The Bernhard Family

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow
Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate
The unseen Bernhards' activities are mentioned in chapter intros, scrolls, and encyclopedia entries
The Bernhards' activities are mentioned in the scrolls of fallen Brotherhood members and the bestiary

The Bernhard family, whose members are never actually seen (except in text form, where a "Walter Bernhard" is named), began their contribution to the story centuries ago, where they set in motion events whose outcomes affected those who lived in current times. They were the former owners of Bernhard Castle, a European manor from which they ruled as noblemen. Since their more-sinister activities were mostly kept secret, the family was ostensibly respected, their castle home to a maze garden whose timeless beauty could be witnessed by the many pilgrims who came from far away lands to enjoy its complexity. Though the castle's halls were haunted well before the family began dabbling in foul sorcery and demonic rituals, they brought about its perpetual sentience by making a pact with a vile hellspawn, which came to possess the castle's very walls. This ghostly seizure was said to have transformed the castle into a living entity, its confounding nature preventing people from mapping its halls.

Among their hideous crimes: They employed the services of the castle's previous owner, the mad scientist Friedrich von Frankenstein, who worked within the castle's laboratory to carry out horrific experiments that defiled nature, itself. They would punish "traitors" by tossing them into the castle's cavernous crypt, where the grotesque Lady of the Crypt would feed on them. They abducted and murdered the brave knight Michael Gelhart Schneider, whose spirit became trapped within the castle. And, most heinously, they summoned to this world a creature called the Forgotten One, an evil monster of immense power. When the mighty Forgotten One escaped their control, it took the combined efforts of the three Brotherhood of Light founders to imprison the demon within a dimensional rift and spare the world of its destruction.

The Bernhards were ultimately driven out of their home by Carmilla, Lord of the Vampires, who killed their remaining members but retained only the services of Friedrich von Frankenstein (more for the purpose of punishing him for his experiments). She buried their remains in the crypt, their resting place forever undisturbed thanks to the shroud of dark magic that would protect it from intruders. The castle thereafter became the dwelling place of vampires and other nightmares, a site of death and decay.

Next Character