What is the part holding the sword called? it looks like an oversized humanoid right
arm, coated in armor.
Unless there's proof that Artorias is left handed, he is not using the sword in his offhand.
He has quite low poise, for his size+ring, which he may have lost, or traded for the covenant of artorias ring. (makes sense as his old ring symbolized a will of steel, and the abyss symbolizes succumbing to the temptation of power, supressing that will and pride).
Most notably, he lacks his shield, and left hand, -which could also have been used to hold the sword- in what could be his last rational move, to protect his companion.
But he somewhat makes up for it with an increase in power, and, his left arm being the most corroded probably means it is imbued with stronger dark magic, demonstrated when you circle him and have him throw bits of abyss at you.
I also think the abyss completely took over him when he saw you, after killing the bloathead.
The cut dialogue, lack of smoke emanating from him, and his apparent hesitation hints that he was about to say something before going apeshit, and deciding to throw what was on the far end of his sword at you instead.
My best guess is that he switched to a more offensive style, sacrificed defence, and lost his mind, which could be his only real disadvantage despite the looks. His speed is increased, his attack power is increased, and he is still able to dodge.
Last edited by Hue on Tue Sep 10, 2013 4:18 pm; edited 1 time in total