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Ενημερώθηκε May 8, 2015 3:56 pm



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Dark Souls II keeps in line with its predecessors in the Souls series by providing players with a deep but concealed story that must be pieced together via NPC dialogue, item descriptions, appearance, and geographic clues. We present here an overview of the story. For more in depth discussions and speculation, please visit the Archives - our Wiki forum section devoted exclusively to the game's lore.

You can also submit articles to our blog and have them published as lore details.

Nevris's Lore Analysis on Humanity and the Soul

By Nevis Ysbrid

external image Dark-Souls-Lore.jpg
external image Dark-Souls-Lore.jpg

  • And with Fire, came Disparity… heat and cold… life and death… and of course, light and dark.
This is one of the opening lines to the dark fantasy game Dark Souls, and foreshadows it’s central theme of conflicting elemental forces of the world., that of the dual-nature and clash between Fire and Dark-or, rather, the races inherently tied to each of these elements, the ‘Gods’ (Fire) and the Humans (Dark). During my first playthrough of Dark Souls, I was intrigued by the game mechanic and item named ‘humanity’, which was, by its very name, obviously linked to humans and what it means to be human. This begs the question, though, as to what exactly is humanity, what is the nature of it, and thus what is the setting saying is the essential nature of humans? And what is the difference between humanity, that which defines us as human, and the soul, that which defines us as alive?

external image 2045.png
external image 2045.png

Souls are the source of all life,

and whether Undead, or even Hollow,

one continues to seek them.
T his is the in-game description of Soul items, which are literally the souls of the fallen, stored for later use. The theme of the soul largely speaks for itself, and was already developed thoroughly in the game’s predecessor, Demon’s Souls. It is the very essence of life, the will, and is what allows them to comprehend the world around them. As shown in Demon’s Souls, those without souls lose their minds and go mad-indicating that the loss of the soul can, in a sense, be survived, though not with one’s psyche intact. The person becomes will-less, merely mechanically reacting with hostility or fear to outside stimuli.
external image 2112.png
external image 2112.png
This black sprite is called humanity, but
little is known about its true nature.

If the soul is the source of all life,

then what distinguishes the humanity

we hold within ourselves?
This is the description of one of the most enigmatic items the game-humanity. The in-game description itself raises the question of what exactly it is, how it is different from a soul, and what it’s ‘true nature’ is.
As players progress through the game, several trends in obtaining humanity become apparent. Humanity is most frequently obtained from corpses that still harbor some of this material, or by killing undead enemies in the game who, after killing enough, drop one humanity. This, if taken to have meaning beyond simply being a game mechanic, means that either few hollows have humanity, or each have so little that only after killing many does the humanity dropped amount to even one full sprite. Either way, this indicates that hollows lack ‘humanity’, and suggests that losing one’s humanity turns one into an insane monster. This echoes what some take the nature of humanity in expressions such as ‘find your humanity’, essentially finding one’s compassion, the word ‘inhuman’ meaning cruel, monstrous or evil, and so on. By this, humanity seems a precious thing that is preferable to have. As shown with the player character, losing this is, at least in short terms, does not necessarily induce permanent madness or death, unlike with losing one’s soul.
Humanity is obtained as an item from corpses and certain fallen enemies, most frequently human, in the form of Humanity, Twin Humanity, and from Fire Keeper Souls.

external image 2130.png
external image 2130.png


Generic Fire Keeper Soul

Each Fire Keeper is a corporeal manifestation

of her bonfire, and a draw for the humanity

which is offered to her. Her soul is gnawed

by infinite humanity, and can boost the power

of precious Estus Flasks. Reinforced Estus

Flasks capture denser Estus, allowing for

increased restoration of HP.

Anastacia the Ash Maiden’s Soul

A Fire Keeper’s soul is a draw for humanity,

and held within their bosoms, below just a

thin layer of skin, are swarms of humanity

that writhe and squirm.

Was the Ash Maiden locked in this dark prison

for some transgression, or by her own will?

Darkmoon Knightess’s Soul

A Fire Keeper’s soul is a draw for humanity,

and held within their bosoms, below just a

thin layer of skin, are swarms of humanity

that writhe and squirm. Her brass armor

serves to disguise this ghastly form.

The Fair Lady’s Soul

A Fire Keeper’s soul is a draw for humanity,

and held within their bosoms, below just a

thin layer of skin, are swarms of humanity

that writhe and squirm.

To her, the countless eggs which appeared

were cradles for each tiny humanity.
From these, we are given the image of humanity as a mass ob black, writhing sprites, as well as told that humanity coursed through bonfires and Fire Keepers. This image may be reminiscent of other Japanese works, such as demonic blood in Hayao Miyazaki’s Princess Mononoke, or the ‘holy blood worms’ of Hiroaki Samura’s Blade of the Immortal. These elements were connected to immortality or evil energy within their universes, and, considering humanity’s (or the lack of it) connection to Hollow, Dark Souls certainly bears a similar theme.

Humanity is, lastly, obtained by interacting with other undead by crossing over into their worlds, mostly through online play. Darkwraiths and all white and/or gold phantoms each obtain one humanity upon a successful mission, either pillaging it from the owner’s corpse, or by defeating a boss alongside another human. This, if interpreted as more than a game mechanic, may be either the phantom also obtaining a sprite of humanity from the boss, or somehow receiving it from their link with another human, indicating that it grows with contact and/or sharing, or perhaps even propagates by being near other humanity. If so, perhaps there is more to the Twin Humanity item than simply being a game mechanic as well, perhaps friends or soulmates?

In any case, there is a strong theme of obtaining and gathering here in multiple ways. Humans, similarly, are known for obtaining-and, just as how some view the Darkwraiths as greedy, base and ruthless, there is much discussion describing our own society, especially the West, as extremely consumer-based and far too obsessed with material possessions and goals. Such things as money, houses, food, job, social life and so on are all often described as worldly or earthy. (or keyed to the very physical earth element for beliefs that refer to elements) Many cultures and religions value such things as base or haughty, including many Eastern religions where such possessions are supposedly eschewed. Even in the West, this is echoed in how Western culture values intellectual and artistic ‘white-collar’ jobs over hands-on and physical ‘blue-collar’ jobs.

Also take into account the almost-inherently social aspect of humanity that is not necessarily the same with souls, and there is also a thread of individual identity connected to the soul, while humanity is bound to group identity. Again, there is a real-world parallel found in many thoughts such as Trancendentalism, which strongly emphasizes and values the self over others and community. Howver, this social aspect also is what contains compassion, empathy, and emotion and want beyond simply greed, just as the word ‘heart’ is used in Western culture. Indeed, humanity and soul can easily be replaced by ‘heart and soul’.This, combined with the materialistic, obtaining aspect of humanity and the spiritual aspect of the soul, combines to make two different concepts and forces; humanity, or the heart, the part of a person that wants and hungers, feels emotion, that gathers and obtains and wants to have material and connects with others; and soul, the part of a person that seeks to connect with the divine, rather than with others, that creates meaning and purpose, and is the consciousness itself, the individual who must exist before there can be any group.

N ext, there is it’s usage. Humanity has five game effects in Dark Souls; to reverse Hollowing, to kindle bonfires, to offer as a covenant reward, to be fed or sold to Frampt for Souls and boosting the defenses of those who hold extra humanity.

Likely the first use of humanity players stumble across is that it is used to reverse hollowing-returning the player to being human and allowing them to contact characters from other worlds. This, again, strongly suggests that the state of being Hollow is connected to or even caused by losing one’s humanity. Even outside of the in-game sense, that is, in a sense, true; a person who is said to have ‘lost their humanity’ or is performing ‘inhuman’ deeds can be likened to a monster, and the expression to ‘find your humanity’ means to regain one’s compassion.

Then there are character in-game who hunger for and crave humanity in plenty, such as Darkwraith Kirk, Knight Lautrec of Carim, and all Darkwraith enemies and players. They, too, are portrayed as monsters, and yet bring up the question of whether a person with more humanity than another is somehow more ‘human’ than another, such as clerics and priests who hold much of it. These beings, by the very nature of being humanity-thieves, are prone to having more humanity than most, and are consumed by a hungry greed for it. Perhaps, then humanity not only grows and multiplies; it desires, and it consumes and feeds, leading to rampant greed in excess.

Humanity is also used to kindle bonfires. Humanity, as do humans, seems to grow and multiply; this effect seems to pass on and infuse the fire, causing it to grow and strengthen as more humanity is poured inside it.

The Darkwraith and Chaos Servant covenants both use ritually sacrificed humanity as a means of deepening the player’s covenant affiliation and rising in the hierarchy. For Darkstalker Kaathe, the Primordial Serpent creator of the Darkwraiths, beings empowered to rip the humanity out of still-living beings using the technique Lifedrain, this is an obvious choice, though what he does with it is less so. Perhaps he devours it, or perhaps he uses it to strengthen the Abyss and further the spread of the Dark. As for the Fair Lady, leader of the Chaos Servant covenant, she is swarming with humanity already, and lays eggs abound, each filled with humanity. Perhaps, as with bonfires, the ever-growing nature of humanity strengthens and infuses her, or perhaps it has come to be a necessary poison in her diseased-state, dying without enough of it to continue to lay eggs.

Humanity, then, again, seems to be a physical manifestation of the growing,multiplying and spreading nature of humanity, now with the consumptive element more emphasized.

And, finally, the story breathes true life into the nature of humanity and the soul

In the Age of Ancients, when there was only ‘grey crags, archtrees, and everlasting dragons’ in the endless mists, deep underground, the First Flame was born. Within the Flame of Disparity were found the first souls, the Lord Souls. Gravelord Nito and the Witch of Izalith each took a soul, and Gwyn, Lord of Sunlight, took the mightiest of all. However, a small being, the Furtive Pygmy, found a ‘unique’ soul; the Dark Soul. He recognized the different nature of the soul, with its spreading, multiplying, physical and devouring aspect, and spread fragments of it among his children, each of which, as Miyazaki, the game’s creator himself confirmed, became the sprites named humanity. Humanity, thus, is by it’s very nature the essence of the Dark, a race literally made by it. As humans spread and grew, so did the humanity sprites-and thus, so, too, did the consumptive Dark, constantly encroaching on the power of Fire and its race, the Gods.

When the player reaches the DLC, there is much more talk of being human or not, whereas previously the npcs were concerned with whether the player was Hollow or human, not the player’s race. Elizabeth, Gough, and Ciaran (and Artorias in his deleted boss dialogue says that ‘surely you humans are more than just Dark’) all make particular note of the player being human and express their wonder as to the true nature of humanity. As the player begins to descend into the Chasm of the Abyss, the player encounters warped Oolacilians, Dark sorcery and self-moving humanity sprites as enemies. The Dark magic spells are especially informative regarding the nature of the Dark, and thus humanity.
external image Dark%20Orb.png
external image Dark%20Orb.png
external image Dark%20Bead.png
external image Dark%20Bead.png

In contrast to standard soul sorceries,

Abyss sorceries are weighty and inflict

physical damage. Perhaps human souls,

because of their humanity, produce

sorceries with a more tangible presence.
Again, this reinforces the connection of humanity to the physical and material.
external image Dark%20Fog.png
external image Dark%20Fog.png

Although Dark Fog is, in theory, relatively close to humanity,
it also happens to be a terrible poison for humans.

Perhaps it reflects man’s cruelty against his own.
This brings reinforces the potentially greedy, destructive aspect of humanity present in Darkwraiths or those who become consumed by their own desires.
external image Black%20Flame.png
external image Black%20Flame.png


Black flames are weighty, and inflict physical damage,

enough to smack away the mightiest of the shields.
The black flame spell, found near the Abyss, is connected to the Dark, and, like all dark magic, partly inflicts physical damage. Again, this reinforces the physical, materialistic and wanting nature of humanity and the human heart.

And then there is the matter of Manus, Father of the Abyss. Manus was one a man who later became the ‘Father of the Abyss’ and is found in the Chasm of the Abyss, holding Princess Dusk captive.
external image Soul+of+Manus.png
external image Soul+of+Manus.png

Soul of Manus, Father of the Abyss.
This extraordinary soul is a viscous,

lukewarm lump of gentle humanity.
Ancient Manus was clearly once human.

But he became the Father of the Abyss

after his humanity went wild, eternally

seeking his precious broken pendant.
external image Broken+Pendant.png
external image Broken+Pendant.png

Half of a broken stone pendant.
The vine appears to originate from Oolacile.
A powerful magic can be sensed from this

ancient stone. Yet men of this time can

neither manipulate nor sense its power,

which has a distinct air consisting of

both reverence and nostalgia.
There is also a comment from Princess Dusk of Oolacile, who was held captive by Manus, after the event.
  • “I still think on that creature from the Abyss that preyed upon me. My faculties were far from lucid, but I quite clearly sensed certain emotions. A wrenching nostalgia, a lost joy, an object of obsession, and a sincere hope to reclaim it… Could these thoughts belong to the beast from the Abyss? But if that were true, then perhaps it is no beast after all?”
Manus, while hostile, was not outright evil, only driven to insanity and hostility out of his urge to have his pendant. As Dusk describes Manus’s feelings, that the very nature of the Dark and humanity is to want, to have goals and desires at the risk of insanity, is again reinforced.

Players can obtain either souls, a sorcery catalyst, or a sorcery spell from Manus’s soul.
external image Manus%20Catalyst.png
external image Manus%20Catalyst.png

A sorcery catalyst born from the soul of
Manus, Father of the Abyss.

A rough, old wooden catalyst large enough

to be used as a strike weapon.

Similar to the Tin Crystallization Catalyst,

it boosts the strength of sorceries,

but limits the number of castings.
Again, the physical nature is reinforced.
external image Pursuers.png
external image Pursuers.png

Sorcery of Manus, Father of the Abyss.
Grant a fleeting will to the Dark of humanity, and volley the result.
The will feels envy, or perhaps love, and despite the inevitably trite and tragic ending,

the will sees no alternative, and is driven madly toward its target.
And, again, the danger of insanity, the connection to emotion and to seek out and pursue is again tied to the Dark and humanity. It is also worth noting that it specifically mentions that the humanity is granted will, meaning it has none of its own. This, again, reinforces that the will belongs to the soul, not the humanity/heart.

With all of this taken into account, humanity/the heart is shown as what defines us as being human. It is desire, the aspect of a person that wants food, home, companions, and is the source of our deep emotions. It is physical, material, and becoming consumed by it runs the risk of wildly destroying and devouring everything, while to lose or eschew it altogether is to lose what makes us human, hope, compassion, sanity and fall into a neither-living-nor-dead state called undeath. The soul what defines us as living beings at all. It is the will, the voice that moves the rest of the psyche into movement, and is spiritual in nature. The soul grants life, and lets that life comprehend the world around it. To lose it is to what makes us alive lose one’s will, the true spark of life differing humans from other creatures and objects.
This is a wonderful spiritual metaphor, of the Dark and Earth heart that is the heart and humanity, and the Light and Heaven that is soul, both existing within each human. These two essences are literally what make us human and what make us alive, and show the beauty and risks of having and losing each by way of an epic story. Applied to real life, this is a commentary about the beauty and atrocities, gifts and risks, presented by having, losing and taking these energies and results thereof in an utterly dark, fantastical and epic story of the human heart and soul.

May the Flames and Dark guide thee. Umbassa


Lore Analysis on why Drangleic is Lordran

By J.C. Wigriff
Well, it’s been nine days (for me) since venturing back into the world of Dark Souls. Nine days of death, frustration, oppression, elation, wonderment, and obsession. And, like several others I have seen around the internet, I have noticed some striking similarities between Drangleic and our former home of undeath in the world of curses and souls: Lordran. In fact, I personally believe that it has become rather undeniable that Drangleic stands on the same area of land that Lordran did, as evidenced by many hints and clues left in the game.

First, let’s consider some dialogue from several NPC characters:


Stone Trader Chloanne: (the Blacksmith’s daughter): “You know how they call this place Drangleic, right? Well, in the old lore, in stories, they said it had another name. What was it? Well… I don’t know. It’s just something I heard. Since long, long ago, many kingdoms have risen and fallen in this very spot. Just like a great flame that turns to soot. Maybe that’s why most people don’t remember much about the past.” Straid of Olaphis: “Many Kingdoms rose and fell on this tract of Earth. Mine was by no means the first. Anything that has a beginning also has an end. No flame, however brilliant, does not one day sputter out and die. But them, from the ashes, a flame reignites, and a new king is born, sporting a new face. It is all a curse! heh heh heh… and it is your cursed flesh that will inherit the flame Straid of Olaphis: “Drangleic… I’ve never heard that name. Is that what they call this place now?” (Olaphis, therefore, came after Lordran fell, but before Drangleic existed. Now, if we consider that – on the Dark Souls timeline – at least 1000 years passed between Gwyn linking The Flame and the undead outbreak/events of Dark Souls, I will argue henceforth that the ‘cycle’ of the flame in Dark Souls takes roughly 1000 years to complete. This would indicate that if Olaphis was the only kingdom to rise and fall between the time of Lordran and Gwyn, and the time of Vendrick and Drangleic, roughly 2000 years has passed since the first game. However, there is no clear evidence of how many times the cycle has repeated.
hghguhghghu
hghguhghghu
hghguhghghu

Some people have addressed concerns about how the topography doesn’t match up; how ground elevation conflicts with theories that certain places from Drangleic are future incarnations of locations from Dark Souls.


Now, if we understand that the cycle between the re-kindling of the flame and the undead outbreak/new Chosen Undead is around 1000 years (as evidenced by the lore), and we know that at least one kingdom rose and fell (probably more) as evidenced by Straid saying that he is from Olaphis, and Olaphis was where Drangleic is now, then we can assume that at least 2000 years has passed since Dark Souls 1. Probably more, but let’s say – for sake of argument – that only 2000 years has passed.
  • Carthage – Located in present-day Tunisia, Carthage was founded by Phoenician colonists and became a major power in the Mediterranean. The resulting rivalry with Syracuse and Rome was accompanied by several wars with respective invasions of each other’s homeland, most notable the invasion of Italy by Hannibal. The city was destroyed by the Romans in 146 BC (a little more than 2000 years ago). The Romans went from house to house, capturing, raping and enslaving the people before setting Carthage ablaze. Here is what the ruins of Carthage look like today:
CarthageRuins
CarthageRuins
CarthageRuins

  • Timgad – Timgad was a Roman colonial town in Algeria founded by the Emperor Trajan around 100 AD. Originally designed for a population of around 15,000, the city quickly outgrew its original specifications and spilled beyond the orthogonal grid in a more loosely-organized fashion. In the 5th Century, the city was sacked by the Vandals and two centuries later by the Berbers. The city disappeared from history, becoming one the lost cities of the Roman Empire, until its excavation in 1881. It was excavated because time had buried the ruins below the ground (in 2000 years).
642-Timgad-642-E
642-Timgad-642-E
642-Timgad-642-E

  • Verdronken Land van Reimerswaal – Verdronken Land van Reimerswaal is an area of flood-covered land in Zeeland in the Netherlands between Noord Beveland and Bergen op Zoom. Some of it was lost in the St. Felix’s Flood in 1530, and some of it in 1532. That was only 500 years ago! After the land was lost, the city of Reimerswaal survived on a small island for a while.
flooded
flooded
flooded

The point is, a whole lot can happen in 2000 years. You can do the research yourself, but anyone who is arguing that the topography couldn’t have changed that significantly in what is, in all likelihood many thousands of years, is mistaken – and it has likely been much more than 2000 years, since Manscoprion Tark and Scorpioness Najka were originally from Doors of the Pharros back when it was an inhabitable kingdom, and it obviously hasn’t been a busting metropolis for awhile now.
Sweet Shalquoir the cat: “This place is already dead. Everything will crumble and waste away so that something new may be born. Isn’t it wonderful?”

AnorRuinsHeide
AnorRuinsHeide
AnorRuinsHeide

I’ve seen some people speculate that the Bastille could be the Northern Undead Asylum, or that because of things Straid said and that the opening sequence says “far to the north” that the entirety of Drangleic takes place where the Northern Undead Asylum stood. I believe this way of thinking to be a fallacy. First off, ‘ northern ’ isn’t a definitive measurement, so the distance referenced is relative. Secondly, FROM seems to be fond of throwing “far to the north” around in the same manner as “in a land far, far away,” and “and so they lived happily ever after.” Long ago, in a walled off land far to the north, a great king built a great kingdom. The giants, however, also attacked from a continent “to the north.” Lordran was said to be “in the north.” I really don’t think it means much since it’s so subjective. Thirdly, The Northern Undead Asylum wasn’t necessarily that far away from Lordran in the first place. It was literally a bird’s (a giant bird’s) flight away. Lastly, the imprisonment of the cursed in the Northern Undead Asylum is not the same event as the cursed being imprisoned in Straid’s time, or the undead being imprisoned in the time of Drangleic, so assuming that they were all imprisoned in the same place is a bit of a fallacy in and of itself; it wouldn’t have made sense to have a place to lock up undead in the ~900 years of peace before the undead outbreak occurred during each cycle. Also, it says in the game that the Bastille wasn’t originally a prison, but was converted into being a prison after the outbreak occurred. Straid: “The cursed ones were imprisoned in this land. Of course, you came of your own free will… heh heh.” Straid is obviously aware of the cycle, realizes you are the new chosen undead, and is mocking you for coming here of anything but your own free will.
Bastille
Bastille
Bastille

So we’ve obviously established that Drangleic is not the first kingdom to rise and fall upon this same landmass. There have been some other theories as to where this place could have been, and I would like to address (and dismiss) those theories in the following section.


First off , let’s go ahead and squash that bit of nonsense about this being Vinheim because of the Lingering Dragoncrest Ring right now, once and for all. Griggs of Vinheim sells the Lingering Dragoncrest Ring to you in Firelink Shrine. The description in DkS1 reads: “A special ring granted to only the most accomplished sorcerers at Vinheim Dragon School.” In DkS2 when you acquire the ring, it says “A ring used long, long ago in a land that existed where Drangleic does now.” That, in no way whatsoever, alludes to Drangleic being Vinheim, and that’s before even acknowledging the fact that the ring was used in Lordran by The Chosen Undead (or by Griggs if you want to say “but I wasn’t a mage”). This is weak evidence for the Vinheim theory, and just about the only evidence to support that, so I am going to be so bold as to state that the Vinheim theory is total rubbish and should be dismissed as untrue. EDIT: Reddit user kalasbkeo has pointed out that the ring says it was used by sorcerers, plural. Now, the entire language of the flavor text on the ring suggests there were multiple rings to begin with, so the presence of the ring doesn’t really evidence any location, but I will argue that it points toward Drangleic being Lordran more than it ever suggests it being Vinheim. People have questioned the presence of dragons in this game, and have even suggested that it is more proof of Drangleic being built upon Vinheim because Vinheim had a “dragon school.” Well, first off, having a “dragon school” and having actual dragons are two entirely different things. In fact, there are only 2 ancient dragons left in DkS1: The one in Ash Lake, and Kalameet – who we kill. Kalameet was called the last dragon, not the “last dragon in this neighborhood” or “the last dragon on this continent.” Last dragon. Vinheim didn’t have dragons, and Drangleic isn’t Vinheim. I think it is much more likely that Melfia is where Vinheim used to be; Melfia, a land with a famous magic academy; a land that “flourishes with magic and pyromancy.” Also, I have a theory on the presence of dragons, so more on that later.
unnamed (1)
unnamed (1)
unnamed (1)

Some people think that Heide’s Tower of Flame is where Gwynevere and her husband, Flann the God of Flame, ran off to when leaving Anor Londo. Well… no, I don’t believe so actually.


Heide’s Tower of Flame (called tower of flame because it’s a lighthouse, not because of some connection with Flann the God of Flame): “These are the remnants of a lost civilization which sank into the sea so long ago that nobody remembers whether Heide was the name of the kingdom or was simply what the continent was called in those days. The Way of the Blue was founded in ancient Heide and is still headquartered in the cathedral, one of the few structures to have survived whatever cataclysmic event submerged the surrounding area and the subsequent centuries of erosion by the wind and the waves. The Tower of Flame looms over the sea in stark defiance of the natural forces which leveled the rest of Heide, firelight from its gallery dancing and flickering in the sky. Though its original purpose has been lost to the flow of time, the Tower now serves both as a lighthouse warning passing ships away from danger and a beacon guiding those who seek the Blue Sentinels.” Also, I firmly believe that Blue Sentinels is the modern incarnation of what was once the Darkmoon Covenant. They serve the same purpose, and in the same location. This also explains why you fight Ornstein in the chapel. See, the Ornstein you fight in DkS1 wasn’t an illusion. First off, Gwynevere was an illusion, and you destroy her in 1 hit because of it. Ornstein obviously was much more difficult to master, and you get his actual soul from defeating him (unlike Gwynevere the illusion, who drops nothing but the Lordvessel if you don’t already have it). That means that Ornstein wasn’t off protecting Gwynevere once she left (That’s obviously her husband’s job now), so he remained performing the final task given to him by his former master – help Gwyndolin . Ornstein was working with the Darkmoon Covenant , protecting the Lordvessel itself instead of Gwynevere, making sure that the Chosen Undead who claims it is worthy enough. And then, over time, he fell victim to the call of the Abyss (like Artorias ), which is why he uses dark magic now instead of lightning. His consciousness is barely in place, just a soul holding up some armor like the ancient constructs protecting the fallen city, but even in his timeworn state he still subconsciously remembers to protect and serve the Darkmoon Covenant. I doubt anyone remembers who he is anymore, and Ornstein certainly isn’t mentally capable of telling anyone since he’s a husk of his former self, but he is acknowledged to be the guardian of the Blue Sentinels. Old Knights (The golems at Heide’s): “These giant warriors are relics of an era that has long passed. Whether they attack you out of madness or merely as a trial for would-be Knights of the Blue will matter little if they manage to cut you down… If you do indeed enlist as a Knight of the Blue, you’ll require the power of the Cracked Blue Orbs they hold, so consider this your rite of initiation.” The Heide Knights found periodically: “Whether Heide was a proper kingdom or not isn’t clear, as it fell into the sea long ago.” (Also, on a side note, there is a good chance that one of the Firekeepers in Things Betwixt is the Darkmoon Knightress – but she’s certainly not telling if she is.) Finally, there are some very large Bird-headed sentry statues when you walk into Heide. How do we know that the people who inhabited Heide didn’t look like Ornifix? How do we know what those Heide Knights look like under those helmets? We don’t. The only evidence that we have that Heide’s Tower of Flame isn’t Anor Londo, and is instead someplace Flann built, is a loose connection based upon the name. There is much more evidence – actual evidence – suggesting that this isn’t the case. Also, there is no presence of flame sorcery, which from how I understand it, was kinda Flann’s thing.
troll
troll
troll

To the people saying “FROM said that if the last game was the South Pole, this game is the North Pole.


Yeah… about that. FROM also made everyone believe that The Pendant starting gift did something really cool and secretive, and led people on for years about it. Aside from being a troll (since FROM explicitly states that they *want* the players to piece together their ambiguous hints into a narrative through item descriptions and the like), it could have just been that it was an early interview (the game was only about 25% done then) and things change during development. Producer Takeshi Miyazoe also said, when asked “There have been hints at time traveling being a part of Dark Souls 2, will this have any relation the original?” that:
  • “The straight answer to that is that there is no connection between the two stories. Again, they are the same world, same places, but I think from a design perspective, I think players that love Dark Souls 1 will be able to see some resemblance between the two. But, in terms of story, they are very separate.”
Yes… clearly no connection between the two stories. No connection at all. Except…
seath
seath
seath

Here are some of the NPC and item references to Seath the Scaless:


Ornifex: “It is said that our technique originates from a strange being that inhabited this land. A Pale beast that lived long, long ago. We don’t even know exactly what it was.” (Inhabited THIS land) Carhillion of the Fold: “Sorcery was created long, long ago. Some say it was originated by the great, pale being.”
  • Also, Manscorpion Tark congratulates you on “defeating his master” after battling the spider in Brightstone Cove Tseldora. He says, “What skill. You’ve defeated my master. But our (him and Scorpioness Najka) master never dies, only changes form, so that he may seethe (Seath play on words?) for all eternity.”
Manscorpion Tark: ”We had a master once, but he was born with a fatal flaw. He coveted what those like him had that he liked… so he used experiments to conjure up strange creatures. [sic]” Our master was a tragically lonely soul. His solitude finally eroded his very wisdom.” *This is nearly word-for-word, but I wasn’t able to transcribe it verbatim in time. The details are there though, and it’s undeniable that Seath is who he was talking about. Scorpioness Najka: “The wife of Manscorpion Tark, a fragile soul created long ago by an ancient being in the throes of madness.” This seems to indicate that both Tark and Scorpioness Najka are experiments of Seath’s . Also, The Duke’s Dear Freja drops “Old Paledrake’s Soul” in NG+. It’s obvious at this point who the “pale one” is, and it seems he’s essentially still around in spirit. (I would like to point out that the spider itself isn’t Seath, but that Duke Tseldora is, hence the Duke is The Duke… just not the same Duke exactly .) When you examine the crystal where you fight Freja, you see a dead dragon from the ancient war of the dragons that Gwyn waged. We know it is from the ancient war; there are comparison shots between the intro sequence of Dark Souls (with the war of the dragons and the archtrees) and the dragon’s memories sequence. Remember, Seath betrayed the dragons; betrayed his own kin. It’s only appropriate that we get a glimpse of his betrayal in the form of one of his dead brothers from so long ago in the same spot where his soul has eternally maintained. Plus, Brightstone Cove Tseldora is full of crystalline structures (like The Crystal Caves), and right next to where you acquire Seath’s Lord Soul (from Duke Tseldora’s hangout). The Duke is The Duke is The Duke, and Brightstone Cove is where The Crystal Caves used to stand. (Perhaps the encampment up on the hill above Brightstone Cove is where the Duke’s Archives once stood. Where you exit the cave from Pharros into the camp there is a fountain that looks really familiar to me, but I haven’t found its counterpart in DkS1 yet, so I don’t know if it’s just my imagination.)
Nito
Nito
Nito

Now onto Nito references:


First, there are the Melfnito who were created by “The Great Dead One.” They sing to comfort those bound by death and dark. Then there is Grave Warden Agdayne , a member of the Fenito (FeNITO) race who was created by the “Great Dead One.” He has been alive for thousands of years, and his race is charged to protect the crypts of the dead. Agdayne: “I am a Fenito. We weave death and watch over the dead. This task was granted to me by the one who gave us the first death. Countless souls rest here, some of them from ages long ago.” He then goes on to say… Agdayne: “In the past humans were one with the dark. The former King of the Light, he feared humans… feared they would usher in an age of the dark.” The former King of Light? Gwyn ? Or perhaps another. It doesn’t matter; he is certainly not talking about Vendrick since he is the current king, so this just goes on to reinforce the evidence that this is Lordran. Oh, and Nito is in the game as well… essentially. As you may know by now, in NG+ the four “big” bosses drop different boss souls, revealing who they are actually a reincarnation of. Freja drops “Old Paledrake’s Souls” (Seath), Sinner drops “Lost Witch” (The Witch of Izalith), Rotten drops “Old Dead One” (Nito), and Iron King drops “Old King’s Soul. (Gwyn)” And what is the boss that drops Nito’s soul? A mass of pieced together body parts, just like Nito was comprised of a mass of bones and skeletons.
Sinner
Sinner
Sinner

Actually, let’s take a moment to talk about the ‘ol Witch of Izalith…


When you see the cut-scene before the Sinner fight, did you notice the bug crawling into its eye? Did you notice that is was a Chaos Bug ? That’s right, Sinner is a ‘she’ and is the Witch of Izalith reborn. From the Official Collector’s Guide: “The Lost Sinner eternally punishes herself for the sins of her past, she committed what some would believe to be the ultimate sin – she attempted to re-light the First Flame. The Lost Sinner possesses the Souls of a Great One; she holds the remnants of the Soul of the Old Witch of Izalith. Eons have passed since the Old Witch of Izalith walked the land, but such was her power that it persists even now.” Observe that if The Sinner tried re-lighting the First Flame that the Flame would have to be here, and that the Old Witch hasn’t walked the lands for “eons.” If you talk to the cat in Majula after fighting the Sinner she will confirm that she tried re-lighting the flame.
  • The point is, the Lord Souls have always been there. The Lord Souls were just claimed by Nito, Izalith, etc., There are only 4 lord souls, no matter who possesses them, but they obviously have taken on characteristics of their original owners, like they’ve been imprinted with them.
Sweet Shalquoir the cat: “Are you going to see the old ones? Those 4 have grown so incredibly ancient. For heaven’s sake, no one even knows their names anymore.”

linkending
linkending
linkending

Now about endings…


There has been lots of (what I believe to be misguided) talk about which ending in Dark Souls is canon, the Link the Flame ending or the Dark Lord ending. Well… both are. Remember, time and space function strangely in this land; timelines weave in and out of one another, crossing over and influencing the path of others (spirits entering your world, and you entering the world of other spirits). Remember, all of these other ‘spirits’ are the Chosen Undead as well, just in another thread of existence; another timeline; another reality. Therefore, just like Schrödinger’s cat, all possibilities exist. Both endings are canon, because both happened, and both didn’t happen. In this particular timeline you start off in I believe it’s obvious that the Flame was linked, starting the cycle over again. See, it doesn’t matter if 99 out of 100 people chose to become The Dark Lord, because somebody would inevitably, in some timeline, chose to link the flame, therefore continuing the cycle. That’s why you don’t have a choice at the end of DkS2, because the choice is ultimately irrelevant, as evidenced by the entire existence of this game. EDIT: I would like to add the following, and credit Redditor TheMainTank : “Also, the idea that both and neither of the first game’s endings necessarily happened is the whole reason Shanalotte (The Emerald Herald) is in the game. She says she was “born of dragons and contrived by humans” in an attempt to make that ending decision matter; to end the cycle (the cycle that ultimately promises more souls games!) but failed.”

So, about that…


Chancellor Wellager: “My Lord made magnificient findings on souls. He vanquished the four great ones and built this kingdom upon their souls. Our king has watched over this land since ages long, long ago.” So Vendrick was a Chosen Undead . It makes it quite clear in the game that he vanquished the four great ones. He didn’t find the four great ones, he defeated them. He did what you did in DkS1. He defeated the four, and then build Drangleic with his vision. Wellager also explains that the Queen came from a faraway land and warned the King of the looming threat of giants from across the sea. The King crossed the seas, with the Queen by his side, defeated the giants and “commandeered their power.” He used their power to create the golems, and used that power to create the castle. Now, the golems are the large constructs in Drangleic castle that look like giants, and light up and move doors/walls. They are also the constructs that form the bridge to the Throne of Want for you at the end of the game. Don’t confuse the golems with the mechanical automatons you fight elsewhere, like in Heide’s Tower of Flame. Also, let’s examine the guide for a moment regarding the Queen and where she came from. “A woman of mysterious origin who appeared at Drangleic Castle claiming to have ventured there from a foreign land. The circumstances surrounding Nashandra’s arrival in Drangleic and her motives for seeking and audience with the King remain shrouded in uncertainty.” She is a liar! She didn’t come there from a foreign land. Of all the foreign lands mentioned in the game, nobody knows where she came from? Oh bullshit. She appeared and came to the king because she knew he was the chosen undead, and knew what she wanted from him: she wanted him to cross the seas to the north, fight the giants, and claim their prize. She wanted to use him to spread the abyss. See… Wellager says something incredibly revealing: “The Queen brought peace to this land… a peace so deep it was like ‘the dark.’” Yes, the dark. That’s because The Queen is Manus.
pygmy
pygmy
pygmy

Nashandra’s boss weapons tell her story pretty well: Bow of Want: “The old one of the Abyss was reborn in death, split into miniscule fragments, and spread across the land. The smallest of the pieces, sensing it’s own fragility, yearned for what it lacked.” The second passage changes on the Scythe of Want and says “The pieces began to coalesce once again, becoming human in shape.” Chime of Want: “The tiniest of these pieces, precisely due to its size, was the first to restore it’s form.” Not to mention that The Official Guide confirms that the Queen is Manus (The queen, Nashandra, has a secret, Dark and ancient. She is the smallest piece of Manus, the Father of the Abyss. Long ago, after his defeat in the lost land of Oolacile, he split into miniscule fragments. As the fragments recollected, they assumed a human form.), and since Manus is The Furtive Pygmy (the inspiration behind the motivations of Darkstalker Kaathe and his ilk), it starts to illuminate the motivations and actions of King Vendrick and his unfortunately-chosen piece of ass throughout the narrative. That isn’t, however, the point of this article; the point of this article is to make clear that Lordran and Drangleic are indeed the same place, so let’s continue with solidifying that as fact. Well, the Queen tells you that the King never assumed the “true throne,” or The Throne of Want. The Throne of Want is where the Kiln of the First Flame is (notice all the piles of white ash in, around, and covering the outside of the Throne), so Vendrick decided – for whatever reason – to choose neither “ending;” he didn’t link the flame or become the Dark Lord. He instead, as the game tells us, tried absolutely everything he could possibly think of in order to try and rid his land of the curse. He had become aware of the cycle, and aware of the fallacy of it all, plus he had become aware of the Queen’s ill intent (her wanting to spread the abyss/darkness). So if Vendrick isn’t going to perpetuate the cycle but wants to find another way to rid the curse, what does he do? Well, him and his older brother Aldia went to work…
  • Manor of Lord Aldia, the elder brother of King Vendrick and co-founder of Drangleic. Aldia became increasingly absorbed in his macabre experiments until finally Vendrick confined him to the manor, but the experiments continued.
Aldia and Vendrick were experimenting for a reason. At first, it wasn’t just because Aldia was a cruel and twisted individual – although, sadly, that’s where it ended up. The guide says that Vendrick tried more and more grotesque things over time in order to try and rid his land of the curse. What were they doing in the Manor? Making dragons.
emeraldherald
emeraldherald
emeraldherald

That petrified egg you find in the Dragon Shrine? It says “A large petrified egg. Surely bears no life. Eggs are vessels that harbor life itself, and symbolize the deepest secrets of existence. But what does a petrified egg harbor?” Maybe this egg was used by Aldia and Vendrick to give birth to the dragons. It took a long time for them to procreate and grow, but they’re flourishing now, and the Ancient Dragon at the top of the Shrine was possibly the first they had created. Afterall, the Shrine is accessed through Aldia’s, after defeating a guardian Drake. Or maybe that Shrine has been there from sometime before. Who knows? What we do know though is that, from those dragons they experimented with combinations of souls until they ended up making The Emerald Herald. You can see the failed incarnations of these experiments in the deep recesses of Sinner’s Rise in the form of… Enhanced Undead: “This deformed, unnatural creature must surely be the product of some serious misdeeds. Who created this monstrosity, and is it what they intended to make? It almost seems to be half-dragon, but, whatever it is, it has the mind of a hollow.” There are other failed experiments in The Gutter as well, but none as telling as the Enhanced Undead.

Born of dragons but contrived by humans…


queendrangleic
queendrangleic
queendrangleic

So what was the “prize” Vendrick stole from the Giants at the behest of the Queen? Well, it would have been something that would have furthered her agenda, and it’s something the Giants coveted deeply; something they were willing to sail across the seas and go to war to reclaim. Was it the petrified dragon egg? Or the mechanism for building The Throne of Want? Perhaps something to do with Lifedrain? We simply don’t know. Make note of the fact that King Vendrick’s soul and armor are kept in a locked room deep within the Shrine of Amana; a door you can only open if you are human and not hollowed. The soul and armor sit in a very human-sized chair, which is a stark contrast to the giant throne Vendrick sat upon, and the giant form he took. Whatever the “prize” was he stole from the giants; this “power of the giants he assumed for himself,” it seems to have forced him to forfeit both his human form and his soul, so he locked them away somewhere that the Queen would never find them. Why? What the hell was this prize? There are some items in the game with some interesting descriptions regarding the King:
  • King’s Ring: “A powerful soul is like a curse. And Vendrick, the King of Drangleic, used a powerful soul to keep the curse at bay. King Vendrick sought greater souls, and made the giants’ strength his own, but even still, the curse overcame him.”
  • Giant’s Kinship: “Each King has a rightful throne. And when he sits upon it, he sees what he chooses to see. Or perhaps, it is the throne, which shows the king only what he wants.”
  • Key to King’s Passage: “King Vendrick tried all manner of things to purge the curse that threatened the kingdom. But when every last attempt failed, the King fled through the King’s Passage.”
  • Seed of a Tree of Giants: “When the giants fell, they grew into giant trees. Death is not the end, for anything that has ever once lived remains a part of a great cycle of regeneration. But what of those outside the cycle?”
I think the description of the Seed of a Tree of Giants is fascinating. Maybe what he stole was something we are unaware of. Some people think he stole the Lordvessel though, and you know what? I’m not entirely opposed to that idea. I don’t think that would mean that Drangleic isn’t Lordran. The Lordvessel was initially kept in Anor Londo, behind many tests and trials, in order to weed out a worthy Chosen Undead. Maybe the last Chosen Undead put the Lordvessel across the sea to the north, protected by giants, to the same end. Maybe he hid it far away in a hope of breaking the cycle… maybe Vendrick isn’t the first to realize it. It would make sense that, if the Queen is Manus reincarnated, and Manus is the furtive Pygmy reincarnated, and Kaathe was a representative of the Pygmy, and Kaathe sent you after the Lordvessel, perhaps the Queen did too. However, I do have a theory behind the Lordvessel being broken in the basement of the manor in Majula though!
lordvessel
lordvessel
lordvessel

What purpose did the Lordvessel serve? Well, it held the Lord Souls, and when filled triggered the doors to open in Firelink Alter to The Kiln of the First Flame. It also opened the fog gates to the areas where the Lord Souls were by placing it at Firelink Shrine, a milestone that had to be reached for a Chosen Undead to be deemed worthy enough to proceed. Oh, and it let you warp between bonfires. I believe Vendrick shattered the Lordvessel partially out of defiance, partially to keep it out of the Queen’s hands, and to serve the purpose of empowering The Emerald Herald (who now has the ability to level you up with souls, something bonfires can no longer do). I believe he also made the King’s Doors and the King’s Ring with the Lordvessel, as the ring looks similar in both color and design. The King’s Door in Drangleic Castle is very similar to the Firelink Shrine door; you have to achieve a milestone in order to open it. The other doors protect other valuable clues to the story, and an item that is crucial to being able to open up the Throne of Want: The Giant Lord soul. That soul is not only powerful, but I think (since it isn’t present with other major souls in the current timeline – you have to obtain it from the memories) it is also the soul that empowered Vendrick and made him into a giant. So Vendrick, once he had the Throne, and the memories, and the means of opening the Throne hidden behind fortified, magical doors, he took the only other means of opening them – his ring – and stashed himself away deep within the crypts to forever deny The Queen access to The First Flame. It might not have been the Lordvessel that Vendrick stole from the giants, though. Whatever he stole allowed him to create the golems, so maybe The Queen led him to another piece of the Dark Soul. It’s all speculation for now. Whatever he took, it sure pissed the giants off something fierce though.
giants
giants
giants

  • About the giants: These aren’t the same giants you see in Dark Souls 1, like the giants in Sen’s Fortress or the Giant Blacksmith. Their anatomy isn’t the same. They are taller and lankier than the giants in DkS1, and although the giants from the first game wore those masks, they had more than enough of a gap to know that they didn’t have a giant, gaping hole in the front of their head. Also, it’s vaguely alluded to by Captain Drummond in the Memory of Vammar that these giants might be legion:
“Long ago, the King crossed the seas, pillaged the land of Giants, and brought back a “prize”. It was then that the golems materialized. The Giants are no ordinary barbarians. A singular rage burns within their hearts. My father, and his father both fought the Giants on this very land. The Giants have wills of steel. They cannot find it within themselves… To forgive the misdeeds of our lord.” Furthermore, the giants in Dark Souls 1 were obviously verbal, since you could talk to The Giant Blacksmith.

Let’s examine some other key players in DkS2.


demonironking
demonironking
demonironking

The Old Iron King: “A powerful but short-sighted king who exalted the virtue of might, the Old Iron King has been transformed into a DEMON. As his flesh burned away, his soul was possessed by the wicked things that lurk *below*. He possesses the soul of an ancient king from long ago (Gwyn) – a king who met with a similar fate when he reached into the flames.” This is one of the only mentions of demons in the entire game. The entire level is reminiscent of Old Izalith in a way, so it’s fitting. Who was this demon? Smelter Demon: “A mass of iron that has come to life, the Smelter Demon was responsible for the fall of the Iron King and his castle. From the depths of the earth he sprang, and incinerated the short-sighted king in a single blow. What other demons lie beneath these treacherous grounds?” Oh, what other demons you say? Perhaps that’s what happened then. Harvest Valley was a mining colony for the Iron King, and he obviously ruined that place. Maybe his greed drove him to dig so deeply around the Iron Keep that he actually uncovered Izalith itself. He, and his castle, sank into Old Izalith. Iron Keep: “High above the Earthen Peaks lies the remnants of this once mighty castle. This castle was made out of iron, and it was so immensely heavy that it sank into the ground. Well, that’s the rumor anyway. The Iron Keep did indeed sink, but you’ll have to search for the real cause of this magnificent fortresses’ downfall.” From the item description of Smelter Demon Set: “The Old Iron King was possessed of a great bounty of ore, but was incinerated by a creature that rose from the infernal depths of the earth.” Yeah. I’m going with it sank into Old Izalith.

Speaking of Harvest Valley, you find the Sunlight Alter there, and The Sunlight Alter looks exactly the same. Exactly!



sunlighdks1
sunlighdks1

sunlighdks1

sunlight22
sunlight22

sunlight22

sunlight33
sunlight33

sunlight33

The statue is identical. The way the broken pieces are arranged, and how they are broken is identical. The parapet behind the statue is identical, with the exact same brick spacing and gaps. This is the exact Sunlight Alter from DkS1. Plus, Harvest Valley is an excavation site, where mining took place for The Old Iron King. Looking for what though? Perhaps the LordVessel? You think maybe that is where it actually came from? Who knows…?

Other Connections.


firekeepers
firekeepers
firekeepers

The Firekeepers are all gathered in Things Betwixt, in that little cabin, with their caregiver. They obviously know who you are when you enter (The Chosen Undead), what you represent, and they are very aware of the cycle. The caregiver tells you that there used to be 4 sisters, but there are only 3 of them in the cabin. Whatever happened to the fourth, I wonder…?
astorafirekeeper
astorafirekeeper
astorafirekeeper

Dark Spirit the Forlorn Sister: Anastacia of Astora invades you as Dark Spirit Forlorn Sister (forlorn sister to the other 3 Firekeepers) in The Pit below Fireli… er, Majula. When you beat her she drops The Dingy armor set and the Blood Stained Skirt. “An unassuming dingy armor. Although by now grey with soot and nearly unraveled, its fabric was originally a pure white.” Ornifix is a “Crow Demon” from The Painted World of Ariamis , and as mentioned before, uses a technique passed down from Seath in the same location where Seath would have lived, which is close to the painting in Anor Londo where you encountered the crow demons. Both Homing Crystal Soulmass and Crystal Soul Spear: “said to have been devised by a master sorcerer, but his name is long forgotten (Big Hat Logan).” The former is found in the Shaded Woods and acquired from Weaponsmith Ornifex in Brightcove, which used to be Duke’s Archives, where Big Hat Logan went hollow. Shaded Woods: “A mist-shrouded forest connecting the village of Majula to several other important locations including the Shrine of Winter and Aldia’s Keep, The Shaded Woods occupy an ancient territory where great misdeeds were once committed; the remnants of a dark history can be seen among the crumbling ruins and unnaturally thick fog.” Could this be what remains of Oolacile , far into the future? Lion Clan Warrior: “A species of anthropomorphic lions whose sudden appearance on the stage of history suggests that they are not of natural origin.” The Mad Warrior Set: Looks like the Eastern Armor from Dark Souls, which was found on a dead body in Darkroot Garden, and said “a distinctive armor made in an Eastern land.” In DkS2, the Mad Warrior set says “King Vendrick called upon powers from beyond his borders in an attempt to stave off the curse. Perhaps this belonged to one of his guests.” Moon Butterfly Set directly references the Moonlight Butterfly in the official guide.

Connections with dragons


blackdragon
blackdragon
blackdragon

Black Dragon Shield: “A shield that appears in ancient legends. Strangely shaped, and said to be crafted from the talons of a black dragon (Black Dragon Kalameet undoubtedly). The legend of the pale dragon is told in various locales, but each account is fragmentary. Very rarely is the black dragon mentioned…” Black Dragon Greatsword: “In legend, this oddly shaped straight sword is said to be forged from the black dragon’s tail. As it is told, the black dragon lost its tail to a brave warrior in a magnificent battle, and the tail was later used to forget several legendary weapons. (Obsidian Greatsword from Dark Souls – made from Kalameet’s tail).” The Dragon Head Stone is in the game. Sublime Bone Dust , as previously discussed, references someone who at some time threw themselves into the flame to kindle it. That could mean Gwyn, Soliare, the Chosen Undead from DkS1, or any other chosen undead. I think that each Sublime Bone Dust is from a different kindler, instead of all being from the same one, meaning the First Flame would have been here all along. Cromwell the Pardoner and Oswald of Carim are dressed exactly the same, and serve precisely the same function, so therefore presumably both serve Velka. Bell Keeper Set: “Belonged to a Bell Keeper. To this day, the forbidden love of the Prince of Alken and the Princess of Venn manipulates these marionettes. Surely they never imaged their own dolls would outlast their own kingdom.” (Obviously the bell towers are not representative of Gwynevere and Flamm, as some have suggested). Lindelt still exists and is referenced. The Lindelt Nameless Usurper is Lucia , the miracle con artist.
mirror
mirror
mirror

Let’s examine some other item descriptions now.


DkS1 Black Knight Halberd: “Halberd of the black knights who wander Lordran. Used to face chaos demons. The large motion that puts the weight of the body into the attack reflects the great size of their adversaries long ago.” DkS2 BK Halberd: “Halberd wielded by knights who served a lord of light in a long-forgotten age. Even after their flesh was charred by flame, they remained as strong as ever, and stood watch, challenging visitors to their land.” DkS2 Divine Blessing: “Holy water endowed with a divine blessing. Cures status effects and fully restores HP. Water blessed by an ancient goddess. Her name is long forgotten, and the Magic Academy of Melfia denies even her existence. In any age, there are those who refuse to see reason. It is their meddling that distorts the truth.” DkS1 Divine Blessing: “Holy water from Goddess Gwynevere. Fully restores HP and undo irregularities. The Goddess of Sunlight, Gwynevere, daughter of the great Lord of Sunlight Gwyn, is cherished by all as the symbol of bounty and fertility.” DkS2 Ring of Steel Protection: “Wearer gains the protection of steel. Increases physical defense. Said to be the ring of the once legendary Knight King, though his tales are long forgotten, and even the greatly wizened have no recollection of his exploits.” DkS1 Ring of Steel Protection: “This ring belonged to the Knight King Rendal. It grants its wearer protection by boosting defence against physical attacks. Of the many legends surrounding the Knight King Rendal, one of the more well-known speaks of his standing down a giant drake and slashing it to pieces.” DkS2 Old Leo Ring: “The beloved ring of a dragon-slaying knight. Strengthens thrust weapon counter attacks. After many years of use, the ring’s face has worn down, but close inspection reveals an engraved lion.” DkS1 Leo Ring: “One of the special rings granted to the four knights of Gwyn. The Leo Ring belonged to Ornstein the Dragonslayer. This ring strengthens counters with pierce weapons. His lugged spear is said to have sliced a boulder in two.” DkS2 Lingering Dragoncrest Ring: “A ring used long, long ago in a lang that existed where Drangleic does now. Extends length of spell effect. Presumably this ring was used by a high sorcerer, but no proof of such remains.” DkS1 Lingering Dragoncrest Ring: “A special ring granted to only the most accomplished sorcerers at Vinheim Dragon School. The ring is engraved with a lingering dragon, and boosts the length of the effects of sorceries.” DkS2 Covetous Gold Serpent Ring: “A gold ring depicting the snake, both the servant and the manifestation of the god of desire, Zinder. Greed is traditionally viewed as a vice, but only a coward sees every chance as something to fear.” DkS1 Covetous Gold Serpent Ring: “The serpent is an imperfect dragon and symbol of the Undead. Its habit of devouring prey even larger than itself has led to an association of gluttony. This gold ring, engraved with the serpent, boosts its wearer’s item discovery, so that more items can be amassed.” DkS2 Covetous Silver Serpent Ring: “A silver ring depicting the snake, both the servant and the manifestation of the god of greed, Zandroe. Greed is traditionally viewed as a vice, but only a fool allows that to ruin a good opportunity.” DkS1 Covetous Silver Serpent Ring: “The serpent is an imperfect dragon and symbol of the Undead. Its habit of devouring prey even larger than itself has led to an association of gluttony. This silver ring, engraved with the serpent, rewards its wearer with additional souls for each kill.” DkS2 Ring of the Evil Eye: “A modest, but inexplicably disturbing ring. Absorb HP for each enemy defeated. Peer too closely at the rare stone that forms the eye of this ring, and things that writhe and stir may come into focus.” DkS1 Ring of the Evil Eye: “According to legend, this ring contains the spirit of the evil eye, a dark beast which assaulted Astora. The strength of the evil eye does not waver, and HP is absorbed from fallen enemies.” DkS2 Hawk Ring: “A ring graced with the engraving of a hawk. Extends the range of arrows. Blue-eyed Durgo, the nomadic bowman, had many a valiant victory in battle, half owing to the boon of this ring.” DkS1 Hawk Ring: “One of the special rings granted to the four knights of Gwyn. The Hawk Ring belonged to Hawkeye Gough, who led the Greatarchers. Boosts bow range, so that arrows fly like they were shot by Gough’s great bow, which took down high-flying dragons.”
majulaswords
majulaswords
majulaswords

So this leads us into the more speculative part of this article, but I think these speculations (in addition to all of the aforementioned evidence) really helps to solidify this argument.


You find all of these items in both games… the exact items. The exact items, and the exact 4 Lord Souls. You even find the wood carvings that Hawkeye Gough was making. In fact, there is so much that is exactly the same that I find the argument that all of this stuff somehow simultaneously and coincidentally migrated to another continent to be laughable.

Occam’s razor, people: Among competing hypotheses, the hypothesis with the fewest assumptions should be selected; if there are multiple possible explanations for an event or result, the simplest is almost always correct.

  • The simplest explanation is that Drangleic is Lordran.
Majula is the primary hub with the central bonfire. Many NPCs talk about how people are inexplicably “drawn” there, just like people are drawn to Firelink. There is a well in Majula. There is a well in Firelink. What’s directly below Firelink, and slightly offset? Blighttown. What’s directly below Majula and slightly offset? The Gutter. Are you going to tell me that The Shrine of Amana (music and all) isn’t suspiciously similar to Ash Lake? Pfft. They’re only leaving out the damned hydra. You find Havel the Rock’s armor and his weapon, The Dragon Tooth, in the game. Havel also appears later on as a black phantom. I know there’s more. I was noticing little things my entire first play-through, and I honestly should have taken better notes earlier on. I think it’s obvious though that Drangleic is Lordran, and that the land is cursed just as much as your character. The cycle will always repeat, for even if it’s stopped in one existence, it will persist in another. So here we are, at the end of Dark Souls 2, perpetuating the same cycle with what is essentially a non-choice. Here we sit, upon the Throne of Want, in the Kiln of the First Flame.

“You, who link the fire, you, who bear the curse… Once the fire is linked, souls will flourish anew, and all of this will play out again. It is your choice… To embrace, or renounce this… Great sovereign, take your throne. What lies ahead, only you can see.


Each king has his rightful throne, and when he sits upon it, he sees what he chooses to see. Or perhaps, it is the throne which shows the king only what he wants.”


Welcome back to Lordran. Welcome to Drangleic. Welcome to Dark Souls.

finalgiantshotforest
finalgiantshotforest
finalgiantshotforest

Addendum: Thank you to all the Lore contributors I credited above, and everyone else who has taken the time to post speculations and observations on my original post on reddit about DkS2 lore. Thank you for all the comments. You are why I did this. I have loved the DkS/DeS community since I got Demon’s Souls at launch, and digging deep into lore and speculation is one major facet to why these games are so extraordinary. And thank you for taking the time to read my post. I put an extraordinary amount of time and effort into doing this. I deeply appreciate you taking the time to examine the details.

Be sure and follow J.C. Wigriff on Facebook and Twitter.

Edit: Some comparison pictures from redditor SunlightMaggot –

ELEVATOR
ELEVATOR

ELEVATOR

QUEELAG
QUEELAG

QUEELAG

STATUES
STATUES

STATUES

Article originally published on 20 March 2014 at www.JCWigriff.com


Lore Analysis on Time & Space in Dark Souls II


Part 1

Iron Keep: A Castle in the Clouds?

By skarekrow13

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Let’s transition to the end of this discussion. No.

Iron Keep is not a castle in the clouds. And likely you owe From an apology for laughing at their elevator “mistake.” At least that’s what I’m about to try to convince you of. This article is me presenting the evidence I’ve been collecting over the last couple months of playing Dark Souls II. It lead me to the conclusion that the Iron Keep location and elevator ride are not mistakes at all. Rather, they’re likely clues made to illustrate world concepts. I’ll warn you that this is likely going to be a long read as it is. For the purposes of not making you pull out your hair or yell at me through the screen (won’t work, my speakers are off), I’ll point out that I will be doing a follow up article to go over the world concepts that the Iron Keep elevator may be trying to point us toward. For now I only intend to provide compelling evidence that this design choice was intentional.
And Emergence gets a shout out for being a sounding board for me while I conducted much of the research. He survived many’a text wall. Thankee sai!


A Little Story ‘Bout Me
For five years, ending last September, I was an investigator. I want to share a life lesson from that period of my existence. Being objective in that role is the foremost skill necessary to be successful. However, humans are flawed and biased creatures. We never truly enter into something objectively. A lifetime of baggage and expectations follows us all. So how then do we reach objectivity? It’s simple in concept. What I learned in that time is that true objectivity is merely the ability to allow yourself to be proven wrong. For example, I was handed an incident where a gentleman with known psychosis and auditory hallucinations reported something that seemed consistent with earlier psychotic episodes. I felt that I could start my report with the conclusion. But after looking at the evidence I was wrong. Very wrong. And that’s OK.
This definition of objectivity is what I ask of you the reader and what I promise in return. If you like the lore and concepts of Dark Souls (I and II) then you will enjoy this regardless I hope. But from being involved with the community as I am, I know that many of you reading this are already of the mindset that From ed up royally when they designed that elevator. What I ask is that you allow yourself to be proven wrong. What I promise is that I will listen to any counterarguments you want to bring, and will change my mind if the evidence you have outweighs the evidence below.

The Iron Keep Elevator
I’m guessing you noticed that, by making “The Iron Keep Elevator” a heading about 3-4 seconds ago that it’s only a piece of the puzzle. You’re right. It is only a piece of the puzzle. I told you this was gonna be a long one.
Let’s start with the “mistake” most people are familiar with. When going from Earthen Peak to Iron Keep after defeating Mytha, it was noticed early on that we ride an elevator up. Yet Earthen Peak is a tower like structure and Iron Keep is a castle sinking into a large bed of lava. In other words, way to make a much larger piece of geography/architecture just kinda sitting on top of a tower From. I saw comments that suggested that the elevator should go DOWN and that was the mistake. Except that makes even less sense than up if you can believe it.
And going up doesn’t make sense. Let’s just admit that right now and get it out of the way. Iron Keep is not visible above Earthen Peak. There is no large bed of lava on or around Earthen Peak. The elevator is not far enough up to make Iron Keep a castle in the clouds (plus there’s no elevator visible above it). And if Iron Keep were above the clouds it’d actually be between layers of clouds. Take a look around, Iron Keep is surrounded by sky and cloud formations tinted red from the lava. So yes. Up is absolutely not right.
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Ded (remember I name all my characters that?) is not only sexy as all get out, he serves as a nice benchmark. At knee level, you might be able to see the small balcony in Earthen Peak. It’s the one with the corpse, right before the short stairwell to Mytha. So…at about waist level on Ded and above…we never get to explore.
But think about down. How long would that elevator ride be to get to a location underground that has it’s own atmosphere/sky? While we’re talking about how long the elevator ride lasts, let’s talk architecture. I won’t bore you with how I know this (yes I will), but Mytha’s room is only a little bit more than halfway up Earthen Peak. The elevator ride isn’t very long. My best guess is that the elevator would only reach the top of Earthen Peak. So you can forget about clouds or underground kingdoms.
So where the hell is this place anyway? Take a look at your map (if you ordered the Collector’s Edition) or track the map in the Majula Mansion with the little fires. That will show you where Iron Keep is. I believe it’s what we’d call “Southeast” of Earthen Peak (I made it easy for ya, look at the bottom of this article).
In other words, the only elevator that COULD get you from one place to the other would be a Great Glass one. And no, the Bell Keepers aren’t murderous Oompa Loompas in lederhosen. There is no elevator in Drangleic that could connect the two (maybe there is, wait until the next article).


Majula, Oddly Distant
I need to confess. My theories (next article you rascal) came before I looked into the “mistakes” made by From. When the Iron Keep thing was brought up I chuckled thinking that From might have finally given me evidence to support something I suspected since Dark Souls. I figured I would need to look hard to find more evidence and never thought I’d find enough to write this article. My theory was not to be shared in all likelihood.
And then I was hanging out in Heide’s one day and saw Majula.
“Holy shit!” I thought, that seems REALLY far away. “Isn’t it like a 40 second walk?” Well yeah, it is a very short walk through that tunnel. So I looked into it more.
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Top right, Majula. Bottom left, building we pop out of in Heide’s for the first time. Now then…how the hell did we get here again?
First things first, I warped back to Majula (to the stone pillar Saulden rests at, which is what I had seen from Heide’s) and took out my binoculars (these were used a lot). Sure enough, you can see Heide’s and the Cathedral of Blue clear as day. Just way, way, waaaaaaaaaay too far away to make any sense. Then there’s the matter of the tunnel we use to get there. Not only is it not far enough of a walk to make sense, it doesn’t seem to me to go far enough down to reach (spoiler alert) BELOW the water. Why does it need to go below the water, you say? The building we come out of in Heide’s is not even close to the cliffs. In short, since there’s no connected walk between the cliffs and the building in Heide’s there should be a sub-aquatic walkway we can’t see. It appears we walk into an arch cut into the rocks in Majula and seamlessly exit out a building in Heide’s. Except we have a whole lot of rock we should need to tunnel through to reach the water line. Then a sub-aquatic walkway from the cliff to the building in Heide’s. All in all a long trek that requires several drastic elevation changes. None of which happen how they should. I don’t mean to say there is a sub-aquatic tunnel by the way. I’m merely pointing out that it’s the only possible option to actually walk from Majula to Heide’s.
Surely the Forest of Fallen Giants walk is accurate though right? Probably not. Leaving Majula we should hug the coast. The ruins that became the Forest of Fallen Giants is on the water (gorgeous view from the Pursuer fight). So that seems accurate. Now go back to the stone by Saulden and look along the coast. There’s absolutely no sign of the ruins anywhere that resembles the short distance we actually walk. There is however a suspicious looking (see the shifty eyes?) castle like structure exceedingly far off in the distance on the coast. It’s my belief that it’s supposed to be the Forest of Fallen Giants. But again, far too far away to be where we walked too.
But where else can we walk to that should be right there? Huntsman’s Copse is not that far of a walk. More importantly, Undead Purgatory is elevated quite a bit and is a monstrous structure. I can’t find evidence of either location from Majula. Nor can I see Majula from either location.
The trash disposal pit by the Mansion leading to the Grave of Saints and Gutter/Black Gulch might be correct as far as distance etc. It’s just weird to have something like this hanging out like it is. I have something with this area you’ll see in the next article regarding theories.
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From the monolith in Majula. Not only do we walk farther than expected, we perform a water walking miracle as well.

Heide’s/Wharf/Bastille/Sinner’s Rise
Remember the need for a sub-aquatic tunnel to go from Majula to Heide’s? It should have a sibling. We ride an elevator down from the second bonfire in Heide’s (which is in the actual lighthouse as a fun fact) and then move somewhat laterally and end up in a cave leading to No Man’s Wharf. We can surmise that the lower portion of these structures are at water level or thereabout as there’s some flooding. In addition, we have had no elevation change that’s significant from the transition from building to cave (Heide’s to Wharf). The Wharf is obviously also right about at water level (since we can see the water level and all). But take a look outside again while you’re in Heide’s. The building we descend into is not even close to the cliffs on the other side. The distances are again wrong. But more importantly, if the lowest we ever reached was about water level (and that’s the floor) the rest of the structure should be visible above the water. There should be a tunnel from building to cliffs (again). I’ll save you some time. There isn’t one. So yet again the distances are wrong and required passages don’t exist. We haven’t even gotten our first soul of an Old One yet and we’re already seeing a pattern.
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This mostly unremarkable picture was taken on the bridge from the Bastille to Sinner’s Rise. The entrance seen below is where we come out after the first bonfire. This is mostly in line with the opening below where we get off the boat. The boat should be roughly below me, and the tower behind me extends all the way to the water. But can’t be seen from the docks.
Here’s where your ability to picture my crazy ramblings will need to be top notch. We’ve left the Wharf by boat and arrive at the base of the Bastille. We see a tunnel ahead and the boat is behind. Roughly at our back is the moon. The tunnel curves only slightly meaning even as we come inside our back is still approximately to the boat and the moon. We enter an elevator and must turn around 180º. The moon and boat are in front of us now. We go up. The stairs ahead go straight…um…ahead. The moon should still be in front of us as we come up. Yay! It’s right there! Sweet. Except there’s also the matter of a very large tower right in front of us. A tower that extends all the way to the water. Yeah, you guessed it, the same water the boat below should occupy. Can we see the boat below? Lol, nooooooo. Is the tower visible from the docks below? Ha ha. Nice try. You CAN see some of the walkway of the Bastille from the dock. It SHOULD be the same walk that you come out on. It probably is. It should probably connect to things better though. Like the cliff face. Or the rest of the Bastille that hugs the cliff to the left of where you come out.
To make matters worse (far, faaaaaar worse), that large tower that the boat should have crashed into is the one that has the elevator down to Sinner’s Rise. If you go down that elevator you’ll notice that the entire location is actually inside an area much like No Man’s Wharf. Except that from the top of that tower none of that is happening. Again, something occurred in that transition that doesn’t match what we can observe from other angles.
It’s starting to seem like elevators and tunnels don’t play nice with a thing called “reality.”

The Rest of the “Mistakes”
(some of them anyway)
How far up do we walk from Majula to Huntsman’s Copse? Not far enough I reckon. Take a look around while you’re basking in the nighttime wood. A sprawling forest is below that stretches as far as the eye can see. It’s very far below though. As in, “way too far below to match the elevation we climbed.” And we haven’t walked that far from the coast have we? Why can’t we see that? Did we get turned around and the coast is on the other side of the mountains? That could be. But then we should be able to see the mountains from Majula and the forest that stretches away endlessly would take the place of Drangleic Castle or something like that. So wait…another area in which we’ve seemingly traveled a far greater distance than what we physically walked? Yup
Speaking of sightlines, there’s no objective reason that I can’t see the Undead Purgatory or any of the Copse from the Earthen Peak balconies. So why can’t I then?
Admittedly, some transitions are hard to gauge. Remember that word from here on out. “Transition” is going to be a major “thing” next time.
Majula to Shaded Woods/Ruins? Who knows, we cut into rock pretty quick (meaning sight lines suck) and you can see a lot of structures from Majula. I’m on the fence about that one. Go take a look and tell me what you think. Personally I can’t find anything blatantly off with distances pretty much all the way to Tseldora. And in Tseldora we’ve clearly had a large slab of rock cutting off our line of sight. So these transitions might be a wash.
Castle Drangleic is clearly wrong though. After going through the Shrine of Winter you can see the castle in the distance. On top of a mountain basically. One we never ascend. We pop out of the tunnel (more on the tunnel next time) and traverse a fairly small increase in elevation before coming to the castle (aka, “nowhere near high enough to be accurate”). Leaving the castle does’t get much better…
From the Mirror Knight arena you can actually see the lowest point of the elevator from the top. So the distance down is observable and able to be estimated. Now go take a peek off the side. There’s an even greater distance down (strongly supported by the earlier evidence of the castle being up the mountain). So problem “A” is that the distances don’t appear to match. Then problem “B” is that the Shrine of Amana is a vast location. It is covered by a combination of roots and open air as a sort of ceiling to the area. So why then would the view from the castle show a narrowing set of cliff faces that only lead to more rock? Yet again an elevator has screwed with Drangleic.
We’ve established that the Iron Keep isn’t a castle in the clouds, but that doesn’t mean things are less wacky when they did make a castle in the clouds. I’m talking about the Dragon Shrine of course. I haven’t seen anyone question the elevator here. Of course you should go up. You should just go a whole lot MORE up. Look around from the base. The clouds are far above. The pillars extending up in the distance have no visible structures on top of them. These pillars aren’t remotely near your location either. Yet, while looking out the windows on the ride up there’s a point where you see yourself still below the clouds, then no windows, then suddenly we’re above the clouds. The pillars now have structures on top (called the Dragon Aerie and Dragon Shrine) and most importantly there’s a cluster of them supporting the walkways needed to reach the shrine. This cluster of pillars is right near you. There is zero mirroring of the geography observed at the base except that both have the rising formations (just wildly different interpretations of them).

Intent
I told you I would try to convince you that the Iron Keep “mistake” was intentional. This section is short and hinges on three ideas.
First, if it were one or two “mistakes” only, the evidence would support a couple lapses in judgment. Or major miscues in the world design people communicating with the level design people. But it’s not a couple errors. It’s just about every transition between locations. Most “point A to point B” scenarios in this game simply don’t make sense with the geography.
Secondly, if it were “lazy game design” like I’ve heard, they could have gone the laziest route possible and reverted the game to the Archstone system of Demon’s Souls. There’s no reason to show me Heide’s from Majula. Just throw the place in a dark cave or Nexus and have me teleport there. I can also reasonably tell you that they ABSOLUTELY wanted me to see Heide’s from Majula. I’d have to be pretty confident to use the word “absolutely” in all caps. Take this into account, when at the second bonfire in Heide’s looking toward the tower to the elevator leading to the Wharf, there are partially submerged buildings on the right hand side in the water. They’re inaccessible scenery. They are not visible from Majula however (and this likely is a mistake). What this means, as far as I can surmise, is that the Heide’s we play in is not the same thing as the one we see from Majula. One is a level, the other is akin to painted scenery.
Which brings me to my most compelling argument for intent. They mapped the world out for us and even handed it to us as a literal, physical gift with the collector’s edition. They remembered to make the in game map in the Majula Mansion match it. They made the geography match in the eyes of the binoculars. At every step of the way, they show us a world design and have it match. Except for these wacky transition areas. Whatever could it all mean?

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I’ve highlighted the big two on the collector’s edition “sweet ass cloth map.” Earthen Peak is in green and Iron Keep is red. I suppose those symbols could be different windmills and bull heads but I’ll stick with my theory.


Part 2

By skarekrow13
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    external image Sketch183223716-1-300x152.jpg
    Last time I asked you to remain objective and even gave you a nice definition to illustrate what I meant. Then I tried to convince you that the wacky elevator from Earthen Peak to Iron Keep was intentional (as well as a thousand other wacky transitions). Maybe I convinced you, maybe I didn’t.
  • I made a promise that I would talk about game and world concepts that these “mistakes” or “transitions” might serve as clues for. I’ve narrowed it down to three personal favorites that fit the in game concepts we’re overtly told. They’re all similar in many ways and I’ll just put it out there that they’re not mutually exclusive either. The first two concepts are ones I’ve felt might be true since Dark Souls. The last theory is one that only popped into my head thanks to Dark Souls II. I’ll also dabble at the end with why this would be used for storytelling purposes (which is similar to game design). I’ll use various locations and references to illustrate concepts, but keep in mind that this the opinion part of this whole deal. While I’m convinced that the transitions are purposely wacky, there’s every possibility that none of these are right (or even close). This is for fun and discussion only.

Spatial Distortion
(aka “Twilight Zone” mechanic)
This particular theory is the one I’ve felt most strongly about since the first Dark Souls. In this concept, there is an actual elevator that does in fact go from Earthen Peak to Iron Keep. We may travel a distance of a few hundred feet or so, but the ground covered is miles and miles (as the Iron Keep is actually to the Southeast of the Earthen Peak remember, not a short distance up). How does this occur? We are told from the get go in the Souls games that time is distorted. I’ve always equated the timeline of a chosen undead to be less of a straight line than it is a squiggly vortex looking thing. Now toss a ton of those squiggly vortex things at each other and the occasional times they cross would be known as “invasions” or “cooperative online play.”
What would happen if SPACE was distorted in a similar manner? Where a straight line walk over mountains (ha ha, right) from one location to another could be circumvented under the right scenario. For instance, an out of place elevator. If we imagine the distance from Earthen Peak to Iron Keep as a spiraling vortex and not “as the (skare)krow flies,” ask yourself this: Would it make more sense to walk the whole spiral or to just use an elevator to cut out all but the beginning and end of that trip?
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Maybe this will help… In a normal world, the two red spots are connected by a straight line. In a distorted world, they’re more like the spiral as you travel. Rather than walk the blue line, the elevator (in this concept) would make a shortcut between the red points. Make sense? God I hope so…
I call this the “Twilight Zone” mechanic because it’s something that’s seen in various episodes of that series. The protagonist is walking/driving/hanging out in an ordinary fashion. At some point they realize that they’re no longer in the world they thought they should be. While the actual walk/distance covered was unremarkable in most instances, a significant distance (or time, or dimension) has been covered. You’d never know you traveled a hundred miles, because you only walked a hundred feet. By the way, “a hundred miles” is gonna come up a lot. It’s an arbitrary distance I picked because I think it sounds like it’d be a long walk over and over again.
I said this was a theory since Dark Souls so let’s use an example from there. We’ve just entered a small building and are faced with two choices. We can cross the bridge to Sen’s or continue to go down the stairs, past the Smithy and into the forest. If we cross the bridge to Sen’s we are greeted with sunlight. If we go down the stairs we are faced with night. This difference is exacerbated by the fact that you can see some of Darkroot Forest from the bridge to Sen’s. Yet this time of day difference exists. But wait Skare, Darkroot is dark because of all the trees blocking the sunlight or something right? Go take a trip to the top of the Moonlight Butterfly tower and let me know about that. Above the trees, Darkroot is still nighttime. Or the clearing where we fight Sif. Still nighttime. Or when we pop out of the tower from Undead Burg to the Basin where trees are more sparse. We still go from day immediately to nighttime. Admittedly, this is possibly attributable to time distortion. As we step into the new area we are suddenly whisked into a different time of day. So it wasn’t just this that provided me with the initial theory. It is however, evidence of transition zones, which is an important idea for all these concepts. Why I’ve felt strongly about spatial distortion (and not just time distortion) is because that, just like in Dark Souls II, the distances traveled don’t always make sense. A hop, skip or jump (not even all three are necessary) are enough to bring us from New Londo, to Undead Burg, to Anor Londo. Three fairly large geographic areas and hubs of civilization should never be close enough to simply walk to. Undead Burg and Anor Londo are possibly sort of logical. The Burg is part of the larger castle complex, but it’s still a suspiciously crowded kingdom if you ask me. The primary difference between games being the first one shows the world as “mashed together” and the second chooses to show you an impossible distance traversed.
Getting back to Dark Souls II, this explains certain missing elements, like the sub-aquatic tunnels running around Heide’s (to Majula and the Wharf). There’s no tunnel under the water because the short tunnel we started in used the Twilight Zone phenomena to travel to where we needed to be. Same as the Sinner’s Rise tower not having a crashed boat in it. The bridge to the tower exists, but it brings us to a less than literal translation of what’s visually there. I use Twilight Zone not in a deus ex machina way to explain laziness in game design (because I know that will come up) but more of fate. In the TV show, a reoccurring theme is balance. People go where they’re supposed to be, because they need to be there. The old farmer finds himself on the road to heaven with his dog, because the dog is the key to him not being tempted by the side road to hell. The pioneer finds himself in the same spot geographically but in the future, because it’s the only place to get the medicine for his sick son. We enter an elevator in Earthen Peak and come out far away in Iron Keep because it’s our fate. Just as it’s our fate to transcend time and dimensions to help or hinder others in their world.
I said last time that the well in Majula was suspicious. Lots of things are to be fair. While looking for evidence for this and the theories below, I came across some “anomalies” that lend some weight (not proof, just weight) to this theory. Specifically is the idea of a “blended” location. In other words, one that jams together elements of multiple areas or locations where things don’t add up to either necessarily. I’ll illustrate…
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The gray bricks on the right represent standard Earthen Peak architecture. The elevator seems a little out of place. It’s not any better up top
In Majula at the top of the well/pit, there are statues that are also found below. While this is explained by the given fact that this pit was used to discard Drangleic’s trash, what makes this an anomaly is the fact that there are still statues at the top. This is the equivalent of a sliced cheese wrapper on the counter about six inches from the garbage can. I won’t name names, but I know one person in my life who used to do just that. However, for most people, if you’re that close to the garbage can, you finish the job. While it’s not conclusive, it’s possible these statues weren’t “thrown away” by From to indicate the “blending” of two environments. Before it comes up in comments I know those statues also appear elsewhere in the game. This adds a wrinkle for sure but doesn’t add much evidence on either side from what I can tell. I look at these anomalies as sort of like a geographic collision in which the two areas merge a little. Further possible evidence of this brings us back to our elevator (since ka is a wheel). From an architectural standpoint it doesn’t cleanly match either location. The brickwork is similar to both but is cosmetically in line with neither.
Time Distortion
(aka “Mechanic we are explicitly told exists, taken to new levels”)
This one is similar to above, with the exception that a hundred miles still requires you to travel a hundred miles. We (player or character) just don’t have to sit through it. This one is the “cleaner” theory as far as mechanics go, but doesn’t necessarily explain some anomalies as noted above. This one is much easier to illustrate. There’s an actual elevator in Earthen Peak, it actually goes up. It just doesn’t actually connect to Iron Keep. As I mentioned last time, I estimate that it would likely only reach the top of Earthen Peak.
So what happened then? Under this theory, the Chosen Undead rides up the elevator and finds…something. Who knows what? Then they leave Earthen Peak and travel to Iron Keep. Who knows how? Who knows which road was taken? Who knows what occurred on the way? Because time skipped forward for the Chosen Undead. This concept uses Time Distortion as the directly stated primary world concept in Dark Souls. Rather than explaining how we only briefly exist within each other’s worlds though, it’s more like a an implied scene in a movie. We don’t need to see what type of peanuts Indiana Jones ate on the flight or how long his nap was. Instead, they show us a map that means “look, he’s traveling!” with a little airplane moving and making neat lines. This is the same idea. Rather than show us every step of our hundred mile walk, we get an airplane traveling over a map. It just so happens that it looks more like an elevator in Dark Souls II. It’s notable that the Chosen Undead would likely also not experience the trip itself as time is skipping for the character as well. Futurama illustrates this with the chronitons/Globetrotters episode. After tearing reality a new one, the characters find themselves skipping forward into time. While there are events that occurred between the skips, which it’s implied the characters took part in, the cast is unaware of even their own actions in the time lost between the skips.
The biggest flaw with this theory is the geographic anomalies. If time is distorted and we’ve just skipped over a scene, then it’s implied that the locations are all taken on faith to be “as is.” Instead of seeing the top of Earthen Peak, we skip ahead to Iron Keep. Instead of seeing the whole tunnel to Heide’s (because it’s a lot of rock and water to cover) we just pop out of the building we need to. But like I said, the geography of some of these would then need further explanation. I’ll go back to Heide’s. Skipping ahead is fine and dandy, but at some point, we need to get into that little building at the beginning. At some point, we walked through the rock from Majula. Skipping ahead doesn’t explain how that’s possible. With Earthen to Iron, we just have to assume that we left the Peak and walked to the Keep. But Heide’s adds the wrinkle of a water crossing. To get to that building we’d need to reach it by boat or sub-aquatic tunnel. There’s no evidence of a boat. Or space to come out of the cliff face for that matter, so we’re left with that tunnel under the waves. This is certainly possible as we can see pretty direct evidence of mass flooding but it does take a little (lot) more thought to explain away.
Memory Loss
(aka “the Lucatiel hypothesis”)
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Two things to note. The camera is angled up and at chin level it’s rock, not castle. Note my claim last article that the castle is quite elevated. For purposes of this article, notice the lack of thunderstorms around the castle
This last concept again shares some features with the other ones and arose after meeting the wonderful NPCs of Dark Souls II. For visualizing, this is most similar to the Time Distortion theory, with the notable exception that the Chosen Undead not only does travel the hundred miles, but experiences the hundred miles to it’s fullest, rather than skipping ahead. They just might forget about it. In this concept, the character has indeed walked the hundred miles (likely repeatedly based on the land of Drangleic and implied locations/distances) but has lost all memory of their travels except for what we play in the game. So just like above, we remember beating Mytha and going up the elevator. And then we forget everything that occurred until we reach Iron Keep. Due to the memory loss it seems like a seamless transition between areas. In game, this concept has the added benefit of implying that memory loss is a symptom of the curse.
Lucatiel begins to forget most of her existence and by the end has lost almost everything. She takes a minute to recognize us at Aldia’s. Maughlin brags that’s he rich enough to not worry about going home. Good thing too, since he’s forgotten where home is. Chloanne can’t connect the dots to recognize her father. We see evidence of the curse taking away the memories of Drangleic all over the place. Should our character be immune to this? Can these anomalies I’ve discussed be chalked up to “I seem to have forgotten how I got here?” Speaking of that, does ANYONE recall how they arrived in Drangleic besides some vague walk into a whirlpool?
Memory loss even meshes with the above concepts quite well. If we have been actually traveling across kingdoms on foot, there’s no telling how old we really are. It’s been surmised before that the curse is the inability to die. The real life cost of old age is often our past. We may be cursed simply by facing the ravages of extreme old age. Where entire chapters of our life are simply erased from memory. Would the first chapters to leave the book be the “boring” ones? The walk from Peak to Keep for instance.
This concept can even account for geographic anomalies depending on how far you want to take it. I could argue that, if the reason some things are missing or weird are because we’re losing our memory, then the entire game is memories. Maybe that’s why Darkroot is always at night. Because that’s when we were there. Or that’s what we remember best. There’s no sub-aquatic tunnel to Heide’s not because there isn’t a path that went from “A” to “B” but the game won’t show us what’s no longer remembered. The path is missing, because the recollection is missing.

Storytelling
All of the above theories all serve the same purpose as far as storytelling (and game design) goes. Stories aren’t supposed to be real life. We don’t need to see each bathroom break, meal or nap. We know these things SHOULD occur in many stories. Anyone who has followed me in the FextraLife forums should know I love the Dark Tower series. I know Roland has to piss on occasion. The only time Stephen King needs to write it down is the time it matters to the story (this example is used because Roland does in fact piss in one of the stories).
We need to Twilight Zone/Skip ahead/Forget about the trip from Earthen Peak to Iron Keep because as a whole, Drangleic is likely 95% boring as shit. The world is dying. The beams are weakening. The tower might be getting ready to fall…
The population is decimated and we’re cursed to not die. That hundred mile walk might have literally nothing except dust and stone. By having a concept like one of the above, we cut out the garbage and keep the good stuff. We can experience burning lava right after pools of poison because we have these mechanics in games.
One last parting thought. Best for last if you will. This is more for those of you who don’t think that something is going on in the first place. For the rest of you, it’s just neat.
When we approach Drangleic Castle it looms large in front of us. On a nice, sunny day (alright, alright…partially cloudy, maybe even overcast…see above). We enter a very short tunnel and come out into a thunderstorm. How? Is the tunnel taking us a longer distance than what we walk, thereby allowing us to have not seen the approaching storm? Do we skip ahead in time? Did we forget that we sat down in the tunnel for a piece of lembas and a short nap and find ourselves in the rain at the end?
I’ll let you decide your own “why.” But, despite the nonsensical transition, one fact is obvious…
We’re destined to reach this castle in the rain.
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Prologue

Perhaps you've seen it, maybe in a dream. A murky, forgotten land...

A place where souls may mend your ailing mind.

You will lose everything, once branded. The symbol of the curse, an augur of darkness. Your past, your future, your very light.

None will have meaning, and you won't even care. By then, you will be something other than human. A thing that feeds on souls, a hollow.

Long ago, in a walled off land far to the north. A great king built a great kingdom. I believe they called it Drangleic. Perhaps you're familiar. No, how could you be... But one day, you will stand before its decrepit gate, without really knowing why.

Like a moth drawn to a flame, your wings will burn in anguish. Time, after time.

For that is your fate. The fate of the cursed.


Dark Souls II is a sequel to Dark Souls , taking place long after the previous game's events. Characters, items, and references to legends that lived during the first game are sometimes referenced or can be found in Dark Souls II .

It is mentioned by Straid of Olaphis, after you unpetrify him, that the land was not called Drangleic before he was petrified and had other names before the one he knew. The different descriptions of the Lingering Dragoncrest Ring in Dark Souls and Dark Souls II suggest that Drangleic could be Vinheim, if Vinheim is a land or kingdom and not just a region within the land. In Dark Souls, the ring is described as being given to accomplished students at the Vinheim Dragon school, where as in Dark Souls II, it is said to have been used "a long, long time ago in a land where Drangleic is now". This could be interpreted that the ring in Drangleic is one of the very same used in Lordran, or that it is a ring it its land of origin.

There are also references to legends of Giants who came across the sea, fearing humans who might bring about an age of dark, but were defeated by King Vendrick. These Giants could be the followers of Lord Gwyn, as the player encounters bosses such as Old Dragonslayer. It was revealed by Chancellor Wellager that the Giants attacked Drangleic because King Vendrick had invaded their land and stole something precious from them at the request of Queen Nashandra. Wellager also states that the Queen came from a faraway land across the sea, though it isn't said exactly where she came from, or if it was the same land as the Giants. Chencellor Wellager also mentions that after the war was over, the Queen "brought peace to her king", and that it was "almost like.. the Dark". The Soul of Nashandra says that she was born of the dark, and there are hints she may have been created from a greater evil that lurked within the Abyss.

Vinheim- "Heim" meaning home, possibly "Home of Vendrick"

In the Undead Crypt, the Grave Warden Agdayne talks of a human being one with the darkness. From the turn of events in Dark Souls we can speculate what effects the darkness had on the overall world. He speaks of a " Former King of Light" that feared humans, thinking they'd "Usher in a new age of dark". This could be either before Drangleic was Drangleic or before Vendrick took the throne as king. This could be pointing that Dark Souls II is in the same place as Dark Souls due to having the same items spread about and the Former King was Gwyn.


Gods

In Dark Souls II , there seems to be a lot more mention of specific gods through gear, covenants, and magics. These are all subject to change but we know now the name of some. These names and roles are all subject to change, but many of the names of the various Gods can be found in using the Name-engraved Ring.
  • Caffrey - Goddess of Fortune

It is possible that her image, or a predecessor of hers, is the angel-winged woman who appears on the Rusted Coin, which grants the player additional luck.
  • Caitha - Goddess of Tears

Mentioned in Caitha's Chime, as either a compassionate being or a demoness presiding over tragedy.
  • Evlana - Goddess of the Hunt

Evlana is the the patron deity of those who stalk and kill their prey. However according to the Hunter's Bow she was not in reality a true Goddess but in fact was such an impressive huntress in her long forgotten age that stories of her now have raised her to God status.
  • Faraam - God of War

Faraam's name appears on the armor set that is the flagship armor set of the Chosen Undead in Dark Souls II. The armor from the description is said to be blessed by the war god Faraam and worn by the Lion Knights of Forossa.
  • Galib - God of Disease

God of disease worshipped by Leydia witches described in the Leydia Black set armor.
  • Nahr Alma - God of Blood

Narh Alma is the name of the patron god of the Dark Souls II invader covenant which looks to function very similarly to the darkwraiths from Dark Souls. He is mentioned by the small creature Titchy Gren who you find near the bonfire after clearing the executioner's chariot boss battle. Titchy Gren accepts you into the covenant and gives you a ring and seems to be obsessed with blood as we assume Nahr Alma is. Titchy Gren will not talk to you unless you have invaded and killed someone. Titchy Gren will not accept you nor speak with you if you are in the Heirs of the Sun covenant.

Note* ALMA is latin for nourishing or to nourish. For example: ALMA MATER means nourishing mother. ALMA can also mean kind or soul, but there is no indication of a possible latin connection to Dark Souls II.
  • Quella - God of Dream

Is mentioned in the Spirit Tree Shield, Grand Spirit Tree Shield and White Ring. Apparently, he is represented by a talking tree. He seems to reside in a place called the dreamworld and has dominion over dreams.
  • Zandroe - God of Greed

Zandroe is mentioned in the item description of the Silver Serpent Ring “A silver ring depicting the snake, both the servant and the manifestation of the god of greed, Zandroe." Zandroe is not, however, mentioned in the Name-engraved Ring. In Dark Souls I the Silver Serpent Ring's description reads "The serpent is an imperfect dragon and symbol of the Undead. Its habit of devouring prey even larger than itself has led to an association of gluttony." This suggest that the "God" Zandroe could possibly be a twisted variation on a concept of an imperfect dragon. (Gaping Dragon?)
  • Zinder - God of Desire

Similar to Zandroe, Zinder is mentioned in the item description of the Gold Serpent Ring “A gold ring depicting the snake, both the servant and the manifestation of the god of desire, Zinder. Greed is traditionally viewed as a vice, but only a coward sees every chance as something to fear.” The description of the Gold Serpent Ring in Dark Souls I reads “The serpent is an imperfect dragon and symbol of the Undead. Its habit of devouring prey even larger than itself has led to an association of gluttony." Exactly the same as the Silver Serpent Ring. This suggest that perhaps Zandroe and Zinder are one in the same, both twisted concepts of greed surrounding an imperfect dragon, or serpent.
There is little to no information on Hanleth - Goddess of Bliss, Kremmel - God of Struggle, or Nehma - Goddess of Love at this time, but their names are mentioned by use of the name engraved ring.



Theories of the world of Dark Souls II


In the afore mentioned Lore Analysis, it states that the the giants from Dark Souls 1 are different then those from 2. HOWEVER, The Iron Golem, which appears in DS1, has enough similarity, the hole in it's chest being the strongest piece of evidence, that links it with the GOLEMS in DS2 that were created by use of the defeated Giants. Theory on this is that either a Golem from Drangleic was transported to Lordran....or possibly the Giants/Golems are unaffected by the rekindling of the Age of Fire?

(addition) The giants of Dark Souls 2 are far different than that of the original. From what we can see from Gods to NPCs in Dark Souls that their variants of giants are sentient, intelligent being that achieved god-like status using the Light Souls of Gwyn. These giants are likely extinct in this new age as many were killed off during wars and the fading of the first flame. However, they did have the methods to create artificial life in the form of golems. Golems in mythology become sentient and more independent in time, perhaps they could be smart enough to form basic governing systems (this considering, of course, the mythology of Dark Souls follows the myth of our world)? It has been millenia since the original giants were common, the men of Drangleic called them giants on account of their size. Of course these giants are nothing compared to the originals, being far less intelligent and seem to only have a basic grasp of creation (the Giant Lord has the most advanced weapon, a crude sword) and the rest fight with clubs or their bare hands. Perhaps the "kinship of giants" is an artifact from the age of original giants and the giants are nothing more than a race of semi-sentient golems who form a united force in order to protect said artifact. When Vendrick stole the kinship he instantly took away their ability to form more giants, they probably invaded in order to save their people from extinction. ||

||= The four Primal bosses that you must kill in the first half of the game could possibly be reincarnations of 4 characters from Dark Souls 2. Sweet Shalquior mentions in her dialogue that the Primals are incredibly ancient, and that they remind her of others from a time long ago. In NG+ the 4 Primal Bosses drop unique Souls that give hints to their origins. The Lost Sinner drops the Old Witch Soul, implying that the Lost Sinner inherited the Soul of the Witch of Izalith. The Duke's Dear Freja (Freja is not a Primal, you get the soul from the dragon in the roof.) drops the Old Paledrake Soul This suggests that the Duke might have discovered the deformed Everlasting Dragon Seath the Scaleless' Soul and created Freja from it. The Iron King drops the Old King Soul, which implies he inherited the Soul of the Sun God Lord Gwyn (or maybe from one of four kings, the old king sucumbed to his own ego and hunger of power as the four king did before). Finally The Rotten drops the Old Dead One's Soul, implying that he inherited Lord Nito's Soul. The Primal Bosses also share many personality traits and flaws from the original primordial beings. This suggests that the Souls of these beings are so powerful that even after death they reincarnate and become weaker, but still very powerful, monstrosities. Finally, the Furtive Pygmy Manus was split into fragments and Nashandra was formed from the smallest of these pieces, as described in the description of the Chime of Want. This also suggests that there are more beings who are reincarnations of Manus scattered throughout the world.

Sublime Bone Dust could very well be the remains of the Chosen Undead from Dark Souls I. The bone dust description claims that this dust comes from "A Saint who cast himself upon the fires". This could mean that the Rekindle the Bonfire ending is canon, though it is unknown how many times the fires that been rekindled and faded since the first game.

Their are many similarities and connections when looking at Lordran and the lost kingdom of Heide. The Tower of Heide and the Blue Cathedral especially share near perfect copies of the architecture in Anor Londo. The cathedral also holds home to the Old Dragonslayer, a near identical match to Orstein the Dragonslayer from Dark Souls I. Heide Knights also wield weapons that use lightening and the Sun Covenant survived in some form here. Heide could perhaps be a kingdom that was formed by the Gods who escaped the fall of Lordran and Gwyn when the flame first faded. It is known that Gwyn's daughter Gwynevere and her husband Flann were part of this exodus. Flann was the God of Fire, which could explain why a large lighthouse is built on the site of Heide Tower. Gwynevere is also the Daughter of Sunlight, which could explain how many of sunlight based miracles and items got here. This could mean that Heide was a kingdom that was created by these 2 gods in order to try and replicate the former glory of Anor Londo, though some unknown force destroyed the kingdom and it sunk into the sea.

The Lost Bastille is where undead were rounded up and imprisoned, similar to the Undead Asylum from the first game. One of the the things noticeable there are these jar like cells vaguely shaped like humans. Some are normal sized, some large. There are even small sized, implying that children can be branded with the dark sign and thus become undead.

The giants that are talked about and/or shown in Dark Souls 2 may NOT be the same type of giants in the first game, or perhaps, may be a variant of the ones from the first game that have evolved to the point that they did not require faces. Point in facts being not only the Giant Blacksmith and such, but in the Tomb of the Giants. The giant skeletons clearly are shown to have faces. So this means one of 2 possible theories, either giants have evolved to the point where they no longer required sustenance, due to not having faces....or this is a different evolutionary breed of giants, possibly acting as the golems did to King Vendrick, to where ever they're hivemind controller is located, not too dissimilar to the Geth from Mass Effect

In the description of Dragon Bone Fist from Dark Souls 1, it is said that the Gods had the ability to create Golems by "fusing the power of souls" with an inanimate object. In Dark Souls 2, the Golems are also powered by absorbing souls, suggesting that whatever Vendrick stole allowed him to perform this long-lost fusion technique. It is possible that this may have had the potential to free humanity from the Undead Curse by creating a new artificial race, but perhaps that ended with the Emerald Herald.

In Dark Souls 1 there is no trace of possible masochistic behaviours in the Witch of Izalith, behaviours that the Lost Sinner obviously shows. The nature of his self-punishment in my opinion can't be explained with connections with the Lord's Soul she carries. I tried to understand why this character feels so guilty. Sweet Shalquior says us that she tried to light the First Flame again, like the Witch of Izalith did. Maybe she tried in the same way, with pyromancy (She never uses it, but her gauntlets are useful to it). The Chaos Demon we see in her presentation suggests that she tried to light the Flame in the same way. I think she failed in her attempts becouse there are no Chaos Demons in Drangleic or in the outer world exept this one. Anyway, she tried, and something bad should happen. Here my theory: what if the tower of Flame of Heide was not built with the purpose to be a lighthouse? Maybe the Lost Sinner was a pyromancer of Heide, who tried to create the First Flame in her city, but something went wrong and she only destroyed the town (In my opinion Heide doesn't seem fallen underwater in a natural way). Maybe the Chaos Bug we see with her is the only Chaos Demon her attempt produced, or the last Demon remained from Dark Souls 1 that suggested her what to do.

I think after the Lost Sinners understood what she did she ran away from Heide to the Lost Bastille, maybe creating in her fury the path from Heide to No Man's Wharf (it doesn't seem natural too). Then she lock herself in Sinner's Rise and decided not to use pyromancy anymore. The Chaos Bug in this way should represent her conscience of what she did, and for this she scream when it enters in her mask (she sees it and think to her sin).

Many people believe that the Ancient Dragon in the Dragons Aerie is that of Aldia who succeeded in turning himself into a dragon, however, this theory deduces that mayhaps he could not do so 100 percent successfully, or mayhaps could not transfer his FULL soul into the dragon, and transferred at least part of his soul/conciousness into Navlaan The method behind this is that you originally find him in Aldia's keep, after that, the places where he will invade you are similar to where you would think Aldia traveled to and from, in order to achieve materials for his experimentation. Forest of the Fallen Giants for the giant bodies, The Gutter for human bodies and possibly of the dragon bones located before The Rotten boss fight, Brightstone for the crystals more then likely used in many of his magic rituals and elixirs, and Drangleic Castle and Aldias Keep due to being part of the royal family, King Vendricks older brother. The last two could be argued that that's because Navlaan was/is a royal sorcerer, but the rest would make very little sense, even IF his other personality is a bit crazy.

As of the release of Scholar of the First Sin, Aldia's real identity has been confirmed.

People think the location with the undead singers is Ash Lake, but this theory focuses on that possibly Things Betwixt is actually Ash Lake. Ash Lake was in the first game, the only location still in relative similar appearance to what the world looked like before the First Flame, and seemed to be nothing but an almost endless ocean. That being said, Things Betwixt is the most similar in this appearance, though quiet a big darker in appearance, though that could be said in ANOTHER theory that possibly the closer to the end of an Age of Fire it gets, the darker the world seems to be, and that that could possibly be why Things Betwixt was so much darker in the second game then in the first game.


The Iron King and The Lost Sinner's Love affair.


Mytha and The Iron King were most likely married. However, something came between them that drove Mytha to do crazy acts of love for her husbands attention.
"that creature, she was human once ya know... Hmm, In fact, she was wed to the prince of that nearby castle... But her husband, hmm, he had feelings for another... before long the princesses ire transformed her into a monster." - Laddersmith Gilligan

So we know the king had someone else. This is important because of how she turned...
The next important factor here, is in the whole game, there are only 2 named demons; The Smelter demon and the Covetous demon. We know demons were made at Lost Izalith when trying to relight the flame failed. So was the Iron Keep above Lost Izalith? I believe so, because right next door to Lost Izalith and the pools of lava is Blight Town.(The Bed of Chaos is long gone, the demons in this game appear to be more or less some form of experiment gone wrong or someone using dark magics to warp themselves into something less than human) It makes sense that when the Iron King mined underground, so did the people of Harvest Valley and Earthen Peak, but the people got a very different result...
Even Stone Trader Chloanne explains how there is nothing of interest at Harvest Valley (will add quote at later date). so why are they mining? (They had a full blown Kingdom, perhaps they got the ore from somewhere else.)
The Covetous demon I believe to be a typical love story. He clearly loves Mytha, even being a monster, he too would do anything crazy to get her attention. Covetous meaning - "having or showing a great desire to possess something belonging to someone else." clearly supports this idea. (The Covetous Demon's Soul description implies that he may have been once human, only to be warped. It is unknown how the
Why would Mytha take something from her mines, maybe knowing it being poisonous, just to get the attention of her husband The Iron King? Maybe The Iron King found something to obsess over in his mine...
The Lost Sinner (not going into too much speculation who it actually is) has the soul of the Witch of Izalith and tried to rekindle the first flame. All the old souls suggest that they have a way to persuade the one who acquired it. Is is possible the Iron King, with the Lost Sinner tried once again to re-make the first flame? once again causing the birth of demons?
So why the Lost Sinner you might ask... well the door in the lost sinners cell is the same you see in the Iron Keep... It strongly suggests the Iron King made her cell for her. Not to mention the Iron literally everywhere around sinners cell including one of the only places where fire is used mechanically (when you light up the rooms from the side rooms) like in the Iron Keep. The Lost Sinners Mask is even made completely out of iron.
"the Lost Sinner eternally punishes herself for the sins of her past. Indeed, she committed what some would believe to be the ultimate sin - she attempted to relight the First Flame." - Lost Sinner Description
The wording here suggests she actually imprisoned herself. "Some" also suggests that someone doesn't believe it to be the worst sin, maybe that someone was the Iron King?
Opinion - To me, she feels guilty herself and thus hides herself away knowing what she did was wrong. The Iron King however might not have agreed but out of loved helped. He gives her a large sword to protect herself and throws away the (Bastille) Key so that no one can light the room for her fully. locked her hands together so she couldn't use Pyromancy without burning herself (note: when the player wears them we only wear them on one hand).
Bell Keepers - The belfry gargoyls and the bell brothers get an explination for there purpose then. the gorgoyles were made by the Iron King who is explained to be able to make life from Iron, but maybe not just iron, maybe from stone too, or maybe the Iron King and the Lost Sinner Shared this ability. The Bell Keepers defend Belfry Luna and Sol, so there connected to the Iron Keep for some reason.
Need more evidence?
" The twin bells symbolize the love between two lovers who could never be united. The bell keepers are their eternal guardians. For that is their love, that is their curse." - Bell Keepers Ring
The Iron King made the Bell of Sol, the Lost Sinner made the Bell of Luna using iron and resources from the Iron King... so the Iron King is Prince of Alken and the Lost Sinner is the Princess of Venn. This explains why the Iron King is sometimes called a Prince, it was when the Iron King wasn't ruler yet.
"Keep your hands of our bell, the great bell of Alken. The bell belongs to the princess it do." - Bell Keeper in Luna
"A long, long, long time ago, the princess, she made me, yes, just like so. to guard this bell for the princes honor" - Bell Keeper in Luna
"The prince made me, to guard the bell of Venn." - Bell Keeper in Sol
So knowing that the Iron King can make Iron creatures come to life from the various armor sets in his keep, it makes sense the Iron King was once the Prince of Alken.
So is the Lost Sinner the Princess of Venn? the Iron and such all around her connects them. the bug also connected her to izalith that could be under the Iron Keep. Another factor is her soul "sins of her past", so not only did she try and relight the first flame but she did other things she feels guilty over. The Lost Sinners Sword even mentions she doesn't know it's true nature or where it's from, is that because the Iron King gave it to her. The Chaos Blade from Dark Souls 1 was made from the soul of Quelaag, it too hurt the player on hitting an enemy.
While it doesn't make it obvious like the Iron King, it's very likely the Lost Sinner is the Princess of Venn. She is not a witch of Izalith or the bed of chaos... they died... but 1 was unaccounted for... her soul however does changes the fate of the owner and it's probably what the the Prince and Princess tried to do together.
The attempt to relight the flame:

At this point, while it's only assumption, it seems fair to say the Iron King and the Lost Sinner tried together to relight the first flame. The attempted failed, recreating the disaster like before. The Iron King was killed by the Smelter demon and was turned into the beast we see in-game. The Lost Sinner, like some of the witches of Izalith, got away safely, but in guilt of her sins locked herself away. Or she could have been willingly captured and sent to the cell made in sinners rise. While the cell might not have originally been for her, she fitted it nicely with the moon (Luna) reminding us of her bell.
to explain Mytha and Covetous properly I've waited till the end. Mytha was crazy in love, and like her husband did, she mined the ground and looked for something of interesting like the Lost Sinner clearly had under the Iron Keep. She found poison. Covetous followed Mytha crazy idea and ate as much as he could to impress Mytha. Mytha might have just been using Covetous to try and make the Iron King guilty at some point...

Covetous turned into a demon from the poison he consumed and never found true love...
Mytha was forever jealous of the Princess of Venn
The King of Alken, the Iron King, lost his true love. losing his human form to a monster he could never search for her again.
The Princess of Venn, the Lost Sinner, feeling guilty punished herself and never tried to escape.

- Written by Bubushum, any feedback or suggestions would be nice. I will edit this later to fix spelling, grammar, and overall layout.

Thank you for reading!

    • Just an added observation on the relationship between Alken and Venn. The ring of Blades description states that both kingdoms were founded by the same man but later reduced to rivalry. Hmmm.... So,It stands to reason that Alken and Venn were founded by the prince and princess' father. A king prior to Vendrick divided his kingdom between his son and daughter. So that would explain why their love was so forbidden. The pair created the bell keepers instead of children because everybody knows sibling coupling is a no-no. It wasn't because Alken already had Mytha or anything like that, it was their parentage that kept them from being able to "ring the bell" if you catch the reference. Mytha, jilted, turned her fury and her kingdom against Venn, most likely after Alken (the person) died. The only thing I find odd is the whole "nobody remembering the Sinner's name", one would think you could remember the person's name if their's and the kingdom's were one and the same. So perhaps I'm wrong and Venn was another prince and since Alken and the princess of Venn were both already married they couldn't be together. But then why would the bell be named after Venn? Nope, I'm sticking with the sibling theory. Too much evidence to ignore. -cursedroninzero



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