Before I delve into the lore of the world of Dark Souls, I want to talk about what I’m excited for in what is possibly the last DLC in the series, The Ringed City. I’m looking forward to getting answers on the nature of Blackflame, and its relation to the Abyss and the in particular, the final boss. As it will more than likely be the final boss ever made for the series, I’m expecting no mercy at all. I expect a fight on the level of Fume Knight, Artorias, or the Orphan of Kos. So how will we access this DLC?
The Ringed City will likely be accessible at the Kiln of the First Flame after the Soul of Cinder, as the architecture of the City is very similar to the ruins surrounding the Kiln. Also, as shown by the trailer, the Dark Sun is in the sky, indicating that you will at least have to reach the Princes before you can access it. The dialogue throughout also refers to the end of the Age of Fire and the Darksign grays out, just as the Dark Sun turned gray when you usurp the flame, implying that the Lord of Hollows ending will likely be required.
Check out Daniels character he’s building for the new DLC on YouTube.
Also, the presence of the Sword of Avowal throughout shows that this DLC will relate to Londor and the Hollows, however, that doesn’t mean we’re actually going to Londor. From the captions throughout the released screenshots, they describe a place where ruins from many different historical periods have accumulated overtime. This shows that the City is an amalgm of eras and times, and isn’t really one singular place, such as Lothric or Ariandel. So considering the nature of the City, we could very well see parts of Drangleic reappear, or possibly see the Sable Church. It’s doubtful, but considering the time-warped nature of the City, From Software could also reference Yharnam. (Again, doubtful) This City is likely where everything originated; the Curse, the mysteries of the Abyss, the Demons. As the Darksign emulates the look of a ringed city, this DLC is going to be rich with lore. Speaking of lore, here’s the info on some central characters and events within Dark Souls 3’s world:
SOUL OF CINDER
Soul of Cinder is the manifestation of all of the Lords of Cinder. That means Gwyn, the Watchers, Aldrich, Yhorm, your DS1 and 2 character, and the other Lords of Cinder throughout the ages.
The Abyss Watchers are essentially the reincarnation of Artorias, as they “drink of wolf’s blood” that is shared between all of them. They would aggressively fight the Abyss, and would “bury a kingdom at the first sign of exposure.” Eventually, when the blood of the wolf ran out, they went insane, and started fighting each other. As they all share the same soul, they can kill each other infinitely. Proof that they are the remnants of Artorias is backed up with the fact that you fight them in the ruins of Oolacile. However, they also appear in the Painted World of Ariandel, but instead of fighting the Abyss directly, they act as safeguards, and would kill any member of the Legion who fell to the Abyss.
The Curse-Rotted Greatwood could be a mix of the souls of Lucatiel and Arstor, two Undead Hollows. Their Souls’ were sent into the Greatwood and cursed it; it used to be a spirit tree. Lucatiel wanted to find a cure to her curse, and considering that the Greatwood was used as a “vessel for unwanted curses,” this implies that Lucatiel was desperate and attempted to cure her curse by binding her Hollowed, Dark spirit to the tree, making it “Curse-Rotted.” Also, the Undead worship it, as they still see it as a source of redemption. Arstor, as his spear reads, was known as the “Impaler.” Maybe he attacked the Greatwood, and the tree consumed him as well. Arstor is trying to break free, as shown by the arm sticking out of the tree.
To Link the First Flame
Linking the Flame will consume your character in fire, and they will sit down, accepting their rule as Lord of Cinder. However, compared to the Linking in previous games, the Flame is noticeably weaker. When Gwyn first linked the Flame, it burned half his knights and began a new age of prosperity. In DS1, when you link the fire, the Flame consumes the Kiln. In 3, the fire has just enough strength to consume you. It may not be able to survive another linking, as it was supposed to fade during Gwyn’s age. So you, in linking the Fire, have only delayed the inevitable.
The End of Fire (True Ending):
In the “End of Fire” ending, the Firekeeper takes the Flame in her hands and extinguishes it. She talks of “tiny embers dancing across the darkness,” implying that the Flame will return, just as it did in the Age of Ancients. The Firekeeper also implies that her and the Unkindled have a path to walk together, through the new Age of Dark.
*The Lord of Hollows Ending Analysis Developing:
HIGH LORD WOLNIR
High Lord Wolnir is the Chosen Undead. His crown reads: “Once upon a time, such things were bequeathed judiciously to each of the rightful lords, until Wolnir brought them to their knees, and ground their crowns to dust. Then the crowns became one, and Wolnir, the one High Lord.” In Dark Souls 2, you collect the crowns of Lords, and combine them all. You defeat all of the bosses there. Sinh, Raime, the Ivory King. You “bring them to their knees.” And since it was never confirmed, or shown that the Bearer linked the Fire, they could very likely be Wolnir. Thoughts on this?
VORDT OF THE BOREAL VALLEY
Vordt is an Outrider Knight of the Boreal Valley, gifted one of the Pontiff’s eyes. He is never far from the Dancer, willing to defend the path to Lothric.
Pontiff Sulyvahn was a cleric of the Church of the Deep. He and Aldrich took Irrithyl back, and Aldrich sent him to find a god he could devour. So he locked Gwyndolin away in the Darkmoon chamber, and unleashed Aldrich on him. His sword, the Greatsword of Judgement, says that the “dark magic of the blade reflects Pontiff Sulyvahn’s true nature.” This implies that Sulyvahn is truly a creature of Dark. He also found the Profaned Flame, as a symbol of his, and many others’ greed and avarice. Sulyvahn was originally born in the Painted World of Ariandel, but eventually left it, because he had not yet experienced loss. But what is this loss he eventually experienced? Was it his life, at the hands of the Unkindled? Or was it his humanity, his capacity for compassion thrown away in favor of being a ruthless tyrant?
LORIAN AND LOTHRIC
The Twin Princes of Lothric are the final “Lords” in the game. “Lords” in quotations because they are not Lords of Cinder. Namely Prince Lothric. When you step into his chamber, he says the “mantle of Lord intrests me none”, and that we should let the Flame “fade into nothing.” A Scholar of the Grand Archives instilled this feeling in him, and he abhorred the act of linking the fire. As his throne reads, he is the “Last hope of his line.” The Lothric family desperately wanted to create the perfect heir to the Fire-linking throne, but Lothric was born, as the Prayer set reads, “a frail and shriveled child.” While he does want an age of Dark, he still learned the art of Faith and Miracles, as shown during the fight. Lorian, his brother, killed the Demon King, and his sword then was eternally imbued with demon fire. The Curse that binds them is eternal, and Lorian accepted his brother’s curse. They are eternally binded, Lorian a mute cripple, and Lothric a weak, frail prince.
ALDRICH, DEVOUR OF GODS
Aldrich was once a holy cleric, a scholar as well, until he developed a taste for flesh. “Aldrich, infamous for his appetite for flesh, apparently had the desire to share with others his joy of imbibing the final shudders of life while luxuriating in his victim’s screams.” Aldrich’s Sapphire/Ruby” Aldrich dreamt as he slowly devoured the God of the Darkmoon. In this dream, he perceived the form of a young, pale girl in hiding” – Lifehunt Scythe Miracle. This might be a reference to Gwyndolin’s gender/appearance. It could also reference Yorshka, as she is “young,pale, and in hiding.” Also, it could impy that Aldrich dreamt of Priscilla, and considering the Painted World is a seperate realm inside a painting, it could be compared to a dream. and how her Painted World is akin to a dream, one in which she is hiding from the real world. Pontiff Sulyvahn found a god for Gwyndolin, in the Darkmoon chamber. As Gwyndolin was ill at the time, he proved to easily fall to Aldrich’s clutches. He was forced to become a Lord, “Not for virtue, but for might.”-Hawkwood
Aldrich’s power grew, and he had many followers by the time he devolved into a sludge. So they made him a Lord forcibly. Not like Prince Lothric, who is cursed, or sacrificing themselves to the flame as the Watchers did. Irrithyl is the home of Aldrich, and when he awoke in his chamber, guarded by the Deacons of the Deep, he entrusted Archdeacon Royce with the defense of the Cathedral. “When Aldrich ruminated on the fading of the fire, he imagined a coming age of the deep sea.” This implies that Aldrich craved darkness, that he thought about the fading flame, and wanted to accept the age of the Deep. He wanted to amass so much power that he could lead that age, be its all-powerful being. Ultimately, Aldrich accomplished only part of his dream. He devoured a God, but he was led to his demise, in the grand cathedral of Anor Londo.
YHORM THE GIANT
“Yhorm the Giant once held two of these, but gave one to the humans that doubted him, and left the other to a dear friend before facing his fate as a Lord of Cinder.” – Storm Ruler After he linked the Fire, as a sign of leadership to the people of the Capital who wanted him to lead them, it consumed “naught but flesh.” A regular, natural fire will consume everything. Not just flesh. This is likely why there are so many corpses around the Capital. They were charred during the Linking of the Fire. As Siegward implies in his cutscene with Yhorm, it is shown that he is the “dear friend” of Yhorm. What is believed to have happened is that Yhorm told Siegward to kill him, if he does not want to return to his throne in Firelink. The one human who tried to confront Yhorm, before the arrival of Siegward and the Ashen One, may have wanted revenge at Yhorm, for the killing of all the Capital’s citizens upon the fire’s linking. That is likely why we find a Storm Ruler on a dead body next to Yhorm’s throne. Yhorm uses a giant machete-type blade, however, he used to wield a greatshield along with it.But after “the loss of someone he wished to protect”, he abandoned the shield, and became “known for his smashing technique with his great blade.”
“As a lord, Yhorm risked everything and fought unflinchingly as a one-man vanguard. Following the loss of the one he wished to protect, he forsook his shield.” – Yhorm’s Greatshield
“Yhorm once lumbered on the frontlines with a greatshield. But one day, in place of his shield, a left-hand notch was added to his machete, enabling the smashing technique that would become the legacy of his later years.” – Yhorm’s Great Machete
Yhorm is also a humanoid, as we can see a face. The hole is there because that is the type of headpiece he is wearing, and therefore proves that Yhorm has no relation to the DS2 Giants, or Giant Lord, as those face holes were parts of their bodes.
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