DISCLAIMER – The following information is speculation, pieced together by the analysis of Dark Souls III. It is in no way to be taken as hard evidence.
With many players having completed Ashes of Ariandel, rampant speculation has now started to abound within the community, on forums, in the YouTube comments section, about where the second (and final Dark Souls) expansion pack will take place. Some have suggested the Deep, where Aldritch came across the little creatures that nip, and bite within the darkness, and saw his “age of deep waters”. Others believe that it could be the Profaned Capital in its heyday, as next to nothing is known about the entire city, especially since it’s destroyed state. But since Yhorm was such a lore-rich character, it’d be wonderful to see more of the Giant Lord before his fall from grace.
However, it’s my belief that From Software will gift the Souls crowd in early 2017 with an expansion pack featured around the hollow capital of Londor.
Londor is one of the few areas of Dark Souls III alluded to in a surprising number of ways, without having any real in-game presence. But a little context: New Londo in Dark Souls was the city that the Four Kings (a lovely bunch really) formerly governed before they fell to the lure of the abyss. The similarities in how Londor, and the mysterious Sable Church, and New Londo are the same place, are somewhat undeniable. Firstly, by mere name alone the two are one ‘r’ away from one another. But the player base knows that Londor is a Hollow society, governed by the Sable Church, who weave tales of the power of hollows, and how one day a Lord will again rise to govern them to greatness. It is also known that Yuria, the strange katana-wielding sorceress who overlooks Yoel’s body after he dies, is one of the three heads of the Sable Church. Her presence in Lothric is to try find the next Lord of Hollows, before an Ashen One rises to relink the First Flame.
Even the Hollow Pilgrims that are shown in the opening cinematic have ties to Londor. For what purpose they are sent on pilgrimage is unknown, but some have theorized that the pilgrim corpses encountered all throughout Lothric actually turn into the bizarre butterfly-like creatures seen in upper Lothric, who fly toward the castle’s highest chamber. Even these hollowed pilgrims hint at their homeland, and their strangely macabre mission, with Yoel stating “Somehow…I’ve failed to die as was ordained”, in his initial dialogue. It’s a purpose that’s not been touched upon either, so an explanation, or lore reason, for these travels would be very useful to the player. Something else to ponder as well, every Dark Souls game, except III, has had abyssal themes where the player-character has had to fight creatures from the abyss. Whereas in this iteration, the main theme has been revival, and fire. But all throughout the game, descriptions, dialogue, and hints are given in small doses about the abyss, and the beings who hail it.
Yet more hints that Londor might be featured are given as Friede, who the player meets in the Ashes of Ariandel, the eldest sister of the heads of the Sable Church, talks to the player. We know she gave up whatever position she held within the Church to serve by the side of Father Ariandel in his restored painting. Yuria is the middle sister, and the third is the only one thus far (Liliane) who hasn’t been introduced to the player. The Sable Church, in whatever capacity, must serve the abyss. Yuria’s use of the Darkhand, a weapon only used by the Darkwraiths of New Londo, and typically a gift from Kaathe the Primordial Serpent, is a clear link to this heritage. But there’s more, the miracle ‘Atonement’ was created by the Sable Church for Hollows who were to be cast out. Furthermore, during Friede’s fight, in the final phase, she channels the Black Flame to imbue her own strength. This channeling has never been seen before, and is unique in its usage. Aside from the spell ‘Dark Edge’, it’s the only buff form of Black Flame seen beyond the Onyx Blade, another weapon gifted by the Sable Church to Ser Wilhelm.
Black Flames are said to be “the impenetrable fires of humanity”, and therefore part of the abyss, it’d make sense that Friede had somehow learned to infuse herself with the power that lurks within the souls of man as the head of the Sable Church. Interestingly, if the player attacks Yuria, and kills her, the line “Oh Kaathe, I have failed thee” is heard just before she dies. It’s damning evidence that Kaathe, who works towards bringing an age of Dark after the age of Fire, is still somehow alive.
If the second DLC pack is focused on Londor, it’ll likely have answers to questions posed by the community ever since 2011, with the release of Dark Souls. Questions like “can hollows function after fully hollowing?”, “just what is the abyss?”, and “what is the source of Black Flame?”, are just some of the more pressing questions that would shine light onto parts of the lore that have been neglected thus far.
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