Dedicated to digging into the game's lore. Bring your thinking caps.
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dn1nd

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#11
I Was Talking About This In Another Thread And Felt Like Adding This Observation Here. With Fire Causing Disparity, Gwyn's Seal Of Fire On Early Man Also Carried That Disparity Over To The Dark, Forcibly Linking Them More Than They Were. I Wonder How The Undead Would Have Been Without This Seal of Fire. I Bet It Would Have Been More Like the Hollows We Saw in The Intro Of DS1.

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lordherpie

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#12
dn1nd wrote:I Was Talking About This In Another Thread And Felt Like Adding This Observation Here. With Fire Causing Disparity, Gwyn's Seal Of Fire On Early Man Also Carried That Disparity Over To The Dark, Forcibly Linking Them More Than They Were. I Wonder How The Undead Would Have Been Without This Seal of Fire. I Bet It Would Have Been More Like the Hollows We Saw in The Intro Of DS1.


that is quite interesting, it could possibly create a very interesting scenario:

if assuming that dark is inversely proportional to light (and in my hypothesis also to life and death, and pretty much everything); then placing this seal would prevent the natural course of events. as the hollowing of the population might have been the primary source dark growing to balance the decreasing of the other powers.

So after placing the seal, other sources of darkness might have started to ooze/spread/generate much more of it to make up for the loss of hollowing humans as a source of dark?

Im not sure, but could this be basis for an alternative theory about manus and the abyss?
are there more creatures of dark that lack the sigil of gwynn that went mad with darkness at the time?

more on topic;

if the darkness contued spreading via other routes, the fire would possibly fade without slowdown, and with it, gwynns seal.. and with that, hollowing would commence again... going faster as the fire fades. if this all is true, alternative sources would normalize as well as fire faded further.
this might be a bit too much speculation, but would it fit?

To clarify this messy thinking:

Could it have happened as follows with what we know about the abyss and chronology;

- Dark spreads through humanity / flame fades / power of the lords declines (in relation to eachother)
- gwyn contains the dark via his seal
- kaathe has people of oolacile unearth an alternative source of dark (manus)
- as the sole source of darkness (not contained by the seal) darkness spreads extremely fast via this person and creates the abyss.
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dn1nd

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#13
Kaathe Was The First To Hint At This Seal In DS1.

Ahh... If you wish, I shall grant the art of Lifedrain, the legendary power of the Dark Lord. It can preserve your humanity while Undead, and cast off the shackles placed upon your brethren.

Aldia Also References Or Hints At This Seal.

Peace grants men the illusion of life.
Shackled by falsehoods, they yearn for love, unaware of its grand illusion.
Until, the curse touches their flesh.
We are bound by this yoke.
As true as the Dark that churns within men.
All men trust fully the illusion of life.
But is this so wrong?
A construction, a facade, and yet...
A world full of warmth and resplendence.
Young Hollow, are you intent on shattering the yoke, spoiling this wonderful falsehood?


Also Don't Forget Midir Is In The Ringed City Eating Any Dark That Might Escape.

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DivineFlask

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#14
Hey, just thought I'd comment on some things.

"I mean; the lords happen to end up with exactly the set of powers that is needed to kill the dragons. gwyn strips the scales with lightning, nito unleashes death and decease, and the witch burns their homes... a bit to convenient for me."

Pure speculation but I don't think this is how it works. I believe souls are essentially pure energy/life force incarnate that can be shaped towards the users will/personality. For example, if the Witch had found the "light" soul I don't think she'd be shooting lightning bolts out of her ***. I think they all found the same raw soul/fire/energy and shaped it to their will. I think this makes sense given that the player character can spend his souls on any set of given attributes. There's no "strength" souls and "intelligence" souls. Just souls.

As for the serpents motivations, I guess we will now never know everything so I'll stick to what we do know. They are symbols of avarice based on their rings. They are known for devouring beings that are perceived to be stronger than them. For a long time I believed this was due to feelings of insecurity about being imperfect dragons, somewhat similar to Seath in a way. I'm now not sure. In Dark Souls, there is a recurring theme of families looking after each other regardless of their flaws. Gwyn and Gwyndolin, Lothric and Lorian, The Witch and Ceaseless Discharge. There's also NPCs like the onion knights in DKS or the Blacksmith and his daughter in DK2, families almost always look out for each other. I now wonder if perhaps the Serpents respected the Dragons in a similar way.

Something I've never really questioned is what role they played in the great war. It now occurs to me that perhaps those six or eight serpents in the Dark Lord ending might be all there is left and that there was once a time when they were a full race like the dragons. Perhaps they didn't fight in the war but the great fire storms and Nito's miasma may have slaughtered them all the same.

There's something about their very nature that I want to discuss. Kaathe consumes humanity or "the dark soul" but it doesn't seem to change him. No other being can be exposed to that much dark without being corrupted by it so from this I take it to mean that the Serpents are still similar to the Ever Lasting Dragons in some ways. They are immune to disparity, heat/cold, life/death doesn't bother them. They can live forever seemingly in any condition. They are creatures that really have nothing to gain from existence and yet they are the symbol of avarice and want.

So what could they want? Perhaps one answer is revenge. If they did feel like the family of the dragons then the complete annihilation of their race and home is more than enough reason to want to do the same to those that inflicted it upon you. We now know that the undead played a significant role in the war as well. Kaathe follows the dark and unleashes it upon humanity and the gods whenever he sees the opportunity. Frampt seeks kings and literally convinces them to kill themselves or hide away. It wouldn't surprise me if Frampt had something to do with the Nameless King being exiled as well.

Ultimately I think the only thing we can trust is their rings. That they benefit from the death of others and it is their primary desire. What fuels that need to consume and overcome all others can only be speculated at. By the end of DK3 they may have gotten what they wanted though, a world of ash and ruin, with the last remnants of life fleeing inside a painting, if only we knew whether they were still alive to see it.
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dn1nd

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#15
Given The Paledrake Soul Coming From A Piece Of Gwyn's Soul And Being Altered Just By Seathe Bearing It, I Can See Each Host/Vessel/Person Containing The Souls Influencing The Nature Of The Soul. But I Can Also Contrarily See How The Souls Themselves Will Influence Its Host, And Might Even Seek Out Vessels That Are Desirable Or Similar To The Souls Very Nature.

As For The Serpents Being Resistant To Dark I Am Uncertain On If They Are Or Not. Given How Fraampt Gives You Only 1 Soul For Smough's Soul, and less Souls Than What Is Consumed For Artorias And Manus, I Would Assume Frampt And Even Kaathe Seek Out Other Souls To Consume To Ward Off Being Corrupted By Dark. As And Aside, Frampt Does Break Down titanite, So I Wonder If The Serpents Actually Get Nourishment From It, I Doubt It And Think It IS Only From Being Chewed.

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lordherpie

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#16
@divineflask:

Interesting, i like your angle on the snakes being more related to the dragons in a positve way. something to think about for me... ive been pretty blindly looking at them being rivals so far. As i progress trough the lore i will keep this in mind and see hwat will best fit my other theories.

DivineFlask

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#17
@lordherpie

I did as well for a long time but I think it's at least worth considering. From what I remember, they don't mention the dragons and are particularly focused on Gwyn and the undead so it could be nothing but if any character is good at hiding their true motives it's the serpents. Unfortunately, I don't think there's any strong evidence one way or the other but I do enjoy the fact that after 7 years new thoughts and ideas are still coming to me about this game.

@dn1nd

That's interesting, I like the idea that you can try to balance out the good and the dark off each other. This could explain why the undead is never corrupted (unless it's because we're already insane) and it also makes a bit of sense in regard to the dark sign transforming from flame to white soul/flame. The balance shifts and one consumes the other.
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#18
a tad late here, but just chiming in that both endings are, actually, the same - at least in terms of the fate of your character.

if you link the fire, you take the place of gwyn; hollow and mindlessly defending the flame from potential usurpers/a final test for those who wish to relink the flame

if you go the dark lord path, you wait by the burnt out first flame in order to defend it from potential relinkers, which probably takes at least 1,000 years, over which you likely get pretty bored and go hollow

that's why the ouroboros is such a prevalent symbol throughout the game, and why both serpents are likely lying - your choice is an illusion.
"We have no tomorrow, but there's still hope for the future."

lordherpie

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#19
I am with you on that one. i also believe that choice here is an illusion.
It is only in Dark Souls 3 that we get an option to do something else (in the form of the 'usurper' ending).
and that ending for me gives an uncertain future. instead of the dark souls 1 guanrantee that your choice will lead to the events in DS2/3 no matter which you chose. uncertainty is favorable when everything else predictably leads nowhere.

in my current grand-conspiracy theory, hoever, i don't believe it is the player who wins here, but again we advance the plans of the snakes when we 'choose' this ending. there is no real choice even in dark souls 3. again i think FROM draws nice parralel here between the story and characters ingame and the relation between the gamer and game-developers. we are limited by what the developers give us. and the main protagonist is limited by the manipulative characters that steer his actions. Myazaki is a primordial snake XD

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#20
Interesting take.

Personally I have a hard time believe the 'grey' associated with age of the ancients is a balance between darkness and light simply because it predates both.

@lordherpie, I think the biggest challenge of your interpretation is fitting "fire is everything. darkness is nothing." with the game's creation myth because we know for sure: (1) there was a universe before fire, so it can't be "everything" (2) the universe without fire was the age of the ancients which wasn't dark in the sense of the game.

A second challenge is the notion that darkness is what fuels the first fire (which is not a hard fact but widely accepted speculation). I'm not sure the notion that "non-A" is the fuel of "A" makes a lot of sense.
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