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The Old Iron King is a major antagonist in Dark Souls II and the titular posthumous overarching antagonist of The Crown of the Old Iron King DLC. The former king of Venn, his arrogance and lust for pride lead to his kingdom's demise at the hands of fire and rock. From the bottom of the earth, the king was reborn as a demonic beast called Ichorous Earth in order to continue his era of totalitarianism.
The Old Iron King began his days as an unfamiliar lord with lust for power and glory. From the far east came Sir Alonne, who chose to serve under the lord despite his arrogance. With the help of Alonne, the lord established a kingdom from the ancient kingdom of Venn. He used all remaining resources he had, but in the process, he found the Scorching Iron Scepter, which allowed him to mine for the land's valuable ore. With his new power, the lord became a powerful and wealthy king and replaced his palace known as the Brume Tower with an Iron Keep.
When the Curse of the Undead occurred, the Old Iron King showed no pity for the undead and instead rallied his lords and knights to gather and torture them in the Huntsman's Copse, entertaining themselves with "undead hunts". Mighty chariots were built to hack and slash away at the undead for the executioners' amusement. Disgusted by the king's cruel hobby, Sir Alonne left the king at his peak; although the king named his knights after Alonne, he still craved more power and wealth over his servants.
With nearly every speck of iron from the land in his Iron Keep and a mass decrease to the population from the undead curse and the mass torturing, the Old Iron King's kingdom slowly fell to ruin. His Iron Keep also began to sink into the soil from its immense weight. However, the king felt only self-indulgence for his actions and ordered a pyromancer named Magus Eygil to create life to the fire from under his castle. He constructed a golem from his iron and infused it with a soul as a core. The golem came to life as the Smelter Demon, which chose to betray its creator and incinerated the king in one swing.
With the Old Iron King slain, his kingdom was lost to fire and rock. However, his soul was possessed from a great evil that lurked below and he was reborn as Ichorous Earth. From the lava did this demon-like monster emerge to engage the Bearer of the Curse, who defeated the monster and put an end to his tyrannical reign.
While it is unknown what the king looked like back when he was still human, as Ichorous Earth he takes the form of a large demonic creature with wings and spikes on his back. His head and horns resemble that of a bull skull, the symbol of his kingdom.
- On New Game Plus, the Old Iron King will drop the Old King Soul alongside his regular soul.
- The Old King Soul's description gives speculation that it belongs to Gwyn.
- The Old Iron King Soul can be consumed for 25,000 souls or traded to Weaponsmith Ornifex to obtain the Iron King Hammer.
- The king is very resilient to pyromancies but is weak to lightning-based attacks.
- If a phantom is summoned to aid in battle and chose not to enter the arena, there may be a chance that the king will get stuck in a certain location of the arena while targeting the phantom.