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The Furtive Pygmy (誰も知らぬ小人) is a mentioned character in Dark Souls.

Description

The Pygmy looks like a normal humanoid figure, particularly thin, with an indistinguishable face and lacking hair[1].

Plot

They are only ever mentioned indirectly by Darkstalker Kaathe, leader of the Darkwraiths, who resides in the Abyss formed in New Londo. According to Kaathe, the Furtive Pygmy planned to use the Dark Soul and its power to bring about the Age of Dark. This task is then passed on by Kaathe to the Chosen Undead, a distant descendant of the Pygmy.[2] If complied with, Kaathe and several other Primordial Serpents—including Frampt—will bow in respect to the new Dark Lord.

Lore

Dark Souls

Claiming The Dark Soul

The Pygmy finds the Dark Soul.

The Pygmy is one of the primordial humanoid creatures that appeared underground after the First Flame appeared, bringing life, death and "disparity"[1]. He was one of those who found the four Lord Souls, souls of immense power, only much later than Gwyn, Lord of Sunlight, Gravelord Nito, the Witch of Izalith[1].

When Gwyn had already developed his civilization and army of Silver Knights[1] and the Witch of Izalith her civilization based on fire sorcery[1][3], the Pygmy fragmented his Dark Soul among his descendants, creating the first Humans in the form of the Pygmies[4][5]. Even though they were late compared to the other gods, the pygmies began to harness their peculiar Lord Soul, opening an Abyss capable of generating life and even forged weapons and armor with the darkness and its properties[6].

As Gwyn's war against the Dragons turned out to be very bloody for his forces[7] at one point the Lord of Sunlight was even forced to integrate into his ranks[8] the Ringed Knights, descendants of the Furtive Pygmy and who had developed their own weapons and armor infused with the life-giving power of the Abyss[9] and so the pygmies took part in the battles against the dragons together with the other Lords.

Gwyn statue in the Ringed City

The pygmies bow to Gwyn's rule.

Despite having won the war against the dragons, Gwyn would turn against the Pygmy and his descedants, as he feared the power of their Dark Soul that could have potentially undermined his future dominion over the world. The Lord of Sunlight, however, resolved the issue very skillfully without having to clash with the primordial humans: despite their contribution in the war Gwyn managed to make them perceive themselves as inferior to his clan and make them agree to submit and be made vassals[10][11]. Gwyn "gave" them a magnificent ringed city at the edge of the world[12], the title of "rulers" and even his youngest daughter Filianore[12], although he promised her that he would have come back for her[12].

With this clever move Gwyn ensured that the Pygmies Lords and their Dark Soul would remain trapped inside of the Ringed City and out of history[13], keeping a role of subjection to his dominion[14][15], eliminating from history even the contributions of the Ringed Knights during the war against the dragons[16] and the very existence of the Pygmy[1]. Despite this, Gwyn continued to fear humans and the potential of their soul, going so far as to make an even more extreme move towards them: using the Flame to "mark" their Dark Soul and bodies with a Darksign[17][18], a violation of their bodies and identities that they apparently accepted. The fire would thus have castrated the powers of humans, making them mortal and incapable of making use of their natural abilities[19] thus assuming a "fleeting form"[18]. Despite this the pygmies continued to make use of the Abyss in subtle defiance of the gods' wishes, using it to taint multiple layers of cloth to cover their eyes, thus revealing visions of the future that the seal of fire had occluded[20].

After several centuries of the Age of Fire and the rule of the gods over men the history of the Pygmy has been almost completely lost and apparently only the Primordial Serpent Kaathe has knowledge about it[21]. According to him, the progenitor of humans had found a unique Lord Soul compared to the other three the "Dark Soul" and had waited for the Age of Fire to subside and the Flame to fade so that only Dark would remain. However Gwyn trembled at the Dark and feared the humans and the Dark Lord that would one day be born among them. And so the Lord of Sunlight resisted the course of nature and linked the First Flame for the first time, sacrificing his power to artificially prolong its life. Furthermore he commanded his children and the gods to shepherd the humans so that they could maintain the history of men blurred and prevent the rise of the Dark Lord, creating a system that would lead the Undead to sacrifice themselves to the Flame and repeat Gwyn's sacrifice to maintain his order of the world[22].

Dark Souls II

Several centuries after Lord Gwyn linked the First Flame for the first time, the Furtive Pygmy is all but forgotten even in Drangleic, even outside of the direct influence of the gods. In fact, only the group known as the Pilgrims of Dark is still aware of the origins of the humans and appear to worship a Dark Lord of some sort, though they never directly refer to the Pygmy[23]. Grandhal would encourage the undead who come to Drangleic to dive into the Abyss that has opened up in the region and to challenge the depths deeper and deeper to understand their own darkness[24] and reward them with his hexes and dark sorceries[25].

Dark Souls III

At some point the primordial Pygmy died and his Dark Soul was inherited by his descendants, the royal family that ruled the Ringed City[26]. Throughout the millennia that followed in the Age of Fire, the Pygmies continued to worship the gods and follow their rules[27] and even the Pygmy Lords who possessed the Dark Soul[28] and ruled the city[29] relied on her for salvation[30].

However, one day a "mad" king was born among them and his actions led Shira, Knight of Filianore to put him to rest. As the power of the Dark Soul made him undying she was only able to pin her cross spear to his body, leading her to imprison him and stay close to watch over his remains forever[31]. Following this event the Dark Soul was apparently divided among multiple members of the pygmy nobility as their government became led by several Pygmy Lords and not a single king[32][33].

The new kings thus continued to obey the gods and rely on them despite the potential of their souls[34], remaining passive until the end of time to the point that their own blood dried up[35]. At a certain point one of the Pygmy Lords[36][37] came to hate the gods for the condition in which they had imprisoned them and consider the Ringed City as a dung heap and an overgrown privy[38], leading him to throw away his crown and position himself at the entrance of the city[39] to welcome the new arrivals, directing them to the Dark Soul they would surely seek[40].

Trivia

  • A more accurate translation of "誰も知らぬ小人" would be "A small person that no one knowns".
  • If the statue in the Ringed City truly depicts the Pygmy, it would then mean that he was still alive when the humans were gifted the Ringed City by Lord Gwyn, and having been its original ruler makes highly probable that his body is conserved in the Mausolem that towers above the city.
  • The Furtive Pygmy being Humanity's ancestor was confirmed in an interview with Miyazaki.[41]. This confirms the words of Darkstalker Kaathe, that spoke ingame about how the Pygmy was the ancestor of humans[22].

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Opening (Dark Souls) appearance.
  2. Darkstalker Kaathe § Dialogue
  3. Gold-Hemmed Black Set description.
  4. Stone-humped Hag and Ringed City Pygmy dialogue.
  5. http://soulslore.wikidot.com/das1-game-no-shokutaku Miyazaki: "It isn't written anywhere, but, the image is something like humanity's ancestor. He found the Lord Soul, fragmented it and humanity are like the fragments of it. Kinda like an ancestor, yeah. So the descendants, the humans, have a part of that Lord Soul."
  6. Ringed Knight Paired Greatswords description.
  7. Hawkeye Gough dialogue.
  8. Dragonhead Shield description.
  9. Ringed Knight Paired Greatswords description.
  10. https://darksouls.fandom.com/wiki/File:DARK_SOULS%E2%84%A2_III_20170413170027.jpg
  11. Pygmy King dialogue.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Small Envoy Banner description.
  13. Stone-humped Hag and Ringed City Pygmy dialogue.
  14. Pygmy King dialogue implies how the pygmy lords themselves believed in the gods of Anor Londo and relied on them as superior beings.
  15. Undead Clerics use the miracles of the gods, implying that they continue to believe and have faith in them as superior beings.
  16. Dragonhead Greatshield description.
  17. Ringed Knight Set description.
  18. 18.0 18.1 Aldia, Scholar of the First Sin dialogue.
  19. Ringed Knight Hood description.
  20. Ringed Knight Hood and Eyes of a Fire Keeper description.
  21. Darkstalker Kaathe dialogue.
  22. 22.0 22.1 Darkstalker Kaathe dialogue:"Hmm... You are astonishing. The truth I shall share, without sentiment. After the advent of Fire, the ancient Lords found the three souls. But your progenitor found a fourth, unique soul. The Dark Soul. Your ancestor claimed the Dark Soul, and waited for Fire to subside. And soon, the flames did fade, and only Dark remained. Thus began the age of men, the Age of Dark. However... Lord Gwyn trembled at the Dark. Clinging to his Age of Fire, and in dire fear of humans, and the Dark Lord who would one day be born amongst them, Lord Gwyn resisted the course of nature. By sacrificing himself to link the Fire, and commanding his children to shepherd the humans, Gwyn has blurred your past, to prevent the birth of the Dark Lord. I am the primordial serpent. I seek to right the wrongs of the past, to discover our true Lord. But the other serpent, Frampt, lost his sense, and befriended Lord Gwyn. Undead Warrior, we stand at a crossroads. Only I know the truth about your fate. You must destroy the fading Lord Gwyn, who has coddled Fire and resisted nature, and become the Fourth Lord, so that you may usher in an Age of Dark".
  23. Darkdiver Grandahl dialogue.
  24. Darkdiver Grandahl dialogue.
  25. Darkdiver Grandahl#Character information
  26. Blood of the Dark Soul and Crucifix of the Mad King description.
  27. Undead Clerics use miracles of the gods implying their faith in them even after thousands of years.
  28. Blood of the Dark Soul description and Ringed City Pygmy dialogue.
  29. Gwyn statue in the Ringed City
  30. Pygmy King dialogue: "Filianore, help me, please...".
  31. Crucifix of the Mad King description.
  32. Blood of the Dark Soul description.
  33. Gael's arena depicts multiple thrones and him devouring several pygmies, thus implying that a single king divided power among multiple noble pygmies.
  34. Pygmy King dialogue: "Filianore, help me, please...".
  35. Blood of the Dark Soul description.
  36. File:Ringed_City_Old_Pygmy.jpg
  37. File:Pygmy King screenshot.jpg
  38. Ringed City Pygmy dialogue.
  39. Ringed City Pygmy#Location
  40. Ringed City Pygmy dialogue.
  41. http://soulslore.wikidot.com/das1-game-no-shokutaku Miyazaki: "It isn't written anywhere, but, the image is something like humanity's ancestor. He found the Lord Soul, fragmented it and humanity are like the fragments of it. Kinda like an ancestor, yeah. So the descendants, the humans, have a part of that Lord Soul."
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