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  • What’s Up Guys, I’m Dave Klein. I wanted to make a video talking about the general

  • story of Dark Souls 2, and clearing up some questions that I get. I think it goes without

  • saying that there will be massive spoilers in this video, and I don’t recommend watching

  • until youve completed the game. I’ll also be referencing Dark Souls 1. Youve

  • been warned. So, let’s get started!

  • -- Part 1 – The Great Souls

  • You, who link the fire, you, who bear the curse

  • Once the fire is linked, souls will flourish anew,

  • And all of this will play out again. It is your choiceTo embrace, or renounce

  • this…”

  • In the end of Dark Souls 1, player s are given a choice to link the fire or not. Regardless

  • of which choice the character makes, at the time of Dark Souls 2, it’s safe to say that

  • someone, be it the chosen undead from Dark Souls 1, or another hero, at some point has

  • linked the fire. “They say these are the remains of a saint

  • who cast himself into the bonfire. But we will never know for sure, for soot and ashes

  • tell no story.”

  • Once this happens, everything that happened before plays out again. A cursed cycle. History

  • doomed to repeat itself over and over again. Straid of Olaphis informs us:

  • Many kingdoms rose and fell on this tract of earth; mine was by no means the first.

  • Anything that has a beginning also has an end.

  • No flame, however brilliant, does not one day splutter and fade.

  • But then, from the ashes, the flames reignites, And a new kingdom is born, sporting a new

  • face. It is all a curse! Heh heh heh!

  • And it is your cursed flesh that will inherit the flame.

  • Heh heh…”

  • One such kingdom that resided where Drangleic once did was Olaphis. But, like all kingdoms

  • before, it has fallen by the time of Dark Souls 2, likely during another cycle.

  • Once the fire is linked, souls will flourish anew.”

  • When a powerful Undead links the flame, it causes this rebirth, and the cycle continues.

  • Great and powerful souls fly reborn, and inhabit new bodies.

  • We see this through the major bosses of Dark Souls 2.

  • During the Lost Sinner fight, youll see a familiar creature

  • (Lost Sinner scene) One that looks just like The Witch of Izalith

  • from Dark Souls 1. For defeating The Lost Sinner in New Game

  • +, youll receive The Old Witch Soul, which you can trade to Ornifex for The Chaos Blade.

  • For defeating the Old Iron King, youll receive the Old King Soul,

  • For the Duke’s Dear Freja, The Old Paledrake Soul,

  • And for The Rotten, the Old Dead One Soul.

  • The implication being that many of the great souls from Dark Souls 1 have been reborn,

  • and spread into new beings. Those beings then pick up similar properties as their former

  • selves.

  • In Dark Souls 1, The Witch of Izalith created the Chaos Flame, and thus all demons in its

  • wake. Quelana, her daughter, views this as a sin, and something to attone for. We see

  • The Lost Sinnereternally punishes herself for the sins of her past.” Her sword tells

  • us: “Its blade saps the life of its wielder. The true nature of this sword is unknown,

  • even to the Lost Sinner herself. Those who choose this sword will share the Lost Sinner’s

  • misdeeds.” While it’s possible she’s attoning for

  • her sins of The Witch of Izalith, as her Penal Set tells usThe tattered skirt is worn

  • in shame by the guilty. By now, no one knows who this was used to punish, or for what reason.”

  • I actually don’t think this is the case. I think this character, like The Witch of

  • Izalith, has sinned in some great way, but is atoning for some new great sin.

  • The Lost Sinner lives deep within the Bastille.

  • The fool, trying to light the first flame. “

  • While The Witch of Izalith attempted to duplicate the First Flame, it seems the Lost Sinner

  • tried to light first flame.

  • The actions of the other old ones speak onto the same theme of being related to the great

  • lords of the past, but not exactly the same.

  • The soul ofThe Old Dead One”, or Nito, from Dark Souls 1, has been reborn into The

  • Rotten, who takes on similar properties. Like Nito, who is comprised of what he watched

  • overThe Dead, The Rotten is comprised of what he watchesThe undead and forgotten.

  • He is has turned The Black Gulch into his domain, andembraces all, in his sanctuary

  • for all things unwanted or tossed away.”

  • The Iron King, who heldUndead hunts during his reignandin the heyday of his land,

  • fancied entertaining dubious and eccentric guests from faraway lands,” also carries

  • a great soul. His being theOld King soul

  • It reminds me of someone who lived long ago.

  • A vainglorious liar who ended up hurling himself into the flames.

  • Now he’s Icarous earth if I’m not mistaken.”

  • By trading the Old King’s soul to Ornifex, youll receive the Dragonslayer Greatbow,

  • and for trading the Old King Soul to Straid, you can receive the miracle Blinding Bolt,

  • Crafted in ancient times by the God of Sun, but later forbidden by the same deity.

  • Was it to protect the world from hatred, or sorrow?” – The implication being the Old

  • King is supposed to represent Gwyn, Lord of Sunlight and Cinder.

  • And finally, we have the Duke’s Dear Freja, whose soul is associated with theOld Paledrake

  • Soul”. Trading this soul to Ornifex will net you the Moonlight Greatsword, “The blade

  • of this greatsword shines like the brilliant rays of the moon. In the oldest legends, rarely

  • spoken today, it is said the sword was born of a great white being.”

  • Oh, it’s like that awful traitor long ago,

  • He coveted what he did not have, and it drove him mad.”

  • The clear implication being this is Seath.

  • All of these great souls are de scribed as: “Soul of the ineffable. The once-magnificent

  • soul continues to exert influence over the land, even after the eons have reduced it

  • to these remnants.”

  • Once the fire is linked, souls will flourish anew.”

  • Gwyn, Seath, Nito, and The Witch of Izalith can all be accounted for, as well as Ornstein.

  • His souls seems to be reborn in theOld Dragonslayer”, who inherits his Old Leo

  • ring.

  • Now, the most important of these souls is the Soul of Nashandra. “Nashandra was born

  • of the Dark with an insatiable lust for strength. Use the special soul of this prisoner of desire

  • to acquire numerous souls.” She isThe old one of the Abyss, [who] was reborn in

  • death, split into miniscule fragments, and spread across the land.” “The tiniest

  • of these pieces, precisely due to its size, was the first to restore its form,” “The

  • pieces began to coalesce once again, becoming human in shape.”

  • This soul, reborn, is the soul of Manus, and has a vital role in shaping the land of Drangleic.

  • Nashandra wasthe smallest of pieces, [which], sensing its own fragility, yearned for what

  • it lacked.” This yearning seemed to be for power and strength. The soul manifested itself

  • into Nashandra, and the woman who would become the Queen of Drangleic.

  • -- Part 2 – The Founding of Drangleic

  • What makes a king? Some say that it is birthright, while others call it destiny.

  • Perhaps it is not important, as long as the king’s name serves to unite his people.”

  • King Vendrick rose to power in the land of Drangleic before it was known as such. He

  • fought with warriors, prepared to die for him, whom he granted Royal Soldier Rings,

  • These were granted to warriors who distinguished themselves in the service of King Vendrick.

  • The king favored simple warriors who staked their every battle on strength alone.”

  • He also utilized Dragonriders. These Dragonriders wereKing Vendrick’s royal guard. According

  • to legend, the Dragonriders straddled not horses, but wyrms.”

  • Together with the King, they crushed its former inhabitants and erected a magnificent

  • kingdom upon their graves.”

  • There to help Vendrick gain power over Drangleic was his brother, Aldia. “They say that Lord

  • Aldia was the King’s elder brother and helped found Drangleic, but he later lost interest

  • in the land’s fortunes.”

  • Aldia was known for his experiments, and it’s quite possible that the Wyrms the Dragonriders

  • rode on were actually creations of Aldia’s.

  • For, Aldia liked to experiment on various creatures. “The mysterious Lord Aldia secluded

  • himself inside a manor to conduct various experiments. Those invited to the manor disappeared,

  • replaced over time with malformed beasts that roamed its halls.”

  • While his halls are filled with mutated creatures found throughout the game, beyond the manor

  • lies the Guardian Dragon, as well as the Dragon Aerie.

  • King Vendrick was loved by his subjects, but something happenedsomething that would

  • change him. A curse spread throughout the land, one that desperately frightened him,

  • and one that he would be inflicted with himself. The curse of the Undead.

  • King Vendrick tried everything to rid himself of that which he feared. “Long ago, the

  • dungeons overflowed with the accursed, and the King commanded a contorted sentry to deliver

  • those who had no cells to a faraway and, and to make certain they were never heard from

  • again.” He tried to put the Undead out of sight, and out of mind, sending them far away

  • to the Lost Bastille.

  • He hired Mad Warriors from foreign lands as well as Shadow Knights from Mirrah to counter

  • the Undead. “In an attempt to stave off the curse, King Vendrick hired shadowmen to

  • put down the Hollows, but before long they were Hollowed themselves.”

  • I believe it likely the Pursuer was also a creation of King Vendrick’s, forThe

  • Pursuer hunts down those branded by the curse, as if each Undead soul that he claims will

  • atone for his sins.”

  • At some point, King Vendrick met his queen, Nashandra. It seems it was Nashandra’s doing

  • that caused him, in a desparate measure, to cross the sea and invade the land of the Giants.

  • Soon, the Giants will descend upon this fort.

  • It is revenge, for the Kingdom’s misguided barbarism.”

  • The venerable Lord build this kingdom To bring prosperity to His subjects.

  • What has transformed him so, I can not imagine.”

  • I believe Nashandra tempted the King, to steal a “prizefrom the Giants, a great and

  • wondrous soul that would help temporarilycurehim of his curse.

  • “A powerful soul is like a curse. And Vendrick, King of Drangleic, used a powerful soul to

  • keep the curse at bay. King Vendrick sought greater souls, and made the giantsstrength

  • his own, but even still, the curse overcame him.”

  • Long ago, the King crossed the seas, pillaged the land of Giants, and brought back

  • a “prize.” It was then that the golems materialized.”

  • -- Part 3 – The Fall of a Kingdom

  • --

  • Drangleic’s been a pile of rubble since the war fought long, long ago.

  • Since the giants crossed the sea. Seemed like the battles would never end.

  • Poor folk like myself had nary a place to sleep.”

  • The giants came to Drangleic with a vengeance. “The Giants landed on the northern shores,

  • and set siege to King Vendrick’s castle to claim an invaluable prize.”

  • King Vendrick sent his best men to fight off the Giants, but they were woefully unprepared.

  • King Vendrick supplied his bravest men with the best armor available to face the

  • great giants, but very few returned alive.” “Sir Syan was widely known as the kingdom’s

  • most leal knight, and when the Giants invaded, he volunteered to lead the advance party,

  • but was slaughtered most dishonorably. The King commissioned replicas of Syan’s accouterments

  • and bestowed them to promising knights, but not long after they donned the armor did they

  • go thoroughly mad.”

  • For multiple generations, the giants laid siege upon Drangleic.

  • My father, and his father, both fought the Giants on this very land.

  • The Giants have wills of steel. They cannot find it within themselves

  • To forgive the misdeeds of our lord.”

  • Not only did Captain Drummond fight against the giants, but so too did his family. “Captain

  • Drummond’s ancestors have served Drangleic for generations, principally as defenders

  • of the great fort, but Captain Drummond is the last in this proud line. In his day, King

  • Vendrick was fair and just, and expected the same of his liegemen. This helm was proof

  • of King Vendrick’s trust, an honor, until his transfiguration…”

  • And, with the Cursed Undead traveling into the memories of the giants, “The Giants

  • were eventually defeated by an unnamed hero, but alas, victory came all too late.”

  • Even beyond death, the Giants were still enraged at King Vendrick. “Will the Giantsresentment

  • for the King be pacified in death, or only emboldened?” It would seem their resentment

  • was emboldened, for the more Giant Souls the player acquires, the more they can damage

  • King Vendrick.

  • While the land was enveloped in war, King Vendrick and his brother, Lord Aldia, eventually

  • had a falling out.

  • Though King Vendrick wanted to do nothing but seal away the Undead Curse, his brother

  • Aldia was obsessed with discovering its cause. “The peculiar figure known as Lord Aldia

  • attempted to uncover the secrets of life itself, and viewed the Undead as a key to this mystery.”

  • King Vendrick condemned his own elder brother to the mansion. They both sought the truth,

  • but through different means, and their fervor meant the eventual withering of their familial

  • ties.”

  • Aldia conducted horrific experiments, “To imagine what unspeakable deeds were performed

  • to create [the northern and southern ritual bands], one need only recall the cruel fate

  • of the residents of Aldia.” He invited acolytes and sages to help him

  • in his work. “Several of the greatest minds converged in Aldia to weave strange new rituals,

  • but rumors suggest that during the course of their worktheir thoughts were not their

  • own.”

  • He utilized the Giants in Drangleic, andThe peculiar figure known as Lord Aldia kept Giants

  • in his manor, and attempted to recreate a dragon, but after some time, was not heard

  • from again.”

  • In fact, one such creation of his wasThe Ancient Dragon.

  • Youll find a great creature far to the east.

  • A colossal thing, with the strength to match its size.

  • Or something playing the part, at least.”

  • Brave Undead, Youve met that dragon?

  • That living, breathing sham? A false deity, offering nothing.”

  • In the far eastern outskirts of Drangleic lies an old manor that is now long forgotten.

  • As it should be, for the things that lurk there are better left unknown.”

  • It seems Aldia succeeded in creating Dragons. We also know the Ancient Dragon was, in fact,

  • created using a Giant’s Soul. Forafter defeating the Ancient Dragon it drops just

  • thatindicating it isn’t a true dragon.

  • Lord Aldia disappeared at one point, and it’s also very possible (And note, this is a speculation)

  • that the Ancient Dragon is Lord Aldia transformed. “Ancient Dragon quote with us.”

  • Regardless, in his toils and attempts at creating Dragons, Lord Aldia also created Shanalot,

  • orThe Emerald Hera.d. “My name is Shanalotte

  • The dragon gave me this name, For I was born with none.

  • I was born of dragons, contrived by men. By ones who would cozen fate herself

  • They are the ones who created me.”

  • Lord Aldia attempted to create Shanalotte in order to counter the curse,

  • But they failed. I did not come out as intended.

  • Fate would not be bested, and men were cursed once again.”

  • They say that she is the last firekeeper. But they say a lot of things.

  • (They say?) But she’s a gentle, lighting the way for you cursed fools.

  • Nonsense.”

  • Despite their falling out, King Vendrick did utilize his brothers research. His Looking

  • Glass Knight uses theKing’s Mirror”, a “Looking Glass at the castle [that] is

  • said to have been a passage to another world.” We find multiple looking glasses in Aldia’s

  • manor, indicating this was something he actually created.

  • Additionally, the Mastadons that guard Drangleic Castle were experiments of Aldia’s. “Whatever

  • was created by Lord Aldia was lost with his disappearance, but the King attempted to revivie

  • these things, even if only fragments remained.” King Vendrick utilized his brothers techniques

  • andrestored a forbidden, long-lost art to create these inhuman abominations.”

  • Eventually, the King grew steadily more hollow. While it’s not implicitly said, I believe

  • it’s possible he began to realize Nashandra’s intentionsher want to keep the world

  • in dark.

  • If you proceed, Nashandra will come after you.

  • Knowing that you will take the throne and link the fire.

  • She covets the first flame and the great soul.”