We all know Dark Souls is quite a dark game in itself. I mostly play it for its rich backstory that is quite commonly ignored. For those that have played it, they know that it is quite a brutal and graphic game. But my experiences started to get not only very morbid, but also extremely odd..

I guess it all started about a year ago after I agreed to edit my brother's saved game on our 360 with a save editor I downloaded. He wanted me to edit his saved game and make him charcaters from builds I had previously made for him since he was new to the game. I agreed, since I knew he wouldn't be interested in going through the game and learning the lore as I was, so I made him his builds for PvP. Eventually he had started complaining constantly about 'gankers' killing him. (For anyone who doesn't know, 'ganker' referrs to an individual who summons one or two allies in PvP to fight invaders who are looking for a fair 1v1 fight.) After enough time, I agreed out of annoyance to edit his game to give him better stats and eauipment. Eventually it got to the point where I just gave up the idea that he could become a better player and ended up giving him hacked equipment which could one-shot players just so he would shut up. To be honest, I never used the save editor before because it takes the fun out of going through the game and possibly getting invaded and killed when you areen't prepared or expecting it. And the tampering also makes you rely on unfair advantages you'll have over every player in the game. It just takes the fun out of it all.

Moving on, I hadn't been able to play much since my brother had been hogging the 360, being excited when he killed people with his infinite HP OHKO characters and all that. When I finally got to sit down one day and actually play for a few hours because my brother was away at a friend's house, I got back into PvPing. Everything was normal; some wins, some losses, some gankers doing the "Well? What is it?" motion when all three of them finally killed me. The usual PvP. My brother called my parents and told them that he was going to stay over at his friend's house that night which meant that I could play Dark Souls for as long as I wanted tonight. I was excited since I hadn't gotten to play in so long, so I ended up PvPing for quite a while. My parents had gone to bed a short while after the phone call, and I just kept on enjoying myself.

At around 3am, the PvP started to slow down quite a bit, as expected, so I was about to give the 360 a rest and try again in the morning. Then, while I was waiting to be invaded at the Undead Burg, Which is quite a popular location for PvP, I got invaded by a spirit of vengence whose name was "The Pardoner". We battled numerous times; this player kept invading me and killing me, no matter which level my character was, he would always invade me the instant I reverted from Hollow to human form at the bonfire. He was an extremely skilled player! While we were playing, I was wondering why I hadn't ever heard of him or seen him PvPing anywhere else.

He seemed to learn my tactics quickly and counter them extremely effectively. He even switched up equipment frequently, so I had barely any way to effectively counter him, though, he oddly always wore the Mask of Velka. I chuckled at this realization, thinking he was just a roleplayer since the mask was worn by the Pardoner of Velka NPC. He even used advanced techniques like playing untargeted, dodging every hit I threw his way correctly even with the fat roll, deadangling every hit, backstepping effectively, he wouldn't miss a single parry, and he even used the recently famed backwards roll.

But.. this is the weird part. Every time after he killed me, he would always do the same motion.. or at least I think it was a motion; I had never seen it before. It wasn't the famous "Well? What is it?" or the "Point Down" or even the regular "Bow" that you would expect. My character would die with the same animation every time. My character would do the animation as if I had been stabbed in the stomach for the final hit even if he used a non thrusting-type weapon to deliver the final blow. His charcater would then kneel down on one knee, lift his right hand up to my face, and slightly lift up my chin. He would then look into my eyes as I faded away. Then his phantom would stand up and dissappear earlier than I thought someone could after you die. Because normally you would be able to watch them for a few seconds after you die and before you get disconnected from them.

I finally decided to stay hollow for a while to avoid any PvP and message him. I commented him on his extreme skill and thanked him for the fair fights. I waited or a reply. Ten minutes passed since he last killed me. His reply was: "The Chosen Undead does not deserve such filth. The Darksign is not the only curse the Chosen Undead bears now; you have sinned, and the Goddess Velka has sent me to punish you, Daniel."

I just sat there, rereading it over and over again to myself. 'He used my actual name.. but how did he know it? I had never met him before in my life. And what was this other curse he was talking about?' I thought to myself. In Dark Souls, being undead was a curse only curable by the Chosen Undead. 'What is he talking about, "not the only curse"? A second curse..?' Well, he had mentioned Velka. She is the goddess who  passes judgement on the sinful and punishes them for their sins. I decided to blow it off and messaged him saying that he is a pretty good roleplayer as well.

He didn't message back for a good twenty minutes.. His message said, "The blood of you and your kin have been found guilty of heinous acts in the eyes of Velka. She has sent me to punish you until I see that your torment is fitting to the crimes committed by you and your brother David."

There it was. My brother's name. He knew me and my brother. I was suddenly angry and confused. I muted him, blocked communications, and set him as an avoided player. I then tried to look up his gamer tag online. Nothing came up. 'But that can't be..' I whispered to myself. I was now quite terrified. I went back to my inbox to check if I had incorrectly searched for his name. The messages were gone; so was everything in my inbox. I then checked my online interactions.. he wasn't there either..

It was now around 5am, so I decided to go to bed. I was still very worried and confused, but I managed to fall asleep and, to my surprise, had no abnormal dreams at all..

I awoke the next morning around 12pm. My mom and dad had gone to work and my brother was still gone. I decided to get back on Dark Souls for some more PvP. This time in the Darkwood Forest, A popular place for gankers to hunt invaders. Which makes victory all the more sweeter. Guess who the first person I invade is? There he was. I descended down the entrance staircase slowly to see if there was anyone else there with him waiting to gank me. Nobody. Just him waiting there patiently. I bowed, he didn't. We fought, I lost. Then that same motion from the last sessions. I shrugged it off and kept invading in the forest. Nothing weird. Some gankers, some 1v1's. Then, a few after the initial invasion of The Pardoner's world, I invaded someone and he was this player's white phantom. They ganked me, and I died the same exact way as the past times. Now, every person I invaded, He was there.

I finally just had a breakdown and messages him saying that he needs to quit stalking me. He didn't reply. I ended up not playing for a while..

The first time I play months after these occurrences, I start a completely new character. I start watching the cutscenes telling the story of the Chosen Undead. I proceede through the Undead Asylum, then ill the boss. Right there, at the ledge where the Crow takes you away from the Asylum to Firelink Shrine, there was an item sprite sitting on the ledge. I quickly run to it, not thinkign anything peculier of it, only rushing to see if running would prevent the Crow from taking me away before I grab the item.

I pressed the A button and dropped the controller. The item was the Mask of Velka. Then the cutscene when the crow takes you from the Undead Asylum. The crow spread its wings and stretched its tallons to grab me. The game froze.

I had never asked my brother if he had met The Pardoner. To this day, I play as a Blade of the Darkmoon to pay for my sins and help collect the ears of those who have sinned.

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