It’s been some time hasn’t it? Amazing how 30 years just flies by. How have things been?
Sorry, I shouldn’t be making small talk if I have a point to get to, I remember you always hated that, so I’ll just get to it.
Yharnam has changed in your absence, and I am finding it difficult to hold onto the past. There is something I wish to show you, and I would very much like to see you again; you are very welcome in my home. I trust you remember where it is?
PS. If you come across someone calling themselves ‘Bendy’, please take care of them, they are a close friend.
It had been many years since Henry had walked the streets of Yharnam. The great city had indeed changed, a darkness seeming to have crept into the streets and flooded up from the sewers and all the unwanted and forgotten places. In his past, when he had walked these streets as a citizen, a civilian, they had been filled with wonder, and colour, and life. Now, things were quite different.
‘Yharnam has changed’ the message read, and he had no cause not to believe those words. He had heard tell of strange things occurring within the old city’s boundaries, but never more than whispers of truth, stories growing more wild through each mouth. It was just as likely for an army of rats to have taken over the city as it was for the moon to have bled into the reservoirs and poisoned everyone. In some people’s eyes at least.
When Henry had be young, he had been an artist, full of optimism and hope. Back then he would have called such stories products of overactive imaginations and people letting their excitement get away with them. But now, with the things he had seen, the things he’d done…
He was a Hunter now, and a veteran of his trade. His fingers once calloused from holding pencils and pens were now calloused from heavy use of his axe and his pistol.
Walking through these cobbled streets, under towering arches and bridges, through broken metal fencing and past hastily built wooden structures, Henry wondered if he would even recognise this place. It felt wrong now, unsafe, and his fingers almost constantly twitched for his weapons as his nerves sparked and fought against the claustrophobic sensation of the streets, and the judgement that seemed to exude from every lit door he passed.
The city was dying, he could feel it in his bones, but its people refused to let it go without a fight, and Henry could only admire them for that. This had not been his home for many years though, and his own judgement on the city was somewhat different.
But that was neither here nor there. He was here because he had been summoned by an old friend, and while he was still tired from his journey he was confident he would be able to find his way to Joey’s home, despite the changes, and have a good long sleep through the night after what would probably be several hours of reminiscing over old times.
Surprisingly enough though, Henry had yet to see another living soul. He had heard them, but they had always been several streets away. Considering he was walking what he assumed was the main road, he found this especially peculiar; surely citizens would be wanting to use the main roads for light. It was all backwards, and it brought up several questions. Perhaps Joey would be able to answer them when he finally reached him.
Eventually, the Hunter found that the road he was walking on was not in fact the main road, as he soon reached it. It was wider than the street he was currently on, mostly cobbled, though it looked like several buildings had been demolished to make it wider, and along it were several groups of men.
Henry blinked in surprise as a figure started to walk past the street he was on, and found himself staring dumbfounded at the image as the man turned towards him.
The man was holding a torch high above his head, lighting the dank streets before and around him to aid him in his search – his watch – while his other was weighed down by a great cleaver-like blade, the edges crusted and blackened by flecks of what looked like rust, and dried blood. But it wasn’t these things that shocked him the most. No, it was the black trails of something that resembled blood that ran down his yellowed face and dripped onto the cobbles below, the slick look of his hair, even as it stood wildly atop his head, that crazed look in his searching eyes.
This was wrong. This was all wrong. Where Henry had expected a look of confusion, perhaps wariness, he instead found a look of pure hatred, and a mouth full of gnashing stained teeth.
“Outsider!” the man all but screamed, drawing his blade back for a strike, but Henry had already backed away, covering his mouth with his scarf to quiet his breathing as he swept his way through the streets. Already a mob was forming, coming for him, though he knew not why, and while he tried not to lose his way, the city had changed so much that within a minute he was lost.
Now his eyes had been opened, he saw this… perversion everywhere. He saw it in the men he passed, in the dogs, in the rats. He passed what seemed to be a man but they were bleeding a black mess as another cut him – it – down, and hulking great creatures that seemed inhuman.
“What happened to this place?” Henry asked himself, pulling his axe from its place at his side as he escaped yet another mob.
Unfortunately, his path led straight into another, and this street was more of an alley than a road; he was completely boxed in with nowhere to go.
“Kill the outsider!” someone shouted, a cry that had been picked up by several others, and he spun in place, trying to find a way out.
The weight of his weapon was heavy in his hand.
“I don’t want to hurt you,” he called out to them, but pulled his pistol from its holster all the same, nervous of all the torches and weapons pointed at him.
“He’s a Hunter!” another called, and a ripple of alarm crossed the two mobs, and, if anything, made them only more vicious.
“It’s your fault!”
“Kill the Hunter!”
Henry winced and steeled himself. He’d never killed a human with this blade before. This blade was for monsters, beasts that killed innocents for no reason. It seemed that the beasts he would be hunting would be human tonight. That, or his hunting days were over.