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|“||Greetings, Undead warrior. I am the primordial serpent Darkstalker Kaathe. I can guide thee, and illuminate the truth. Undead Warrior, conqueror of the Four Kings; is this not your wish? To know the truth of men, and the Undead?||„|
|~ Darkstalker Kaathe introducing himself to the Chosen Undead.|
Darkstalker Kaathe is the central antagonist of the 2011 videogame Dark Souls and the unseen overarching antagonist of the Artorias Of The Abyss DLC.
He was voiced by Peter Marinker, who also voiced Kingseeker Frampt and Eingyi.
Like Kingseeker Frampt, Kaathe is a primordial serpent, a snake-like being that came from the Abyss spread by Manus. He is the leader of the Darkwraiths and wants to see the Furtive Pygmy's plan come to fruition by recruiting the undead with the Darksign so that they can become the new Dark Lord, heralding the Age of Dark. Prior to the events in Lordran, it is implied that he was the one who manipulated the people of Oolacile to awaken Manus, allowing the Abyss to spread. When the Abyss came to New Londo in the kingdom of Lordran, Kaathe introduced the art of lifedrain to the Kings and their soldiers, becoming the leader of the Four Kings and the Darkwraiths, making him indirectly responsible for the destruction of both Oolacile and New Londo.
The Chosen Undead can encounter Kaathe within the Abyss underneath the New Londo Ruins after killing the Four Kings, only appearing if the Lordvessel had not yet been placed at the Firelink Chamber. He tells the player that their ancestor claimed the Dark Soul to bring an age of men after the First Flame would fade. But since Lord Gwyn sacrificed himself to keep the fire burning, the "Dark Lord" could not be birthed. He takes the Chosen Undead to the Firelink Chamber for them to place the Lordvessel, encouraging them to collect the Lord Souls to confront Gwyn and snuff out the First Flame.
Continuing to talk with Kaathe will make him offer the player entry to the Darkwraith covenant, a covenant dedicated to killing off other players and stealing their humanity. Once the player enters the Kiln of the First Flame and kills the hollow Gwyn, should they decide not to link the First Flame and instead leave, Kaathe and the other primordial serpents are waiting outside. They bow to the new "Dark Lord", enthused that the Dark Lord will lead them to the Age of Man.
Outside of Lordran and Oolacile, Kaathe is also behind the creation of Londor, a land of Hollows mentioned in Dark Souls III. The residents are corpses and shades of those who led unsavory lives, feeding off absorbed humanity that they steal from others using the Dark Soul. If the player kills Yuria, she says "Kaathe, I have failed thee", proving that the Sisters of the Sable Church are part of Londor and thus followers of Kaathe.
- Attacking him enough times will make him disappear back into the Abyss, never to return. Using third-party programs to prevent him from dispersing reveals that he has 24,464 health and drops 5,000 souls upon death.
- If the player has not yet placed the Lordvessel with either Frampt or Kaathe, using a Homeward Bound or the Homeward miracle to escape the Firelink Altar without placing the Lordvessel will make both of them interactable until the Lordvessel is placed. This way, the player can both be part of the Darkwraith covenant and feed Frampt souls or shards without making one or the other disappear.