Are the Gatherers drones or sentient beings?

QUESTION: How do headcanon the Gatherers? Are they completely Alexander's drones, or, like, do they have some free will of their own? If the latter, what relationship do they have with Alexander and each other? -sent by anonymous

Personally, I think of the Gatherers as little more than zombies. I don’t think they have a will or an awareness of their own - they seem to have only very basic instincts like reacting to sudden movement. We don’t know the details about how Alexander made them (I believe in the explosive wine theory, aka. that Wilhelm and his men were turned into Gatherers), but it’s pretty clear that they’re dead human beings, horribly mutilated, and whatever intelligence they have is what you’d expect from dead, partially decomposed humans. That is, none. I think they’re ‘empty’ and just respond to whatever tasks Alexander sets for them.

It’s very interesting that they’re able to chase after Daniel and find him rather efficiently if he’s not careful about staying hidden and completely quiet, but I personally just think this is just for the sake of gameplay mechanics rather than a canonical proof that they’re intelligent or aware on any level. Could also be that because of Alexander’s meddling with Daniel the Gatherers might be able to track him down - they’re Alexander’s creations, so it feels plausible they could recognise traces of his presence/power/whatever you want to call it.