Dark Souls 2 Lore: Nashandra The Prisoner of Desire

Dark Souls 2 Lore: Nashandra The Prisoner of Desire


Long ago, before Drangleic; before the reign
of King Vendrick, there was a kingdom of light in a long forgotten land.
Agdayne: “The former King of Light…He feared humans. Feared that they would usher in an
age of dark.” In fear of the Age of Dark, this King of Light
sacrificed much. In his fear of humans and their Dark Soul, the King of Light sought
to put an end to the Dark. But in the King’s ignorance Nashandra was born; born through
death. After the Old One of the Abyss was destroyed
its essence burst into countless fading soul fragments.
One fragment was small, but in spite of its size this particular soul shard was something
the Father of the Abyss held dearer than life; a nostalgic memory, a soul memory of his beloved
Dusk. This memory alone created the desire to live; for the curse of life, is the curse
of want. In the timeless dark, the minuscule fragment lusted for everything it was not;
strength, power, permanence. And so, over a boundless void in time, the fragment would
take human shape; resembling that which the Old One of the Abyss cherished most.
After manifesting into a physical form, Nashandra was born. Her lust, her desire, her want for
power led Nashandra to the land of Drangleic; led her to the arms of a king; into the arms
of power. Felkin: “I was drawn to this land, where Dark
runs deeper than anywhere else. Those who discover Dark…realise this…
And…they never come back.” Chancellor Wellager: “Our King has watched
over this land since ages long, long ago.” Young Vendrick was once a mighty warrior who
vanquished the Four Great Ones and built Drangleic upon their souls, becoming a ruler of great
strength. The only creature able to lower Vendrick’s impregnable defense was Nashandra.
He revered her beauty with an affectionate exaltation and made her his Queen. But, the
authority granted by sovereignty would not satiate Nashandra’s lust for power, Nahsandra
would have more and Vendrick was the key to such powers. For King Vendrick had learned
of a curse, not just of the undead turning hollow, but of a perpetual cycle of light
and dark consuming the world eternally for eons. Vendrick became obsessed with breaking
the curse, and Nashandra saw an opportunity in this obsession. Desire for even greater
strength, and knowing the length to which Vendrick would protect his kingdom, Queen
Nashandra whispered words of despair into the king’s ear.
Chancellor Wellager: “She warned our Lord of the looming threat across the seas…of
the Giants. The King crossed the ocean… with the Queen
at his side, And defeated the Giants. The King commandeered their power… And created
the Golems. To celebrate victory… And to show his love, his gratitude to his Queen…
the king created this castle.” As Nashandra predicted, Vendrick was able
to defeat the Giants and make their power his own; a power used to construct a monument
to their great strength. What she did not predict was that with Vendrick’s
newfound power from the Giants and in his pursuit to break the curse, he would eventually
learn to create souls; even gain the ability to peer into the essence of the soul. And
when peering into Nashandra’s soul, Vendrick saw only darkness.
As Vendrick gazed into her soul he witnessed Nashandra’s true intentions; her insatiable
lust for power. Vendrick understood that Nashandra coveted the first flame; desired to seize
the ultimate power; to control the fate of all souls, all kingdoms, all light, all dark;
to control the cycle of the fate and time. She desires to sit upon the true throne of
kings. With this revelation, and all of Vendrick’s
attempts to cozen fate proving futile, he sees no alternative but to create a gauntlet
of trials; trials impossible for a creature of Death and Dark such as Nashandra to circumvent.
Nashandra knew Vendrick would go to great lengths to protect his kingdom; to break the
shackles of their cursed fate, but she never thought the fool would throw away such omnipotent
strength. After Vendrick retreats to the bowels of the
Undead Crypt, Nashandra resides over Drangleic, a land seeped in dark. She waits tirelessly,
unable to leave the decrepit kingdom. For the thought of sitting on the true throne
is unbearable. So Nashandra waits, a prisoner of her own desire.
Chancellor Wellager: “The Queen…Brought peace… to this land, and to her King. A
peace so deep…it was like… The Dark…” Much time has passed, Vendrick has since been
reduced to a mere shell of his former self. Many potential monarchs have risen, but all
have fallen. Nashandra continues to wait for a new monarch; for a pawn to overcome Vendrick’s
trials. Her efforts seem in vain. That was, until an undead appeared in Drangleic; seemingly
from nowhere, almost as though this cursed creature was pulled through time itself, or
a fissure between worlds. It matters not where the cursed creature originated from.
In time, this Cursed Undead stands at the gates of Drangleic castle… without really
knowing why. Nashandra; gazing upon the pitiful Undead, hoping to give the cursed being purpose;
her purpose. Nashandra: “You have fought admirably on your
journey, cursed Undead. I am Nashandra, Queen of Drangleic.
The last king of this land, He was less of a king than you might imagine.
He found the strength to rule his people, but in the end, he never took the true throne.”
Nashandra believes the Cursed Undead to be feeble; a husk living an existence as frail
as their ailing mind; broken and fading into nothingness. The weak Undead exist for only
one purpose; to serve her desire. And so, Nashandra sets the Cursed Undead on the path;
the path of Want. Nashandra: “Brave Undead, perhaps you are
the true monarch. Visit Vendrick. We have no need for two rulers…
Follow the symbol of the monarch, and do what must be done. For this is your true purpose.
Brave Undead, what did that dragon tell you? That thing is a prop, a false deity. Don’t
be fooled, my Undead. Only one may rule, and that one may well be
you, surely you have it in you. Seek the forest, you, where those wretched
Giants slumber.” With all of Vendrick’s trials bested only
one obstacle remains… the defenders who watch over the true throne of power.
Nashandra: “Brave Undead, seek the throne.” The irony it seems is that Nashandra was once
but a minuscule fragment clinging to existence and, in her most basic and primordial essence,
is derived from that which gave all mankind their humanity. But her fatal flaw was underestimating
the strength of that humanity; the very will itself that allowed her to achieve the strength
she has and desires. Nashandra believes the Undead to be weak, a minuscule fragment in
the flow of the universe whose only purpose is to be subservient; kneeling to her power;
to the dark. Nashandra: “Brave Undead, you have proven
yourself to me. Now, be one, with the Dark…”
Ultimately her powerlust would be her undoing. By coaxing the Brave Undead to perform her
bidding, she allowed the Cursed to gather a myriad of souls; becoming more powerful
than even Nashandra could comprehend. And so, in her hubris; in her obsession, Nashandra
returned to the dust from whence she came. Like her father before her, reduced to a memory.
Returned to the Dark.

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About the Author: Sam Caldwell

100 Comments

  1. It would has been nice if the Bearer of the Curse appeared with the Faraam Armor instead of the Elite Kinhgt Armor. Stil awesome video m8

  2. You and Vaati should just make a encyclopedia of dark souls. Get the ok from From Software and make it happen. 😉

  3. just watching your last few videos on dark souls it has hastened my desire for the xbox one release. I have yet to play the series but i am a sucker for a good rpg with a dark lore shadowing the plot. I am glad that you did the videos and hope that there are many more to come!!

  4. Why do you always do your videos in some dramatic reading.. you really dont have the voice for it, and the video could be so much shorter and to the point if you cut the act and just gave the information.

  5. You really need to learn about Adobe Audition. So that you can finally GET RID OF THAT DAMN STATIC but still, I love the video. Thx~ <3

  6. Minhas palavras em respeito e admiração a esse jogo esplêndido. Mais que um jogo, uma história provocante de um precioso deleite aos jogadores que sabem enxergar a beleza fabulosa desse universo mítico e singular de Dark Souls II. Toda uma cosmologia literária sutilmente narrada nos fragmentos descritivos que se encontram nos itens, nas falas nos personagens, as Almas dos bosses, que são captadas de pouco em pouco, até, no final (se é que dá para compreender toda uma riqueza do universo de Dark Souls em uma única que vez que se termina o jogo). Eu me emociono só de comentar sobre esse jogo. Lembrar dos detalhes da história que convergindo-se vem a formar uma conexão de contexto significante em nossa imaginação, uma descrição ali e outra aqui que no final faz o todo da história, fazendo nossa admiração crescer ainda mais pelo jogo, ou então pela história, nem sei o que afinal nos provoca maior deleite e satisfação. Mas, fica incrustada na nossa mente essa vivência do game, a gente sente-se participante dessa jornada que empreende o herói rumo ao trono, e não dá para ignorar que as vezes dá-se a impressão que alguns personagens mais excêntricos de Dark Souls me parace estar conversando diretamente com o jogador. Como se houvesse uma mensagem subliminar a ser passada pelos criadores do game à geração atual e posterior que curtiram e curtirão o jogo… Que fique aqui constante a homenagem que faço com breves palavras em comentário de coração à beleza literária e poética sombria de Dark Souls I e II.

  7. Loved this video! I don't have to the patience to play the Dark Souls games myself, but the lore that fills this setting and world is incredible. You did a great job here with your narrative. Bravo 🙂

    P.S. Thank you also for introducing me to AcousticLabs and ErikMMusic!

  8. Why did they make her some damn underwhelming 🙁 the whole fight i was just thinking to my self is this really all she does.

  9. i killed the king and the queen but that demon didn't appear and i forced to go back and look but i didn't find anything where to go ?

  10. It's " Na shaun dra " or "Na shan dra "

    It has never been nor will it ever be " Na son dra ". Every time you butchered her name it made me cringe. She even says her own name the correct way in this very video.

  11. Hmmmmm……a very excellent lore video! Love the story that you put into this, makes Nashandra a more…..interesting character. This does get us thinking about something though you said in the beginning with Manus, how his soul split into fragments which Nashandra (and presumably the other three daughters of dark) came from. We truly don't know how many fragments actually were cast off from Manus we he died or how many cycles have happened before the events of Dark Souls 2 take root. Could it be possible that in every cycle that there would be an agent of the dark, like Nashandra here? If the cycle is constantly repeating itself the way it has than it would make sense that an entity with a part of Manus souls inside of them would always come to make an appearance to try and usher in the age of dark. This is just speculation but perhaps in the events of Dark Souls 3 would feature a newest champion of the dark, possible the closest one out of all the previous to ever come close to fulfilling the will of manus and plunge the world into the abyss and the age of dark.

  12. hmmm i think the shards of manus' soul took on a female form cause of the memories he used to have (broken pandant yadyadayada)

    thats bout as good a theory as i got regaurding them

  13. This is just me speculating about dark souls 3 because HYPE, but since Nashandra was birthed from Manus,  Perhaps her death will in turn spawn a new being, perhaps one of rage and vengeance.

  14. So why did Nashandra tell the Undead to not believe the Ancient Dragon, is it bc it gave a hint as to what she was?

  15. Hey, if anybody here is planning on buying dark souls 3 for the ps4. I got a friendly new "Super Community" i am trying to get started for both dark souls and bloodborne. Im basically just trying to bring all the other stray communities into one place for trades, lore discussions, and some jolly cooperation! 😀 So if thats the kinda thing ur intested in, we would love to have ya, the official name is "SunLit Souls". stop on over, we love to here you guy's theories!

  16. just finished my first play through of dark souls 2 and nashandra was an under welming boss i expected more from her since i had a lot of trouble most of the bosses

  17. the thing that pisses me off is that the dark soul creatures: humans, become huge, like the gods. when they should be "pygmies" by their standards. i get it, they are bosses but when the size is part of the lore, do not break it.

  18. Wow what a beautiful tragic story.  I never saw it so. Wow.  And the whole humanity dark want link is philosophically superbly done. thank you very much for making this!

  19. Dude I'm so late. but I love your videos so fuxking much. You seriously have a gift for these lore videos!

  20. This video is amazing. The presentation is so well done, the choice of music has such an impact on the narrative and the story-telling is powerful.

  21. I know this is sooooo old but I sincerely hope you do a "Legends of Lothric" series, you're bloody spectacular!!

  22. I need to know something… If I fight the Watcher & Defender boss
    before beating the Giant Lord & I summon Benhart & Vengral
    during the fight will be able to summon them again during the Nashandra
    boss fight?

  23. I have 5-600 playing hours on the souls/borne series and I believe ds2 is the best game in it. Yeah a majority of the bosses are terrible but, the lore and level authenticity make the other world's seem very repetitive.

  24. Man I the dark souls lore is so deep its amazing. Hell, the whole story with Izalith blew my mind, but then theres a whole other world out there.

  25. So basically once the King knew about Nashandra's true intentions, he made a trial that is required to unlock the throne, and that trial is impossible for people like Nashandra to overcome. So after Vendrick's decent, Nashandra was like "Oh shitballs now it's impossible for me to take the true throne! Bah! Fuck it, I'll just sit here and dream about it"

    And then the Cursed Undead (CU) came, and due to the CU not knowing why he's/she's there, Nashandra was like "AHA! Another fool! Keh heh heh I'll make it do the dirty work for me, then I'll take the throne!" and then Nashadra successfully tricks us into overcoming the king's trial.

    After the CU faces the final challenge (Throne Watcher and Defender) he/she unlocks the throne and attempts to take it, but Nashandra comes in to complete her plan and back stabs the CU, trying to kill him/her so that she could take the throne for herself, but the CU kills Nashandra with a few hits and rules. (Aldia is whatever but he's a head so okay)

    So in summary, Nashandra is a good,for nothing whore backstabber and gold digger

  26. Why does he keep calling her Na-Sandra? Isn’t the ‘h’ to be pronounced? It’s been awhile but I seem to recall it being pronounced in game as NasHandra…

  27. Incredibly awesome!
    Btw, it seems like I was manipulated by Nashandra all the time and didn't realised… shit

  28. HOLY… WOW…. This is the best thing I've ever seen regarding the souls series. The tiny details in the videos, the narration, the lore. Bravo! BRAVO! – standing ovation –

  29. Dude, your voice is keeping me hooked, im gonna know everything from all 3 games before i even beat them 😂😂

  30. Four Souls.

    Four Kings. Just like the old times.

    Four Kings that Rise and brought at their Queens, only, these Queens were born from the Dark.

  31. I completely missed all dialog with the Nashandra and was completely confused as to why I was fighting her. Thank you so much for explaining this!

  32. still amazed at how people can miss whole ass letters in a name when literally researching the subject for hours. like, there is a WHOLE ASS "H" in there that you're just like oop lol forgot about that one
    it might sound nitpicky but its an error nonetheless, and its one thats easily fixed if you just read it correctly

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