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The Witch of Izalith or simply Izalith (イザリス)[1] is a mentioned character in Dark Souls.

Description[]

Izalith appears as a towering humanoid, visibly taller than both her children and their catalysts. She has blue lips, ashen skin and hands burnt from extracting her soul from the First Flame. She wears a much more refined version of the gold-hemmed black robes her children wear.

Lore[]

Dark Souls[]

Izalith and her daughters

Izalith and her daughters studying flame sorcery.

Izalith is one of the primordial humanoid creatures that appeared underground after the First Flame appeared, bringing life, death and "disparity"[2]. She was one of those who found the four Lord Souls, souls of immense power, together with Gwyn, Lord of Sunlight, Gravelord Nito and much later the Furtive Pygmy[2][3].

Thanks to the power of her soul, Izalith established an underground civilization[4] and, at some point, she also had at least seven children[2] [5], who wore gold-hemmed black robes to protect themselves from the dangerous fires, poisons and perils of the environment were they lived. Studying the power of souls and the First Flame, Izalith and her daughters became "fire sorcerers" capable of manipulating fire[6]. The power of their staffs was adjusted to their faith and in fact they were also shamans, thus implying that the primordial society of Izalith was in a deep relationship with nature and fire[6].

Izalith's Powers

Izalith and her daughters fighting the Dragons.

At some point Izalith and her daughters took part in the war against the Dragons with the intention of exterminating them and conquer the world together with the other bearers of the Lord Souls: Gwyn, Lord of Sunlight and Nito, First of the Dead[2]. Izalith contributed to the conflict by manipulating the flames directly with the power of her Lord Soul[3], while her daughters employed sorcery staff as mediums[2][5]. Together they weaved great firestorms that scorched the very earth[7], destroying the archtrees and burning the dragons[2] while Nito unleashed a miasma of death, rotting the archtrees and infecting the dragons[2] and Gwyn and his knights battled the dragons with their their mighty lightning bolts[2]. After a long struggle Izalith and the Lords emerged victorious, exterminating most of the archdragons and thus conquering the surface world for themselves[2]. After the war was over, Izalith and her children left the surface to Gwyn, his clan and the humans they had subjugated[2], preferring to create their own civilization underground, where they built their capital city named after their goddess Izalith inside an immense cave made of molten rock[8] and where lava flowed below[9][10]. The city developed around the massive Archtree located at its core and the throne room of Izalith was directly connected to it.

Bed of Chaos standing

Izalith and her daughters became the Bed of Chaos and mother of the demons.

Izalith and her daughters thus continued to experiment with the power of fire and souls and at a certain point, driven by ambition and arrogance, the Lord tried to create a "First Flame" of her own, using her own Lord Soul as a basis to make a power similar to the primordial force that had brought life into the world[11][12][13]. The experiment, however, was not successful because the result was a Flame of Chaos, an unstable power that the witch was unable to control. Izalith herself was initially consumed by it and became a beast of chaos fire along with two of her daughters in the process transforming themselves into a "Bed of Chaos"[12][13]. This creature, fueled by the power of the Flame of Chaos, became a seebed for a new life form: Demons[12].

Demon Firesage

The first demons became the fire priests of Izalith.

The first demon who manifested himself was the youngest son of Izalith. He was a younger brother of the other witches who gifted him a magic ring to protect him from the lava that tortured him[9]. However, the still unstabilized Flame of Chaos led him to transform into a monstrous demon and drop his ring, leaving the flames of chaos to burn him constantly as he couldn't control them[14]. Despite the first distorted creature created by the Flame of Chaos, Izalith and her daughters managed at a certain point to stabilize the new power they had created and began to generate the first real demons[15], life forms with stable bodies and capable of control the flame of chaos within each of them. These new creatures were not absolutely beastly but rather, they learned to coexist with the already present society of Izalith, becoming "demon priests" of the Flame of Chaos and even going so far as to learn the primordial flame sorceries from the Lord and her daughters[15][6] and the city of Izalith expanded to accommodate its new citizens, building structures for the demons on its borders[16].

Izalith Pyromancy Tome

A pyromancy tome from Izalith.

Over time, Izalith and her daughters, captivated by the new power and longing to hold it in their hands, began to experiment with their Flame of Chaos, creating pyromancies[17][18][19]. This art of fire, of the primal life born from the Flame of Chaos similar to the First Flame, is the power of igniting and controlling it but also being aware that control is impossible[20][21]. For this reason it is a primitive culture that requires to be in touch with nature, thus implying that the rituals and society of the new Izalith still remained connected to nature in a form of shamanism[22][23] and the first forms of pyromancies manipulated the abundant lava that flowed in Izalith[17]. The Flame of Chaos itself began to be refined and employed in the form of Chaos Flame Embers employed by blacksmiths to imbue weapons with the power of chaos fire[24].

As the First Flame began to fade, Gwyn planned to sacrifice himself to re-energize it and prolong the Age of Fire, creating the myth of the Chosen Undead that would succeed it[25]. Izalith apparently cooperated in his plan, building one of the two Bells of Awakening in her city, as the first part of the challenges the undead would have to overcome to be accepted as worthy contenders to succeed Gwyn as Lords of Cinder[26].

DS1R Quelana of Izalith (full body)

Quelana is the only daughter of Izalith to survive the Flames of Chaos.

At one point Izalith, aiming to gain greater control over the Flame of Chaos, lost control of the power again. This time however she failed to bring it under control: Chaos engulfed the Lord and her daughters before scorching their city with them[27][28][29][30]. Izalith and her two daughters directly involved in the experiment were left permanently scarred, reduced to a monstrous lignified creature anchored in the throne room at the center of the city[31]. Of the daughters of Izalith, few managed to escape. Quelaag and her sister's lower bodies were molded into deformed demonic spiders and the flames of chaos engulfed them but they managed to escape the city and survive on its borders, carving out a domain for themselves[32]. The only other survivor, who managed to avoid the corruption of chaos and retain a normal body, was Quelana, who remained in self-imposed exile around the ruins of her country for centuries[33]

Demon Ruin

Izalith is reduced to ruins infested by the demons.

The collapse of the society of Izalith, left without their Lord and devoured by the out-of-control Flame of Chaos, pushed Gwyn to wage war against the chaos demons[34], developing weapons and fighting techniques strong enough to face the size of their new enemies[35] and sending his Silver Knights to Izalith[34][36]. During the war their armor and weapons were charred black[34] but despite their strength Gwyn's knights failed to defeat the demons or destroy the Bed of Chaos[37], ending up retreating and only managing to banish the demons underground while also enslaving some lesser demons who would become servants of the gods[38]. At some point after Gwyn linked the First Flame and Gwyn's firstborn son was dethroned and exiled [39], nearly all of the other deities abandoned Anor Londo[40]. During all this time the Bed of Chaos had continued to generate new demons and, with no leadership present in Anor Londo and the Silver Knights remaining relegated to protecting the city of the gods, some lesser Capra and Taurus demons[41] began to rise to the surface, making their way through the ruins of the Undead Burg[42].

Chaos Bug

Izalith reduced to a Chaos Bug.

When a Chosen Undead was able to ring the Bells of Awakening, overcome the challenges of Sen's Fortress and reach Anor Londo thus being rewarded with the Lordvessel, they would be guided by Kingseeker Frampt to find immense souls to fill the receptacle and link the fading First Flame to succeed Gwyn in his sacrifice[43]. The Undead would thus have delved into the dangerous and pestilent Blighttown[44] until they reached the edges of the ancient domain of Izalith. Here their path would be blocked by the half-demon daughter of Izalith Chaos Witch Quelaag but, after killing her, the Undead was able to gain access to the Demon Ruins. Making their way through the demons that infested the area, they reached the lost city of Izalith and the throne room where Izalith, turned into the distorted Bed of Chaos rested, still fused with her two daughters and her original body reduced to that of a Chaos Bug under all her roots[45]. The Chosen Undead thus challenged and killed her to obtain her powerful Lord Soul[46]. The destruction of the original Flame of Chaos ended Izalith's misery, but it also marked the beginning of the end for the demons who, without the Bed of Chaos that had spawned them, began to become a dying race[47].

Theories[]

  • It is possible to theorize that Izalith, in her experiment to create a new First Flame with the power of her Lord Soul, used the Dark Soul as an added element. In fact the power of weapons infused with the power of chaos scales with humanity like an Abyss-tainted weapon[48]. In addition Chaos Flame Embers are able to infuse weapons with the power of the flames of chaos but are also augmented by humanity[49]. Another sign is that Quelaag's Sister was able to become a Fire Keeper despite being corrupted by chaos, allowing her body to become the host of an immense mass of humanity[50] and she's able to regain her power and body, debilitated by a blight, by feeding herself with humanities[51]. In addition the majority of demons encountered possess humanities, either because they gained them to absorb their power or because they possessed them but either way implying a compatibility between demons and humans[52]. The use of this unique soul by Izalith would be motivated by the equally unique properties of the Dark Soul, by the fact that it is capable of generating life[53] and by the fact that it is a potentially infinite fuel because even by splitting into each new human generated it never lose its power.

Dark Souls II[]

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The remnants of the Bed of Chaos below Eleum Loyce.

Despite the fact that the Bed of Chaos had been destroyed by a Chosen Undead, a fragment of the Flames of Chaos managed to survive and drifted to settle underground in the far north of Drangleic. Here it reformed as an expanse of fire, lava and roots and started to give birth to atrocities and monsters that cursed the region, leading people to flee in fear[54][55]. Eventually the Ivory King and his knights managed to eliminate the demons that arose from the Old Chaos and drive them back into the depths. The sovereign, thanks to the power of his soul, thus built the kingdom of Eleum Loyce over that land and erected an immense cathedral, a fortress city and a Garrison Wall above the Chaos, in an attempt to contain it and its horrors with all his efforts, even going so far as to use the power of his own soul to stem his raging flames[56][57][58].

However the flames of Chaos would not be sated and over time the Ivory Knight was drained of his vigour and, sensing the degradation of his power[56] he decided to plunge into Chaos' heart in an attempt to reduce its flames alone [54] but was devoured by the chaos, becoming an empty husk controlled by it[57]. After their King was consumed by Chaos, many of Eleum Loyce's faithful knights decided to follow him and put him out of his misery[54] but their souls too were corrupted by the flames[59], leading them to lose all sense of purpose and being and leaving them driven only by the urge of expuning any who might disturb the flames, even if they were former compatriots[60]. With their armor charred and burnt black by fire and still burning in agony they remained as empty shells controlled by the Chaos alongside their once-proud king[61].

As a last resort to stem the advance of the Chaos that couldn't be contained, the decision was made to "flung open" the ivory gates of the fortress of Eleum Loyce. Alsanna, as the heiress to her Lord's wishes and in reverence of the apocalypse, devoted herself and the power of her Dark Soul to a ritual in the hopes of appeasing the raging flame[54][62]. As a result the entire land of Eleum Loyce grew cold and lifeless turning into a frigid expanse, in an attempt to freeze Chaos along together with the entire country, thus sacrificing it[63][64]. The Knights of Eleum Loyce thus remained to watch over the Garrison Ward faithful to the King's final order of containing the Chaos waiting patiently for a new leader strong enough to guide them into its depths, while Alsanna remained in prayer inside the Cathedral over the depths to continue the ritual to keep the Chaos contained[54].

Ds2lostsinner

The remnants of Izalith's soul possessed the Lost Sinner.

An immense amount of time after her Lord Soul was used to link the First Flame, Izalith very name was lost [65] and in the region of Drangleic the few who still remember her existence only remember that she was the mother of pyromancy and that she was devoured by her chaos flame[66]. However, some remnants of her soul[67] manifested again in Drangleic, continuing to exert their influence on the region[68].

At some point a pyromancer[69][70]. was imprisoned inside the furthest cell of the Sinners' Rise, an isolated tower apart from the The Lost Bastille[71]. While the Bastille was used to contain the Undead that plagued the region[72][73], this pyromancer was imprisoned and contained in an extreme manner, with Penal Handcuffs to restrain their powers[74] and a Penal Mask with spikes pointing inward to bind and torture them[75], to be punished for their sins[76]. One day the prisoner came into contact with the soul of Izalith[77][73] deep inside the Lost Bastille and a Chaos Bug like to the one Izalith had been reduced came to inhabit their body [78][79]. The remants of Izalith's will influenced the prisoner, leaving them eternally to punish themselves for the sins of her past[80], for trying to light a First Flame in her arrogance[73]. Their sword became cursed with a power similar to that of the ancient Chaos Blade, symbolizing the burden of Izalith's misdeeds[81]

Dark Souls III[]

In the times and region of Lothric, both the bed and the flame have gone out, and the demons are now endangered due to their race no longer being generated. While some demons wandered the lands ... Many live to this day in a secret city of demons, found amidst Izalith's decrepit structures, most of its citizens being demons and corrupted Izalith citizens. The current ruler of the demon city sits alone amidst fallen combatants, with his flames dying out, the last of the original citizens of Izalith to have remembered the birth of Chaos, and the death of the Godmother of Pyromancy.

Known Children[]

Trivia[]

  • The name of the Witch is literally Izalith, as stated by her daugther Quelana[1].
  • Several parts of the dialogue with Quelana have her make mention of how most humans are unable to perceive her, and it becomes implied that they absolutely cannot if she actively does not want them to.
  • It should be known that she did, in fact, succeed in creating another Flame despite its malfunction. Not only does it generate life, it also has its own fire-linking quality, in which a powerful demon is named the Demon Prince and rekindles it.

Gallery[]

References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Quelana of Izalith referes to her as "私の母イザリスは", literally "my mother Izalith"
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 Opening (Dark Souls) dialogue
  3. 3.0 3.1 Chaos Witch Quelaag dialogue: "… Hmmm… I have a favour to ask… My mother, the Witch of Izalith, was one of the primeval Lords… Her power came from the soul that she found near the First Flame… She focused this power to light a flame of her own, but she failed to control it. The Flame of Chaos engulfed Mother and my sisters, and molded them into deformed creatures."
  4. Gold-Hemmed Black Set description.
  5. 5.0 5.1 https://darksouls.fandom.com/wiki/File:Izalith%27s_Powers.jpg
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Izalith Catalyst description: "Pyromancy was yet to be born, so their staves were catalysts for sorceries, but these flame sorceries have been completely lost".
  7. Fire Tempest description.
  8. Demon's Catalyst description.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Orange Charred Ring description: "Orange ring filled with the magic power of a witch. Reduces damage from lava. It is a special ring that the witches, who are his older sisters, gave for his inborn “sore” tortured by lava, but the fool dropped it before long. For a terrible centipede demon had been born."
  10. https://darksouls.fandom.com/wiki/File:Demon_ruins.jpg
  11. Quelana of Izalith dialogue: "… Say, you. I have a request, but… My mother, Izalith, was once one of the primordial Lords. She found a soul by the First Flame and became a Lord with its power… And then, my mother tried to light a Fire of her own with that power… She couldn’t control it. The Flame of Chaos engulfed my mother and younger sisters and made them into a seedbed for grotesque life."
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Lord Soul description.
  13. 13.0 13.1 Chaos Storm description.
  14. As stated by Miyazaki in the DS1 Design Works interview: "All demons are born from the fire of chaos, but he [Ceaseless Discharge] was the first, born so long ago, when the fire wasn't yet stable. He possesses it, but he can't control it and it burns him constantly. Despite his size, he's actually the youngest of Izalith's children, he stands gazing up at the ruins where his sisters live. The only source of comfort in his pitiful, painful existence is the belief that they are watching over him."
  15. 15.0 15.1 Demon's Catalyst description: "The Demon Priests of the Fire were the first Demons and the last users of fire sorceries; these were magic from the time when the Witch of Izalith had not yet been devoured by Chaos and in which there were not yet the arts of pyromancy".
  16. Demon Ruins#Location and Lost Izalith#Location
  17. 17.0 17.1 Izalith Pyromancy Tome description.
  18. Laurentius of the Great Swamp dialogue: "This land has a special meaning to pyromancers. The “Witch of Izalith”, one of the first Lords in legend, is said to be the core founder of pyromancy. That’s why I was ecstatic when I became Undead. I’d been chosen, I’d touch the primal pyromancies… Well, it wasn’t such a sweet thing, now was it…"
  19. Laurentius of the Great Swamp dialogue: "My master is likely still in the Great Swamp, but master had a way of saying it. “Pyromancy is, after all is said and done, longing. We’re born into Dark and captivated by fire, but can’t even touch it. Only those with such strong longing can have part of fire’s power in their hand.” There was a strange stylishness to the withered old man’s quirks… "
  20. Fire Whip (Dark Souls III) description.
  21. Quelana of Izalith dialogue: "Pyromancy is the art of fire, the art of lighting and controlling it. But, listen. Remember only this: Fear fire. Those who forget that fear are consumed by the fire, and lose everything. I don’t want to see something like that again…"
  22. Laurentius of the Great Swamp dialogue: "What we call pyromancy is, in other words, the art of fire. The art of the primal life, which kindles and uses fire. That’s why a pyromancer tries to be in nature. The Great Swamp that I’m from was also such a place. You too will understand someday"
  23. Laurentius of the Great Swamp dialogue: "Pyromancy is said to have a certain kind of primitive aspect to it. At any rate, there are times when it is incompatible with civilization-like things. That’s why, usually, pyromancers are the hated. Well, I’m a misanthrope, so it works out just fine. Even becoming Undead didn’t change anything. Hahahaha."
  24. Chaos Flame Ember description: "Ember required for weapon ascension. Chaos Flame Ember is an art of the lost city of Izalith. Handled only by blacksmiths knowledgeable in ancient methods. Chaos weapons are demon weapons augmented by humanity which inflict fire damage."
  25. Gwynevere, Princess of Sunlight and Kingseeker Frampt dialogue.
  26. Bells of Awakening locations.
  27. Quelana of Izalith dialogue: "Pyromancy is the art of fire, the art of lighting and controlling it. But, listen. Remember only this: Fear fire. Those who forget that fear are consumed by the fire, and lose everything. I don’t want to see something like that again…"
  28. Quelana of Izalith dialogue: "Hmm... I have a favour to ask... My mother, The Witch of Izalith, was one of the primeval Lords... Her power came from the soul that she found near the First Flame ...She focused this power to light a flame of her own, but she failed to control it. The Flame of Chaos engulfed Mother and my sisters, and moulded them into deformed creatures. Only I escaped, and now I am here. But my mother and sisters have been in anguish since. I beseech you. Free Mother and my sisters from the Flame of Chaos. I cannot do it myself; I lack the strength, and the bravery... But you... I realize what I am asking. But please, free their poor souls... Mother's ambitions were misguided, no doubt, but surely a thousand years of atonement is enough!"
  29. Chaos Storm description.
  30. Cornyx of the Great Swamp dialogue: "Heed my words, Unkindled One. Fear the fire. The home of pyromancy, Izalith, was scorched by the very fire it created. Undoubtedly, it was a flame of chaos, tangled by a witch's hand. But who's to say that this Bonfire's flame is any different."
  31. https://darksouls.fandom.com/wiki/File:Tree_Beast.png
  32. Soul of Quelaag and Chaos Blade and Quelaag's Furysword description.
  33. Quelana of Izalith dialogue.
  34. 34.0 34.1 34.2 Black Knight Shield description.
  35. Black Knight Greatsword description.
  36. Silver Knight Shield description.
  37. Although Izalith is destroyed, the demons and the Bed of Chaos remain active during events of Dark Souls
  38. Demon's Spear description.
  39. Soul of the Nameless King and Lightning Storm and Golden Crown and Ring of the Sun's Firstborn description.
  40. Ring of the Sun Princess and Darkmoon Seance Ring description.
  41. Demon's Greataxe description.
  42. Capra Demon and Taurus Demon location.
  43. Kingseeker Frampt dialogue.
  44. Blighttown Key description.
  45. https://darksouls.fandom.com/wiki/File:Chaos_Bug.png
  46. Lord Soul description.
  47. Soul of a Demon description.
  48. Quelaag's Furysword and Abyss Greatsword description.
  49. Chaos Flame Ember description: "Ember required for weapon ascension. Chaos Flame Ember is an art of the lost city of Izalith. Handled only by blacksmiths knowledgeable in ancient methods. Chaos weapons are demon weapons augmented by humanity which inflict fire damage."
  50. Fire Keeper Soul description.
  51. Chaos Servant mechanics and Eingyi dialogue.
  52. Chaos Witch Quelaag#Drops and Stray Demon#Drops and Taurus Demon#Drops and Asylum Demon#Drops and Capra Demon#Drops and Ceaseless Discharge#Drops
  53. Ringed Knight Paired Greatswords description.
  54. 54.0 54.1 54.2 54.3 54.4 Alsanna, Silent Oracle dialogue
  55. Ivory Straight Sword description.
  56. 56.0 56.1 Crown of the Ivory King description.
  57. 57.0 57.1 Soul of the Ivory King description.
  58. Garrison Ward Key description.
  59. Loyce Soul description
  60. Charred Loyce Greatsword description
  61. Charred Loyce Set description
  62. Soul of Alsanna, Silent Oracle description.
  63. Ivory Warrior Ring description.
  64. Rampart Golem Shield description.
  65. Sweet Shalquoir dialogue: "Are you going to see the Old Ones? Those four who have grown so incredibly ancient. They must have sprouted quite a thick coat of moss by now. For heaven's sake, no-one even knows their names anymore!"
  66. Great Chaos Fireball (Dark Souls II) description.
  67. Old Witch Soul and Flame Weapon description and Chaos Blade (Dark Souls II) and Flame Weapon#Availability and Chaos Blade (Dark Souls II)#Availability
  68. Old Witch Soul description.
  69. Penal Handcuffs description: "Hand restraints of the Lost Sinner. Increases the power of pyromancy. A device used to restrict use of the hands. By now no one knows who this was used to punish, or for what reason. Effect: Raises power of pyromancies and Penal Handcuffs#Availability
  70. *Pyromancers assist them in battle and Fire Seed#Availability near their prison
  71. Lost Sinner#Location and Sinners' Rise#Description
  72. Bastille Key description.
  73. 73.0 73.1 73.2 Sweet Shalquoir dialogue: "Once, people tried to round up the Undead and hide them away from the world. They thought that imprisoning the Undead would solve the problem. They created a towering bastille to contain them, but in the end, it did no good. The Lost Sinner lives deep within the bastille. The fool. Trying to light the First Flame…"
  74. Penal Handcuffs description.
  75. Penal Mask description.
  76. Soul of the Lost Sinner description.
  77. Old Witch Soul description and Old Witch Soul#Availability
  78. https://darksouls.fandom.com/wiki/File:Lostsinnercloseup.jpg
  79. https://darksouls.fandom.com/wiki/File:Chaos Bug.png
  80. Soul of the Lost Sinner description.
  81. Lost Sinner's Sword and Chaos Blade (Dark Souls II) description.
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