Part 21: Drangleic Castle
Finally, we are entering the castle that has been established as our goal at the beginning of the game. Then we forgot all about it for about 20 episodes. On to find Vendrick.
Let's wear the complete Drangleic set as we enter Drangleic Castle. We're even using the Drangleic Shield and the Drangleic Sword.
No Lore video just a brief little bit of stuff that could be very relevant or just coincidence (E: to clarify, this is supposed to be fuel for speculation, not confirmed lore). We don't know, really. I touched on the cycles of Dark Souls and Dark Souls II in all of the lore vids and a bit in this video. The cycles all have some things in common otherwise we would not be able to call them cycles in contest of Dark Souls Lore. So what do we have in common?
A ruler: Gwyn and Vendrick are those rulers. Eventually their land is plagued by...
A curse: The curse of undeath. Humans just refusing to die for real. This is something that begins happening whenever the Flame is fading. The Flame being the First Flame, the source of divine power and perhaps what gives humans intelligence.
A war against an ancient race: Dragons in the first game, Giants in the second. They are functionally the same as far as the lore of both games goes. Which isn't to say that dragons aren't a thing in Dark Souls II at all, after all there are Dragon Riders
Four ancient powerful beings whose souls we happen to need: we have a bit of overlap here, since Gwyn is both the ruler and an old one. his equivalent as far as old ones go is the Old Iron King, he may as well be possesed by Gwyn's Lord Soul. Other than that we have Nito and the Rotten, the Witch of Izalith and the Lost Sinner as well as Seath and what Shalquoir calls the Writhing Ruin (possibly actually Seath, as opposed to the others who are influenced or possessed by the original Lord Souls or what's left of them)
A queen: This is new actually. There is no queen in Dark Souls. Well, there had to be someone Gwyn made at least three babies with but is that person actually important? We don't know. What we do know is that the queen in Dark Souls II seems to be really important. As we learn more about her we may or may not be more likely to assume that Gwyn had a queen. But that's just some food for thought you might wanna munch on later. It could just as well be insignificant for all I know.
Forgive the low quality of the above picture, but my six year old cousin really wanted to contribute to the Let's Play so I told him to make a pic for the dual Dragonriders. Isn't it cute? Not as cute as making you fight two Dragonriders at the same time, though. I mean, it's definitely harder than the first Dragonrider fight, which is essentially a joke to any reasonably competent player. It's almost like they were supposed to be fought in a pair and they later decided to just slap that single one in as an early boss. But we as players don't know better of course. In either case, they didn't want to design a unique boss so they made you fight more of the same.
The fight plays out differently, of course. There's no death pit here, not even a removable one like with the first dragonrider. Instead we have one Dragonrider as we know and love him on the ground floor, and one with a greatbow above.
The latter Dragonrider may cause you some trouble of you're not used to paying attention to two targets, which you should be by now. The entire game has been training you for this. It's a question of dodging/moving at the right time so the arrows don't hit you. I find this phase of the fight easier to deal with myself. If you don't you can initiate the second phase early by running up to the second Dragonriders platform immediately, and make the first Dragonrider smash it. That way you'll have both Dragonriders on the same floor as you. As soon as that happens it's just like fighting two of whatever enemy only this enemy has huge range, so watch out for that. Though, as you can see in the video they are still easy enough for me to try stuff like poisoning them. Which I normally wouldn't try just like that when dealing with two big strong enemies. It's important to note, though, that the second Dragonrider has significantly less health and can be taken out really quickly if you do it right.
Even though I made fun of this boss with a shitty picture and a lame excuse for it (I have no cousin of that age, if you stalk for some reason me you'll know) and called it lazy (which it is) it's actually a decently enjoyable fight. I find it much more interesting, though, if I ignore that the first Dragonrider fight ever happened. Which... well... may have never happened depending on whether you fight him or make him jump to his death. I'm just sad that we get four Dragonrider weapons: The halberd, the shield, the bow and the twinblades. Now, wouldn't it be more fun if one of the two dragonriders actually used the twinblades? The other tree pieces are used by them, after all. Plus it would force you to pay attention to quick multi-hit attacks and slow-ish halberd swings. But eh, missed opportunity, I guess.
Oh well, we've already seen those.
Stone Soldier Spear
Spear of the castle stone soldiers.
Sir Velstadt could always be found at the King's side, and followed him upon his exit. The knights in his service waited patiently for his return, until they turned to stone.
Armor blessed by the war god Faraam.
This armor is designed in the style of the Lion Knights, a once-mighty order from Forossa. Although the Lion Knights wore heavy armor, they were feared for their nimble two-handed swordplay.
Note: We have not actually picked this up yet. It's behind one of the doors you need to kill someone nearby to unlock. Behind the one in the back on the left to be precise. There's a small side area I didn't show yet which holds this set among other things. Listing it now because I'll forget later. It's also the set of armor featured on promotional materials. In Demon's Souls it was the fluted set, in Dark Souls it was the Elite Knight set. Here it's this. I like the aesthetics of the Faraam set much less than those of the other game's poster armor sets.
Dark Souls II: A black bow designed for long distances. Difficult to handle at first, and requiring some amount of practice to master.
The hunting Goddess Evlana was no goddess at all, but rather a brave and highly skilled bow huntress. Long after her demise, the passing of lore transformed her into a deity.
Dark Souls: The preferred black bow of the heroic
archer Pharis. Has a longer range than standard bows, but is more difficult to use. Without proper abilities, results will be underwhelming.
Note: In Dark Souls it was called the Black Bow of Pharis. The bow's description isn't really interesting. The one of Pharis' hat is, though.
Pharis' Hat (Dark Souls only)
Broad-brimmed hat favored by the archer heroPharis.
Pharis was an accomplished archer, and though he was human, he ranked alongside Hawkeye Gough, one of the Four Knights of Lord Gwyn. His hat is universally popular among children.
Note: The person who drops both the bow and the hat is female. So Pharis may have been female rather than male. Perhaps it's a translation error of sorts. Maybe simply identified as male and was referred to as such. I dunno. Maybe whoever dropped them took them from Pharis, though.
Wrath of Gods (Sold by Wellager only on NG++ and on)
Dark Souls II: Miracle that releases local shockwave, staggering nearby foes and causing heavy damage.
Little is known about the origins of this miracle, except its shared roots with the Force spell. It makes mention of certain Gods, but alas, their actual names are long forgotten.
Dark Souls: Primal form of Force. Create powerful shockwave.
Wrath of the Gods was an epic tale that tattered over time and devolved into the modern Force. This primal form of Force emits a shockwave that also inflicts damage.
Note: Is also a reward for reaching Rank 2 in the Blue Sentinels covenant. Which will require a whopping 150 kills.
Bountiful Sunlight (Sold by Wellager only on NG++ and on)
Dark Souls II: A special miracle passed down through the ages, Slowly heals a great amount of HP of self and nearby allies.
This miracle, once kept by the Lindelt Monastery, was stolen and never recovered.
Dark Souls: Special miracle granted to the maidens of Gwynevere, Princess of the Sun. Gradual HP restoration for self and vicinity.
The miracles of Gwynevere, the princess cherished by all, grant their blessing to a great many warriors.
Note: Gwynevere is one of Gwyn's children. What we see of her in Dark Souls is only an illusion set up by Gwyndolin. Who was his brother or her sister depending on who you ask (born male, raised female). Gwynevere did get married to a flame god called Flann and as far as we know they lived happily ever after. It's also one of the rewards for the Blue Sentinel's covenant. It requires 500 kills. Yes. That much.
Great Chaos Fireball (Sold by Wellager only on NG++ and on)
Dark Souls II:The Chaos Flame is said to have devoured the mother of pyromancy. Create a chaos flame, and hurl it at foes.
This special flame creates a short-lived surge of molten lava wherever it lands.
Dark Souls: Art of the Flame of Chaos, which engulfed the Witch of Izalith and her daughters. Hurl giant chaos fireball.
The Flames of Chaos can melt stone, producing a short-lived lava glob.
Note: Reward for 500 fucking kills in the Brotherhood of Blood.
The other items Wellager only sells on NG++ and on are the Crescent Sickle, the Curved Twinblade and the Spirit Tree Shield, but none of those actually contain significant Lore. And oh, you know how you can use Bonfire Ascetics to access some of the NG+ or NG how ever many plusses content? These extra items are one of the few cases where this doesn't work. You actually need to be in NG++ rather than Bonfire Intensity 3.