Farron Keep Revisited | Dark Souls 3
The Undead Legion of Farron is a caravan of Undead. Sworn by the wolf’s blood to contain the abyss. The Legion will bury a kingdom at the first sign of exposure. Even accursed Undead want to believe they’re special, it seems. The poor wretched souls… Be they lord or legend, the curse shows no mercy. I pity the sorry souls. Hi I’m Bob the Hollow. Here to talk about the Undead Legion of Farron.
I’ve been meaning to make this video for a while now, but the lore just seemed too scarce. I know now that they meant to expand on the subject through the Ashes of Ariandel DLC and it seems to me that now would be a good time to revisit Farron Keep. Some of these topics have been briefly mentioned in my Primordial Flame video, about Lothric, and they will receive a more in-depth explanation here. That video also explains my theory regarding the throne ritual at Firelink Shrine, which ties in with one particular aspect of these video, so feel free to watch that one as well if you haven’t already. I thought I’d start by talking about Hawkwood, but I’ll save that for a later date, where I’ll be talking about all of unkindled ones. Instead let’s start at the beginning with the creation of the Undead Legion. The most accepted theory was that the Legion was created to honor Artorias’ legacy and that the Old Wolf of Farron was a diminished form of the Great Grey Wolf Sif.
But I think some slight adjustments are in order. Artorias’ relation to the Undead Legion was inferred by the Wolf Knight Armor. “Armor of a knight tainted by the dark of the Abyss. A vanquished knight left behind only wolf’s blood, and legacy of duty. The Undead Legion of Farron was formed to bear his torch.” The armor and sword are undoubtedly Artorias’ but they make no reference to Artorias himself. That’s because even though they originally belonged to him, their most recent owner was the man known as Farron. The Wolf Knight’s Greatsword’s description, “The wolf knight was the first Abyss Watcher”, would be an indication of this, since the Abyss Watchers would’ve been created many ages after Artorias’ death. The legend of the Abyss Walker was kept alive by Alvina’s hunters and Elizabeth, whose body can be found in the keep, and Farron would’ve taken up the champion’s mantle. Elizabeth and the remaining mushroom people, by the way, I believe were eventually killed off by the rot spreading throughout the entire keep.
Now the wolf itself was understandably associated with Sif, given the Grey Wolf’s unique nature, being the only wolf to appear in a Souls game. But that would mean messing with the timelines and as I have stated before, I really hate messing with the timelines. Thankfully the DLC is packed with wolves, making Sif only one of an entire race. We hadn’t seen any simply because they live in a different land. Farron’s wolf companion was possibly the leader of the Watchdogs, given that they present their offerings to it. And whether Farron was a Watchdog himself or not, well, your guess is as good as mine. But I think it would make sense if he were. After all, the covenant’s original goal was to protect Artorias’ resting place, which enables Farron to acquire the armor and sword and after his passing it seems natural that they would form the Legion to carry out his duty, specially if he had been a Watchdog himself. And in the end, just like Artorias, he was eventually corrupted by the same darkness he had been fighting.
When you stare into the abyss, the abyss stares back at you. But I think there’s more to it. He’s grave can be found outside Firelink Shrine. They left a Legion greatsword on it and Hawkwood can be seen praying to it at a certain point of the main quest. This is also where you get the Wolf Knight Set from the Shrine Handmaid, in Dark Firelink Shrine, which is supposedly in the past. And here, upon his grave, you find the Hornet’s ring. For other fans the reference is obvious and quite frankly, very close to the heart. In Dark Souls One it belonged to Ciaran, the Lord’s Blade. One of Gwyn’s four knights and close friend of Artorias. And like Hawkwood, she was found praying to Artorias’ grave. This item is easily brushed aside as fan service. A call back to a distant past. But it makes no sense for it to be here.
Ciaran is never found or mentioned in Dark Souls Three and this isn’t Artorias’ grave, it’s Farron’s. But then you’d have to remember that the Lord’s Blades weren’t just Ciaran, they were a group of assassins who served the royalty of that time. And you’d also have to realize that just like the Dragonslayer Armor, Dark Souls Three’s Hornet Ring says only that it is associated with Ciaran, but not that it belonged to her. And now that other video becomes relevant, because in it I explain the connections that link Lothric’s Queen to Rosaria, the Serpents of Londor and the abyss. And to her, a being of the dark, Farron was a potential threat that she would definitely have to deal with. Should the Lord’s Blades still exist, they would most likely serve her, given her royal status and reputation and the fall of the house of Gwyn.
In fact another group that operates in the same manner as the Lord’s Blades exists in Dark Souls Three, the Black Hands who serve Lothric’s royalty. And sure enough Kriemhild, who is seen alongside one of them in the Grand Archives, invades you at Untended Graves. Is isn’t specified when the Black Hands were created, but I believe that around this time there was a transition from one group to the other. So the Queen of Lothric had Farron killed but the Legion was created in its stead. A far greater threat than Farron ever was. The Legion’s quest must’ve resonated with the people and others would come to join its ranks. Some became their acolytes, others became the Farron Followers.
To some, becoming an Abyss Watcher was a dream. A promise of purpose and fulfillment. They were strong enough to bury entire nations and could not be tackled head on by the queen. But measures were taken nonetheless. Their acolyte ranks were infiltrated by one of the Crystal Sages, from the Grand Archives. They were given the Sagess Coal and Scroll and they are both evidence of this betrayal. The coal enables crystal, blessed and deep infusions. That’s an odd sort indeed. Crystal infusions are easily attributed to their research into Logan’s legacy, and we all know how that turned out to poor Big Hat Logan in the end. Deep infusions are a grave sign of their true allegiance.
They are dark in nature and deep gems are said to be “Gems of infused titanite. Found in the dregs of the Cathedral of the Deep.” Current home of Rosaria. The blessed infusion is reminiscent of their past, since they are also called “the preacher twins”, and of Lothric’s Queen supposed benevolent nature. I would also point out that the coal’s description mentions its “white magic flame”, which can be associated with the sorceries employed by Rosaria’s man-grubs and Prince Lothric himself. The scroll contains the sorceries Great Farron Dart and Farron Hail, both refined from Farron Dart by a Crystal Sage.
And the scroll’s description sounds very ominous to me. “As any sorcerer knows, sorcery is a talent, and these sorceries were refined to nurture a very special talent.” The sorcerers of the Grand Archives have since learned how to prevent the madness that derives from the knowledge imparted by their research, but they would’ve used this same research to poison the minds of the acolytes. And it’s worth noting that the Crystal Sage isn’t in Farron Keep. He’s guarding the way to the Cathedral of the Deep. The Legion’s fate was also delivered through the guise of friendship. They were given the honor of becoming Lords of Cinder. They accepted, of course, allured by the victory their sacrifice would mean to the fight against the darkness and “swore upon their shared wolf’s blood” to uphold their new duty of assisting in Prince Lothric’s throne ritual.
The Legion was undone. Their acolytes would slowly degrade into their present forms. And the followers would be dragged into the Painting. When the bells tolled they returned to a decrepit and rotten keep. They too had been corrupted. By the influence of the Queen, the Crystal Sages and the darkness that lurked in the catacombs down below. They were bound by their own duty to put down their corrupted brothers. And so they did. One by one. Just to watch them rise again. And fight again. Until the Unkindled could put them to their final rest. That is the story of the brave Undead Legion. But the DLC gave me something else to think about, related to Farron and his Watchers.
More specifically, about the wolves who came to be associated with them. In our hubris we tend to see the world from our own perspective and our own perspective alone. In the world of Dark Souls, we are joined by the perspective of the Gods, as if we were somehow kindred to the divine. And in that hubris we tend to dismiss everything else as lesser than what we are. We fail to see animals and even plants as sentient beings of true substance. Filled with hopes, desires and dreams. Capable of fighting for what they believe in.
Alvina, the Rat King… Sif. I think the presence of the wolves in the painted world is no coincidence. I think they are also forlorn. I don’t know what struggles have brought them here, but I see them now under a strange and wholly new light. I think it helps to set our perspective back into place. To see that this world was not made for us. That we are just a piece of a grander scheme. It accentuates this worlds’ already crushing loneliness but at the same time it is somewhat comforting to know that the burden of despair is not ours alone to carry.
As found on Youtube