Need Humanity: A deeper look at the first five Dark Souls 2 covenants
Thanks to the good folk over at Namco Bandai and their Facebooking, we have a whole new slew of screenshots and information about Dark Souls II covenants. From the BETA testing (cough, Network Tests), we already knew about the Way of Blue, Blue Sentinels, and the Brotherhood of Blood. Now Namco has decided it was time to reveal the Bell Keepers as well as something quite dear to my heart… the Heirs to the Sun. Is it too early to say it? I say now is the perfect time:
"PRAISE THE SUN!"
That felt… wow. I don’t smoke, but I may need a cigarette. Since I’m clearly already talking about the Heirs to the Sun, let’s start with them. If you are “squeeing” in your seat after hearing that name, you’ve probably already realized that this is Dark Souls II’s version of Warriors of Sunlight from Dark Souls. If the name wasn’t a bright giveaway, the phantoms in this covenant are golden and enter the world with Solaire’s patented arms up “praise the sun” pose as seen in the screenshot above. STILL not convinced? Well, on the Facebook page, here's the description of Heirs to the Sun: “Worship of the sun, now a lost belief, was once widespread amongst great warriors. Its purpose to help other players.” Ummm, yes.
So, following the ole lore train from Dark Souls, this covenant descriptions works in perfectly to the fact that a chunk of the gods are gone now due to the Chosen Undead. With Gywn and his hollow husk dead, it makes sense that sun worship wouldn’t be too popular now. The whole ‘once worshiped amongst great warriors’ is most likely a reference to the Warriors of Sunlight and Solaire. Not to mention, if all of Gywn’s deeds have been brought to light (I couldn’t resist) than I’d assume the sun wouldn’t have too many followers anymore.
Now for the other new announced covenant, the Bell Keepers. As a Dark Souls fan, you can’t but think of the two bells of awakening you have to ring. However, the description from Facebook says, “The twin bells symbolize the bond between two lovers who could never be united. The bell keepers are their eternal guardians.” While the Bell Gargoyles could be considered guardians, I feel like Quelaag sort of built her lair around the other Bell due to location, location, location.
What I’m saying is that I suspect there will be some sort of connection between the fact that each game has two bells. The fact that they have something to do with lovers not being united is not something I ever picked up in Dark Souls. I can’t help but wonder what this is about, and even more so, why does a covenant exist to protect them? The Bell Keepers appear as a black phantom. If you notice in the picture, there are gargoyles in stone form in the background and the architecture is somewhat similar to where you fight them. Even in Blight Town where the bell is, besides all the red demon inspired stuff going on, the architecture is still somewhat the same – there HAS to be a connection here.
To reiterate, let’s talk about the other three covenants we already knew about briefly. We got the Way of Blue and Blue Sentinels. Before today, this is how I thought these two work: these two covenants work together for a little give and take. In short, players join the Way of Blue to get protected from invaders and Blue Sentinels are covenant members that are summoned to protect those in the Way of Blue. So if you’re a player more focused on PvE, and don’t want to build vs. invaders – go Way of Blue. If you want to be a hero and save those not interested in PvPing – go Blue Sentinel.
However, the wording or translation in their descriptions on Facebook are very confusing. “Way of Blue: Covenant with divine protection of gods of Blue. When apostles of Blue are invaded by dark spirits, they can receive assistance from other Way of Blue members. Blue Sentinels: Covenant to protect the blue apostles from the merciless beings. Let players be automatically summoned in the worlds of Blue apostles who have been invaded by dark spirits.” To me, it seems like they do the same thing but Sentinels are forced to help while Way isn’t? This screenshot makes it seem like what I thought is backwards.
The last covenant I’ve yet to talk about is the main PvP covenant, the Brotherhood of Blood. “Covenant of immortals haunted by blood. Its purpose is to sacrifice blood for Nahr Alma, god of war. Through repeated invasion to many player's world.” So yeah, if you like invading other players solely to murder, it's the perfect covenant for you; similar to the Dark Wraiths of Dark Souls. I hope you like fighting members of the Blue Sentinels. In my Dark Souls II experience, 2v1 situations never worked out well for me. Of all the announced covenants, I feel like the this one is the most properly named.
So that’s it for now. I can’t wait for more covenants to be announced. So far these five covenants have all had something to do with PvP. I’m curious if this will be the theme for every covenant or if these are specifically the PvP related ones. Well… the new Sun Bros are probably still focused on aiding in boss fights but we all know invasions like to happen on the way to the white fog gate. Will there be three more covenants like in Dark Souls? Is this all of them? Regardless, Heirs to the Sun for life; Praise the Sun!
Historian, teacher, writer, gamer, cheat master, and tech guru: follow on Twitter @AndrewC_GZ