- "It’s like Orpheus descending into the underworld!"
- ―Daniel upon first seeing the Chancel.
The Chancel is apparently a bottomless pit, with four side rooms connected by bridges. One leads to the Nave, one to the Inner Sanctum, one to the machine that powers the Sanctum's protective shield, and one that leads to a room filled with statuettes, bookshelves, a blood-covered altar, and where Daniel respawns in case he gets hit by a Gatherer. The Chancel is lit by torches glowing with eerie blue-green flames.
At first, before Daniel figures out how to get into the Transept and Choir, it is the only other area accessible from the Nave and initially has few enemies. However, a single Servant Grunt will spawn at the left end of the walkway parallel to the entrance upon entering the Chancel for the first time. It will first walk to the right end, then come back and then turn down the walkway toward the entrance. Exercise caution, as it may see and pursue Daniel as far back as the exit to the Nave, breaking down the door to the staircase in its path. The Chancel can be explored to collect supplies and notes while it is relatively safe, before finding the orb pieces in the other two areas. The Inner Sanctum is inaccessible, as an impenetrable barrier bars the way and will electrocute Daniel if he tries to force his way through. It is formed by the combined power of Daniel's stolen Orb that is currently guesting the Orb Chamber ahead and steam-powered machinery nearby. Daniel must first acquire Agrippa's broken Orb and repair it in the pedestal with a hemispherical depression on its top, and sabotage the generators if he hopes to proceed any further. Visiting the Chancel before collecting all six Orb pieces is optional.
The first time Daniel must visit the Chancel is after he collects the Orb pieces in the Transept and Choir. He is attacked by a swarm of Servant Grunts, and carried away to the Cells (not to be confused with the Prison from earlier in the game). After escaping the Cells, the Shadow shows up, and possibly Brutes as well, with the added enemies also worsening the danger of falling into the chasm. The Chancel thus transforms over time from a relatively safe location to a dangerous one. As with the rest of the castle later in the game, the Shadow completely consumes this area, its flesh not even hindered by the abyss. One of the branching paths collapses once the player obtains all pieces of the Orb, making the room with the altar inaccessible. The Shadow's fleshy residue forms in the intersection of the four paths that will often result in Daniel taking damage as he passes. Luckily the Guardian of the Orb appearing also tears down the solid metal gate that blocked access to the machinery, now Daniel can simply enter and jam up the cogwheels.
With this in mind, you can see that as with the Nave, there are two maps representing the Chancel. The first one is the one that can be seen if the chancel is visited before all the orb pieces are collected. It is relatively safe, and whole. To gather all collectibles in the game, the chancel must be visited before gathering all the orb pieces. The second Chancel map, referred to in the game files as "Chancel: Redux", is the one Daniel returns to after escaping from the cells. In this version, one of the bridges has broken down and fallen into the abyss, making some of the collectibles unobtainable.
Entries under "Chancel: Redux" can only be obtained on the return trip to the Chancel, after you've escaped from the Cells, and entries without it can only be obtained on the first visit to the Chancel, before you've gathered all the Orb pieces.
- Going left at the intersection, to the room with the tar, a tinderbox can be found at the top of a shelf.(124)
- Heading downstairs towards the machinery that power the lightning tunnel, a tinderbox can be found on the floor.(125)
- If you instead take a right at the intersection, you will find yourself in a small room with a strange altar further in. The tinderbox sits on a bookshelf to the immediate right of the entrance. (126)
- Following the path to the right as you get to the intersection, you end up in a strange room with an altar at the bottom. A container is located near the altar.
- Daniel's Diary - Prisoners - Taking a left at the intersection, to the room where you find the tar on a shelf, the entry can be found on a desk.
- The Shattered Orb - This note can be found in the small room with an altar if you take a right at the intersection in the Chancel.
Chancel: Redux Edit
- Through the first door, directly opposite you on the floor behind a broken pillar. (150)
- Going left at the intersection, a tinderbox can be found on the shelf near the tar. (151)
- Daniel's Diary - Downfall - Taking a left at the intersection, to the room where you find the tar on a shelf, the entry can be found on a desk. It's in the exact same location as the "Prisoners" diary entry.
- The big gate in the Chancel may be the same seen in the Cistern Entrance.
- The Chancel is one of the few places in the game where more than one Gatherer will spawn at once.
- There is absolutely no way to circumvent the scripted event where the three Gatherers ambush Daniel. Even if the player completely evades them all, there are zones that will instantly reduce health to zero if you try to run to a different area - when this happens, the game will act as if Daniel was slashed by one of the Grunts, even if they were far away at the time. The sound of a Brute attacking can be heard when this happens.
- The irony of the previous statement is there is a way to walk around the scripting by simply hugging the wall by jumping on the lower edging out. There is really no point in taking this action though, as the Inner Sanctum isn't accessible due to the fact that the machinery barred gate is still intact. Abusing the game's save and exit system to get passed the electric gate will also serve no purpose, as the Inner Sanctum is only reachable by the second Chancel map, "chancel_redux," after you have been captured in the Cells. You would be basically trying to move to an unloaded map.
- In a flashback, Daniel describes the Chancel as "Like Orpheus descending into the underworld", provoking a surprised and uneasy response from Alexander. This might mean the pit is indeed bottomless and possibly otherworldly that inspired the myths of the land of the dead.
- The reference to Orpheus also likely caused unease from Alexander because it was the case that Orpheus would descend to the underworld in order to make contact with his wife- Alexander's main goal in opening the portal is to return to his beloved. He seems to believe Daniel may have found out about this motive, and thought he was comparing Alexander to Orpheus himself.
- In the Chancel, Alexander will be assaulting Daniel's mind, telling Daniel to blame himself after the murdering he did in Brennenburg.
- The color of the torch flames is possibly due to copper salts.
- There are actually two chancel maps - chancel and chancel_redux. Chancel is the map before Daniel gets captured by the gatherers and brought to the cells. The latter is the one Daniel visits after escaping the cells. The Nave likewise has two maps.
- If one were to use a glitch to get across the lightning tunnel in the chancel map to enter the Inner Sanctum, the game will crash. This is because the game tries to transition you into a non-existant map.
- The damage taken when jamming the cogwheels cannot be evaded, as it's a scripted event that will occur no matter how far away Daniel is from the machine.
- The room where the altar is located contains numerous tablets with Uruk to Early Dynastic Mesopotamian cuneiform writing.
- If Daniel would decide to create the orb in the redux map before breaking the machinery, a brute will spawn to investigate the destruction. However, if one were to break the machinery before mending the orb, they could completely avoid the encounter
- In cathedral architecture, the chancel is the area containing the choir and altar. The presence of an altar within this room fits with the name.
|Locations of The Dark Descent:|
|Brennenburg Castle locations:||Rainy Hall • Old Archives • Entrance Hall • Archives • Wine Cellar • Laboratory • Refinery • Cellar Archives • Archive Tunnels • Back Hall • Storage • Guest Room • Study • Machine Room • Elevator • Prison: Southern Block • Prison: Northern Block • Cistern Entrance • Control Room • Cistern • Morgue • Sewer • Nave • Chancel • Transept • Choir Entrance • Choir - Main Hall • Cells • Inner Sanctum • Orb Chamber|
|Other locations:||London • Algeria • Altstadt • Tomb of Tin Hinan • Zimmermann Farm|