All of the lords of cinders represent 1 of the 4 main damage stats. The Abyss Watchers have mainly Dex scaling weapons and had power in sheer numbers rather than being lords, giants, or demilords like the others. Yhorm wields a Heavy Machete and an even heavier Greatshield. Aldrich and Lothric are kind of interchangeable. Lothric is allied with the Grand Archive's Sorcerers, but has a faith scaling Sword and a central theme of Prayer. and Aldrich is a priest, but he uses Magic and even ate the God of Magic himself.
It's a bit of stretch, but Ludleth, who helps you out with Anri's quest and is all about loot, could represent luck. He also appears to be human, or at least more human than the other lords, and luck is the true essence of humanity.
Look at the weaknesses of all the Lords of Cinder including the final boss. They're all weak to Lightning, which can be associated with Fire. It's almost as if the Lords are masking their weaknesses as their strength.
There's also the description of the Cinders of a Lord: "If the lords will not return to their thrones themselves, let them return as cinders". The First Flame brings fire and sunlight in the world, and both are connected to Lightning. Now that the Flame is fading, it's calling back the previous Lords, either by resurrecting them so that they can return by their own will... or by destroying them, so that they return as cinders.
Interestingly, this is the exact opposite of Gwyn's weaknesses in the first game. He was highly resistant to lightning but vulnerable to fire, because lightning is his true element despite being reduced to using fire in-game. It's as if Gwyn's old affinity still has power over those who followed (and now refuse to follow) in his footsteps.
Ocelotte, a child of dragons, has a name reminiscent of Shanalotte, who describes herself as "born of dragons". What else do you suppose they have in common?
This is regarding the final boss. Do not spoil unless you've played the game and/or don't care. The Soul of Cinder, in his first phase, switches between 4 movesets: A greatsword, a sorcery catalyst, a curved sword with a pyromancy flame, and a spear with a miracle charm. These are all meant to be previous Undead, but we've only seen two previous player characters link the fire in previous games, meaning that half the boss' moveset is unaccounted for. (And the movesets are so disparate that trying to shoehorn one or more of them into 2 Undead Player Characters is an exercise in frustration) But have we only seen 2? Knight Solaire's sidequest from DS1, should he survive Lost Izalith, culminates in him being summonable help against Gwyn, after which he links the fire regardless of the player's actions (by Word of Miyazaki). So that makes 3 Chosen Undead that have linked the fire on-camera. One with a sword and a miracle charm, and two player characters which can be anything. The curved sword moveset flips backwards like he has the dark wood grain ring from DS1, and also the scimitar of Shiva of the East (the merchant who sells you the ring). That plus the pyromancy flame (speaking to a connection to the Chaos Servants, which he'd need to save Solaire) pretty clearly outlines that the curved sword and pyro flame moveset is the DS1 Chosen Undead. That means the greatsword, the curved sword, the pyromancy flame, and the miracle charm are all accounted for, leaving only the sorcery catalyst and the spear for the DS2 Bearer of the Curse, which is further borne out by that moveset's use of several DS2 sorceries including Soul Spear Barrage and Soul Greatsword, and the Focus Souls sorcery from the Sunken King DLC. Therefore, the Soul of Cinder is an amalgam of the Chosen Undead, Knight Solaire, the Bearer of the Curse, and Lord Gwyn, among others in ages past.
Which also accounts for a bout of fridge humor: all the former Lords of Cinder, at least in spirit, are engaging in Jolly Cooperation.
For some, the Usurp the Fire ending seems like a bit of a cop-out on the theme of the game being the inevitability of the cycle and how ultimately events are just going to repeat themselves, but let's think on this for a moment. For those that didn't play the Lost Crown Trilogy in Dark Souls II the Memory of King Vendrick had an interesting thing to say about the cycle and how to ultimately break it; you need to harness the First Flame and the Dark Soul in tandem. He knew this but was too late to implement it. Flash forward to now; you are an Unkindled, a new type of undead that can access the powers of a Lord of Cinder by consuming Embers of the dying fires in much the same way you'd use Humanity/Human Effigies in the last two games as a regular Undead. By extension, this would mean that you can also absorb the Embers of the First Flame and use them yourself. In addition to this, you can also gain a form of the Curse from Yoel of Londor by accepting a Dark Sigil, which is described as a open sore like the Darksign that weeps Humanity from it. Humanity, as we know from the previous two games, are all fragments of the Dark Soul found by the Furtive Pygmy. Thus, you are now the only being in any cycle that can harness the First Flame as Embers and the Dark Soul as the Dark Sigil and use the power of both to finally break the cycle permanently. It would seem that Vendrick was right on the money, he just didn't have the Unkindled around to help him out with his plan.
In addition to this, while it might seem random and completely out of the blue at first when Yuria mentions that she's chosen Anri of Astora to be the Ashen One's spouse, it actually makes a lot of sense when you think about it. Anri is the only other person in the game besides the Ashen One who's both Unkindled and Undead (you absorb his/her Dark Sigils during your "marriage", after all). This means he/she also has the power to harness both the First Flame and the Dark Soul, which as mentioned above was discovered by Vendrick to be the key to breaking the cycle. And it can be seen in the ending cinematic that Anri was resurrected by the ritual, so contrary to popular belief, the "marriage" ceremony isn't simply just a defilement of their corpse. So if Anri and the Ashen One procreate and their children possess the same abilities, that means the cycle of the flame will never repeat itself and humanity is truly in control now. This also explains why Yuria is so insistent that the Ashen One must have a spouse first before attempting to usurp the flame. Basic genetics and survival of the fittest in play right there.
Pay attention to how the Soul of Cinder dies. He doesn't disintegrate into particles like most bosses. After his death cry, he kneels down as his body slowly fades away, just like a player character.
In fact, the pose he makes as he dies is the exact same way that Gwyn died, all the way back in Dark Souls. He cries out, kneels, looks up at the sky, and fades away.
Added to this, look at the Soul of Cinder's pose when you enter the arena. He's sat down with the Firelink Greatsword impaled into the ground in front of him. Just like a player character resting at a bonfire.
A lot of people who were fans of Dark Souls II are a bit hacked that most of the callbacks in the game are to Dark Souls I, but it makes sense from a lore stand point. Lothric is described as a "transitory land" that amalgamates architecture and entities from the ancient lands of the Lords of Cinder that Linked the Fire. The reason more of Drangleic isn't in there is because Vendrick never Linked the Fire, as he wasted too much time trying to find another way to halt the Curse and had the war with the Giants to contend with as well. By the time of Drangleic's end and their chance to Link the Fire, only the Bearer of the Curse could do it and Drangleic wasn't their land.
There's also the DLC to consider. With so many loose ends involving the Dark Soul and the Fragments of Manus still left untouched by the main game, it's possible that they're saving the Dark Souls II references for that.
A possible huge reference to the second game is a little tidbit of information regarding Prince Lothric, who was said to have been counseled by "a scholar who doubted the Linking of the Fire". While some fans believe the culprit to be Pontiff Sulyvahn, others point out that Sulyvahn was never described as a scholar but Lord Aldia from the second game is, and he is well known as the scholar who doubted the efficacy of Linking the Fire, which led to King Vendrick trying to find a solution for breaking the cycle in the first place. This is even more telling in the Scholar of the First SinUpdated Re-release, where he finally appears as an NPC and boss to tie up the loose ends of that particular game.
Adding to this, the Ringed City DLC gives one possible reason why Aldia and Vendrik could never find a answer to the Curse. They never knew about the Ringed City and the Pygmies, and the fact that Linking the Fire was not the First Sin, but in fact the second, as the first was Gwyn creating the seal of fire to seal off the Abyss from the Pygmies and humanity. Although Aldia hinted at this in some of his dialogue, he likely never knew about this element specifically.
Aldrich stands out amongst the Lords of Cinder, and for more reasons than one. Aldrich was essentially the head of a religion worshipping him and a coming "Age of The Deep", which may possibly be actually The Age of Dark, and even his title was "Saint of the Deep". All these things considered, why would a being who obviously worshipped the dark become a Lord of Cinder, a being which acts opposite to that belief? Then it hit this troper; Aldrich was a monster who devoured men, women, and gods alike and relished in it. And if he also happened to bear the undead curse, then simply killing him wouldn't be rid of him. What better way to be rid of him (as well as giving the proverbial middle finger) than to force him to link the fire. After all, nobody ever said all the Lords of Cinder had to be willing.
Furthermore supported with Prince Lothric, who explicitly states that he never wanted to be a Lord of Cinder in the first place. So not only nobody said the Lords of Cinder were all willing, but we have an example of people who weren't.
This adds a whole new level to Aldrich's behaviour in game. While we assumed that Aldrich just went insane like Yhorm and the Abyss Watchers did, many things will tell us that he has quite a bit of intelligence. He uses sorceries and miracles throughout the fight, is able to manipulate Gwyndolin's body, and if the timeline about when he devoured him is true, came up with a whole new miracle after he was revived. While he never seemed sane to begin with, he can still think clearly. Aldrich, like Lothric, was purposely trying to avoid linking the fire, because he wants the age of the dark to begin.
A bit of fridge horror regarding Aldrich, but one which comes from Dark Souls 2. Most players tend to sneer at the Covetous Demon and his laughably easy patterns, but if he had been allowed to live for much longer and cannibalize thousands more, he'd have become like Aldrich if one such as Sulyvahn had approached him with the prospect of more power and victims. Anyone could have become like the Saint of the Deep in this game with but a little manipulation of their heart's desire.
Horace isn't completely silent — he grumbles and growls at you. During the process of completing Anri's storyline, he goes hollow in the Smouldering Lake. Perhaps he was already so close to hollowing that he couldn't speak coherently anymore.
Alternatively, he could actually be mute. Mute people are not entirely silent, they instead make grunts and other noises, as they cannot speak coherently. It's possible he had his tongue cut out by Rosaria's Fingers, or that his mouth got injured escaping Aldrich.
Smough died protecting Gwyndolin from Aldrich, who was also a Cannibal. That's right, for Smough, it's personal.
Building on the above, these descriptions pretty much confirm that Ornstein and Smough from the first game were of the same nature as Gwynevere and that the Old Dragonslayer is the real deal, not just an Expy.
It seems a bit strange that the Twin Princes boss fight ends the moment you kill Lothric, regardless of how much health Lorian has left. But on reflection, it's very clear that Lothric is assisting his brother with magic: the teleportation is very clearly his work considering he uses the same effect to teleport to the fallen Lorian in the mid-battle cutscene, and Lorian's crown appears to cover his eyes, so Lothric's magic might even be allowing him to see. Without those advantages, Lorian would be left crawling on his knees, possibly unable to even see you. The fight ends as soon as Lothric's dead because Lorian is too crippled to fight effectively without his brother's magic to assist him.
Not really "brilliance," but interesting nonetheless: If you pay attention to the intro, you'll notice that whenever the Lords of Cinder pop up, the background music changes to reflect their battle theme: For example, while Aldrich's background is the least recognizable (Understandable, considering the melody would spoil the connection between him and Gwyndolin), he still gains a One woman wail and the weird, discordant violin chords from his battle theme. The Abyss Watchers, meanwhile, gets a modified version of the chord progression that occurs a minute into their own theme plus the background violins. Yhorm the Giant's is probably the most noticeable, with the intro practically copying the melody of his fight over.
Why exactly did Aldrich "bloated like a drown pig, then softened into sludge" for being a cannibal? Humanity might be the answer. Take notice of the Human pine resin, they apply dark element, are matured from human remains, and looked exactly like that sludge Aldrich is newly composed of and spreads about. So Aldrich ate too much people and their accumulative dark essence bloated him and finally turned the rest of his body into the same thing. Then there is the great surprise that why Aldrich didn't turn into a pus of man from such concentration of humanity, maybe Sulyvahn took care of that, as an uncontrollable blob of violence is definitely hard to be made a puppet leader.
Why would the Deacons allow a different faction to freeload in their very Cathedral? Because they're actually earning their keep! Members of Rosaria's Fingers gain double rewards for slaying any Darkmoon Blades, the sworn enemies of Aldrich Faithfuls. Its worth mentioning that the Fingers also gain double rewards from Blue Sentinels. The Blue Sentinel sigil is given to the player by Horace. Horace has no tongue...
With the release of Ashes of Ariandel, and the revelation that Sulyvahn is from the painting, it makes a few disparate details about Irithyll and the Church of the Deep make a bit more sense. It explains why there are Corvians on the Road of Sacrifices and in Irithyll itself, why there is one Pontiff Knight stationed directly outside Sulyvahn's Cathedral that uses a scythe, and possibly why Sulyvahn himself decided to overthrow the bloodline of Gwyn (keeping in mind that the original Painted World of Ariamis was essentially a prison for Priscilla and other such people who didn't have a place in the world of the gods).
Of course Creighton canonically bested Pate in Dark Souls II. The former is a serial killer who's been physically killing people by his hands, while the latter was never shown to explicitly seen killing people with his. In addition, Creighton had better gear. And even then, the Bearer of the Curse was being constantly tricked by Pate's traps, causing the PC to side with Creighton should he interfere. How he's still around even after the events between the two games may arise some questions however.
One thing you can notice during the fight against Vilhelm and Sister Friede in Ashes of Ariandel is that when they activate their Dark Flame weapon arts, it creates a pale white glow around them as these "dark fires of humanity" ignite. What I find interesting is that this glow is almost the exact same color as the glow that surrounds the PC whenever they're in a dimly lit location, going all the way back to the first game. Then it hit me; you are Undead (or in the case of DSIII, an Unkindled born of an Undead), and thus the glow is being provided by the "dark fires of humanity" that burn inside of you. Nice little Retcon explanation for that bit of gameplay.
When you encounter Shira at the end of The Ringed City, part of her speech includes mention that she's the daughter of a duke, and the centerpiece of her crown is a pearl from a Man Eater Shell from Dark Souls I. If one will recall, those were only encountered in one of two places: at the bottom of Ash Lake, and in the Crystal Cave after the Duke's Archives. All this seems to point to Shira being the daughter of Seath, but if that's the case, then why doesn't she have any draconic features like Priscilla or Yorshka? Then it hits you: his name is Seath the Scaleless. He was a mutant even among his own kind, so any offspring that he produces would also lack major features of his race.
When you think about it, The Ringed City's final boss makes perfect sense. Gael is an undead, a Determinator to the very end - in other words, you. While the Chosen Undead follow Gwyn's footsteps in linking the First Flame, Gael went for the opposite way - the Dark Soul of Man. Plus, giants, dragons, and gods have fallen to the undead, your Player Characters being firsthand examples. Gael is one of you, but he's the strongest of them all - and he's gone mad with power. In the second phase and onward, the Dark Soul consumes him, much like how the Flame does to the undead who link it. First, he was the ultimate undead - and afterwards, he's the very embodiment of the Dark Soul.
On the subject of Gael, he's the size of a Lord when you fight him, even though he was just a regular Undead the last time you met. Think about it, though, he was devouring the blood of the Pygmy Lords. What was it that happened to Aldrich again? He "bloated like a drowned pig" from eating so many people. Seems like eating a lot of souls causes you to grow in size, and Gael did just devour a bunch of fragments of the original Dark Soul.
Take a close look at the flame attacks Gael uses in his second phase. Not only are they dark red, reminiscent of Lady Maria'sBlood Magic, but they don't have regular flame textures: there are human skulls and faces hidden in the flames!
There's another Call-Back to the very intro of Dark Souls with The Ringed City. Said intro mentions the Furtive Pygmy was "so easily forgotten" - we were told from the very beginning Gwyn Unpersoned the Pygmy - had that bit of exposition been a bit clearer, it's likely the Chosen Undead would have made sure to go with Kaathe's plan and saved everyone else the cost of keeping the Age of Fire alive.
The Final Boss for Dark Souls I was Gwyn, Lord of Cinder. When it comes to the DLC, the final boss is Manus, Father of the Abyss. Now at Dark Souls III we have Soul of Cinder, embodiment of all Lords, including Gwyn...and at the DLC? Slave Knight Gael, embodiment of the Dark Soul and all men...including Manus.
And much like the Soul of Cinder, Slave Knight Gael's fighting style is eerily reminiscent of two distinct classics of Dark Souls, namely his endless greatsword-swinging, combined with immunity to being knocked out of his combos, and massive health bar, classics of the Giantdad playstyle, and his usage of an automatic crossbow while slowly strafing, AKA the infamous Havelyn.
Yorshka's Spear, a weapon found in irithyll, is well known for having abyssmal stats. But, considering the nature of Yorshka herself, (she's basically a frail, innocent child, who has been severely neglected) her "weapon" fits her better than one might think; much like her, it was never expected to be in a battle.
The two potential causes of Greirat's death (aside from you killing him yourself) appear to be the two things that can easily kill even a very skilled Souls player: fighting too many enemies at once (his corpse in Irithyll is surrounded by 3 Sewer Centipedes), and the god-awful platforming (his corpse in Lothric has no enemies near it at all, suggesting death by falling).
Lothric and Irithyll have been at war. Irithyll is associated with ice: it's located in the Boreal Valley, Irithyll equipment tends to cause frostbite, Sulyvahn is resistant to frost. Lothric is associated with fire: it has fire-breathing wyverns, its king obsesses over dragons, its princes are Lords of Cinder. Sulyvahn and Aldrich are vulnerable to fire damage, and all three of Lothric's royals are vulnerable to ice. It's like they were destined to be enemies.
Throughout the first couple levels, there are the corpses of shrouded undead traveling to Lothric. They are stated to be pilgrims trying to get close enough to the First Flame to die again. But why do they have slabs of stone chained to their back? So that when they get close enough to their destination to regain their mortality, the weight will immediately make them collapse where they stand and press them to death. An auto-triggered execution.
To swing it back into Fridge Horror territory: the rocks are a guard against Hollowing. The only way the pilgrims can continue forward is if they still have enough determination and hope to shoulder the burden — they don't Hollow so long as they can keep pulling themselves back to their feet. But if they lose the last of their hope and collapse, turning Hollow, then they won't be a threat as they'll be pinned to the ground.
Well, Yoel seems to get back up easily enough... maybe the rocks are insurance for when they get close enough to the flame for their bodies to give out naturally?
The Cleric set mentions that they wear covers on their backs as to not become "seedbeds for spreading darkness". Maybe the rocks are budget versions of that?
The two pilgrims that can be found alive are either begging for death or hoping to die in service of some greater power. The rocks tied to their backs might just be an insurance policy to make absolutely sure that they find true death, by crushing their bodies once their will gives out.
Another explanation for the rocks is that they prevent the Pus of Man from emerging out of the pilgrims' backs. They're trying in vain to keep the last dregs of their humanity inside them, rather than turning into abominations like Iudex Gundyr.
So, you've just beaten the Old Demon King and you happened upon the Stray Demon earlier in the game and handily took care of it. Congratulations, you just committed genocide, as these two demons are supposedly the last of the Demons of Izalith that were born of the Chaos Flame which has now been extinguished. If that isn't bad enough for you, look around the Demon Ruins and the Old Demon King's arena sometime; it's littered with the corpses of his fallen kin, mostly Stray and Capra Demons.
Not necessarily; we fight two other giant demons (Both reminiscent of Taurus Demons), one in the Undead Settlement with Seigward, and another on the way to the Smouldering Lake. It stands to reason that there could still be more demons out there, but with the state of the Demon Ruins/Lost Izalith, more will definitely never be made.
That being said, the Fire Demons encountered in game may not necessarily be from Lost Izalith or have borne witness to the actual Chaos Flames. They could've just been spawned from the last vestiges of it before it died out; as far as the original Demons of Lost Izalith are concerned, The Old Demon King and the Stray Demon are/were the only ones stated to have come from there.
In the Ringed City, you definitely finish the job, as you kill the Demon of Pain and the Demon from Below in the last area that has not been consumed by oblivion.
Does anyone else notice that Irithyll seems to be aesthetically similar to Yharnam? Like the entire area seems to be a shoutout to BB. This troper concludes that it is a younger version; remember that we never see Yharnam properly outside of the Dream. The conclusion? The Usurp the Fire/End of Fire (don't know which) ending brings about the age of Dark, which opens up the world to the Great Ones.
If this were true, then the ultimate fate of Irithyll is to be "Burnt to cinders" by the Powder Kegs. Surprisingly fitting...
Hell, Aldrich himself dreamed of an "Age of the Deep Sea". Where do the Great Ones come from again?
The Cosmos, of course! Only Kos came out of the sea, but that doesn't mean she was born there. It's implied the Great Ones actually originate from space.
Maybe The Moon Presence is the Dark souls 3 Player character, after causing the age of Dark, it worked like a roundabout way you do so in BB and he/she became either the Moon Presence or Ebrietas
There are way too many differences to the worlds in the franchises themselves for similar architecture to connect them. To list a few things : Time and space in Dark Souls is extremely warped, while in Bloodborne the changes to time and space are an artifact of the dreams the Great Ones made, a way to show that what we're in isn't normal. We actually see the future at the end of Dark Souls III and even further in the Ronged City. Our fight with the Soul of Cinder is shown to be in a future when the shrine become abandoned, further reinforced in DLC when it's shown that fight is in the Dreg Heap, where you can find pieces of Lothric previously explored had crumbled into this hole at the end of the world. The end of the DLC then shows us even further in the future where the world seems to have become a desert of ashes. Lastly the new face of humanity is that of the hollows. This is pretty much inevitable no matter the ending chosen
If the Chessmaster entry on Ludleth's page is true, and the Untended Graves is another version of the Cemetery of Ash... Did you just loot the Ashen Estus Ring off your own body?
Champion Gundyr's soul states that he was too late in coming to Firelink Shrine to actually be the Chosen Undead/Ashen One of his cycle. His equipment says that he was bested by an unknown warrior, and so ended up being the sheath for Firelink's coiled sword. Looks like the Ashen One is now a part of a time loop, which can only mean great things for New Game Plus.
Accessing the Untended Graves is done through the Consumed King's Garden, a sub-area in Lothric Castle - particularly just past Oceiros' room. Seems like a one-way entry point, but if you look back you can see the entrance just above and out of reach. That exact same path is still there in the Cemetery of Ash at the beginning of the game, meaning that whether there's a portal or such involved or not with the Untended Graves, Oceiros is a stone's throw away from where you once lay.
Prince Lothric's backstory establishes that one can be forced to link the First Flame. While the trials involved would make it hard for the unwilling, one has to wonder how many people were forced into the Kiln and offered up as a sacrifice to prolong the Age of Fire against their will.
So... how recent was Aldrich's last meal? Given Anri's questline and the state you find them in, you might have been extremely close to saving Gwyndolin.
Not to mention the fact that Aldrich was described to be 'slowly' devouring Gwyndolin.
It states "slowly devoured", past tense. Gwyndolyn is not still in the process of being consumed while you fight Aldrich.
Well of course not, would you keep eating when some naked bloke with a gigantic hammer comes running in to ruin your dinner?
Doesn't the Usurp the Fire ending sound a little familiar? Using an ancient power to overthrow what are basically gods to become basically new gods, replace the Lords of Cinder with the Ancient Dragons, and replace Gwyn's allies with the Ashen One's allies. It's history repeating itself.
Even better, you're using something that is rather poorly understood by the current Gods in order to deal the killing blow to them, just replace Nito's Death, The Witch of Izalith's Fire/Pyromancies, and Gwyn's Sunlight/Lightning with your Dark Sigil/Hollowing.
And just like the First Flame, the Dark Sigil will probably fade away one day, leading back into the same problem the world of Dark Souls I faced. The Cycle can truly never be broken.
When the Ashen One fights Aldrich, Devour of Gods, he's in the middle of eating Gwyndolin. The Lore suggest that Aldrich killed Smough to get to Gwyndolin, and Gwyndolin himself likely put up a fight but lost. When you consider this, then you realize that the Ashen One isn't fighting Aldrich at his full power. Who knows how difficult he might have been, if he wasn't already using half of his power to consume and control Gwyndolin.
No he's not. Even though the idea is cool, there is no information in the game that implies Gwyndolyn is in the process of being eaten. All text that refers to Aldrich eating Gwyndolyn is in the past tense. And, I'm sure if he was still in the process of being eaten by Aldrich, he'd instantly begin working with him to kill the random Unkindled that just walked in.
It's hard to focus when you're being eaten alive.
I dont know man, whenever im getting eaten im pretty focused on murder.
In-game it is stated that the Queen of Lothric (heavily implied to be Gwynevere) vanished after Ocelotte, her and Oceiros' son, was born. Ocelotte is stated to be "born of dragons". Oceiros turned into a Seath lookalike after trying to harness his bloods' power. Did the Queen really vanish or did Oceiros' research transform her into a twisted dragon creature like him, possibly unwillingly?
So, we've all gotten well acquainted with the Lothric Winged Knights, those fat bastards that are warriors of the "angelic faith" of Lothric in service to Holy Mother Gertrude. It's stated in the lore that Gertrude received a missive from an angel that lead to the founding of the angelic faith, and occasionally you'll find a few statues of angels that have the face of a Primoridal Serpent around Lothric Castle and the Grand Archives. All pretty standard stuff, right? Well, if you pay attention to the lore from previous games, you might be able to figure out who the "angel" that contacted Gertrude was. It wasn't a Primoridal Serpent, it was the Darklurker from Dark Souls II. To give a rundown of how this works, you need to remember that, while the Darklurker was found in the Dark Chasm of Old, it's soul is a light soul, meaning that it was not born of nor corrupted by the Abyss. It's form could also be described as angelic in an Our Angels Are Different sort of way (what with the four arms and such), and the spells it uses are uncorrupted by the Abyss and sometimes take the form of beams of near-white light, much like the Divine Pillars of Light miracle in this game. Put this all together and suddenly this Giant Space Flea from Nowhere makes a whole hell of a lot more sense in the grand scheme of things, and suddenly the Angelic Faith is a lot less safe.
Darklurker being a creature of light can be easily disproved with gameplay: when you fight Darklurker, all of his attacks, except one (which is an exploading fireball), do DARK damage. It was also implied, that Darklurker is another one of Manus' soulshards, like Nashandra.
Except for the fact that it's soul is not Dark; unlike the souls of Nashandra and the other Children of Dark, it doesn't have a deep purple hue. It's soul glows white, indicating that it is not born from Dark but is instead a creature of light. The place it resides in, The Dark Chasm of Old, is implied to be the exploded and congealing remains of Manus, but the Darklurker itself isn't. Thus, its ability to manipulate the Dark could be something it gained from spending so much time steeped in it, but as Raime the Fume Knight, Velstadt the Royal Aegis, and King Vendrick have proven, spending a ton of time in the Dark doesn't turn one's soul Dark, even if it gives you the ability to manipulate and control it; you need to be born from it like Manus and the Children of Dark are to have a Dark soul.
Why is the Cathedral of The Deep full of weird brown sludge (apart from slowing your movement to a crawl and making you easy pickings for the giants?) Seems like an odd place for swampy water, right? Look against the walls in these sludge pits and you'll see lots and lots of body parts, including the remains of a maiden. There's a distinct possibility that this sludge is actually what left of the people sacrificed to Aldrich. That's right, you're wading knee high in Aldrich's feces. Hope that Saint's Bident is worth it!
For some extra fridge horror, consider the following: the exact same sludge is present in Aldrich's boss chamber. Given how it has a similar appearance to the lower half of his body, you may not just be fighting in his feces; you may be fighting atop Aldrich himself.
Which actually makes sense given the way Aldrich will "teleport" around the arena. Note the huge difference between this style of movement versus the way the Crystal Sage teleports. Aldrich appears to be decongealing and then reforming his body in a separate section, congealing the mass back together. Do the Unkindled a favor and wear boots...
Here's something to contemplate in light of certain revelations from The Ringed City; Gael sought the blood of the Pygmy Lords because they would possess the power of the Dark Soul in a form that could be used as pigment for the new Painted World the Painter Girl wants to make. Given that as fact, exactly how did the Painted Worlds of Ariamis and Ariandel get made? We all know that Gwyn's attitudes towards bearers of the Dark Soul were... a tad bigoted, so did he allow Ariamis to slaughter a ton of humans (or their Pygmy Lords) to get the pigment for a wall sized portrait? And furthermore, how did Ariandel get his pigment? Was there still some left over from Ariamis' painting, or did he go on an Undead hunting spree himself?
No one said that the previous paintings were painted with the blood of the Dark Soul
What is the ultimate, final boss of the entire Dark Souls trilogy? The embodiment of the titular Dark Soul itself. Even better - since you play as an Unkindled, it's also the ultimate battle between Fire and Dark.