This page contains lore theories by Rakuyo.
Please understand these are musings and interpretations by a player, and are not to be taken as official or representative of other's views.
Ebrietas is a massive alien entity who inhabits the ominous Altar of Despair.
Those who defeat Ebrietas are awarded the Great Isz Chalice and can explore this mysterious labyrinth full of Kin.
The Altar itself appears to be an underground cavern, alligned with impossible architecture and freakish statues protruding from the cavern walls.
Though inanimate it is not without power. This alien is able to reverse the flow of time.
It seems shy to use this power though, allowing only the resurrection of Annalise, Queen of the Vilebloods.
The First Meeting With Ebrietas
The item description of the Augur of Ebrietas states:
"Remnant of the Eldritch Truth encountered at Byrgenwerth.
The initial encounter marked the start of an inquiry into the cosmos from within the old labyrinth, and led to the establishment of the Choir."
The item description of the Great Isz Chalice states:
Based on this, I reconstruct events as follows:
2 - Ebrietas imparts The Eldritch Truth, or she is The Eldritch truth.
The item description on A Call Beyond states:
"One of the secret rites of the Choir."
"Long ago, the Healing Church used phantasms to reach a lofty plane of darkness, but failed to make contact with the outer reaches of the cosmos."
"The rite failed to achieve its intended purpose, but instead created a small exploding star, now a powerful part of the Choir's arsenal.
"At times, failure is the mother of invention."
A Call Beyond is a secret rite of The Choir. Its intended purpose was to make contact with a "lofty plane of darkness".
It's quite likely that Ebrietas is connected to this "lofty plane of darkness".
Ebrietas is clearly very important to The Choir, but her exact function in this world is a big mystery. Yet she is laden with clues hinting to her importance.
The above are all Lovecraftian beings and fairly authentic as they come.
From left to right: Elder Thing, a member of The Great Race of Yith, Cthulhu (High Priest of the Great Old Ones).
The following is from wikipedia:
"In the Mythos canon, the Elder Things were the first extraterrestrial species to come to the Earth, colonizing the planet about one billion years ago. They stood roughly eight feet tall and had the appearance of a huge, oval-shaped barrel with starfish-like appendages at both ends. The top appendage was a head adorned with five eyes, five eating tubes, and a set of cilia for "seeing" without light. The bottom appendage was five-limbed and was used for walking and other forms of locomotion. The beings also had five leathery, fan-like retractable wings and five sets of branching tentacles that sprouted from their torsos."
Lovecraft described the Elder Things as vegetable-like or echinoderm-like in shape, having radial symmetry instead of the bilateral symmetry of bipeds. They also differed in that they had a five-lobed brain. The Elder Things exhibited vegetable as well as animal characteristics, and in terms of reproduction, multiplied using spores, although they discouraged increasing their numbers except when colonizing new regions. Though they could make use of both organic and inorganic substances, the Elder Things were carnivorous by preference. They were also amphibious.
The bodies of the Elder Things were incredibly tough, capable of withstanding the pressures of the deepest ocean. Few died except by accident or violence. The beings were also capable of hibernating for vast epochs of time. Nonetheless, unlike many other beings of the Mythos, the Elder Things were made of normal, terrestrial matter."
Obviously Lovecraft intended them to look really weird. They share a number of traits with Ebrietas but it's not a perfect fit.
The following traits fit:
+Plant and Animal Characteristics
+Aquatic (Her anatomy ought to favor aquatic over terrestrial life. The Altar of Despair is also full of trapped water, perhaps she requires the dampness)
+Sturdy (Ebrietas has very high defenses, especially against Blunt)
The following traits don't fit:
-Ebrietas does not possess radial symmetry.
-Ebrietas does not possess starfish traits or 5-sidedness.
-The Elder Things are superhuman but mortal, made of regular matter and they need to reproduce. They are not gods.
Ebrietas is a Great One, which is generally thought to be a kind of god or superhuman being.
Based on her ingame traits, she's in no way inferior to the other Great Ones in terms of strength or apparent importance.
The History of Elder Things
They fought against the races that allied themselves with The Great Old Ones and held strong for many ages.
It was climate change combined with slave uprisings that would finally cost them control of the planet.
They retreated to the depths of the ocean, allowing humanity to claim the surface world.
The Great Race of Yith
They do have a very unique ability. They can swap minds with other organisms, even organisms from the past or the future.
Ebrietas is sleeping when you first meet her and remains asleep until she's attacked.
The power of the Yithians gives us at least some clue as to what she may be doing.
Cthulhu - The Sleeper of R'lyeh
Cthulhu is known as "The Great Dreamer", "The Sleeper R'lyeh" and "High Priest of the Great Old Ones".
Though he is in a state of hibernation, Cthulhu is a constant source of anxiety for humans worldwide.
His powers allow him to affect the human subconscious and influence people through dreams. He is worshipped by mad cultists across the globe.
This seems to be in spite of abundant anatomical differences between them.
The canonical Cthulhu has the shape of a man - the head of an octopus - and the wings of a bat.
Ebrietas' fundamental body plan is more like that of an invertebrate, with wings that are only vaguely batlike.
She has about four teethed mouthpieces that dangle from her head but none of the pronounced tentacles of Cthulhu.
"A monster of vaguely anthropoid outline, but with an octopus-like head whose face was a mass of feelers,
a scaly, rubbery-looking body, prodigious claws on hind and fore feet, and long, narrow wings behind." - H.P.Lovecraft
This description is vague, with some parts conforming with her design and other parts conflicting with it.
Ebrietas has a body that is "vaguely anthropoid ", up to a point . You'd have to ignore the extra limbs and split tentacles .
Her strange head could pass for "octopus-like" and certainly matches "a face with a mass of feelers".
But Ebrietas has no "prodigious claws on hind and fore feet", she has tentacles and no feet. Her body is neither "scaly" nor "rubbery-looking".
The protagonist learns that the church has some dark history, involving an evil cult named "The Church of Starry Wisdom".
He journeys to the church, climbs through a window into a crypt, then he ascends a tower to find the church's sanctum.
Within the sanctum, the protagonist finds an ancient artifact able to summon a terrible being from the depths of time and space.
He carelessly summons the being and is subsequently killed. His corpse is discovered later, its face stuck in a contorted expression of horror.
In Lovecraft's short story, the ancient artifact that permits contact with a primordial evil is called the "Shining Trapezohedron".
In "The Haunter of the Dark" the path to the sanctum of the church mentions the following key areas: a crypt, a tower and a window.
In the story Robert Blake climbs through a window to reach the church's crypt, then he climbs up a tower to find the sanctum.
These connections are potent, and insinuate that Ebrietas is neither neutral nor benevolent, but that she is a primordial evil.
Seath the Scaleless
This sword, one of the rare dragon weapons,
came from the tail of Seath the Scaleless,
the pale white dragon who betrayed his own.
Seath is the grandfather of sorcery, and this
sword is imbued with his magic, which shall
be unleashed as a wave of moonlight.
During the great war between the dragons and the Lords of Fire, Seath turned against his own kin and sided with Fire.
Ultimately he went mad trying to make himself immortal and the Primordial Serpents went looking for a Chosen Undead who could slay him.
There are some fundamental connections between the primordial dragon and the elusive Ebrietas.
where young orphans became potent unseen thinkers for the Healing Church."
"Legendary dragon weapon associated with Seath the paledrake. Charge strong attack to its limit to unleash moonlight wave.
"The blade of this greatsword shines like the brilliant rays of the moon.
In the oldest legends, rarely spoken of today, it is said that the sword was born of a great white being.
"Good hunter, have you seen the thread of light?
Just a hair, a fleeting thing, yet I clung to it, steeped as I was in the stench of blood and beasts.
I never wanted to know, what it really was. Really, I didn't." - Ludwig, The Holy Blade
"My guiding moonlight...
My true mentor...
Even in this darkest of nights, I see...the moonlight..." - Ludwig, The Holy Blade
"An arcane sword discovered long ago by Ludwig.
When blue moonlight dances around the sword, and it channels the abyssal cosmos, its great blade will hurl a shadowy lightwave.
and whatever guidance it has to offer, it seems to be of a very private, elusive sort."
"Soul of the ineffable"
"This once magnificent soul continues to exert influence over the land, even after the eons have reduced it to these remnants." - Old Paledrake Soul
Soul of the ineffable means soul of one who is "indescribable" - "transcendent" - "ethereal" - "unspeakable" - "indefineable" - "incommunicable".
Such traits befit a higher being that drives her victims mad, one that is connected to The Eldritch Truth, the unspeakable wisdom of the cosmos.
This Sword of Moonlight was described as "One of the few Revelations from God".
"The legendary large sword that reflects moonlight.
Widely known in association with Moonlight Knight Bito. It's one of the few Revelations from God.
The blue crystal blade is composed only of light, so it's impossible to block with a shield." - Large Sword of Moonlight
Great One Coldbloods are described as "true revelations", phenomena that "defy understanding".
Use to gain cosmically nightmarish Blood Echoes.
Like a true revelation, this uncanny relic defies understanding" - Great One Coldblood
A Great One Coldblood holds within itself an expanse of cosmic darkness , this starry darkness is seen in various forms of alien magic .
This brand of magic is wielded by Ebrietas and when going into phase 2, she blackens herself with her own blood , creating an aura of stars .
The Living Failures exhibit something similar, they discharge from their hands a dark blotch that brings forth comets .
This seems to suggest that the Arcane energy comes from the black void contained in their blood, a hint to their true essence.
The same starry magic appears inside the Holy Moonlight Sword and according to the description, it channels the abyssal cosmos.
"A trick weapon typically used by Healing Church hunters.
It is said that the silver sword was employed by Ludwig, the first hunter of the church.
When transformed, it combines with its sheath to form a greatsword.
It exhibits several departures from the workshop's design, suggesting that the Church anticipated much larger inhuman beasts."
"The Healing Church, and the Blood Ministers who belong to it...were once guardians of the hunters,
in the times of the hunter...Ludwig.
They worked, and forged weapons, in their unique workshop." - Gehrman, The First Hunter
"When Ludwig closed his eyes, he saw darkness, or perhaps nothingness, and that is where he discovered the tiny beings of light.
Ludwig was certain that these playful dancing sprites offered "guidance".
There are some facts opposing that idea, Messengers are not of themselves luminous and though they cheer, no one has ever seen them dance.
The isolated spec matches the Sun behind him. The curved tail matches the shape of the cliff.
The Fool card represents journey, growth, innocence and limitless potential.
It's worth mentioning that Ebrietas is Latin for "drunkenness", so this would be a good name for someone who disregards all the horrid consequences of her actions.
In the case of Ebrietas, she resides in a rocky cave , she's surrounded on all sides by water , and a white light shines through a single opening .
Of The Fool is said that his stance represents his willingness to take the plunge, go on an adventure, seize his freedom.
The Orphanage and The Choir
"Key to the Orphanage, birthplace of the Choir."
The Orphanage, shadowed by the Grand Cathedral, was a place of scholarship and experimentation,
where young orphans became potent unseen thinkers for the Healing Church.
The Choir, that would later split the Healing Church, was a creation of the Orphanage."
"The key to the Upper Cathedral Ward seal.
The upper echelons of the Healing Church are formed by the School of Mensis,
based in the Unseen Village, and the Choir occupying the Upper Cathedral Ward.
This key brings one a step closer to the Choir."
The Choir is the cult controlling Upper Cathedral Ward, Iosefka is a member of The Choir. The affiliated School of Mensis controls Yahar'gul.
It also states that young orphans became potent unseen thinkers for The Choir. How is that possible?
The former differences aside, their bodies are quite similar. They have tiny, tendril like wings and they have four teethed mouthparts like Ebrietas .
Their "arms" split into two tendrils. Ebrietas' arms likewise split into two tentacles .
They have no legs to speak of and instead have a single tentacle, which they can use for support. Ebrietas similarly leans on two large hind tentacles.
Their oversized heads, their pitiful crawl, their low lethality, and the fact that they are found in The Orphanage do all suggest that they are the babies of something.
The Demon Child is a something of a misshapen foetus, has tendrils for limbs, a puckered mouth and in the Berserk anime, it displays a brownish color.
Born from three parents, it is the unholy result of a pregnant woman being raped by a dark angel, in this case Berserk's main villain.
In line with its perverted conception - its moral alignment is twisted.
Being part demon it delights in causing harm and it torments its human father through painful illusions.
On the other hand, it unquestionable loves its human mother and ultimately sacrifices itself to protect her.
It possess intelligence beyond its age and a number of magical abilities. It can command spirits, conceal itself and invoke hallucinations.
Berserk has been a source of inspiration for the Souls series from the very start.
Plausibly, the designers envisioned the conception of Celestial Larvae following the same structure as the conception of Demonic Child.
But this is just a guess. Celestial Larvae could have been sired by an alien directly or they could be the result of infecting a small child with alien DNA.
Based on the traits of the Demon Child one could estimate that Celestial Larvae are very intelligent and could possess some supernatural abilities.
If so, then they could be the "potent unseen thinkers" of the Healing Church, this would explain why they're there - and why are there are so many of them.
But if so, then what stake does Ebrietas have in all of this? Well, in Berserk, its father - Griffith - is able to recreate himself from the flesh of his own bastard child.
The Egg Shaped Apostle has set in motion events that will bring about what he calls "The Perfect World", he never explains what that means exactly.
In effect, the bodies of the Demon Child and the Egg Shaped Apostle are sacrificed, once again bestowing corporeal form on the now demonic Griffith.
Corypheus is The Bringer of The Blight, and by consequence father to it. Such narratives allegorize "the darkness" as something that pours its seeds in all those it hurts.
The Cord of the Eye
The game doesn't reveal about what the umbilical cord is, how it is used, or what one third of it is supposed to be.
Based on this description, Great Ones have not successfully reproduced, at all.
Despite their great age, they may reproduced only a stark few times, if at all.
Looking back at The Demon Child, it's not a true demon, it's part human and it's malformed. It may never grow up to be equal to its demon father.
In between "true demon" and "succesful hybrid.", it may not even qualify as a succesful hybrid. It could be more of a dysfunctional variant of both species.
Seath's Legacy - The Research of Seath the Scaleless
As the story goes, when Seath was still an Everlasting Dragon, he ripped the stony scales of his body, forfeiting his immortality.
Ironically, Seath went mad investigating immortality. To this purpose, he began to abduct people and perpetrate horrible experiments.
The "snatchers" as they were often called, ventured to far lands to find suitable human specimens." - Robe of the Channelers
"The blue beasts within Seath's cell were once maidens. They are Failures.
The giant cell once imprisoned countless maidens, but is now empty, save for a few key persons.
They struggle to uphold their sanity, as the horde of "mistakes" writhe at a fearfully close proximity." - Archive Tower Giant Cell Key
The "Apostle Womb" of Berserk has an area composed of shapeless masses, endowed with sharp spikes . Which could be the original idea behind Pisacas.
Made from Apostles sewn together, this artifical womb is used to create an army of demon warriors, from the foetusses its rips out of women.
The logic behind this, is that when the foetusses are released into the Apostle Womb, they receive an evil spirit, thus becoming monsters.
The last words of Oceiros concern his invisible son, Ocelot, and the Lothric bloodline is said to have used unspeakable means to create a worthy heir.
"The Lothric bloodline was obsessed with creating a worthy heir, and when this proved impossible, resorted to unspeakable means.
Suffice it to say, the path to linking the fire is a cursed one indeed." - Head of Lothric
Again the theme is reproduction, with a distintly eerie tone. While not conclusive, Seath may have experimented with reproduction to attain immortality.
"We once had a master. He created us long, long ago.
But he was born with a fatal flaw. He resented those who had what he lacked, and became fully mired in hatred.
Eventually, he drove himself mad. It was at the peak of this madness that he conjured up we strange creatures.
Our master was a tragically lonely soul. Eventually his solitude eroded his very reason.
In the end, he never understood...What it was that he truly lacked.
Young human, what skill, you've defeated my master.
But our master never dies, and he changes form, so that he may seat for all eternity.
Young human you have yet to face your greatest perils." - Manscorpion Tark
The problem with both children is that they have no confirmed mother. She's not just nameless, there's nothing in Dark Souls that acknowledges her existence.
"The power of the moon was strong in Gwyndolin, and thus he was raised as a daughter.
His magic garb is silk-thin, and hardly provides any physical defense" - Moonlight Robe
This wand is boosted by faith, not intelligence." - Tin Darkmoon Catalyst
Gwyndolin has unusually pale skin, and his lower body has sinister snakes protruding from it . His father displays neither of these traits.
The following idea was presented to me by Hexaped: "In Japanese mythology, a lord may conceive of children with serpent appendages if they stem from secret affairs."
"When a Lord's descendant was of a mysterious, perhaps unwanted, "illegitimate" birth, they were born with abnormalities and serpentine appendages
This suggests these children are all likely born from secret affairs." - Hexaped - Reddit user
Similar myths are found in Europe, myths of demons born from unnatural relations: eggs hatched by roosters or serpents, which then become basilisks and cockatrices.
If Gwyndolin's serpent traits are indeed due to a "sinful" relationship, it would narrow the search for his mother.
One should not look for a queen but for a mistress, a daughter, a wicked woman, a depraved liaison.
"A shield decorated by intertwined dragons.
The black and white contrast depicts the ebb and flow of the fate of all things living, and the serpentine dragons that watch over the march of time.
The bearer of this shield will be blessed by great fortune in battle." - Watchdragon Parma
The Primordial Serpents themselves are designed like Chinese Dragons , serpentine and with whiskers, the sort that grants wishes and delivers luck.
Items beside the Watchdragon Parma describe serpents as gods, or as imperfects dragons, or as beings that aspire to be dragons, but have been found wanting.
"A silver ring depicting the snake, both the servant and manifestation of the god of greed, Zandroe.
"A gold ring depicting a snake that could have been, but never was, a dragon. Fallen foes are more likely to drop items.
"The serpent is an imperfect dragon and symbol of the Undead. Its habit of devouring prey even larger than itself has led to an association of gluttony.
True Dragons are made of mineral, they have scales of stone, the weapons they drop are stone. There's cause to think that dragons aspire to be "still as stone".
By reflecting on the hollowness of the things we covet, on the transience of our pain, and the meaninglessness of our self-love, one can attain true peace.
In doing so, one can ascend one's particular consciousness and acquire oneness with the complete consciousness that is all of existence.
Śūnyatā can just as easily be translated into "hollowness", and Miyazaki himself stated that Everlasting Dragons aren't truly alive.
If one desires to merge one's consciousness with the consciousness of all existence, it's worth knowing what that consciousness is.
If that consciousness is one of an infinitely cruel, infinitely creative, infinitely insane all-father, merging yourself to it is certain madness.
Shumbh and Nishumbh were granted the power of gods, as a boon for having stayed in the same fixed position, meditating, for 10.000 years.
The demons then raised a giant army and launched an attack on heaven, they won, and ruled the universe for one thousand years.
If the point of "becoming like stone" is all for the sake of becoming a greater demon...then there's nothing remotely redeemable about becoming a Dragon.
While there's not enough evidence to conclude that Dragons are this evil, conduct could be the only difference between a Dragon and a Serpent.
If Dragons are those monsters that are well composed, then Serpents are those who are likely to be guilty of misconduct, the insane and the foul.
If Primordial Dragons and Primordial Serpents are fundamentally akin, Serpents may be born from Dragons, especially if the Dragons is evil.
Seath's Soul may have long been travelling across the fabric of time space, creating new abominations where - and whenever he arises.
"Outside the ordered universe is that amorphous blight of nethermost confusion which blasphemes and bubbles at the center of all infinity—the boundless daemon sultan Azathoth, whose name no lips dare speak aloud, and who gnaws hungrily in inconceivable, unlighted chambers beyond time and space amidst the muffled, maddening beating of vile drums and the thin monotonous whine of accursed flutes."
"Azathoth" is another one of Lovecraft's better known deities. Azathoth is the sole creator of the universe and the high king of all evil gods.
A repugnant mass of nonsense, Azathoth is described as "an idiot god". His creation of the evil gods, the universe and all of life, was nothing but an accident.
Void of consciousness, he creates from the fundamental chaos within his nature. He did it all with the facility of taking a breath, like bacteria excreting waste.
Azathoth is at all times attended by a thin, monotonous whine of accursed flutes, as well as the maddening beating of vile drums.
As it happens, Upper Cathedral Ward has its own musical score, an eerie wail called "Soothing Hymn".
That's unusual for a Souls game, where music is typically reserved for boss battles and hubs, but not other areas.
Ebrietas controls a body covered in curious vents. Judge for yourself if one may compare "Soothing Hymn" to a monotonous whining of pipes.
The eerie wail will continue until you wake Ebrietas, at which point a chorus will start singing, and the music will gain much more pomp.
It's equally possible that her bombastic score is solely for her own honor, a self produced orchestra befitting the hubris of a demon.
Observations & Trivia
Ebrietas' head displays contorted faces that vaguely resemble the facade of a human skull
Ebrietas' tentacles have different shapes and sizes.
At the top of her "neck" she has smaller, black tentacles that curl upward . These somewhat resemble Gorgon hair.