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"The painting of Ariandel. Well, rotten scrap of it, that is. Go on, take it, touch it..."
— 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.


Cathedral of the Deep

Painted World of Ariandel (Ashes of Ariandel)

  • Can be summoned for the second phase of the Sister Friede boss fight.
    • His summon sign becomes unavailable after defeating the Demon Prince.

The Dreg Heap (The Ringed City)

The Ringed City (The Ringed City)


Believed to reside in the painting, he acted as some parental figure to The Painter, who calls him her uncle. It is believed that he departed the painting after she was locked away, taking the rotted remains of the physical portal with him, attempting to find another Ashen One to complete the prophecy that would burn away the rotted world so that the Painter could replace it.

Unable to find one, he travels to the Cathedral of the Deep, praying for divine aid in his mission. When he encounters the Champion, he is overjoyed to have completed his search, and requests the Ashen One to free The Painter and show her the flame that would burn the rot. Once they come into contact with the piece of the painting, the Ashen One is pulled into the painted world.

In the fight with Ariandel and Friede, the flame is reignited, and The Painter comments that she will wait until she can see it before beginning the painting. To do that, she needs the pigment she intends to use, which she reveals to be the Dark Soul itself, discovered by the Furtive Pygmy and used to create all of humankind[2]. She also mentions that Gael intended to get it for her, for he has set out on a new mission to find it, and she wonders whether or not he has found it already.

Gael's mission to find the Dark Soul leads him to the Ringed City where he finally meets the Pygmy Lords whose blood would apparently serve as a suitable pigment. However to his shock, their blood has dried out over the ages and is therefore useless to him. Driven mad by this revelation and determined to complete his mission, Gael slaughters the Pygmies, cutting their throats and drinking their dried blood, in a desperate attempt to take the Dark Soul for himself. But even he realized that the Dark Soul was too powerful for him to handle, and it mutated his body, causing him to grow in size and warp his mind.

When the Ashen One finally reunites with Gael, he has been fully corrupted by the Dark Soul and demands their portion of it, attacking them in a rage when they refuse. He is finally struck down, allowing the Ashen One to obtain his blood to use as a pigment.


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, 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.png
Soul of Slave Knight Gael
Blood of the Dark Soul.png
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.
  • 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.
  • 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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Dark Souls 3 The Ringed City NG BLIND - Part 7 - Filianore & The Red Hood-1502293408

Slave Knight Gael strategy DEX/INT build NG+ (no shield)



Dark Souls III Soundtrack OST - Slave Knight Gael (The Ringed City)


  1. Soul of Slave Knight Gael description.
  2. 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."
Iudex GundyrVordt of the Boreal ValleyCurse-rotted GreatwoodCrystal Sage
Deacons of the DeepAbyss WatchersHigh Lord WolnirOld Demon King
Pontiff SulyvahnAldrich, Devourer of GodsYhorm the Giant
Dancer of the Boreal ValleyOceiros, the Consumed KingChampion Gundyr
Dragonslayer ArmourLorian, Elder Prince and Lothric, Younger Prince
Ancient WyvernThe Nameless KingSoul of Cinder
Ashes of Ariandel
Champion's Gravetender and Gravetender GreatwolfSister FriedeFather Ariandel
The Ringed City
Demon PrinceHalflight, Spear of the ChurchDarkeater MidirSlave Knight Gael