What is Blood of Five Nations

 May you find your worth in the waking world.

The Doll

 Nearly two years ago, I launched a Dungeons & Dragons campaign for a group of friends that was set in the Bloodborne universe. Among those friends, only one had a deep understanding of the setting and the lore from the original game, so I decided to craft a story that would inform my players of the world as they explored it, but also offer some surprises for those who already knew a thing or two about the PlayStation 4 title. Blood of Five Nations is a prosaic reimagining of this campaign and is written in much the same spirit. Even if you are completely unfamiliar with Bloodborne, you should be able to enjoy this story.

This is not a retelling of the 2015 video game’s plot. Instead, it’s a continuation and exploration of the world established by Bloodborne, albeit with sometimes generous liberties. Although I’ve done my best to play within the confines of the game’s lore, there are some areas where my interpretations may run contrary to someone else’s. If you find something egregiously out of line, it’s likely because I have a personal understanding of how it fits into the lore. I’m not trying to break or skirt the rules. With the game’s infamous ambiguity and focused plot, the politics, geography, and greater history of the world had to be crafted from nothing, and sometimes that meant considering the original lore in new ways to make it fit.

You’ll also find that the world outside of Yharnam has been filled beyond the original game’s scope. I allowed my players to craft their character’s country of origin and choose a race/class based on Dungeons & Dragons 5e. This resulted in some more diversity and ability than gamers will recall from the original Bloodborne, but mostly within reason. I like to think there is a larger fantasy realm outside the confines of the original game, and this embraces that in some ways.

With all of that said, I want to repeat that the Dungeons & Dragons campaign for Blood of Five Nations was always meant to be enjoyable for hunters old and new, and that will continue to be true in its prose form. There are plenty of surprises ahead of you. I hope it’s something you enjoy.

Bloodborne – Blood of Five Nations

 It was trapped between two lungs.

Florence Welch, Lungs

What is this? What am I about to read? 

I

Blood flooded the battered veins of their beleaguered bodies. Sight was granted back into their skulls before the muscles in their eyelids were strong enough to lift. So they sat for the first few moments of life, blinded by birth, afraid and vulnerable to the din of sensation cascading over withered plains when they’ve drunk up the absentee rain. Then the first breath – and the world was burning.

Continue reading “Bloodborne – Blood of Five Nations”

floox plays Bloodborne – Episode 2

 I feel a yearning… something I’ve never felt before… What’s happening to me? Tell me hunter, could this be joy?

The Doll

Bloodborne follows the Good Hunter, an outsider to Yharnam, a city that has fallen to a unique plague. Beasts roam the streets and it is up to this lone hunter to slay his way to the eldritch truth that befell this once prosperous land.

Continue reading “floox plays Bloodborne – Episode 2”

floox plays Bloodborne – Episode 1

 The sweet blood, oh, it sings to me.

Father Gascoigne

Bloodborne follows the Good Hunter, an outsider to Yharnam, a city that has fallen to a unique plague. Beasts roam the streets and it is up to this lone hunter to slay his way to the eldritch truth that befell this once prosperous land.

Continue reading “floox plays Bloodborne – Episode 1”

floox plays Florence

 [wordless, frantically constructed speech bubble puzzle]

Flo

Florence is a game about first love and finding yourself. Pretty heavy stuff.

This full playthrough of the puzzle/narrative-driven game was my first. It’s sad, sweet, and incredibly clever in how it uses gameplay mechanics to illustrate character moods, relationship dynamics, and just the realities of life. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Continue reading “floox plays Florence”

The Last of Us Part II Ending Explained

 Try and sometimes you’ll succeed to make this man of me.

“Future Days” by Pearl Jam

SPOILER WARNING: There are major spoilers for The Last of Us and The Last of Us Part 2 here, but you probably should have known that by now?

The story for the original The Last of Us was hardly an original concept, but what made it powerful were its more figurative scenes, minor threads, and tragic characters. The relationship that formed between Joel and Ellie was heartwarming in an otherwise cold world all the way up until the final leg of their journey. It concluded in a way that spun the narrative’s themes into new context, forcing the player to consider the righteousness of their character’s actions. Was it worth killing and torturing countless people, and ultimately sacrificing humanity to save one girl? Were the remnants of humanity even worth saving? To a large degree, The Last of Us Part II asks the very same questions.

Continue reading “The Last of Us Part II Ending Explained”

HBO’s Watchmen – What You Should Know Before Starting

 You can’t heal under a mask, Angela.

Will Reeves

Costumed heroes are real. It is with this development that the 1986 comic Watchmen dives into an alternate timeline. America wins the Vietnam war, the Watergate scandal is never exposed, and in 1985 Richard Nixon is still in office thanks to the repealing of the law that established term limits for the presidency. On the brink of a third world war and the growing threat of nuclear annihilation, one of these now outlawed heroes investigates the murder of a former colleague.

But what’s this about an HBO series? Why is it important now?

Continue reading “HBO’s Watchmen – What You Should Know Before Starting”