Part 32: - Grand Archives Part 2
Ludleth, the Exiled
Over the course of the game Ludleth has a some rare dialogue he only speaks under specific conditions, I was not able to show all of Ludleth's dialogue because I was not willing to kill Ludleth. But we sure can discuss it here. Since Ludleth, much like ourselves, appears to be undead he can die over and over and still come back. All the non-death dialogue we've already seen, but it can help understand the meaning of it better. If you kill him and start talking to him after reloading the area he says the following:
"Ahh, it singeth, to the bone, it hurts... Please, help me. Be done with me... No, gods, no, I cannot bear it... It burns, burns, help me...
Ah, beg pardon. I must have dozed a while. So, happened upon any twisted souls?"
A common theory for that dialogue is that he's remembering or dreaming of his experience of linking the flame, some others speculate that he is still feeling pain from us killing him. However, if we assume the former it gives is dialogue after finding the Eyes of the Firekeeper more meaning
"Ahh. Found her, did we? And the black eyes that shimmer within, I see? Tis as if it were but yesterday. We did all we could to spare her from them. Much has happened since. Mayhap I should apprise thee... Of what the thin light of these eyes might reveal to the eyeless Firekeeper. Scenes of betrayal, things never intended for her ken, visions of... this age's end...
The eyes show a world destitute of fire, a barren plane of endless darkness. A place born of betrayal. So I will'd myself Lord, to link the fire, to paint a new vision. What is thine intent?"
it implies that he would rather burn alive to be fuel for a flame than live in a world without fire. Since he "will'd himself" to become a Lord of Cinder there's a non-zero chance that he wasn't supposed to be a Lord originally, but rose up to it anyway, possibly as a last resort. The dialogue we get after actually giving the eyes to the Firekeeper doesn't confirm this, but it supports the theory.
"I took the mantle of Lord of Cinder of mine own volition. I speak these words with pride. Choose thy fate alone. Seize it with thine own hands. All the more, should thy fate entail such foul betrayal."
So, if we kill him after defeating the Dragonslayer Armor his post-death dialogue changes a bit.
"See ye not? I am a lord... A wee flame, belike, but I shoulder the world... Forgive me. Oh please... I am not to blame. I'm not"
I wonder what the significance of it triggering after the Dragonslayer Armor is defeated is. Maybe he's related to the Armor somehow? Maybe he was its user? Perhaps a friend? Could be nothing for all we know. Could just be a continuation of the previous revival dialogue. If the latter is the case that we can make some assumptions about what he feels guilty of. Maybe he was the one who gave the eyes to the Firekeeper originally and later regretted it so much he linked the fire after all. Then again, his previously quoted dialogue also mentions that they did all they could to spare the Firekeeper from the eyes.
Of course, Ludleth has more dialogue still, but we'll see that. I just really wanted to bring up the dialogue you get once he revives after being killed. Especially after it's been talked about in the thread.
In any case, Ludleth is a very interesting character and a pretty good example of Dark Souls-style storytelling. Giving us just enough to go wild with speculation, but too little to really confirm anything.