1) What, exactly, happened to Beatrice the Witch?
I don't expect much consistency from From when it comes to these random NPCs.
To me they have all the depth of a cardboard cutout of what could be an interesting character.
2) The drakes that you fight in-game, are specified as not being true dragons, and are merely descendants of the survivors. It is also stated, that the Gods took ancient dragon heads as trophies upon their defeat, and decorated their halls with them. Yet, when you arrive at Anor Londo, what do you find... not true ancient dragon skulls, but the stuffed heads of... drakes. Nothing like what you find at Aldria's Keep, which is the skeleton of a true ancient dragon.
Everlasting Dragons have heads that are too big to fit into those halls. It must have been more practical for From to use drake heads
3) How are you able to kill the fully hollowed off, permanently? When characters such as Big Hat Logan go fully hollowed, all you have to do is kill them once, and they are gone forever. Doesn't this sort of defeat the purpose of being undead, and thus, immortal?
Lore wise they can't die, but they can vanish.
Maybe they were sucked into another dimension, or reappeared as unrecognizable Hollows.
Dark Souls II:
1) In Dark Souls item descriptions, it is stated that titanite is unique to Lordran, and cannot be found anywhere else in the world. Yet in II and III, many of the enchanted titanites, have item descriptions that confirm that places such as the Melfian Magic Academy have experimented on these stones. So if the rest of the world knows about titanite, and it is the stuff of Gods, then why isn't that area being swarmed with humans? The Way of the White were experts at driving off the hollows, so I imagine it wouldn't have been terribly hard for mining corporations to pop up all over Lordran and its future iterations.
I don't think you should assume much interaction between the outside world and Lordran / Drangleic / Lothric / Boletaria / Yharnam...
The general setup is that the game area is some legendary place, where people end up because of a curse, or crisis.
Dark Souls III:
1) The Silver Knights of Lord Gwyn, were sworn to defend Anor Londo and the Gods that resided there. Ledo abandoned his post, which made sense, as even Ornstein abandoned Smough and the remaining Silver Knights to their fates. Some were even infected by the Abyss, so it makes sense that they, in their mindless state, have remained. But why have the others stayed, when the other Gods have moved on with their lives, and the last remaining God is being devoured?
The knight are mindless hollows?
2) What in the actual hell is the deal with the Lords of Cinder? Never before has this concept been seen, and now, all of the sudden, there is this completely random, out-of-the-blue ritual needed to perform, in order to gain access to the first flame. In Dark Souls, the only reason that the lord soul needed to be stitched back together, is because Gwyn wanted the test there as an insurance policy, to make sure that the next person to re-link the original flame was strong enough, and to make sure that he was left imprisoned there until that time came. But the gathering of souls part in III doesn't even apply, either, because you are allowed to do with the souls as you please, unlike in 1.
So why would the original flame, an unconscious entity similar to the Abyss, make the arbitrary decision to start reincarnating both successful and unsuccessful linkers, and then requiring their sacrifice all over again, even though their essences have already been used as cinder?
That's a big gap in the story, you're totally right.
I myself have settled on equating them with Nito, The Witch of Izalith and Gwyn.
Basically they once were champions of fire, but eventually they were corrupted.
I also have a larger encompassing theory that equates all of those with Archdemons and Great Ones.
3) Speaking of which, how are the lords and champions of ash not all hollow? In 1, even Gwyn, a God, and the most powerful God at that, was absorbed of all of his humanity by the original flame, and was hollowed; an unprecedented turn of events. When it comes to Lords of the Cinder, such as the Abyss Watchers and Yhorm, they are clearly infected by the Abyss, and so it's hard to tell if they are still sentient or not. When it comes to Aldrich, who in the hell knows, because apparently his brain resides in his stomach. But then there's Ludleth, Lothric, and Lorian. These three are still sentient, and are able to make independent thought. Ooooookay.
They may be Hollow. To this day I'm not entirely sure about what the term "hollow" means.
4) In Dark Souls II, the Purging Monument simply restored your humanity. It did not actually lift the curse, even though in III, for Patches, it does exactly that, and now even has the ability to return creatures back to life in exchange for souls. Where did these extra abilities suddenly come from?
What Purging Monument in DS2?
Purging STONES lift curses, it's what they do.
5) In Dark Souls, the lore specifically states that the Dark Soul was split by the Furtive Pygmy, and embodied the human race in its entirety. All humans have the Dark Soul within them, which is what allows for them to both be sentient, and to have the ability to reanimate after hollowing. Not only that, but when split, the Dark Soul never diminishes in power, which means that every human has within them a fully functional Dark Soul copy.
What are your sources for that?
It's implied that Manus is the source of all Humanity, yes.
But I've come to believe that the meaning of Humanity is closer to "human badness" than to "homo sapiens".
Humanity may have to be in interpreted as a "flaw", like a character flaw making a character "more human".
1) A shame, isn't it? - Especially when she is supposed to represent a character from the show Berserk, and then they barely did anything with her, lore-wise. There likely isn't a true answer to her ultimate fate, I just figured it would be interesting to see theories regarding her demise, and the location of her demise.
2) That makes sense, mechanically-wise. I always wondered how come Anor Londo was so small, but thinking about it, Dark Souls is an older game, and had certain limitations for its time; which makes it even more of a shame, since in its newest iteration, they actually made Anor Londo... smaller. Eh.
3) Your last point is actually a good one. A lot of hollow equipment is crap-quality, with item-descriptions stating that over time, and over a myriad of deaths, their equipment has been rendered to barely anything. It could just be that they lost their equipment, or it was thoroughly destroyed, and so now they just appear as naked hollows.
4) I'm not sure sure of that, really. Sieglinde is a great example, as she is a human, not a hollow, and yet she managed to not only track her father down in Lordran, but she also managed to conquer a great portion of what you, the PC conquers, right up until her father's ultimate demise, and she heads back home. And as I stated, item-descriptions in II confirm that certain organizations managed to get their hands on a large enough amount of titanite, in order to experiment on it all over a myriad of different elements.
Not only was she able to conquer everything leading up to Ash Lake, but she also managed to fight her way back (she cannot warp between bonfires, and she cannot attune the Homeward miracle to bonfires, either) through the Grand Archives, Anor Londo, and Sen's Fortress in order to get back to Firelink Shrine. She is a true badass, and shows that humans have the capability to conquer such a legendary land.
5) That may be, but it doesn't answer as to why the Darkmoon Knights didn't attempt to stop Aldrich or the Pontiff's forces. There's simply no evidence that they met any sort of resistance, before or after, which I sincerely hope is not due to outright lazy writing.
6) Was Nito corrupted? I'm not doubting you, by any means, he just seemed like he wanted to be left alone in Dark Souls, and is even an ally of sorts until you invade his resting place. Would love to hear some more lore regarding him, because he seems to be the one Lord that was neglected the most, story-wise, after the events of the War of the Ancients.
7) In the Shrine of Armana, there is a secret area where you can find the Purging Monument; using it restores your humanity if you've lost it.
8) I'll get back to you on that. I remember that the Furtive Pygmy used the Dark Soul to create humanity, and because of his contributions, splitting the Dark Soul amongst all of humanity, the Gods began to fear them, and places the Dark Seal upon them all. When it comes to actual sources, though, I'll need to do some research and in-game dwelling. I'll respond again once I do that.