Dark Souls 3 Story ► Sulyvahn, the Tyrant

The tyrant, Sulyvahn, was only a young sorcerer when he left the painting. Ariandel is another world; a sanctuary that pulls forlorn beings from the outside and gives them a home. They find comfort in the sameness and they find comfort in the rot. But imagine growing up in a place like this, surrounded by beings that have lost everything in the outside world Sulyvahn, alone, had lost nothing so ironically, in this place of belonging he did not belong. So it’s no surprise that his envy inspired terrible ambition. For, as Sulyvahn would prove, there’s a lot to fear from a man with nothing to lose. So, a young sorcerer with spells of frost, he left and never returned. “Where have you gone, sweet child? It’s cold outside. It’s awfully cold. “Where have you run off to?” It was cold outside…home. Far below a dark moon lies Anor Londo, City of the Gods. Farther still, Irithyll, nestled in the Boreal Valley. And yet, even farther below past the dungeon cells of Irithyll is the ruins of a once proud capital. The only human kingdom to have ever been ruled by a Giant, actually. But his story doesn’t matter for he left nothing of worth behind…except perhaps, this: The Profaned Flame. Profane, for it defies the law of fire and never goes out. Profane, for it has the Abyss hidden within it. And Profane, for it corrupts the hearts of men, offering power but inspiring evil. Sulyvahn, items say, stumbled upon this place when he was yet a young sorcerer. It’s not uncommon to see sorcerers out on distant journeys of discovery, and I bet that when he left the capital, he was not the same man. For from here on out, a burning ambition is said to have taken root within him and considering the nature of this flame, I think we can take that quite literally. So with a greatsword, and perhaps a heart profaned by the flame, he left, his sights set on Irithyll. For to Sulyvahn’s dismay, this rotting world was just like the one he had left. At this point in our story, Anor Londo was still a city of the old gods. One of the most resilient cities in the world, for it and the old royalty who resided there, remained largely unchanged throughout multiple links of fire. It was home to the children of Gwyn himself. Sister Gwynevere, with her Silver Knights. Her brother Gwyndolin, captain of the Dark Moon Knights, and his half-sister Yorshka, the cross breed. Power emanated from the cathedral, which was patrolled by the Silver Knights and guarded by Ornstein and Smough, two famous knights of Gwyn. The time would come, however, when Ornstein left the cathedral in search of Gwyn’s first born child making Smough the last knight to remain at his post, guarding the ruined cathedral. There are also Deacons of the Way of White which have a sect here in Irithyll headed by Archdeacon McDonnell. Far away, though, many more of this order toil in the Cathedral of the Deep, devoted to maintaining the Age of Fire that Gwyn began. Here, great and terrible beings are put to their final rest. And just now, in our story, a powerful saint named Aldrich has just been sacrificed to the First Flame, becoming a Lord of Cinder. Back in Irithyll also, the order of the Darkmoon Knights led by the Dark Sun Gwyndolin swear their oaths. The blue phantoms are bound to become a shadow of Father Gwyn and a shadow of Sister Gwynevere, hunting down any who would threaten the champions who link the fire. And it was this order, the Darkmoon Knights, that the sorcerer Sulyvahn saw fit to infiltrate. And we know this because he was presented with the Greatsword of Judgement, a ceremonial sword representing the judgement of the moon. It glows like the blue of the Darkmoon, but much deeper. If you were to look more closely at this blade, then you would realize that its magic is far closer to sorcery than any existing Lunar power. For Sulyvahn did not draw his power from faith like the other knights did, but he drew it, instead, from sorcery which is an art that is despised by the old royalty. And, perhaps that’s for good reason, for sorcery would ultimately be the downfall of the Way of White, the Darkmoon Knights, and the Gods alike. When the old world is rotten, you burn it away. And so the Pontiff’s usurpation of Anor Londo began with Gwyndolin. “The Darkmoon Knights were once led by my elder brother, The Dark Sun Gwyndolin. “But he was stricken by illness and leadership of the knights fell to me. “Then, Sulyvahn wrongfully proclaimed himself Pontiff and took me prisoner. “Oh where could my dear brother be?” Yorshka, the last remaining Knightess of the Darkmoon Order, mentions that it all began when her brother fell ill. She doesn’t blame his illness on Sulyvahn, but you and I both know that either he or his subordinates weren’t above using poison, for it was not only the Darkmoon Knights affected by Sulyvahn’s influence. The Holy Deacons also were befouled from within. Archdeacon McDonnell, a prominent member of their order who resides in Irithyll, committed a grave trespass. He began to channel his faith for sorcery, transforming symbols of ecclesiastic authority into catalysts of Deep soul sorceries. For McDonnell these stagnating souls and the magic derived from them represented the glorious bedrock of this world. Their order was intended to deal with the great and terrible beings that came to them, but inevitably they were affected by the terrors that came into the cathedral. This treason was not kept within Irithyll. No, McDonnell also imparted Deep soul sorceries to Archdeacon Royce and his Deacons who all resided in the cathedral. And he added new dark pages to their tome of miracles. Literally corrupting his order against the very flame that they had sworn to protect. He was undoubtedly collaborating with the sorcerer Sulyvahn who himself had his new knights infected and empowered by the Deep. Dark magics erupt from their throats, drawn towards life and their very weapons became eaten away by the tiny, biting insects that feed upon those close to the Deep. This force in Irithyll wielding the Profaned Flame, gnawed at by the Deep, headed by the Archdeacons and the Pontiff became an evil that pushed the entire royal family out of their ancient home. However, some residents clearly escaped all of this trauma. Because later, far away in a city named Lothric, it is said that there is another queen revered as a goddess of fertility and bounty, just like Gwynevere once was. But back in Anor Londo, now with Pontiff Sulyvahn fully in control, the true atrocities could begin. Many in Irithyll were enslaved and as you can see, were pushed forward as fodder by the Pontiff’s Fire Witches. The less fortunate were turned into beasts. For it is said that men who peer into the black eyes of Sulyvahn are transformed. Look closely at the faces of the dogs, at the hair of the spider women, at these rib cage beasts that pray when they’re defenseless. Sulyvahn forced out the beasthood within men, especially in those who would become his Outrider Knights. The most notable of the Outrider Knights was the Dancer of the Boreal Valley. Her Aurora Veil is actually an artifact of the old gods. Permitted only to be worn by direct descendants of the old royal family. And before she was controlled by Sulyvahn, the Dancer was likely a daughter of Gwynevere, as she has a fragment of her mother’s soul However, she was clearly left behind as the rest of her family escaped to Lothric. When captured, the Pontiff ordered her to serve first as a dancer, perhaps to shame her or entertain him. Then, he made her an Outrider Knight, giving her a ring of his right eye that he knew would transform her. She became an…enchanting beast of death. Her armor fusing with her own hide. Never far from the fleeting Dancer was Vordt, the Outrider Knight who received the Pontiff’s Left Eye ring. Clearly, there was something between them. Some bond shared, for they would never return to Irithyll, but like all the Outrider Knights, their spirits can sometimes been seen roaming the old city…together. In total, five Outrider Knights were dispatched to Lothric. One guarding the Road of Sacrifices. The second, in the basement of Lothric Castle. The third, skulking in the Grand Archives. And the two most unique knights, Vordt and the Dancer, guard the main exit and entrace to Lothric Castle itself. Their placement is no coincidence. Sulyvahn may be back in Irithyll, but he knows that the last vestiges of the royal family have a presence in Lothric, and his eyes are all over their failing kingdom. Watching, as the royal family desperately struggles to produce an heir to the linking of the fire. Waiting, as he knows that when they fail, Aldrich will be raised once more as a Lord of Cinder. And who do you think he’ll be indebted to when he rises from his grave? To this end, Sulyvahn protected the gate to Irithyll with an old trick from the Painted World. A magical barrier was erected, repelling everything and everyone except those with a message from a small doll. “Wherever you go,” it says, “the moon still sets in Irithyll. “Wherever you may be, Irithyll is your home.” Sulyvahn, or the Deacons, placed one of these dolls in Aldrich’s coffin and waited. And eventually, of course, he came for where else would he go? Aldrich had spent a long time ruminating on the fading of the fire. For him, it inspired prophetic visions of a new future, an age not of fire, but of deep seas. He knew the path to this world would be arduous, but he had no fear, for he would become not a mere devourer of men, but a devourer of gods. And so, imagine his pleasure when he found one waiting for him in his new cathedral. Gwyndolin, son of Gwyn and former captain of the Darkmoon Knights. “If only he were here, I would be most pleased for you both to meet; as, most assuredly, would he.” But Aldrich wasn’t the only being resurrected. You put the Pontiff’s achievements to shame, rolling over him with the help of either Blackhand Gotthard for Lothric, the Pale Shade for Londor, or Anri for Horace. The Pontiff made many enemies, and they were his downfall in the end. Here you have a man who stopped at nothing to change the world. He mastered sorceries of frost, miracles of the moon, he partnered with a kingdom ending flame, and took advantage of the Deep. He used all of this plus social and political manipulation to usurp an age old kingdom, rising within the ranks of its knights, twisting its Deacons to feed a god to a Lord of Cinder and supplant the age of fire. The tyrant, Sulyvahn, tore apart many bonds but was undone himself by a mere Unkindled. Proof that no champion is more powerful than the fire linking curse. So if this man can’t change the world, then what hope do we have?

Vaati: "Blackhand Gotthard, for Lothric, Pale Shade, for Londor, or Anri, for Horace."
Me, an intellectual: [Activates Dried Fingers] Why not all three?

Sulyvhan was born and raised in a world where everyone has become demoralized and broken, which became a tactic for him as he climbed to power. When he made Vordt crawl on all fours like a dog and made Vordt's lover his dancer, he's using what he learned in the painted world.

"So if this man can't change the world, what hope do we have?"

Vaati your script writing sends shivers <3
Ancient era subscriber here!

You should apply some effects to your voice in these vids. It'd be cool to hear this story in a deep, weathered, epic-sounding, viking-wizard voice.

I don't like him, he's a tyrant and a bastard, but I can at least understand him. He left his home of stagnation with the hope of finding something better, and struggled to change the world in the only way his research and philosophy would have deemed appropriate. After finding the profane flame, the hardening of his heart was set and his fate was sealed. In the end, though, he was still just a man who came from nothing, and when all was said and done, returned to nothing.

I want a dark souls game that takes place during the age of fire where ur a knight fighting alongside gywn and the nameless king to kill the dragons that would be sooo awesome

Smough was never a knight tho, he was rejected for knighthood because he was so violent, he “ enjoyed grinding the bones of his victims “

Smough was never a knight tho, he was rejected for knighthood because he was so violent, he “ enjoyed grinding the bones of his victims “

oh Sulyvahn I still remember when I was attempting a no death run and got to you thinking "oh you have been a push over every time so I don't have anything to worry about" then going into that boss room and you completely destroyed me in a matter of seconds… I didn't die to gael.. I didn't die to the nameless king.. I didnt die to Freid, I didn't even die to Midir . But this guy right here completely wrecked me that play through T__T

The Pontiff was the only boss I felt really deserved to die and wasn’t just in the Ashen One’s way.

• *Gundyr*: In the way to get to Firelink. Just another Unkindled doomed to an eternity of testing other Unkindled.
• *Vordt*: In the way to get out of Lothric Wall. A proud knight corrupted by the Pontiff.
• *Crystal Sage*: In your way to get to the Cathedral. A master of magic and not really at fault for anything.
• *Deacons*: In your way to get the Doll. Once venerable clergymen, corrupted by the dark they were founded to contain.
• *Wolnir*: In your way to get to Irythill. Yes, he doomed many souls to the Abyss, but when it comes down to it he’s like Gwyn: a once great lord, now scared and alone, afraid of the dark.
• *Dancer*: In your way to get into Lothric Castle. Another knight corrupted by Sullyvahn.
• *Lords of Cinder*: In your way to Link the Fire and fulfill your duty. They do what they think is right, or have just gone insane or been corrupted.
• *Soul Of Cinder*: Literally In your way to link the fire. No real motive, just a manifestation meant to prove your worth. Like Gundyr, really.

And the Pontiff. A tyrannical, cold-hearted ruler who enslaved and bestialized his own innocent citizens, drove out the royal family and left some to be enslaved or devoured, aiming to usurp the fire and plunge the world into dark.

It would have been cool if we got a dark souls game set in a world where civilization hadn't yet collapsed and we were able to see such as these places in prime.

i played the shit out of dark souls but never knew the lore, i had a tough time with the pontiff so its pretty cool to hear that he was responsible for a lot of the other bosses

after years of searching i found the song at 13:11 XD jk took me about 10min its "one to behold – Jon Björk" not horizon dream 2 as some ppl say i found it on spotify enjoy ^^

I think a darksouls game that takes place when the world isnt nearly dying would be kind of cool. Like having places be populated by living people, but still have places filled with assholes who want to kill you in between. I don't know exactly how it would work but it would be interesting to be able to explore certain places when they were whole.

It also always struck me as interesting how the Deacons used pyromancies. Specifically the fire ball. They were men of faith, but wield magic that requires both faith, AND intelligence. Just an observation

My first time fighting Pontiff Sulyvahn without understanding any lore.
I don’t know who I am,
I don’t know why I’m here,
All I know is that I must kill

I have 1 question. Where does the painting of Ariandel actually hang, you know, like how Ariamis hung in Anor londo. Where is the actual painting of Ariandel.

Oh my dear captain, Dark Sun Gwyndolin. Last son of Gwyn you deserve better. If only the Champion of Ash could travel back in time and kill Sulyvahn, Royce, and McDonnell before they poisoned you and fed you to Aldrich.

Irithyll is a wonder of design, atmosphere and creativity. I'm on my first playthrough of DS3 now and Irithyll stands as one of the most memorable locations in any video game for me, it really made an impression on my imagination. If that place were real I'd move there and never leave.

Now I realise every time I was playing Aldrich faithfull I was doing the wrong thing I was helping Aldrich I’m so sorry gywndoline

wait so was this going on during dark souls 1? Cuz we kill ornstein smough gwyndolin etc. or were they revived? also is the unkindled one the revived chosen undead : 0

my theory is that vordt was originally a knight of the anor londos royal family,maybe smough founded a legion of knights who wore fat armor,hence why vordt is wearing fat armor. the reason why he's always near the dancer is because she's a daughter of gwynevere,so naturally as a knight of anor londo he would want to protect and guard her,just like smough and ornstein guarded gwynevere…

The wings the pontiff grows in phase 2 bear a marked similarity to the corvians, which makes sense considering his links to the painting. Just thought that was cool…

Tamer of an eater of gods… The very downfall of the gods themselves… Master of twisted beasts….Ruler of all others… The true antagonist in a realm of monsters…. And we slaughter him… In the halfway point of our quest… What does that say about us?…

I’m still convinced our player character is the Third Black Hand of the Consumed King. Each of the black hands wielded a paired weapon (Gotthard Twinblades, Onikiri/Ubadachi) so the sellsword twin blades would possibly be the weapon of choice of the third. Which would explain why Gotthard helps you twice and why you’re linked to the Twin Princes

What hope do we have you ask?
Why you said it yourself. Sulyvahn tore apart bonds but we pieced them together. As one. As friends.
Be it in the name of Lothric, of Anor Londo, of the Old Gods, the Ancient Dragons, or the Princesses of a Kingdom far and distant from Lothric and Londor, Friendship is the power that prevails over all. And overpowers cruel selfish men like Sulyvahn.


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