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Baby’s Nail

"A dagger treated with plague. The blade is curved like a talon.

A dagger often used by women and children for assassination. Among the various unique weapons, this is one of the especially sinister.”


I always found this weapon in particular to be the most unsettling in the entire Souls series due to its name, description and due to the place where it is found.

So I doodle’d it.

I wish I could be drawing Darklurker, Maiden Astraea, Storm King and many, many more bosses. Instead, I’m drawing THESE things, over and over again. And boy are they hard to draw. College ain’t easy.



So, I am studying architecture at my College now for a month already and thing is: I don’t have much free time anymore. So… my drawings will show up much more sporadically (if at all) for some time. For those who are still in high school, be warned: College is like having to beat Ornstein and Smough solo, naked, with only your fists, without buffs/rings on NG+ EVERY FREAKING WEEK. It’s genuinely hard.

Why Maiden Astraea is Evil      

soulsmusings:

silver-impaler:

soulsmusings:

Yes, I promised a write-up on the Navlaan/Felkin/Aldia love science triangle. I can assure you that it’s on the way. First, however, I’d like to discuss a topic that requires a little less research — for the sake of keeping the blog active.

It’s going to be a hard sell, but…

[Here silver-impaler writes an excellent response that is far too long to include in full. For the sake of neatness, a link: http://silver-impaler.tumblr.com/post/94975606298/why-maiden-astraea-is-evil]

Here is soulsmusings response to my response (which is a big text that we will hide here for convenience) 

Very well, the first thing I want to say is that I didn’t take you as being ignorant to Demon’s Souls story, quite the opposite in fact. I just disagreed with the way you interpreted some points in the story. Sorry if it sounded like something else.

However, we don’t know whether the “fog” mentioned is specific to the Valley; it could be the outer fog that encapsulates the entire region. I’d argue that that is the case — since so many people who entered through the Fissure are spoken of in similar terms. “Never seen,” “never heard from again,” etc.”

This really doesn’t make a difference at all. It would simply mean that misery was amplified on every corner of the world: On the Boletarian Palace, that was once not really a bad place to be at; and at the Valley, a place that was putrid way before the Old One awoke again.

"But even if the Valley’s demons were not the product of Astraea’s influence — which, I concede, they may not have — it’s evident that they were subordinate to her, and served as an extension of her will/influence. Why is there a fly-ridden demon? The plague, which brings flies. Why is the plague so potent here? Astraea, who sits in the most potent plague swamp in the game.”

Is it truly evident that the Valley’s demons (as in, the Leechmonger and the Dirty Colossus and not the inhabitants of the Valley per se) were subordinate to Astraea? I think they were only subordinated to the Old One itself. I can’t really back up this with evidence, because the game gives us none about it. I just get the feeling that the demons were acting in service of the Old One only. It is clear, however, that the inhabitants could still not worship Astraea (the Filthy Woman didn’t), so this could infer that they had their own free will (I’m not saying that you pictured them as mindless zombies controlled by Astraea, but I’d like to put this here).

The plague from which the “fly-ridden demon” sprouted from was evidently already on the Valley before Astraea came (I have backed this up in my previous post hehe). Hence, it could have very little to do with Astraea.

Taken as an isolated character, the Filthy Woman doesn’t offer much, I agree. If your only detractor is a crazy, envious herb peddler, it speaks more to your potential virtues than any true sins. However, the Filthy Woman isn’t Astraea’s only detractor.

The game makes of point of creating a certain impression: There are rumors about Astraea, floating everywhere. The individuals who spread these rumors aren’t very credible in themselves — Saint Urbain is a narrow-minded zealot, his follower is a hypocrite, etc. — but the sheer number of them (seen and unseen) speaks to some truth in what they say.

Moreover, we must consider the Filthy Woman’s son. True, he was cut from the game — but his mother’s dialogue was written under the assumption that the player would see him. I don’t have an image on hand, but he’s an emaciated little thing, awful to look at. He is the product of the Valley’s current state — and when his mother swears that Astraea is the cause of it all, it’s meant to give us pause.

"Maybe she is telling the truth, beneath it all?" That’s what we’re supposed to feel — or at the very least, that’s what I felt when I met her for the second time. As Selen Vinland says, the Filthy Woman ultimately has "no reason to lie." Would a starving, miserable person seek a probable scapegoat? Yes. Would she do it out of mere jealousy? No; her son is dying."

I understand your point here: the game wants us the really question whether or not the rumors are true (or if they are only partially true, depending on how you look at it). There’s no arguing here: I agree that this is the impression we are supposed to get from the game the first time we hear about Astraea.

The Depraved Ones are immune to poison and plague, use poison-tipped weapons, cast poison spells, and thrive in a rotten shantytown where all of the normal humans (save the Filthy Woman) have died — presumably of disease. Are we looking at the same place? Filth is in these creatures’ blood!”

I don’t see how this comes as contrary to my previous points. This could only mean that some people adapted to the place’s hostile environment and some people did not. We can’t really assume that those who survived there were under some demonic influence that allowed them to live despite the plague. The Valley was filthy before the demons came, and people lived there just as they did after the demons came.

Again, allow me to observe: Upon entering the 5-3 boss room, we see a cliff side covered in worshiping Depraved Ones. Astraea says that “this place is a sanctuary for the lost and wretched,” and the Archstone description states that the Valley’s inhabitants offer their souls there.

Astraea has a Demon Soul; she is clutching it in her hands. Sage Freke says that “a Demon Soul is no mere amalgamation of lesser souls,” but this very remark implies that on some level, this is true. Minus the special “demon-ness” that makes it a Demon Soul, Astraea’s Demon Soul is comprised of many lesser souls.

Where might she find these souls, if not from the Valley’s tortured residents — as stated by the Archstone? Ergo, she chose to accept these souls. She allowed a Demon Soul to form from them. Garl Vinland isn’t standing at the cave mouth, shooing the worshipers away.”

This does not disprove my previous points: she wasn’t commanding anyone to give her anything. She was not “the owner” of the Valley: she could not tell people to get out of the Valley. She isn’t to blame if people lived on that plague-ridden place before she even got there. Therefore, she didn’t “allow her worshipers to live among the disease”. They simply did, regardless of her.

The rest of this paragraph actually relates to the part I agreed with you: she was providing souls to the Old One. Souls that were offered to her by her worshipers by their own free will. She is indeed accepting their Souls, she did chose to do so. But that could probably be the only means of her to sustain her healing powers (the more souls she has, the power powerful she is = the more powerful are her healing spells = people live better. Thing is, the souls also give power to the Old One, allowing it to keep the entire world at misery, so she failed to see the hole in her logic). She is guilty of being ignorant, not evil.

"Furthermore, the lady is sitting on a mound of golden coins, chalices, jewelry, etc. I highly doubt that she brought it all herself. This gold is an offering from the Valley folk, and she sits on it without objecting…"

Interesting point. I say she didn’t have any use for the gold on that Valley. Her worshipers probably didn’t have any use for it too (they can’t buy medicine and cure themselves anyway), hence, they decided to give it to Astraea. She was probably trying to be polite by accepting their gifts. Or the denizens of the Valley simply couldn’t accept a “No! I will NOT accept your money! I’m doing my job!”. If a doctor saved my life, I would buy him a beer and wouldn’t let him deny my thanking.

"it’s safe to assume that before the Old One’s second awakening, new people were constantly entering the Valley.”

Hmm, kinda difficult to just assume that. If this is true, there is nothing saying that new people were not constantly entering the Valley even after the Old One’s awakening aswell.

 How could these people — arguably the bulk of the Valley’s population — develop an immunity to the disease? That requires generations of living there.”

Who knows, perhaps From Software didn’t take that into account? Still, people lived on the Valley before the demons (as you and I have agreed on) and it was already a plaguefest before that (as the game says). Why would people simply stop being able to survive on the Valley because of diseases? That would only be the case if the diseases became deadlier. But then there’s the game telling us that Astraea came there and eased their suffering. Hence, living there became a little easier (if we do not take into account that there is a giant leech-monster and a filthy-colossus-demon-creature ready to kill everyone on sight there now)

And if the Filthy Woman clone is a longtime resident of the Valley — as one would expect, given the Filthy Woman’s dialogue — why is she lying dead,presumably of poison/plague/etc.? Evidently, she didn’t have sufficient immunity. The only way that this can be true is if some of these diseases are a new development.”

Perhaps she simply died out of something else. Perhaps she didn’t have money to buy medicine (as the Filthy Woman did, since she used her son to get more money). Or perhaps she didn’t have such a good immunity system as the Filthy Woman did. People have different tolerances to disease. 

You’ve mentioned this action of “taking” the disease several times, and I can’t say that I know of any textual evidence for it. We know that the Valley’s inhabitants ended their misery by offering their souls to Astraea. We know that Astraea “relieved their suffering” and “showed them compassion.”

And that’s … about all. Nothing is stated so explicitly as, say, the Fair Lady’s treatment of Eingyi & Friends.

As for the lives that Astraea and Garl took, I didn’t mean to imply actual, real-time murders. It’s heavily implied, if not stated outright, that they are responsible for the spread and potency of the plague. The only people who benefit from this are the Depraved Ones, who are no longer human. The Filthy Woman’s son, the knights and clerics, the countless nameless dead…

They’re all worse — dead — thanks to the plague, because they don’t have any affinity for it. The Depraved Ones do have affinity for it, because of the demonic activity that allowed such filthy goblinoids to exist.. Who is the most powerful contributor to said demonic activity? Astraea. She indirectly killed everyone who wasn’t posed to benefit from her good-intentioned “help.””

I already mentioned above that I disagree that she was responsible for spreading the disease (even the fact the the disease is indeed spreading is not 100% confirmed). I feel really stupid for not seeing this “heavy implicitness” that the disease was being spread by Astraea. If you could name some things that could prove that, (things which you have not presented here already) I’d be grateful. Really, I just don’t agree here.

True, she meant only to help. Your second point, however, is projecting thoughts and emotions onto her. We can’t know whether she was aware of the consequences of her actions.”

If she was aware of the consequences, then she didn’t really only mean to help. Hence, she would be evil. And about the word evil: I don’t really like the way you use it to denote something “against god’s will”. If god is indeed the Old One, then he is not a “good” god and those who oppose it would not be categorically “evil” as a result. King Allant seems to believe that God and the Old One are not one and the same: he says that God created the Old One. But that’s another point entirely.

At the end of the day I get that you didn’t say Maiden Astraea was in fact a hateful and deprived person despite her seemly good appearance. But the title “Why Maiden Astraea is Evil” implies exactly the opposite of that, which is somewhat misleading.

Why Maiden Astraea is Evil

soulsmusings:

Yes, I promised a write-up on the Navlaan/Felkin/Aldia love science triangle. I can assure you that it’s on the way. First, however, I’d like to discuss a topic that requires a little less research — for the sake of keeping the blog active.

It’s going to be a hard sell, but…

According to the Filthy Woman, “ever since that demon witch came here, everything has turned foul.” Though she’s hardly a trustworthy source, this observation seems pretty well-justified. The plague swamp, the Depraved Ones, the monsters — all of this is the result of demonic activity. Surely it can’t be natural!

Maiden Astraea is the Archdemon of the Valley. 
Ergo, she is responsible for all the lesser demons there.”

This could easily be proven false if you take into account that the Demons could be there before Astraea even got to the Valley. The image you posted says

"She is a pure soul who has gone into the Valley of Defilement to help the wretched and the suffering who dwell there. Neither she nor her bodyguard Garl Vinland have been seen since they entered the fog.”

The “fog” (or “Colorless fog”, as it is referred as numerous times in the game) is explained to be product of Demons/The Old One. Hence, there was already demonic activity on the Valley before Astraea even got there. She is probably not responsible for anything but the relief of the Valley’s denizens.

"The Valley’s natural filth was amplified by recent demonic activity." - We can assume that this is true due to reasons I stated above. We can’t, however, say that the demonic activity is something which Astraea is responsible for.


"Ergo, Astraea’s presence magnified the natural filth of the Valley." - There is nothing on item descriptions or anything that suggests this. Except the Filthy Woman’s dialogue, which is (as you said yourself) hardly a trustworthy source. The Filthy Woman says This was a much better place before she came. I was the apple of every mans eye.” We can deduct that she is simply jealous of the Maiden’s beauty enough to talk people into hating her.

We can only conclude that Astraea helped the Valley folk not by purging their home of disease — but by increasing their affinity for disease.(That’s pretty obvious, actually.)”

Not obvious at all: this is never specified in the game. We don’t know how the Valley truly was before she got there, we only know that all the filth of the world ended up there and eventually the Valley was shrouded by the Colorless Fog.

Astraea allowed her worshipers to thrive in a disease-ridden environment. ”

She didn’t “allow” or not allow anyone to do anything. She wasn’t a queen or a ruler of the damned nor had any authority to be in a position of being able to “allow” people to do things or not. She just took the suffering/diseases of the people there inside herself. As a consequence, her insides (her Soul) became very impure. Try cleaning some black liquid with a sponge: the sponge will absorb the liquid, becoming black inside.

It can be assumed that without the Valley of Defilement, they all would perish — but any normal person would die within the Valley, yes?”

People in Serra Leoa eat less than 1 dollar worth of food per week. Could they survive in the USA, where they would probably gain more than 1 dollar per week (and thus, be able to eat a lot more)? Yes. Would an American person - who is used to eating at least 10 dollars worth of food per week - survive in Serra Leoa, where they would not be able to eat more than 1 dollar worth of food? Probably not, because they’re not used to it. The same thing goes to the inhabitants of the Valley: they could survive there because they were used to the diseases there. Outsiders were not. Ergo, outsiders could probably not survive the Valley - but the contrary is simply not true.

"In order to preserve their filthy colony of Depraved Ones, Astraea and Garl are willing to kill the world they forsook. They will amplify the plague and poison, killing innocents, if it means a better life for (a select number of) the Valley’s inhabitants. “Let those other innocents die, so long as our innocents can enjoy freedom and power!”

The game itself only says that Astraea took the plague and disease inside her. This means exactly the opposite you are saying: she was halting the disease from spreading. Also, there is no evidence that they killed anyone. There is a pile of bodies next to Garl: but that could simply be power-hungry knights going after Astraea’s soul, which had immense power. Garl did his job and defended Astraea from those people.

Moreover, we should consider that the Depraved Ones “offer their souls [to Astraea] so that they might be freed from their suffering.” Big no-no!

The central sin of Demon’s Souls is the unnatural exchange of souls. Wherever souls are being taken from their owners — and subsequently absorbed by a demon — madness and death reign. These two conditions, like disease, are also an affront to life. We see them in nearly every region of the game.

By accepting the souls of the Valley’s supplicants, Maiden Astraea — like Allant, the Old Monk, and Sage Freke — benefits from the ultimate trespass against nature.”

This is actually completely true! The Old One was, indeed, benefiting from the Souls Astraea was being offered with. After all, Astraea had a Demon Soul - she pledged herself to the Old One in order to be granted power to help cure the suffering. The suffering offered her their souls as the ultimate form of “thanks”, souls which would end up in possession of the Old One, because the Old One was part of Astraea. This is why we must take her Demon Soul: you must kill EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THE DEMONS (all demons give souls to the Old One). That way, the Old One would be cut of from its supplies of souls and eventually would go after you, the only one capable of bringing it what it craved for.

But Astraea was, in fact, only trying to help. She didn’t realize her means were only a short-time answer to a much bigger problem. She wasn’t evil.

http://marquisdespeculah.tumblr.com/post/94582964735/hi-id-just-like-to-say-im-sorry-for-the-arguing

marquisdespeculah:

Hi, I’d just like to say I’m sorry for the arguing post previous.

I hate/love arguing. It’s fun to give off a condescending tone, and crush others with evidence and criticism, but it always leaves me feeling bad inside, and rightfully so.

I’m trying not to be so much of an pseudo-intellectual…

don’t worry about it. I was glaringly wrong at some points and I apologize for that. but I’m not taking this discussion personally and you shouldn’t too, so no need to feel bad. we are discussing and criticizing theories, not eachother. I admit I came of rude on my previous commentaries and I, again, apologize for not discussing adequately.

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