The Narrator is a vital part of Darkest Dungeon, accompanying the player in their adventures and creating a dark and stressful atmosphere with his foreboding comments. The story of Darkest Dungeon is exposed through the narrator, who will give hints on his mysterious past as the player approaches the various bosses. All unlocked narrations concerning the plot are available by consulting the Ancestor's Memoirs, a building found in the central square of the hamlet. The voice actor for the Narrator is Wayne June.
The Narrator is the Ancestor of the player and former owner of the Estate. After a lifetime of debauchery and arcane pursuits, he excavated an unspeakable, ancient horror far below the foundations of his mansion. This discovery shocked him into realising the depths of his crimes and recklessness, only too late for him to personally make amends. In a final letter sent to the player, he bequeaths them the Estate and urges them to reclaim it from the burgeoning corruption that now plagues it due to his actions. He then ends his own life. Even in death, however, the Ancestor accompanies and guides the player as the omnipresent Narrator.
The Narrator reacts differently to many events and actions of the player. He will comment on a grand variety of events and parts of the game including the sparse cinematics, positive and negative dungeon interactions, critical hits, hero recruitment and death, as well as various interactions within the Hamlet and more.
There is a place, beneath those ancient ruins, in the moor, that calls out to the boldest among them... "We are the Flame!" they cry, "And Darkness fears us!" They descend, spurred on by fantasies of riches and redemption, to lay bare whatever blasphemous abnormality may slumber restlessly in that unholy abyss... But Darkness is insidious. Terror and Madness can find cracks in the sturdiest of armors, the most resolute of minds... And below, in that limitless chasm of Chaos, they will realize the truth of it. "We are not the Flame!" they will cry out, "We are but moths and we are DOOMED!" And their screams will echo amidst the pitiless cyclopean stones... Of the Darkest Dungeon.
Ruin has come to our family. You remember our venerable house, opulent and imperial. Gazing proudly from its stoic perch above the moor. I lived all my years in that ancient, rumor shadowed manor. Fattened by decadence and luxury. And yet, I began to tire of conventional extravagance. Singular, unsettling tales suggested the mansion itself was a gateway to some fabulous and unnamable power. With relic and ritual, I bent every effort towards the excavation and recovery of those long buried secrets, exhausting what remained of our family fortune on swarthy workmen and sturdy shovels. At last, in the salt-soaked crags beneath the lowest foundations we unearthed that damnable portal of antediluvian evil. Our every step unsettled the ancient earth but we were in a realm of death and madness! In the end, I alone fled laughing and wailing through those blackened arcades of antiquity. Until consciousness failed me. You remember our venerable house, opulent and imperial. It is a festering abomination! I beg you, return home, claim your birthright, and deliver our family from the ravenous clutching shadows of the Darkest Dungeon.
You will arrive along the old road. It winds with a troubling, serpent-like suggestion through the corrupted countryside. Leading only, I fear, to ever more tenebrous places. There is a sickness in the ancient pitted cobbles of the old road and on its writhing path you will face viciousness, violence, and perhaps other damnably transcendent terrors. So steel yourself and remember: there can be no bravery without madness. The old road will take you to hell, but in that gaping abyss we will find our redemption.
Excavations beneath the manor were well underway, when a particular ragged indigent arrived in the hamlet. This filthy, toothless miscreant boasted an uncanny knowledge of my ambitions and prognosticated publicly that left unchecked, I would soon unleash doom upon the world.
This raving creature had to be silenced, but doing so proved maddeningly impossible. How had he survived the stockades, the icy waters, and the knives I delivered so enthusiastically into his back? How had he returned time and time again to rouse the townsfolk with his wild speculations and prophecies?
Finally, resigned to his uncommon corporeal resilience, I lured him to the dig. There, I showed him the Thing, and detailed the full extent of my plans. Triumphantly, I watched as he tore his eyes from their sockets, and ran shrieking into the shadows - wailing maniacally that the end was upon us all.
Mastery over life and death was chief among my early pursuits. I began in humility, but my ambition was limitless. Who could have divined the prophetic import of something as unremarkable as a twitch in the leg of a dead rat?
I entertained a delegation of experts from overseas, eager to plumb the depths of their knowledge and share with them certain techniques and alchemical processes I had found to yield wondrous and terrifying results. Having learned all I could from my visiting guests, I murdered them as they slept.
I brought my colleagues back with much of their intellect intact, a remarkable triumph for even the most experienced necromancer. Freed from the trappings of their humanity, they plied their terrible trade anew - the dead reviving the dead, on and on down the years... forever.
I had collected many rare and elusive volumes on ancient herbal properties, and was set to enjoy several weeks immersed in comfortable study. My work was interrupted, however, by a singularly striking young woman who insisted on repeated calls to the house.
Her knowledge of horticulturalism, and its role in various arcane practices impressed me greatly. My licentious impulse gave way to a genuine, professional respect, and together, we began to plant, harvest, and brew.
As time wore on, her wild policy of self-experimentation grew intolerable. She quaffed all manner of strange fungii, herbs and concoctions, intent on gaining some insight into the horror we both knew to be growing beneath us. The change in her was appalling, and, no longer able to stomach it, I sent her to live in the Weald, where her wildness would be welcomed.
Simple folk are by their nature loquacious, and the denizens of the Hamlet were no exception. It was not long before rumors of my morbid genius and secretive excavations began to fuel local legend. In the face of my increasingly egregious flaunting of public taboos, awe turned to ire, and demonstrations were held in the town square.
The wild whispers of heresy roused the rabble to violent action. Such was the general air of rebellion that even my generous offer of gold to the local constabulary was rebuffed! To reassert my rule, I sought out unscrupulous men skilled in the application of force. Tight-lipped and terrifying, these mercenaries brought with them a war machine of terrible implication.
Eager to end the tiresome domestic distraction, I instructed my newly formed militia of hardened bandits, brigands and killers to go forth and do their work. Compliance and order were restored, and the noisome population of the Hamlet was culled to more... manageable numbers.
The ways and rituals of blood sacrifice are difficult to master. Those from beyond require a physical vessel if they are to make the crossing into our reality. The timing of the chants is imperative - without the proper utterances at precise intervals, the process can fail spectacularly.
My first attempts at summoning were crude and the results, disappointing. I soon found however, that the type and condition of the host's meat was a critical factor. The best results came from pigs, whose flesh is most like that of man.
The Great Thing I had managed to bring through was brutish and stupid. Moreover, it required prodigious amounts of meat to sustain itself, but this was only a trifling concern – after all, I had a village full of it.
My zeal for blood rituals and summoning rites had begun to ebb as each attempt invariably brought only failure, and disappointment. Progress was halting, and the rapidly accumulating surplus of wasted flesh had become... burdensome.
I could not store such a prodigious amount of offal, nor could I rid myself of it easily, possessed as it was by unnameable things from outer spheres. When excavations beneath the Manor broke through into an ancient network of aqueducts and tunnels, I knew I had found a solution to the problem of disposal.
The spasmodically squirming, braying, and snorting half-corpses were heaped each upon the other until at last I was rid of them. The Warrens became a landfill of snout and hoof, gristle and bone – a mountainous, twitching mass of misshapen flesh fusing itself together in the darkness.
My lofty position wasn't always accompanied by the fear of office, and there was a time I could walk the streets or raise a glass in the tavern without concern for molestation. Faithful as the tide, one precocious village waif made it her hobby to shadow my every errand. It was charming then, troublesome later.
In financial desperation, I struck a bargain with the ancient things that surfaced in search of sacrifice when the moon was right. Their price was the delivery of an obscure idol and one other item of more troubling portent. The pact struck, my newfound accomplices slipped silently beneath the brackish water. A fearful stirring at the edge of the torchlight betrayed a familiar witness, and gifted me with malign inspiration.
Under the blood moon, I lured my wide-eyed prey to the pier’s edge. Before she could properly appreciate her position, I clamped on a manacle, chaining her to the leering idol. A small push was sufficient to send both into the icy waters. And when at length the tide receded, jewels of the most magnificent grandeur lay scattered upon the shore.
Prying eyes had become a nuisance along the Old Road, and so I undertook to receive my most curious deliveries by way of marine shipments. A sheltered jetty was accessible by a narrow stone stair off the back of the manor, and a discreet system of pulleys could hoist even the heaviest prizes up the rock face from a securely tied dinghy below.
I employed a crew of particularly unsavory mariners, who, for a time, sailed the four corners at my behest - retrieving many valuable artifacts, relics and rare texts. Predictably, they increased their tariffs to counter my intense stipulations of secrecy. Such resources had long been exhausted, of course, and so I prepared an... alternative payment.
While the greedy dogs slept off their revelry, I hexed their anchor with every twisted incantation I could muster - imbuing it with the weight of my ambition, and my contempt for their crude extortion. At the witching hour, the anchor pulled with preternatural force, dragging craft and crew down into the depths. They must have cried out, but no sound escaped the swirling black waters...
In those younger years my home was a hive of unbridled hedonism, a roiling apiary where instinct and impulse were indulged with wild abandon. A bewitching predator slipped in amidst the swarm of tittering sycophants. Though outwardly urbane, I could sense in her a mocking thirst. Driven half-mad by cloying vulgarity I plotted to rid myself of this lurking threat in a grand display of sadistic sport. But as the moment of murder drew nigh, the gibbous moon revealed her inhuman desires in all their stultifying hideousness…
Mercifully, the morbid encounter resolved itself in my favor, and I set to work pursuing degeneracy in its most decadent forms. The air pulsed with anticipation as I revealed the unnatural terroir of the house vintage. But my exultation was cut short as the attending gentry turned upon themselves in an orgy of an indescribable frenzy. A single drop of that forbidden tannin gifted me with a dizzying glimpse of a hibernating horror beneath my feet, and in that moment, I understood the terrible truth of the world. I stood reborn, molted by newfound knowledge, my head throbbing to the growing whine of winged vermin come to drink the tainted blood… of The Darkest Dungeon.