This page details the characters from the DLC released so far. Head back through here for other character pages. Unmarked spoilers ahead.
Characters introduced in Ashes of Ariandel
Slave Knight Gael
- "Fire for Ariandel... Fire for Ariandel... and the ash to kindle flame..."Voiced by: Stephen Boxer
A decrepit old man found praying in the Cleansing Chapel after the Deacons of the Deep have been defeated. He carries with him the rotted scrap of an ancient painting, seeking Ash to bring flame to the world within the canvas. He can be summoned for the main boss fight, but only appears during the second phase.
- Achilles' Heel:
- He's susceptible to poison damage. Yes, the best weapon buff vs Gael as a boss isn't the famed Darkmoon Blade or Lightning Blade miracles, or even the Crystal Magic Weapon sorcery. It's a simple resin you most likely never used elsewhere.
- After his first phase he turns completely Hollow due to the Dark Soul, making him vulnerable to the Hollowslayer Greatsword.
- Anti-Villain: Gael's ultimate goal is to create a new Painted World using the Dark Soul itself as pigment, and he does this largely out of his concern for those outcast from the natural world. In doing this, however, he discovers that the wielders of the Dark Soul, the Pygmy Lords, have gotten so old that their blood has dried—and driven mad by this revelation, Gael takes it upon himself to consume the Dark Soul directly from the lords' bodies, becoming a cannibalistic monstrosity corrupted by the same darkness that took Manus and Artorias.
- Anthropomorphic Personification: Consuming the Dark Souls of the Pygmy Lords in The Ringed City transforms Gael into a living manifestation of Dark itself—to the point where when he Turns Red, the sky becomes overwhelmed with darkness.
- Ascended Extra: From a minor NPC and summon to the absolute Final Boss of the series.
- Automatic Crossbows: Carries one which can be transposed from his boss soul; it was customized to face mobs and fires as fast as a machine gun, but it's horribly brittle and worn.
- The Bad Guy Wins: In an Anti-Villain sense. Gael suffers dearly by the end of his journey, losing his sanity and his life all in the name of his goals. However, he ultimately succeeds in that he intended to perish at the hands of the Ashen One, in order for his Dark Soul-tainted blood to be taken to the Painter as pigment for a whole new Painted World.
- Badass Beard: A big white one that the player cannot obtain through a legitimate way in normal gameplay.
- Badass Cape: He wears a tattered red cloak with a hood that covers his face. In the second stage of his boss fight, it becomes animated and can be used to attack the Ashen One.
- Badass Normal: Besides being able to use a spell not seen since Dark Souls 1, there isn't much particularly special about him. As a slave knight, he and his lot were literally used as cannon fodder.
- Empowered Badass Normal: After consuming the Dark Soul, he gains power equal to that of the gods at full strength. Pound for pound being a far greater threat than the Nameless King or Soul of Cinder, both of whom were (or comprised of) gods during the first Age of Fire. Justified, as the Dark Soul is one of the pieces of the First Flame, and as he just gained the power, he isn't weakened from age or otherwise fading power the gods suffered.
- Barrier-Busting Blow: His attacks can shatter the Pygmy Lords' thrones when they hit.
- Battle Aura: In the second stage of his boss fight, the Dark Soul activates and he becomes wreathed in a red-and-black haze.
- Battle in the Rain: In the second stage of his boss fight, a thunderstorm starts up, with lightning as a stage hazard.
- The Berserker: During the first phase of his boss fight, he's constantly on the attack and making animalistic snarls and roars the whole time.
- BFS: He single-handedly wields a broken, chipped, and rusted version of the Executioner's Greatsword, a weapon once used for executions. Despite having been broken — giving it a striking resemblance to the Broken Straight Sword — it is still gigantic.
- Big Bad Friend: After helping you fight Friede and Father Ariandel, and in the Dreg Heap, he becomes the True Final Boss of the Souls series and the Ashen One's last chronological opponent. However, he's still not evil after this, merely mad.
- Bishōnen Line: During his first phase, he acts like a raging, primal beast, but after gaining more power from the Dark Soul, he adopts a more human posture, becoming more dangerous in the process.
- Black Blood: Has this after consuming the Dark Soul.
- Body Horror: His form as the Final Boss isn't pretty. He's grown into a huge hulk, his cape has fleshy bumps almost like it's part of his body, and worst of all, there's a huge gaping crater in his chest.
- Bookends: A series long one; No matter your class, the first weapon you start Dark Souls with is a Broken Straight Sword. Should you chose to transpose Gael's soul into it, the last weapon you'll probably make is a broken Executioner's Greatsword, which resembles a giant Broken Straight Sword right down to how the blade is broken. Furthermore, the first enemy you fight in the Souls series (in both Dark Souls 1 and Demon's Souls) is a hollow with a chipped sword. So too is the last.note
- Call-Back: Has quite a few to Artorias. He's also a knight who is corrupted by darkness, but the parallels don't end there: both wear hoods and capes and wield greatswords, favour a very agile combat style, and when you fight them, they're maimed in some way, with Artorias's broken arm and Gael's chest wound. Both even open their boss fights by flinging a corpse off their sword.
- Cannon Fodder: The description of the Slave Set outright describes the "slave knights" as fodder, sent to fight in only the bleakest of battles. Their bodies decayed and their minds broke, but they were still never relieved from duty. Gael turns out to be much stronger than that would imply, but it's still reflected when you summon him for Friede, as, while he's very good at tanking damage, it's unlikely that he'll survive the whole fight. Subverted when he consumes the power of the Dark Soul, which turns him into a godlike being.
- Cape Swish: In the second stage of his boss fight, his cape will flap around following his attacks and damage you.
- Cape Wings: In phase 2 of his boss fight, his cape becomes animated and resembles demonic wings.
- The Cavalry: If you choose to summon him, he'll join you for the latter two phases of the fight against Elfriede, evening the odds.
- The Chessmaster: Not apparent at all at first; his plans for the Painter are kept as vague as possible until The Ringed City DLC comes along and reveals that he intends to forge an entirely new Painted World with the Dark Soul itself as pigment. To this end, he sacrifices not only himself, but the last possible bastion of civilization at the literal end of the world, and lures the Ashen One to his location knowing that he'd die in the ensuing battle—all so that the Ashen One could bring the Blood of the Dark Soul to the Painter.
- Climax Boss: After consuming the Dark Souls of the Pygmy Lords, Gael become a living personification of the Dark Soul itself, meaning that from a thematic perspective at least he has as much claim to the title of the ultimate, final boss of the series as the Soul of Cinder (a living personification of the First Flame) does. Unfortunately, being only part of the Ringed City DLC, he cannot serve as the actual end boss. Considering that both the Kiln of the First Flame and the events of the Ringed City both take place in a distant future, it can be inferred that Gael is still fought earlier story-wise anyway.
- Cool Old Guy: Though he seems a bit sinister at first, he's firmly on your side and can come to your aid during the final battle. He's also apparently responsible for protecting the Painter. However, he becomes an unimaginably powerful, brainwashed, vessel of the Dark Soul at the series' finale.
- The Corruptible: He takes the Dark Soul into himself, and like Manus and Artorias, he is driven mad and corrupted by its dark power.
- Crazy Sane: The Ashen One finds him deranged and cannibalistically feasting upon the Pygmy Lords, but Gael's determination to complete the new Painted World allows him to maintain just enough sanity to not go Hollow. When the Dark Soul takes over, though, he loses all remnants of his sanity and becomes one of the most powerful beings the world has ever seen.
- Damage-Sponge Boss: He has a considerable 15,000 health!
- Determinator: One of the biggest examples in the series, to the point where he rivals the Player Character in this aspect. He uses the Way of White Corona miracle, described to be from "when the imprints left by the gods were still deep," which, at this point in the series' timeline, was a loooong time ago. And he's been living this whole time without going Hollow at all. Even after he falls prey to madness in The Ringed City, it's implied that even then his insanity is not a result of his going Hollow, but rather a combination of both his discovery that the Pygmy Lords' blood has dried completely and the corruption of the Dark Soul. His soul's description states that he knew that even if he found it, the Dark Soul would likely ruin him and that his chances of a safe return were slim, but Gael marched on regardless and achieved his aim, albeit in a tragic way.
- Died Happily Ever After: He goes fully hollow and suffers an effective Death of Personality midway through the fight. What causes this? You wound him enough that he bleeds, and he notices that his is "the blood of the dark soul", confirming that his ingestion of the Pygmies did indeed transfer it. With this, Gael fulfills his purpose, and finally lets go. While not stated explicitly, it's heavily implied that he expected the Ashen One to kill him and take the blood of the dark soul to the Painter, so he could create a new world.
- The Dreaded: The Almost Dead Guy Pygmy Lord you find right before his fight is absolutely terrified of him, and drags himself pathetically over to the corpse of Filianore, beseeching her to save them from "The Red Hood".
- Dying as Yourself: Zigzagged. Even when he becomes the manifestation of the Dark Soul his Boss Subtitle doesn't have any grand epithet for him, instead opting to show him for what he is: a Slave Knight, devoted eternally not only to the Painter, but to his goal of creating a "cold, dark, and very gentle" Painted World. Plus, while he starts off the fight with a moveset that's basically a mashup of Artorias's and Manus' moves, when he Turns Red he adopts his own distinct moveset. That being said, throughout the fight he's clearly Not Himself, as he's obviously deranged to the point where he can only see the Ashen One as another conduit of the Dark Soul.
- From a thematic perspective, hes actually the most like Vendrick. He is an incredibly old man who has a single goal he is driven by, only to be driven mad when that goal is seemingly impossible to achieve. Both men lack any grand epithet to their boss fights, both are Damage Sponge Bosses, and both are more powerful than the gods themselves at the point of their stories.
- Easy Level Trick: He's weak to poison and has an absolutely huge boss arena. While it takes quite a few hits to poison him, once you do you can just run away from him while the poison eats about forty percent of his health.
- Evil Counterpart: The final battle of The Ringed City shows him as one to the Player Characters, not just the Ashen One, but also the Bearer of the Curse and the Chosen Undead. Like them, he is a nobody, who no one expected to amount to much who has nonetheless soldiered on through impossible odds and obtained incredible power by defeating those greater than himself, all through his refusal to give up and the power of his Dark Soul. And his weapon turns out to be a broken sword very much like the one the Chosen Undead started with. He even uses soapstone messages to communicate to the player throughout The Ringed City DLC—and in his boss fight he gains the ability to teleport by way of summon signs.
- His poor equipment and status as a slave knight brings to mind the Dreglings who were similarly given only the most basic of tools for war.
- In the first phase of his boss battle his leaping attacks, flips and animalistic movement is highly reminiscent of Guts in the Berserker Armor, while in the second phase of the fight he uses an Auto Crossbow and a BFS in one hand with his fighting style and silhouette resembling Guts as the Black Swordsman. The only way he could resemble Guts even more is if he had an Arm Cannon.
- Final Boss: Excluding the Darkeater Midir and Shira, Gael serves as not only this for The Ringed City, but he also holds the distinction of being the Final Boss for the entire series.
- Foil: To the Soul of Cinder. While the Soul is the accumulated legacy and thus the embodiment of the linking of the First Flame, Gael becomes the embodiment of the Dark Soul by devouring fragments of it from the Pygmy Lords. The Soul's original form was Gwyn, one of the most legendary and renowned beings in the world, while Gael was a slave knight, thrown into battle repeatedly as cannon fodder and remembered only by a few. While the Soul utilises the powers and abilities of past Lords of Cinder, Gael's first phase is a combination of the skills of Artorias and Manus, two beings heavily associated with the Dark, before falling back on his own skills augmented by his new powers.
- Also, while Gwyn sought to keep the Age of Fire alive at any cost, and ultimately ended up directly triggering the literal end of the world in the process, Gael's ultimate goal is to create a new world by way of a Painted World colored with the pigment of the Dark Soul itself.
- Ultimately, and appropriately, one to the player character. Both Gael and the Ashen One are lowly beings who accumulated untold amounts of power, enough to slay gods and destroy the world, and all for a nebulous quest thrust upon them by inscrutable forces. The last time they encounter each other, they are some of the very few beings left at the end of the end of the world, and certainly the most powerful.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: Went from mere cannon fodder to a voracious cannibal who devoured the Pygmy Lords to take hold of the power of the Dark Soul, complete with Body Horror!
- Gameplay and Story Integration: To say nothing of how he uses in-game player mechanics like soapstone messages, in his boss fight, he gains the power of Villain Teleportation by way of summon signs—and during his second phase, his sudden weakness to weapons like the Hollowslayer Greatsword indicate that once the Dark Soul overtakes his reason completely, he's gone Hollow.
- Gatling Good: Gael is equipped with a Repeating Crossbow, which holds a drum of bolts that rotate into the firing mechanism for what amounts to an automatic weapon. Players can gain access to it by transposing his soul with Ludleth.
- "Gift of the Magi" Plot: He eats the Pygmy Lords to take the Blood of the Dark Soul into himself, knowing he would be driven insane by it, specifically so that you could kill him and deliver his blood to the Painter for her pigment. But when you do that, she reveals that the whole reason she's painting a new world in the first place is because she wanted to give Gael a new home.
- Go Mad from the Revelation: It's hinted that discovering that the blood of the Pygmy Lords had dried out long ago (and therefore was worthless as pigment) unhinged him, resulting in him killing them to take the Dark Soul for himself despite knowing that it would ruin him.
- Good All Along: His voice-overs both in the trailers and in his introductory cutscene make him out to possibly have sinister motives, made worse when you meet Friede and Vilhelm and both tell you that there's no reason to stay in the Painted World since you do have a place to call home. However, enough digging around reveals the truth about the necessity of Fire for the Painted World, squarely putting Friede in the Big Bad position for her role in obstructing the world's rebirth. And sure enough, he can optionally come and help you in the final battle.
- He continues to take the role of the good guy in The Ringed City, leaving behind clues for the player to follow him, and even appearing as a summon to help them with the various bosses. It appears to become a FaceHeel Turn when the player discovers him at the end of time, a crazed cannibal devouring the Pygmy Lords for their fragments of the Dark Soul, and becoming the final boss. And then Double Subverted when after dealing enough damage to him, he sees the blood of the Dark Soul seeping from his wounds, comes to his senses, and takes an upright stance for The Last Dance. It turns out that he knew that consuming the Dark Soul would destroy him, but did so anyways in order to provide a conduit for creating blood, and with the knowledge that you would come along to end his suffering and deliver his blood to the Painter.
- Hero of Another Story: In a deliberate parallel to the Ashen One, the Chosen Undead, and the Bearer of the Curse; Gael initially looks like just another decrepit old guy, but reading the various descriptions of the gear he's got reveals that Gael's one of the longest-living Undead throughout the whole series (see Time Abyss down below). It's clear that he's literally been through lifetimes' worth of harsh battles, to the point where The Ringed City DLC focuses on the end of his journey and his life.
- Heroic Willpower: He's an Undead who hasn't gone Hollow for thousands of years, and it's implied that his determination to create a new Painted World may be the only thing keeping him going. He eventually Hollows out in his boss battle, however, after finding out that he was successful in embodying the Dark Soul, thus leaving him with nothing left to live for.
- Hidden Agenda Villain: Downplayed in that he doesn't even start out as a villain in the first place, but his goals are shrouded in complete mystery—until you get to the end of Ashes of Ariandel and discover that he intends to retrieve a pigment "colored like the Dark Soul of man" for the Painter, to help her create an entirely new Painted World. While this is vague all on its own, it becomes incredibly clear by the time you get to The Ringed City and find out he's taken it upon himself to claim the Dark Soul right from the Pygmy Lords—going so far as to devour them as soon as he discovers that their blood's dried up completely due to just how long they've lived.
- Hidden Depths: Gael doesn't even really talk that much to the Ashen One, except when he pulls you into the Painted World of Ariandel (and if you count his various messages throughout the Ringed City). So a lot of who he is and what he wants is left nearly completely in the dark, unless you take a look at item descriptions and put two and two together from the dialogue of other characters. By the end of The Ringed City, you'll find out that Gael intends to create a new Painted World, but is such a Determinator about it that he's willing to destroy the last city where life can truly thrive in any real fashion in a dying—if not dead—world.
- Honorary Uncle: To the Painter.
- Humanoid Abomination: By the time you reach his fight's second phase, what he's basically become is the Dark Soul itself in Gael's body.
- I Did What I Had to Do: Possibly how he views his massacre of the Pygmy Kings. He doesn't seem to be an evil or sadistic character, he just wanted their blood so he could fulfill his ultimate purpose of allowing the Painter to create a new world.
- I'm Dying, Please Take My MacGuffin: A darker example than most (no pun intended). Consuming the Dark Soul from the Pygmy Lords in a fit of insanity, Gael then attacks the Ashen One with the intent to claim their Dark Soul. When Gael is defeated in the ensuing battle, it's revealed that he intended to use the blood of the Pygmy Lords as pigment for his Painted World, but when he found out that the Lords have lived for so long their blood dried, he decided to eat the Dark Soul right out of them. Once he dies, it's all up to the Ashen One to complete Gael's mission and get the Blood of the Dark Soul back to the Painter.
- In a Single Bound: Boss Gael can manage some faintly ridiculous leaps, mostly ending with him slamming his sword into his target. The battle arena has to be about the size of Wisconsin to give you enough room that he won't land directly on you every time.
- Just Eat Him: Gael discovers that the Pygmy Lords have lived for so long their blood has dried up. This means that everything he did in the name of creating a new Painted World was all for nothing. Of course, he ends up going completely mad from this revelation and decides he'll just eat the souls right out of their bodies. It works.
- Kick the Dog: While he is doing it to help the painter girl make a new world, his slaughter of the Pygmy Lords to devour them for their Dark Soul is this due to them being helpless, elderly undead who haven't harmed anyone.
- Lady and Knight: Explicitly refers to the Painter as his Lady and is apparently charged with helping her to recreate the painting.
- The Last Dance: The second half of his boss fight seems to be this for him, as he regains some of his lucidity and stands up straight to fight you with all his might.
- Leitmotif: Slave Knight Gael, a whopping nine minutes in length and is heard only during his boss fight.
- Light 'em Up: In the second stage of his boss fight, he uses multiple copies of the Way of White Corona. Also bears a shade of Irony that the man who became for the Dark Soul what the Soul of Cinder was for the First Flame would make such extensive use of a miracle that is named for an order that hunted Undead and bearers of the Humanity born from the Dark Soul.
- Lightning Bruiser: In his boss fight. Hits like a truck and moves faster than something his size ever should.
- Magic Missile Storm: In the second stage of his boss fight he can fire his Battle Aura as a barrage of homing red skulls, with lightning strikes hitting the places where the skulls impact after a short delay. The sheer number of the things, combined with the fact that he can also fire his auto-crossbow at you while the skulls are coming at you, practically makes the fight feel like a Bullet Hell shooter sometimes.
- Mook Promotion: Gael went from being a low ranking soldier in an army of endless others just like him to one of the most powerful beings in the world after consuming the Dark Soul.
- Mythology Gag: See Bookends. The sword he wields is basically a scaled up version of the Broken Straight Sword you start the first game with.
- The red skulls he throws at you in the second phase look a lot like some of Martyr Logarius's attacks in Bloodborne.
- The overall structure of the Final Boss fight is very similar to that of Ludwig in Bloodborne. It starts with him as an unhinged beast, running around on all fours and attacking you with an array of quick, damaging melee attacks. Once you get him down to half health, he falls to the ground, seemingly defeated, only for him to see something that lets him regain some control of his own mind and stand up straight to fight you for The Last Dance, whereupon he starts making use of devastating magic attacks.
- Mysterious Past: What little we know of Gael, we know by the various descriptions of the gear he's got on him. It's never revealed how he met the Painter, how he came upon Ariandel, how he's survived for all this time, or what other various trials and tribulations he's endured throughout his life.
- Old Master: An elderly, frail old man who happens to be a skilled swordsman and is one of the most powerful bosses in Dark Souls III, strong enough to kill the Pygmies.
- Ominous Walk: Gael always begins phase 2 of the boss fight by slowly walking towards you, cutting a very imposing figure with his Cape Wings, before inevitably letting loose his new powers.
- The Plan: In direct opposition to Gwyn and the gods' plans to perpetuate the Age of Fire through a Vicious Cycle of death and rebirth, Gael plans to outright create an entire Painted World pigmented with the Dark Soul itself.
- Physical God: Absorbing the Dark Soul makes him one of the most powerful beings in the series, able to call down lightning, shoot magic blasts, leap dozens of feet vertically from a standing position and dozens of meters horizontally In a Single Bound despite being huge, shatter thick stone structures with a single lazy sword swing, and so on. If in-game performance is any indication, Gael at that point is powerful enough to curb-stomp both the Nameless King and the Soul of Cinder.
- Power of the Void: Gael discovered that the blood of the Pygmy Lords had dried out long ago and so killed them all to take the Dark Soul for himself.
- Primal Stance: In the first stage of his boss fight he crawls on all fours, dragging his sword behind him.
- The Red Baron: Almost literally. The living Pygmy Lord right before his fight fearfully calls him "The Red Hood".
- Recurring Element:
- His boss fight makes him yet another gratuitous Guts Expy. While Artorias had the broken arm and wolf motif, the Fume Knight had the Armor and a massive sword resembling a slab of iron, and the Orphan of Kos had the same origin story, Gael had the closest fighting style.
- A much smaller example is that, much like Gascoigne back in Bloodborne, he could be summoned for a boss fight, but eventually fights you not as a mere invader, but as a difficult Duel Boss.
- Restart the World: Not so much restarting the world as much as it is creating an entirely new one. Gael's primary objective is to get the Painter to create a new Painted World from the remains of Ariandel, intending to have the Dark Soul itself be the pigment. It's implied that Gael is fully aware of the state of his own dying world, and believes that a new Painted World is the only way to truly sustain life in any sort of fashion. Thanks to him and the Ashen One, this gambit succeeds, and the Painter gets what she needs to create "a cold, dark, and very gentle place, that will make someone a goodly home."
- Sanity Slippage: The implication that he's lived for a long, loooooooong time, coupled with his decrepit demeanor, one can very well come to the conclusion that Gael's experiences have taken a toll on his sanity. A toll that comes to a breaking point in The Ringed City, where Gael discovers that the Pygmy Lords' blood has dried up completely, essentially undoing all of his efforts to create a new Painted World—until he decides to just eat them.
- Shadow Archetype: Of the Player Character. The Ashen One's journey leads them to the usurpation of the souls of various ancient living legends and gods, each conflict bringing them closer to a dying First Flame that will essentially go out no matter what you do. Gael's journey centers around him literally eating the souls of primordial human beings in order to create an entirely new world, born of the Dark Soul itself.
- Shock and Awe: In his fight's second phase, any place where the red orbs land will glow, causing lightning to strike those spots shortly afterward.
- Soul Eating: He consumes the Pygmy Lords' portion of the Dark Soul, and declares his intent to do the same to the Ashen One's.
- Surprisingly Elite Cannon Fodder: For would-be cannon fodder, he's able to stand up to Father Ariandel and Sister Friede and provide much-needed relief. And ends up being the final boss of the series as a whole.
- Thanatos Gambit: The descriptions of the Blood of the Dark Soul and Gael's soul, along with Gael's dialogue in the mid-fight cutscene, suggest that Gael took the Dark Soul into himself to create blood that had not yet dried, well aware that doing so would drive him completely insane. Which is why he brought you along for the ride, so that you could kill him and take the Blood of the Dark Soul to his Lady in his stead.
- Time Abyss: Gael fought in the War for Disparity, against the ancient dragons, and is the only being that old who's still around today (with the possible exception of the Pygmy Lords, although their age is ambiguous). At the end of the second DLC, he is one of the three last survivors in the entire world, the other ones being you and Shira.
- Title Theme Drop: His battle theme incorporates riffs from the game's title theme—fitting, considering the fight's implications for the future of the Dark Souls world.
- Touched by Vorlons: He goes from an aged, decrepit old man to a vicious, agile and powerful warrior by absorbing the Dark Soul.
- Turns Red: Once he reaches two-thirds health, he draws out more of the Dark Soul's power, gaining what is essentially a Dark equivalent of a Lord of Cinder state and a dark Battle Aura. He also stands upright and begins to fight in a more calculated, human manner, implying that the sudden surge of humanity brought him slightly back to his senses - although this is also when he goes hollow, so it might not be his senses he's coming back to. Once down to one third of his health, he painfully releases a myriad of dark fireballs, unlocking the Dark Soul's full power as he begins to fight far more aggressively.
- Time Abyss: Gael's been around since when the old gods were still in their prime. It's worth noting that by the time of Dark Souls III, the gods are considered a mere relic of the past; in Dark Souls I, the gods were pretty much on the verge of dying out. Which means Gael's been around for thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of years. That is, if the Timey-Wimey Ball nature of the world had nothing to do with it.
- True Final Boss: Of the Souls series, to the Soul of Cinder's regular Final Boss.
- Undead Abomination: He's an Undead. Who becomes host to the Dark Soul. When it takes him over, he hollows out.
- Utopia Justifies the Means: He's not trying to necessarily create a Utopia, but he is trying to create a new Painted World to help sustain life in some fashion—especially when it comes to creatures abhorred for being unnatural or wretched. He eventually becomes so maddened over the course of his journey, however, that he ends up a cannibalistic manifestation of Dark, as he feasts on the Dark Soul itself from its progenitors, the Pygmy Lords.
- Villain Teleportation: Starting with his second stage, Gael gains the ability to teleport himself close to the Ashen One, should there be too much distance between them. Most peculiarly, Gael teleports via soapstone by invading the player's immediate vicinity.
- Walking Spoiler: Thanks to being the Final Boss to the entire series. Better yet was his role in both of the DLCs in Dark Souls 3 and how he went From Nobody to Nightmare.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Gael is implied to be aware of how unsalvageable the Age of Fire is, and the various atrocities he commits to create a new Painted World in The Ringed City can be interpreted as an old and broken man doing everything he can to sustain life through an entirely new Painted World.
- What You Are in the Dark: Gael journeyed to the literal end of the world to fetch the blood of the Dark Soul so that the Painter could paint a new world, so that there'd be hope at the end of the dying one. His soul description states that he knew he was not going to withstand the corruption of the Dark Soul. He fully expected himself to be corrupted, and he expected you to be the one to put him down, retrieve the blood of the Dark Soul, and bring it to the Painter. You don't have the option to tell the Painter where it came from, either. Gael effectively saved all life, yet there will be no memorials to him, no grand song to be written about him.
- With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: In the second stage of the fight, the Dark Soul manifests its power within him. While this grants him fearsome new abilities, it also turns him Hollow.
- Wrecked Weapon: The version of the Executioner's Greatsword he uses in his boss fight and which can be transposed from his soul has been shattered into a jagged point, unlike the normal sword, which has a blockier shape.
A third regiment of the Abyss Watchers. While the Legion fought the Abyss and its creatures and the Watchdogs made sure that those who fell in battle still slept soundly in their graves, it was the Followers who hunted down and executed the Legionnaires who were taken by the Abyss.
- Ancient Order of Protectors: The Followers are this. Even though they may have forgotten their purpose and have also killed off all the rampant Abyss Watchers, they still guard Ariandel from any unwelcome guests.
- Animal Motifs: Wolves, like the other 2 units of the Legion. The first group of Followers you come across are also right next to a massive pack of wolves.
- Badass Army: While they were larger in number than the Abyss Watchers, and considered the "lesser" of the two main units in the Legion, they still had to be very badass in order to take down any corrupted Abyss Watchers.
- Band of Brothers: Despite everyone of their members having gone Hollow, they are not hostile to one another (unlike the Abyss Watchers). Even after going Hollow, they have all stuck together and entered the Painted World together.
- Booze Flamethrower: Followers that carry torches love turning them into flamethrowers, if you aren't close enough to just beat you with the torch itself.
- Cool Helmet: Their pointed steel helmets. Like the Abyss Watchers, their helmets indicate they are part of the Undead Legion.
- Expy: Of the Hunter of Hunters covenant in Bloodborne. Both groups being part of a fighting force dedicated to fighting Eldritch Abominations, specifically purposed to hunting down members who have been turned into the very things they were fighting against.
- Hunter of Their Own Kind: Their sole job was to hunt down and execute any Abyss Watchers who succumbed to the taint of the Abyss. While the Followers themselves were never taken by the Abyss, they did end up devolving into Hollows.
- Internal Affairs: They filled this role for the Abyss Watchers, being a force dedicated to hunting down and killing any of their sister regiment members that became corrupted by the Abyss.
- Javelin Thrower: Their main weapon is the Follower Javelin, which they threw into their fallen comrades as an honorable send-off.
- Kill It with Fire: Some Followers use specially modified torches that better allow them to attack abyss corrupted Watchers. Justified as those corrupted by the abyss become weak to fire.
- Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: Some Followers carry shields; hiding behind them as they jab at you with their spears, or use it to smash your face in.
- Sinister Scimitar: One of their favored weapons is the Follower's Sabre, an oversized cavalry sabre.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: In spirit at least; seeing as the Watchdogs of Farron are too busy guarding Farron Keep and the Abyss Watchers of the Legion are all either dead or Hollowed, they have no real reason to exist anymore as the rear guard of the Legion's forces. This was a contributing factor to the lot of them going Hollow and somehow wandering their way into the painting.
- Wandering the Earth: After the Abyss Watchers sacrificed themselves to link the First Flame, the Farron Followers lost their reason to exist and all went Hollow, wandering the lands aimlessly until they all somehow stumbled into the Painted World.
Fearsome predators that dwell within the painting. Though most of them seem to be normal wolves, a few of them are much larger than normal.
- Artificial Brilliance: They fight much like an actual wolf pack. They surround you and maintain their distance while mounting quick hit-and-run attacks, and it takes great care and some skillful manoeuvring to avoid being surrounded and overwhelmed.
- Canis Major: The alphas are much bigger than the normal wolves.
- Howling to the Night: Once they spot you, they'll howl, aggroing all wolves in the surrounding area.
- Savage Wolf: They attack you on sight, and can rip you to pieces if you aren't careful.
- Zerg Rush: Once aggroed, some will howl, calling other groups of wolves from farther away. If you're not careful, you'll find yourself fighting several packs of wolves at once.
- Voiced by: Pooky Quesnel (unused)
Mysterious trees in the shape of women, found throughout the Painted World.
- Achilles' Heel: Setting them on fire will stun them for a few seconds, allowing you to quickly finish them off.
- An Ice Person: One of their mid-range attacks is to let out a freezing breath, causing Frostbite in a matter of moments.
- Plant Person: They're essentially the Dark Souls equivalent to dryads.
- Playing with Fire: Their long range attack consists of igniting multiple fire motes in their branches, then letting them home in on their targets for often devastating results.
- Rapunzel Hair: They have long, stringy hair that sits right around their waist, making for an overall unsettling sight.
- The Scream: They scream shrilly when set on fire, and sometimes when they attack you.
- Unique Enemy: Exactly one of the trees screams and just tries to maul the Ashen One with its branches rather than rely on its ice breath or multiple motes of fire. It looks identical to all the other Birch Women and there is also no indication whatsoever that it will act differently. This tree also has some Dummied Out dialogue that, in conjunction with the item it's guarding (Snap Freeze, a sorcery invented by Pontiff Sulyvahn in his youth), implies that it is Sulyvahn's mother.
Norse-like warriors who were drawn into the Painted World after the loss of their homeland, the Millwood Forest. Originally a Druidic people who worshipped Earth instead of Fire, with their patron deity being the Ethereal Oak. Their sworn enemy was a being called the Abyss Dragon. By the time outsiders found the fabled Millwood Forest, it was nothing but a vacant ruin - the only things remaining were the rotting Ethereal Oak and the Knights' belongings, neatly laid upon the ground.
- An Axe to Grind: They wield two types of axes, the first being their standard Millwood Battle Axe and the second being the massive Earth Seeker.
- Ancestral Weapon: The Quakestone Hammer is their oldest and most well-known weapon.
- The Beastmaster: Several of them are shown to have trained the local wolves to fight and patrol alongside them.
- The Berserker: Some of their attacks can let them easily close the distance and relentlessly try to kill you while shouting like animals.
- Combat Pragmatist: The Millwood Knights don't seem to hold much regard for fair fights, as most of the setpiece battles against them are locations where they outnumber you and the terrain heavily favors them. They'll shoot explosive arrows at you from a distance while you traverse over narrow tree roots, lure you into ambushes against two or three of them at a time, and set wolves on you while you're trying to deal with them. Fighting more than one of them at a time isn't a very good idea.
- Call-Back: Doesn't their armor look a bit similar to both the King's Set and Benhart's Set?
- Dishing Out Dirt: The Weapon Arts for the Earth Seeker greataxe, the Quakestone Hammer, and the Millwood Greatbow all deal with causing shockwaves in the ground.
- Horny Vikings: Their helms actually have stag horns built into them.
- Great Bow: Some of them are equipped with the Millwood Greatbow, which is a massive greatbow that fires massive-sized greatarrows that even explode!
- Lightning Bruiser: They are as strong and tough as their large size suggests, but also surprisingly very fast on their feet.
- Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: Their Ethereal Oak Shields also enables them to slowly regenerate their health, making it more of a danger to fight them, especially when encountered in groups.
- The Remnant: The Millwood Knights you find in the painting are merely the stragglers of a larger band that found their way into the Painted World after being defeated in a battle against their Arch-Enemy, the Abyss Dragon. It's implied that the knights you find are the last ones left in existence, and even they are shown to be slowly dying off as the painting rots.
- Voiced by: William Gaminara
A Corvian resting on a rotting bed of the Painted World.
- Foil: To the Forlorn Corvian Settlers, while the settlers want to set the world on fire and burn the rot, this guy embraces the rot and encourages you to lie upon it.
- Voiced by: Tim Bentinck
The regular inhabitants of the Painted World, also known as the Forlorn, who have inhabited it since antiquity. They have avian features, particularly those of crows. Most of them have gone Hollow from the rot that infests their home, and now wander or lay about their squalid settlement in despair.
- Bird People: They resemble emaciated, featherless and bipedal crows.
- Call-Back: They're suggested to be descendants of the Crow Demons from the original Ariamis painting. In addition, the hostile Corvians found in the main game are suggested to be members of this group who somehow escaped the painting.
- Face Death with Dignity: The Corvians had resolved to let their world burn by showing Flame to the Painter so that she could paint a new one, accepting the end of their Painted World of Ariandel. Then Sister Friede interfered.
- Foil: The attitude of the Corvians is the opposite of that to the world outside theirs. While countless Lords have burned themselves in a desperate yet futile effort to prevent the world from moving into the Age of Dark, the Corvians on the other hand accepted their fates pretty well and would have gladly burned along with their world... if not for Friede's interference.
- Good All Along: The few Forlorn Corvians who have not yet succumbed to rot or lost their minds are non-hostile, and beg you for help in bringing Fire to Ariandel.
- Mercy Kill: A non-hostile Corvian begs you to do this by showing Flame to the Painter and letting the world burn, because he's terrified of rotting the rest of his life away.
- Mr. Exposition: One of the non-hostile Forlorn helpfully explains the plot, including cluing you in that Friede isn't as innocent as she appears. He also spells out the contrast between burning Ariandel so the Painter can create a new world and the Vicious Cycle of Linking the First Flame with his references to the 'fools on the outside'.
- The Pig-Pen: They're seriously disgusting, with the majority of them miserably wallowing in filth and attacking you by puking on you. Many of them also drop Dung Pies when killed.
- Zombie Puke Attack: Some of the larger Forlorn can vomit out toxin as an attack.
Wretched, fly-like creatures found all over the Painted World, but especially in the depths of the Corvian Settlement. The only beings in the Painted World that seem to benefit from its rot, if they're not another symptom of it themselves that is.
- Achilles' Heel: They're very flammable, and they take double damage when flying. One in midair can usually be one-shot by a Firebomb...assuming you can land the hit.
- Big Creepy-Crawlies: Combine this with Humanoid Abomination as they're clearly some distressing merge of man and fly, with red, globular eyes pushing out of a human skull.
- I'm a Humanitarian: Almost all of them are encountered feasting upon corpses.
- Kill It with Fire: Takes extra damage from fire.
- The Swarm: Implied, as the basement of the Corvian Settlement is carpeted with what may very well be their eggs, and several areas in the Painted World appear to be swarming with maggots.
- Was Once a Man: Their disturbingly human-like aesthetic elements and their chance to drop Human Pine Resin have...unpleasant implications.
- Zombie Puke Attack: Like the Corvians, except they can spray maggots, causing Blood Loss. And it comes out of their eyes.
Corvian followers of Sister Friede, who seek to prevent Flame from visiting the Painted World. They will slaughter even their own kin in service of Friede.
- Badass Cape: The thrusting sword wielding ones wear draping white capes.
- Ceiling Cling: A few of them can be found hanging upside-down from the ceilings, waiting for an unsuspecting intruder to come into range.
- Lean and Mean: As skinny as the other Corvians, but about three times bigger and meaner.
- Dual Wielding: They both wield their weapons as such. The Crow Quills is a thrusting sword held in the right hand and paired with four throwing in the left hand, while the Crow Talons are long claws that are wielded in both hands.
- Lightning Bruiser: Not only do they have a lot of health, they are fast. Since their weapons and combat style are designed around inflicting Bleeding, trying to tank their hits is unwise.
- The Quisling: They turned against their fellow Forlorn Corvians, who wish to see Flame brought to Ariandel and naturally oppose Sister Friede. This is why they can be found slaughtering the regular Corvians in the Settlement.
- Plague Doctor: Not only do they wear bird masks, they are there to cleanse a plague. It's also an inversion because for them, Fire is the said plague and so they'll keep any flame away at all cost. Technically, they are there to spread the rot.
- Royal Rapier: The first variant wields the Crow Quills, a thrusting paired with four throwing knives, using the both of them to attack in quick succession.
- Wolverine Claws: The other variant wields the Crow Talons, a pair of long Corvian claws, using them to great effect with rapid speed. The first variant too will occasionally use its four throwing knives like a claw in addition to their swordsmanship.
Champion's Gravetender & Gravetender Greatwolf
The Champion of the Undead Match fought without rest until he lost his mind. Now, it would seem, his grave in the Painted World is watched by his loyal page, assisted by a mighty giant wolf.
- Achilles' Heel: The Greatwolf is extremely weak to Bleed buildup.
- Animal Motifs: Wolves of course, though for some reason the Valorheart weapon the Gravetender wields summons a roaring ''lion'' in its Weapon Art.
- Bonus Boss: To even reach them, you have to work out that the bridge to Ariandel Chapel can be broken and become a ladder like the bridge in the Catacombs of Carthus. They have no relevance to the Friede plot and basically exist as a wall between you and the Arena added in the DLC.
- Does Not Like Shoes: The Gravetender wears a Loincloth as his leg armor, which does not include footwear.
- Dual Boss: When you get the Gravetender to half health, the Gravetender Greatwolf enters the fight, though it's certainly possible to kill the Champion's Gravetender before having to fight the wolf.
- Due to the Dead: They remain in the Painted World to guard the Champion's grave.
- Early-Bird Cameo: You can encounter the Greatwolf early into the DLC by heading to the base of the snowfield and trying to round the cliff-side path. If you fight it here, it will retreat at half health.
- Expy: The Greatwolf is basically Sif's personality mixed with the look of the Royal Rat Authority.
- Flunky Boss: The Champion's Gravetender is accompanied by three normal-sized wolves at the start of the fight.
- Foil: The Greatwolf to Midir; both are non-humanoid bosses in their respective DLCs, but the Greatwolf is a Fragile Speedster, while Midir is a Damage-Sponge Boss.
- Fragile Speedster: The Greatwolf does not have a lot of HP. This does not mean it's easy to damage since it moves around the arena at a frighteningly fast pace.
- Magic Knight: The Gravewarden starts the fight with a sword and shield, but brings out the sorceries once the Greatwolf joins the fray.
- Mythology Gag: Their boss arena and fight has several allusions to Knight Artorias and Great Grey Wolf Sif.
- The boss battle is located in and around a tower similar to the location the player faces Artorias in Dark Souls 1.
- The player gets access to the multiplayer arena from this winning this fight. While in Artorias of the Abyss, defeating Artorias grants access to the multiplayer areas housed within the tower.
- The area around the tower is a large open field-like arena, similar to that of Sif's boss arena in Dark Souls 1
- Inside the tower is a large gravestone with a Greatsword leaned against it. Like a miniature version of Artorias' grave.
- The Gravetender is a knight-like warrior with an alliance to wolves, like Artorias (though their similarities end there).
- The Gravetender is tasked with defending the Champion's gravesite, much like Sif did for Artorias' grave.
- The Greatwolf is a giant wolf, who also defends the gravesite, much like Sif.
- The Greatwolf stands on an arena above the player, howling, then jumping down to fight. Similar to the introduction of Sif.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: The main indication that the Greatwolf has powered up is its eyes beginning to glow red.
- Undying Loyalty: The Gravetender and the Greatwolf ceaselessly watch over their master's grave.
- Wolfpack Boss: Quite literally! If time isn't taken to killing off the pack before focusing on the Gravetender, you'll wind up having that many more threats to worry about when the Greatwolf arrives.
- Voiced by: Steven Hartley
A dour knight in black thin armor who wields a greatsword that burns with black flame. Vilhelm is a loyal Darkwraith serving Friede, and can use Miracles as well as the Dark Hand during his fight with you.
- Anti-Magic: Will use Vow of Silence if he sees you using any form of magic.
- Badass Arm-Fold: Just look at that picture.
- Black Knight: His attire, attitude, and foreboding weapon certainly paints him as one.
- The Dragon: To Friede.
- Dude Looks Like a Lady: He has a surprisingly slim figure...and his model when unhallowed is feminine.
- Evil Sounds Deep: Speaks in a deep, menacing voice.
- Evil Sounds Raspy: His voice is also raspy. Which might mean his voice box's about to give up the ghost and he'll Hollow away in time. Much like Horace once you find him in the Smouldering Lake.
- Expy: His voice and armor aesthetic bring to mind Yurt the Silent Chief. His role is, however, similar to Brador the Church Assassin, whose role is to hunt down whoever delves too deep to the things unknown.
- Implied Death Threat: Gives you one after speaking with Friede for the first time, warning you not to poke your nose in where it doesn't belong. Doubles as a Bond One-Liner should he manage to kill you in the library later.Vilhelm: Inside the cold painting, curiosity could be your cross.
- Lady and Knight: His relationship with Sister Friede, of the Dark Lady and Black Knight variety. Actually subverted when you fight him, as the flavor text for his weapon, the Onyx Blade, reveals it was granted to him by Elfriede as "a farewell gift, and acceptance signified the knight's resignation". It ends up being Double Subverted, as he still serves her even after they both left Londor and the Sable Church.
- Magic Knight: Of the paladin variety, as he fights you in full armor and with a sword, which he buffs with its Intelligence and Faith dependant Weapon Art and uses healing Miracles when he takes sufficient damage.
- Mini-Boss: Effectively, as taking his Contraption Key is the only way to reach the DLC's last boss.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: He attacks you to stop you from finding the girl Painter, which actually helps you find her when you otherwise couldn't, since Vilhelm carries the only key leading to her location.
- One-Handed Zweihänder: He wields a two handed sword with a shield, like a number of higher level players.
- Power of the Void: His Onyx Blade's Weapon Art wreaths it in Elfriede's dark flames, and he uses the Dark Hand as a shield.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Delivers one when he shows up to kick the Ashen One's ass for poking their nose where it doesn't belong...Vilhelm: I've seen your kind, time and time again. Every fleeing man must be caught. Every secret must be unearthed. Such is the conceit of the self-proclaimed seeker of truth. But in the end, you lack the stomach. For the agony you'll bring upon yourself...
- Secret-Keeper: Holds the Contraption Key, an item which reveals Vilhelm was ordered to secret away the white-haired Painter into captivity, to prevent her from finding Flame.
- Undying Loyalty: Implied. The fluff for his weapon, the Onyx Blade, states that such a weapon was traditionally given as a farewell gift by lords and ladies to knights whose service were no longer needed. The fact that he followed Lady Elfriede all the way to the Painted World and is still dutifully carrying out her will shows what Vilhelm thinks of the concept of retirement.
- Villain Has a Point: His speech against the Ashen One's nature of seeking truth when it's unneeded is proven right, as the Ashen One ends up bringing about the end of the Ringed City by searching for the Dark Soul.
Livid Pyromancer Dunnel
A pyromancer who invades you deep within Ariandel.
- Katanas Are Just Better: In addition to his pyromancies, he also wields a Chaos Blade.
- Kill It with Fire: As a pyromancer, he can use Floating Chaos, Great Chaos Fire Orb, and Chaos Storm.
- The Turret Master: Like the Demon Clerics, he can summon fireball shooting orbs using Floating Chaos. Killing him will cause him to drop it, allowing you to use it as well.
- "Those who aren't ken to fire cannot paint a world. Those absorbed by fire must not paint a world. Don't worry, I haven't forgotten, Mother..."Voiced by: Bryony Corrigan
A mysterious, long-haired figure found in the attic of a library that Vilhelm is guarding, whom you are tasked to "show flame to" so that she may paint a new World.
- Balance Between Good and Evil: She says "Those who aren't ken to fire cannot paint a world. Those absorbed by fire, must not paint a world." After she is shown fire she awaits her uncle to bring her the pigment, the Dark Soul of Man implying the painted world needs both fire and dark in equal measure.
- Call-Back: Her goal of making a "cold, dark, and very gentle place" that will make a "good home" for someone brings to mind Priscilla describing the Painted World of Ariamis as peaceful. She even shares her Voice Actor too! Though considering how time works in these games, it could be possible that these are all calls forward.
- Dissonant Serenity: After your "gift of fire" has taken root in the Chapel (read: started burning outside of the boss arena), she can be found still sitting up in her tower, waiting for you to deliver the pigment even as the room around her is burning! Although, given the nature of fire as more of a cosmic force, she may be perfectly fine around this particular fire, thus making this a Subverted Trope.
- Does Not Like Shoes: She is constantly barefoot.
- Expy: Of Rapunzel, an artistic young woman with extremely long blonde hair who is held obliviously captive by a witch who will stop at nothing from keeping her from doing what she really wants to do. She is also barefoot at all times, just like Rapunzel.
- Little Bit Beastly: Examining her face closely reveal that she posses yellowish snakelike pupils and scales on her neck◊ with her pupils bearing a striking similarity to the Serpents of Dark Souls.
- Macguffin Girl: Finding her and showing her flame is the goal of the first DLC.
- Missing Mom: Her quote after you kill Sister Friede seems to refer to advice given to her a long time ago by someone she calls "Mother". Whether this person was her actual mother or not, they are likely either dead or missing, considering that she seems to have been raised by Gael.
- Mysterious Waif: She somehow has the power to create new worlds with her paintings, and the villains are very much invested in keeping her locked away to prevent this.
- Mystical White Hair: She has long white hair, much like Priscilla.
- No Name Given: After giving her the Blood of the Dark Soul, she asks for your name. If you tell her you have no name, she admits she doesn't have a name either.
- Rapunzel Hair: Her hair is several times the length of her body.
- Wham Line:
- After defeating Friede, she kindly thanks the Ashen One and comments now she's almost seen fire, she should be able to paint as soon as Gael, her uncle, brings her the pigment... the Dark Soul of Man.
- After The Ringed City:The Painter: I wonder when Uncle Gael intends his return. I hope the new painting will be to him a gentle home.
- "Leave us be, Ashen One. Sweep all thought of us from thy mind. As thy kind always have."Voiced by: Amara Karan
A mysterious, white-clad woman who inhabits the Painted World. She is actually Elfriede, the eldest of Yuria's sisters and another founder of the Sable Church, until she decided to give up everything. After entering the Painted World, she convinced Father Ariandel to abandon the fire and stop the Painted World from burning for a new one to replace it, causing the world to stagnate and rot.
- A Form You Are Comfortable With: A non-eldritch version. Friede had her appearance changed so as to be better-accepted by the Corvians, and sure enough her design does bring Priscilla to mind.
- Action Girl: This is a woman who would annihilate her foes if they cross her. Possibly a Dark Action Girl if her role as a founder of the Sable Church is of any indication.
- Affably Evil: Just like her former liege lord Kaathe, and sister Yuria, Friede is very polite and courteous to the player, despite how sinister she is.
- Anti-Villain: She genuinely cares for the Forlorn of the painted world, and all her villainy stems from her unwillingness to let them burn up with the painting.
- Back from the Dead: She gets up twice to keep fighting you, the first time due to Ariandel reviving her in an Ember state, the second using the blackflame she once wielded as a Sister of the Sable Church.
- Beef Gate: Ashes of Ariandel can be accesssed and many of its endgame-worthy treasures looted fairly early in the main story. However, getting access to The Ringed City so early in the story would require defeating Friede, an extreme challenge at the earliest point where the option becomes available.
- Big Bad: Friede is the reason for the painting's rot, as she convinced Father Ariandel not to let the flame burn the Painted World away for a new one to be born.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: When you first meet Friede, she asks you to leave, but she's utterly polite, and even gives you a ring before sending you on your way. Players might be reminded of Priscilla and assume that she's harmless. She really isn't.
- Casting a Shadow: In her final phase, she starts using dark magic.
- Confusion Fu: She has a Stance System that involves her launching one of three attacks from her alternative battle stance, and she has a stealth mode you'll have to keep your wits about to counter (that, or just wait a split second, about face, and run towards her, since she usually jumps forward a large distance as her first action).
- The Corrupter: Convinced Ariandel to try to preserve the Painted World, all the rotting be damned, and similarly convinced a small portion of the Corvian population to aid her and in turn kill their own kind.
- Contractual Boss Immunity: Subverted. Like the Abyss Watchers, Frieda is just a normal NPC with some special moves and heightened health.
- Defector from Decadence: The way Yuria talks about her and the fact that she's in the Painted World suggests that at some point, she abandoned Londor. Yuria herself mentions Elfriede is Unkindled, and in a possible hint as to her motives, she cautions the Ashen One about the toll kindness can take upon one's principles.
- Determinator: She wants to stop you so badly that she'll get back up twice over the course of the fight - becoming fiercely aggressive during the third phase as a last ditch effort to kill you.
- Developers' Foresight: Friede gets some different dialogue if you're pursuing the Yoel and Yuria questline, due to her being from Londor. Yuria also has new dialogue if you have Friede's soul when talking to her.
- Does Not Like Shoes: She is always barefoot, presumably as part of her attempt to emulate Priscilla.
- Dual Boss: Her second phase has Father Ariandel joining her to fight you.
- Dual Wielding: As Blackflame Friede, she pulls out her support scythe and becomes much, much faster.
- Evil Counterpart:
- To Lord Gwyn of all people. Like the first Lord, Friede wanted so dearly to preserve her world which was dying, and was willing to do anything to do so. Unlike Gwyn, however, who decided to light himself on fire and burn in eternal agony for all time, sacrificing himself, Freide protects Father Ariandel as he tortures himself with a whip to maintain the decaying world daily.
- Also, to Priscilla. Both are mysterious ladies with white clothing who live in Painted Worlds, both of them politely ask you to leave because you don't belong, and both of them use scythes and invisibility during their boss fights. In fact, it's implied through the description of her clothing set that Friede intentionally modeled herself after Priscilla. But where Priscilla was an innocent person who just wanted to be left alone, Friede is significantly more sinister, manipulating Ariandel and letting the painting rot away.
- Evil Gloating: Mocks you every time you die.
- Evil Is Deathly Cold: She's the Big Bad of Ashes of Ariandel and is heavily associated with ice.
- Foil: To Pontiff Sulyvahn. While Friede came from outside the painting, Pontiff Sulyvahn quickly left it. While Friede wishes to ensure that the Painted World is not destroyed despite the rot, Sulyvahn wishes for the world to be consumed by the Deep. While Friede is an Anti-Villain who genuinely cares for the Corvians in her own way, Sulyvahn shows care for none and desires power only for himself. And while Friede serves as the right-hand woman for Father Ariandel and eventually outlasts him as Blackflame Friede, Pontiff Sulyvahn serves Aldrich and eventually falls before his masterhimself does.
- Fragile Speedster: He health goes down pretty quick if you can hit her. Key word: "if."
- Get Out!: When you first meet Friede, she tells you repeatedly to take the bonfire next to her and leave the Painted World.
- Glass Cannon: As far as bosses go, she can't take many hits, but she hits like a whole fleet of trucks. Many players will find a single attack from her knocking off a third to half their health, when she isn't outright using One-Hit Kills.
- Guys Smash, Girls Shoot: When Ariandel's on the rampage, as long as you stay away from her, she usually sticks to just throwing ice at you.
- Have a Nice Death: She has four such lines in total, one set of two used in her first phase and a second set of two used from the second phase onwards. Which line she delivers depends on whether you've pursued the Yoel and Yuria questline or not."Return from whence thou camest. For that is thy place of belonging.""Return from whence thou camest. Yuria surely awaits thee.""Leave us be, Ashen One. Sweep all thought of us from thy mind. As thy kind always have.""Leave us be, Ashen One. Thou'rt the Lord of Londor, and have thine own subjects to guide."
- Hoist by His Own Petard: She gives you the Chillbite Ring, which is important for fighting her.
- Irony: The founder of the Sable Church, who worships the DARK, takes extra damage from it. Even while wielding it herself as Blackflame Friede.
- Perhaps and even BIGGER case is that the ring she gives to The Ashen One, Chillbite Ring, increases resistance to frostbite, an element that she utilizes during each phase of her fight.
- An Ice Person: Her primary element is ice, with her scythe being imbued with it.
- Leitmotif: Sister Friede and Father Ariandel
- Lady and Knight: The Dark Lady to Vilhelm's Dark Knight. She's also served by the Corvian Knights.
- Lightning Bruiser: In the tradition of Artorias, Gehrman and Lady Maria, Friede leaps around the room and rips through you at ridiculous speed in her third phase.
- Kryptonite Factor: She is a Hollow (possibly wearing an Untrue Dark Ring to appear normal) and thus takes more damage from the Hollowslayer Greatsword.
- Male Might, Female Finesse: She's the Female Finesse to Ariandel's Male Might, slashing her scythe with grace, and having a stealth mode.
- Marathon Boss: A series first. Friede's constant dodging and set of three phases ensure that this fight will take a while even for a skilled player. Her third form in particular jacks up her aggression and health pool, forcing more flight than fight and making it take even longer.
- Meaningful Name: Her original name, 'Elfriede', means 'strength'. Her trousers are that of a swordsman, and imply she used her fighting skills while she was apart of the Church. When she took on her appearance in the Painted World, she altered her name to be 'Friede', having the meaning 'peace'.
- My Rules Are Not Your Rules: In all three phases, she has infinite stamina, Bloodborne-level dashes, and good recovery times that the player cannot obtain.
- Mythology Gag:
- Her first phase's moves and overall strategy (start physical, then increasingly rely on magic) is reminiscent of Lady Maria.
- Her second phase is basically Ornstein and Smough 2.0, with a Lightning Bruiser wielding a polearm weapon paired with a Mighty Glacier wielding a heavy blunt instrument.
- She's a scythe-wielding pale girl residing in a Painted World who tells you you don't belong and should leave, just like Priscilla. This particular bit is deliberate: due to the Corvian's religious reverence for Priscilla, she took to masquerading as her as a means of manipulating them.
- Her actions and motivations are roughly the same as Gwyn's when confronted with the same situation, except it's even clearer just how much damage Friede is doing by refusing to let the Painted World burn and be reborn.
- Friede's role in the Painted World is similar to the queens of Dark Souls II, in particular Nashandra: she came from elsewhere, grew close to the male authority figure of the realm, then through her influence drove the realm to ruin. She's even associated with the Dark like they were.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: According to the Forlorn Corvian, there are supposed to come two unkindled ash to burn Ariandel away. Sister Friede is the first, so if she had left the painting before the Ashen One arrived, the prophecy would've remained unfulfilled.
- One Degree of Separation: She's Yuria's elder sister. Meeting Friede, then coming back to talk with Yuria, will trigger new dialogue from the latter.
- One-Winged Angel: After you beat her and Ariandel, they combine powers, and she becomes a terrifying Lightning Bruiser who harnesses black flame.
- Playing with Fire: She's an Unkindled, and as Father Ariandel says "Thou'rt ash, and fire befits thee, of course..."
- Power of the Void: In Phase 3 of her boss fight, she wields the same Dark flames she bequeathed upon Vilhelm's sword.
- Religion of Evil: If the Corvians outside the chapel are any indication, she's their figurehead.
- Screw Destiny: What she attempts to do to prevent the prophecy about the flame awakening in the presence of two Unkindled from happening. You can find what is presumably the chapel's bell buried in the snow, suggesting that she had it removed to stop it ringing and awakening an Unkindled.
- Sequential Boss: Her boss fight has three phases and each one has a separate health bar.
- Sinister Scythe: She wields one in the boss fight, which is imbued with frost and can be transposed from her soul.
- SNK Boss: Not only does she outright break rules that limit players (as mentioned under My Rules Are Not Your Rules), she has three phases with separate bars rather than a single, two attacks that are not only near impossible to prevent, they deal massive damage, HUGE AoE in her third phase, and will abuse said infinite stamina to her pleasure.
- Soul Power: After being defeated a second time, she is rises again with the ability to use black flames.Black flames born from the Abyss bear no shadow. They are said to be the impenetrable fires of humanity.
- Stance System: She has an alternate battle stance she can launch one of three attacks from.
- Technicolor Eyes: Although it's very hard to tell because of her hood, Friede has purple eyes.
- Technicolor Fire: After defeating her the second time with Father Ariandel, she is revived a second time as Blackflame Friede, now wielding a black/ash-colored flame in combat.
- Tragic Villain: One interpretation of Friede. Her precise motives are difficult to deduce given the few scraps of information the game offers on her. But the Flavor Text of items associated with her suggests she really did call the Painted World her home and was sincere in her desire to protect it. It's anyone's guess whether that desire was eventually corrupted into something more sinister, or she simply went about it the completely wrong way.Description of her Ordained Hood and Dress: After renouncing everything, Friede discovered a people that she wished to protect, and assumed the precise form that they yearned for.
- Turns Red: In the final phase of the boss fight, she revives as Blackflame Friede and gains dark magic.
- Victory Fakeout: Killing Father Ariandel and Friede causes their Leitmotif to stop (and on the first kill, gives you a Titanite Slab), and you probably expect Heir of Fire Destroyed to pop up any moment. Then Father Ariandel starts talking again, Friede gets up, her health bar refills with her new title and the music slams back on.
- Visible Invisibility: While you might expect to have to track her footprints in the snow like Priscilla when she turns invisible, you actually find her by getting close enough to her. Any projectiles that stick to her (arrows, throwing knives, etc.) give away her position, too. Every now and again she might also plow straight into the surrounding furniture, loudly shattering it and giving her location away.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: She wants to preserve the Painted World by all means, even if it is rotting away.
- Wide-Eyed Idealist: Even though she was the leader of the Sable Church, there are several things that hint at this.
- The description for the Ordained Trousers implies that, during the founding of the Sable Church, Friede made a promise to protect a person or a group of people, but then had to resort to violence to keep that promise, possibly traumatizing her in the process.
- By talking to Yuria after meeting Friede, you learn that apparently Friede let her kindness get in the way of her principles, perhaps having something to do with the above, causing her to abandon the Church of Londor.
- And finally, the very fact that she is an Unkindled means that she attempted to Link the First Flame, and failed due to lacking either resolve, strength, or both (she wouldn't have stood a chance against the Soul of Cinder without anyone to revive her). Given that the Sable Church's goal is to usurp the First Flame, or even snuff it out if they truly did serve Darkstalker Kaathe at one point, Friede may have done this to try to atone for her actions in founding the Sable Church.
- Ye Olde Butchered English: She speaks like this, though whether it's how she normally talks or if she adopted it as part of her imitation of Priscilla isn't clear.
- Voiced by: William Gaminara
An enormous, decrepit Corvian who serves as the local religious leader and is known as the restorer of the Painted World. Ariandel was swayed by Elfriede into not letting the world be reborn, so he continually flagellates himself to feed his blood to the painting, snuffing the flame and stalling its advance.
- Bait-and-Switch Boss: Double Subverted. It seems like Father Ariandel will be the boss when you first step into his room, but then Friede comes down to fight you. And then once you kill her, Ariandel breaks his bonds, revives Friede, and fights you beside her. And then after he dies, she takes the fight to a third round.
- Breaking the Bonds: Ariandel is found strapped to a chair and restrained by ropes or leather straps pegged into the ground. When he sees the dead Friede, he rips them out like they're nothing, although he's still attached to the chair.
- Dual Boss: He fights you alongside Friede in the second phase of her boss fight.
- Facial Horror: He's the most human looking Corvian...but his face is a mess - no lips, black gums and jagged teeth, a flat, almost nonexistent nose, and sunken eyes. The rest of him is no better.
- Gentle Giant: Subverted, of course. Ariandel seems like this, since even with his monstrous appearance, once he sees that you're not Friede he just asks you to fetch her in a gentle tone. Then you kill Friede and he goes ballistic.
- Improbable Weapon User: He uses a giant basin, though given his size, it's somewhat probable.
- Monstrosity Equals Weakness: Despite his size, he's far less dangerous than Friede, and even a bit more fragile.
- Mythology Gag: His appearance brings to mind Gravelord Nito, who had been intended to be the boss of the Painted World of Ariamis back when it was the Project Dark prototype for the first game.
- Never Trust a Trailer: Although featured as if a full boss on his own in the first trailer, Ariandel turns out to only participate in the middle phase of the final battle of the DLC.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: Although "villain" might be a bit of a stretch, his rage at Freide's death and the slamming of his bowl into the ground to revive her lets the flames pour out of it and ignite the room. Thus, the Flame has finally come to Ariandel that will let the world be burnt away and remade like Gael and The Painter want to do.
- Obliviously Evil: It's hinted that Ariandel genuinely has no idea of the harm he's causing the Painted World by subduing the flame, since he's kept restrained in the chapel and dependent on Friede.
- Playing with Fire: He uses fire to revive Friede and attack you.
- Sinister Minister: His title of "Father" is more in the religious sense, meaning he's the local religious leader. Unfortunately, he's being manipulated into keeping the Painted World from being recreated.
- A Taste of the Lash: Ariandel routinely flagellates himself to give blood to the painting, to the point that his response to seeing the fire flickering is to ask Friede for his flail. You can even craft said flail, the Rose of Ariandel, as a boss weapon. It functions as both a whip and a miracle catalyst, with its Weapon Art consisting of flagellating yourself in order to give your miracles a power boost.
- Unexplained Accent: Why a giant Corvian has a Scottish accent is a riddle for the ages.
- Unskilled, but Strong: When he's fighting, he's little more than a berserking rage monster with little in the way of form and finesse. He's also a giant, berserking rage monster who's wielding a Lordvessel (a stone bowl the size of a TV) with little in the way of finesse.
- Unstoppable Rage: Seeing Friede die drives Ariandel mad with rage and grief, causing him to use the flame to revive her and attack you himself.
- Violent Glaswegian: He speaks with a Scottish accent, and after you kill Sister Friede, he flips his lid and attacks you.
- Vocal Dissonance: Like Oceiros, The Consumed King, His voice is really, really, deep. However, when he screams, though... It's of a higher pitch than his actual normal voice.
- You Can't Fight Fate: Spent his days self-flagellating in order to keep the smallest of flame from sparking. His rage at the player, the second Ash of the prophecy, ignites the fires which resurrects Friede, the first Ash, but dooms the Painted World.
Characters introduced in The Ringed City
Winged creatures that fly over the Dreg Heap and bombard the Ashen One with spears of light, symbiotically connected to humanoid larvae-like creatures growing from the corpses of the Pilgrims of Londor.
- Angelic Abomination: Parasitic entities tied to larvae attached to the bodies of certain Londor pilgrims. They may use light magic, but they are in no way good.
- Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: They are strongly implied to be the dead Londor Pilgrims themselves, having evolved into a new form. Should the old hag die naturally, an angel without a parasite appears, and is not hostile until you attack it.
- Back from the Dead: The Angel will always revive if it's slain, at least until the Pilgrim Pupa is killed.
- Beam Spam: When an Angel spots the player, it'll immediately begin bombarding them with a massive array of lasers.
- Chekhov's Boomerang: Remember the second Angel you encounter, that's patrolling Earthen Peak and that you can skip entirely? It flies up to the tree branches at the end of the area and completely lets loose on you when you think you're home free, with barely any cover for you to hide behind.
- Flying Firepower: Always airborne and can cast a barrage of light spears that cause immense damage. Blocking them very quickly depletes your stamina so dodging and hiding behind cover is the best option.
- Light Is Not Good: Especially if their first instinct upon seeing you is to murder you with a relentless barrage of light spears. They even go out of their way to kill Thralls on sight, though they leave other enemies alone.
- Our Angels Are Different: For one, they're implied to be Angels of Human Origin, and secondly they have no legs, are almost unfailingly hostile to anything they see, and a close-up on their character models reveals that they're insectoid.
- Recurring Element: Similar to Brador and his phantoms, the angels are the ones making life hell, but the actual hosts are a joke that can easily be killed.
- Stealth-Based Mission: Since the Angels can't be killed permanently, the only choice for dealing with them is to run from cover to cover, staying out of their line of sight as much as possible while you look for the Pilgrim Pupa.
- The Symbiote: The one found above the Dreg Heap is bound to a strange half-human-looking creature growing from the corpse of a Pilgrim of Londor. Killing the Pupa will kill the Angel permanently. There are 2 others in the Earthen Peak area with the same deal, but they are far better hidden.
- Winged Humanoid: They fly around until they spot the Ashen One, whereupon they hover in place and toss volleys of light spears.
Strange beings spawned from the abyssal swamp to preach to men about the glories of Dark. Unfortunately, being locusts, they became far more concerned about filling their bottomless stomachs than drawing men towards the Dark, and have become a serious problem in the lower districts of the city. The few that are still sane will share with the Ashen One stories of those who have embraced and found comfort in the Abyss.
- Animalistic Abomination: A locust with the face of a man, said to have been born in the Abyss itself.
- Catchphrase: "And let the feast, begin". Even the sane ones will end their mini sermons with it.
- Continuity Nod: All of their sermons reference characters from the series in extremely roundabout ways, requiring quite a bit of knowledge of the lore to understand just who they are talking about.
- The Cuckoolander Was Right: Item descriptions seem to confirm that, abominations they may be, they are, with some exceptions, telling the greater truth about the Abyss and that they are just really, really bad at both preaching and common moral decency.
- Dark Is Evil: While they claim the opposite, its quite clear that they are abominations, that mostly devour their flock.
- Deadly Euphemism: They refer to eating men as "partaking".
- Elite Mooks: There are larger versions that look the same as the sane ones.
- Horror Hunger: The hunger of most priests is so strong they devour those they meet rather than try to convert them to the Abyss. If they catch you in their grab, they start chowing down. Several non-hostile ones can be found within the Ringed City who resist such hunger.
- Soft-Spoken Sadist: They never raise their voice and are eerily polite, speaking in that grandfatherly tone even when dying or about to eat you. When damaged you can hear them stiffing their own cries of pain.
Judicator Giant and Ghosts
The towering preachers of the Ringed City, who have bent the souls of would-be invaders to their will. Countless expeditionary forces died by their hand, and were twisted into service to kill the next army to arrive.
- Assist Character: Essentially what the ghosts are. When summoned they perform a unique move such as slamming a hammer, shooting an arrow volley, or casting a hex, and then vanish again.
- Battle Thralls: The description of the Ruin Set implies that the ghosts summoned by the Judicators are would-be conquerors who were defeated and enslaved to the will of the giants. Although the description of an unreleased spell implies that Silver Knight Ledo is the exception to this.
- Death of a Thousand Cuts: Their most dangerous attack by far is summoning an army of archers. If you don't quickly find something to hide behind, you'll repeatedly get pelted with dozens of arrows, each of which can take out a non-negligible amount of your health, and which will probably stunlock you for bonus points.
- Gameplay and Story Integration: Since the first game, it has been implied, especially by the Crestfallen Warrior, that summoning was normally the domain of clerics. This is the first time you meet a cleric who isn't undead or a hollow, and they can summon an entire army at once.
- Glass Cannon: The Judicators actually aren't that hard to kill if you can get close to them. The hard part is 1) getting close to them, and 2) concentrating on killing them when Silver Knight Ledo is trying to crush your skull or a hundred arrows are about to puncture you.
- Mook Maker: The Judicators do have attacks of their own, but their main (and most dangerous) ability is the ghosts they can summon.
- Time Abyss: Developer comments included with promo concept art reveal they predate the First Age of Fire. By how much they predate it is unknown, as is if they predate Gwyn, but nevertheless it means they are by far the oldest beings you can meet in the game.
- Voiced by: Sian Thomas
An elderly pilgrim woman who sits at the peak of the Dreg Heap, watching over the chaos and the people who choose to face it. While she was supposedly a maiden of the Lothrician court and the wet nurse of royalty, it is hard to believe that looking at her now. She has picked up some trinkets, and is rather friendly, though understandably desperate for conversation.
- Because You Were Nice to Me: If she dies naturally and you never antagonized her, the Angel that spawns is totally harmless, acknowledging your presence before continuing to float aimlessly unless you attack her. On the other hand, if you murder her... see Video Game Cruelty Punishment.
- Came Back Strong: Implied to be what occurs after she dies, since an Angel spawns overhead.
- A God Am I: What she basically feels like overlooking The Ringed City's first level.
- Video Game Cruelty Punishment: Killing her is a bad idea. It spawns a completely invincible Angel that will attack you on sight, and has no pupa, which renders her effectively invincible.
Former pilgrim clerics who have lost their minds to madness. They can attack with a unique Miracle that damages you when you stand within the circle it creates.
- Achilles' Heel: Should the player kick them while they are hiding under the rock, they'll flip over onto their backs, becoming helpless and taking more than double the damage from attacks.
- Animal Motif: They resemble turtles with their rock defense mode.
- Everything's Better with Spinning: One of their more seldom-used attacks is to coat themselves in holy energy before spinning around at high speeds, launching at their target.
- Instant Runes: The unique Miracles they cast create a magic circle under their target, dealing heavy damage.
- Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: They can curl up under the rocks on their backs to defend themselves, giving them extremely high defense. They will usually cast a healing Miracle when they do this as well, damaging in a radius around themselves for almost the entire period.
- "Shaggy Dog" Story: It's stated that the pilgrims wear those rocks on their backs to weigh them down and prevent them from attacking anyone should they Hollow. Doesn't seem to have slowed these clerics very much, and has actually made them tougher than they would otherwise have been.
The holy warriors of The Ringed City, hobbled mentally and physically by the both undead curse and the curse of petrification. Despite their state, they defend the Ringed City to the last man.
- Mook: They are the most basic enemies encountered in the Ringed City.
- Playing Possum: On occasion, the player may encounter what appears to be a dead pygmy, only for it to get up and attack when the player gets too close (or worse, waiting for them to pass)
- Taken for Granite: Some have crystals growing out of their backs, and will quickly build up your Curse meter if you stand too close to them.
- Torso with a View: All of the pygmies have small black holes in their chests.
- Shock and Awe: Use both Lightning Spear and Lightning Stake.
- Wall Crawl: Some of the pygmies will hang onto walls above or below the player using their daggers, ambushing them at inopportune moments.
- Voiced by: William Vanderpuye
An amnesiac Hollow encountered throughout the Dreg Heap and Ringed City, who seeks to restore his memories.
- 24-Hour Armor: He's never seen without his full-body suit of plate armor unless he removes his helmet after regaining his memories.
- Amnesiac Dissonance: Lapp is helpful, kind and courteous, but if he gets his memories back he's quickly shown to be the same old Patches, complete with baiting you with the promise of treasure so he can kick you off a cliff.
- Assist Character: He can be summoned to assist the Ashen One in the Demon in Pain and Demon from Below boss-fight. Following the revelation of his identity, he can also be summoned against Halflight.
- Bilingual Bonus: "Lapp" is Swedish for "Patch".
- Blade on a Stick: He wields a Splitleaf Greatsword, which, despite the name, is actually a glaive.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: It's Patches, so par for the course. Even though he is "helping" you by giving you a push in the right direction (literally, with his foot, off a cliff), he finds a way to do it in the most assholish way, while telling you how much you suck, and likely making the player feel betrayed.
- Despair Event Horizon: If Lapp cannot regain his memories in time, he will succumb to despair and fully go Hollow.
- Determinator: Lapp's made it as long as he has because of his unbreakable will and determination. Slight subversion, since his will is finally starting to crack as he loses his memories, driving him to find a way to regain them before he goes Hollow.
- The Fog of Ages: He has lived for so long that he cannot even remember his own name. Even purging stones are unable to restore them anymore (ingame, the player can use as many purging stones as they want and they will always work, indicating that Lapp has used thousands if not millions of them!).
- Translating "Lapp" to English from several Scandinavian languages immediately reveals who he is.
- He's still in the habit of greeting new people by commenting on their apparent sanity, something he's been doing since Dark Souls; he just phrases it differently now.
- His true identity is foreshadowed when he chants to himself that he's "unbreakable" as a way of keeping himself together.
- When you meet him at the Earthen Peak bonfire, he gives you a Siegbrau. What happened during Siegward's quest in the main game, again?
- If the player has not already done so, meeting Lapp within the Shared Grave area and talking to him will teach them the "Patches Squat" gesture.
- Just before the scene where he unmasks himself, him telling the Ashen One there's treasure at the bottom of a nearby cliff is enough to raise red flags.
- Good Is Not Nice: After regaining his memories and true identity, he proceeds to lure you to a cliff and kick you off of it while gloating at you. Except that cliff is the only path forward. In his own way, he was helping you complete your adventure.
- Heroic Willpower: His force of will is the only thing that has kept him from becoming a mindless hollow, even after losing all his memories. Though after he gets his memories back, the heroic part becomes heavily questionable.
- HeelFace Revolving Door: Subverted. For most of the DLC, he is a somewhat goofy, but powerful and extremely friendly/helpful ally. Then he regains his memories and proceeds to kick you off a cliff (though it seems this was meant as a helpful gesture, his gloating still makes it feel like he was turning on you). Finally, he (as his true identity) shows up as a summon for the penultimate boss fight.
- Hypocrite: If he regains his memory, he laments that every age has been blighted by the greed of man. Which is a bit rich coming from a guy who made an aeons-long career out of kicking people off cliffs in the hope of robbing their corpses.
- Identity Amnesia: He's lived for so long that he's gone Hollow and forgotten everything about himself, kept sane only by his unbreakable will. Purging stones no longer work to restore his humanity, so he seeks the fabled Purging Monument hidden in the Ringed City. With your help, he gets his memories and identity back....for better or worse is an entirely different question.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Sure, if you complete his quest he'll kick you off a cliff and talk about the greed of men, but if you return to where he was last seen he'll have left behind his armor set for you, possibly as a token of goodwill in spite of everything. You'll also be able to summon him for the fight against Halflight. It's worth noting that falling down that very cliff is actually the only way to progress through the area, so in his own unique way, Patches may well have been helping you.
- Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: He carries a Curse Ward Greatshield, symbolic of his quest to avoid becoming hollow.
- Nice Guy: He is one of the most unambiguously friendly characters to appear in the series, rivaling Benhart and Solaire. Until he gets his memories back. While he is still helpful, he goes back to his usual Jerkass personality.
- Offscreen Moment of Awesome: If you can't get the Titanite Slab in the Earthen Peak Ruins in a couple of tries, he'll kill the Harald Knight guarding it and give it to you. Note that this likely involves him running across a toxic swamp under angelic laser bombardment, then killing quite a tough enemy so hard that it won't respawn, and he doesn't even seem out of breath afterwards.
- Really 700 Years Old: His comments imply that he's been around since the first Age of Fire. His true identity confirms that he definitely has.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: After unmasking himself, he remarks that every age he's lived through has been tainted by the greed of man before discarding his armor for the Ashen One to pick up.
- The Reveal: If his memories are restored, the Ashen One gets the "Patches Squat" gesture from speaking to him if they haven't already; and he rewards the Ashen One for helping him by telling them there's treasure at the bottom of a nearby cliff, then boots them off the edge and removes his helmet to reveal he's Patches.
- True Companions: If the Ashen One tells him where the Purging Monument is, he thanks them and swears upon his birth name that they're true friends, no matter who he was in the past. It doesn't last: Once Lapp regains his memories, he promptly backstabs the Ashen One by — as per usual for Patches — kicking them off a cliff. However, in a strange way it does last; returning to where Patches was huddled up will reveal the discarded Lapp Armor set for the Ashen One to procure, and Patches' summoning sign will be available to the player against Halflight. Also, unlike every other instance of Patches dropping the player into a pit, this one doesn't put the player into any immediate danger, and is in fact the only path forward into the city; he may have been earnestly trying to help, in his weird way.
- Walking Spoiler: Not a major one compared to other examples here, but he qualifies.
Soul Dregs given physical form, the Murkmen rise from the ruins of the Dreg Heap to assault the remote few that have yet to go completely Hollow.
- Ankle Drag: The melee Murkmen are capable of grabbing the player and pulling them down under the dirt, dealing heavy damage over time.
- Dem Bones: Murkmen are skeletal in appearance.
- Desperation Attack: If threatened, the caster variant may consume itself to launch a large, Humanity-like Soul Dreg at the player, dealing massive damage and knocking them down.
- Demonic Possession: Several of them are possessed by Soul Dregs — Humanity Sprite-like entities — that can lunge out of their host.
- Enemy Summoner: Some of the staff-wielders can continue to summon more Murkmen for as long as they're alive. Killing them as quickly as possible will make life much easier.
- The Goomba: They act as this in the Dreg Heap section of the DLC.
- Sinister Scythe: The melee variants carry hand scythes that can go through the player's shields.
- Zerg Rush: Murkmen are usually encountered in large groups, and will often swarm the player all at once.
- Zombie Gait: The melee murkmen are only capable of slowly crawling towards the player, though their numbers more than make up for this disadvantage.
Fallen knights of the Harald Legion, which sought the Dark Soul of humanity. They appear to have been devoured by the Abyss, with virtually nothing left of them but their armor.
- Achilles' Heel: They're very weak to plunging attacks, which are capable of taking off more than half their HP. Plunging them with a greatsword or larger can instantly kill them. They're also Abyssal creatures, which means that the Wolf Knight and Farron Greatswords get a damage bonus against them.
- Bad Boss: They will sometimes emerge from the same chasm as Murkmen, implying that both are on the same side; however, their attacks will still damage the Murkmen, so getting a Harald Knight to let loose on the area around him is a good way to clean up the smaller mobs without getting your hands too dirty.
- Belly Flop Crushing: Harald Knights have a combo where they'll smash their swords into the ground several times (in a way that is reminiscent of Yhorm the Giant), before leaping up and crushing the player with their massive weight. This final attack is capable of taking off more than half the health off of even a character with 40 Vigor.
- BFS: The Harald Curved Greatsword that they wield is more akin to a machete than a sword, as they swing them with reckless abandon and deal tons of damage with each attack.
- The Brute: They're huge, bloated knights who use their bulk to attack.
- Call-Back: Their overall design, especially in regards to their nebulous head shape and the mass of wooden vines growing from a single point in their rotund bodies, calls to mind the Human Effigy Item from Dark Souls II.
- The fact that they have holes for heads and plantlike growths all over their bodies is very similar to the giants from the same game, especially the Last Giant.
- Facial Horror: They don't appear to have faces, or even heads anymore. What's left of their heads has been replaced by a glowing mass of Humanity.
- Incredibly Durable Enemies: While they're very slow, Harald Knights have lots of health (in the thousands, roughly four times as much health as a Silver Knight!). Taking one down is akin to trying to bash down a wall that's also fighting back.
- Kryptonite Factor: Being Abyssal enemies, they take extra damage from the Farron Greatsword and the Wolf Knight's Greatsword. Performing a plunging attack on them with one of these weapons will likely finish them off.
- Large and in Charge: They're easily the largest enemy encountered in the Dreg Heap.
- Mighty Glacier: They hit hard and have a lot of health, but outside of their belly flop they're very slow enemies.
- Tiny-Headed Behemoth: They're seemingly headless, with a small wisp of humanity where their head should be.
- Unskilled, but Strong: Their sword swings consist of flailing it all over the place as if it was a club, and while it does do major damage, their technique is so awful that it can actually be parried, leaving them open for a riposte.
- Your Head Asplode: After a successful plunging attack, Harald Knights' heads will explode, spilling Humanity everywhere.
Warriors of the Ringed City who bear weapons and armor forged in the Abyss in ancient times. Afraid of these dark-imbued items, the gods branded the men and their equipment with seals of fire. The Ringed Knights fought beside Gwyn and the gods against the dragons, but their efforts went unremembered.
- Black Knight: To the point that their equipment was forged in the Abyss itself.
- Blade on a Stick: Some of them wield long spears, which they can use for both stabbing and sweeping attacks.
- Blindfolded Vision: The Ringed Knights wear blindfolds under their hoods.
- Body Horror: The Ringed Knights have a Darksign burning like flame on their chests, presumably the seal of fire placed upon them by the gods.
- Casting a Shadow: While the Knights themselves can't use dark magic, their equipment was forged in the Abyss and imbued with the Dark.
- Cursed With Awesome: Because of their fear of the Dark, Gwyn and the other gods placed a Seal of Fire (the signature Darksign) on the Ringed Knights, their armor and their weapons. But it's this same seal, now waning, that allows them to ignite their blades.
- Dark Is Not Evil: Despite their hostility to you, they are not evil and wield weapons and armor forged from the Dark of the Abyss.
- Dual Wielding: One variety of Ringed Knight dual-wields a pair of Ultra Greatswords.
- Dude, Where's My Respect?: They fought alongside the gods during the dragon war thousands of years ago, and yet their sacrifices were deliberately ignored when the gods emerged victorious, presumably because the fact that they were able to use the Abyss without going mad conflicted with the narrative that Gwyn wanted to push about the war.
- Elite Mooks: Of the Ringed City. Their blazing weapon art combos are especially devastating against even higher leveled players.
- Foil: To the Darkwraiths, another order of Abyssal knights. The Darkwraiths are predatory savage warriors who have gone mad abusing the Abyssal power of Lifedrain and are driven to bring about the Age of Dark. The Ringed Knights fought alongside Gwyn and retain their sanity, but can no longer wield their Abyssal power due to their seal of fire. One order suffers for drowning themselves in the Dark, while the other order suffers for being cut off from it.
- Good Counterpart: To the Darkwraiths. Their equipment greatly resembles the skeletal design of the Darkwraiths, and their equipment was forged in the Abyss. However, they were loyal allies to Gwyn and for all their hostility, they haven't gone mad absorbing Humanity.
- In the Hood: They wear pitch black hoods rather than helmets. The description reveals that this is to show the pride of their heritage as beings of Dark, and is their way of showing discontent about the gods placing the Seal of Fire upon them to deny their heritage.
- Living Weapon: Their swords and armor are misshapen in an almost organic way, and they seem to have hair and horns growing out of them at certain places. Their item descriptions build upon this, stating they "betray a smidgen of life" due to being forged in the abyss.
- Their dragonhed shields play this trope even more straight, as it is stated the decapitated dragon heads that make up their shields aren't truly dead, which is why both the Ringed Knights and the Player can make these shields come to life and emit a dragon's roar.
- Mark of the Supernatural: They were branded with an emblem bearing a striking resemblance to the Darksign, signifying their status as anathema to the gods and originating in the Abyss.
- Playing with Fire: All variants of the Ringed Knights can set their weapons on fire to power up their attacks. The sword-wielder can also shoot fire out of the mouth of his Archdragon Shield, using it to deal damage at range or as cover for a running attack.
- Restraining Bolt: The seal of fire placed upon them prevents them from tapping into the power of the Abyss. However, the waning seal itself allows them to instead ignite their weapons with flame.
- Sole Survivor: Aside from yourself, Gael, and Shira, there is exactly one survivor of the Ringed City at the end of the Age of Fire, and its the Ringed Knight wielding the Paired Greatswords that served as the vanguard to the Church of Filianore.
- Time Abyss: The Ringed Knights you fight in the city are the exact same ones who fought alongside Gwyn in the war against the dragons. One of them, wielding the Paired Ringed Knight Greatswords, lasted even longer than that, and can be found wandering the ashen desert that serves as Gael's boss arena.
- Torso with a View: In the middle of the molten Darksigns on their armor is a pitch-black void.
- Unperson: Some item descriptions reveal that the Ringed Knights actually fought beside the gods in the ancient war against the dragons, but their contributions to the war effort were never lauded.
- Yin-Yang Bomb: Their weapons and gear were forged in the Abyss, but they wield fire.
Desert Pyromancer Zoey
A descendant of the Desert Pyromancers, found wandering in the ruins of the Earthen Peak, who has become the unofficial queen of the thralls that inhabit the Dreg Heap. She attacks the player on sight, alongside several Thralls.
- Action Girl: A sorceress capable of wielding destructive pyromancies against you.
- Bare Your Midriff: Part and parcel of the Desert Pyromancer set.
- The Baroness: Played straight. Her attire and choice of weapon give her a BDSM dominatrix vibe, combined with apparently somehow subjugating the local thrall creatures to her will.
- Boss in Mook's Clothing: Her better A.I., abundant and strategic use of estus, and insane damage output means that many players will likely die more times to her than they will many bosses - especially if the player encounters her without having taken out the angel hovering over the swamp on a previous run.
- Call-Back: A very obvious one to the Desert Sorceresses of Dark Souls II. Also to enemy placement from the same game, being teamed up with 2 other enemies, as enemies in Dark Souls II were often grouped together and notable difficult/impossible to lure away from their groups without aggroing all of them.
- Gameplay and Story Integration: Dark Souls II, where her enemy type first appeared, was notorious for having MUCH more powerful/difficult enemies than both its successor and predecessor, and enemies appearing in groups. Likewise, she is FAR tougher than should be reasonable (compared to most other NPC enemies) in her appearance here and with 2 companion enemies to back her up. Thus lending credence that the insane toughness of the enemies in era of Dark Souls II is canon in story!
- Glass Cannon: She can dish out a metric TON of damage at range with her fireball pyromancy, and TWO metric tons of damage upclose with her Flame Fan pyromancy and whip. Although her health isn't particularly high, and her armour offers basically no protection, her careful use of her (rather abundant for an NPC) estus nearly completely negates this.
- Lightning Bruiser: As an NPC enemy, she is capable of all the fast dodging maneuvers the player can pull off (She will consistently dodge/counter-attack ranged attacks and back off/heal if damaged in melee), while her HP may not be particularly high she has alot of estus (and uses them VERY strategically), and her attacks do an INSANE amount of damage (to the point that she can easily take off 1/3 to 1/2 of a lightly armored, but high level player's health WITH HER WHIP).
- Ms. Fanservice: Not only is she wearing the Desert Pyromancer Garb, Dark Souls III's successor to the Stripperific Desert Sorceress set, but she also uses a whip, giving off heavy dominatrix vibes.
- Playing with Fire: Besides attacking the player with Fire Orb, Zoey will also use the Flame Fan pyromancy at melee range. All of her attacks are capable of dealing lots of damage.
- Squishy Wizard: Doesn't have especially high health for a hostile NPC, but if you let her she'll drink Estus and regenerate it...
- Stripperiffic: She wears the standard attire for a Desert Pyromancer/Sorceress from Dark Souls 2.
- Token Wholesome: An inversion of the trope as she is the ONLY sexualized character in Dark Souls 3.
- Whip It Good: Her weapon of choice is a whip, the only time in the game that a hostile NPC (and the only NPC at all after Cuculus) is seen wielding one.
Shira, Knight of Filianore
- Voiced by: Poppy Drayton
A lady knight in service to Princess Filianore, Shira is the leader of the Spears of the Church, a Covenant dedicated to watching over Princess Filianore and maintaining her eternal slumber, and combating the creatures of the Abyss.
- Achilles' Heel: Vow of Silence will temporarily disable her Lightning Arrow miracle, nullifying a good amount of whatever threat she has against you for a moment during her invasion.
- Action Girl: She's a female knight. It's implied she's one of the original knights in service to Gwyn who served in the war against the dragons, as well.
- Ambiguously Human: The duke she claims to be the daughter of is implied to be Seath, judging by the pearl in her crown. If that is the case, she may be a Half-Human Hybrid, yet displays none of the traits seen in other dragon crossbreeds in the series. It's possible that she was raised by Seath as some experiment, but wasn't born to him.
- Battle Ballgown: Her armor is a floor-length dress decked out with a breastplate. Justified in that the item description of "Shira's Crown" implies that this is her formal wear, and not the armour she wore at the time of the dragon wars.
- Badass Boast: When attacking the Ashen One at the very end of the DLC, she recites a litany of her titles and accomplishments, including "the honour of the gods, the glory of fire, and the fear of the dark."
- Blade on a Stick: She wields a cross-spear with the undead body of an insane pygmy king impaled on it.
- Hero Antagonist: She is a genuinely noble knight who only attacks you after your actions destroy the city she dedicated her life to protect.
- I Know You Arein There Somewhere Fight: She urges the Ashen One to recall the noble feeling of being a member of the Spears of the Church, then gives up and vows to put her all into killing them.
- Lady of War: A graceful lady knight of Royal Blood who wears a Battle Ballgown and is fully dedicated to serving her lady.
- Mercy Kill: She requests the Ashen One perform a mercy killing on Midir before the dragon fully succumbs to the corruption of the Abyss.
- The Paladin: She is a holy knight dedicated to purging the dark of the Abyss and maintaining Princess Filianore's eternal slumber.
- Post-Final Boss: While Gael is the final boss of the DLC, Shira can wind up your final opponent if you don't trigger her invasion before fighting Gael.
- Really 700 Years Old: She's implied to have directly served Gwyn, which would make her thousands of years old.
- Recurring Element: Seeing as how she could be summoned for Midir, then later invades you, she fills the same role as Paladin Leeroy and Jester Thomas. Unlike the other two, however, she has a legitimate reason for being angry enough to try to kill you.
- Royal Blood: She is the daughter of a Duke (implied to be Seath, given the pearl in her crown) and descendant of the gods of Anor Londo, sworn to watch over Gwyn's youngest daughter and maintain her eternal slumber.
- Shock and Awe: She wields the Lightning Arrow miracle, which conjures a miniature Dragonslayer Greatbow made of lightning. If you get too far away from her, she may end up just spamming this repeatedly at you.
- This Is Unforgivable!: If she attacks the Ashen One, she swears to never forgive them for betraying the Spears of the Church, succumbing to the dark of the Abyss, and destroying the Ringed City. She even utters this as her dying words.
- Time Abyss: She was born sometime during the Age of Fire, which is long gone. By the end of the game, she's one of three survivors of the entire world.
- Tranquil Fury: During her last duel with you, she's calm and composed but clearly completely furious at you for destroying her home.
- You Bastard!: Her fight serves as a massive one towards the player, hammering home how the fall of the Ringed City and its inhabitants is entirely your fault.
Gwyn's youngest acknowledged daughter and Princess of the titular city. She is sunken into a deep, eternal slumber, clutching the half-cracked shell of a large egg.
- Ambiguous Situation: What exactly happens when you wake her up. Does it make time pass extremely fast in the Ringed City until it's reduced to a barren wasteland? Do you just get sent to the future while time passed normally for everything else? Or was it a wasteland the whole time and you dispelled whatever illusion was making it not look like one? Who the hell knows? Though the fact that Gael has built up a reputation among the pygmies as The Dreaded lends itself to the second theory, since it would have taken him some time to do that.
- Barrier Maiden: Her slumber is what preserves the Ringed City, in spite of the absolute collapse of the world around it. Awakening her either causes the city to revert to how things really are or knocks the city out of some kind of stasis so that it catches up with the rest of the world.
- Continuity Snarl: Up until the release of this DLC, it was established that Gwyn only had four children: the stature-stripped Nameless King, Gwynevere the Princess of Sunlight, the Darkmoon god Dark Sun Gwyndolin, and Company Captain Yorshka. His fifth child, Filianore, seemingly comes out of left field.
- Dead All Along: Should the Ashen One touch the egg she cradles, it crumbles to pieces as she rouses her from her sleep, then emits a flash of light that dispels the illusion of life cast over the Ringed City, revealing Filianore to be a desiccated corpse.
- Expy: For the little girl from Angel's Egg, being a Mysterious Waif with Rapunzel Hair who guards a strange egg.
- Forced Sleep: She was placed into an enchanted slumber intended to be eternal, and the Spears of the Church intend to keep it that way.
- No Immortal Inertia: Awakening her from her enchanted slumber returns time to the Ringed City and to her. The city is reduced to a barren wasteland and she becomes a desiccated corpse.
- Remember the New Guy?: As mentioned before, Fillianore clearly did not exist before The Ringed City DLC. The complete lack of any mention of Gwyn's fifth child, even when the Nameless Firstborn was at least acknowledged as existing is a bit jarring. But then as of the DLC her presence is treated as common knowledge.
- Rapunzel Hair: Her hair has grown long in her sleep, and seems to be longer than her whole body.
- Statuesque Stunner: Like her sister Gwynyvere, is considerably larger than the Ashen One.
- Tainted Veins: She has pronounced black veins under her eyes.
Silver Knight Ledo
One of Gwyn's original Silver Knights, who wields a massive great-hammer. Ledo made a name for himself in the order and distinguished himself from the rank-and-file, but never quite gained enough renown to be counted among the Four Knights. Regardless, he was quite the eccentric, wandering all throughout the world and befriending the Judicator Giants and even Havel himself. Ledo invades the player within the Ringed City, wielding his signature great-hammer.
- Anvil on Head: The head of the hammer is literally an anvil.
- Boss in Mook Clothing: He can hit hard enough to potentially one-shot you.
- Cloud Cuckoolander: The description for Ledo's Great Hammer (as well as the unreleased spell) implies that he's got a few screws loose. He traveled around the world and made friends with many unlikely beings.
- Dishing Out Dirt: The weapon skill on the hammer allows it to attract stones to it for a heavier strike, and then smash it into the ground to create a shockwave that sends those stones flying.
- Drop the Hammer: Ledo's Great Hammer is the single heaviest weapon in the game, outweighting even Smough's Hammer. It's predictably among the strongest unbuffed weapons as well.
- Summon Magic: Judicator Giants can summon a ghost version of Ledo to swing his great hammer around. The description of the player version of the spell states that the giants are able to do this due to the mutual bond of friendship between the two.
- Villainous Friendship: He is friends with Havel the Rock.
- Walking the Earth: What he does since the Dragon War ended.
A Dark Spirit who invades in the tower at the Ringed City streets, who is heavily implied to be Eygon of Carim.
- Ambiguous Situation: If he really is Eygon, it's unknown how he managed to somehow come back as an invader. One can assume that he's simply Undead and went Hollow after the completion of Irina's sidequest, no longer having a purpose.
- Cool Mask: Drops the Blindfold Mask upon defeat.
- FaceHeel Turn: If he really is Eygon of Carim, then he most likely invaded regardless of whether the player got the good or bad ending to Irina's sidequest.
- Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: His Moaning Shield, which is strong evidence that he is Eygon, since the shield bears the likeness of his sister.
- Recurring Element: If he is really Eygon of Carim, then he serves as an archetype of Paladin Leeroy and Jester Thomas, who invades you for no reason even if you summoned them as a ally.
Demon in Pain and Demon from Below/Demon Prince
The Demon in Pain and Demon from Below are a pair of large Batwing Demons that reside at the bottom of the Dreg Heap. They are the first boss of The Ringed City, encountered in the ruins of the first Dark Souls Firelink Shrine. Once both are slain, the last one killed will revive as the Demon Prince
- Achilles' Heel: The Demon Prince himself is extremely resistant to most forms of damage, but his Bleed resistance is pretty negligible, so using a Bleed weapon with a Carthus Rogue can make the battle a bit faster.
- Body Horror: Standard Demon physiology aside, the Demon in Pain isn't called that for nothing; taking a close look at its face reveals that its head has had most of the skin flayed off and one of its ears has been clipped short, alongside exposed muscle and bone on its limbs and torso. Even worse is that these ailments don't go away if the Demon in Pain becomes the Demon Prince, they just get worse!
- Breath Weapon: Both demons are capable of exhaling clouds of toxic. If the Demon from Below becomes the Demon Prince, he can exhale a constant beam of fire.
- Bullet Hell: If the Demon in Pain is defeated last, the second phase of the fight can easily become this, as it can cast Floating Chaos and charge up a huge Chaos maelstrom that rains an absurd amount of flaming meteors from the sky.
- Charged Attack: In their ignited state (see Turns Red below), the demons can charge up a powerful, flaming two-handed overhead smash that deals a lot of damage; however, this ends up also being a Death-or-Glory Attack as they exhaust all of their power, flaming out and becoming extremely vulnerable afterward.
- Delayed Explosion: The poison trail attack telegraphs the path that the poison will take, prior to each individual point exploding into a cloud of toxic. In the second phase, the Demon from Below's fire beam attack will leave explosions in its wake after a short delay.
- Dual Boss: The player must fight the two Batwing Demons at once. When both die, the last one to fall comes back as the Demon Prince.
- Giant Flyer: During the second phase, the Demon Prince will use his wings to create distance from the player, or leap on them with powerful smashing attacks.
- Kill One, Others Get Stronger: The second phase begins when both of the demons are defeated. The last one to fall regains all of its health and comes back as the Demon Prince with extra moves depending on which one is revived.
- King Mook: Interestingly enough, they both look like larger, darker versions of the Batwing Demons who take you to Anor Londo in 1 and the Undead Settlement and the Ringed City in 3. You even get the banner to go there after their defeat.
- Kryptonite Factor: Like all demons, they're exceptionally weak to Black Knight weapons.
- Last of His Kind: After the death of the Stray Demon in Farron Keep and the two Fire Demons in the Undead Settlement and Catacombs of Carthus, the extinction of the demons in Smouldering Lake, as well as the defeat of the Old Demon King, these two are possibly the last demons left in all of Dark Souls. Prior to the Retcon below, the description of the Demon Prince's soul implied that his defeat at Lorian's hand is what caused the extinction of demonkind.
- Lightning Bruiser: The two demons are very fast, and can hit very hard. This is doubly so in the second phase, where he spreads his wings and incorporates fire attacks. Really brings back to mind the Flamelurker.
- Marathon Boss: While defeating both demons could be quite lengthy. During the second phase, one of them will resurrect into the demon prince with plenty of health and a boost to defense.
- Morton's Fork: Choosing which Batwing Demon to kill first will still result in fighting the Demon Prince in phase two. What actually changes is the specific moveset that he uses. Killing the Demon from Below first causes the Demon in Pain to create Floating Chaos orbs and hurl chaos fireballs at you, while also occasionally using melee attacks. However, if the reverse happens, then the Demon from Below utilizes a fire beam attack.
- Mother of a Thousand Young: Based on the original description of his boss soul, it is quite possible that what is left of the Flame of Chaos is passed down among demon royalty, and the one who holds the flame is the one who spawns demons and maintains their life. Because the Demon Prince held the flame and was defeated by Lorian, there was nobody left that could keep the demon race alive, resulting in the extinction seen in Smouldering Lake.
- Mythology Gag: Their screams and howls sound a lot like the Cleric Beasts back from Bloodborne, albeit modified.
- Non-Indicative Name: In the streamer preview build, the "Crimson Bat" was actually orange in color; rather, it was the "Demon from Below" that was a more visible hue of red. This was reversed after release (along with their second stages), where the "Demon from Below" is the orange one, and the "Crimson Bat" was renamed to "Demon in Pain" and given the red color.
- Not Quite Dead: When the player defeats both of the demons in the first phase, the second one to die gets back up after a short time. It turns out that Lorian didn't manage to kill the Demon Prince; after his defeat, he retreated to the Dreg Heap.
- Poisonous Person: In the first phase, the two demons are capable of spitting poison clouds (in an arc immediately in front of them, or in a straight line towards the player if they're farther away), which inflict Toxic.
- Playing with Fire: The second phase boasts a significant number of fire attacks, from throwing fireballs at the player to exhaling a stream of fire, to summoning Floating Chaos orbs. And like Chaos Pyromancies, some of these attacks are capable of leaving lava pools that become hazards to the player.
- Recurring Element: This boss fight is very reminiscent of Ornstein and Smough from Dark Souls; the player must fight two bosses at once, keeping space between the two of them and attempting to quickly kill one of them; depending on which one is defeated first, the second one regains full health, powers up and gains a new moveset.
- Retcon: Shortly before the DLC was released, the description of the soul was changed. The new description makes no mention of Lorian's fight against the Prince, and instead suggests that the status of "Demon Prince" is passed on from demon to demon upon their deaths.Original description: The Demon Prince, after his defeat to Lorian, retreated beneath the earth and lost the memory of the flame that burned within him, marking the end of demonkind.
- Sequential Boss:
- The fight has two phases: in the first phase, the player must fight both Batwing Demons at once. Once both are dead, the last one defeated gets back up and becomes the Demon Prince.
- The streamer preview build actually had three phases: the fight began against the solitary Crimson Bat, and once it reached roughly 60% health the Demon from Below will join in at full health. Defeating one of them would cause the other to collapse, only to get back up and progress to the regular second phase.
- Turns Red: Each of the two bats has two states, normal and ignited. In their normal state, they're relatively passive and are quite slow to attack, mainly resorting to their toxic breath. However, they can take some time to charge up and ignite themselves, glowing orange or crimson in the process and becoming much more aggressive. They can expend this ignited state with a powerful charged attack, which also leaves them stationary and unable to attack for a few seconds. When the player defeats both Demons, the second to be felled gets back up, spreads his wings and becomes the Demon Prince.
- The Turret Master: If the Demon in Pain becomes the Demon Prince, he will spawn Floating Chaos orbs, like the Demon Clerics in the Demon Ruins.
- Up to Eleven: Remember those Batwing Demons that ferried you around Anor Londo and got you off of the High Wall? Yeah, these demons are their bigger, badder, and far more deadly brothers. With the Demon Prince being the biggest and baddest of them all.
- Victory Fakeout: Once the player fells both bosses, the health bar at the bottom disappears. Only, the second one doesn't vanish in a cloud of ash, but instead gets back up with a new name. This was more predictable in the streamer preview build: once one of the Batwing Demons was slain, the other keeled over as well, before going to the second stage.
- Voiced by: Pete Gallagher
One of the Judicators of the Ringed City, charged with protecting the Church dedicated to Filianore.
- Back from the Dead: He can be resurrected by praying at the Purging Monument, allowing players to repeat the fight against Halflight if they wish so.
- Enemy Summoner: Summons both Halflight and allied Painting Guardians to fight you.
- Evil Sounds Deep: So deep it's practically subterranean. That said, it would be a stretch to call him evil.
- Mighty Glacier: If you attack him directly, his only attacks are to slowly sweep his arms around to hit you, which is relatively easy to dodge but can do massive damage.
- Protectorate: Argo is sworn to protect Princess Filianore from those who would do her harm.
- The Unfought: Kinda. Argo summons Halflight to fight the Ashen One, but otherwise stays out of the boss fight unless directly attacked. While one quick enough can slay him, he's still able to summon Halflight; if he's left alone then he keels over dead anyway, possibly from the stress of summoning Halflight.
Halflight, Spear of the Church
A member of the Spears of the Church, Halflight serves as one of the last lines of defense against those who would disrupt Filianores sacred rest. His equipment all but states that he was once a missionary from Oolacile, who willingly stayed behind in the Ringed City.
- Absolute Cleavage: An unusual male version, Halflight wears the Antiquated Plain Garb, which features a white robe with a plunging neckline secured in place by a corset. The female version of the robe is exactly the same.
- Bow and Sword, in Accord: The default Halflight wields a Frayed Blade and a White Birch Bow.
- Does Not Like Shoes: Or pants for that matter. For some reason (possibly a programming oversight), he wears the entire Antiquated Plain Set except the leg armor (his "pants" are just the default underwear the player character has if they don't have any leg armor equipped).note
- Dude Looks Like a Lady: Halflight has feminine features and long, flowing hair, and when combined with his outfit (which has a plunging neckline, skirt, and exposed legs) makes him look like a woman.
- Duel Boss: More literal that most examples; he's an NPC that acts as the boss should a player not invade.
- Dueling Player Characters: When playing online, Argo will summon another player (either a member of the Spears of the Church covenant, or any regular player who has any colored sign down or who attempts to invade at just the right time) to become the boss.
- Flunky Boss: The boss is fought alongside up to two NPCs wearing the Painting Guardian Set. Taking them out is just as important as the boss himself, since they occasionally heal Halflight with miracles.
- Hero Antagonist: Much like Shira, they're just trying to protect Princess Filianore. And for very good reason, as her continued slumber is all that preserves the Ringed City against complete annihilation from sheer entropy.
- I Choose to Stay: The NPC Halflight was a young missionary who decided to stay in the Ringed City when his mission visited the place.
- Katanas Are Just Better: The NPC Halflight wields the Frayed Blade in combat.
- Light 'em Up: Halflight can summon spears of light from the ground. It's also one of the abilities granted to the invading player should they substitute for Halflight.
- Recurring Element: The Halflight fight serves as a refined version of the Old Monk fight in Demon's Souls, as well as the Looking Glass Knight fight in Dark Souls II, allowing players who have joined the associated covenant to be summoned into the battle as Halflight. In other words, the invading player becomes the boss.
An archdragon raised by the gods and tasked with eternally battling against the creatures of the Abyss.
- Achilles' Heel:
- Midir is easily damaged by Pestilent Mist due to the dragon's sheer size, even when moving out of the spell's supposed area of effect.
- Midir being an Abyssal creature due to his corruption makes him vulnerable to the weapons crafted with the Abyss Watchers' Soul of the Blood of the Wolf.
- Attack Its Weak Point: Midir takes reduced damage if you try to hit him anywhere on his body, with the exception of his head.
- Bonus Boss: His boss area is really out of the way of the DLC's main path, and even then, you need to defeat him when he attacks you on your way to Filianore's Church just to make him spawn in his proper boss arena. His fight is also one of the hardest in the series due to his size, health pool, and damage output.
- Breath Weapon: In addition to breathing torrents of flames, he can focus the fire into a beam of black-and-purple energy that trails dark explosions in its wake.
- Critical Hit: Should the player inflict enough consistent physical damage on Midir's head, he will eventually stagger at roughly the 25-30% HP mark. Riposting him at this point will easily shave off most of the remainder of his health bar, allowing him to be defeated in just a few more attacks.
- Call-Back/Mythology Gag: His boss arena hearkens back to the opening cinematic of Dark Souls, with a long fall down a very narrow passage and the boss chamber itself looking very similar to the cavern of the First Flame. Some have theorized that Midir's chamber may in fact be the very cavern where the First Flame was originally discovered.
- Damage-Sponge Boss: He has a total of 15,860 health in NG. Only Yhorm has more. Unlike Yhorm, however, Midir has few weaknesses, so the only way to take him down is a long slog.
- Fallen Hero: He was once a noble dragon who fought the Abyss for centuries, but much like Knight Artorias and the Abyss Watchers, it eventually corrupted him.
- Foil: To the Greatwolf; both are token non-humanoid and optional bosses in their respective DLCs, but Midir is a Damage-Sponge Boss with a notable weakpoint while the Greatwolf is a Fragile Speedster who takes equal damage on any body part.
- Gem Tissue: He has crystalline spines growing out of his body, the Darkness taking root within his body.
- "Get Back Here!" Boss: In a very unfortunate combination of this and Damage-Sponge Boss, he loves to launch himself across the arena just as you start to hit him.
- Giant Flyer: At about 450 tons in weight and 50 meters long, he's the largest dragon seen in the series (besides the dead one at Archdragon Peak).
- He Who Fights Monsters: Like everyone else who made it their mission to fight the Abyss, he became corrupted by it. He hasn't completely lost his mind yet, but Shira asks you to kill him before that happens and he starts attacking the Ringed City instead of defending it.
- Kaiju: One of the largest bosses in the series. His laser attack even looks almost exactly like Godzilla's atomic breath.
- Last of His Kind: Midir is the last surviving "true" dragon in the world, the Sole Survivor of his dead race. Once he dies, the dragons will finally go extinct.
- Lightning Bruiser: Don't let his massive size fool you; Midir is very fast and hits like a ton of bricks, and his erratic movements make him surprisingly difficult to land a hit on too.
- Marathon Boss: Because of his massive health pool and limited vulnerabilities (he only presents his weak point once after each of his combos), defeating Midir essentially becomes an exercise of this, where the player has to exercise patience and "slowly" chip down Midir while avoiding being hit.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Like the previous Dark Souls DLC dragons Kalameet and Sinh, his name is also a play on words. His is murder.
- One-Hit KO: Many of Midir's attacks can come extremely close to this, from his forward dash attack (which has almost no tell) to his tail swipe to his grab attack, and most especially his dark beam attack. In later New Game cycles, those last two will outright kill players if they get hit by them, even at the Vigor soft cap and an Ember.
- Nested Mouths: Can be noticed by looking◊ closely◊.
- Our Dragons Are Different: Midir is an enormous, four-winged and tiny-eyed dragon descended from the ancient stone archdragons, just like Kalameet and Sinh. Untold years battling the Abyss has tainted him, giving him Dark powers... which means he can fire Frickin' Laser Beams as well as fire.
- Outside-the-Box Tactic: Midir is an Archdragon notorious for being a Damage-Sponge Boss. It's hard hitting, humongous, and its breath of fire can turn into a laser beam that can sweep through half of his lair. You can spend hours pelting its legs with a sword, shooting its head with a Greatbow, or, using the Pestilent Mercury sorcery to cast a dense mist that can No-Sell the dragon's hard shell and smoke it to death effortlessly with percentage-based damage. Due to Midir's huge size, so long as it doesn't actually start flying, part of his body is practically guaranteed to be within the spell's area of effect. Of all the things available, the best and easiest dragonslaying tool is not a huge sword, not a huge bow, but a puny mist, no less.
- Physical God: An archdragon at the peak of his power. He's the largest dragon seen in the series (unless you count the Dragon God in Demon's Souls), and even more powerful (going by his stats, anyway) than Kalameet, who was so strong that "not even mighty Anor Londo dared to provoke his ire." For a good demonstration of his power, he's capable of slaughtering several dozen Ringed Knights like they're nothing. Imagine what he'd do against regular humans...
- Power of the Void: He can spit black flames alongside his regular fire-breath, fire beams of Abyssal energy, and in the second stage of his boss fight he can create shockwaves of Abyss energy and create a storm of Affinity to attack the Ashen One.
- Proactive Boss: Midir will impede your progress during your trek through the mountainside after the swamp section, flying above you and spewing a large trails of fire. Once you approach the Church of Filianore, he'll set himself up at a nearby cliff and keep spewing fire to block you; you can either pass by him or make him fall off the cliff with enough damage and a riposte. The latter option is required to unlock his proper Bonus Boss fight, which takes place in a hidden area.
- Recurring Boss: He can be encountered three times. In the first encounter, he just repeatedly does a zoom-and-boom with his fire breath on a mountain path you need to cross, and he can't be damaged. In the second, he fights you up close just before the Church of Filianore, and gets knocked off a cliff for a long fall after you do enough damage. In the third, you make your way down to the pit you knocked him into and have your climactic showdown.
- Shout-Out: Midir's dark beam attack is essentially the Atomic Breath from Shin Godzilla, complete with the delayed explosion effect.
- Spell Blade: His soul can be used to create a Sorcery called Old Moonlight, which uses souls to manifest the memory of a Moonlight Greatsword stated to be slightly different from the one formed from Paledrake Seath's tail, and posited to be significantly older.
- Stationary Boss: In the second encounter, he doesn't move from his position, as he's clinging on to the cliffside with his legs. He's very mobile in the third encounter, though.
- Tyke-Bomb: Raised from birth by the gods to fight the dark for them.
- Undying Loyalty: Continues fighting the Dark and protecting Filianore even with all the other gods long since gone, though he is starting to succumb to the corruption.
- Violation of Common Sense: What's the best strategy if one isn't using Pestilent Mist? Why, be a bit more aggressive and aim for the head as much as possible!
- Wake-Up Call Boss: To test a player, he has various attacks that makes the usual strategy a no-no vs anything else; namely, getting behind him or underneath, which usually works for any other boss, suicide.