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|“||Many monarchs have come and gone. One drowned in poison, another succumbed to flame. Still another slumbers in a realm of ice. Not one of them stood here, as you do now. You, conqueror of adversities. Give us your answer.||„|
|~ Aldia, before fighting the Bearer of the Curse.|
Aldia, also known as the Scholar of the First Sin, is the secondary antagonist of Dark Souls II. The elder brother of King Vendrick, he sought to free the kingdom of Drangleic from the undead curse, but his numerous experiments caused him to deform into a monstrosity. If the right requirements are met, he appears after defeating Nashandra to serve as the game's true final boss.
He was voiced by David Gant.
Aldia was the older brother to Vendrick, and aided his brother in creating the kingdom of Drangleic out of the ruins of kingdoms beforehand. After the war with the giants when the undead curse struck the kingdom, Aldia went his own way to find a cure. Coming up with ideas to find immortality, Aldia went mad experimenting on hollows. Disgusted by his brother's decisions, Vendrick condemned Aldia within his mansion for all eternity. People who entered Aldia's Keep were kidnapped by Aldia and forced to undergo cruel experimentations, returning to the outside world as malformed beasts that served as his servants who guard the mansion. Aldia also experimented on sorcery, creating the Soul Geyser, Unleash Magic, and Forbidden Sun spells. Ultimately, Aldia discovered the nature of the undead curse was spread by a "yolk" of fate and ended up experimenting on himself to find true immortality. His research ultimately failed and cursed him into a monstrosity.
Aldia inhabited the bonfires and encounters the Bearer of the Curse after they defeat the four Old Ones and before lighting the fourth and last Primal Bonfire. Aldia emerges from the bonfire and asks the player if they seek to inherit the order of the world or destroy it. He tells them to seek the answer by finding Vendrick before sinking back through the floor. He can later be found at the first bonfire in the Undead Crypt, teleporting to the Dragon Shrine bonfire after exhausting his dialogue in the Undead Crypt. He continues asking the player for their intensions and telling them of the nature of the curse and the fabric of the world.
In the Throne of Want, if Vendrick was killed before defeating Nashandra, Aldia appears and challenges the player to a final battle to test their determination in obtaining the throne. When facing Aldia, there are delays in when the player should attack Aldia, telegraphed when the flames that come under his body die down. When his body is burnt out, he is weak to attacks. When on fire, he has very high resistance against attacks. He only burns out after using three attacks: a giant fireball, a barage of tentacles around him, or by teleporting to another portion of the room, creating a ring of fire where he shows up. His other attacks include casting out a barrage of fireballs to home in on the player, or by slamming his tentacles into the ground to emerge chasing after the player. When he hits half health, Aldia buffs himself in a second phase where the flames intensify in size and his attacks are cast in succession from one another.
Once defeated, Aldia tells the player that ever since losing everything, he patiently waited for someone to take the throne. He then asks them what they want: light, dark, or something else entirely. If the player chooses to reject the throne and leave, Aldia narrates the player's departure, saying that there is no path beyond the scope of light or the reach of dark. Whatever awaits out there is up to the fate of humanity.
Aldia takes the form of a severely deformed human head covered with branch-like tentacles and flames. His body flattens out at the bottom like a slug that spews out flames. A small red orb can be seen above his mouth, presumably an eye.
- Aldia is the only boss in the entire Dark Souls trilogy to not drop any souls upon death.
- Aldia was added in patch 1.10. If all four Primal Bonfires have been lit before downloading the patch, Aldia will appear at the bonfire located behind The Rotten's arena.
- When at the Dragon Shrine, Aldia is reduced to a tiny size given the room's area.