- Who Am I...
A Vileblood Hunter
- My Story Is...
Maria was among the first hunters, all students of Gehrman. She came from Cainhurst and was a distant relative toAnnalise, the queen of Cainhurst. Maria was a skilled warrior. Wielding her beloved Rakuyo (‘Lucky’ in Japanese) a trick sword forged in her home of Cainhurst, Maria fought with great dexterity, relying on skill rather than the blood blades of the Cainhurst nobles. Maria frowned upon blood blades and their use, standing in contrast to those around her. Perhaps this was because the blood blades eat away at the wielder’s very essence, or perhaps for other reasons unknown, Maria honed her skill over the blood arts of the Cainhurst nobles. This pursuit of skill may have been what drew her to Gehrman in the first place. Maria had great admiration for Gehrman, a man who worked alongside Provost Willemand his associates at Byrgenwerth. Gehrman’s combat style emphasized speed and must have struck a chord with Maria. Despite her noble heritage, Maria became a student of Gehrman, and one of the first hunters. Her gear was crafted in Cainhurst, but her battle prowess grew alongside Gehrman’s.
Working under Provost Willem, Gehrman, Maria and the other hunters received an assignment. In a small Fishing Hamlet near the coast, it was rumored the body of a Great One the villagers called Kos had washed up on shore. The villagers themselves worshiped this Great One calling it “mother” and “dear”, and indeed the villagers themselves had grown grotesque and powerful in their worship. This was a valuable and unprecedented find for the Byrgenwerth scholars, the body of a real life Great One was within their grasp, but not only this – there were rumors that the Great One was with child, and a Great One’s child means a Great One’s Umbilical Cord. Provost Willem sought the Cord in order to elevate his being and thoughts to those of a Great One, by lining his brain with eyes. He believed this was the only way for man to ever match the greatness of the Great Ones. An enfeebled old man, Willem sent his hunters and scholars to the Fishing Hamlet to retrieve the Cord for him. The village was raided and ransacked, its occupants murdered and ruthlessly examined, their skulls drilled into in search of eyes.
Something happened in the Fishing Hamlet that caused Maria to abandon her beloved Rakuyo, a sword that may have symbolized the choices she had made up to that point in her life, setting her apart from her Cainhurst relatives and contemporaries and galvanizing her to Gehrman. When she could stomach the Rakuyo’s presence no longer, she tossed it into a dark well.
After the events of the Fishing Hamlet, Maria became a caretaker of the numerous patients in the Healing Church’s Research Hall, taking up residence behind the giant star-interpreting Astral Clocktower at the top of the Grand Cathedral. To her patients she was only known as ‘Lady Maria’, and it would seem that to them she became a mother figure (like ‘Mother Mary’). Within the Research Hall, Lady Maria oversaw the cerebral patients as they imbibed water. These patients would imbibe water and listen for the howl of the sea, their heads expanding until that is all that they were. The goal behind these experiments was to make contact with the Great Ones. Though these early experiments were not the same as those involving the Emissaries, the emissaries were created to reach out to the Great Ones, but these Research Patients only had the purpose of listening, of absorbing and assimilating the utterings of the Great Ones. In the early days of the Healing Church, the Great Ones were linked to the ocean. This notion is clearly related to the episode at the Fishing Hamlet and the founding of Kos’ corpse washed up on the shore.
But the experiments were largely unsuccessful. Many of the patients died under examination, their body’s being cast into the corrosive acid that lined the base of the Research Hall’s spiral staircase to dissolve into oblivion. Outside her home in the Astral Clocktower, Maria was reminded of the all too real failures in her pursuits.
Lady Maria locked herself in the clock tower, attempting to take her life due to the regret of her past actions.