Ash Lake and the Kiln of the First Flame

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    Ash Lake and the Kiln of the First Flame

    Post by Ghadis_God on Fri Jun 15, 2012 3:48 pm

    I'd like to propose some theories about Ash lake. Though it seems straightforward, I think there are still unanswered questions about this location.

    For example, we all know that this is where Gwyn and the lords fought the Dragons, right? If that's so, why is it now buried underground, below even the depth of Lost Izalith and the Tomb of the Giants? You can clearly see Lost Izalith from the Tomb, suggesting that they are on the same level depth-wise, but in the Area where Leeroy invades you, you can see that there is a steep fall into the waters of Ash Lake. Furthermore, we, the player, can't go any deeper nor see anything else from Ash Lake. It simply goes on into eternity, unchanging.

    When Gwyn, however, fights the Dragons in the opening scene, it's pretty obvious, though, that there is a sky and clouds above the Archtrees. This leaves two possibilities.

    1) The archtrees once extended to the surface and up into the sky. Ash lake was always the "bottom" of the world, and where the trees were rooted. After the War, which took place on the surface, Gwyn and the other lords destroyed or uprooted the trees on the surface to make it habitable by men and other subjugate races. This suggests that Ash lake was the cavern below, where the First Flame started to burn, and where the souls of lords were obtained. The First Flame burning intensely was what made the cavern into "Ash Lake", and what exposed the roots of the other archtrees. The flame literally created Ash lake, and carved out that subterranean landscape.

    2) What is now Ash Lake is not only where the battle first took place, but it was once the surface of the world. If you've ever wondered why it's called the "Kiln" of the first flame, well, it's because the First Flame was used by Gwyn, or possibly Allfather Lloyd, to create the new, and varied, surface world, like firing clay in a kiln. This new world was then placed on the top of the ash lake, the archtrees acting as support beams for the new surface. This effort cost the Flame its heat and life, explaining why Gwyn had to go back to the Kiln to "link the fire", relighting it to stave off the curse of the undead, and why the Witch attempted to recreate it with her pyromancy (which kind of ended badly). Since the flame is the disparity between life and death, undeath becomes more prevalent as it fails. After Gwyn linked the fire the first time, it has once again begun to fail, which is why an undead was chosen to succeed Gwyn and once again relight the flame.

    I believe in #2, personally. It gives Gwyn more authority as a godly power and explains the difference between the world we see in the opening cinematic and the one we play in. The first Flame being literally used to create the world the player lives in explains quite a bit. Furthermore, we see from the Kiln itself that it looks incredibly heavily used, from the copious piles of ash everywhere, to the melted stone facing, as if blasted, away from the center of the kiln. The fact that Gwyn made a "final journey" to the Kiln, as described in his item descriptions, means that he had been there many times, suggesting that he had made constant use of the flame, and that he had to sacrifice himself to relight the flame.

    So what do you think? Any ideas about Ash lake or the creation of the world?


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    Re: Ash Lake and the Kiln of the First Flame

    Post by Federally on Sat Jun 16, 2012 3:54 am

    First off +1 for the avatar, brings back glorious memories of Oblivion.

    I generally enjoyed your musings though in regards to theory two I disagree with one important part. You say Gwyn was fighting against the curse of the undead while I think he was responsible for the curse of the undead. You seem to feel Gwyn was working to free the subjugated but I think Gwyn simply was a new master. He didn't free anything, he simply replaced the dragons and uses the curse of the undead to subjugate humanity. If anyone is trying to free humanity its Kaathe and the Darkwraiths.


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    Re: Ash Lake and the Kiln of the First Flame

    Post by Ghadis_God on Sat Jun 16, 2012 11:55 am

    I do believe that Gwyn wants to control humanity, but i think he does believe that it's in humanity's best interest. I don't think the curse is anyone's specific doing, it's a result of the fading of the flame. The opening narration says that with the first flame came the disparity between life and death, among other things, so it would make sense that linking the fire as Gwyn did would stave off undeath, while letting it fade would blur the line between life and death. Kaathe and the Darkwraiths do want to free humanity, but they believe, I think, that undeath is freedom and the power to fight the gods.


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