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A lonely ruler, sitting alone among the ruins of his city, with the only company of the deformed

and
inert corpses of whom once were his subjects, a king who once was willing to give anything in their
defense and yet was unable to do so, and was condemned to live there, with his guilt as his only
jailer.

A company of knights, bound by honor before anything else, willing to sacrifice themselves to
protect the world of some terrible evil, enduring the most painful duty of having to fight among their
brothers in order to do so, while watching how the world they were meant to protect faded and
died.

A simple and humble king, willing to march to the ends of the world in search for the progress his
people sought, builder of a majestic kingdom, and condemned to see it fall and decay.

A bright, powerful, godlike lord of light, capable of building entire Eras, waging war against immortal
races, and fight the passing of nature itself, someone who would annihilate anything in his path to
make the world a place of life and light, where everyone would live peacefully under an everlasting
Sun.

What makes someone suitable for becoming a Lord of Cinder? Someone capable of linking the fire,
and prolonging the Age of Fire, thus fighting the power of nature itself, even after death. The
requirements to link the flame are clear; a being must obtain a soul strong enough to serve as fuel
for the flame for a period of time, and then allow it to consume it along with the host. It is important
to remember that this is the only way for undead to truly die, or cease existing, while for other races
like gods it only one of many ways. But once the First Flame consumes a creature and its soul, how
does it deem whether the being is worthy of coming back as a Lord of Cinder? It is no longer in
possession of the Soul that made him worthy in the first place, what more could it offer? The answer
is the only thing that remains with a being once it dies and leaves the Age of Light to join the rest of
the Forgotten and Dead in the growing Age of Dark; its will.

When a creature dies for whatever reason in Dark Souls, it is deprived of its soul, which was a
remnant of the Lord Souls that the First flame placed in all living things but humans, which had the
Dark Souls, this is also the reason why they don’t die upon being slain and deprived of their “light
souls”. After a “living” being is deprived of its souls it dies, and travels to a dimension where all that
dies, and all that is forgotten ends up; the Dark Age, an amalgam of forgotten kingdoms and long
dead characters much like the Dreg Heap in The Ringed City. Many beings of light slain during the
events of Dark Souls 1 can be found among the ruins of these long lost kingdoms; a Dragonslayer
forced to guard an empty cathedral while the glory of slaying drakes lies asleep at his doorstep, an
old Witch, now reduced to a brutish creature, kept in the dark, tortured by the same insect that she
once became, reminding her of a fate worse than death, a white dragon, who would be willing to
cause the death of his entire race in an attempt to prolong his life is found as a corpse hanging from
the ceiling, all these creatures, living among the ruins of long forgotten kingdoms conform the Age of
Dark that comes after the Abyss.
When a being is sent to this strange land it is given one purpose and one purpose only; to seek his
kingdom, and become a rightful monarch. By obtaining once again a powerful soul, just like they had
to do in order to link the flame, and them obtaining the Power of a King, an individual is deemed
worthy of standing out among the countless creatures who have ever served as fuel for the First
Flame, those who are deemed worthy will then be brought back as hollow-like creatures, almost
incapable of thinking or reasoning, when the bell tolls and the Flame is threatened to link it once
more.

Only 5 beings have ever been brought back by the Flame in order to protect it; The Lonely Ruler,
who build an even greater kingdom far from the raging wars of the surface, in the depths of the
earth, among a landscape of water and limestone. The Sunken King underwent then is final trial; he
experienced the bitterest defeat he had suffered in his life after being forced to watch how his
subjects perished or were deformed into wretched hideous creatures. He was then approached by a
Queen, Elana, one of the fragments of the Soul of Manus, the furtive Pigmy, and Father of the Abyss;
she then made him see the truth about Gwyn and his age of light, and the suffering it had brought,
due to this, once the bell unearthed Yhorn the Giant he simply retreated into the depths of his city
and refused to link the flam once more

The captain of a group of knights, who considered himself to not be above his colleagues, who
established his throne over a land of ice and wind, in order to defend its inhabitants from a lurking
evil, right under his castle. The Ivory King also met one of the Queens who were daughters of Manus;
Alsanna made the knights aware of the reality the same way the Elana informed Yhorn, and so,
when Farron’s Undead Legion was brought back to link the flame, the joined Yhorn and exiled
themselves to their keep, to watch the flame fade once again.

And a humble, simple King, who sought the best for his people, and was willing to sacrifice anything
to keep them from harm, and who even banished his own brother from his land in order to protect
the people of Drangleic. Vendrick also met one of the Queens, however, as embellished as he was
the by beauty of the life that the First Flame provided he refused to listen to Nashandra, and instead
he locked himself in the deepest dungeon to let his power and his mind fade; for this, when Ludleth
The Exiled was resurrected he was but a frail and tiny thing, yet his determination to help in the
linking of the First Flame was untouched.

The First Lord of Cinder, the lord of Light who built a kingdom of Iron and Fire in the heart of the
Dark he despised was also brought back by the Flame, almost immediately after being consumed,
therefore by the time the Queen Nadalia reached his kingdom the king was long gone and Gwyn’s
determination to protect the first flame was yet untouched. After being sent back by the next
chosen undead to link the flame Gwyn’s will wasn’t enough to become a king once again, and
instead assumed his role as a member as a inhabitant of the Age of Dark in the Iron Keep.
Without counting Prince Lothric, who was only awarded the title of Lord of Cinder due to his
strength and not for his yet untested will, there is only one lord of cinder left in the events of Dark
Souls 3, and only one king left in the story of Dark Souls 2. Aldritch is different from the rest of the
Lords of Cinder in a number of things; unlike the rest of the Lords he not only retained his free will
but also his sanity, being able to communicate with his followers and even forming a covenant of his
own. He was also capable of assisting Sulyvahn in the conquer of Anor Londo and defeated the
Crossbreed Yorshka and the God of Moonlight Gwyndolin, consuming the later by the time the
Ashen One confronts him. Unlike the rest of the lords Aldritch doesn’t speak of waiting for the Age
of Dark, the reefers to the Age of Deep Waters, a time of his own, something that would only be
achievable by someone with a lot more power than a mere lord of cinder, someone capable of
bending the Abyss to his will, bringing knights form the realm of Drangleic back to life to protect him,
and also capable of using the Lifehunt Scythe, which no mortal can wield without harming
themselves. The main character of Dark Souls 2 wasn’t content with obtaining the crown of a king
and awaiting his turn, he sought and obtained every single source of power left in the Abyss,
becoming stronger than he was ever meant to be, and when he came back he didn’t seek for an Age
of Fire of its Dark counterpart; when Aldritch came back to life, he had plans of his own…