Marriage of Flesh

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This article is about the religious ritual featured in the Fear & Hunger universe. For the Fear & Hunger playable characters, see Marriage and Marriage (Fusion).

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Warning! Nudity ahead!

This page contains depictions of genitals and / or sex.

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Warning! Spoilers ahead!

Proceed at your own risk!

"I know of the 2nd secret of Sylvian: I no longer have to fear for separation from my loved ones for we can forever join in a marriage of flesh. An act of love that creates a beautiful unison for two souls."
- Description from Blood & Flower magic I.

The Marriage of Flesh is a religious ritual performed under Sylvian's blessing. It is the second secret of Sylvian, a ritual that unites two or more individuals in both body and soul, turning them into a new and more powerful being.[1]

Lore

The Marriage of Flesh is a ritual born from Sylvian's power, also known as Love Magic. It is a holy bound that unites two or more individuals in both body and soul, being the result of the goddess's twisted views on love. It is also one of the strongest, most visible ways Sylvian interacts with the physical world.

To initiate the ritual, two or more individuals must willingly display affection at a ritual circle, resulting in a permanent amalgamate of their bodies. The creatures born from this ritual are often just referred to as Marriages.

The physical characteristics of a Marriage are strongly impacted by the identities of its participants. The resulting appearance can vary considerably, from a seemingly regular form with relatively minor anatomical inconsistencies (if the participants are of the same species) to monstrous and disturbing creatures, particularly in cases where humans are fused with animals or other species. Sometimes, a Marriage may fail entirely, resulting in a bleeding and wheezing abomination that is unable to move or function as a living being. One factor that can lead to such an outcome is a lack of affinity to Sylvian, as this ritual falls within her domain.

There are many reasons as to why one would be willing to perform a Marriage of Flesh. To begin with, Marriages seem to possess superior physical capabilities, such as strength and durability. When someone becomes a Marriage they also have all of their previous injuries healed, making the act a last resort to those who are close to death or heavily injured. Indeed, although the act was originally created as a way to guarantee that one would never have to fear separation from their loved ones, the Sylvian marriage is also a somewhat practical solution for individuals in dire circumstances. After the Dungeons of Fear and Hunger were overtaken by supernatural forces in 1590, many of its inhabitants began to perform the ritual in an attempt to save their lives from the horrors and corrupting influence of the dungeons.

In-game conversations suggest that the resulting Marriage possesses multiple consciousnesses to some extent, though there may also be a dominant mind in some cases. The fact the player's soul type will not change if they become a Marriage, further supports the idea of a dominant consciousness.

Although there are documented cases of Marriages of Flesh between three or more people, there is evidence that they are unhealthy for the resulting lifeform, as the playable version of this creature exhibits non-functioning genitalia. This is further supported by the existence of the Human Hydra, which is unable to move due to their enormous size.

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Warning! Speculation ahead!

Information below is hinted on, but wasn't directly confirmed in-game.

"There is something unnatural about the physique of this trooper... I can't quite put a finger on what it is. Their anatomy is just from an uncanny valley if that makes sense... All the proportions look off, just a little bit. They don't seem to suffer from similar symptoms as the villagers and the locals in the city though. This is something else... Could it be because of some unholy Bremen experiments?"
- Daan diagnosing a dead Bremen Trooper.

Despite falling out of relevance in recent times, Sylvian's influence still is present throughout Europa and as a consequence, the Marriage of Flesh still is performed by many individuals. Although the Marriage mechanic itself does not return in Fear & Hunger 2: Termina, several enemies appear to be the result of Sylvian Marriages. Among the Bremen forces in the occupied city of Prehevil, human troopers and commanders with slightly unusual body proportions can be found. This implies that the Empire might have resorted to Sylvian's practices at some point, and even attempted to weaponize them.

Gameplay

See Marriage and Marriage (Fusion).

Known Marriages

Abominable Marriages

Failed Marriages

Trivia

  • Game creator Miro Haverinen has revealed that his inspiration for the Marriage of Flesh ritual comes from End of Days, a movie from 1999. It has a scene where Satan combines himself with people.
  • The fact that the ritual requires the consent of all involved parties, implies that all Marriages between humans and non-humans were in fact consensual.
  • Despite having no free will of their own, ghouls are still capable of performing the ritual if their master orders them to do so. This implies that any form of mind control, either through magical or non-magical means, is capable of bypassing the mutual consent requirement of the ritual.
    • Similar to ghouls, skeletons are completely subservient to their master, however they can not perform the ritual as they lack reproductive organs.
  • As children cannot consent, they are incapable of performing a Marriage of Flesh and so far there is no evidence that suggests otherwise.

Gallery

References

  1. The Marriage of Flesh Is Cooler Than What Everyone Says It Is - Fear & Hunger Lore https://youtu.be/apRh7ZhKzU0?si=PLww3sYUWGZySmCh

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