Lordran: Comprehensive Final Report (Priscilla)

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Lordran: Comprehensive Final Report (Priscilla)
Date of Cutscene: 20 October 2015
Location: Lordran
Synopsis: The final state of the Dark Souls TP, as related by Priscilla.
Thanks to: To all participants!
Cast of Characters: Priscilla
Tinyplot: The Dark Souls TP

For the first time in a very long while, Priscilla has occasion enough to file a report, and what's more by oratory rather than more convenient script. Her choice of recording device is irrelevantly nondescript, but the backdrop of massively oversized, sunlit marble and gleaming gold architecture that lends a vaulted echo to­ her words is more than conspicuous, as are the mismatched colours of metallic amber and molten steel that suffuse her formerly green eyes. She sounds tired, but her voice is subtly louder than usual, not so much in terms of actual volume, but in the way that it no longer seems like one has to strain to catch it before it fades into the slightest background noise.

"Our operations in Lordran hath finally drawn to a close." She begins, taking a deep, meaningless breath and releasing it shortly after. "I am aware there hast been a considerable length of effective silence in communicating the progress of these works, despite much involvement from Union command, and so I will maketh attempt to speak comprehensively, if briefly, and leaveth more exhaustive information to the archives for the individual to pursueth."

"As indicated previously, it hast been some ten centuries or more since last I had set proper foot upon the earth of mine homeland, Lordran, and whence a year and one half ago I didst rediscover it, it was found near completely abandoned and subject to wild decline, heralded by the emergence of the same curse of undeath that hadst reached so far as to afflict the Painted World of Ariamis, now widespread amongst the entirety of mankind. Known as the Darksign, the Undead that bear it art superficially no different from any other man until the moment of their death, at which point the affliction is characterized by the bearer's inability to properly die, reborn time and time again, no matter the manner of destruction, as their sanity is steadily eroded by trauma and despair, until at last they snap and lose all semblance of humanity, becoming maddened, life consuming beasts termed Hollows."

"As no feat nor magnitude of arms or magic may truly put them down, and with no knowledge of how the curse is spread, the lands lead by humans had been left with little other choice than to simply exile or deport the Undead and await its passing. A great many instead didst leaveth voluntarily to Lordran, the land of the gods, on pilgrimage, in hopes of fulfilling a certain prophecy that foretold of a way to bringeth an end to the Darksign and salvation to the cursed. As I feared the curse may spread outside the confines of mine own world otherwise, brave responders were to join me in the form of summoned phantoms; a sort of temporal duplicate or projection of one's form that shields one from permanent consequence whilst maintaining one's abilities. We were met with many such pilgrims on our travels, foremost mention of which dost belongeth to a knight of Astora, Sir Oscar, and his companions Adalbert, Cassius, Samuel, Sebastian and Indra, by far the most organized and capable troupe amongst them, who wouldst play close companion to our efforts."

"The prophecy related to us by Sir Oscar didst call for the ringing of two Bells of Awakening, as a form of heroic quest. One of the set was kept plainly at the tower of a famous parish at the height of the grand city owned by man on Lordran's soil, then little more than a decrepit and dangerous ghost of its past, swarming with Hollows and infested with dangerous beasts. The other was hidden within the secret under-city slums, where some manner of plague had long since ravaged the area, now colonized by manners of monstrous horrors originating seemingly from a path that wouldst lead to the famous, subterranean metropolis of Izalith. The former was run by the defeat of the parish's ancestral guardians, but the latter was nestled within the lair of a spider demon, Quelaag, which as wouldst be revealed, was originally one of the seven witches that built the city below the earth, and whom granted us passage after attempts to communicate and provideth aid to her similarly afflicted sister didst proveth successful. On both occasions, we made encounter with a seemingly solitary knight by the name of Solaire, unconcerned with the curse or prophecy, heading opposite ways to ours, and on both occasions, we didst narrowly preempt the arrival and probable success of Oscar's company, leading to undue friction between our groups."

"The ringing of the bells was cause to summon a figure even I hath memory of, the Primordial Serpent, Kingseeker Frampt, who elucidated us to the nature of the disaster. The world's origin of all souls, the First Flame, had previously shown signs of dwindling, and thus the divine ruler of Lordran and one of the bearers of the four, primal Lordsouls, Gwyn, departed to rekindle it, perpetuating life for another thousand years. Anticipating the need for a successor, the Great Lord Gwyn hadst made provision for a worthy heir to retrieveth the Lordsouls from his compatriots and gather them into the vessel used to seal the First Flame from intrusion, long overdue to be fulfilled as they required that a Chosen demonstrate their worthiness by the ringing of the bells and the conquering of Sen's Fortress, a proving ground built by the ancient gods. Oscar and his men heard mention of this before us, and had all but conquered the fortress when we arrived, laying down their lives so that Oscar couldst standeth against its final obstacle in battle as the Chosen. Left embittered towards us by the prophecy the Undead clung to for hope being taken over by those without curse or ties to the world, thus making meaningless the endless deaths of those who strove to become Chosen, Sir Oscar demanded that he battle his foe alone, and against all odds, succeeded as we allowed him his request."

"Seeking to gain entry into Anor Londo, the city of the gods where the Lordvessel is kept, at least to oversee its exchange of hands, we didst engageth in the esoteric Battle of Stoicism, a holy tournament in which men hath long held as a trial to gain passage to live amongst the gods. Predictably successful, we eventually rejoined Sir Oscar at the palace within, again making unlikely encounter of Sir Solaire, having somehow entered under his own means, and aided him and his troupe in the defeat of its guardians. The Lordvessel was bestowed upon him by Princess Gwynevere, daughter of Lord Gwyn and thus . . . mine mother . . . but by means we shortly discovered that her appearance, as the rest of Anor Londo's appearance, was a deliberate illusion forged by her younger brother and mine uncle, Gwyndolin, and the city had in fact been fled and abandoned a century ago."

"Incensed by mine reappearance from exile, subsequent attempts on mine life were made by his Covenant of divine assassins, the Blades of the Darkmoon, and thus he was, in time, eventually found, confronted and slain, coinciding with another suspicious appearance of Sir Solaire within the symbolic tomb of Lord Gwyn that Gwyndolin defended, alluding to us some unpleasant truths we had yet to fully realize. In seeking out where the gods of Anor Londo may hath gone to, mine own travels uncovered what I believed to be the sole surviving Everlasting Dragon pat the war at the dawn of time, whose . . . powers of insight blessed us with the locations of each Lordsoul needed to complete the ritual, though we continued in doubt after Oscar's men split to search them and failed to returneth."

"The first, a piece of lord Gwyn's, was recovered from Duke Seath, mine father, long since half-mad in the pursuit of claiming the immortality his malformed body lacked, and in possession of the stolen relic of dragonkind that rendered him nigh-invulnerable without use of the Lifehunt, and following destruction of the artifact. I dealt the final blow and felt no regrets, especially as we didst release his experimental subjects from captivity, and Sir Adalbert, traumatized from his sleepless efforts to defend and free them. The second was recovered from Gravelord Nito, First of the Dead, having sunk into torpor after mankind had slipped beyond the reach of death, whose domain had become the vile playground of the occult, which claimed the then-Hollow Sir Samuel. He was amicable, and gave up his Lordsoul in peace, seeing it as useless, and retreated deep into the Earth. The third was taken from . . . what once was the witch Izalith, in the ruins of the city bearing her name. Once having made attempt to spawn a new First Flame to evade the Age of Dark that wouldst follow the snuffing of the old, her failure hadst devastating the land, twisting all life upon its face and spawning forth endless hordes of monsters. She had long since burnt to a warped and crippled husk, though the battle to her was long and arduous. The documents penned before her death were recovered, but confiscated by another wayward appearance of Sir Solaire after Sir Cassius nearly destroyed himself with them, saved by the combined efforts of Union Elites."

"The final set of shards was recovered from the Four Kings of New Londo, a once prosperous city we didst findeth sunk beneath a crushingly deep lake, as a purposeful method of sealing a route into the Abyss uncovered beneath it. The Abyss is . . . difficult to quantify, save as a realm of existence intrinsically as opposed to all life as we know as the seas art to those who breath air upon the land. Unable to enter such a place, we sought clue at the grave of Sir Artorias, the Abysswalker, long since deceased in mine world, and were aided by Sir Indra, now servant to the local guardian Alvina to escape impending Hollowing. We wrested the proof of his Covenant with the Abyss from the now ancient Sif, and upon draining the floodgates of New Londo, made combination of its studies with a captured Darkwraith, a servant of the Abyss' will, to develop our own, temporary countermeasures to wade into its shallower depths, where we didst meet and battle the Four Kings at its boundary, warped into 'something else' by exposure to it."

"Upon the boundary of the Abyss, we at last met Sir Sebastian, whom, having despaired of losing his sanity, had signed Covenant with the Darkwraiths to steal the Humanity of his fellow man and thus preserveth himself, and whom lead us to Darkstalker Kaathe, Frampt's brother amongst the Primordial Serpeents, who told us another story altogether. Kaathe didst insisteth that following Gwyn's designs wouldst indeed rekindle the First Flame and dispel the curse, but at the cost of the life of the Chosen and all those currently afflicted with the Darksign, and that such a scheme, perpetuated by the power hungry Frampt and Gwyndolin as a heroic reward, wouldst only perpetuate the First Flame for a short while longer in favour of maintaining the dominance of the gods over men, as the state of Undeath was not a curse, but an incomplete transition to a higher form of being inherent in all humans, as their nameless progenitor forsaw the Age of Dark and built mankind towards it. Only by allowing the First Flame to be extinguished wouldst mankind achieve lasting peace, and everlasting life, as was primeval man's original intent."

"Much discussion of these conflicting accounts was made, but in the end, our decision was to ignore them both, and play to neither Serpent's designs, thus making the perhaps foolhardy attempt to rekindle the First Flame ourselves in such a way as to autonomously sustain itself by drawing from the passing of every soul rather than to consume one great offering at its heart for hundreds of years. Visit was paid to Gravelord Nito's strange new works within the heart of the earth at the root of the Archtrees for knowledge, to the Everlasting Dragon for the same, from which I was granted a seed necessary to reconstitute the Ashen Mist that once cloaked the ancient, unformed world, to the city of Izalith and the ancient memories of the Witch to reclaimeth her Flame of Chaos, and finally to the very core of the now-welcoming Abyss, to confront the Ancestor of all Man, and wrest the Darksoul from him, the least of which is mentioned . . . the better."

"With these tools in hand, Oscar, mineself, and a few select Elites didst maketh venture into the Kiln of the First Flame, to find Lord Gwyn, all but completely consumed but still possessed of his faculties, with whom we spoke, debated, pleaded, and then eventually fought, and whose soul we didst lay to rest, during which we were informed that Sir Solaire was the identity of his oldest son, stripped of his godhood and expelled from Lordran, on his own path to redemption. In his time within the Kiln, he and his knights hadst built a grant, though unfinished fortress, to repel the ire of the sole Everlasting Dragon which not even Anor Londo in its prime dared challenge; the Black Dragon of Calamity, Kalameet. Taking up his task, we made preparation to receiveth the beast, but were preemptively called to negotiate by the dragon itself, and made attendance. Such didst proveth to be a mistake, as Kalameet became enraged through breakdown of communication, and routed us within moments, slaying or grievously injuring all amongst our number, mineself included. When next we met, it was to deliberately allow him inside the Kiln, where a month of preparations and Sir Solaire's re-ascendency to godhood, and thus commensurate command of Gwyn's forces, culminated in a grueling battle beyond the scope of, truthfully, anything I hath seen since the Emperor Ascendant, and ultimately his death, and mine retrieval of his memories by the conquering of his eye."

"The details of the final day within the Kiln, I wouldst preferreth to remain undisclosed at this time, as we hath yet to witness the full extent of its far reaching and uncertain effects. For the time being however, the Darksign appeareth to hath gone into recession, and the Hollowed slowly returneth to their senses. Our previous companions hath been accounted for, and Oscar himself hast declined to remaineth within Lordran's borders, instead venturing home to return to the family that had once been taken from him by the Darksign. Solaire, never having fully reconciled with Gwyn, hast refused to follow in his footsteps, and though he remains guardian of Anor Londo after so long . . ." She takes in a deep, steadying breath.

"The possession of all Lordsouls hast fallen to mineself, and by virtue of such, providence of rulership over Lordran. There art many, many loose ends to bind, many routes to pursue, and many preparations to be made. After much discussion, I shalt be opening Anor Londo's borders to any and all displaced by the Darksign and the destruction of both the burg and New Londo, to live within as they wouldst please. Its derelict gods, shouldst they returneth, shalt be welcomed on a selective basis. Now-Lord Solaire shalt taketh possession of the Knights and the Darkmoon Blades, and lead the forthcoming campaign to reclaimeth the land's wilder reaches. I mineself will personally overseeth the survey and re-closure of the Abyss, and any possibility of reintroduction of the Everlasting Dragon hatchlings soon to emerge, as well as lines of reconnection with the Gravelord and the newly cleansed Izalith. Lordran is to be effectively aligned with the Union, with general access granted to all of its members with notice, and universal access granted to those involved in its campaign of deliverance.

“However, a certain handful amongst the Confederacy hath also earned some measure of right to it, and so there shalt be no participation in the larger war as of yet. Confederates that wouldst desireth visit shalt maketh request through Sir Lezard Valeth, for whom the actions of which he shalt be responsible, and to whom the Regal Archives art open for study. I shalt personally be returning to more regular alliance with the Union shortly, as well as negotiating for the predictable benefit of reconstructive aid, as it shalt taketh some time before the people art fully self-sufficient again. Further plans for proper offers to the multiverse at large shalt be considered for whence they becometh appropriate. Until then . . ." Plainly visible to everyone for the first time, is a passable, if only just barely, smile from Priscilla. “May the Flames guide thee.”