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

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#1
I was just thinking over the differences between Humans and Gods(Giants), what separates them so substantially on a physical level and the difference in their interaction in Lordran. The primary difference between them from the very beginning is their interaction with Souls.
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The way gods interact with souls, they interact on a fundamentally different level than Humans. I will now explain.

Humans
As people are all familiar with, regular human souls are a currency in the game by you the player and all the merchants in the game. When you absorb the souls you pick up in the game you break the barrier that separates the player from the souls and they are absorbed into the body. You retain them unless you die, then you lose them and if you can't get them before you die next they are gone. Then you have special souls which operate on the same level, when you crush them, the souls flow into your body and you can use them as a currency for services and for purchasing items. But you can also give them to the Giant Smith to forge you a weapon and in the case of Gwyn's soul you can forge a more powerful miracle in the form of his lightning bolts through the son bro covenant. These souls can be used to mold weapons and miracles to forms related to the souls owner. However humans do not get stronger from these souls. Your strength does not increase the more souls you contain.

Gods
Gods from the very beginning intro of the game are shown to interact very differently with souls than humans. When they absorb souls they get quantifiable stronger. They absorbed the lord souls and became substantially stronger. With the amount of souls they gained from their lord souls they were able to defeat the Everlasting Dragons. Something that a human can't do. The reason we know this is because even though we are capable of wielding everything the gods can you still can't kill the everlasting dragon in ash lake. Other races seem to be capable of this aswell(indicated from the strength:souls ratio on enemies). The gods can integrate with souls and gain strength from them. Another annoying example of this actually in game is the battle between Orenstein and Smough in which if you defeat one the other absorbs their soul and fights on with the strength of their fallen comrade. Their size and power is quantified by the power of souls. Notice how the gods of Anor Londo are so huge and how the witches of Izalith are human sized. The same could be said for the likes of Ciaran and Artorias. Ciaran has not been to war in awhile, so probably has not taken in outside souls in awhile, hence her size(Although for all we know it could have to do with time constraints with the DLC). Artorias waged war upon the abyss and consumed soul after soul during his battled so he is above average in proportion to a human. The Gods are also capable of manifesting their power within a weapon which they forge with the power of their own soul, something that can be copied by the Giant Smith. They have an ability to mold souls by themselves, creating powerful weapons which we have all tried out ourselves.
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From the differences in interaction, i have come to certain conclusions about parts of the Lore in Dark Souls particularly surrounding the dark sign, bonfires and fire keepers. The reason i say this is because of the way Humans interact with a different kind of soul. The Dark Soul, or Humanity. I will explain briefly Humanity and its relevance.

Humanity
Humanity has always been speculated to be a shard of the Dark Soul for many, many, many reasons. It makes complete sense that humanity are the many fragments of the Dark Souls. Humanity is something used so that Undead can become human again, it is also used for the player to become quantifiable stronger similar to the way gods become stronger through regular souls. Humanity is what empowers chaos and the abyss sorceries(well the sorercies themselves are actually humanity as seen from item descriptions), which the Humans are capable of using. These abilities are incredibly powerful. Powerful enough to equal the gods as many a player has found as they have fought with many tools relating to chaos and the abyss on top of fighting with plenty of Humanity.
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Now my theory is that 3 important figures in the series manufactured the Dark Sign, Bonfires and Fire Keepers. These figures are Gwyn, Nito and Seath. The reasons for this is to keep the dark soul as divided as possible until they could find a way to extinguish it.

Gwyn was worried about the dark soul and its potential. He saw first hand the power of the dark soul when chaos was born. Chaos was born from a soul which i speculate was infused with humanity. It created a race of demons and corrupted his former allies the Izilith Family. The First Flame was dying and the Dark Souls influence was getting stronger. He got together with Nito and Seath and gave an order, to find a way to extinguish the Dark Soul. Nito is the first of the dead and he is known to have created the Rite of Kindling which was stolen by Pinwheel. Nito is the lord of Death in Dark Souls and one of the 4 Lords. I believe he created the Undead Curse in co-ordination with Seath. Seath's Knowledge of immortality and undeath would be valuable in creating the Undead. They create an undead curse so that people would remain in the world of the living and their only salvation is humanity, the Dark Soul. The only way to turn human is to use humanity, the only way to bolster your estus to keep you healthy is humanity and firekeeper souls, infused with humanity is the only way to increase its effectiveness.

If people die they keep the humanity on their person(as you see as you can pick up humanity off of corpses), another person comes and picks it up, as the cycle of life and death continues and people die, others collect their humanity. Until you have a group of humans who have accumulated a vast amount of the dark soul. The more people within Lordran, the more divided the dark soul would be, so they created the undead curse and linked it to the bonfires and linked the firekeepers to bonfire to receive the humanity. When the player offers humanity to a bonfire it is stored in the firekeeper. I came to this conclusion from the game mechanic in the Archives in which you link to a bonfire in the prison he keeps for his experiments. The reason he takes women is to make fire keepers, those who fail the transformation to a firekeeper turns in the monsters in the archives prison. The Firekeepers are vessels of humanity used to tether the undead to the bonfires while they in turn are tethered to the bonfires via their souls. With both the living and the undead, they divide the dark soul enough that a force powerful enough to combat the gods is impossible. The beings with the most humanity in the series are the firekeepers who are crippled and may never meet to keep humanity spread out. The result of humans amassing humanity? The Abyss, created from the darkness within the dark soul creating terrifying adversaries like Manus and The Four Kings.

They never found how to extinguish the dark soul so as the fire began to fade after gwyn lit it. The dark soul, even after after they had created a delivery system of humanity to everyone, forces still began to amass the dark soul themselves. The end result of which is that The First Flame dies and the Age of Darkness begins.


I have to edit this quiet a bit because i have a few things that i know i should include but can't remember so i will edit once things come to mind.

Ultrablood

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#2
This is a great theory indeed, but there are some flaws to point out. First, I believe that Logans theory is correct, stating that there are no gods, only beings with power. Those beings being Giants whose souls are born from Light, which you did state in the beginning text but you should still state it again in the Gods section :) Also, I don't agree with the theory that Seath creates Firekeepers and the failures become Picasas. Check out the Brass set description. "Armor of the Darkmoon Knightess, Fire Keeper of Anor Londo. After becoming undead, she visited the Dark Sun Gwyndolin at the Mausoleum of the Spiral Depths, became a Blade of the Darkmoon, and assumed the flame-keeping duty. She received this armor, which hides her hideous form and helps her hunt the guilty." The Firekeeper in Anor Londo apparently assumed the Firekeeper duty by choice, likely because Gwyndolin told her to do so. Now from that, its unlikely Gwyndolin sent his Blade of the Darkmoon to the insane Seath to be experimented on, and then made it through the experiments unscathed. Although its still a possibility sense she does know about how Seaths Archives have turned into Crystalized prisons, but i just find it highly unlikely.

And as for the Gods trying to extinguish the Dark Soul Theory, I believe the undead curse has been around sense before the fall of Izalith, as well as Firekeepers and Bonfires. I think Gwyn saw that the Flame was beginning to fade shortly after the defeat of the Dragons, and therefore had Nito create the Darksign and Firekeepers, but before the Fall of Izalith. Although it is proven in Lordran that time is distorted so it is rather difficult to catalog a timeline, but overall is an amazing theory. I really think the idea that the Firekeepers gaining the Humanity from the Undead through Kindling the Bonfires in order to kill the Dark Soul is great, and raises a lot of questions. Maybe Fina knows of this plan to extinguish the Dark Soul, but views that only her chosen disciples should remain in the world and are the only ones worthy to remain human and that all others should go hollow, and has Lautrec kill them sense he follows Fina. This would kind of be like a in a sort of a real-life religious view of doomsday where only the followers and faithful shall survive the end of the world. In term though, this is a great theory! :biggrin:

Shkar

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#3
It's an interesting theory, but it isn't really substantiated by anything. There's no sign that the Dark Sign is anything but natural, cursing people with immortality is a weird way to make them give up their humanity, and I once again feel it should be pointed out that there's little evidence to support the "Gods screw over humanity" theories.

For that matter, if your theory is that the lords created the Dark Sign to make the humans offer up their humanity, why wouldn't they just purge humanity every once in awhile to keep humanity levels low? Outing a country as heretical and swooping in to clean up the humanity from the bodies after the other countries crush them in war would be a lot easier and safer than giving the people you are trying to oppress immortality.

Ultrablood

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#4
Well it is possible that it would create a problem and the humans would most likely revolt against the gods if they went around obliterating entire freaking citys, kind of how Havel might have, seeing as the Gods are becoming more and more desperate to keep the Age of Dark away. And if Gwyn and the Gang were to cleanse entire Undead Cities it would shake the faith of the people, including the Way of White which is present in most of the human world. And its possible that sense the WoW is ruled by Gwyn's uncle All-father Lloyd that it might not shake the faith of Loyal Bishops and Crusaders who have devoted there life to the Church, but remember that there could always be revolt by the citizens and they could forcefully remove the Church, and the gods would most likely be assaulted in there city, resulting in another war between God and Man (most likely man getting obliterated) causing even more problems in the already troubled world. Although this is all just speculation after all.

Madara

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#5
Shkar wrote:It's an interesting theory, but it isn't really substantiated by anything. There's no sign that the Dark Sign is anything but natural, cursing people with immortality is a weird way to make them give up their humanity, and I once again feel it should be pointed out that there's little evidence to support the "Gods screw over humanity" theories.

For that matter, if your theory is that the lords created the Dark Sign to make the humans offer up their humanity, why wouldn't they just purge humanity every once in awhile to keep humanity levels low? Outing a country as heretical and swooping in to clean up the humanity from the bodies after the other countries crush them in war would be a lot easier and safer than giving the people you are trying to oppress immortality.

I completely agree with the fact there is no sign that its anything but natural except for the fact that it seemed to pop out of nowhere until the problem slowly began to grow to the point that they were all shipped off to the land of the Gods, to be dealt with there. And i'm not so much saying that the Gods go out of their way to screw over humanity but they are looking after Lordran against Darkness and Humans are the progenitors of darkness. It wasn't "we hate the humans" it was more like "the humans can bring disaster to the world on the wrong path".

The method i'm referring to is something similar to a socialist model of ruling. The Humanity is shared amongst each individual human, thereby reducing the amount any one person can have. The facilitate this with the Undead Plague. The more that exist, the less likely one will build it up and challenge the gods. They created a benefit system by which the undead offer their humanity to the storage vessel(the firekeeper) for perks. Have the undead Divided amongst themselves in their individual fight for humanity to keep their sanity and live on. Death would facilitate something similar to capitalism by which its a free market in which you get what you work for. There would be wars fought for the humanity, until one nation would build up a great portion of the dark soul and be able to combat the gods and bring Darkness and Chaos to the World. One Nation that succeeded in building up humanity was New Londo which was sealed over sealing something like Chaos. If the gods were to purge city after city of humans it would merely cause rebellion against them. If the theory i'm trying to perpetuate is true then that would mean they would lack souls to keep them strong maybe it was their method of living, feeding on souls. They needed a sustained population with allowing them the ability to rebel. New Londo wasn't even sealed by the gods but rather humans that took the responsibility to seal them, themselves.

Its all speculation but i think that this idea makes sense.

Shkar

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#6
That seems to make a lot more sense than what I must have read the first time. Tell me, using this theory, how does the description on the Rite of Kindling apply:

"Kindling was a sacred rite passed down among clerics, but all Undead can imitate the process, in the same manner that they restore their Hollowing with humanity.
How peculiar that humans had found little use for humanity until they turned Undead."

Madara

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#7
Shkar wrote:That seems to make a lot more sense than what I must have read the first time. Tell me, using this theory, how does the description on the Rite of Kindling apply:

"Kindling was a sacred rite passed down among clerics, but all Undead can imitate the process, in the same manner that they restore their Hollowing with humanity.
How peculiar that humans had found little use for humanity until they turned Undead."
I've actually thought on this alot over the past week and i've been watching lore videos alot lately along with it. I think that this is just another incentive to use humanity at the bonfire. The more Humanity that isn't in circulation but tethered to the Firekeepers the better. The Covenants linked to the gods are used as a means of pacifying the undead in missions that are of little importance and the mission of the way of white to get the Rite of Kindling is one.

There are Six Covenants that link to the gods in one way or another and three that don't. The three that don't are; Path of the Dragon, The Darkwraiths and The Chaos Servants. These 3 particular Covenants are the only covenants that offer you things that could potentially increase your destructive power in pursuit of humanity and in the case of The Path of the Dragon, increases your physical power and imbues you with the power of dragons. All the others grant you power but at the cost of tethering you to the gods in reliance of the covenant to allow you to use their power. If you breach the covenant you lose the true power of the covenant as seen by The Miracle Sunlight Spear and as regards to the damage adjustment of the Moonlight Blade.

I think the reason why the Rite of Kindling is given to the way of white is its association with the gods. Not that the Covenant was founded and/or made in worship of Allfather-Lloyd, but rather that the symbol of the way of white is a white ring, when gwyndolin's name means "White Fairy Ring". Perhaps meaning that gwyndolin also had influence over the coveneant and use it as a method of occupying time.

I'm starting to think that The Story of the Chosen Undead was a last ditch effort to feed the dark soul back to the first flame, continully having strong undead who build up humanity to sacrifice it to the fire. Perhaps its the chosen undeads destiny to kill the firekeepers at the time and transport the humanity to the kiln and burn in the fires of the first flame? Perhaps its the only way to get rid of the dark soul is to bring it back to the source. The First fire's bonfires connection to the first flame is similar to the firekeepers so it would make sense.
I haven't had much time for this theory lately but pick this apart because i know there are holes in this that need addressing but i'm currently rushing.
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Mr_Rift

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#8
My biggest issue with this whole topic is why you can't do anything special with Manus' soul? In it's description it's said to be a form of humanity, and if you're willing to accept that Manus is the Furtive Pygmy then I always thought using it or taking it into the Kiln with you would do something special. But nothing....

Also, it seems that it's the soul that the Kiln needs, not humanity. You need powerful souls to open the door to the Kiln, and it's your soul level that determines whether or not you're powerful enough to defeat Gwyn and take his place. Heck, you can link the flame while Hollow with zero soft humanity.

Merchants barter in souls, not humanity - kinda leads me to believe that souls are worth more than humanity. Souls are used for sorcery, at least they were until Oolacile dug up Manus and tortured him, then sorceries that use humanity came about.

Besides using humanity to restore yourself and kindling (which is basically destroying the humanity anyway) the only real time I can see humanity being used is when it's given to the Dark Wraiths or the Fair Lady, both of which use it for their own purposes.

I honestly don't think humanity is as important as everyone has built it up to be, no more important than the soul at any rate.

Madara

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#9
As of DkS2 this theory is going to need a huge make over!