The Nightly Hunt Journal is a record of my thoughts and speculation on the story and lore as I'm playing Bloodborne. This entry begins after I was slain by the wolf beast in Iosefka's Clinic, covering my impressions on the Hunter's Dream. You can find my thoughts on the opening of Bloodborne in Entry #1.I have just died to the wolf beast in Iosefka's Clinic. I am wondering if anything I am seeing is real or a nightmare. I wonder what the protagonist was doing before coming to the clinic that caused them to sneak away and come to Yharnam, and what they are hoping to accomplish with paleblood.
It is with this flurry of confusion that I wake up in the Hunter's Dream. Does this confirm that the events in Yharnam are actually happening, or is this some type of inception-like dream-within-a-dream scenario? I see the abandoned doll and I receive my gear from the messengers (axe and pistol, in case you were wondering). I have been chosen to be a hunter, and now I am being outfitted by these strange creatures. This of course gives me the power to get revenge against that wolf beast upon awakening, which I go out and do. I am breaking the sequence of my notes a bit, but upon returning to the Hunter's Dream Doll is now alive and the workshop has opened.
Hello, good hunter.
I am a doll, here in this dream to look after you.
Honorable hunter, pursue the echoes of blood,
and I will channel them into your strength.
You will hunt beasts... and I will be here for you,
to embolden your sickly spirit.
Welcome home, good hunter.
What is it you desire?
Did you speak with Gehrman?
He was a hunter long, long ago, but now serves only to advise them.
He is obscure, unseen in the dreaming world.
Still, he stays here, in this dream...
...such is his purpose.
Like the messengers, Doll is here to serve you. As the protagonist, we "will hunt beasts" and "pursue the echoes of blood" and she will "embolden [our] sickly spirit". What exactly she is remains a mystery, but she is going to aid us and make us stronger. The fact that it is not just blood that we are pursuing, but the echoes, is interesting. This is indicating a connection to the past or something beforehand. And like anything that calls back to the past at this point, what this means exactly is unknown.
Then there is Gehrman. He was a hunter a long, long time ago, and now he is a disappearing guide figure. The phrase Doll uses to describe him, that he is "unseen in the dreaming world" piques my interest though. I have nothing to back it up, but I get the feeling that he is cut off, or that it is not his choice perhaps, and he only remains in this dream because he is being made to advise the protagonist.
Ah-hah, you must be the new hunter, eh? Welcome to the Hunter's Dream.
This will be your home, for now. I am...Gehrman, friend to you hunters.
You're sure to be in a fine haze about now, but don't think too hard
about all of this. Just go out and kill a few beasts, it's for
your own good. You know, It's just what hunters do. You'll get used to it.
This was once a safe heaven for hunters.
A workshop where hunters used blood to enhance their weapons and flesh.
We don't have as many tools as we once did, but...
You're welcome to use whatever you find.
...Even the doll, should it please you...
First of all, I'm just going to assume Gehrman wasn't implying something weird in that last line, even if the whispering pretty much solidifies that he was. There are a lot of important concepts laid out here, and interesting word choices. "This will be your home, for now..." definitely makes it clear that the Hunter's Dream, or at least our inhabitance, is finite. The pause he makes before saying his name was also weird. I am going to ascribe that to either being incredibly old and infirm, or in a more sinister interpretation, to him lying.
The line, "You're sure to be in a fine haze about now, but don't think too hard about all of this," was particularly entertaining to me. Beyond a playful nod to the player, this also echoes my earlier thought that Gehrman, and perhaps all hunters, are not willing participants in all of this, and that we are powerless against the forces calling the shots.
Talking to him again, we get a little bit of background information on the Hunter's Dream. Basically, it is the equivalent of Superman's Fortress of Solitude for hunters, and is where they prepare for the hunt. Whether this place was always a dream is unknown, but there is nothing to imply this place ever existed in the physical world. I start to wonder about how we bring items from a dream world into the physical world, but I think going down that path lies madness. There are a lot of assumptions being made about the state of Yharnam and what exactly dreams are in this narrative in that line of thinking, so it is easier to let the story play out before nitpicking the details.
The final piece of interest is a note left in the back of the workshop:
of the spreading scourge of beasts, lest the night carry on forever."
Considering how comparatively pleasant the Hunter's Dream is, having it described as "dreadful" certainly causes me to wonder about what this place might be hiding. There is a locked gate, so the place clearly has its secrets. The rest of this note provides further detail to Gehrman's order to hunt beasts and the ultimate goal of the hunters. The Scourge has a source, and if it is not stopped the hunter's task will not end.
But what about paleblood? How does that fit in? Is this a key to stopping the source of the Scourge? Why would our character being inquiring about it already? Speaking of our character, will we ever learn about what we were doing before we ended up in Iosefka's Clinic? These are the questions swimming around in my head as a hesitantly begin my journey, starting in Central Yharnam.