Part 31: - Grand Archives Part 1
Seath, the Scaleless
We didn't really get much of a chance to talk about the original Lords yet. They were Gwyn - Lord of Sunlight, Nito - First of the Dead, The Witch of Izalith and Seath - The Scaleless Dragon. Let's talk about him because he's the most relevant to this episode. I talk about him in the video too but I might be able to add a little more here. But first let me get one thing out of the way: I don't think that The Grand Archives and The Duke's Archives are the same location.
Anyway, Seath was an Ancient Dragon born without what made the Dragons immortal: Their scales. Now, what immortality means exactly is not clear but it's very likely that they were merely impervious to attacks due to their scales and would otherwise live forever. As we all know Gwyn, Nito and the Witch of Izalith eventually decided to commit genocide and kill all the Dragons for reasons that I'm sure sounded like a good idea at the time. But Seath, for I assume similarly compelling reasons, sided with the Warriors of Light and helped kill the Dragons.
The Big Boss Man Gwyn thanked Seath by giving him a place to hang out and do his thing as well as a fragment of his Lord Soul (Another fragment went to the Four Kings).
Seath spent the rest of his days doing research to get the one thing that he was denied from birth: Immortality. But not a half-assed "Oooh, you can't poke me" Immortality. He wanted the real deal. His research consisted of kidnapping undead as well as other living things, which he transformed into other beings, stuck crystals into them and he also stitched people together with snakes. His choice of victims kind of makes sense. Undead are technically immortal and Serpents are imperfect dragons in the lore of the game, which means they might have some link to their more "perfect" brethren. As for the weird crystal stuff? Well, he eventually did use a primordial crystal to achieve a kind of makeshift immortality that only lasted as long as the crystal.
Seath's research eventually drove him mad. When he went insane is not mentioned. It could be before he did the things described above, could be after. I don't think it matters, really. But Seath, of course, documented all his findings and eventually a sorcerer, Big Hat Logan, set his mind to finding Seath's Archives. And when he did find them and studied seath's extensive notes, Logan went insane as well. He decided to be more like Seath he had to strip himself of all clothes, to mirror Seath's scalelessness. He is, I believe, the only Dark Souls NPC that doesn't go hollow and attack you, but actually goes mad and attacks you.
The last we see of Seath in Dark Souls is us killing him to get his Lord Soul shard. But this is not necessarily the end of the story.
While Dark Souls II tried to be more of a thing of its own and could very well have worked as a new Franchise otherwise it did include the Four Lords one way or another. Each of the four Old Ones drop an additional Soul on New Game+. The Duke's Dearest Freja drops the Paledrake Soul, which is most likely Seath's Soul. Seath does not physically appear in Dark Souls II but it's implied that he somehow still has the power to influence people from beyond the grave, which might mean he actually did achieve immortality of the soul. But that is really just speculation. Dark Souls II is incredibly vague with its lore. Moreso than the rest of the series.