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For the Dark Souls III character, see Velka, the Goddess of Sin.

Velka, Goddess of Sin (罪の女神ベルカの) is a mentioned character in Dark Souls.

In-Game Description

For each sin there is a punishment, and it is the task of Goddess Velka to define the sin, and mete out the punishment.[1]

Description[]

Little is known of her appearance other than that she has long raven-hair[2] and statues of her depict her as a slender woman[3][4].

Lore[]

Dark Souls[]

Velka is one of the members of Gwyn's clan who resided in Anor Londo during the Age of Fire[5]. She was worshiped by the humans as the "goddess of sin"[6].

Vow of Silence (DSIII)

The secret dark miracles of Velka.

As the deity of sin, Velka's focus is on humans and her job is to define sins and mete out the associated punishments[7], overseeing the list of the guilty who have disrespected the gods or their covenants[8]. However, for her there is not only punishment for men and in fact the deity sends her "pardoners" among them. These clerics are tasked with hearing the confessions of sinners, urging reflection, and offering salvation from the vengeance of the gods[9]. These pardoners wear a mask that symbolizes their detachment from worldly desires and a uniformly black attire that is imbued with the mystical power of Velka and protects them from any kind of magic[10]. These clerics are also inhuman swordsmen and possess enchanted blades that deal dark damage[11].

However, Velka is such a peculiar deity that she is addressed as a "witch" and "heretic deity"[12], indicating how, although she continues to be part of the faith of the gods of Anor Londo, her ideas and practices deviate from dominant tenets[13]. In fact, she performs secret rituals capable of denying magic in the area[14], there are sacrificial rituals in her name to create mystical rings[15] and in addition the talismans created with her hair are used to cast miracles drawing not upon faith but intelligence, implying that the goddess favor this among her followers[16]. Velka despite this possesses a great range of influence in the world of men and even that of gods and is versed in arts both new and old, implying her interest in the most recent sorceries[14].

At some point after Gwyn linked the First Flame and Gwyn's firstborn son was dethroned and exiled [17], she abandoned Anor Londo together with nearly all of the other deities and moved to an unknown location[18], however she would continue to collaborate with Dark Sun Gwyndolin and his Blade of the Darkmoon covenant, knights tasked with the hunting and punishing of those who committed sins against the gods to inspire fear and respect for them between the humans[19]. The Goddess of Sin would thus determine the sin and mark the sinners on her Book of the Guilty so that one day they would face the wrath of the blades of the darkmoon[20] as Gwyndolin's followers would cut off an ear from the corps of the sinners they vanquished, bringing them to their god as proof of their task accomplished[21]

As she was the Goddess of Sin, Velka would eventually spread her influence inside the Painted World of Ariamis, an artifact that the gods used as a safe to seal away dangerous artifacts, abominations, sinners and Hollows[22], as several of her artifacts and miracles can be found inside of it[23]. In addition, dozens of her cultist followers, humans whose appearance was twisted to that of corvids, found refuge there and potentially endeavored to protect Crossbreed Priscilla from the other gods.[24]

Velka is able to infuse the weapons of her clerics[25] with occult power and in addition in the Painted World of Ariamis secret miracles and artifacts associated with Velka can be found along with a Dark Ember capable of creating occult weapons[26], implying a connection between the goddess and the dark power capable of harming the gods[27]. At one point occult power was used to hunt the gods and their followers[28] and some occult cultists even went so far as to plot to destroy the gods even though they failed[29], the connection between the source of their dark powers and their involvement with Velka remains however uncertain.

Dark Souls II[]

Velka Statue Tseldora

A statue of Velka inside the church of Tseldora.

At some point Velka and her followers reached Drangleic and began creating magical rings with the shape of crow claws around a gem attuned with different elements[30], artifacts that remain in the region even centuries after the collapse of Vendrick's kingdom[31].

In Tseldora a church was even built venerating the dark goddess, represented with her Book of the Guilty and talisman[32]. Above the building Cromwell can also be found, a man who wears the robes of her ancient pardoners and performs the ritual function of absolving humans of their sins, offering forgiveness to anyone as long as they are sincere[33].

Despite this, the purpose the robes of the pardoner served is little known and the name of the goddess has been forgotten as only the fact that sin was her domain is understood by the people of Drangleic[34]

Dark Souls III[]

Velka

A statue of Velka inside the sewers of the Undead Settlement.

At some point Velka and her followers reached Lothric and continued creating their magical rings with the shape of crow claws around a gem attuned with different elements[35] and and her mystical rings created with sacrificial rites[36], artifacts that were spread through the entire region[37][38].

Velka also appears to have come into contact with Londor, the realm of hollows, as the Sable Church and the three sisters who lead it have learned the goddess' ancient dark miracles[39]. Furthermore an old fable in Londor claims that the lure of her clutch rings reaches out to the crestfallen, who might otherwise be overcome by despair, implying how through these rings the goddess continues to care for the forlorns[40].

A statue of Velka can also be found in the Undead Settlement over a grave, holding her Book of the Guilty and with her arm outstretched to welcome sinners[41]. The goddess was known in the village and the inhabitants addressed their prayers to her, coming to the grave to have their wrongdoings forgiven and to be cured of curses[42]. The statue is in fact capable of absolving and purifying sin, but without the need for a pardoner to act as an intermediary as in the past, simply working through prayer and the offering of souls. The statue is also capable of resetting an undead's hollowing level, without closing their eventual Dark Sigil[43]. However the statue and the grave are now confined to the sewer system beneath the village and no longer receive visitors[44].

Theories[]

  • It can be theorized that Velka's symbol are crows/ravens (鴉). Crow Demons are humanoid creatures that are present all over the Painted World of Ariamis, a place filled with artifacts of Velka[45], and drops blood-drained, shrunken ears, the symbol of the sinner hunted by the Darkmoon Knights[46]. The clutch rings associated with Velka[47] are designed with the claws of crows/ravens. In addition in an interview Miyazaki stated: "I always thought of the painted world as somewhere where things go to escape, and the bird men but no different. They were originally designed as worshippers of the Goddess Velka whose bodies were warped by their devotion. I think this obsession makes them really interesting characters.", impling that the faith in Velka twisted the humans that worshipped her, identifying her symbol as the crows/ravens. As a trivia Velka also has "raven hair"[14].
  • It can be theorized that Caitha, Goddess of Tears is actually a "reformed" and "cleansed" version of Velka, as Carim, a place once associated with the creation of heretical rings[48] and where at least one of her pardoners come from[49], has become the realm that now worships Caitha. Furthermore, forbidden rings obtained thanks to sacrificial rites similar to those of Velka[50] are now produced freely by the clerics of Carim[51]. Finally, the Carim's talismans of Caitha acts similarly to those of Velka, employing the user's intelligence in addition to their faith and also working to produce dark miracles. [52] Again both goddesses are considered witches and demonesses [53] but both dedicate themselves to the suffering of men, in one case forgiving their sins and in the other offering comfort to those in need[54]. Another element is the fact that the Caressing Tears miracle that describes the many deaths surrounding Caitha is a story developed only in Drangleic times but whose effect actually derives from the Remedy healing sorcery of New Londo, a civilization of humans[55]. In conclusion Caitha must have been a divinity that could have been accepted into the Way of White and by the current king of the gods and not one of the fake ones created in Drangleic that disappeared by the time of Dark Soul III, testifying to the fact that the goddess is also incredibly long-lived to be able to remain active from the times of Drangleic up to those of modern Carim.

Artifacts[]

Trivia[]

  • The English localization of the Vow of Silence describes Velka as a "rogue deity"[56]. However, a more accurate translation of 異端 (itan) would be "heretic". This term indicates religious movements that do not deviate from the dominant doctrine but possess different and marginal ideas without however detaching themselves from the main ones. As a result, despite her secret rituals and the use of occult magic, Velka continues to be part of Gwyn's order of the gods and their faith.
  • Cut content reveals that there was a covenant devoted to Velka which was tasked with hunting down Blades of the Darkmoon. Because of this, it is possible to imply that Velka and Gwyndolin were supposed to be enemies before the final version of the game. However, in the final version of the game, Velka and Gwyndolin work together, as the sinners whose names are written on her book are at some point hunted by the Darkmoon Knights[57].
  • The word 'Velka' means 'debt' in Finnish.

References[]

  1. Karmic Justice description.
  2. Velka's Talisman and Vow of Silence description.
  3. https://darksouls.fandom.com/wiki/File:Velka_Statue_Tseldora.jpg
  4. https://darksouls.fandom.com/wiki/File:Velka.jpg
  5. Ring of the Sun Princess description.
  6. Karmic Justice and Book of the Guilty description.
  7. Karmic Justice description.
  8. Book of the Guilty description.
  9. Mask of Velka description.
  10. Black Set description.
  11. Velka's Rapier description.
  12. Vow of Silence description.
  13. Velka, Goddess of Sin#Trivia
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 Vow of Silence description.
  15. Ring of Sacrifice description.
  16. Velka's Talisman description.
  17. Soul of the Nameless King and Lightning Storm and Golden Crown and Ring of the Sun's Firstborn description.
  18. Ring of the Sun Princess and Darkmoon Seance Ring description.
  19. Souvenir of Reprisal description.
  20. Book of the Guilty description.
  21. Souvenir of Reprisal description.
  22. Vow of Silence, Ring of Sacrifice and Velka's Rapier drop inside the Painted World
  23. Painted World of Ariamis#Items
  24. https://darksouls.fandom.com/wiki/File:Statue.png
  25. Velka's Rapier description and Velka's Rapier#Characteristics
  26. Dark Ember#Availability and Velka's Rapier#Availability and Vow of Silence#Availability
  27. Dark Ember and Effigy Shield description.
  28. Dark Ember description.
  29. Effigy Shield description
  30. Dark Clutch Ring description.
  31. Dark Clutch Ring#Availability and Lightning Clutch Ring#Availability and Fire Clutch Ring#Availability and Sorcery Clutch Ring#Availability
  32. https://darksouls.fandom.com/wiki/File:Velka_Statue_Tseldora.jpg
  33. Cromwell the Pardoner dialogue.
  34. Judgment Set description.
  35. Dark Clutch Ring (Dark Souls III) description.
  36. Ring of Sacrifice (Dark Souls III) description.
  37. Dark Clutch Ring (Dark Souls III)#Availability and Lightning Clutch Ring (Dark Souls III)#Availability and Fire Clutch Ring (Dark Souls III)#Availability and Magic Clutch Ring#Availability
  38. Ring of Sacrifice (Dark Souls III)#Availability
  39. Vow of Silence (Dark Souls III) description.
  40. Dark Clutch Ring (Dark Souls III) description.
  41. https://darksouls.fandom.com/wiki/File:Velka.jpg
  42. Grave Key description.
  43. Velka, the Goddess of Sin#Services
  44. Grave Key description.
  45. Vow of Silence, Ring of Sacrifice and Velka's Rapier drop inside the Painted World
  46. Souvenir of Reprisal description.
  47. Dark Clutch Ring and Dark Clutch Ring (Dark Souls III) description and appearance.
  48. Bloodbite Ring description
  49. Oswald of Carim
  50. Ring of Sacrifice description.
  51. Bloodbite Ring (Dark Souls III) description.
  52. Caitha's Chime and Velka's Talisman description.
  53. Vow of Silence and Caitha's Chime description.
  54. Mask of Velka and Caressing Tears description.
  55. Remedy and Caressing Prayer and Caressing Tears description.
  56. Vow of Silence description: "Secret rite of black-haired witch Velka. Prevents casting of magic within effect area. Velka, the Goddess of Sin, is a rogue deity, but she is versed in arts both new and old, and is considered to have a great range of influence even as gods are concerned."
  57. Book of the Guilty description.
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