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Bloodborne - Laurence the First Vicar, Milkweed rune, Church Cannon, Beast’s Embrace

How to survive Laurence the First Vicar in Bloodborne's DLC.

This article explains how to survive XXX in Bloodborne: The New Hunters.

If you're interested in more advice, our complete Bloodborne walkthrough and for the DLC our The Old Hunters guide and walkthrough can help.


Although the Orphan of Kos is now dead, there are still a few things to do in the Hunter's Nightmare. Specifically, you've one last batch of Brain Fluid to give to Saint Adeline, there's one more Brador encounter to thwart, and one last optional boss to tackle.

To begin the final leg of your journey, appraoch the Coast lamp and return to the Hunter's Dream. Spend your recently acquired Blood Echoes then warp back to the Research Hall. Climb the nearby steps then take a right, passing into Saint Adeline's room.

As you enter the chamber, you'll hear giggling. Peer behind the door and you'll find Adeline, now nothing but a pulsating, blobby head. Speak with her and she'll ask for Brain Fluid one more time. Refuse her offer of blood (unless you really need it) then, finally, slash Adeline with your weapon. She'll scream and drop Brain Fluid before reanimating.

Collect the fluid then talk to Adeline again. Hand over third batch of Brain Fluid when prompted, earning you some Madman's Knowledge and the mysterious Milkweed rune. This strange (and transformative) rune can be equipped at the Memory Altar and is particularly effective when used in conjunction with the Kos Parasite weapon. Incidentally, equipping the Milkweed rune and speaking with the muttering figure near the Fishing Hamlet lamp will net you the Accursed Brew.

Next, leave Adeline's chamber and return to the Research Hall lamp. Ride the Surgery Altar down to the lower level then step off. Stand on the altar again and, as soon as the elevator begins to rise, disembark once more. As the contraption climbs, you'll see a second altar sweep up from below. Approach the glowing item on the altar and inspect it to retrieve Laurence's Skull.

Next, yank the lever to the right of the platform, bringing the original altar back down. As soon as it starts to descend, however, step onto the elevator and make the journey downward too. Once the elevator comes to a halt, you'll see a large archway with a room beyond. Open the chest inside to collect the Church Cannon. Simply step back onto the altar platform to return to the upper level.

With that taken care of, it's time to go see the last of Brador's invaders. Use the steps in the middle of the room and descend to the Underground Cell. Follow the passage forward and you'll immediately hear the sound of a bell tolling. As you reach the corridor's midpoint, Brador's fourth invader will appear. Deal with it as you did the others to receive the Brador's Testimony.

Continue along the passage and descend the steps leading down to Brador's prison cell on the right. At the end of the corridor, use the Underground Cell Inner Chamber Key to unlock the door. Step into Brador's chamber then speak with the man seated on the ground. He'll ask if you're here to kill him; the answer to that question, however, lies with you. Note that you'll receive the formidable Bloodletter weapon if you slay Brador where he sits.

Now, it's time to face Laurence, the final (and entirely optional) boss in the Hunter's Nightmare. Laurence resides back in the original Nightmare Grand Cathedral, so return to the Research Hall lamp and warp to the Hunter's Dream. Next, travel to the Hunter's Nightmare and work your way to the first Grand Cathedral. Once you arrive, eliminate the Church Executioner then head inside.

You'll immediately spot the summon sign on the ground, enabling you to call on Master Valtr for help. As you'll discover shortly, Laurence employs a formidable mix of physical and fire attacks, meaning that you should don armour with high resistance to both (such as the Charred Hunter Set) before continuing. When you're ready to proceed, climb the long staircase and enter the cavernous cathedral interior. Approach Laurence on the altar and press the skull into his palm.


How to beat Laurence, the First Vicar

Laurence, it turns out, is incredibly similar to Bloodborne's early Cleric Beast boss battle - in both appearance and move set. That means you shouldn't have too much trouble with his first phase - although things get significantly more difficult as the encounter progresses.

Like the Cleric Beast, Laurence's move set is primarily focussed around his bulging left arm. He'll lash it from right to left in a comparatively slow sweep, sometime flailing it back and forth in a longer combo. Additionally, Laurence can lunge forward and attempt to slam down on top of you. He'll also try and catch you in his palm if you linger too long in front of him. He'll pound you repeatedly into the ground if successful - which can prove devastating.

The main difference between the Cleric Beast and Laurence, however, is that the latter is permanently consumed by fire - and his attacks have a rather more explosive slant as a result. As such, he'll naturally do more damage when he makes contact, and his Cleric Beast-like fist-slam is accompanied by a large fiery blast on impact.

In fact, your strategies for the Cleric Beast work just as well here - in the first part of the battle at least. Stick close to Laurence, ideally parking yourself just behind his smaller right arm. From here, you'll escape the brunt of his most powerful left-hand swipes and can pile on attacks of your own when the opportunity arises.

Things change a little as you enter the second stage of the fight, however. Here, Laurence will drop to his knees, rarely standing from this point on. His attacks become farther reaching and the arc of his sweep becomes much wider. He'll also pound both fists on the ground, causing small explosions to erupt with each impact.

The upshot is that it's much, much harder to get in close to attack Laurence. What's more, it's no longer simply a case of sticking to his rear - as most of his sweep will deal damage from now on. That said, you should still aim your attacks toward to his small right arm - just be ready to slip in, land a few blows then duck back out quickly.

Once Laurence's health is down to a third, things get even more hectic. For starters, his legs will be severed completely, causing Laurence to drag himself around the room with his arms. Unfortunately, flames and lava seeps from the trunk of his body, making it extremely difficult to attack from the sides and the rear this time.

Making matters worse, Laurence will deploy two powerful new attacks. The first causes huge torrents of lava to pour from his body, flooding the area around him. This can do serious damage if you're caught in the vicinity. Laurence's second main attack is a fast, frantic forward crawl, which can be tricky to dodge and will do major damage if you're hit.

Essentially, to whittle his health down in the final stage of the battle, you need to attack from the front, hanging back then running in to strike when he pauses at the end of a lunge or crawl. Laurence takes a couple of seconds to recover from these moves, so use the time wisely!

Once you finally drain Laurence's health and kill the creature, you'll receive the powerful Beast's Embrace rune. When equipped, this amazing symbol enables you to transform entirely into a beast, accentuating the effectiveness of beast weapons (such as the Beast Claw). Additionally, a lamp will appear in front of the altar. Light it to add the Nightmare Grand Cathedral to your list of fast-travel locations, then return to the Hunter's Dream to spend your Blood Echoes.

With that, The Old Hunter quests are complete. All that remains to do is experiment with your Beast's Embrace and Milkweed runes, and your Kos Parasite weapon. You can also improve your standing in The League by finding and crushing Vermin. You could also return to the Forbidden Wood lamp and tackle the mysterious Madaras - you'll receive the hilarious Madaras Whistle when victory is yours. Finally, you might choose to assist fellow adventurers who've yet to finish their own nightmare journey. Don't dawdle though, hunter - Yharnam awaits!


- You can find the rest of our Bloodborne: The Old Hunters guide from the first page of this article.

About the Author

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Matt Wales

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Matt Wales is a writer and gambolling summer child who won't even pretend to live a busily impressive life of dynamic go-getting for the purposes of this bio. He is the sole and founding member of the Birdo for President of Everything Society.

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