And so there was I, stranded and confused by the famous Firelink Shrine, a meeting place for citizens from all of Lordran. It was said that, at any given time that the clerics weren’t performing their rituals in the Shrine, when the whole area fell to a deep and respectful silence, people would be singing and drinking in that merry place. Travelers to Anor Londo – the famed city of giants, long before conquered by Lord Gwyn, who enslaved the giants and ruled Lordran – would pass by the Shrine constantly, meeting in large groups, then staying for the night in the Lively Burg, a quaint and charming city whose economy was based on receiving these travelers. The long walk from the Lively Burg to Anor Londo, through Sen’s Castle’s protected path, was constantly pulsating with people going both directions. Anor Londo itself was the greatest city in the world, concocted by the brilliant mind of men, built by the incomparable strength of the giants.
Of course I had never seen these things, but this knowledge was common to every man. In reality, the geography of the whole area was known by all: the catacombs, maintained by the clerics, were laid behind the Shrine and reached far underground. This was a sacred and forbidden place, and therefore no one knew for sure if the myth of a God of Death surrounded by an ancient Tomb where the giants laid their dead was true. Only the clerics could know of such things. But that was not the only mistery of the land. While Anor Londo and Lively Burg were heaven on Earth, the undesirables, thieves, assassins and witches lived in New Londo among the poor, not to be seen by the distant travelers who should only have good things to say about Lordran when they went back home. A different kind of filth flowed from all of these cities and could only go down, leaking and leaking through the cracks of civilization through to the Depths, where nothing but rats, slimes and other accursed animals lived. Of course, who were I then to call any being accursed?
And finally, it was said that from the Depths there was an entrance to an ancient city where Demons lived millennia before. But that, I was sure, was certainly just a story for children, such as the stories of walking trees in the Darkroot Forest, the forest that I am sure covered all of that area before even the giants decided to settle there.
This was all that I knew, but as I laid my feet by the Shrine I knew I would never know this famed Lordran from first hand. It was completely gone by then, there was no chanting, I could hear only a derisive laughter, and the Shrine itself, once imponent and beautiful, was now in ruins and barely recognizable. Lordran, it was clear, had been destroyed by the same madness I saw take place in the Undead Asylum. While I slowly went hollow in my cell, I was actually protected and kept in ignorance, because beyond those bars everything mankind had built was being undone. I couldn’t imagine what was left of Anor Londo and, specially, where had all the people went. I had yet to see the piles of bodies and finally realize that they were all dead.
But even these thoughts could not hold my attention and came about in but a second, for that derisive laughter was more potent: the hollow do not laugh.