The Bernhard Family was a noble family in the Castlevania: Lords of Shadow series that lived in one of the finest castles in all of Europe. They were driven out of their castle by the vampire queen Carmilla, the Dark Lord of the vampires.
When the Bernhards ruled the castle, its Maze Gardens were once the most beautiful in all of Europe. Many pilgrims would visit the castle grounds from lands far away to witness their timeless beauty.
It is said their castle was haunted long before the vampires came to dwell among its walls. The Bernhard clan made a pact with a hellspawn, which resulted in the building itself becoming possessed by the demon. It may just be a myth to harm the reputation of the family, but the fact that the castle could be a living entity may explain how, after centuries, no one had been able to create a complete map of their castle, even after expending considerable resources on the task.
The Bernhards are known to have captured and killed the great knight Michael Gelhart Schneider.
At one point, the family summoned the demon known as the Forgotten One to do their bidding. However, his power was such that he broke their controlling magic and escaped.
The Bernhard family's remains now lie buried in the castle's crypt, undisturbed in spite of the various monsters lurking within, due to the amount of shadow magic cast around the seal that bars them off.
The Bernhard family is known to have thrown traitors down the pit below the crypt, where they were fed upon by the Lady of the Crypt.
- Walter Bernhard: The only specifically named member of the family, and possibly its lord. He put a curse on the Toy Maker. His current fate is unknown, although it appears that he and his family were driven out when the Vampires took over.
- Carmilla: It's suggested that before she became a vampire when she loved life (and apparently lived at the castle) she had intended to punish Friedrich von Frankenstein for his depraved and twisted acts. She turned her closest retainers (who had lived in the castle), those who served her when she was alive, into Skeleton Warriors. This is not a direct indication that she was a Bernhard, but suggests she had some connection to the family, somehow.
- Friedrich von Frankenstein: The mad scientist is described as being the previous owner of the Bernhard castle, suggesting that he is related in someway to the family. If most of the Bernhard family had escaped, he was one of the only few that hadn't. It is unclear, if he held the castle for a time, between the time the Bernhards were driven out, and the Dark Lord of the Vampires fully took over.
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|Text: According to legend, Michael Gelhart Schneider, a most noble knight and highly skilled archer was captured by the Bernard's and imprisoned somewhere in the castle. He died here but vowed vengeance on the castle and its occupants. It is said, his spirit will come to the aid of a true warrior...Alas, I have not seen it.|| Item|
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- There are some similarities with some of the architecture in the Bernhard castle in Castlevania: Lords of Shadow and Walter's castle in Castlevania: Lament of Innocence. Primarily, the hallways in the castle are lined with giant black armor and statues. These resemble the black armor statues on the top floor of Walter's Castle leading up to his throne room. These dark armor statues also appear in the top floor of the castle in Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow (in some cases blocking passages with their swords). In addition, both castles were the prison of the Forgotten One and are covered in darkness of eternal night in both series.