Soulsborne games, by design, take place in locations where a lot has happened in the past. Much of the story is derived from picking over the fragmented history of the world. Through item descriptions, NPC dialogue and environmental storytelling, it's possible to piece together stories of those that came before. Many of these characters will never be met in-game. Some of them can be at least as compelling, or even moreso, than those of NPCs that can be encountered and spoken to.
While there are a myriad of both narrative and practical reasons why certain figures in the games never crossed paths with the protagonist, there are several out there that it's hard not to want a chance to speak to or wish things had played out a little differently.
10 Princess Gwynevere
Princess Gwynevere, daughter of Lord Gwyn, is one the Chosen Undead can ostensibly already meet, within the Cathedral of Anor Londo. However, unfortunately, what you see is little more than an illusion from her brother, Gwyndolin, trying to pull the protagonist's strings.
As the Ring Of The Sun Princess' item description reveals, the real Gwynevere left long before with the flame god, Flann. It raises many questions about her reasons for leaving and abandoning her sibling, especially given there is still no sign of her during the events of Dark Souls 3. A chance to hear from the real Princess of Sunlight would have potentially told a very different story than what her likeness claims.
9 The Queen of Latria
The Tower of Latria that you venture through in Demons' Souls was not always the nightmarish, squid-infested hellscape it came to be. Once considered to be a place of learning, it was ruled over by a Queen who was clearly idolized by her subjects. This is used to the demons' advantage by the time of the events of Demons' Souls. Within the Prison Of Hope, the malevolent Fool's Idol appears in her image to lure her subjects from the prisons up into the areas above, where even worse things wait for them.
Missing from her Kingdom, with the mad Old Monk who deposed her on the throne, it makes you wonder what the Queen's fate was. Her continued existence might have spelled potential hope for the tower's one-day return to prosperity.
8 The Sunken King
Below the ground of Drangleic, sits the city of Shulva, while most may probably remember it as a poison-filled ordeal, evidence points to a golden age long before. It was built by an individual remembered only as the Sunken King. He and his people worshipped dragons, and apparently did so enough to erect a city and a sanctum around a sleeping dragon, Sinh.
This appeared to go fine for them initially, until the Drakeblood Knights, seeking dragon's blood, invaded the city. They murdered the King, and rather than killing the dragon, succeeded in waking it up and causing it to poison the entire city. Shulva might have been a very different place with a more competent ruler to speak to.
7 Arstor, Earl of Carim
Arstor, Earl of Carim is mentioned in several item descriptions across Dark Souls and Dark Souls 3. All these can point to him having been both a very clever, and fairly immoral individual. The description left on his spear, which you can get from defeating the Curse-Rotted Greatwood gives a bit of insight into the man. The nickname of 'Arstor the Impaler' speaks for itself.
In addition to being quite eager with a spear, Arstor was attributed with creating the 'bite' rings, and the purging stones. The stones use human remains to absorb curses from the undead. There's no way to say for certain how Arstor would treat a player if he were encountered in-game, but with a reputation like his, it certainly wouldn't be boring.
Loretta was not a grand character, no queen or god. She was an old woman who lived at the base of the High Wall of Lothric, and she had some great significance to Greirat the Thief. Greirat wished to take a ring to her, something that was clearly bothering him.
Unfortunately, by the time the Ashen One has made it to the undead town, Loretta is long dead, something that utterly devastates Greirat. Perhaps, if things had gone differently and the old lady had gotten her ring, then Greirat would have not felt compelled to keep pushing himself beyond his limits. He might not have made a jump from the castle roof that he was ill-equipped to survive.
Yharnam is a dark and ruthless place, and not somewhere you see an abundance of love. This can't be said about Viola however, who was the wife of the hunter, Father Gascoigne.
Viola was under no illusions about the fate of hunters. Despite having children at home she would venture out into the increasingly dangerous streets of Yharnam to attempt to bring Gascoigne back to humanity, with a music box. Unfortunately, Viola is found dead, and Gascoigne mad. Perhaps she could have saved you from having to put the other hunter down, though maybe he was the one who killed her in the first place.
4 Knight King Rendal
Knight King Rendal is mentioned in Dark Souls as the King of Balder, a once-mighty kingdom that fell to the plague of the undead. Rendal himself appeared to become one of the undead himself, as he is mentioned as having tried to reach Anor Londo. As his knights can be found up to and around the area of Sen's Fortress, it can be assumed that he met his fate there. Given, Sen's Fortress, it's hardly a surprise.
What's known of Rendal paints him as an astounding fighter who had many adventures, including cutting a huge drake to pieces. In short, he sounds like exactly the sort of person the Chosen Undead would get along well with.
3 Master Willem
While Provost Willem is technically a character that the Good Hunter will encounter on their journey through Yharnam, by the time he is found at the top of Byrgenwerth College, there is not much left of him to engage in conversation. Unspeaking and barely moving, he simply gestures toward the lake.
Willem, despite the state he ended up in, may have been one of the most complete authorities on the Great Ones. He also foresaw what a disaster the Old Blood would be long before the beast plague. He would probably have had some very useful insight.
2 Nahr Alma, The God Of Blood
Gods that appear in the world of Dark Souls are rarely completely absent figures, with many appearing physically or even turning up for a fight. Others seem a lot more subtle.
Nahr Alma is a strange god whose influence is felt in Drangleic, with his followers having a great preoccupation with blood and invading other undead. While the Darkwraiths of Dark Souls have a firm authority in the serpent Kaathe, it's difficult to say what bigger motive drives the murders. Perhaps the god themselves could shed some light on the mystery.
1 The Goddess Velka
One of the most enigmatic figures of the Souls series is Velka. The black-haired goddess of sin, who presides over the book of the guilty. She appears in item descriptions, even in statues. The crow-people that hide inside the Painted World of Ariamis are said to be fanatical followers of her.
There is some speculation that the great crow who helps the Chosen Undead flee the Asylum was working on Velka’s behalf. If this is true, she might have had more impact on the eventual fate of Lordran and the world than any of the other gods, and yet she is never encountered in the flesh.
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