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

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(DISCLAIMER! This post is for beginners to the lore of Dark Souls to make them understand the story better, not for people searching for theories, or lore-heads who already know this stuff. All of the information presented here are conclusions built off of the story given, the community, and item descriptions, locations, and npcs in the game. Its important to note that there are also Spoilers, so read at your own risk!)

Ultrabloods guide to Dark Souls Basic Lore.

The Beginning.
The Age of Ancients… The land was bare and blank. Nothing had been created nor destroyed. The world was empty and vast with giant arch trees and Everlasting Dragons. The Dragons were giant, majestic beings who were stone-like and resided over the boundless nothing that was the world. Nothing died, but then again nothing lived for there was no purpose. The world was blank. Then out of the nothingness, something amazing happened. The First Flame. A power unlike anything the world had seen, and with it's spark it created the fundamentals of life. Heat and Cold. Life and Death. And most importantly, Light and Dark. And from the Dark, the primal beings came. Little is known about these ancient beings other than these creatures where zombie-like and sluggish (basically hollows), simply existing for no other purpose than to live. When they approached the flame, they found a miraculous thing. Souls. You see the First Flame is fueled by souls, and it makes sense that the four lords found the four Lord Souls within the First Flame. And sense life originates within the soul and is the source of all life, when they found the souls they found life within themselves. Now when they found souls within the flame, they contained light. I believe that Lords or Gods were created from souls with light purely, and that humans were created from souls with light mixed with the dark already inside them, considering that humans where born from the dark. In particular, there were Four Lords who found four extremely powerful souls.

Introduction of the Four Lords
The first was Nito, The First of the Dead. Nito was the very first being to die in the world, and the very first undead sense the fire created life and death, enabling creatures to die. Nito was obviously a giant considering his large stature and bone structure. The second was the Witch of Izalith, and her Daughters of Chaos. The Witch of Izalith is the Godmother of Pyromancy, and learned how to manipulate fire as a weapon, thus she created the art of Fire Sorcery. The third was the legendary Gwyn, Lord of Sunlight. Gwyn was the most powerful of the Three Lords, and he proclaimed that the three lords where gods, and as a god he declared himself as the chief deity and backed up his power with a fierce army of Silver Knights. And the fourth was the Furtive Pygmy, who held on to his Lord Soul in secret, and passed it down in pieces through time, which is where humanity originates. And with the strength of Lords, Gwyn, Nito and the Witch challenged the Ancient Dragons. Now with the Lord Souls being extremely powerful, they granted them powerful abilities, such as the Witches Flame Sorcery. Now how this war between the Dragons and the Lords is still a mystery, but I believe Gwyn made the first blow from his ignorance and pride, having the audacity of claiming himself as a god, and that the Ancient Dragons didn’t need to pray upon humans for they did not need sustenance. At some point, the first blow was struck, and the war had begun.

Gwyn's Children and The End of the War
The war had raged on for a very long time, and a lot happened in between the start of the war and the end of it. Mainly, Gwyn managed to have three children. He had two sons and one daughter, the first being the God of War, who was closest representation to Gwyn using the powers of lightning and sunlight. The next was Gwynevere; Gwyn’s daughter who was also born under the sun and was a patron to all maidens and healing miracles. And the last was Gwyndolin, the only child to born under the moon. Gwyn raised him like a woman out of shame that he was not born under the sun like his other siblings and that the Dark Sun had femininity. Throughout the story, it is unclear who the mother of Gwyn’s children really is unfortunately. Being the children of god, these three children were amazingly powerful, possessing powers that only legends could transcribe. Unfortunately for Gwyn, his First Born would later betray him and join forces with the Dragons, and such an act would remove his name from the Annals of History and strip him of his godhood. His other son, Gwyndolin, would eventually go and replace Velka by taking her status and dominion of punishing sinners and establishing the Blades of the Darkmoon to punish sinners. Gwynevere would later on go to be an important role in the story of other key characters. But I digress, and we must return to the war between Gods and Dragons. Gwyn used his mighty thunderbolts to peel away the dragon’s scales, The Witch of Izalith weaved Great Firestorms, and Gravelord Nito unleashed a miasma of death and disease. Gwyn also had received help from a dragon known as Seath the Scaleless, who betrayed his dragon kin because of the jealousy that he had for his brothers. The dragon's secret to immortality lies within their everlasting scales, which Seath did not possess. So out of envy, he betrayed his kind and pillaged their treasures (namely the Primordial Crystal, granting him immortality) for his own greed, as well as need. And with that, the dragons were defeated.

Anor Londo and The Gods
After the war had subsided and the gods had taken control of the world, the Gods created Anor Londo, the capital of Lordran and a beacon of light, a symbol of the God's strength and prosperity. Gwyn also granted Seath dukedom for his services, and gave him the royal archive of Anor Londo, a treasure trove of knowledge. Gwyn charged Nito with keeping the aspect of death present within the world, and went below toward the Tomb of the Giants, where he created the Gravelord Servants to spread death throughout the world and set up residence there. And as for the Witch of Izalith and her Daughters of Chaos, they built and resided in the city of Izalith which was somewhat neighboring the Tomb. There were many gods that resided in the city, but none came into play until the Age of Fire. First there was Velka, the goddess of sin and the most feared of the Deities who punished sinners and had ownership of the Book of the Guilty, and took on the aspect of a crow. Her post was taken away from her by Gwyn's son however, and this nepotism enraged Velka, making her a purposeless entity. What is a god without a domain to rule over? Next was Fina, who was the goddess of love and beauty, most likely idolized by many mortals. Then there was Flann, the god of fire who eventually married Gwyn's daughter Gwynevere. And finally, there was the Nameless Blacksmith Deity, as well as Allfather Lloyd who was Gwyn's uncle and most likely the leader of the Way of White, and Old Man McLoyf, god of medicine and drink. All of these so-called Deity’s ruled over Anor Londo and the humans, who worshiped the gods.

The Four Knights
After the city of Anor Londo was created, I believe that Gwyn decided to form an elite squad of knights to help fight against any remaining threat that remained, such as remaining dragons or perhaps some unknown force. There was Lord's Blade Ciaran, who was the most prestigious and skilled out of the Lord’s Blades, a group of deadly assassins that laid waste to Gwyn's foes or any threat to the gods. The second was Hawkeye Gough, one of the most skilled archers in the history of the Souls Series, and is responsible for the greatbow using Silverknights, who most likely learned the art from the giant. The third was the legendary Knight Artorias, who wielded a giant magical greatsword and a unbreakable greatshield and was renown for his unbreakable will of steel. And the final knight and leader of the four was Dragonslayer Ornstein. Trained by Gwyn's First Born before the betrayal, he used the power of lightning combined with his giant spear to destroy the enormous dragons. All of these knights are believed to be Lords, and Gwyn had granted them special rings to represent their rank, as well as there helmets to bring them a sort of chivalry. With his army of Silver Knights at his disposal, as well as these legendary warriors, Gwyn ruled the world with no opposition. but even though they would prove prestigious and strong, even legendary warriors such as them are but merely specks of dust when faced off against the forces that lay ahead.

Seath the Scaleless and the Painted World
During this time of prosperity, Seath the Scaleless became obsessed with learning all of the boundless knowledge that the Grand Archives had offered. He would later on accomplish many feats through his research, such as being the grandfather of Sorcery, creating marvelous creatures and even helping somewhat prolong the Age of Fire. He is responsible for creating the Hydra, as well as the Moonlight Butterfly and Crystal Golems, but they were considered failures and were later dumped or escaped into Darkroot Garden. It is even implied that he took interest in Gwyn’s daughter and in secret had sexual relations and impregnated Gwynevere. When the child was born into the world, it was revealed to be an abomination of nature, a hybrid between god and dragon. The little "girl" was named Priscilla, and she was a terribly powerful creature, having the ability of Lifehunt which reaped the very life force from living beings. Gwyn eventually discovered her, and realizing that this creature was a threat to the world and in fear that one day she will breed and create more abominations, he decided to lock the child away in a cold and desolate world known as the Painted World of Ariamas, a sort of lock-box where the gods put away things that threaten or terrify them. It is here that Velka’s followers and Pardoners made there home, for Velka was also feared by the gods and therefore her followers were locked away as well. Gwyn also took measures to place Painted Guardians to guard the entrance, with each generation teaching the next to make sure nothing got in, and nothing got out.

The Darksign
After all of the events that transpired prior, the dragons were all but dead besides Seath amd the legendary Black Dragon Kalameet, the bringer of Calamity who fled to Oolacile likely to look for a new home. With the dragons no longer a threat to humanity, all seemed safe in the world, until the unthinkable happened. The First Flame began to fade. Many events would transpire, but the most important was the dreaded Darksign. Along with the spread of darkness, this unknown curse was set upon humans, and whoever bared the curse was doomed to come back to life after death and slowly turn into a hollow, a husk of there former selves who would become insane and zombie-like and attack any and all who showed any sign of life. Although the dreaded Darksign was horrid, there are ways to preserve your human self such as having a true purpose or gaining humanity, remnants or shards of the Dark Soul that were passed down from the Furtive Pygmy. You see, humans are born from the darkness, and Humanity is actually the human part of them, not their soul. So in terms, souls are the source of life and sustain it, while humanity preserves life and is the aspect of them. But to the Giants and Gods, Humanity was poison sense they were beings of light, and did everything in their power to stop the darkness. When the Darksign fell upon humanity, the Way of White labeled it as an unholy curse, and began to hunt and lock away the undead in Asylums. The origins of the Darksign are unknown. Some say that Gwyn convinced Nito, the First of the Dead in a sort of scheme alongside Seath to create it to get humans to kindle bonfires, destroying fragments of the dark soul and to help sort of keep the Age of Fire alive, but we can not be sure. And the Darksign would change the very fate of the world, including some of Lordran’s finest heroes.

The Primordial Serpents
Eventually, though it is unclear, Primordial Serpents arose from the darkness that creeped over Lordran known as the Abyss. These strange beings had large orange eyes, large flat teeth with large noses, and mustache-like appendages. The serpents were no threat to the gods, but are actually imperfect dragons that instead of using fire and scales, used words and knowledge. Of these serpents, two in particular played a major role, being Darkstalker Kaathe and Kingseeker Frampt. At the start, both Kaathe and Frampt were against the Age of Fire and wanted darkness to rule the world and seeked to spread the abyss. But at some unknown event, Frampt befriended Lord Gwyn, and went against Kaathe and his endeavors. Unlike Frampt, Kaathe knew that darkness was spreading and took advantage of it by seeking to rejoin the Dark Soul, and find the true Dark Lord to rule the land in the Age of Dark. He had the power to grant the art of Lifedrain, the legendary power of the Dark Lord to absorb humanity from your foes.

The Witch of Izalith and the Chaos Fire
As time passed, Gwyn and Frampt realized that their endeavors were not stopping the dark, and the flame was fading more and more with each passing year, and devised a new plan to holt the Abyss, and agreed that they would have to create a new First Flame to keep the gods in power and to continue the coarse of the Age of Fire. Gwyn then asked one of the Four Lords, the Witch of Izalith, to create a new First Flame with her Lord Soul. But at some point, she had made a miscalculation, and accidentally created the aspect of Chaos. This new Chaos fire was extremely aggressive and destructive, destroying everything and corrupted any living thing into a demonic monster. The Witch of Izalith and two of the Daughters of Chaos were consumed by her mistake and was changed into the Bed of Chaos, a creature who took control of a giant willow and two of the daughters became flaming barriers that created gigantic flaming hook-like appendages. With the Chaos Fire consuming Izalith, only three of the Daughters of Chaos made it out safely which of who being Quelaag, Quelana, and The Fair Lady. The others either died, or were turned into horrendous demons such as the Ceaseless Discharge, the brother of the Daughters of Chaos who became a giant lave demon. Although they made it out alive, Quelaag and The Fair Lady were corrupted by the Chaos Flame as well, having a lower Spider Demon half, but somehow Quelana managed to make it out unscathed. In response to the demon and chaos spread, Gwyn sent in Silver Knights who were specially equipped to fight Chaos Demons, known as Black Knights, to repel the evils and reclaim the City of Izalith. These warriors fought valiantly, but in the end the demons proved to be too strong and the war was lost, along with Izalith. In the aftermath when Quelana escaped from Izalith, she used the newfound flame aspect that her mother had created and invented Pyromancy, the art of manipulating fire. She then took under her wing an apprentice known as Salaman whom became one of the best pyromancers to ever live, and Quelana's star pupil. Salaman then proceeded to teach this fiery art to Carmina and most likely the rest of the Great Swamp, thus the spread of Pyromancy.

Seath, The Firekeepers and Havel The Rock
As the flame began to fade, Gwyn began to fear the darkness that was rising over the land, and thus had to turn to more unorthodox and inhuman methods in keeping the fire alive after Izalith. In order to keep the fire alive, Gwyn turned to his confidant Seath and was given the task and granted permission to steal maidens and experiment on them in order to try to create Firekeepers. Seath then deployed kidnappers across the land called Channelers who represented Seath’s eyes and ears, stealing woman and taking them back to his dungeon to be experimented on. Many of his experiments failed, and turned many innocent woman into grotesque, tentacle monsters who were herded into cages. There was but one man that stood to stop the atrocities that the Gods were committing, the Bishop of the Way of White, Havel. Havel was a monster of a man, commanding his own platoon of special troops in Gwyn's army who carried armor carved from stone and were bestowed rings that allowed them to endure more weight. Havel also had a deep hatred for Seath as well as Sorcery, considering that Seath was a dragon, the enemy, and that sorcery was the reason there were so many wrongs in this world. Havel eventually decided that something must be done, and he confronted Seath himself and battled the mighty dragon, but failed and was imprisoned in the dungeons below. Havel then discovered the horrors of Seath’s experiments, realizing that the Gods had gone to far, and decided rebellion was the only option. He broke free of the archives and sought out the Occult, a powerful force that was the bane of Lords, and used this to assault the gods themselves, but was no match for their unending power. It is unclear what happened to Havel, as his armor is hidden within Anor Londo, but his body is nowhere to be found. Perhaps he is locked away in a tower, far beneath an undead settlement, or maybe he simply vanished, for the answer is unclear. As for Seath, he eventually succeeded in his experiments, but one mind cannot hope to contain all of the worlds secrets, and as such his pursuits caused him to go mad and blind.

New Londo and Darkstalker Kaathe
In an attempt to bring about the Age of Dark and end the God's reign, Darkstalker Kaathe found his way over to the Undead City known as New Londo, a city lead by Four Kings who were even given a shard of Gwyn's Lord Soul as a symbol of recognition. Kaathe appeared to the Four Kings and offered the art of Lifedrain to them, giving them a new way of feeding their humanity and exploiting their lust and greed, and the foolish Kings accepted. The city then immediately went into chaos as the Kings began consuming the humanity out of their citizens, and transformed there once noble knights into Darkwraiths. With many innocent citizens dying, the cities only hope was Knight Artorias, who had a deep hatred for the Dark. Once Artorias arrived at the city, he ran into Darkstalker Kaathe, who offered to make a covenant with the knight in order for him to face the Abyss, and thus Artorias learned the art of Abysswalking, becoming, "Artorias, The Abysswalker". But even with his abilities, he was unable to save the city as the sheer overwhelming amount of darkness was consuming everything. At the last moment, when the city was almost lost, three healers named Ingward, Yulva, and the third being unknown, made the decision to flood New Londo to stop the spread of the Darkwraiths and the Four Kings. This action may have been horrid and killing literal thousands, but was necessary to contain the unspeakable evil that was ever so close to breaking free into Lordran.

Oolacile and the Furtive Pygmy
As the Flame faded, the darkness began to spread more and more, consuming the lands and inhabitants, one of which was the land of Oolacile. In his second attempt at bringing about the Age of Dark, the Primordial Serpent Darkstalker Kaathe went to the mystic land of Oolacile and told them of a tempting proposition. He told the people that if they summoned the primeval Manus, Father of the Abyss, that they could feed off of his endless humanity. The foolish citizens followed the serpents instructions, and successfully summoned him forth, of which they then imprisoned him and began to sap the poor pygmy's humanity out of his body by any means of torture. Then, after too much strain, Manus had broken and his mind as well as his humanity went wild. His physical form transformed into an eldrich monster from his screaming soul, and being consumed by his own rampant darkness he broke free and released his unstoppable wrath. Manus spread the Abyss across Oolacile, and had corrupted the land and its horrible citizens, turning its people into evil abominations with bloated heads and contorted, broken limbs. It is important to note that although humans were born from the darkness, they cannot seem to survive inside in pure blackness.

Artorias of the Abyss
Noticing the Abyss looming in the distance, Gwyn sent his trusted knight Artorias to go halt the spread and save the Princess known as Dusk. Alongside Lord's Blade Ciaran and Hawkeye Gough, the three legendary knights set out to go stop the Abyss whilst Ornstein stayed behind in Anor Londo. Along the road, Artorias met a young wolf pup of who he named, "Sif" who he took under his wing and as his companion. When the three knights arrived in Oolacile along with Sif, Artorias decided that he would go in search for the heart of the Abyss and stop it from spreading, and abandoned his companions to go find and eliminate the source. When he arrived with Sif to the Chasm of the Abyss, they found the Furtive Pygmy and engaged Manus in combat, but ultimately failed for not even a knight such as him can stand a chance to a monster of his caliber. As the darkness began tainting the knight and his wolf, he made his last effort to protect his friend from the darkness. Artorias used the magic in his shield and the rest of his strength into blocking one of Manuses attacks and put a barrier around Sif, but in turn broke his right arm and was swallowed by the Abyss, becoming the monsterous Artorias of the Abyss. The Lord's Blade Ciaran desperately ran after Artorias after he had not returned to her, and despite her searching for him, she could not find The Abysswalker. She had loved Knight Artorias but it is believed that he did not love her back, and when Artorias died she became heart-broken. She made a grave for her fallen champion, and stayed at the grave of Artorias with Sif and mourned until death itself found her and died alongside her hero. As for Gough, when the two knights left, Gough fell at the mercy of Oolacile's inhabitants. Some of the citizens of Oolacile had not completely fallen to the dark yet, and when encountering the giant, they mistook him as a monster and shoved resin inside of his helmet and in his eyes so that he could not see. He could have easily swatted them away, but his knighthood would never allow the harming of innocents, so the archer was left blind and useless.

Gwyn's final act
With his 3 Knights gone, his army's diminished from the war on Izalith and the darkness creeping in, Gwyn had decided that there was only one way to keep the First Flame from going out. Trembling at the dark that was spreading rapidly, Gwyn concluded that he must sacrifice himself, lighting himself with the First Flame. He instructed Dragonslayer Ornstein and the cities cannibalistic Executioner Smough to stay at Anor Londo and protect his daughter Gwynevere, and then departed for the Kiln of the First Flame. The once proud Gwyn, Lord of Sunlight whom the world recognized and loved, alongside his remaining Black Knights linked the fire, and exploded with flames. These flames scorched his charred Black Knights, turning them to ash and cursing their spirits to roam the Kiln. Gwyn then became known as Gwyn, Lord of Cinder, and was Lord of Sunlight no more.

The Abandoning of Anor Londo
Knowing that the Flame would eventually fade, the Gods of Anor Londo built a ceremonial tomb for there beloved leader Gwyn, and at his coffin were left three supposed gifts, one representing each of Gwyn's children. The Gods then decided that the land of Lordran is doomed, and fled the royal city despite their leaders noble sacrifice, with only Dark sun Gwyndolin staying in order to preserve Gwyn’s honorary tomb and honor the once proud city by being the only remaining god. Dragonslayer Ornstein saw little value in guarding an empty city or an abandoning princess, so he set off to find his old master, the First Born, leaving the real Smough alone to defend the city. Gwyndolin then used his mystic powers to alter the entire city, creating an illusion of Gwynevere as well as the city that seemed just as it was when the Gods were present. At some point near when the gods left Anor Londo, the princess Gwynevere married the Flame God Flann, though it is unsure why. And so the Gods had abandoned the Anor Londo, New Londo, Oolacile, Lost Izalith, and the once proud knights of Gwyn had all but fallen.


The Undead Legend
The loyal Frampt, now known as Kingseeker, then realized that even a being as powerful as Gwyn would eventually burn out and the Flame would fade yet again, so he decided to create a lie alongside Gwyndolin to inspire the undead to sacrifice themselves to extend the Age of Fire. “Thou who art undead art Chosen. In thine exodus from the Undead Asylum, maketh pilgrimage to the land of the ancient lords. When thou ringeth the Bell of Awakening, the fate of the undead thou shalt know.” Frampt made a legend that if an Undead had the strength and skill to ring both the Bells of Awakening within Lordran, that they would be told that they must retrieve the Lordvessel from Anor Londo and then open the way to the Kiln of the First Flame, defeat Gwyn, Lord of Cinder, and cure the undead curse. Sadly however, the reality is that these undead had gone through all these trials to build up the power of their soul, and
would be tricked into an eternity of burning until their soul would burn out, and then replaced with a new chosen undead. In correspondence, Kaathe waited beneath New Londo inside of the Abyss for a new Undead Warrior to defeat Gwyn and kickstart the Age of Dark, but then again humans cannot survive in the Abyss as we have seen from Oolacile. So either way, the flames will fade eventually, and only dark will remain and consume all…
Last edited by Ultrablood on Sun Aug 21, 2016 1:17 pm, edited 10 times in total.
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Superdude100001

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#2
Holy crap, that's long. Um...


Superdude100000, the model before me, was pretty cool. Except for one problem. He never played Dark Souls.
Superdude100001, self proclaimed author and game philosopher/enthusiast. And he played Dark Souls. So yeah. He's our best make.
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chroniz

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#3
Please add some line breaks, thanks. It's rather disorienting to read such a long wall of text in a row.
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Rynn

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#4
Apparently I need 10 rep to have right of way to downrep you. So just know it would have happened for the text wall if I could.

With that said I'm now going to work on picking it apart to commentate on your lore. This hopefully branches into dark souls II, and how the Dark Souls lore connects, right?
I can't decide; whether you should live or die.

Buggy_Virus

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#5
You need to edit in paragraphs, and headers would be nice as well.

Then I'll read, but in general this should be in the archives.
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Emergence

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#6
Topic moved to Archives as this is a lore discussion.

Also, OP please edit in paragraphs and breaks as a courtesy to other posters and to help ensure that all of your great speculation has an opportunity to be read and commented on. As it is now it is too large of a text wall.
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Ultrablood

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#7
I apologize for the giant text wall guys. Ill move it to Archives and edit it and post it later today properly.
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Rynn

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#8
No problem.
PM me when you do. I am interested on your take of things.
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Madara

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#9
You've pretty much outlined the entirety of the known lore. I've only read through just over half of it but its all just commonplace stuff loreheads already know, no speculation on Velka, the rebellion, the chaos war and many other interesting topics. I do not like the title of the thread either because it makes a promise it can't fulfill, any Lore-head on this forum knows this stuff even if they only have a half decent knowledge of the game. You need to think outside the box because i would've been better off not reading an essay about alot of stuff i already know. You put minor different spins on certain things but i would personally context some of those such as Manus. You need to go exploring the game and looking at item descriptions yourself. Youtube loreheads can only get you so far, i love them all but i, along with everyone else has there own spin on evidence and have theory own theories on the lore. you need to do the same.
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Rynn

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#10
But perhaps all they were seeking was to consolidate the outright facts into one place for easier reference?
I can't decide; whether you should live or die.
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