Linking Internal and External Lore: Norse, Arthurian, and Etymology in Dark Souls

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    Re: Linking Internal and External Lore: Norse, Arthurian, and Etymology in Dark Souls

    Post by skarekrow13 on Mon Jul 02, 2012 11:44 pm

    Tolvo you've been holding out. Great stuff. That's an area I'm completely lost on and that's good info generally speaking as well as in game.

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    Re: Linking Internal and External Lore: Norse, Arthurian, and Etymology in Dark Souls

    Post by Tolvo on Mon Jul 02, 2012 11:54 pm

    Just wait till I get to discussing the Jinn. I'm talking about it with Dough right now.

    Jinn are beings born of fire, that live in darkness. Their name means to be hidden, to be concealed in roots, enveloped in darkness, or to live in a womb. These beings often take the form of animals, but also humans. They can either be used by a human to do chores and aid them, or they can be malevolant and take from humans for their own gain. To them time is distorted, so they can exist at any time and none, as they cannot fully control it. But they can travel to the time of others should they choose to. They are also warded off by pendants.

    It's a bit scary how much it hits the nail on the head with Phantoms in game, Wraiths, summons, etc.

    Ifrit as well.

    Demons of fire hidden underground in ruins that are often wicked and violent. They can be male or female, and are immune to flame but weak to magic.

    I'm scared.
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    Re: Linking Internal and External Lore: Norse, Arthurian, and Etymology in Dark Souls

    Post by skarekrow13 on Tue Jul 03, 2012 12:08 am

    I'm more familiar with those. Always seemed like standard demonology to me. There's a lot of similarity to western belief on evil spirits. I'm not arguing they fit because they do perfectly but so would a lot of other demon lore. The roots connection is pretty interesting however. That's not a typical western belief. The rest is similar to a lot of Merlin style musings i've heard. Particularly the summon for chores but keep a close eye on your immortal soul bit.

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    Re: Linking Internal and External Lore: Norse, Arthurian, and Etymology in Dark Souls

    Post by DoughGuy on Tue Jul 03, 2012 12:10 am

    Skare you have no idea how well arabic myth represents the dark souls world. Its just not funny.


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    Re: Linking Internal and External Lore: Norse, Arthurian, and Etymology in Dark Souls

    Post by Tolvo on Tue Jul 03, 2012 12:16 am

    By the way, here is the definition of a Jinn.

    A spirit that exists in a parallel world that crosses with our own, they cross through distortions in time. They are either malevolent or benevolent typically, and shape shift often into animals or humans. They are born of a smokeless flame and are often under the servitude of another, mostly Iblis(Satan).

    Jinn are one of three creations of Allah, Angels, Jinn, then Humans. Jinn often seek to take the souls of humans or take their forms.

    Plus there are Ghouls. Special Jinn that are especially close to Iblis. Ghouls are beings that love to devour humans and take their forms, they often work with lesser Jinn summoning them to defeat others for them or lay traps. While Iblis has no true danger alone, it is his Ghouls and Jinn that are a threat, as well as his whispers and words. For as he was once a Jinn, born of the Purest flame literally spawned from it. He has fallen from the grace of Allah, once acting as a Lord of his. Ghouls are also known as servants of Iblis, or lords of his. They xist in tombs and crypts, and graveyards. So, they can be considered Gravelords.

    I don't know how much more my brain can take this.
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    Re: Linking Internal and External Lore: Norse, Arthurian, and Etymology in Dark Souls

    Post by DoughGuy on Tue Jul 03, 2012 12:18 am

    Dont forget Ifrit are born of "wicked" fire.
    Also I think Angels are things like the bat and crow demons and mimics. Humans changed by the gods.


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    Re: Linking Internal and External Lore: Norse, Arthurian, and Etymology in Dark Souls

    Post by skarekrow13 on Tue Jul 03, 2012 12:26 am

    Like I said, familiar pretty well with breasts and spirits from there and there's many similar or near identical to other regions with many parallels to western evils. Gotta remember that many western beasties originated from their tales big grin

    In other words I think I worded my last post poorly. I think a lot of it will match up near perfect. I just meant that the demonology aspect probably won't make me gasp anytime soon. The theology part I'm more ignorant on. Keep adding because I'm willing to bet that you're going to find a lot of specific info on baddies that will be awesome here. The only hesitation I would say is that, regarding the invasion mechanics of evil spirits you'll find a lot if parallels I think with in game. The only difference is that in game invasions are less varied and primarily humans and their worlds overlapping whereas evil spirits are often so varied as to be near unique to creature type.


    I also have to give credit where credit is due to you guys. This is a region I hadn't even thought about yet. A great resource one of us might want to dig up is the first edition AS&D monster manual and Deities and Demigods. Gygax and his team did a great job with fact checks surprisingly. While nowhere near perfect, both would be a good quick guide to the world

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    Re: Linking Internal and External Lore: Norse, Arthurian, and Etymology in Dark Souls

    Post by DoughGuy on Tue Jul 03, 2012 12:29 am

    Thanks Tolvo for most of it. Im just his audience. I'll try to copy paste it later. Or you can get on skype so i can invite yuo to the chat!


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    Re: Linking Internal and External Lore: Norse, Arthurian, and Etymology in Dark Souls

    Post by skarekrow13 on Tue Jul 03, 2012 12:30 am

    You ninja'd me. Was thinking Gravelord phantoms were the exception to one of my statements. They're very similar to summoned malevolent spirits in a variety of mythos

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    Re: Linking Internal and External Lore: Norse, Arthurian, and Etymology in Dark Souls

    Post by skarekrow13 on Tue Jul 03, 2012 12:32 am

    Count me in. Jumping on with the vita

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    Re: Linking Internal and External Lore: Norse, Arthurian, and Etymology in Dark Souls

    Post by DoughGuy on Tue Jul 03, 2012 12:32 am

    i think its Ibris who can only deceive, and can do nothing himself. So the gravelords are his servants, who summon Jinn to do his bidding.


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    Re: Linking Internal and External Lore: Norse, Arthurian, and Etymology in Dark Souls

    Post by Tolvo on Thu Jul 05, 2012 8:19 pm

    So two minor things, the round shields. The Warriors', and the Caduceus. Both of these shields carry a symbol on them, one the Caduceus, the other a Labryss. Now the Caduceus is currently used for the purpose of medicine and knowledge. However it's origin is believed to be in relation to messengers of gods. Note, the Caduceus is normally two serpents twisting around a staff but in game it resembles a sword more so, at the cross guard. As well the serpents have an appendage coming from their faces, yet they are thick and bulbous unlike a serpent's tongue. More so like the fleshy mustaches that the primordial serpents have. This version is on the Kite shield however, while on the round shield their features are different. It is a single serpent with two heads on the round shield.

    Now then the normal round shield carries a Labrys, a two headed axe. In more modern contexts it represents power, however there are a few other earlier symbols. One, it represents the power and lightning of gods, specifically Zeus. Two, it represents femininity in a butterfly. Three, it represents femininity in a waning and waxing moon. The axes were often carried by female priests, though there were larger versions for sacrifices as well. These sacrifices were typically of animals, especially bulls. As well the word originates with the term Labyrinth, so the two are related. The Labyrinth guarded by the Minotaur, it is sometimes associated with the slaying of them. It is associated as such with slaying bipedal bull creatures that are abominations. This shield can be bought from the Undead Merchan in the burg, a bit before the taurus demon.

    Just thought I'd mention these minor things.
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    Re: Linking Internal and External Lore: Norse, Arthurian, and Etymology in Dark Souls

    Post by skarekrow13 on Thu Jul 05, 2012 9:27 pm

    Good stuff Tolvo. And nothing is minor to us. Lore is crack

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    Re: Linking Internal and External Lore: Norse, Arthurian, and Etymology in Dark Souls

    Post by Tolvo on Fri Jul 06, 2012 5:42 am

    ....

    Alright, so I was looking up some more shield things. The East-West shield. So, it was a symbol of the holy roman empire. That part seems a bit simple, dominance in the east and west...Then I noticed something a bit interesting.

    Alright, so ancient Sumaria. See, there it was the symbol of a god named Ninurta, he was the part of a trinity and sometimes the main worshipped god. Ninurta as he is mainly known, as the names get a bit confusing. Ninurta is the son of a trinity that is worshipped, the ruling father Enlil, the missing mother Ninlil, and the God of War Ninurta. Now, Enlil is a being of order and rule, as well he is known for building his cities on mountains and for owning an ancient city of the gods. He is considered a being of tallness and power, though a dark history. He had given birth to a child once, the aspect of death. This aspect of death was seen as a bit of an abomination, a being that could challenge the gods and held a power they didn't understand. Now then, while in the land of the gods he raped Enlil, then was banished. He fled to the underworld where she followed to and gave birth to his first child. Ninurta, the God of War. The god of war inherited some aspects of the sun from his father, as Enlil was a solar deity partially. Now then, he bred with her and they made three more children. One a scribe, another a being associated with water. Then there was the male god of the moon, associated with wisdom. This god is Nanna. Now then, Ninurta the god of war was a being of great might that preferred to use his physical form instead of his godly powers. In myth he followed his father. He is also associated with Marduk, a very similar god named the "Solar Calf." Now then, this god is noted for being extremely powerful. However, he fell out of favor and worship of him dwindled greatly after he failed while trying to defend the Tablets of Destiny, a set of tablets that contained all of history and the future. Because of this he was semi-banished, and had his deity status revoked in some myth. As well there are various ideas of how this went down. In some myths a bull demon had stolen it, and he had to go on an adventure to retrieve them. Doing such things as slaying certain beings such as a dragon, and a seven headed serpent. Or finding the creature that stole the tablets and returning them, Zu. Sometimes a massive bird, or a Manticore. I'm looking more into this, but it is very weird. Very very weird, and little information is there.

    But let met say it like this. Ninurta is a deity that inherited the sunlight from his father, and has three direct sibblings one of which is a male moon god of wisdom. He has a sister, then another brother. He also has a sibbling of another mother that has the power to challenge the gods due to their strange nature, and they are hidden. Ninurta was disowned for losing the tablets of fate to some sort of being or group of beings, and is trying to regain his previous status through an adventure fighting demons, dragons, and other strange creatures.
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    Re: Linking Internal and External Lore: Norse, Arthurian, and Etymology in Dark Souls

    Post by DoughGuy on Fri Jul 06, 2012 5:49 am

    So your saying the od of a soalr deity, who is a god of war, lost some annals and had his godhood revoked? And now he adventures strange lands fighting all types of demons, drakes and other odd things? he doesnt happen to have a group of warriors who worship him he looks over does he?


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    Re: Linking Internal and External Lore: Norse, Arthurian, and Etymology in Dark Souls

    Post by Tolvo on Fri Jul 06, 2012 5:50 am

    Actually yes there was a cult of warriors who worshiped him. But most just worshipped him on a larger scale then as actual warriors. It was more so if you were a soldier, you looked towards him for favor.
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    Re: Linking Internal and External Lore: Norse, Arthurian, and Etymology in Dark Souls

    Post by DoughGuy on Fri Jul 06, 2012 5:53 am

    So he did have warriors who worshipped him, and soliers also prayed to him to look over them? Why does everything line up so nicely? And why do you know so much about Sumarian mythology now? I tried to get into once (for the conduit) but couldn stick to it.


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    Re: Linking Internal and External Lore: Norse, Arthurian, and Etymology in Dark Souls

    Post by Tolvo on Fri Jul 06, 2012 5:56 am

    Because I have the internet haha. I haven't studied them as much, so I can only give a bit of information, but there are also some things that don't stick. Ninurta was incredibly loyal to his father and the other gods, while the God of War in Dark Souls is a bit of a rebel, extinguishing the flame. As well there are some minor things, but still, that is a big coincidence. The god of war trinity thing didn't seem too suspicious to me, but his biggest story being about his losing of his deity status after losing a record, that really set off the alarm bells.
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    Re: Linking Internal and External Lore: Norse, Arthurian, and Etymology in Dark Souls

    Post by skarekrow13 on Fri Jul 06, 2012 9:35 am

    Apart from Conan the Barbarian comics I know next to nothing about this lore. Great stuff Tolvo. This one seems very familiar indeed!

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    Re: Linking Internal and External Lore: Norse, Arthurian, and Etymology in Dark Souls

    Post by Shkar on Thu Aug 02, 2012 3:15 am

    As many of us know, a book has been found in the Duke's Archives that has somewhat legible English text on it. The wording appears to be "Playfail's "______" family Antiquity Vol IX".

    That being said, there is a real world book by William Playfair known as "Playfair's British Family Antiquity", which has nine (IX) volumes.


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    Re: Linking Internal and External Lore: Norse, Arthurian, and Etymology in Dark Souls

    Post by DoughGuy on Thu Aug 02, 2012 6:28 am

    Can anyone acquire a copy of said book?


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    Re: Linking Internal and External Lore: Norse, Arthurian, and Etymology in Dark Souls

    Post by Tolvo on Thu Aug 02, 2012 6:29 am

    I highly doubt it, but there might be sources online for it.
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    Re: Linking Internal and External Lore: Norse, Arthurian, and Etymology in Dark Souls

    Post by RNsunbro on Thu Aug 02, 2012 9:38 am

    The book seems pretty rare. Basically, I'm not finding any excerpts from it online.
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    Re: Linking Internal and External Lore: Norse, Arthurian, and Etymology in Dark Souls

    Post by SEANB240 on Mon Aug 13, 2012 5:56 pm

    I accidentally posted this in Acid's thread earlier, but here goes nothing.

    I found some interesting things today whilst foraging around on Wikipedia regarding Arthurian lore. The Welsh version, to be precise. None of this is probably related, but it could be. I'm on painkillers so bear with me.

    Some Welsh and Breton tales and poems relating the story of Arthur date from earlier than this work; in these works, Arthur appears either as a great warrior defending Britain from human and supernatural enemies or as a magical figure of folklore, sometimes associated with the Welsh Otherworld, Annwn.

    Welsh Otherworld, hmm...

    Ruled by Arawn, or much later by Gwyn ap Nudd, it was essentially a world of delights and eternal youth where disease is absent and food is ever-abundant.

    Sounds like a nice place.

    The similarly mythological epic poem Cad Goddeu describes a battle between Gwynedd and the forces of Annwn, lead again by Arawn.

    The denizens of Annwn are depicted as bizarre and hellish creatures; these include a "wide-mawed" beast with a hundred heads and bearing a host beneath the root of its tongue and another under its neck, a hundred-clawed black-groined toad, and a "mottled ridged serpent, with a thousand souls, by their sins, tortured in the holds of its flesh"

    Oh wait, no it doesn't.

    Gwydion, the Venedotian hero and magician successfully defeats Arawn's army; first by enchanting the trees to rise up and fight, and secondly by guessing the name of the enemy hero Bran, thus winning the battle.

    More on him in a minute.

    In Culhwch and Olwen, an early Welsh Arthurian tale, it is said God gave Gwyn ap Nudd control over the demons lest "this world be destroyed." Tradition revolves around Gwyn leading his spectral rouds, the Cwn Annwn ("Hounds of Annwn") on his hunt for mortal souls.

    Neat. As far as I know there aren't any Gywns in the usual Arthurian stories, so maybe this is where they got the name from. So this other guy, Gwydion, was a magician and trickster, apparently, but in other stories...

    Lloyd Alexander's Chronicles of Prydain, a series of fantasy novels inspired by Welsh myths, features a character named Gwydion, based somewhat on the Gwydion of myth, but markedly different in terms of moral character... In the books, Prince Gwydion is an expert tracker, forester and warrior. As a member of the Royal House of Don, he often wears a pendant depicting a simple golden disk meant to represent the sun.

    Interesting, but probably nothing. I'm just throwing this stuff out here for food for thought.

    Some more interesting tidbits related to Arthurian lore:



    Twrch Trwyth is an enchanted wild boar in Arthurian legend, which King Arthur or his men pursued with the aid of Arthur's dog Cavall or Cafall (Latin: Cabal).

    Picture looks familiar, maybe it could have served as inspiration.


    Last but not least, the myth of the sunken city of Lyonesse:


    Alfred, Lord Tennyson's Arthurian epic Idylls of the King, describes Lyonesse as the site of the final battle between Arthur and Mordred. One passage in particular references legends of Lyonesse as a land fated to sink beneath the ocean:


    Then rose the King and moved his host by night
    And ever pushed Sir Mordred, league by league,
    Back to the sunset bound of Lyonesse--
    A land of old upheaven from the abyss
    By fire, to sink into the abyss again;
    Where fragments of forgotten peoples dwelt,
    And the long mountains ended in a coast
    Of ever-shifting sand, and far away

    The phantom circle of a moaning sea.

    I know all of this is really reaching for straws, but hey, its interesting stuff either way.

    Sources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Annwn
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twrch_Trwyth
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lyonesse
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gwydion

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    Re: Linking Internal and External Lore: Norse, Arthurian, and Etymology in Dark Souls

    Post by skarekrow13 on Mon Aug 13, 2012 7:40 pm

    Awesome stuff, exactly what ths thread is about. The Gwyn and Gwydion (particularly the magic trickster one) sound pretty familiar and that boar is awesome


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