Caryll

Although referred to as a “runesmith” in the localization, Caryll, or Karel, (カレル) is more accurately a “copyist” (筆記者) known for transcribing the Great Ones’ speech into script. No other student of Byrgenwerth was apparently so keen to capture the arcane potential of such inhuman sounds into the written word. This isn’t too surprising, since the symbols already exist in the person’s mind once communicated. But considering that the power they express depends on the definition of the mental image, Caryll was wise to jot down the magical words of power the gods so rarely shared, fittingly designated as “secret characters” (秘文字) or “runes”. (ルーン)  The Hunter’s Mark showcases this best. The rune etched into our mind lets us reawaken in the Hunter’s Dream when imagined, but leaves the loose blood echoes we collected behind as mere accessories to our core being. However, with the aid of a written copy, we more clearly envision the “sign” (徴) as a “sure sign” (確かな徴) and bringing everything along with us. The copy is apparently burned up in the process, but the benefits of Caryll’s work are undeniable.

For this reason, the transcriber took to naming these runes after himself, a show of ego which none of his colleague seem to have objected to. This isn’t to say that he is the first of his kind, as we can acquire plenty of runes in chests within the underground labyrinth. One can argue whether a given rune looted from a corpse is extracted directly from the mind like knowledge items or collected from some undefined physical medium. However, the same cannot be said for a rune placed in your typical storage container. The Pthumerians were apparently putting runes into tangible form long before Caryll — it is possible that the student was even inspired by discovering their past work. But as far as above ground is concerned, “Caryll” is the first to come to mind concerning these symbols.

The student’s work began early on in Byrgenwerth’s history considering his “first” rune is Beast, even noting the differences between it and the subsequent transcriptions of Clawmark. The copyist didn’t necessarily record every rune we can acquire, but on the whole, jotting down the symbols was left to him. Caryll might also be responsible for the Rune Workshop Tool used by Gehrman’s hunters. The tool looks like an ordinary branding iron in the shape of the Hunter rune going by the in-game graphic, but we can use it to burn any rune we learn into our minds. Perhaps its shape is far more malleable in the Hunter’s Dream. Either way, the peculiar brown smoke emanating from the iron — not even red-hot — affirms its arcane make. The concept is also consistent with Caryll’s work, so the student may well have been involved in its creation back during Gehrman’s association with the school.

But given the continued prominence of runes, what happened to the runesmith? Descriptions for various runes claim that Caryll “left” them behind, implying that the man has since died. Cut content reinforces the implication. Instead of acquiring each rune in some undefined manner, we would obtain individual pages of the copyist’s “left manuscript”, (遺稿) a term typically applied to postmortem like left wills. We can also infer that he was part of the exodus from Byrgenwerth. Among the runes explicitly “left” by Caryll is Corruption. This requires he copy it from the Cain clan, a situation which would only arise if following Laurence. The same phrasing ties him to other runes later linked to the Healing Church like Communion, Metamorphosis, and Moon. In fact, his life’s work revolves around deriving runes from blood research, so Willem’s prohibition would give him the most incentive to leave. And if Caryll did ultimately become a cleric, then he likely shared the same fate as the other church founders from Byrgenwerth, his name living on merely through his legacy.