Dedicated to digging into the game's lore. Bring your thinking caps.


Chosen Undead

Joined: Fri Jan 10, 2014 11:42 am
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Okay boys and girls, we've got a thing that needs doing. You all know how our DaS3 wiki is really good, our Bloodborne wiki is fantastic, and our DaS2 wiki is pretty okay? Well, our DaS1 wiki is an unmitigated disaster. Like, no joke, it's messy and terrible.

Specifically, this ****:

Look at that atrocious mess. It's everywhere, it looks terrible, and it's full of random things that I'm about 90% sure someone just made up because it sounded real at the time.

So, pinging you guys for some help. I want to make it look pretty and tidy, and also clean up some of the speculation, but this is supposed to be a community page so if I'm the only one doing it there's something wrong. Let's try to make it look more like the Dark Souls 3 lore page, yes?

Here's what I have so far:
Lore of Dark Souls 1 as interpreted by the community. This page houses facts and interpretations related to the game, but you may also visit the Dark Souls Lore Forums to discuss with the community directly.

Warning: Massive spoilers ahead, don't keep reading if you want to deduce things by yourself or haven't beaten the game yet.
Everything that is speculation will be tagged under theory or written with words that express uncertainty. If you have your own theory regarding a specific matter, please write it down next to the others.

Notable Characters
Areas and Possible Connections



"In the Age of Ancients, the world was unformed, shrouded by fog. A land of gray crags, Archtrees and Everlasting Dragons.
But then there was fire, and with fire came disparity. Heat and cold, life and death, and of course, light and dark.
Then from the dark, they came, and found the Souls of Lords within the flame.
Nito, the first of the dead,
the Witch of Izalith, and her Daughters of Chaos,
Gwyn, the Lord of Sunlight, and his faithful knights,
and the furtive pygmy, so easily forgotten.

"With the Strength of Lords, they challenged the Dragons.
Gwyn's mighty bolts peeled apart their stone scales.
The Witches weaved great firestorms.
Nito unleashed a miasma of death and disease.
And Seath the Scaleless betrayed his own, and the Dragons were no more.

"Thus began the Age of Fire. But soon, the flames will fade, and only Dark will remain.
Even now, there are only embers, and man sees not light, but only endless nights.
And amongst the living are seen, carriers of the accursed Darksign."

"Yes, indeed. The Darksign brands the Undead.
And in this land, the Undead are corralled and lead to the north,
where they are locked away, to await the end of the world.
... This is your fate."

The world of Dark Souls is a world of cycles. Kingdoms rise and fall, ages come and go, and even time can end and restart as the flame fades and is renewed. These cycles are linked to the First Flame, a mysterious manifestation of life that divides and defines separate states such as heat and cold, or life and death. As the First Flame fades, these differences also begin to fade, such as life and death having little distinction, and humans becoming Undead. The onset of an Age of Dark, the time when the First Flame has fully died, is marked by endless nights, rampant undeath, time, space, and reality breaking down, lands collapsing and converging on one another, people mutating into monsters, darkness covering the world, and the Gods losing their power. To avoid this and prolong the Age of Fire, the bearer of a powerful soul must "link" themselves to the First Flame, becoming the fuel for another age. If this is not done, the First Flame will eventually die, and an Age of Dark will begin.

The powerful Lord Souls were taken from the First Flame, used to defeat the dragons, and then to establish kingdoms. Souls are inextricably (and inexplicably) linked to fire. Souls are life, and life is fire; it stands to reason that souls are fire, as well. Without the First Flame and without souls, there is no life. The bearer of a strong soul, called a Lord, who links themselves to the First Flame, is thus rekindling the flames with their own soul, returning life to it. In the end, one could expect that all souls will have been returned to the First Flame, and the Age of Fire will have effectively ended anyways.

It is inevitable that people try to find a way around this, another way to continue the Age of Fire without making sacrifices, but in every case they fail. In the first Age of Fire, the Witch of Izalith attempted to create a duplicate of the First Flame using her witchcraft and a special soul, but failed catastrophically. Instead of making another First Flame, she had created a twisted Flame of Chaos that produced distortions of life, turning herself and all her daughters into demons. These demons were malevolent, and wandered the land. Gwyn gathered up his armies and fought the demons of Chaos, eventually driving them back and shackling the Bed of Chaos to bind them. Knowing that the Age of Fire was nearing its end, under the guidance of the primordial serpent Kingseeker Frampt, Gwyn offered himself to the First Flame to stave off the Dark. As the flames surged with new life, the knights who followed him in were burnt by the flames and now wander the world as the Black Knights, hollow shells of armor who attack indiscriminately.

Before he left to link the First Flame, Gwyn gave fragments of his soul to his followers and allies. Ornstein, Gough, Ciaran, and Artorias, his four strongest knights who fought against the dragons, Seath, who betrayed the dragons and played a cruical role in the war, and was also granted the title of Duke and archives to conduct his research, and the Four Kings of New Londo, who ruled a city of Undead. In time, another primordial serpent convinced the people of the human kingdom of Oolacie to unearth the grave of a primeval human. Whether through their actions or some other means, the primeval human Manus was resurrected and driven to madness, and his wild Humanity caused the people of Oolacile to mutate into bloatheaded abominations. Manus, Father of the Abyss, began to rapidly spread Dark and accelerate the growth of the Abyss, and would've started an early Age of Dark had he not been defeated. Even so, the kingdom of Oolacile was lost to the Abyss, and eventually forgotten by modern people.

Gwyn's youngest son Gwyndolin, together with Kingseeker Frampt, shepards the humans by Gwyn's command. What this means is not fully explained, but seems to involve sending any Undead to Lordran and asking them to inherit the title of Lord by linking the First Flame. The Undead are sent on a quest to ring the Bells of Awakening, collect the Lordvessel, slay the other bearers of Lord Souls and gather their souls (they have either become corrupt, or are simply no longer useful), then offer those souls to the Lordvessel to open the path to the Kiln of the First Flame. In doing so, the unnatural Undead are given true death and the living can enjoy a renewed world, though the Undead linked to the First Flame will continue to burn, alive and aware, until someone else comes to take their place. And thus, the cycle continues.


Major Characters

Gwyn, the Lord of Sunlight
Bearer of the strongest Lord Soul, Gwyn's power manifested as great spears of sunlight, which take the form of lightning. He founded the kingdom of Anor Londo, lead an army of his silver knights against the dragons, and was father to Gwynevere, Gwyndolin, and his disowned firstborn son. Gwyn was the first to link the First Flame, becoming the first Lord of Cinder, and now mindlessly guards it against outside threats and serves as a test of strength for those seeking to link it again. Gwyn's crown is said to have once had some special power, but its power has long since faded and now only exudes a slight warmth by the time the player acquires it. Gwyn and his clan are referred to as gods, though whether this is by Gwyn's own command or simply a title given to them by others for their strength is unknown.

The Nameless Firstborn
The first son of Gwyn, he committed some serious offense and was stricken from the annals of history. His story is not expanded upon in Dark Souls 1, not until Dark Souls 3.

Gwynevere, Princess of Sunlight
The second daughter of Gwyn, and known as a goddess of fertility. The real Gwynevere has left Anor Londo long ago when the First Flame began to fade, but Gwyndolin created an illusion of her to maintain the image of power and stability in the kingdom. This illusion grants successful Undead the Lordvessel, and directs them to follow Kingseeker Frampt's advice and fill it with Lord Souls. Undead who ask can join the Princess Guard, knights of Gwynevere who grant aid to fellow Undead through the use of her miracles.

Gwyndolin, the Dark Sun
Youngest son of Gwyn, and the only god who stayed behind in Anor Londo. Gwyndolin has a deep adoration of the sun, and reveres his father, spending his time guarding Gwyn's tomb and orchestrating events alongside Kingseeker Frampt to delay the Age of Dark. Due to his strong connection to the moon and skill in its magic, he was raised as a daughter. Gwyndolin specializes in a form of sorcery that uses Faith instead of Intelligence, and he is capable of powerful illusions that are nearly indistinguishable from reality. In this way, he maintains the appearance of a thriving Anor Londo. In reality, the kingdom has long since been abandoned and experiences an endless night, and Gwyndolin and his Darkmoon Knights are the only ones who remain. Undead may join his company of knights if they wish, though any who dispell the illusion of Gwynevere or enter Gwyn's tomb are instead marked as irredeemable sinners and enemies of the gods.

Kingseeker Frampt
One of the primordial serpents, Kingseeker Frampt finds Undead with the potential to be Lords, and directs them to link the First Flame, though he is not entirely forthwith and fails to mention that anyone who does will be trapped there, burning for an entire Age. Even so, linking the First Flame is necessary to prolong the Age of Fire and prevent an Age of Dark. Frampt will denounce the player and abandon them if they ever join Darkstalker Kaathe instead.

Dragonslayer Ornstein
Said to be the captain of Gwyn's four greatest knights. As with the other three, Ornstein was granted a fragment of Gwyn's soul for his service in the war against the dragons. He now guards the illusion of Gwynevere, serving as a test of strength to Undead who hope to link the First Flame. His accomplishments against the dragons are legendary, and his spear is said to have once split a boulder in two. He wields a cross spear infused with lightning, which uses leverage to penetrate dragon scales, let alone any normal human. Despite being a major figure in the story and even a boss in the game, not much is known about Ornstein beyond what could very well just be legends and hearsay.

Artorias the Abysswalker
Legendary knight of Gwyn, known for his unbreakable will of steel and unmatched skill with greatswords. It is said that Artorias forged a pact with the beasts of the Abyss to fight against the Darkwraiths, but this is only a fabrication, as his true story was intentionally obscured and eventually forgotten. In reality, Artorias was defeated by the Abyss, and his efforts were carried on by a forgotten champion. This champion eventually defeated Manus, Father of the Abyss, successfully stalling the Abyss's growth for some time. Artorias was friends with Sif the Great Wolf and the cat Alvina, both of whom now defend his grave from those who hope to find the means to enter the Abyss.

Hawkeye Gough
A giant and a knight of Gwyn, Hawkeye Gough and his archers were known for using massive greatbows to shoot down flying dragons. Gough himself can fell a dragon with a single arrow the size of a tree. But the war is over, and Gough now spends his time carving archtree wood and imbuing it with spoken messages.

Lord's Blade Ciaran
One of Gwyn's assassins, and also one of the four knights. She is distinguished among the Lord's Blades, though it is never quite explained what exactly her accomplishments are. She is prejudiced against humans, but due to her respect for Artorias she tries to treat them fairly.

Velka, Goddess of Sin
Velka is a black-haired witch and rogue goddess, though what this means is never explained. She keeps record of all sins committed by humans, and can absolve these sins for a price. She has some relation to crows, but what this means is not explained. Priests of Velka are called pardoners, and wander the lands taking confessions and absolving sins. Velka has two miracles in her name, Karmic Justice and Vow of Silence, and her hair can be fashioned into a talisman that draws strength from Intelligence instead of Faith. Miyazaki has said that the crow people in the Painted World of Ariamis are fervent followers of Velka, and became crow monsters in their devotion to her.

The Witch of Izalith
One of the four original Lord Soul bearers, her Lord Soul granted the power of fire. She is a witch and master of the now forgotten fire sorceries, and founded the city of Izalith with her daughters deep underground. When the First Flame began to fade, she attempted to create a second First Flame to replace it using her witchcraft and a special soul, but failed catastrophically and instead created the Flame of Chaos. The birth of Chaos marked the birth of demons, and its flame transformed the Witch of Izalith and all her daughters into demons barring Quelana, who escaped the destruction of her home. As the daughters of Izalith were the only practitioners of fire sorcery, it is now a forgotten art, but the creation of Chaos also created pyromancy as a byproduct. Gwyn waged war against the demons and eventually routed them, shackling the Bed of Chaos, their source of life, to contain them.

One of the daughters of Izalith, and the only one who successfully escaped the destruction of her home. The end of Izalith marked the end of fire sorcery, but the creation of Chaos also marked the birth of pyromancy. Quelana adapted many old fire sorcery spells into pyromancy, then taught them to her pupil Salaman long ago, who then taught it to the outcasts who live in the Great Swamp. In teaching pyromancy, she hoped to teach people control over the flame to prevent another such disaster, while also preaching a message to fear the flame as it is inherently uncontrollable. Quelana is known to pre-date the Age of Fire, but by how much or even how at all is never explained.

One of the Daughters of Chaos, she fled Izalith but was not able to escape before being transformed by the Flame of Chaos. She is now a demon, and has taken up residence near one of the two Bells of Awakening with her sister, the Fair Lady.

The Fair Lady
An unnamed Daugher of Chaos, she is pale and ill. Along with Quelaag, she fled the lost city of Izalith but still became a demon. The Fair Lady is afflicted by stillborn eggs, though unbeknownst to her each serves as a cradle for tiny Humanity sprites. She is tended to by her followers and members of her Chaos Servants covenant, who bring her the Humanity she needs. She is also a firekeeper, and maintains a bonfire and can assist an Undead by upgrading their Estus Flasks. She does not speak a language known by the player character, and can only be understood if they have the correct magic ring. Members of her covenant who offer her Humanity will be taught powerful pyromancies born from the Flame of Chaos, and can access the city of Izalith through a secret entrace.

A servant of the Fair Lady, he tends to her and guards her against intruders. He bears parasitic eggs as a sign of devotion and sympathy for the Fair Lady's suffering. He was once a pyromancer from the Great Swamp, but was driven out for his perversions of the art of fire, which turned flame into clouds of poison and inflicted prolonged suffering upon others.

Gravelord Nito
One of the four original Lord Soul bearers, Nito's soul grants power over death. Nito can inflict disease and decay, and animates skeletons to fight for him. Along with the other four original Lords, he played a major role in defeating the dragons and now holds dominion over an extended system of crypts and tombs where he watches over the dead. Nito leads a covenant, the Gravelord Servants, who use Eyes of Death to spread misfortune and curses, which produces more of the Eyes of Death Nito desires. Not much is known about him beyond this, though at one point a group of occultists tried to take a part of his Lord Soul in an attempt to slay the gods. More recently, the necromancer Pinwheel has been slowly draining Nito's power to animate skeletons with. Even despite all of this, Nito's Lord Soul remains strong enough to satiate the Lordvessel, and he is still a Lord in his own right.

Necromancer of the Catacombs, he has been taking power from Nito's soul to animate the dead for his own use. Pinwheel appears to have three heads and six arms, and concept art of him shows three separate bodies either stacked together or fused underneath his robe. Pinwheel himself is not especially powerful, and does not accomplish anything of note in the story. His three masks are each enchanted with special power, and will fortify the body of anyone wearing them.

Seath the Scaleless
Seath was born without the scales that make other dragons immortal. In his envy, he betrayed them and stole the primordial crystal, which granted him near complete invulnerability, if not an adequate imitation of immortality. After the war, he was given the titel of Duke by Gwyn, a fragment of Gwyn's own soul, and a tower and archives to conduct his research in. Seath eventually codified a system of magic utilizing souls, and is known as the father of sorcery by the Dragon School of Vinheim which teaches it. Seath spent his time trying to find the secrets of immortality and produce scales for himself, but eventually went mad and his experiments became more and more deranged. By the time the game begins, he is sending his minions out to kidnap maidens and perform horrible atrocities on them, turning them into hideous monsters. In his madness, he developed powerful sorceries based on a link between souls and crystals, the mere study of which is enough to drive other wizards equally insane.

The Four Kings
Rulers of New Londo, a city of Undead. They were granted fragments of Gwyn's Lord Soul in recognition of their skill as leaders, and peacefully ruled New Londo for a time. They eventually encountered Darkstalker Kaathe, who taught them the art of Lifedrain, and in joining him they and their knights became the Darkwraiths. The armor and weapons of their knights were twisted into a skeletal appearance, and the Four Kings themselves now reside in the Abyss and became things scarcely human. They and the Darkwraiths were eventually trapped within New Londo, which was flooded to contain them, though they are not yet dead.

Darkstalker Kaathe
One of the primordial serpents, Darkstalker Kaathe acts to end the Age of Fire and begin an Age of Dark. It is suspected that he is the one who tricked the people of Oolacile into reviving Manus, and in the game itself he argues that the player character should forsake the First Flame and become a Lord of Dark, ruling over an age of Humanity. His words are true, though much like Frampt he leaves out a lot of important details that might otherwise lead a person to think twice. Kaathe taught the art of Lifedrain to the Four Kings of New Londo, causing them and their knights to become corrupted by the Dark and giving rise to the Darkwraiths, Humanity-stealing Undead knights who are a threat to all living things. The Darkwraiths now answer to Kaathe, and he commands them to go out and steal Humanity from their fellow Undead in the hopes that one among them will become powerful enough to qualify as a Dark Lord. Should the player side with Kaathe, Frampt will denounce them and leave, but should the player side with Frampt, Kaathe will never show himself in the first place.

Ingward, the Sealer
One of three healers who devised a plan to contain the Darkwraiths by flooding New Londo, knowing that this would also cause the deaths of countless innocents. The three swore to remain and watch over the city, and wear distinctive masks as a symbol of their oath, but after some time Ingward is the only one who remained. Ingward himself knows sorcery that can cure curses, said to be comparable to divine power. The corpse and spell of the second sealer can be found in Blighttown, and their poison-curing sorcery may suggest that they were trying to relieve the suffering there. The final sealer is found with Lautrec in Anor Londo, though they no longer wear their mask which suggests they may have forsaken their oath.

Manus, Father of the Abyss
A primeval human, Manus was once human but becomes a twisted abomination after being resurrected. His Humanity goes wild, and similarly mutates any other human it comes in contact with. He is a dark sorcerer of immense power, and wields the strength of the Abyss to bring the kingdom of Oolacile to its knees in short order, capturing the Princess Dusk. The Abyss spreads rapidly under his guidance, and while its spread is halted with his death, Gough notes that it this is only a temporary measure. The knight Artorias attempts to stop him, but is defeated. Manus himself is warped beyond the ability to reason by his revival, and desperately seeks his precious pendant, which he never finds. He demonstrates the ability to reach beyond time and space, snatching at least two people from the future and dragging them back into the past.

Princess Dusk of Oolacile
The princess of Oolacile, Dusk is trapped in one of Seath's crystal golems when the player finds her. She owes the player character a debt of gratitude, and offers to teach them the sorceries of her kingdom before she fades back to her natural time. The player can then use her sign to summon her and learn the long forgotten light-based spells of Oolacile. As the events of the game progress, she is eventually captured by the resurrected Manus, who then pulls the player character into the past when they try to investigate.

On the subject of speculation, there is a time and a place for it, so long as it isn't scattered through absolutely everything and masquerading as truthful information stated within the game.
Last edited by Fexelea on Wed May 10, 2017 7:29 pm, edited 1 time in total. Reason: Fixed title for clarity!



Fire Keeper

Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2012 10:00 pm
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I have implemented the new formatting based on the suggestions by @TSMP

There's still lots of work to be done! Calling @dn1nd and other loreheads!
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Chosen Undead

Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2014 2:17 pm
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When I get a chance to help with the page I will. Been insanely busy lately.

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