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"What, still here? Hand it over. That thing, your dark soul. For my lady's painting."
— Gael

Slave Knight Gael is a character in Dark Souls III: Ashes of Ariandel and the final boss in The Ringed City DLC.

He is voiced by Stephen Boxer.

In-Game Description

The red-hooded, wandering slave knight Gael sought the blood of the dark soul as pigment for the Painted World. But Gael knew he was no Champion, that the dark soul would likely ruin him and that he had little hope of a safe return.[1]


Gael wears the Slave Knight Set and is equipped with the Executioner's Greatsword and the Sunset Shield. He has long, silver hair that reaches his shoulders and a large, gray beard which reaches down to his chest.

After devouring many Pygmy Lords and absorbing the essence of the Dark Soul, Gael's size greatly increases. His torso is now larger in comparison to the rest of his body and his chest has a large hole in it, exposing and seeming to originate from his darksign. The mantle of his armor also increases in size, becoming akin to a cape. His greatsword is now damaged, having lost its tip and part of the fuller, and his shield is nowhere to be seen.



Slave Knight Hood

The red hood symbol of undead slave knights.

Gael was once a slave knight[2], a category of knights who, as they were Undead, were used as fodder in the bleakest of battles and even if they grew decrepit, their skin charred black, their bones twisted and they went mad were never relived from duty, their stature signified by their vibrant red hoods[3]. At one point he managed to free himself from his life of bloody battles and ended up in the Painted World of Ariandel[4], a refuge for the forlorns, unwanted souls who had no place to call home[5]. He eventually met the Painter, a girl called "Lady" by the corvian inhabitants of the Painted World[6] and who possesses such great knowledge about the First Flame and the Dark Soul that she is able to use them to paint a world[7], and acted as a parental figure for her, such that she calls him "Uncle Gael"[7].

At a certain point Sister Friede, an Unkindled who tried to link the First Flame but failed and was reduced to ashes, entered the painted world[8] and discovered a people that she wished to protect[9], taking on the form that its inhabitants yearned for[10] and coming to consider that place as her new home[11]. The inhabitants of the painted world knew that when the time came and their world began to rot they would have to burn it with the Flame and then restore it and bring it back to life, a task entrusted to Father Ariandel[6]. However, Friede opposed their wish, preferring a slow death in the rot to the changing of the Flame[12], and convinced Ariandel to hold back the Flame with his blood[13], while the Corvian Knights infatued with her "protected" the painting and even killed their own brethren who opposed her[14].

Gael's Greatsword

The only blade of Gael.

When the Painter was imprisoned in the library of the corvian village[15], Gael escaped from the painting, taking with him a rotten scrap of it and began looking for an Unkindled[16]. In fact, in the painted world there was a prophecy telling that when the Ashes would become two, their Flame would return to burn the rot away[6], and so he needed to find an Ashen One that could kindle it and show it to her lady[16]. After a long unsuccessful search, Gael would find himself in the Cleansing Chapel where he remained praying to Caitha, mother of the forlorns, so that his wish could be granted by the goddess[16]. Gael finally encountered the Ashen One during his journey through Lothric and managed to convince them to touch the scrap of painting, sending them to the Painted World of Ariandel through his piece of the painting.

Gael would thus help the Ashen One in his battle against Sister Friede and Father Ariandel[17], killing them and reigniting the Flame they were keeping contained, finally allowing his lady to see it[7]. The Painter would have resumed painting a new world in the cathedral, like she promised to Gael[7], but for the cold and gentle place that she had in mind to create, she also needed a special pigment: the Dark Soul[7], the primordial Lord Soul discovered by the Furtive Pygmy and used to create humankind[18].

Blood of the Dark Soul

The bloody Dark Soul seeping from Gael.

Gael's mission was therefore not over and so the knight set off again with a new mission: to find the Dark Soul and bring it back to the Painter so she could complete her painting[19][7]. He knew that he wasn't as strong as a Champion and that taking the Dark Soul inside himself would likely ruin and consume him, leaving him little hope to return safely,[19] but despite everything, he set out on his endless journey, crossing the centuries through countless battles and hardships[20]. His Executioner's Greatsword remained with him from beginning to end, becoming heavily chipped and stained with blood[21], and the Repeating Crossbow he customized become rusted with blood, overused, twisted and marred with dents and scratches.[22] Even Gael's own body suffered from the long journey, being consumed by the over-expanded Darksign that fused his flesh with his now rusted and cracked armor[23].

His search continued until the end of the world itself, when it was now reduced to an expanse of dust, ash and rubble, but the knight was finally successful, reaching the Ringed City where the Dark Soul was contained. On the ruins of the city he found the Pygmy Kings, holders of the Dark Soul inherited from the Primordial Pygmy, however, their blood had dried long ago over their ages of inaction, therefore making it useless for the painting of his Lady[24]. Determined to complete his mission, Gael slaughtered the Pygmies with his sword before eating and drinking the dried Dark Souls from their bodies, in a desperate attempt to take it for himself and make it strong enough to be useful again[24]. However it would prove too powerful for him, and when the Ashen One finally reunites with Gael at the end of time, he has been fully consumed both both physically and mentally by the Dark Soul and demands their portion of it, attacking them in a rage when they refuse[16]. He is finally struck down, allowing the Ashen One to obtain his blood filled with the Dark Soul to use as a pigment for his Lady, thus fulfilling his final duty in death[24].


Upon arrival to the Cleansing Chapel, he will be found beside the altar, but praying instead to another object of reverence. Noticing the player, he will ask if they would show his lady flame. If the player says no, he will ignore their refusal until agreed, playing a cutscene wherein he will produce a fragment of the painting for the player to enter.

Fight overview

When encountered as a boss, Gael appears monstrous and his moves mirror his beastly nature, he does high amounts of damage and can endure some significant punishment himself. Aside from the damage his moveset has him bounding, and jumping around the players position in a manner that can even force the lock-on function to drop. His attacks are all easy to memorize however, and the only time the player should worry is when Gael rears back, releases a frustrated groan, quickly followed by several powerful strikes. Followed at the end by high leap plunge attack that effects a small area around the blades impact. Key to this battle is his poise, he can be staggered but not riposted, the player should pay close attention to how many hits it takes to stagger him (usually three with great weapons), and act accordingly, if this weakness exploited correctly he can be stunned out of his hard-hitting combos in the second phase.

Once a third of his HP has been depleted he transitions into his second phase and turns hollow (Noted by the fact that the Hollowslayer Greatsword deals more damage to him in his second and third phase), in which he abandons his previously bestial stance in moves in a very human manner. at this point he also gains new moves and starts using his Repeating Crossbow, a special version of the Way of White Corona, and a slow acting teleport sometimes used when the players is at extreme ranges. The crossbow attacks are best avoided unless using a shield with high stability, due to the sheer volume of projectiles. The corona projectiles usually precede his use of the Repeating Crossbow, and will fan out in a large cone in front of his current position. The player should charge Gael as he winds up this attack and dodge past him in order to avoid the coronas launch, and return path. Attacks with his sword are followed by his damaging cape so dodging towards him is recommended to avoid getting hit after finishing a roll. Once two thirds of his HP have been depleted he transitions into his third phase. At the start of this phase, and throughout the rest of the fight, he will stand still momentarily before releasing a number of slow-moving homing projectiles. Lightning will begin to strike the arena wherever his projectiles hit the ground, and will be preceded by the lightnings point of contact glowing light blue. The lightning itself does relatively little damage, especially when resistance is calculated, but when paired with Gael's attacks can be devastating. The lightning does very little damage to Gael as well (13-hp at most) so it is not advised to use this as a method to defeat him.

At this point Gael will more commonly mix two forms of his attacks, one being a flipping vertical attack that comes down on the player, quickly followed with another identical strike. This will leave him open for several attacks (two with a heavy weapon). It is still possible to stun Gael in this form, but he is able to recover quicker, and in some cases he will instead release another swarm of the slow moving seeker projectiles. After releasing the projectiles Gael will fly off into the air to the players left, and come in for a diving attack. The player should dodge either into the attack or off to its right, as Gaels cloak will usually swipe players dodging to the left or away. If the player needs to escape Gael to cast buffs or heal, there are three sections of wall around the arena that are large enough to get him caught behind in his attack animations to offer such times. Gael does possess the ability to disappear and teleport to the player, though the process is slow, and its wind up after his teleportation is just as slow. The resulting attack does cover a massive radius however, so it is advised to time the dodge correctly. Or run from Gael once it is noticed that he is teleporting to the players position. One such wall is opposite of the players starting position in the second phase of the fight. It has a broken wall that leads down a slope on the other side that is too sharp for Gael to follow. Forcing him to path around the large structure on his own to reach the player.


Item Soul of Slave Knight Gael
Soul of Slave Knight Gael
Blood of the Dark Soul
Blood of the Dark Soul
Drop Rate Guaranteed



  • Gael cannot be permanently killed as a character. He will always respawn in the Cleansing Chapel (may take several reloads).
  • Gael's summon sign for fighting Sister Friede is unique in that it can be used even if not embered, and he will be summoned into the world later and in a spot different from the location of his sign. He is the only character in the franchise to have a summon sign that functions this way. It also can be used if all your phantom summons are filled up even with the dried finger allowing for a boss fight with 4 phantoms. And does not increase Freide's health similarly to Great Grey Wolf Sif's summon in ds1 for Manus, Father of the Abyss.
  • After reaching the Mausoleum Lookout, if the player has not entered the Painted World of Ariandel, Gael will leave the Cathedral of the Deep, leaving behind the scrap of the paint in the altar.
  • Gael is notably resistant against Dark damage during his second and third phase. He also becomes weaker to the Hollowslayer Greatsword.
  • Gael can be riposted during the second and third phase of the fight. In order to achieve that, however, the player must first stagger him by hitting him directly on the head. This can be easier by using a weapon with a skill like Leaping Slash (Claw), or by using a ranged weapon that allows aiming. During cooperative gameplay, Throwing Knives or Kukri can also do the job with enough practice. In both cases, time for performing a critical strike is very short.


  • Gael's facial data, including his beard, is unique to him and is not available as an option when creating the player's character.
  • Impaling the corpse of a Pygmy lord with his sword and tossing it at the player is a reference to Knight Artorias, who performs a similar act at the start of his boss fight, and to the Penetrator before him in Demon's Souls.
  • Out of any boss from the entire franchise, Gael has the biggest boss arena, as the Pygmy's Throne is a completely explorable desert-like zone.
  • The way Gael moves and fights on the first phase is very similar to how Guts, from the Berserk anime/manga, does when using the Berserker Armor. In the second phase, the Repeating Crossbow is also reminiscent of Guts' Repeater Crossbow and the way he hides and follows his attacks with a cape.
  • A summon sign appears beneath Gael wherever he reappears at when he teleports during his boss fight.
  • Lightning rain from the third phase deals 1 damage to Gael, so there's a very slight possibility he could die from it and not from the player's attacks.
  • Inside one of the towers of the boss arena, the model of Gael that is used in the introductory cutscene can be found, which differs from the one appearing in the first phase of the fight. Gael's right eye is green and his left eye has apparently atrophied, making him partially blind.


Concept art


3D Model

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  1. Soul of Slave Knight Gael description.
  2. Slave Knight Set and Slave Knight Gael appearance.
  3. Slave Knight Set description.
  4. Slave Knight Set#Availability and Slave Knight Gael dialogue.
  5. Drowsy Forlorn dialogue and Storyteller's Staff description.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Forlorn Corvian Settler (character) dialogue.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 The Painter dialogue.
  8. Soul of Sister Friede description.
  9. Ordained Set description.
  10. Friede's Great Scythe and Ordained Set description.
  11. Sister Friede dialogue.
  12. Soul of Sister Friede description.
  13. Rose of Ariandel description.
  14. Crow Quills description.
  15. Contraption Key description.
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 Slave Knight Gael dialogue.
  17. Slave Knight Gael#Locations
  18. Miyazaki: "It isn't written anywhere, but, the image [Furtive Pygmy] 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."
  19. 19.0 19.1 Soul of Slave Knight Gael description.
  20. Repeating Crossbow description.
  21. Gael's Greatsword description.
  22. . Repeating Crossbow description.
  23. https://darksouls.fandom.com/wiki/File:Gael_phase_3.jpg
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 Blood of the Dark Soul description.
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