Bayonetta: Who Are The Umbra Witches?

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  • The Umbra Witch Clan
  • The Life Of An Umbra Witch
  • How Did The Umbra Witch Clan Form?
  • The Clan Wars
  • Extermination Of Umbra Witches
  • Umbra Witches In The Modern Age
  • What Happened To The Eyes Of The World?

While playing Bayonetta, you will become acquainted with Umbra Witches. Bayonetta is considered an Umbra Witch, but what does this mean exactly? Here, we will look at who the Umbra Witches are and why it's important to the story of Bayonetta.

Overall, this will include how the Witches came to be and their fate until the start of the first Bayonetta game. As this will be plot-heavy, there will be several spoilers here regarding the first and second Bayonetta games. If you have yet to complete these, proceed with caution! Now, let's look at who the Umbra Witches were before the existence of Bayonetta.

Spoilers Ahead

The Umbra Witch Clan

The Umbra Witch Clan come from Europe and are regular practitioners of the Dark Arts. A main point of the clan is the contracts they form with Infernal Demons. For example, Bayonetta has a contract with Madama Butterfly and can summon her during battle. Jeanne, on the other hand, has a pact with Madama Styx and can summon her.

Umbra Witches symbolize darkness, which makes their counterpart the Lumen Sages. This is another European clan that symbolizes the light. Instead of Infernal Demons, the Lumen Sages worked together with the Laguna, angels that served as the primary enemy in the first two Bayonetta games.

The Life Of An Umbra Witch

The Umbra Witch Clan is all female, which opposes the Lumen Sages, who are all male. Umbra Witches typically wear tight black outfits covering their hair and the lower portion of their face. Like Bayonetta, other Umbra Witches can use their hair to create clothing.

In addition to summoning Infernal Demons, Umbra Witches carry guns with them, which are mounted on their heels. This can be seen with both Bayonetta and Jeanne. Rather than manually firing these guns, the Witches can use their magic to fire them. As children, Umbra Witches-to-be undergo training until adulthood, when they take 'Witchly Vows' to become official Umbra Witches.

How Did The Umbra Witch Clan Form?

To understand the formation of the Umbra Witch Clan, we first need to talk about Aesir, the God of Chaos. When the world was still young, Aesir took pity upon the humans while he watched from Fimbulventr, which is the holy mountain that you visit in the second Bayonetta game. In this pity, Aesir gave humans his powers in the form of the Eyes of the World.

These powers were split between the Lumen Sages and the Umbra Witches, creating the two clans. The Umbra Witches received the Left Eye of Darkness, while the Lumen Sages received the Right Eye of Light. While splitting his powers, Aesir also created Loki and Loptr, representing good and evil.

The Clan Wars

The Umbran Witches and Lumen Sages lived on earth together until the Clan Wars began. The trigger for this war was due to Balder, a Lumen Sage, and Rosa, an Umbra Witch. The two had a child together. Unfortunately, this was seen as a violation of clan laws, and members of both clans believed that calamity would come to the world when light and dark intersected. Rosa was eventually locked away forever, and Balder was exiled from the human Sage Clan. Their child, named Cereza, was then raised by Witches.

Because of this, the Lumen Sages and Umbra Witches began to fight over whose fault it was, and war eventually broke out.

We don't have much information about the Clan Wars, but there is evidence in the Bayonetta movie that the Lumen Sages started the war because they wanted the Left Eye, which the Umbra Witches currently held.

The Sages wanted both eyes to summon Jubileus from her eternal Slumber, but the Witches did not want this to occur. Jubileus is important to the Sages, as her summoning would allow "Paradiso to rule over the universe," which is essentially the angel realm. As Witches prefer Infernal Demons, this is not ideal, so they didn't want the summon to occur. The Umbra Witches eventually won this war; however, the Witch Hunts began soon after.

Extermination Of Umbra Witches

The Witch Hunts were an attempt by Loptr and the Laguna to instill fear into humans, so they began hunting the Umbra Witches. After the Clan Wars, the Laguna were opposed to the Witches (due to their contract with Sages), so together, they worked with Loptr, who is evil incarnate. Interestingly, Loptr wanted the Sages gone as well, so the Witch Hunts were just another stepping stone to this goal.

This parallels the Witch Hunts that happened in our world history. From around 1450 to 1750 in Europe, a 'witch purge' killed thousands of innocent women. This aligns with the game, as Bayonetta was born in 1411.

At this point, the child of Balder and Rosa has grown up to become Bayonetta, while Jeanne is set to be the next leader of the Umbra Witches. Before Jeanne could become the clan leader, though, she was faced with a final trial to battle against another strong witch, who happened to be Bayonetta. This was a friendly duel, as both Umbra Witches were on good terms.

While the two were facing off, they were attacked by angels, who they believed were sent by Balder (but as we know, it was Loptr). Jeanne sealed Bayonetta away at the bottom of a lake during this duel. Afterward, Jeanne went on to face the Laguna alone but managed to survive.

Director and Writer Hideki Kamiya stated that Umbra Witches don't actually kill normal people. This explains why the clan was nearly wiped out by humans, even though the Witches are technically more robust.

Umbra Witches In The Modern Age

500 years after Bayonetta was sealed away, she was found by Antonio Redgrave, who Balder sent to search for his daughter. Unfortunately, Bayonetta cannot remember most of her life.

This is where the first Bayonetta game comes into play. In the game, a newly awakened Bayonetta kills angels and attempts to regain her lost memories.

Now, the only two surviving Umbra Witches are Jeanne and Bayonetta. In the second Bayonetta game, the two live in a large city that looks similar to New York City.

What Happened To The Eyes Of The World?

You may be wondering about the Eyes of the World that were previously given to the Umbra Witches and Lumen Sages.

Just prior to the Clan Wars, Balder inherited the Right Eye of Light, and Bayonetta inherited the Left Eye of Darkness. Typically, the Left Eye was given to the strongest Umbra Witch, who is Bayonetta, although there are only two Witches.

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