Orphan of Kos


Kos was a Great One who washed up on the shores of a Fishing Hamlet long before the events of the present day. When Kos washed up on the shore, it was in the late stages of its pregnancy, but like all Great Ones, was unable to produce offspring by natural means. In this case Kos died before the child was born, leaving its child an orphan. This child and the corpse of Kos developed a cult-like following amongst the villagers who worshipped it. They were aware that Kos had been pregnant, as the Befuddled Villager can be heard intoning a plea of mercy for the “poor wizened child”. Kos' corpse was teeming with parasites (or phantasms) unlike any found in humans. The villagers appear to have harvested these parasites. Considering the reverence with which they treat the corpse of Kos, it may be that these parasites left the host behind once it had died, and that the villagers collected them up, rather than touching or examining the body. The parasites can be seen everywhere in the village, being used as fuel for fire, collected into large pools and seemingly fused with the men and women of the village in order to bring about a rebirth in form. The villagers regarded Kos as a mother, likely because of this very rebirth.

Around this time the scholars of Byrgenwerth were studying the Great Ones, and Willem was desperately searching for the umbilical cord of a Great One. Towards that end, the scholars and hunters of Byrgenwerth came to the Fishing Hamlet and experimented on the villagers there in the most gruesome ways. The villagers defended themselves and so the hunters used force in order to extract information. The Hunters came upon the corpse of Kos, worshipped by the villagers and what follows is unclear. According to one of the villagers the Hunters committed an act of blasphemy against the poor wizened child. What seems most likely is that the Hunters tore the Orphan or at least the Orphan's umbilical cord from the corpse of Kos, ending whatever chance it may have had at life. The village chanters have a line which reads: "Mother is dead, her baby taken” strongly indicating that the wizened Orphan was torn from its mother's womb by the Hunters. For this act the Hunters were cursed by the villagers, who incited the wrath of the Great Ones against them. Interestingly, it is strongly implied that Gehrman and Maria were the Hunters who committed the blasphemous act, making them a metaphorical Adam and Eve and calling forth the concept of original sin in the Judeo-Christian tradition. Any and all who inherit their will by becoming Hunters inherit the curse. The curses of the villagers seem to have manifested in the Hunter's Nightmare.

Simon explains the origins of the Hunter's Nightmare:

Do you know why the Hunters are drawn to this Nightmare?
Because it sprouted from their very misdeeds.
…This village is the true secret.
Testament to the old sins…
…It feeds this Hunter’s Nightmare…
- Simon, the Harrowed dialogue

The village feeds the nightmare. It is the villagers and their ire at the treatment of their Great One which motivated them to call forth their curses. Perhaps the consciousness of Kos listened from whatever plane of existence it resides and established the Nightmare, watching over it from the sky. Micolash certainly seems to have grounds for at least questioning whether Kos can hear his prayers when he says:

Ahh, Kos, or some say Kosm… Do you hear our prayers?
- Micolash, Host of the Nightmare dialogue

And perhaps these grounds are the establishment of the Hunter's Nightmare through the villager's prayers to Kos. The Orphan itself, upon disentangling itself from its mother's still form will weep and stare up at the sky, perhaps aware, on some level, of the magnitude of its loss. When the spirit of the Orphan is able to return to the ocean it appears to be a good thing, implying that the Orphan was not allowed to return to the ocean during its lifetime, but was likely taken by the scholars. Allowing the Orphan to return to the ocean as it should have done long ago, satiates the villagers in their anger and perhaps brings an end to the curse that plagues the Hunters.


Title of theory.



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