A creak of a wheelchair desperately needing oil.
A rustle of clothing, and the Doll kneels next to me, sitting in my teacher's wheelchair as if it were a throne. She joins me in gazing at the workshop, extinguished of its flames and rendered untouched with but a mere thought.
"And so, the hunt begins again," she said softly.
. . . . .
And so he had taken on the mantle of Watcher of Hunters, and the inherited title of First Hunter. It had two meanings, he acknowledged. The literal first hunter, the first person to raise arms against the Plague.
And what Gehrman was, the First among Hunters. Unequaled in his craft, the establisher of the Dream and the Hunt, the Workshop and its vast Arsenal.
He, who had inherited this knowledge, taught and saw many new hunters. He passed down the very weapons he had used, and took them back when they went to the waking world. He himself was not an exception to the Hunt, and returned to the Nightmare along with his students once he had fashioned a replacement leg, wielding his teacher's weapons.
Back and forth, for a long time.
Morning never seeming to come. The Hunt never seeming to end.
It was only after he returned from a hunt that he realized the Doll had become still.
And then, for the first time in a long, long, time, he had mourned the loss of a friend.
And he mourned the loss of his humanity, as well.
. . . . .
He had taken to recording his life, as well as his students. Their triumphs, their failures.
A quirked smile as an energetic huntress went about, fretting and worrying if her gear was good enough to face the challenges she was sure to face. She had a very close relationship to him, much like Maria and Gehrman, and he regretted it when she knelt before him, allowing him to take her life without a struggle.
Patient, calm guidance with a curious boy who wished to try his hand with the Rakuyo. He had wielded it deftly, but it was not enough to defeat him, one of the rare hunters who challenged him. Perhaps he had wished to free his mentor, just as he had for Gehrman? But while Gehrman was crippled by age, having long since left his prime when the nameless moon presence descended into the Dream, he had not aged beyond a day. In the end, he forced the struggling boy down and cleanly removed his head with the Burial Blade.
A madly laughing boy who had come to the Dream so many times to replenish his quicksilver bullets after discovering that yes, bone ash marrow did indeed affect his cannon. He too, surrendered without a fight, and left the Dream.
He had seen so many, and yet he did not bother to get their names. It was meaningless to do so. The optimistic ones, who wanted to meet their teacher in the real world, when dawn came. The idealistic ones, who wanted to free him from his burden. The cunning ones, who attempted to use his knowledge against him. He had seen so many hunters and huntresses come and go.
They never stopped. They usually came alone. Sometimes in pairs. But they never stopped, meaning that morning had yet to come.
"The night and the dream… are long indeed…" he mutters to himself, runes flashing in his mind's eye before fading. Clockwise Metamorphosis. Guidance. Blood Rapture. Radiance. He knew how the beasts fought better than any hunter in his employ, and it was an easy matter to roam the streets along with his students, teaching them the patterns.
The First Hunter quietly rolled out of the Hunter's Workshop and gazed at the large stone markers that signified a realm. Few had matched his feat of hunting all the areas, and fewer still had managed to defeat a lord of the area. This new generation was softer.
It is a good thing, when he looks at it optimistically. It means that the waking world had not intended, at least initially, for its citizens to grow into the killing machines Gehrman's hunters were. He was the last of that generation and the first of this new one.
The Old Hunters' knowledge survived through him. He had learned the Art of Quickening almost spontaneously, along with how to recreate the trick weapons, the blueprints rising to his mind.
He was first among hunters, in a place so high no one could come close to matching him.
Until, eventually, one did.
. . . . .
He looks at his student with mournful eyes, from where he is supported by the knife that pierces his heart. Even now the nameless moon presence is trying to reknit his skin, pump blood back into his heart, but it is not capable. He knows that this is a mortal wound. He will return to the waking world, and his student would become the First Hunter of a third generation.
But does his student know of what he is about to undergo? He can feel the presence getting larger, more powerful. The nightmare is encroaching on the Dream, to claim its' due.
The knife is extracted from his chest with an odd sounding noise. It had been so long since he had been injured he had forgotten what it felt like. He slumps to his knees, a white light blossoming around him, rustling the white flowers in the breeze it created. The garden was covered in these flowers, as once the gravestones fully lined the road he had taken to planting a flower in its stead.
The Burial Blade drops from numb fingers. The blunderbuss, empty, joins it. Rakuyo almost certainly beheads a few flowers and Evelyn is heavy in its holster.
He gazes at his student who returns it with uneasy eyes, and then all he knows is darkness.
And then he is in the waking world. Stirring to life under a tree.
Green, wavy grass. He's in a forest.
This isn't Yharnam, nor is it any region of the world he knows of.
While he pushes himself to his feet, his hand lands on the Burial Blade and nearly cuts his finger open. This shouldn't be happening. The weapons of the Dream were not supposed to come with him to the real world; they were supposed to be passed to his student. With a thought, the entire runic collection flashes before his mind, and the familiar power pulsed gently through his body.
And yet, here he wakes, with full remembrance of the Dream, carrying with him weapons and still retaining all the knowledge and power he had acquired.
What happened? Did the Dream collapse for good?
A surge of hope floods his mind. Is the Hunt over, at long last? Is the plague cured?
He pats himself down. The Burial Blade is picked up and sheathed, and the wooden stock is examined for damage. Of course, the weapon of choice of the First Hunter would hardly be damaged so easily and it remains as pristine as ever, a testament to its craftsmanship. Rakuyo is still on his back, half embedded in dirt. It appears to have been the reason why he was in a half sitting position. The blunderbuss is crossed with the Burial Blade's stock, and the Evelyn is still in its holster.
It takes a few moments to gather his bearing and collect his thoughts, but he is away, striding along the road with powerful strides. He opts to use the Rakuyo as a walking stick, as he is still missing his left leg and his wheelchair is no longer with him.
He wondered, briefly, what Lady Maria would think of her beloved weapon being used in such a disrespectful and mundane manner. Rakuyo is, after all, a weapon with a long and distinguished history, perhaps only equal to the Burial Blade itself in terms of service. Then he reasons Maria had to have thrown it down a well for a reason and his bemusement increases.
Trick weapons were virtually indestructible anyway, capable of shattering stone with a good hit and none the worse for wear. He never questioned what materials they were made of, but Gehrman did remark that he used siderite to make the Burial Blade. Was it an attribute of the Dream, the absolute essential need for a weapon to remain intact? If it was, would it still retain that property here, in the waking world? Deciding not to risk it, he simply slaps the shaft against his palm, gripping it like a staff and continues on his way, but with a noticeable limp. In his final battle against his student he had to take small steps or use Quickening to compensate. His range of motion was robbed the moment the nameless moon presence grabbed him.
He is taken aback at just how green the forest is. In a perpetual night in a seemingly dead world, he had grown so used to seeing the dull greys, the pitch blacks, that seeing such vividness seemed more a dream than the Dream itself.
He had been so lost in thought that he wasn't aware of the crashing of waves until he saw the vast blue sea, right after a steep cliff. He was mesmerized by the very sight; he had always appreciated nature before he had arrived in Yharnam, in no part due to growing up in a small, isolated hamlet before…
…well, before the Scourge had arrived. The person who was infected slaughtered the entire hamlet before running rampant. He himself had only survived by hiding under the corpses of his family and having the luck of several thousand people.
He turned, spinning in a blissful circle. He was most at home in an environment like this, memories of happier, simpler times before he had been forced to travel to Yharnam in hopes of curing the Scourge. Then, he noticed a building, tall, castle-like, and regal in appearance.
That would be his first destination. He steadily made his way to the distant building.
A/N: *desperately trying to incite muse for FoS so expanding content to other Souls games*
Alright. So. I caved. There is a ridiculous amount of crossover potential of Bloodborne and RWBY I could not resist and it gives me an excuse to watch the show.
This is a concept shot; I have absolutely zero issues with writing this story but I need to get feedback from you guys. Normally I focus on only one story at a time, but if my FoS readers have no problems with reading this while waiting for the next chapter, then I'll make an exception. I'd write both, but that burns me out incredibly quickly. Think of this as "testing the waters"; if the readers find it favorable I'll continue writing it and publish it along with FoS.
I have his name planned out, yes it complies with the color necessity rule.
I am definitely taking some likely liberties with Bloodborne canon as I have not fully explored the lore as well as I have for Dark Souls so PLEASE correct any lore discrepancies or if I got anything wrong.
I've ironed out the majority of the Hunter's personality; he has little to no emotional attachment (the Doll goes inert) to people and is absolutely willing to kill but is not trigger happy like other stories. He's much like Gehrman, being a tired, exceptionally badass Hunter who still looks after prospective Hunters but forms little beyond a teacher-like relationship with him. That energetic huntress was the sole exception, the rare light in the darkness.
As with Tayrr the Monarch, for all intents and purposes he has done EVERYTHING in Bloodborne, did all the questlines and all the main story, as well as the DLC. He followed the Honoring Wishes ending and inherits the Burial Blade along with the Old Hunter Badge from Gehrman along with the Workshop and became the eponymous "Watcher of Hunters" and assumed the role of First Hunter for the second Hunt.
As his name implies he will potentially be an Almighty Bystander, guiding the people of Remnant with a steady hand (I have him tentatively planned for a teaching role at Beacon) and stepping in when the going gets rough. This is because he may not even care about the Hunt anymore; he's like Gehrman, having hunted for so long it stops meaning anything to him personally and only offering his Hunters rest.
Unlike in Familiar of Souls the Hunter is NOT open to romance for personality reasons at the start. This will probably be gen, considering he's also a fair bit older than the rest of the cast being about ten to fifteen years older. He didn't age in the Dream but had his foot halfway out his prime when he arrived in Yharnam. If he regains emotional attachment then the pairing must also be age appropriate.
Also consider how long he's been in the Dream; when you arrive in the Dream there's apparently 360 gravestones. When this Hunter, you, left the Dream, so many Hunters and Huntresses had come and gone you started planting flowers when they died because you ran out of room to put headstones.