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Archdeacon Royce is a minor antagonist in Dark Souls III. He is the leader of a group of deacons who guard the tomb of Aldrich called the Deacons of the Deep.

Biography

Alongside McDonnell and Klimt, Royce was one of the three archdeacons from the Church of the Deep who lead worships to Aldrich from his grave. Under orders from Pontiff Sulyvahn, he and his deacon followers offered sacrifices to the lord to please his cannibalistic habits. When Aldrich was revived as a Lord of Cinder and left for the Boreal Valley, while McDonnell left the Cathedral of the Deep to follow after Aldrich to meet Sulyvahn and Klimt betrayed the church to worship Rosaria of the Rosaria's Fingers covenant instead, Royce chose to stay at the cathedral and guard Aldrich's tomb, believing his lord would one day return. He was also granted the Deep Soul spell by McDonnell to further his defenses.

Long after becoming a hollow undead, Royce continued his gratitude to Aldrich, sacrificing the numerous intruders to Aldrich's tomb. When the Ashen One arrives, Royce does not appear until five deacons highlighted by a red aura are killed. Once Royce appears from the ground, the red aura will focus on him. He will rise in front of Aldrich's tomb along with two blue-robed deacons and four regular red-robed deacons to aid him. It is wise to take out the blue-robed deacons instantly, as one, they are the only type of deacons not to spawn again, and two, they can use Miracles to heal Royce. Royce attacks by either using his staff to smack the player or by using the Deep Soul spell, in which a black orb is conjured from his staff, which is then enlarged by the other deacons channeling dark magic into the orb. Royce will then launch the orb at the player, moving at high speed and able to move through obstacles; if inflicted, it deals significant damage and inflicts moderate Curse buildup. Only by staggering Royce or all deacons channeling the orb can the spell be stopped.

Once Royce is defeated, all of the other deacons in the arena perish. Royce drops the Soul of the Deacons of the Deep and the Small Doll, which is used to deactivate a seal on a bridge leading to Central Irithyll.

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Trivia

  • If the player returns to Aldrich's tomb after defeating the Deacons of the Deep, Royce's corpse can be found in the center. The Archdeacon Set can be looted from it.
  • Royce's soul is one of the only two dark blue souls in the game, alongside Aldrich.
  • From the description of the Archdeacon Holy Garb, Royce may have been a member of the Way of Light covenant before joining Pontiff Sulyvahn to worship Aldrich, making him a traitor of Gwyn.

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Dark Souls II
Monarchy of Drangleic
Aldia | Nashandra | Vendrick

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Burnt Ivory King | Covetous Demon | Elana | Fume Knight | Nadalia | Sinh | Smelter Demon

Dark Souls III
Lords of Cinder
Abyss Watchers | Aldrich | Lorian and Lothric | Soul of Cinder | Yhorm the Giant

Church of the Deep
Archdeacon Royce | Archdeacon McDonnell | Dancer | Pontiff Sulyvahn | Vordt

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Curse-rotted Greatwood | High Lord Wolnir | Iudex Gundyr | Nameless King | Oceiros | Old Demon King | Yuria of Londor

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Darkeater Midir | Demon Prince | Father Ariandel | Sir Vilhelm | Sister Friede | Slave Knight Gael

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