|“||It was necessary to recover the Nightrays' pride and honor that was sullied one-hundred years ago!||”|
Bernard Nightray was the head of the Nightray Dukedom. He had no known contract as he could not Contract with Raven making him and Oscar Vessalius (who lacks the right qualities to make any Contract) the only Dukes unable to do so as Sheryl Rainsworth and Rufus Barma managed to Contract with their respected house Chains, where as Oscar's brother, Xai Vessalius made the Contract for their family instead. Bernard's main focus was to reform the honor of the Nightray family which was destroyed 100 years beforehand when Raymond Nightray was branded a traitor and to keep the Nightrays as one of the Four Great Dukedoms.
Bernard Nightray married a woman named Bernice long ago and together they had five children, Fred , Claude , Ernest , Vanessa and Elliot Nightray . The Nightrays were labelled as traitors because Raymond Nightray was rumored to have lead rebels out of the city and into safety during the Tragedy of Sablier . As the Vessalius family rose in status and shone in the light, the Nightrays were demeaned by this light and were forced into the shadows. Bernard hated the Vessaliuses for this, and so he taught his children that the Vessaliuses were to be hated for what they had done to Bernard's family. In Bernard's mind, the integrity of the Nightray name was most important, and so he was willing to do whatever it took to rebuild the Nightray's honor, this included joining forces with the Baskervilles, those who were behind the Tragedy of Sablier according to Jack Vessalius .
Bernard found that he was unable to make a contract with the Chain who guarded the Nightray's Doors to the Abyss , whilst the Dukes of the other three Dukedoms, Xai Vessalius, Rufus Barma and Sheryl Rainsworth, had done so with their Chains Gryphon , Dodo and Owl respectively. Bernard tried with his eldest children, though Fred, Claude and Ernest also failed to form a contract with Raven, which put the Nightray family at a disadvantage to the other families of the Four Great Dukedoms, as the Nightray's could not access the Abyss unless Raven was tamed by a contractor, so they couldn't study Chains like the rest of the Dukedoms were already doing. Although Bernard had failed to form a Contract with Raven, it was still Bernard's duty to hide the Nightray Key to the Abyss, despite not being able to access the Abyss through their Door. In the end, Bernard decided to hide the Nightray Key in his old black-bladed rapier for safe keeping.
One day, a child was found in front of the Nightray's Door to the Abyss, barely alive, this child's name was Vincent . Bernard had hope of acquiring information about what exactly had happened during the Tragedy of Sablier, and so Bernard adopted Vincent into the Nightray family.
Five years after Vincent's induction into the Nightray Dukedom, Bernard was contacted by Xai Vessalius. Xai had Bernard deliver a message to the Baskervilles, as Xai knew of Bernard's alliance with them. Although this message was untrue, as it presented the need to cast Oz Vessalius into the Abyss when such an act did not need to be done, the Baskervilles accepted this and sent Noise and two other Baskervilles to assist Xai in his mission.
Coming of Age Ceremony Arc
Soon, Oz had his Coming of Age Ceremony after having just recently turning fifteen. Bernard did not attend Oz's Coming of Age Ceremony, however things went awry during the Ceremony, resulting in Xai and the Baskervilles Bernard casting Oz into the Abyss.
Gilbert, a valet of the Vessalius family, was the only attendee of the Coming of Age Ceremony who had remembered what actually happened. Gilbert told Oscar that it was Xai who had cast Oz into the Abyss, and so Oscar looked into the matter. Hearing of this, Bernard provided an alibi for Xai, telling Oscar that he and Xai were together the entire night of the Coming of Age Ceremony, and so the accusations against Xai had to be false. Oscar took into account his fellow Duke's explanation, thus ending his investigation, not knowing that Bernard was aligned with the Baskervilles and Xai.
Gilbert then ran away from the Vessalius family, feeling the burden of Oz's disappearance. He was confronted by Xerxes Break , a man who told him that he needed Gilbert to be adopted into the Nightray family, as Vincent had been looking for his older brother, who's name happened to be Gilbert. Break wanted Gilbert to spy on the Nightrays for him, and although Gilbert declined at first, he soon changed his mind when Break mentioned that if Gilbert could make a contract with Raven, then they could retrieve Oz from the Abyss together.
Bernard was hesitant to adopt Gilbert, that is until Vincent approached Bernard and told him about how Raven had been bound to Gilbert 100 years ago, meaning that no one but Gilbert could form a contract with Raven. Bernard was desperate to find Raven's contractor, and so Gilbert was adopted into the family.
Bernard fronts an orphanage in Sablier called the House of Fianna . Though the true nature of the orphanage was to utilize the children, who had all lost their parents because they were Illegal Contractors or because they had been devoured by Chains, and their connection to the Abyss to attract Chains from The Hole in order for them to be studied. One eventually discovered that one of the children, a boy named Leo , housed the soul of Glen Baskerville , which was the combined soul of all the Glens from the past. Leo could hear the voices of these past Glens, as well as see the power of the Abyss hovering above the world. Bernard saw this as a "trump card" of sorts that he would have over the other Dukedoms. As such, Leo was kept at the House of Fianna for many years.
Against Bernard's orders, Claude and Ernest brought their younger brother Elliot to Sablier to pick out a valet from the House of Fianna. Bernard had not been ready to allow Elliot into Sablier, and was furious at Claude and Ernest for doing such a thing. While in the House of Fianna, Elliot met Leo, and though the two fought, Elliot kept coming back to the House of Fianna where he gradually connected with Leo. Elliot offered Leo to be his valet, which Leo declined at first, though he soon changed his mind because he wanted to experience the Nightray's private library. Elliot was able to coax his older siblings into allowing Leo to be his valet, but Bernard was outright against the idea, as that would expose Leo to the public, which meant that Bernard would lose control of his "trump card".
While in Sablier, Bernard had discovered that four of the orphans from the House of Fianna had wandered into The Hole, and that Elliot and Leo had gone in after them. Bernard and numerous escorts from Pandora arrived in The Hole to find two dead orphans and Leo crying over Elliot's body. Elliot was covered in blood and unconscious, but was in a stable condition, this is when Bernard learned that Leo had forced Elliot to form a contract with the Chain called Humpty Dumpty in order to save Elliot from death, as Humpty Dumpty sealed the wound. Humpty Dumpty already was contracted to one of the surviving orphans named John , and so Bernard discovered that Humpty Dumpty was able to form numerous contracts in order to slow the progression of the Incuse on an Illegal Contractor. Bernard's opinion of Leo changed after finding out what Leo had done to Elliot, and so Bernard finally welcomed the idea of Leo as Elliot's valet.
John soon died of unknown causes, either the numerous experiments or the burden of the contract. As such, the core Humpty Dumpty migrated to the next contractors body, which was Elliot's. Bernard wasn't too bothered with Elliot becoming an Illegal Contractor as he believed that by using Humpty Dumpty, Elliot would be honoring the Nightrays, which was all the Bernard thought Elliot cared about. Bernard was pleased with the discovery of Humpty Dumpty, and so he had all the orphans of the House of Fianna form Illegal Contracts with Humpty Dumpty to slow the progression of the Incuse and allow the Nightrays to study him further.
Things progressed smoothly as Gilbert finally formed a contract with Raven. Many members of the Nightray family were furious that a child who was not a legitimate Nightray had contracted with Raven. Claude confronted his father about this with Ernest and Vincent in the room, asking Bernard why he'd allow Gilbert to do such a thing. Bernard stated that Claude should be happy that Raven's contractor had been found, though Claude wanted one of the Nightray's own to have been Raven's contractor, and while Fred, Claude and Ernest had failed at it, Claude wanted Elliot try as maybe he was more qualified than the rest of their family to be Raven's contractor. Vincent told Claude that it wouldn't have mattered as Gil was always meant to be Raven's contractor.
In order to make Elliot feel better, as Elliot would never be given the opportunity to form a Contract with Raven in order to represent the Nightray family, Bernard gave Elliot his black-bladed rapier instead. Bernard had known how important the honor and integrity of the Nightrays was to Elliot, and so Elliot accepts Bernard's rapier, wielding it with prided when given the opportunity. What Elliot was unaware of was that he was also protecting the Nightrays' Key to the Abyss, thereby representing their family more than he would ever know.
Not long after Gil formed a contract with Raven, Bernard's eldest son, Fred was assassinated when someone cut off his head. The witness labeled the assassin as the Queen of Hearts, commonly known as the Head Hunter, based on the silhouette she'd seen of the killer. Bernard's brother-in-law also fell to the Head Hunter not long after Fred. Following this was Gilbert, who had been poisoned by the Head Hunter and barely survived. Next came the assassinations of Bernard's remaining eldest sons, Claude and Ernest, also victims of the Head Hunter, who had been decapitated whilst the Nightray mansion burned, alongside several guests in the mansion. Bernice and Elliot escaped the blaze together, whilst Bernard and Vanessa were believed to have not been in the mansion at the time.
Bernice became frantic, having lost her brother and three of her sons to the Head Hunter. This is when a man from the same country as the Barmas, named Isla Yura , approached Bernice, abusing her weakness in order to get closer to the Four Great Dukedoms. Isla Yura offered Bernice a place in his religious cult , who's goal was to plunge the world into the Abyss, which Yura said would allow Bernice to be with her fallen family members once again. Bernice accepted and Isla Yura crept towards Bernard, which lead to a deal between the two. Bernard was only interested in obtaining information from Isla Yura, and so he allowed Yura to fund the experiments of the House of Fianna and oversee them himself. This allowed Isla Yura to get close to the orphans and induct them into his cult while Humpty Dumpty had them in their hypnotic state. Though Bernard had planned on using Yura, it was Bernard who ended up being used, as he was unable to get useful information from the foreigner.
Cheshire's Dimension Arc
A meeting between the Dukes had been called, though it was postponed at the last minute as Duchess Sheryl Rainsworth's grand-daughter had gone missing, and so she fronted an search for Sharon , posing as sick until the meeting came along.
During the meeting, Sharon's Chain Equus dropped Oz Vessalius and B-Rabbit in the middle of the room. By Vincent's orders, Noise was to control Sharon into controlling Equus so that Equus would only retrieve Oz and Alice from Cheshire's dimension, leaving Gilbert and Break behind in the crumbling dimension. Gilbert was then forced to use Raven to get himself and Break back into their own dimension, releasing Raven's seal on Alice's power, reverting her back into her B-Rabbit form.
Bernard immediately accuses Oz and Alice of being sent to assassinate the four Dukes, and so he sends soldiers from Pandora after them as they flee throughout Pandora's Headquarters. Rufus Barma and Sheryl Rainsworth fled the premise as well while Oscar Vessalius spoke to Reim Lunettes about dealing with Oz and Alice. Bernard himself remained in the meeting room where he was privately tended to by Pandora members.
Bernard had traveled to Sablier to oversee the progress in the House of Fianna. Elliot had also come to Sablier with Leo to meet with Bernard. Unexpectedly, Oz Vessalius, Gilbert and Alice also arrive in Sablier to try and confront the Baskervilles. Oz, Alice, Gilbert, Elliot and Leo unintentionally bumped into one another, and together they went to the House of Fianna although at this time Bernard was not at the orphanage. The visit was short lived as Elliot soon kicks Oz, Alice and Gilbert out of the orphanage, only to go after them again after learning from two fraternal twin orphans that Oz and his friends had traveled into The Hole, with the intention of going to the bottom of The Hole.
Bernard sent Xai to retrieve Elliot and Leo from The Hole, as Bernard's legs were no longer fit for the journey, and so Bernard met with Elliot when he later returned from The Hole alone, after refusing Xai as his escort. When Elliot later questioned Bernard on his relationship with Xai Vessalius, Bernard refused to answer him.
Re-Emergence of the Head Hunter Arc
Bernard was present for a meeting between the Dukes that was held soon after he returned from Sablier with Elliot and Leo simultaneously with Oz, Alice, Gilbert and Break's own return from Sablier.
Oz, Alice, Gilbert and Sharon return from Carillon and an immediate meeting between the four Dukes was held. Here Rufus had to explain that he had found Arthur Barma's journal and decoded it to discover that Jack Vessalius had his body severed and turned into Sealing Stones to prevent Glen Baskerville's return, something which Rufus intended to keep as his own "trump card" over Bernard and Oscar, as he had already told Sheryl. Along with this came the revelation that one of the Sealing Stones was broken in Sablier, and a second Sealing Stone had been broken in Carillon by the Head Hunter, who had also assassinated Rytas, one of the sorcerers who sealed Jack's limbs' descendants, as well as his valet, Marie and one of Rufus' own subordinates, Gruner.
Bernard and his fellow Dukes then reviewed the contents of a box that Master Rytas had given to Oz with the intention of pointing him in the direction of the next Sealing Stone. However, most of the 27 pieces of paper that were inside the box were either illegible or written in another language. Although there was a certain page that had the image of a snake wrapped around a stake which Rufus had recognized. What else went on during this meeting is unknown as Oz had asked to be excused because he wasn't feeling well.
The Feast Arc
The symbol that had been drawn on one of the papers Master Rytas had given Oz was the symbol of Isla Yura's cult. As such, Yura was summoned by Pandora to appear as a witness to recent events, also having been appointed to study the Abyss and the unknown power that existed in Pandora's country by his own country. Isla Yura met with the Nightrays, first encountering Elliot and Vanessa, before speaking with Bernard. Bernard attempts to get information about the Sealing Stone that Isla Yura was rumored to have from him, although Bernard could not obtain anything useful himself. Yura soon returns to his own country after allowing Oz to have his second Coming of Age Ceremony in his mansion. Many members of Pandora attended to look for the Sealing Stone Yura was rumored to possess, including Xerxes Break, Sharon Rainsworth and Xerxes Break, and Bernard also had Vanessa and her valet, Hans, Elliot, Leo and Bernice attend the Ceremony. Bernice had been invited by Yura though as a member of his Cult as Yura had plans to create a second tragedy now that he has all the necessary components inside of his mansion.
Jack's Intention ArcAfter word got back about Yura's failure to create another tragedy, as well as Bernice, Vanessa and Elliot's deaths, Bernard fled the Nightray mansion with two valets to Bernard's safe house in Reveil, where they stayed in a hidden room. Vincent arrives at Bernard's safe house and Bernard orders him to have the Baskervilles protect Bernard and for Vincent to retrieve Leo from Pandora, explaining that Leo was the vessel for Glen Baskerville's soul. Vincent argues with Bernard until Vincent was enraged with Bernard's feeble views of honor and family, and summons Demios. Demios is the Queen of Hearts, and so she decapitates Bernard's valets and Vincent reveals to Bernard that he had Demios kill Bernard's brother-in-law, Fred, Master Rytas, Marie, Gruner as well as destroyed the second Sealing Stone.
Bernard attempts to justify his actions and reminds Vincent how he had adopted both Vincent and his brother, but Vincent tells Bernard that he had only done so for his own personal gain, to uncover the mystery of the Tragedy of Sablier and find Raven's contractor, Bernard didn't care about anyone but himself. With this, Vincent had Demios decapitate Bernard. Bernard's dead body is later found by one of Sheryl Rainsworth's subordinates after Rufus had told him took look in the secret room of Bernard's safe house. Rufus later reports that Bernard's Key to the Abyss had gone missing. With Bernard's death also comes the extinction of the Nightrays' bloodline.
Unlike in the canon plot-line of Pandora Hearts, Bernard was not visibly present during the meeting where the Four Great Dukes were meant to discuss various issues that had recently passed (such as William West and the Head Hunter). Thus, instead of Bernard instigating the chaos among Pandora upon Oz and Alice, in her released form, being released in the center of the meeting, another generic Pandora member acted as the instigator instead.Later, after Break had revealed his past to Oz, Alice and Gilbert following a confrontation on Rufus' part, Reveil was invaded by hundreds of Chains from the Abyss due to a surge of Abyssal power from the Intention after she cried out from the heart of the Abyss. Bernard finally made his debut in the anime during this invasion, leading a squad of Pandora members as a Chain attempted to break into Pandora, readying the Pandora members for when the Chain broke through the doors. Despite Bernard's efforts against the Chain, it proved to be too much for Bernard and his batillion, and so he retreated with the other Pandora members to a safer location.
Bernard was unable to form a contract with Raven, and made no known attempts to try and form a contract with another Chain. This meant that unlike Rufus and Sheryl, Bernard's body never stopped aging, giving him a distinct elderly appearance while being the second youngest of the Four Great Dukes. Bernard had long black hair which reached halfway down his back, keeping all but two thick strands of hair that draped over his face from falling before his shoulders, and appeared to be receding slightly due to his old age, as well as a long black beard to match. Bernard also had sunken cheeks and brown eyes, which most commonly were dilated and scowling angrily.
Bernard's clothing style matched that of most other Nightrays, being darkly colored. Bernard often wore clothing that was completely black such as a black undershirt, overcoat, pants and shoes, although during his first appearance, Bernard appeared to be wearing a loose fitting, dark colored, traditionally style robe with lightly colored clothes underneath. Bernard's age also forced him to require a cane whilst walking. His cane had a rounded handle that lead into a metal attachment which held the handle in place atop of the black wood of the cane.
Bernard's personality was built strictly on his pride for the Nightray Dukedom. As his ancestor Raymond Nightray had been accused of being a traitor 100 years ago, Barnard hated the Vessaliuses, who were branded the heroes of the Tragedy, and manipulated his children into believing that they were evil as well.
Bernard cared for his family, but was willing enough to use them to get even with the other three Dukedoms. Isla Yura approached Bernard by using his wife Bernice after she'd lost her brother, as well as Fred, Claude and Ernest Nightray to the Head Hunter, saying he wanted to help Bernard research Chains. Bernard made a deal with Yura and allowed himself to be manipulated by the venomous snake, as well as coil himself around Bernice. With the well being of his Dukedom in his state of mind, Bernard pretended to ignore Yura's influence on his wife, distressing his remaining children Vanessa and Elliot. Bernard was even desperate enough to use Elliot and Humpty Dumpty as a way of equaling out the Nightrays with the other Dukedoms in case Raven's contractor could never be found.
Bernard was selfish and only cared about how others saw him. When Vincent was spat out of the Abyss on the Nightray estate, Bernard only adopted him in hopes of uncovering the secrets of the Tragedy of Sablier. Later when Xerxes Break pushed to have Gilbert adopted as well, Bernard was uninterested until Vincent explained that his brother was the only person able to make a contract with Raven due to a connection between the two that was 100 years old.
Elliot had a rather good relationship with his father, he was obedient, allowing his father to warp Elliot into believing that the Vessaliuses were the cause of all of the Nightray's misfortune. Elliot believed that the honor of the Nightrays was the most important thing, just like his father, which is why Elliot was given the black bladed sword of the Nightrays to represent his family in his own way since he never got the chance to try and form a contract with Raven. In reality, although Bernard did care for Elliot and was shocked to find that he'd become an Illegal Contractor, Bernard used Elliot for his own personal gain. Bernard's clouded judgement prevented Bernard from saving his son by killing Humpty Dumpty. Bernard valued Humpty Dumpty's usefulness over Elliot's own life, making himself believe that it would be what Elliot wanted, to bring honor and integrity back to the Nightray name.
Vincent was known to hate Bernard. He viewed Bernard as scum because of what he did to Elliot, allowing him to become an Illegal Contractor and to meet Leo continuously. Vincent saw Bernard as selfish and egotistical, caring more for how people viewed him for being part of the Nightray Dukedom rather than his own family, most of whom died because Bernard let Elliot be contracted to Humpty Dumpty. Whilst Bernard thought that he was doing things for Elliot's sake or for Vincent and Gilbert's sake, Vincent exposed the real reasoning behind all of that, which lead back to whatever suited Bernard's desires. In the end, Vincent was the one that ended up killing Bernard with Demios.
Vanessa's relationship with her father was very strained, being known to despise Bernard and claim Elliot as her only tie left to her that actually mattered. After Fred, Claude, Ernest and Vanessa's uncle were assassinated by the Head Hunter, as well as an attempted assassination on Gilbert, Bernice lost her mind and suffered in misery over the loss of her children and her brother. When Isla Yura approached Bernice and offered her a place in his Cult, Vanessa looked to her father for help, however Bernard simply looked the other way and pretended like nothing was wrong instead of dealing with his wife's new found detachment. Vanessa was further angered when she discovered that Bernard had been colluding with Yura, making a deal with him in order to obtain funding for the operations within the House of Fianna, and so Vanessa detached from her father, taking it upon herself to act as a guardian for Elliot.
Bernard originally had no intention to adopt Gilbert, that is until Vincent told him that the reason none of the family members could form a contract with Raven was because the Chain had been tied to Gil for over 100 years. This prompted Bernard's immediate action, and so he had the Rainsworth family back him on his intent to adopt Gilbert, but only for his goal of bringing honor back to the Nightray name. In both Pandora Hearts 8.5: Mine of Mine and Pandora Hearts 18.5: Evidence , Bernard is listed as one of Gilbert's weaknesses, hinting that their relationship is strained. This is proven in Retrace XXXVI: Sablier, when Gilbert freezes with nervousness upon the very mentioning of Bernard's name.
Although Bernard hated the Vessaliuses, he seemed to be on good terms with Xai, which could have been because the two of them were aligned with the Baskervilles. Bernard even supplied Xai with a fake alibi when Oscar came around asking questions about the Coming of Age Ceremony. Xai then willingly traveled into The Hole to retrieve Elliot and Leo for Bernard. Xai seemed to be the exception to Bernard's hate for the Vessalius family.
-To Oz Vessalius and Alice (In B-Rabbit form)-
- "Who the Hell are you?!"
- "You are here in order to assassinate us, the Four Dukes, am I right ??!!"
-To Claude Nightray-
- "Why are you so angry Claude? You should be glad to know that Raven's Contractor has finally been found."
-To Vincent Nightray-
- "In order to maintain our position inside Pandora, the Nightray's research on Chains was a necessity!"
- "Have you already forgotten all I did for you?!! Who saved your life when you were lying half dead before the Door to the Abyss?!"
(*) - Denotes that the character did not appear physically, but as a part of another character's memories.
- Bernard required a cane to walk.
- It is not known whether Bernard would've qualified to make a Contract with another Chain other than Raven, who was connected to Gilbert solely, or if he was like Oscar and unfit to form a Contract of any kind.
- In Pandora Hearts 18.5: Evidence, Bernard's name is misspelled as "Brnard".
- He shares the same voice actor of Fawn's Illegal Contractor in Episode 23.
|Previous Dukes/Duchesses||Raymond Nightray (†) • Bernard Nightray (†) • Bernice Nightray (†)|
|Previous Members||Fred Nightray (†) • Claude Nightray (†) • Ernest Nightray (†) • Vanessa Nightray (†) • Elliot Nightray (†)|
|Adoptive Members||Gilbert Nightray • Vincent Nightray (†) •|
|Previous Valets||Leo • Hans (†) • Echo (†)|
|Chains||Raven • Dormouse • Humpty Dumpty (†)|
|Previous Glens||Glen Baskerville (♀) (†) • Levi (†) • Oswald (†)|
|Members||Lottie • Dug • Lily •|
|Previous Members||Fang (†) • Lacie (†) • Celia (†) • Gilbert Nightray • Alice (†) • Intention of the Abyss (†) • Noise (†) • Vincent Nightray (†)|
|Previous Associates||Bernard Nightray (†) • Raymond Nightray (†) • Arthur Barma (†) • Rufus Barma (†) • Xai Vessalius (†) • Jury|
|Chains||Jabberwock • Leon • Bandersnatch • Lars|
|Previous Chains||Lacie's Chain • Tove • Raven • Owl • Dodo • Gryphon • Duldee • Duldum • Echo • Demios the Executioner • Dormouse|