and the cosmic abyss. This brings to mind the abyssal blood gems limited to deeper parts of the ruins, as well as Flora. Factor in Byrgenwerth’s initial area of study, and Ludwig had probably gone to Isz in Depth 5 when he found the greatsword. Cut content reinforces the notion, the strongest version of the rune associated with both him and that sword planned to be attainable in solely Depth 5 dungeons. An Isz origin certainly explains the blade’s incredible power, and like the aforementioned abyss crystals, this Isz sword’s qualities betray its direct connection to the cosmos. Sure enough, when Ludwig closed his eyes after getting ahold of the weapon, a Great One spoke.

Having shut out the mundane world, his mind saw the void of space and the radiant star playfully twinkling and dancing ever so far away. Ludwig interpreted this as “guidance”, and a new Caryll rune was born. Guidance for what, exactly? At one level, a former student of Byrgenwerth would be aiming for ascension to the cosmos. In that respect, Ludwig’s vision left him quite literally reaching for the stars — the rune resembles both a person bowing to one in reverence and a hand attempting to grasp that tiny light in the sky. Based on his and Simon’s dialogue, he saw a thin and fleeting “thread” of light to follow in that moonlight sword and was happy to trace it. The means for which he would earn his place among the stars was laid out by that same faraway being. Ludwig was searching for a solution to beasts, found a knight’s greatsword, and received Guidance which increases the potential gains from attacking through enemy onslaughts. In short, the Great One was asking him to hunt the beasts, relentlessly and without hesitation.

Karel that the hunter Ludwig once discovered along with the Moonlight Holy Sword. Has effect which boosts regain amount.

It is said that he discovered the little beings of light in eyes-shut darkness, or perhaps the void, and that the one which mischievously twinkled and danced about has been given the meaning of “guidance”. Thus, Ludwig wasn’t heartbroken. If only while hunting.

Hunter, have you seen the thread of light? Very thin, fleeting.

Ludwig apparently deemed his vision divine revelation. A Yharnam resident was sure to be familiar with the city’s pagan roots, doubly so for a Byrgenwerth archeologist. And now, he received guidance from one of those pagan “gods” he wished to join in the heavens. It is no mystery why Ludwig dubbed the moonlight greatsword a “holy blade”, (聖剣) a name also adopted by both him and his hunters — it was a portal to a shining god blessing them to do all that is good. This is why they revived the specter of knightly nobility, why their symbol was a radiant sword, why the blood ministers formed a church. Everything was built around Ludwig’s obsession with the goodness of a sacred light. Even coins seem to have tickled that fascination — the nature of a hunter’s work guarantees good pay, but the coins we can purchase with his hunter badge highlight their particular radiance and use as a guide in their description. For his ascension to heaven, Ludwig believed he needed to be like a shining star; a beacon of morality, justice, and heroism as embodied by knights, his own guiding light for others.

Various coins that emit particular radiance.

There is nothing for sale on the beast hunt night, but they will serve as a guidepost if you sprinkle them on your night journey.

Or, you can save them until the distant dawn.

To that end, Yharnam’s new hunter returned with a plan that gained the full backing of Laurence and his associates. They used their newfound capital to build another workshop next to the old — the tower begins at the base of Cathedral Ward, but a passage still connects the two shops on an upper level. This setup suggests that the new workshop was treated more like an expansion to Gehrman’s existing operations, and we do see various old shop weapons hanging from the rafters of the middle levels. However, the first hunter’s dialogue leaves no doubt that it was the blood ministers’ own facility, so these weapons are likely just representative of the “hunter” armaments being mass-produced. Even if there was crossover between the two workshops, their production undoubtedly favored their respective masters.

The “Treatment Church” as the blood treaters are now called… have been the hunters’ patrons ever since the old hunter Ludwig, so possessed their own workshop and made weapons.

From there, Ludwig began developing new hunter weapons derived from the principles of his holy sword. The presumed first among them was the recreation of that very knight’s blade, a trick weapon which could switch between longsword and greatsword. Despite the aesthetic differences, the newer holy blade has the same requirements to wield as the original, the reengineered version even making use of silver — the former scholar of Byrgenwerth perhaps keeping his experience with Cainhurst in mind when studying its holiness. And although no substitute for the lack of abyssal moonlight power, the key pattern the arcane power produces when transforming the old blade was also perfectly replicated for the new one’s physical sheath-blade, if slightly condensed. Overall, the design gave hunters the flexibility to deal with threats both large and small which Gehrman’s brand of hunting lacked, though it did expect more strength and dexterity from incoming trainees.

“Trick weapon” that Treatment Church hunters in particular use.

It is known as something that Ludwig, the church’s first hunter, used, and the silver sword combines with its heavy scabbard to become a greatsword via the trick.

The Treatment Church workshop, which descends from Ludwig, created a different school for hunters from that of old Gehrman. So as to hunt more horrifying beasts, or perhaps monstrosities.

Indeed, the rise of a new workshop requires more hunters to employ its arms. To meet that sudden surge in demand, Ludwig reached out to Yharnam citizens for recruits, which probably wasn’t too hard. Recall that the former scholar was styling himself as something of a prophet, a man who could credibly claim to have received power and guidance from the gods this cloistered city still worshiped. That religious framing was sure to inspire even the instinctively-suspicious Yharnamites to join in a foreigner’s holy crusade against the beasts. Since the “Healing Church” still hadn’t been established, these new hunters were being outfitted in garb not too different from old workshop attire. Still, they would receive holy blades like their master, and earn the same alias from their heroics. And yet, Ludwig would not actually use his.

Ludwig, the The Treatment Church’s first hunter, once recruited hunters from among the Yharnam citizens.

This is the hunting apparel for that, and it excels at simple defense power. Although, if a normal man challenges a beast, it probably won’t be very effective.

Despite all the proclamations of holiness, few had actually seen Ludwig’s alias. While his form in the Hunter’s Nightmare suggests that the sword itself was always brought with, the man kept the giant cosmic blade hidden wrapped in bandages, hoarding its guidance for himself. Perhaps the hunter feared others stealing his god’s attention and robbing him of his teacher. As far as he knew, only one could earn the stars’ favor, so limiting others’ contact would safeguard his illumination. Those few who did confirm its existence firsthand most likely comprised of the highest-ranking blood ministers, such as Laurence, and the workshop engineers directly involved in reimagining it as a trick weapon. None of them would necessarily learn the sword’s true nature before it was again “sheathed”.

At the same time, Ludwig expresses a desire for hunters of his workshop to become noble blades for their institution, wondering if they have “seen the light” like him. He apparently expected each to receive their own guiding light from mirroring his example. The Latin lyrics for his boss theme reinforces this impression, demanding “honorable” hunters become blades to an “honorable” god, wielding a powerful “white” sword — an obvious reference to those blades’ silver symbol basked in the bright light of the stars. The reason, given at the end, is that one hunter stands alone “in the moonlight” already in clear allusion to Ludwig with his holy sword. In short, Ludwig wasn’t trying to manipulate his followers; he sincerely hoped to be a beacon propelling their own illumination from a divine hand. Like their badge indicates, he wanted them all to enjoy radiance, just not his.

Mysterious sword that Ludwig once discovered. When clad in the blue light of the moon and carrying the abyss of the cosmos, the large blade upwells a darkened lightwave.

It is a weapon which symbolizes “Ludwig the Holy Sword”, but few have actually laid eyes on that great blade. For it was secretly hidden guidance for him alone.

Church hunter, inform me. Have you all seen the light? Are you all, without a doubt, honorable swords of the church, as I once wished you to be?

Regardless of motive, Ludwig ultimately armed himself with only a silver blade like his new comrades. And as captain of modern knights of old, the hunter led these Holy Blades to success against the larger beasts. Considering the leader’s name means “famous warrior”, it comes as no surprise that they became folk heroes. Simon confirms that this stardom was legitimate, Ludwig having the “right” to die holding onto his ideals for what he accomplished with them. In fact, a certain mythology had sprung up surrounding the Holy Blades. More than just hunting, we can hear Yamamura recite the ideals for becoming one, sentiments echoed in Ludwig’s song lyrics: to never lose your way at night of the hunt, becoming drunk on the blood bathing your blade, and so ultimately break free of the cursed “yoke” of beasthood. The path of a Holy Blade was its own code of chivalry, to be moral exemplar of god’s will transcending man’s vulgar limitations. Whether civilian or hunter, anyone could look to them as heroes.

One of the hunter emblems that the Treatment Church workshop once issued. The radiant sword one denotes a direct line to the hunter Ludwig.

They are hunters who are known by the alias of Holy Swords, and are remnants of an era when beast hunters could be heroes. That was forever ago now.

Dying holding onto your ideals is probably a hero’s right, at least.

Such publicity was guaranteed to uplift the reputation of their patrons just as well, and Laurence took full advantage. The blood ministers adopted the holy image of these “knights” to become clergy for a new church, making Ludwig the first church hunter. Whether this had been planned out beforehand or concocted ad hoc, the students of Byrgenwerth likely played no small part in weaving the subsequent mythology around the Holy Blade, which just so conveniently leads down the path to the arcane researchers’ aim of godhood. In a sense, this new breed of hunter was another experiment, to see if Ludwig’s discovery helped with transcending the beast scourge; for that, they would play men of god. Between them and the Yharnamites, more were sure to flood the church workshop, roused by the Holy Blades’ proven methods for hunting greater threats. This required a new hierarchy to manage the novices, and with it, new uniforms.

We can spy remnants of a heavy cloak on Ludwig, a sign that Holy Blades were dressing for the part later on — his song reaffirms their use of a “white robe”, again presumably to symbolize the stars’ radiance. This thick mantle motif was taken from Byrgenwerth’s student uniform, so it might have even been Ludwig’s choice of attire since first founding the group, combining his academic roots with his new calling as a man of God. Naturally, the design was carried over to other church garb. Being all former Byrgenwerth students themselves initially, the blood minister uniform became a similar white cloak and robes, signifying their high rank comparable to Holy Blades yet distinct lack of dedication to hunting. For them, cutting up beasts was just part of their larger work researching blood ministration, not the main focus. And since that was the church’s underlying purpose, new clerics hunters were made to work under them, dressed in black to denote their subordinate role by contrast. However, this seems to be where the junior clerics were afforded flexibility.

Apparel of the church’s special treaters.

They are the black preventative hunters’ superiors, and are experimentally-backed experts in blood treatment and the beast disease.

For them, treatment is a means for research, not work for remedy. There are findings which can only be laid bare by touching the disease.

White long gloves for surgery. The detailed embroidery is a charm that protects the user.

Church hunts are a kind of treatment practice, so directly touching and taking out is of undeniable importance.

All church hunters receive a Sword Hunter Badge, only theirs is a simpler silver hilt lacking radiance if not a Holy Blade. We also see one of these junior ministers in black wielding Ludwig’s Holy Blade at the cathedral in the Hunter’s Nightmare, lurking off to the side while his superior in white prays. The implication is that novice clerics who joined in the hopes of becoming Ludwig’s comrades could, but needed to work up to the position. Otherwise, they had the option to simply serve as assistants and bodyguards until eventually promoted to a blood minister proper. In that respect, the church had set up a system to give newly ordained clerics a taste of both sides. Did they want to go into blood research or dedicate their skills to hunting as a Holy Blade? Both paths were available and cleanly sidestepped the issue of Ludwig gaining too much power over Laurence. It also allowed the Holy Blades to maintain their prestige as an elite force. They were heroes, and their quality wouldn’t suffer thanks to their newborn fame.

It wasn’t just the hunter garb being iterated upon. The Kirkhammer, or “church stone hammer”, (教会の石槌) is so-named because it takes Ludwig’s Holy Blade and makes the trick sheath end in a giant block of rock for a bludgeon instead of a bigger blade. The Church Pick, or rather “church stake”, (教会の杭) took the stakes mentioned in old beast legends and likewise turned them into a trick weapon acting as either a sword or war pick. On the firearm side, the church workshop eventually developed a rifle for shooting bigger beasts at longer, safer distances, putting the Holy Moonlight Sword’s idea of range into mundane mass production — Ludwig himself adopted the long gun as his sidearm. Since Ludwig’s Rifle was too slow to shoot should those beasts close the gap, the Repeating Pistol was invented as an alternative. This “church double-barrel gun”, (教会の連装銃) had twice the firepower while retaining a small arm’s manageable size and weight. The one through line for all these church weapons is a simple, straightforward capability of dealing with larger, stronger prey.

Rifle that Treatment Church hunters in particular use.

It is known as something that Ludwig, the church’s first hunter, used, and the long, heavy barrel boosts the range at the cost of rapid-fireability.

The Treatment Church workshop, which descends from Ludwig, created a different school for hunters from that of old Gehrman. So as to hunt more horrifying beasts, or perhaps monstrosities.

“Trick Weapon” that Treatment Church hunters in particular use.

It has the extreme duality of being both an easy-to-use silver sword and a giant stone blunt instrument. That latter in particular is characterized by its “heavy hitting” characteristics and great impact power.

The Treatment Church workshop is one of two schools of hunter “trick weapons”, and it is said to have once quietly existed somewhere in Church Town.

Ludwig’s radiant sword hunters also appear to have pioneered the techniques now all too common to beast hunting. Their badge allows purchase of both fire paper and the Flamesprayer, a weapon perhaps most appropriate to call a “firearm”. While nowhere near as efficient with ammo as a more conventional gun, the “flamethrower” (火炎放射器) nonetheless accomplishes its objective of bathing flesh and fur in a sea of flame, hence seeing use with some church hunters. Meanwhile, fire paper is a church workshop invention designed to simply and easily set a weapon alight so as to burn prey with each strike. Both options indicate that the Holy Blades made liberal use of fire. Indeed, flame has been equated with purification, like an exorcism. And even without that holy connotation, it is the perfect fit for such radiant hunters — only natural that getting too close to starlight sets you ablaze. Somewhat related is the bone marrow ash from Hemwick, giving Holy Blades a means to further improve upon their firearms. Whatever increased their chances slaying true monsters, they took.

Whether it be attire, weapons, or tools, Ludwig had revolutionized hunting and changed the course of blood ministration forever. But great men always have their detractors, and Ludwig says as much in dialogue. Some apparently took issue with his aim to turn hunting into something more noble. The times were long past romanticizing knights and chivalry, and Ludwig’s attempt to drudge up their memory were criticized as grossly tone-deaf. He was no immaculate knight upholding the will of God, just a merciless and brutal killer no less ugly than the monsters he slew — possessed by a beast. The text for Ludwig’s rune notes that Guidance’s power and light kept him from losing heart while hunting. Conversely, it implies that he was plagued by doubts whenever not hunting. His dialogue certainly suggests that his peers’ words were a concern. Perhaps because those peers were outside witnesses of his work whom he respected, such as his fellows from Byrgenwerth who were holy men only in name. Or perhaps because what they said was true.

… Oh, I see. So that really was the case? An unsightly, warped beast-possessed. It was as they, those who mocked and disparaged me, said?

Upon closer inspection, the hand in Guidance resembles parts of the claw featured in the Beast rune. Indeed, the kanji for “Guidance” is the same used for beast items “guiding” their user to a beastly nature in their Japanese descriptions. The rune’s effect does complement the nature of beasts, revitalizing themselves in the blood shed relentlessly attacking prey. Taken altogether, it is clear that Ludwig’s star had in fact played a bout of mischief. The Great One bestowed no sacred mission, just a lie leading a desperate human to the very thing he so hoped to mitigate. The Holy Blades’ radiant appearance hid a monstrous darkness burgeoning underneath. And as a result, the beast hunters were doomed to become the beast-hunted. Undoubtedly, Ludwig sensed the dissonance between how he felt viciously slaying the beasts in the moment versus how he spun it before and after the fact. What if he was wrong? What if this wasn’t divine intervention? What if they were right? What if he was the monster? How his heart must have wavered in those quiet moments between the rush of the hunt.

Here, this is Ludwig’s light of guidance… the eye-dazzling thread of deception which led the hero… I am so sorry for him…

In the end, there were problems where even the hero couldn’t find a solution. The beast scourge grew rampant among church hunters, countless forced to be locked up in the dungeon beneath the Grand Cathedral after going mad. Those who inevitably turned for the worse, not always whilst already in confinement, became the most horrifying beasts yet. Such cleric beasts tower over their brethren, and the Sword Hunter Badge’s description confirms that this is precisely because they are clerics. It is those who descend from Ludwig who descend into beasts, far beyond anything the Holy Blades had handled before. This was, understandably, cause for concern, and Ludwig’s holy sword still wouldn’t provide him new guidance. How could it? The guide brought him to the intended destination. With the moonlight silent, the first church hunter was in need of a new teacher, or else risk becoming a beast himself.

One of the hunter emblems that the Treatment Church workshop once issued. The silver sword is also the symbol of a church hunter.

The Treatment Church hunters, who descend from Ludwig, were often also clergymen. And clergymen undoubtedly become the most horrifying beasts.

The Lower Hintertombs are home to a peculiar boss, a Forgotten Madman followed soon after by the Madman’s Escort. The description to their attire indicates them to be church tomb prospectors. We can also infer them to be Holy Blades since the escort is armed with a Kirkhammer and Flamesprayer while his charge wields Ludwig’s Holy Blade and Rifle. In fact, it is safe to assume that the madman is the Holy Blade, Ludwig. The boss is the only character to use both of the weapons explicitly employed by the first church hunter. His asymmetrical face also matches Ludwig’s form in the Nightmare. Then there is the Holy Blade as his “escort”. Sokkin (側近) more accurately refers to a close aide to someone in power or otherwise important — indeed, who else would clap for the madman’s success as he flourishes his sword which defeated an enemy? And there is only one such VIP amongst Holy Blades. The question is not if the madman is Ludwig, but why he was all the way down there in the Hintertombs. The answer lies in the arcane forces he wields: Ludwig was searching for new guidance to deal with the new crisis.

Once again, the former scholar fell back on his roots. Why search for another revelation in these remote graves, specifically? Because the man had previously headed straight down to Isz at the bottom. What was he to find that he hadn’t already come across? By contrast, the ruins on the outskirts of the underground complex were still total mysteries for Ludwig to investigate. And investigate he did, for we find the madman has learned how to cast various arcane spells during the sojourn. Some might find it odd that such a high-profile cleric left for dangerous ruins with only one bodyguard, but that might not be so. The Forgotten Madman and his Escort are the second boss of the Lower Hintertombs, the layer preceding them ending with a Brainsucker. This enemy is anomalous for the area but does complement the various kin-related spells of the boss after it. In that case, the Brainsucker may have been another Holy Blade accompanying Ludwig, transformed as a result of contact with arcane wisdom. And there is where we can see the problems arise.

The madman set description purports that grave openers like them often can’t withstand the knowledge they seek and start acting aberrant. The text acknowledges that the truth can simply appear irrational to a fool incapable of comprehending it, but in the case of these lunatics, they couldn’t arrive at the truth or otherwise. Again, Ludwig only felt assured when hunting, so trying to find a new answer in the labyrinth, bereft of his guiding moonlight, undoubtedly left him desperate and constantly second-guessing. None of these arcane arts resolved the hunters’ beast scourge, at least not without causing new problems if the Brainsucker is any indication. Even if he found his answer, how would he recognize it? And when was it enough? Losing conviction in one’s will breeds inaction, and the desperate attempt to escape that pitfall perversely results in total certainty in the patently absurd. This is why we see the prospectors have changed into rattier robes from their long stay yet cover them in arcane tentacles, as if that will protect their minds failing to comprehend all the information being absorbed.

Many of the grave openers who belong to the Treatment Church and go into the underground ruins can’t withstand the mysterious wisdom and give rise to spiritual lunacy.

This is apparel of such lunatics.

Truth at times resembles madness, and has no relation with a fool’s comprehension. But the lunatics are those who simply couldn’t arrive at anything.

Many of the grave openers who belong to the Treatment Church and go into the underground ruins can’t withstand the mysterious wisdom and give rise to spiritual lunacy.

This is apparel of such lunatics.

Are the tentacles wrapped around it some kind of safeguard? The lunatics at least probably believe so with nary a doubt, pitifully enough.

The fact that Ludwig is the “forgotten” madman is also very telling. No one came to retrieve the hero after he had gone missing. With the Healing Church struggling to control the beast scourge, it had no time for men playing hero. Ludwig’s party was left to be a memory like the knights they imitated. But since we do encounter him in the Hunter’s Nightmare, he must have died at some point. In that case, what killed him? Based on the dungeon and layer where they are encountered, the madmen explored pretty deep into the Hintertombs with nothing to show for it. They already left one man behind on the previous layer, and would likely continue their journey down until they reached the bottom. So, if the Brainsucker foreshadows the Forgotten Madmen, then they in turn likely augur their killer. And the final boss for the Lower Hintertombs is the Pthumerian Elder, an unquestionably superior arcane master of flame — now the Holy Blades were the ones being purified.

Above ground, Ludwig’s hunters fared no better. The Radiant Sword Hunter Badge is stored in a chest on the church workshop’s top level, away from where all the hunter weapons are produced and hung; the implication, the emblem is no longer being distributed. Its description likewise implies that the Holy Blades are from another time, no one presently thinking of hunters as heroes. Without their leader, the group seems to have fallen apart, most probably killed by beasts or as beasts. Wallar’s rifle points to him being a Holy Blade, but he apparently followed Ludwig’s footsteps and became another madman in the labyrinth, wielding the arm of a small Amygdala. Considering that the hunter can only be encountered as a summon for the lower of half of the ruins, he may have even come down there in search of Ludwig, not realizing that his leader chose to explore the Hintertombs further up. There is also a Yahar’gul hunter with the same rifle in hand, but the Rifle Spear in his other suggests that this is simply a partiality for long guns. The church has no more holy swords.

Based on what we can purchase with just his badge, Ludwig’s Holy Blade and Rifle are now mostly relics of a bygone era. The Church Pick has similarly fallen out of favor entirely, now only acquirable from the Hunter’s Nightmare. The rest of the Holy Blades’ legacy has been carried on by lesser church hunters, the workshop still issuing regular sword hunter badges — at least, until the day we arrive. The Yharnamite mob has taken over the workshop, and all the cleric hunters we find are either dead or beasts. The Cleric Beast that jumps down onto the Great Bridge from the Cathedral Ward carries the badge of one such hunter, and the fact that we can purchase the Hunter Chief’s Emblem after obtaining it indicates that the boss was that very captain of the church hunters. None of Ludwig’s ideals have come to fruition, and if we tell him this, he will bemoan his life’s failure as one big never-ending nightmare. He would know, he is currently living through one.

Was it all a nightmare to never awaken from…?

After dying a lunatic, Ludwig’s soul was inescapably caught in the Hunter’s Nightmare. For his karmic punishment, Kos cursed the Holy Blade to become an unsightly and warped monstrosity worse than any he had ever hunted, the most horrifying cleric beast of them all. His most human element, the horse head, screeches next to a headless maw of teeth, its throat lined with the eyes Ludwig and his ilk so desperately hoped to gain from intaking blood — the geyser of saliva the gullet spews even deals arcane damage. These dual heads convey their owner’s deceptive nature, one’s “majesty” of a beast in the guise of a saint covering for the mindless, self-serving, insatiable pursuit of a scholar. Indeed, the monster appears compelled to relentlessly hunt hunters, doomed to be beasts of their own as they are, in the river of blood. Kos has made the “knight” everything that he feared he was within and would be without, drunk on the blood of the hunt he so relished in life.

The man’s only saving grace, his precious moonlight sword, remains tied to the monster’s back, unnoticed and so unused. It is only when we knock his guiding light down before his eyes during the boss battle that his “human” head regains some clarity. Even this only lets him regain some of the pretense of humanity while continuing to fight — the beast is still there. To not have noticed his o-so-holy mentor right there with him highlights why he is singled out as the “accursed” among all those trapped in Kos’ malediction. Deprived of God’s blessing, stripped of divine grace, and wanting of His bounty; that is the essence of being cursed versus being holy. In that sense, the cleric is truly accursed, and taking up the holy sword again alleviates him of that state. But while his faith in his Holy Blade might seem unshaken, his dialogue after the battle suggests that he does suspect his God is more of a demon. Whether to keep him in denial is our choice is to make.

But it was just fine for me, within the scent of blood and beasts. I never wanted to know what the truth of it really was.

Oh, I see… That is good… Mocked and disparaged, but still I was able to do it. Thank you. Now I can rest in peace. A dark night, but surely, I saw moonlight…