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

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#1
TSMP wrote:Though I feel I should mention, the reason for Gwyn's Firstborn's exile was stated in-game to be because he "lost the annals". Annals are historical records or articles of knowledge.


TSMP wrote that over in the Ovid thread, it got me thinking...

If the annals of history are lost, does that mean the history of the setting is lost also? All that info we get at the start of the game could be wrong, just by this one bit of lore. If it was bad enough for a god to be stripped of his deific status and ejected from all canon, then it's gotta be a pretty big deal - so I'm thinking that the truth of history itself was lost along with the annals.

In Dark Souls 2 we know that there is a lot of history to the world, this fact is stated that while the kingdom itself isn't that old, the world itself is. In Dark Souls 1 however, we're told that the kingdom is only a few hundred years old but that everything before that is lost... and possibly replaced with myth.

Basically, I'm using this to back up my claim that Dark Souls 1 wasn't the first age, but merely another turn of the wheel in an endless cycle, such as is represented in Dark Souls 2

Thoughts?
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TSMP

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#2
(Okay, I really like lore discussions and I'm about to post a massive text dump. Bear in mind that this is all a work in progress, has plenty of spoilers, I'm constantly updating it all with new information over time, and this isn't even half of it all. Don't let that discourage you, and feel free to nitpick this post to death/springboard off it into uncharted territories.)

You think that's bad, get a load of this:

"Loyce Soul

Soul of the Knights of Loyce.

The Knights of Loyce were taken by Chaos,
and lost all sense of purpose and being.
The few woeful souls that trudged back home
were guided by some faint vestige of self.

This soul is pure sorrow,
and only Alsanna can put it to rest."

"Charred Loyce Armor

Charred armor of the Knights of Loyce,
burned black by flame.

These Knights of Loyce plunged into the old Chaos
with their lord, and lost their sense of self.
To this day, they still burn in agony,
alongside their once-proud king."

From this, we know that the souls taken by the Chaos are all but wiped clean. They have no identity and no sense of purpose. If you're looking for a catalyst behind why history keeps getting forgotten and repeating, that'd make for a pretty good guess. Demons burn the world, everyone forgets everything, something happens, cycle starts over. Leaves a lot of questions, but it's a good starting place.

Other fun cycle hints, in no particular order:

Bonfires are made of accumulated undead bones and burn with a special fire that will not ignite anything else.

(Torch description from Dark Souls 2)
"A torch made by soaking the end of a long
stick in pine resin.

Light the torch on the fire of a sconce
to illuminate areas for a short time.
Find new torches to extend this period.

Torches can even be lit on bonfires,
the flames of which do not normally
set objects alight, due to the coating
of the bones used to fuel them."

(Homeward Bone description from Dark Souls 2)
"A white-ashen bone.
Return to last bonfire rested at.

Bonfires burn on the bones of Undead
And this bone, belonging to one whose
journey was cut short, has the power
to travel to bonfires. As if it yearns to
resume its futile quest…"

Gives an interesting reason as to why undead are supposedly weak to fire. Now, gameplay-wise this doesn't make a whole lot of sense because the torch can be used to light things that are definitely not made from undead bones, like the tar oil outside the Lost Sinner's room and the oil flasks the varangian pirates chuck at you, because story-wise the coating of undead bone powder on a torch is what allows it to transfer whatever that fire is onto itself, which then wouldn't be able to burn anything that isn't undead bones, but...

Which itself raises an interesting point. Nito from Dark Souls 1 is basically a giant walking pile of undead bones, and the Rotten from Dark Souls 2 is a giant mobile pile of undead bodies. Ten bucks says that under the right conditions, those guys could turn into a gigantic bonfire. A giant bonfire like, say... the first flame. Which kind of has to be a bonfire and not just any old fire, since Gwyndolin was able to keep it burning by throwing undead at it.

Speaking of Nito/Rotten/dead stuff, in Dark Souls 2 both The Rotten and whoever the Old Dead One is who Agdayne and the Milfanito are loyal to are very heavily connected to Dark. The Rotten casts it everywhere, and the Undead Crypt is suffused with the stuff:

"Sacred Chime Hammer

Great hammer of the Royal Aegis.
The power of this hammer's blessing has
not faded completely, despite its being
exposed to the dark of the Undead Crypt.
Unleash its latent power with a strong attack.

Sir Velstadt, known as the Royal Aegis,
gave himself to the King in both life and death.

Effect: special attack (strong attack)"

Yeah, that's not normal dark. That's, like, Dark dark. Humanity dark. Which raises another question: By all accounts (in dark souls 1), Gwyn's crew and the Izalith sisters do not age. Quelana has been wearing that same robe since before the age of fire according to its description, and we saw Gwyn in the opening cinematic and he didn't die until he set off to re-light the first flame. Humans, apparently, are the only humanoid race in the game that are not immortal/ageless. And maybe giants I guess, if their tomb is anything to go by. Which makes me think Nito is made specifically from human bones, because he sure as heck doesn't have any sway over Gwyn's kind and the witches of Izalith.

So we've got Nito collecting/being made of bones and The Rotten (Nito 2?) collecting/being made of undead, and maybe collecting humanity too if we want to stretch a few stray threads a bit (would explain Nito's spectral cloak and The Rotten's spells, at least). After them, we've got Chaos demons in DaS1 eating humanity and doing who knows what with it, and the Flame of Chaos in DaS2 wiping human souls clean like a magnet over a hard drive while still supposedly producing demons. The furtive pygmy/Manus(?) apparently wants to spread enough Dark around to blot out the sun and create a giant abyss, and by all appearances Gwyn and whoever has Gwyn's soul is more interested in building a giant, everlasting kingdom in some inaccessible region and lording over it.

Sounds more to me like a giant tug-of-war with built-in balances than it does a smooth and constant cycle:

1) Gwyn's soul is always the first, and builds a giant kingdom for some reason. His kingdom then either comes under attack by demons (via Izalith), or gets eaten apart from within by the sudden emergence of Dark (due to the first flame running out). To fend off the demons, he has to go to war with them, and historically that hasn't gone well. To fend off the Dark, he has to re-light the first flame somehow. Either way, there isn't much of a kingdom left afterwards.

2) The Dark/The Abyss wants to blanket the world in darkness and/or humanity, to the detriment of pretty much everything except itself. Nobody has any idea what will come of this, but Vendrick says "humans will take their true shape" if this were to ever occur, Gwyn was freaked out enough by it that he'd rather die to stop it, and the events of the AotA DLC involved an awful lot of pumpkin-headed, long-limbed, freaky people. Needless to say, it's probably nothing good. But Alsanna (the aspect of Manus's fear) is, apparently, absolutely terrified of demons. Which makes sense, considering how they apparently eat humanity if DaS1 is anything to go by and wipe out your identity if DaS2 is anything to go by.

3) Nito, the First of the Dead. One of two major entities that have next to no lore on them. In DaS1 he is very actively causing death with his Eyes of Death from within his catacombs (where the dead are put after they've died, go figure), and in DaS2 he doesn't have a covenant or even technically a presence, but there is a giant freaking crypt that is supposedly overseen by a "One who gave us the first death" or something like that. Anyways, the Undead Crypt is still where all the dead bodies go, and also where the undead go apparently. I'm getting the impression Nito/whoever has Nito's soul tries to gather human/undead bones to make a giant freaking bonfire out of once everything's all said and done. Or maybe he just likes collecting bones, and the bonfire part would be a happy accident.

4) Izalith/Chaos Demons, the second of two major entities with next to no lore explaining what in the blazes they're up to. In DaS1, we know Chaos Demons eat humanity because feeding some to the Fair Lady of the Chaos Servants covenant makes her feel better, and apparently Queelag was collecting humanity for her sake. Not to mention weapons ascended with Chaos are powered by the wielder's humanity, and the chaos flame ember refers to them as "demon weapons". In DaS2, an extra tidbit is added on: souls claimed by the Chaos have their identity and goals purged. This is, as far as I can guess, a giant global reset button made of fire. But it's worth noting that Alsanna and the Ivory King had the Flame of Chaos locked down hard in Dark Souls 2, so they didn't have much of a presence and couldn't really do anything at all.

5) So as far as I can tell, the "cycle" goes like so: the first flame lights up and whoever inherited Gwyn's soul makes a giant kingdom. Time passes, the first flame starts to fade, and humanity goes wild and the Abyss starts doing crazy **** and knocking on the kingdom's back door. Suddenly demons, which I guess start attacking and eating people while waging war on what's left of Gwyn's kingdom. All the while, Nito is collecting skeletons as the body count rises so that when the dust settles, there's enough raw material in place to fuel the next age of fire.

One of these days, I'm really gonna have to compile all this nonsense into a single, easy-to-understand mini-essay. I have all the data, but I never bothered to straighten it out.
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Mr_Rift

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#3
I've always thought that the individuals who become the "gods" are just normal humans with really powerful souls. Think Vendrick - he was once human but he's now massive, and also the fact that the various "gods" of DS1 can be killed or have their deific status removed (The God of War didnt have anything removed from him, he was just kicked out of the family and stripped from public record)

Also, I think the first humans of every age are just the remaining Hollows from previous ages.

Think about it. The fires fade and there's just a bunch of mindless Hollows wandering around, but when the fires reignite and souls flourish anew - who finds these souls? The Hollows that were left wandering around.

Also, to add to your own theory - I think you forgot about the Dragons. They're present in every single age, and this is actually what got me started on the lore in the first place, I think the Dragons are always humans who've turned into Dragons. The Gods, Demons and Dragons were all once Human.

The "Gods" are made powerful, they shape the world around them and become forces of creation.

The Demons are wiped clean but misshapen and become a force of destruction.

The Dragons become static, they merely "are."

All those who fail to transcend their human form either simply die or become Hollows, and if they survive as Hollows for the Turning of an Age then they can become humans once again.
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Nahztek

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#4
Mr_Rift wrote:[If the annals of history are lost, does that mean the history of the setting is lost also? All that info we get at the start of the game could be wrong, just by this one bit of lore. If it was bad enough for a god to be stripped of his deific status and ejected from all canon, then it's gotta be a pretty big deal - so I'm thinking that the truth of history itself was lost along with the annals.




I have always been under the assumption that the 1st son losing the Annals of History was added specifically to relay to the community that DS lore was open to interpretation, and that concepts like 'fact' were near irrelevant (near. not completely).

I also thought that was why Solaire (fan-lore best candidate for Gwyn's 1st born) was the one that explains the world's time/space inconsistencies. since it would be his fault... and he is trying to redeem himself by finding his own sun (which I took as a metaphor for him becoming the next overlord of the DS world. if he cannot please his father, he might as well become him, more or less).
"If history is to change, let it change.
If the world is to be destroyed, so be it.
If my fate is to die, I must simply laugh."
- The Prophet
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Nahztek

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#5
TSMP wrote:(

Sounds more to me like a giant tug-of-war with built-in balances than it does a smooth and constant cycle:



exactly.
this is like how I am always trying to push on people how DS is not about good and evil but about personal struggle, the want/need of power, and the tribulations of ambition.

oh, and let's not forget the most important part. the desire to exist. humanities attachment to self.
"If history is to change, let it change.
If the world is to be destroyed, so be it.
If my fate is to die, I must simply laugh."
- The Prophet
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Nahztek

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#6
[quote="Mr_Rift"]I've always thought that the individuals who become the "gods" are just normal humans with really powerful souls. [quote]


DS1 intro even says so, as far as the 4 Lords are concerned.

(they came from the dark and obtained souls from the flame)

imo, the only reason why there are other 'races' is because of the souls bequeathed to them.

maybe Humans in DS are just called Humans because they are the ones destined to return the world to its previous state when all the races were one and the same. considering that the shattered pieces of the Dark Soul are called Humanity.
"If history is to change, let it change.
If the world is to be destroyed, so be it.
If my fate is to die, I must simply laugh."
- The Prophet
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Nahztek

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#7
TSMP wrote:(One of these days, I'm really gonna have to compile all this nonsense into a single, easy-to-understand mini-essay. I have all the data, but I never bothered to straighten it out.



I feel the same way about my 'Throne of Want is the Dark Lord Throne' -/- 'Giant Lord is a previous Dark Lord invaded through use of the Ashen Mist Heart' theory. but since I try to keep my thoughts on lore as mere 'open-minded ideas' rather than actual theories, I would have a hard time with it, especially since I enjoy other contradicting ideas as well.


for me, there is a natural cycle of Flame/Dark, involving a spectrum of ages.

Age of Ancients- the fog. nothing but emotionless dragons and trees made of stone. (I am avoiding Seath talk, as I normally do. he throws off every theory I have one way or another)

Age of Fire- when the Flame is strong. DS1 lore period. in-game period is more toward a Dark Age, but I consider DS1 the 'Fire Age game' because Gwyn is still alive (to what extent of cognizance is questionable though).

Age of Dark- when the Flame is dying and Human kingdoms rule supreme. DS2 period.
the Dark Lord becomes stone as he "bears the weight of his souls upon the true throne" and the soulless world around him is blanketed in fog, reverting back to its Gray Fog state.

Want is tied to Humanity and Dark = Throne of Want. and I'm not saying that the Throne cannot be used as a Kiln as well. it is all up to the nature of the Monarch which path he wishes to take. Vendrick chose neither.

and both the Watcher and Defender have Dark Souls. their descriptions are simple, simply stating that they await the next worthy Monarch.

and Nashandra basically tells you that the Monarch is the Dark Lord (potentially). because if one relinks the Fire, he dies and gives away all of the souls he has accumulated in order to refuel the world with souls. this is opposite of 'bearing the weight of your souls'.

I am inclined to believe that the Giant Lord is a Dark Lord because the Throne of Want is a larger throne with a smaller human-sized throne built into it, not to mention the Golems standing in abysmal, black water that only make a bridge for you if you have the Giant's Kinship.
oh, and the Kinship is the accumulation of all of the souls that the Dark Lord is hoarding. it even uses the same color scheme as Dark Souls, only its moving in a circle, reminding me of the Uroboros (Ouroboros).

this is why all of the Sisters of Dark are seeking Human kings. they want them to become the Monarch/Dark Lord, however they each have their own tales showing diverse agendas and complications that arise from the aspects of Manus that they represent.


I have more details to all that. if you're interested enough to poke at the theory, I'm sure I'd remember more. but when it boils down, this is just my interpretation and not meant to be considered factual lore analysis.

I talked to Vendrick and he just told me what I already knew. So I took his advice and 'found my own answers'.

:devil:
"If history is to change, let it change.
If the world is to be destroyed, so be it.
If my fate is to die, I must simply laugh."
- The Prophet
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#8
TSMP I want to take your ideas/post and run with them.

First I'm of a similar view as Nahztek witht he dark lord/giant lord theory. I'm not going to rehash that only bring up what reading this thread made me think of.

Here Goes.

Something of interest I noticed is that each of the Lord Souls and even the Dragons/Seath represent an aspect of fire/the first flame. Maybe the Lord Souls each take on a different facet of the First Flame, since it does act like a giant soul.

How I see the different aspects are as follows

Gwyn's Lord Soul - Aspect of Light Cast from a fire
Witch of Izalith's Lord Soul - Aspect of the Fire/Flame itself
Gravelord Nito's Lord Soul - Aspect of Smoke/Soot given off of fire
The Pygmy's Dark Soul - Aspect Of Shadow Cast From a Fire
The Dragons/Archtrees - The Fuel for the fire
Seath - The Ash created from the fire

If we take these aspects into consideration then what TSMP mentioned earlier makes even more sense.
It illustrates why Seath lingers with every extension of the age of fire. I'm not saying the dragons were actually used as fuel for the bonfires only figuratively. The Dragons were hunted to extinction to make way from the Age of fire as opposed to the Age of Ancients. (or as I call it the Age Of Stone and one thing Stone can be made out of is coal a perfect fuel for fire.) Gwyn, Witch of Izalith, Nito, and Seath combining to create that age. At the time they never noticed the Shadow they cast, which was the Pygmy with his Dark Soul. Gwyn afraid of his power waning and the Pygmy's power growing sought to extend this age burning himself up in stead.

With the light of Fire comes the shadows it cast, that light comes at a price of burning a fuel source to ash, that flame producing smoke.

If we think of the aspects of fire and put Seath and the Dragons aside since they are the Fuel and the Byproduct of the Flame. The states that are the beginning and ending of the First Flame an ashen world would be a dusty gray one.

We are left with the 4 lord souls, Light, Dark, Fire, Smoke. It is fitting that Nito would be given the aspect of Smoke since he has a miasma which is poisonous and smoke can poison/kill you by asphyxiation. IN Dark Souls 1 we are given 2 endings. In Dark Souls 2 we are told Vendrick tried to find a different path. When I Think about Vendrick's path I Realize that the 2 ending could themselves branch 2 different ways.

Relinking the Flame. There are two ways to do this. You can follow and fight Gwyn and Relink the first flame. Or You could have been foolhardy and tried to use the created chaos flame to relight the first flame. (I know it is far fetched. But if the Chaos Bug could survive and even possess a host then why not the chosen undead.)

The Dark Lord. There are also two way to do this. You can follow Kaathe and possibly Manus by killing other Undead and collecting as much Humanity as possible to rebuild the Dark Soul. Or you can do it somewhat peacefully like Nito and possibly Vendrick who seemed to emulate Nito and collect as much as you can and then wait for the rest to come to you.( As Long as you don't Hollow you should be fine. Vendrick hollowed because he let himself.)

Now what about Seath and the Dragons. Well we all know the path to becoming a Dragon is becoming a Dragon Remnant. Getting your Power from Stone scales, head plates and torsos. But what about Seath? How does he fit in? What if he is the cause to the cycle? What if it is Seath's Influence and the Splitting Of Gwyn's Soul that caused this whole mess? Since Seath Never Dies and only Changes forms and he now has a soul when he was once soulless. Maybe he tricked Gwyn as well as the Witch of Izalith into starting this Cycle So He Could have A way of Reincarnating. What If the FLame of Chaos was created because Seath recommended the Witch of Izalith to try it? What If Kaathe and Frampt acted under orders Of Seath and he was the cause of Manus' awakening and shattering? I know I'm stating to rant, I've just always been under the impression that Seath Orchestrated this whole mess as A way for him to have eternal Life.

Back on topic with The 4 Lord souls acting as aspects of fire, it would add another facet of why Gwyn feared the Dark, Why The Witch Of Izalith created a new flame, Why Manus' Daughters fear chaos, Why Nito Would be collecting undead(Smoke/Soot from a fire settles and collects on the things it touches.).

I hope It made sense.

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Nahztek

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#9
sorry for the slight derail here.

@ dn1nd-
have you ever by chance read my theory of Seath being the creator god that created the First Flame through his jealousy of his everlasting brethren, but more as a counter-part to his consciousness rather than an extension, which is why he needed the others to become Lords in order to make use of it.

sorry again for derail, but a couple notes on that.

Seath's tower is at the top!
and he is called the Grandfather of Sorcery.
Sorcery is just soul-magic, and souls are of the Flame. so... Grandfather implies that he created the thing from which magic derives (the Flame).
"If history is to change, let it change.
If the world is to be destroyed, so be it.
If my fate is to die, I must simply laugh."
- The Prophet
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Mr_Rift

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#10
I always figured Seath was just a mage from the previous age who screwed up the Dragon Transformation, thus he wasn't given the Scales of Immortality by his brethren and secondly thusly why he betrayed them.

Also, it would explain the experiments - he's trying to reverse what he did to himself. That's the key thing to Seath, he's a meddler whose never happy with what he's got so he trys to take short cuts, alter his own form and what not.
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