Dead air billowed around the noiseless shrine. Even though a handful of weary travelers occupied the crumbling and godforsaken hallowed grounds, the atmosphere never felt more desolate. Spirits were dampened by an aura of hopelessness emanating from the stale air that seemed to haunt Lordran like the specters below in the ruins of the once-great New Londo. It was quiet. That was the way he preferred it to be. Normally, he perched himself atop the roof of the ruined chapel that sat, a moss-covered, stony reminder of the world that had once been. However, he sought for the comfort of the flame, reminiscing on past memories, painful apparitions that haunted even his most pleasant dreams, which were in themselves seldom occurrences.
His hands folded, his helmet by his side, facing away from the warrior who always sat idle along the wall, so as to conceal his identity, if only barely. His coat clung to him, sweaty and ragged and still as dependable as it had been when he fashioned it. His knives and bolts were secure in their harnesses, his belt equipped with all manner of items needed for him to wade through this deadened world and root out all manner of malicious activity and evil. He had returned from a bout with a pair of large gargoyles, his wits stretched far in order to succeed in that battle. His mind weighed heavily, thinking that, had the second beast not accidentally slain the first with a large sweep of its overlarge halberd, and fallen from the rooftops with its companion, it was highly likely that he would have been slain.
Not that such a thing mattered; death had no adverse consequences in the land of the Undead, other than being excruciatingly painful and **** one of their Humanity. But alas, such a thing was negligible in the long run of affairs, and in this land death was nothing but an obstacle rather than an absolute ending. Now the dark figure sat, silent and brooding in the pale gloom of seemingly endless Lordran sunlight. The lone warrior seemed to pay his company no mind, seemed not to care either way if this bleak and dreary frame were around anymore. He counted this as a blessing; this warrior’s disinterest of his company meant that he was less likely to study him, to learn of him and who he was. Brutus had no idea if his name carried much significance in this accursed place, but his name would remain free of the wind nonetheless.
He had invented this darkened persona for a reason, and to shatter the validity of that persona’s terrifying presence meant his lifework’s demise. He was a watchful shadow, striking and nightmarish even in this land of horrors. He was somewhat of a legend in the bordering lands, given a new name that struck fear into the hearts of evil men: The Batman. This name was revered by all; even by the dignitaries and righteous Clerics, and feared by men whose souls were tainted with Sin. He wasn’t a killer of men, not the blade that served as the bane of cruelty. No, he was something much worse than death incarnate. His existence beckoned pleas to die, from any who would fall under his never-ending wrath.
The Batman, a dark knight more haunting than those that wandered Lordran, a hunting shadow that stalked and watched and waited, until finally it struck, without warning. His eyes were always gazing, his mind always aware, his body prepared to do what was necessary to halt the existence of evil; even going so far as to adopt his own methods of cruelty. He had broken bones, shattered skulls, and beaten down many who had dared trespass into the realm of wickedness, be it by way of theft, political corruption, or murder. His enemies were many, and his friends were none. He was no beacon of righteous arbitration, nay, but one of necessary justice, the brand which is employed in dungeons where no one hears the screams of the tortured souls that are unfortunate enough to find themselves within their stone walls.
He, however, utilized the screams of his prey. Many a night in the darkness of Carim’s underworld he had coaxed the frightened and pain-riddled shrieks of street vermin, employing their psychological power in order to establish his role within the blackness: he was no Saint, nary afraid to stoop down to the requirements in which he would deem acceptable so that he may acquire what he needs; be it information or ceasing the wickedness of a man’s actions, leaving his broken frame for the authorities to apprehend, or crippling them so that may never do harm to anyone else ever again. And with no face, no name to trace back to, vengeance against this master of dark hunting was ill advised and absolutely impossible. He was a product of years of anger and training, an embodiment of vengeance, wrought from tragedy that he will never escape.
He began to reflect on that night, within Carim’s embracing walls, those many years ago. It was the night that spawned his sense of revenge, to right the wrong of the murder of his dear mother and father. He came to feel that wielding death would slay the hurt that resided inside him, that by striking down the murderer his conscience would become clear and that he could finally rest. However, as he grew he came to realize that such would not be truth, and that killing those who did evil made him no better than those he vowed to wage war against.
Brutus Vayne, born in Carim to loving parents, Thomas and Margaret Vayne. Thomas was an exceptionally wealthy philanthropist, physician and surgeon, and a close personal friend to Sir Arstor, the Earl of Carim. It was through his influence and the support of the Earl that Thomas was able to establish a network of infirmaries throughout Carim. Margaret had a fondness for the arts, and utilized the family fortune to promote all manner of artwork in Carim; painting, theatre, music, all art was beautiful to Margaret.
Despite the wealth the Vaynes possessed, they maintained a manner of humility and humbleness, instilling these qualities within their son as well. Thomas, ever the gold-hearted one, often gave his fortune for the betterment of civil life and Humanity. Brutus’ father once said that life is sacred, and that to turn a blind eye to your fellow man is to lose precisely what it means to have Humanity. These words would hold Brutus in his steadfast ascension to vigilantism.
He broke his thoughts from the past, returning his conscience to the present. He donned his helmet once more, stood and turned, heading back up to the Undead Church. He had much backtracking to do, and a ferocious dragon to outwit if he were to make his perilous plight into the godforsaken ruins of Blighttown. Thinking about such a journey did nothing to excite him; he’d rather enjoy it if he could stay here by the Bonfire forever.
However, there was evil in this land, and evil had to be eradicated. He walked, coming upon the lift, ascending higher and higher, his eyes closed in contemplation. His plan was formulating piece by piece as he lifted higher and higher into the air. He came to a stop within the hallowed and Hollow-infested halls of the church. Stepping forward, turning to the right to face the Undead knights of Balder that stood in the adjacent room. One noticed the dark figure, rousing its companions to join the fray.
A smile broke across Brutus’ face beneath the black horned helm. And within moments, his plan played out to his advantage, blurred and quickened. These Hollows were mindless beasts, lusting after the souls of the living so that they too may live again. They were doomed to an endless cycle of rebirth, and incapable of morality; they were primal creatures, having forgotten their senses long ago.
This made them ideal opponents, for they couldn’t truly be killed. Brutus walked away from the fallen Hollow knights, steeling himself for the challenges that would come. The path to Blighttown would be paved with the bodies of those he conquered in combat, but it would be paved nonetheless.
Lord knows what horrors he would face. But as the Batman of Lordran, he would face them; he would overcome.