Yharnam had fallen.
The wretched, sunken in faces of the public. The roving, mad bands of hunters gone too far, lost to the insatiable appetite and burning rage within them. The blackened buildings of Yharnam lined thick with a heavy layer of soot and grime. The streets and walkways molded over in a sinister and sickening stew of dirt, soil, ash, and the grisly blood-stained reminders of those unfortunate souls who failed to survive the hunt.
Somewhere off in the distance the blood-curdling scream of some poor soul lingered heavy in the air. In the past, it would have served as a warning or a call to arms. Now it was simply the soundtrack of Yharnam, as synonymous with the city as the grunt and hustle of all the carriages and footsteps of the masses had been only a few short years before.
Looking down you realized that without meaning to, you had balled your hands into clenched fists. The anger had for a second sucked the breath out from you. You could feel the rage coursing beneath your skin, with every beat of your heart you felt it journey further and further into the dark recesses of your body. Taking a deep breath you relaxed your hands and entered into town.
All around you lay the wretched refuse of this once great city. Half-decayed horses littered the walkways serving as your ever-faithful companions as you plunged ever deeper into Yharnam.
The utter stillness of it all was the most striking and disturbing aspect. Nothing moved, there wasn’t even a rat to scatter about, they had long since all vanished. Somewhere off in the distance someone uttered that awful Yharnam hello, a single solitary scream and then silence.
Rounding a corner you watched as a roving band of tortured and lost souls known as Hunters, or what remained of them, stood transfixed by a burning of their newest catch. There were at least seven or eight of them, all arranged in a circle around the cross, emblazoned in flames, with a single hulking monster strung up on it. The flames glow dancing across their eyes.
The hunters were a sight of such decadence and decay The Devil himself wouldn’t find it fit to look at them. Their blank eyes sunk deep into their heads, a glassy pure black look to them. No color, no light, just black as the sky above Yharnam. Long strands of hair peeled off across their face, slowly transforming them from the men they clearly once were to whatever terrible creatures they had become. Their teeth a savage mixture of yellowed stains and blackened smears. Their coats and trousers coated in the usual Yharnam speciality of filth, muck, and splatters of blood and grisly reminders of their overriding occupation: death.
Exploring the waterways of Yharnam, you couldn’t help but feel the grip of despair peering out across the bodies of water, or at least the sorry remains of that water. Half-submerged ships dotted the rolling seas that once had flocks of geese and a steady current of the world’s finest fleet. Now a troubling stillness to it defined the waterways. Not a ripple spread across the silky smooth and blackened waters. There was no life within its formerly comforting embrace. Bodies risen to the top, shattered remains of crates and goods, layers of oil and grease forming a lifeless, unmoving still image of the seas of Yharnam, with that wretched awful blackness that defined so much of the city present here again. The city was so far gone it had stopped even groaning under the collective weight of its hollowed out innards.
Windows lay broken out, the shards of glass laying all around residences as if some lovely lawn garden decoration, instead of their true nature as a murderous piece of evidence of the fall of Yharnam’s populace. Blockades defined every doorway and shadows every alleyway, the darkness growing ever more courageous and prominent as the sun sat hidden away behind the layers of fog and soot and grime that coated the midday skies.
Humanity had given up on Yharnam, or maybe Yharnam first gave up on humanity. In either sense, this towering cathedral to the failures and devious excesses of man now stood detached and removed from the outside world, yet also as the enduring image of it. Once the bloodletting and hunts had begun in Yharnam they never stopped, not really. We tore and savaged and brutalized each other until suddenly, upon cruel reflection and level-headed return to sanity, there was nothing left. There was simply no one left.
We were all broken and discarded now. The horrifying inferno of our nightmares had become the reality of our world. God had locked the gates of heaven and Yharnam became the pleasant holiday of the hellish forces unleashed within us. The summer sojourn of hunters, beasts, and humanity’s wickedness. The sights and sounds and images are a tapestry, less of the greatness of us all than, of the roiling demons bursting forth from our hearts and splitting asunder from the fabric of our veins, erupting out to plague the skies and pull back the charade of the senselessness of it all and reveal the truth we had tried to hide here. The skeletal figure of death himself crowned our new king, the thirst for blood our new wine of choice, grisly dismemberment our national pastime, and the better angels of ourselves ignored and locked away in the darkest places of our souls.
In our madness we embraced demagogues. As the masses screamed out their collective frustrations snake oil salesman’s descended on us promising to right the wrongs and cure the world, to make Yharnam great again. As they stirred the pot and stoked the flames of intolerance and inhumanity; rage, anger, and fear swirling and spiraling away until nothing was left within us. We demanded change, we cried out for a different voice, a voice that hadn’t put us in this mess.
We got change. He sat and rode away in his nice gold carriage as the city burned.
Yharnam was lost.
Long live Yharnam.