During the Age of Ancients, the Dragons were the everlasting rulers of the world until the Lords rose from the Dark and challenged them. The result was a catastrophic war that destroyed much of it. In the end, the Dragons were nearly - but not fully - driven to extinction, beginning a new era known as the Age of Fire.
Age of AncientsEdit
Not much is known about the world at this time; only that the world was unformed and shrouded by fog, filled with grey crags and arch-trees, and that the immortal Dragons held dominion over the land.
War of Fire / "Dragon War"Edit
With the advent of the First Flame, the Lords challenged the Dragons for dominion of the world. During the war, Gwyn, the Lord of Sunlight used his powerful bolts, peeling their stone scales; the Witch of Izalith and her Daughters of Chaos wove great firestorms; Nito, the First of the Dead unleashed a miasma of death and disease; and Seath the Scaleless, who sought the immortal scales of the dragons, betrayed his own kind.
Age of FireEdit
The aftermath of the war made the lands barren and lifeless. But despite all this, the Lords and the Humans rebuilt the world and brought the Age of Fire, a golden era of the new world. While the Everlasting Dragons appear to be all but extinct, the race has many descendants, some greater and some lesser.
From what can be glimpsed in the opening, the Everlasting Dragons were towering beings with a skin covered both by stone scales and bristly dark fur. Their head sported two straight horns and a mouth bearing two rows of sharp teeth on both jaws. Their back ended in a long and heavy tail but they were still able to fly thanks to their wings, leathery and clawed like the ones of a bat. Appropriately for creatures that lived in a world of fog and penumbra, their two eyes had vertical slitted pupils (this kind of eye is the symbol of both the Path of the Dragon and the Dragon Remnants). Aside from these reptilian features, the Everlasting Dragons' body was a lot less beastly than that of their descendant and kin: their arms didn't end in claws but in four-digited prehensile hands while their torso, broader at the shoulders and thinner at the hips, was almost humanoid in appearance.
Seath and the Stone Dragon prove that these beings were capable of higher reasoning and could understand other species' language, with Seath himself being able to speak the tongue of Gods and Humans.
The Dragons' iconic characteristic, their stone scales, was not a mere armor because in them was rooted their own physical form as a race. With this stone skin peeled by the Sunlight Spears of Gwyn's army, the few surviving Dragons became warped beyond recognition. Seath, born without scales, was eyeless and had a slug-like lower body; the Gaping Dragon, twisted by his own hunger, became an abomination but still sporting the prehensile hands and the four wings of true Dragons. Kalameet—even if less aberrant than the other two—became physically closer to a beast.
Throughout the series as a whole, draconism and covenants surrounding the Everlasting are seen as ways for Humanity to escape their "insignificant existence" and transcend towards something more; this is proven via various item descriptions in the games, but primarily within II and III. The Everlasting also have an innate ability to fashion artifacts unfathomable to lower beings; such as the Ashen Mist Heart in Dark Souls II.
This being said, there is also a specific power mentioned to be within Dragons themselves that can completely alter the very being of ones who channel it; the Twinkling Dragon Headstone is very specific in wording regarding the "power of the Everlasting Dragons". It can be conjectured that this is a parallel towards a central concept within various branches of Buddhism, specifically tathātā: "the ultimate nature of all things, as expressed in phenomena but inexpressible in language" according to the Oxford English Dictionary. The latter portion of the definition is self-evident within Dragons as a whole according to the encounter with the Ancient Dragon atop the Dragon Shrine in Drangleic; their speech, while captioned in-game, is still of a miasmal whisper towards the Bearer of the Curse; the captions themselves merely reinforce this fact.
The Hellkite Dragon encountered in Undead Burg is actually a Drake. Drakes are seen as undeveloped imitators of the dragons, but are likely their distant kin. Wyverns may also be of similar origin to the Hellkite Dragon and are found in the Valley of the Drakes.
In Ash Lake, the Stone Dragon, a descendant of the ancient dragons, initiates the player into the Path of the Dragon Covenant. Domhnall of Zena shares a rumor that the Stone Dragon is not a descendant and is instead, a surviving Ancient Dragon.
Undead Dragons, scattered throughout the land, are corpses of the Ancient Dragons that maintain some spark of life within their rotten form and can be occasionally stumbled upon as minibosses.
Dark Souls IIEdit
The Guardian Dragon residing in a cage in Aldia's Keep, is one of Aldia's creations and guards the way to the Dragon Aerie which is filled with the Dragon's kin. Despite its name, this creature is a wyvern (it has two legs and two wings) and its features are both avian and draconic. Being a creation of Aldia, it is possible that the latter interbred the last surviving drakes with some giant avian creatures in order to create a self-sustaining new race of Dragons.
The Ancient Dragon residing in the Dragon Shrine is said by the Emerald Herald to have watched over the world for "aeons". However, the veracity of this is doubtful, and he may have been resurrected by Lord Aldia than a survivor from the War of Fire, since Aldia attempted to recreate the dragons using giant souls. The former is far more likely as when the Ancient Dragon is slain, the Bearer of the Curse receives a Giant Soul. It can be argued however that the Ancient Dragon's authenticity is still intact despite possessing a soul; for Dragons other than ones experimented on by Aldia possess souls, such as Sinh ; thus making the comment of the Dragon being a "prop" / "false deity" via Nashandra incorrect.
Enhanced Undeads and Imperfects are abominations created by Lord Aldia using alchemy and magic: Enhanced Undead are hulking humanoids twisted by draconic mutations (they sports horns, scales, tail and resistance to fire) while the Imperfects are eyeless draconic horrors with a giant humanoid mouth and the ability to breath dark spheres (element closely associated with Humanity and the Dark Soul).
Dark Souls IIIEdit
Very few true Dragons appear in Dark Souls III, if any at all; as even more time separates the events of Dark Souls III and the Age of Dragons. Wyverns appear in Lothric Castle and the High Wall of Lothric and two Ancient Wyverns reside in Archdragon Peak. However, the Wyverns in Lothric Castle are also afflicted with Pus of Man.
Oceiros, the Consumed King was formerly the King of Lothric but became obsessed with Seath the Scaleless' work and sought to become more powerful using his royal blood. He discovered research made by Logan, who in turn was inspired by Seath. Much like Logan, Oceiros was driven insane by the work of the paledrake and somehow transformed into a malformed abomination reminiscent to that of a dragon.
Archdragon Peak is a location accessed through the 'path of the dragon' gesture found behind the location where Oceiros is fought. The enemies there are adherents to the Path of the Dragon, most likely based on the covenant from Dark Souls. Various sizes of these man-serpent hybrids appear, wielding various weapons such as axes on chains, daggers and spears. The Ancient Wyvern is also fought here.
Company Captain Yorshka seems to be a dragon crossbreed similar to Priscilla. She has scale-like markings around her eyes, and a tail not unlike that of a dragon's.
The Wretches found in Irithyll dungeon are a twisted hybrid of a human and dragon who were left in the dungeon to rot, possibly due to being failed experiments.
The Nameless King is referenced to have sided with the Dragons and is speculated to be the first-born son of Gwyn, indicated by several descriptions on weapons and his boss soul. He is referenced as a dragon-slaying god of war who sacrificed everything to side with the Dragons, and Gwyn's first-born son is said to have been stripped of his stature as punishment for his foolishness and effectively removed from history as a result of that. When encountered, he is riding a Stormdrake, named King of the Storm.
Darkeater Midir is the only true dragon encountered in Dark Souls III. Raised by the Gods themselves to combat the growing Abyss, Midir's everlasting battle against the darkness has taken its toll on him, and he is slowly being consumed by the dark's influence.
- ↑ Souls of Lords description.
- ↑ Opening narration.
- ↑ Dark Souls: The Age of Fire issue 2.
- ↑ Drake Sword description.
- ↑ Dragon King Greataxe description.
- ↑ Dragon Greatsword description.
- ↑ Domhnall of Zena dialogue.
- ↑ Soul of Priscilla description.
- ↑ Bequeathed Lord Soul Shard description.
- ↑ Obsidian Greatsword description.
- ↑ Calamity Ring description.