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

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#1
All souls came from the First Flame and all souls find their way back to the First Flame so they can be spat back out again, that's the cycle that we all know about.

But Humanity came from the First Flame as well - it's the Fourth Lord Soul, the one the Furtive Pygmy found in there after the other Lords had grabbed theirs. He split this Lord Soul into a bajillion pieces and this is what brought Humanity into the world... but Gwyn split his soul as well, granted not to the extent that the Pygmy did but he split it none the less.

We burn souls at the Bonfires all the time, it's how we level up - so what's so bad about burning Humanity at the bonfire as well - since it's of the same origin as souls. Gwyn linked the fire to burn humanity (or so people assume this is what "linking the fire" meant) but so what? If the Dark Soul came from the First Flame, like the intro movie said it did - then this shouldn't be a big deal.

I can't figure out what the difference is or even why there is a difference between Souls and Dark Souls (humanity)?

Either we haven't figured something out or that entire creation myth is a bowl of bogus.

Thoughts?
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TSMP

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#2
I'm not exactly sure if the furtive pygmy split his soul in quite the same way Gwyn did. It might just be that children naturally get a soul fragment from their parents (i.e. Gwyndolin and Gwynevere), and the pygmy just had lots and lots of sex. Of course, I'm not 100% sure there'd even technically be a difference in that case...

But yeah, the game doesn't say there's anything wrong about dumping humanity into the first flame, and I'm curious where you got the idea that it was. We dump humanity into fires all day in the game itself, via the rite of kindling. The DLC spells go on and on about how human souls (humanity) are distinct from other souls (such as gwyn's and stuff), but it does still call them souls.

I don't think we're burning souls at the bonfire to gain levels. If anything, that would be how you lose levels. Removing souls from yourself and tossing them into the fire? Might make the fire stronger, maybe, but I don't see how that could make your character stronger. And in DaS2, gaining levels is not tied to bonfires, so that answers that question.
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Mr_Rift

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#3
TSMP wrote:But yeah, the game doesn't say there's anything wrong about dumping humanity into the first flame, and I'm curious where you got the idea that it was.


Most of the Lore videos I've seen on YT (I'm thinking mainly Vaati here) suggest that Gwyn set up the way of White to get people to collect Humanity and burn it at the Bonfires, which he linked to the First Flame - effectively fueling the first flame off of humanity instead of souls. From my understanding of what people have been saying around here as well, this is possibly the First Sin.

TSMP wrote:We dump humanity into fires all day in the game itself, via the rite of kindling.


Yeah, it's the con established by Gwyn and his Way of White... they sent people after the Rite of Kindling so they could burn more Humanity.

TSMP wrote:The DLC spells go on and on about how human souls (humanity) are distinct from other souls (such as gwyn's and stuff), but it does still call them souls.


But they both come from the First Flame... that's the point of confusion.

TSMP wrote:I don't think we're burning souls at the bonfire to gain levels. If anything, that would be how you lose levels. Removing souls from yourself and tossing them into the fire? Might make the fire stronger, maybe, but I don't see how that could make your character stronger. And in DaS2, gaining levels is not tied to bonfires, so that answers that question.


You can only use the souls to gain levels while at a Bonfire, in both games you've gotta be present there to do it - even if it's through Shanalotte. You burn souls at bonfires, they return to the First Flame and wait to be spat back out in the next cycle -that or you just fuse them into yourself and hold them in your body until you (possibly) throw yourself into the flames or sit upon the throne. Either way, those souls are goin to the fires.
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#4
I'll give you my guess.

In the intro we see the Pygmy digging through the flame. This fourth lord soul wasn't easily noticed. It is also dark in nature unlike the other lord souls.

We also know when the dark soul is split it can reform into new entities. While with the other lord souls when they are split the soul takes on attributes of its original host and then also influences its new hosts. Think how Manus became His Daughters, each daughter having an aspect of him. While Gwyn who split his soul between seathe and the 4kings, each fragment retained its own identity, old king soul was the part Gwyn had, Dark lurker was the 4kings, old paledrake soul was Seathe.

Humanity is used to revive to human or strengthen bonfires while souls are used to strengthen your flesh. Why the bonfire is needed to do this maybe tied to the original nature of the souls found in the flame. The lord souls I would guess would be the equivalent to the warmth given off the first flame while the dark soul may have been the fuel to the first flame.( I am guessing they act like that because in life when ever we talk about athletes they need to warm up their bodies to perform. With that rationale since people need warmth to perform fetes of strength and skill, why not use a rationale like it for levelling up in Dark souls. ) Fires are also seen as a way of purifying essences, so the bonfire could be needed to purify the souls needed to level you up so as their host the do not influence you.

To sum it up, souls might be purified by the flame and augment the character, if the warmth of souls does strengthen the body, the hollowing must be a cold process. As I stated before my guess is the humanities like the dark soul are fuel for the flame. It might even be why the first flame went out. Without the fuel from the Dark Soul it couldn't burn.

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Mr_Rift

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#5
dn1nd wrote:It might even be why the first flame went out. Without the fuel from the Dark Soul it couldn't burn.


So what if the First Sin was the Pygmy taking the Dark Soul from the First Flame in the first place?

All the other Lords took part of the fire, which regenerates naturally, while he took the fuel... which the fire needs. You take part of the fire and the remaining mass continues, but if you take the fuel then the entire blaze starts to die out.
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#6
Don't get me wrong, I'm saying humanity is still souls and still comes from the first flame, and ultimately is going to go back to it. Even if they are weird souls.

I am usually always the first to say Vaati's videos are raw speculative crap. He gets an idea, digs around for some line of text that might support it if you ignore all the contradictory evidence, then makes a youtube video and next thing you know there are thousands of perfectly reasonable people being confused about lore that isn't even in the game. You know, rather than starting at the evidence and following it to its natural conclusion. "What people say" about the game (especially if those ideas ultimately stem from one or two people, hello groupthink) is largely irrelevant if it isn't in the game itself. Case in point: how many points of evidence actually line up with the theory you mentioned? The answer is none. It is a plausible idea, it might fit, but without any supporting evidence it's impossible to say whether or not it's what actually happened.

Actually, I don't know of any youtube lore-ers that meet my own standards. Of course, any youtube videos that did wouldn't be very popular, on account of not being very dramatic...

Just because you raise your Soul Level at a bonfire in DaS1 and near a bonfire in DaS2 does not necessarily mean you're burning the souls in the bonfire itself. As I said, that just doesn't make sense. You can also upgrade and repair your equipment at a bonfire in DaS1 and near one in DaS2, but that doesn't mean you're burning them in the fire. And we already know the bonfires don't burn things that aren't undead bones, as per the torch description, so there's no way those flames are being used for smithing. The only other instance we have of putting souls into bonfires (kindling), strengthens the bonfire itself and doesn't really do anything for your character aside from getting more estus from that particular bonfire (due to it being stronger).

I have absolutely no idea what "link the fire" means in DaS1, but if it really meant that all bonfires are connected to the first flame then it would be in no danger of ever going out, considering just how many undeads are running around dumping humanity into bonfires. Or eventually composting into bonfire fuel themselves. So I'm thinking maybe it doesn't mean that. Just a hunch really, but I'd like to see a source on that definition regardless.
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dn1nd

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#7
Mr_Rift wrote:
dn1nd wrote:It might even be why the first flame went out. Without the fuel from the Dark Soul it couldn't burn.


So what if the First Sin was the Pygmy taking the Dark Soul from the First Flame in the first place?

All the other Lords took part of the fire, which regenerates naturally, while he took the fuel... which the fire needs. You take part of the fire and the remaining mass continues, but if you take the fuel then the entire blaze starts to die out.



It could explain why the undead are hated, locked away, hunted, why bonfires burn from their bones.

It is an interesting possibility.

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Mr_Rift

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#8
TSMP wrote:I am usually always the first to say Vaati's videos are raw speculative crap. He gets an idea, digs around for some line of text that might support it if you ignore all the contradictory evidence, then makes a youtube video and next thing you know there are thousands of perfectly reasonable people being confused about lore that isn't even in the game. You know, rather than starting at the evidence and following it to its natural conclusion. "What people say" about the game (especially if those ideas ultimately stem from one or two people, hello groupthink) is largely irrelevant if it isn't in the game itself. Case in point: how many points of evidence actually line up with the theory you mentioned? The answer is none. It is a plausible idea, it might fit, but without any supporting evidence it's impossible to say whether or not it's what actually happened.

Actually, I don't know of any youtube lore-ers that meet my own standards. Of course, any youtube videos that did wouldn't be very popular, on account of not being very dramatic...


Come on man, no need to rip on a pillar of the community...

Half of what we do here is speculate. Sure, it may be baseless theories, but if something can be brought up that disproves the theory then most people abandon it.

I myself have a few possible theories that straight up conflict with one another right now, I'm not sure which is true but they've each got merit.
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TSMP

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#9
Mr_Rift wrote:
TSMP wrote:I am usually always the first to say Vaati's videos are raw speculative crap. He gets an idea, digs around for some line of text that might support it if you ignore all the contradictory evidence, then makes a youtube video and next thing you know there are thousands of perfectly reasonable people being confused about lore that isn't even in the game. You know, rather than starting at the evidence and following it to its natural conclusion. "What people say" about the game (especially if those ideas ultimately stem from one or two people, hello groupthink) is largely irrelevant if it isn't in the game itself. Case in point: how many points of evidence actually line up with the theory you mentioned? The answer is none. It is a plausible idea, it might fit, but without any supporting evidence it's impossible to say whether or not it's what actually happened.

Actually, I don't know of any youtube lore-ers that meet my own standards. Of course, any youtube videos that did wouldn't be very popular, on account of not being very dramatic...


Come on man, no need to rip on a pillar of the community...

Half of what we do here is speculate. Sure, it may be baseless theories, but if something can be brought up that disproves the theory then most people abandon it.

I myself have a few possible theories that straight up conflict with one another right now, I'm not sure which is true but they've each got merit.

It's a mistake anyone is capable of making, 'pillar of the community' or not. A person's status should never be regarded as inherent proof for anything they say.

Speculation is fine. But we're currently talking about why one possible idea conflicts with another, and in this case further speculation will lead us nowhere. Evidence is required to sort out this mess.
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#10
I'll list all I can find on humanity and souls. Feel free to come up with theories after.


Rare tiny black sprite found on corpses. Use to gain 1 humanity and restore a large amount of HP. This black sprite is called humanity, but little is known about its true nature. If the soul is the source of all life, then what distinguishes the humanity we hold within ourselves?

Each Fire Keeper is a corporeal manifestation of her bonfire, and a draw for the humanity which is offered to her. Her soul is gnawed by infinite humanity, and can boost the power of the precious Estus Flask. Reinforced Estus Flasks capture denser Estus, allowing for increased restoration of HP.

The Darkmoon Knightess' Soul:

Soul of the Darkmoon Knightess, Fire Keeper of Anor Londo. A Fire Keeper's soul is a draw for humanity, and held within their bosoms, below just a thin layer of skin, are swarms of humanity that writhe and squirm. Her brass armor serves to disguise this ghastly form.

Anastacia of Astora's soul:

Soul of the Ash Maiden, Fire Keeper of Firelink Shrine. A Fire Keeper's soul is a draw for humanity, and held within their bosoms, below just a thin layer of skin, are swarms of humanity that writhe and squirm. Was the Ash Maiden locked in this dark prison for some transgression, or by her own will?

Quelaag's Sister


Soul of a Daughter of Chaos, Fire Keeper of Quelaag's Domain. A Fire Keeper's soul is a draw for humanity, and held within their bosoms, below just a thin layer of skin, are swarms of humanity that writhe and squirm. To her, the countless eggs which appeared were cradles for each tiny humanity.



Estus Flask

The Undead treasure these dull green flasks. Fill with Estus at bonfire. Fills HP. The Estus Flasks are linked to the Fire Keepers. The Dark Tales also make reference: An emerald flask, from the Keeper's soul
She lives to protect the flame,
And dies to protect it further.



Soul of a lost Undead who has long ago gone Hollow.


Use to acquire souls.


Souls are the source of all life, and whether Undead, or even Hollow, one continues to seek them.


Soul of Manus, Father of the Abyss.
This extraordinary soul is a viscous,
lukewarm lump of gentle humanity.

Ancient Manus was clearly once human.
But he became the Father of the Abyss
after his humanity went wild, eternally
seeking his precious broken pendant.


Small stone made up of crystallized souls. Gradually restores a small amount of HP. These stones are often found next to corpses. As such is the case, perhaps one could call this item the dead husk of a soul.

level
Overall attribute strength.
Consume souls to level up.


A vessel that will accept your souls.
It can allow reallocation of levels, but without proper assistance, it may simply drain you of souls.
If you truly wish to start again, go to the place where your journey began.

I Could post more descriptions but this seems more than enough for a start.

It seems to point out that Humanity is a Fuel for the flame. High concentrations also seem to be what causes the abyss. Firekeepers have such high concentrations that they need to burn their humanity lest they become like Manus. A byproduct of humanity burning is estus which is harnessed in a flask.

Souls on the otherhand are the essence of life and your body consumes the souls to level up. The souls consumed augment your body and strengthen your soul. Hence why EH tells you to seek them. A soul Vessel allows you to extract the souls that you consumed and re use them.

If souls are not acquired they crystallize. Humanity even though it comes from the dark soul seems to be a different type of soul. My guess is like a matter antimatter relationship. Which is why it corrupts or distorts regular souls. This could also explain why it is fuel for the fire.

This is just how I am understanding the lore I posted.

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