Caitha

Much is made about the true identities of the various deities that have been worshiped in Drangleic throughout the continent’s history. The Name-engraved Ring makes a point of these gods possibly having gone by different names in the past, driving most to make connections between them and characters from the original Dark Souls. (DS1) None bear a more obvious connection than Caitha, or Quato. (クァト) She is the God of Tears — namida (涙) doubling to have connotations of sympathy. True to her sphere, she sheds tears for those who have died untimely deaths and the loved ones they have left behind, which are believed to have been crystallized as the gems of the tearstone rings due to their magic power dealing so closely with death. Either way, the fact that she sheds tears of pure blue or bloody red alone highlights an unusual quality to this goddess. Which character from DS1 deity or otherwise, could possibly resemble this crying woman? And yet, by all indications, she is the Goddess of Sin, Velka.

Ring embedded with a rare jewel called a tearstone. Responds to the equipper’s crisis and temporarily boosts physical attack power.

The God of Tears Quato mourns those who have died an untimely death and sheds blood-like red tears. It is handed down that this stone is that tear having become crystal.

The various Clutch Rings portray a strange “hand” clutching their respective gem, a hand which is quite clearly modeled after a crow’s foot. While the origin of the ring has apparently been lost, the description insinuates its shape to align it with an evil god. This fits with the heretical witch Velka, who is both strongly associated with crows and many things of a more ethically dubious nature. But it also describes the God of Tears. Caitha’s Chime is one of the few “holy bell” catalysts that isn’t actually dubbed a holy bell. Instead, it is named a regular “bell” the same as the Chime of Want and Screams derived from the souls of Nashandra and Nadalia respectively. This is because it can only be used to conjure Dark arts, namely hexes, rather than miracles. In other words, the “divine protection” of Caitha that this catalyst had received refers to the power of the Dark specifically. And its description notes that some regard this popularly kind and affectionate goddess as an evil god.

Ring of a strange hand clutching a stone. Has effect that boosts Dark attribute attack power, but lowers physical defense power in exchange.

The ring’s origin is unknown, but its shape is probably the kind of an evil god. Whether it can be used successfully depends on the caliber of the user.

Holy bell that has received the divine protection of the God of Tears Quato. It is a catalyst dedicated to hexes, unable to use miracles.

The God of Tears Quato is close to grief. She is generally placed as an affectionate god, but for some she serves as an evil god who guides people to a fate of despair.

Put simply, Velka and Caitha alone are regarded as wicked deities with both sharing a Dark association. Indeed, the graphic symbolizing Caitha is the same skull used for when we have been cursed — fitting for a god so curiously close to death that some at least perceive her to be guiding people to their hopeless fates. Velka also bears some association with death and curses by means of her various divine duties and witchly works, and her secretive nature fits a goddess whose darker aspects go largely unnoticed. In this light, the Goddess of Sin seems to be another victim of the passage of time like various other aspects of the Anor Londo religion. While Velka’s name has been long forgotten in the New World, “Caitha” continues to be worshiped with an overall more upstanding reputation. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the goddess is dead or has been otherwise absent from the setting, however.

In Tseldora’s chapel, we find a statue of a woman with a book in her right hand and what appears to be locks of hair in her left. The former associates this enshrined figure with knowledge, which already fits DS1’s witch polymath, and is likely a reference to Book of the Guilty that the Goddess of Sin used to perform her logistical duties in DS1. Meanwhile, the latter probably alludes to Velka’s Talisman, which was made from the god’s own black hair. While this statue fails to include any form of her iconic head covering, that simply emphasizes the witch’s role there, laying bear her magical secrets to share without restraint. Whether or not her name was lost by that point, Velka was apparently worshiped at Tseldora during the Kingdom of Drangleic’s heyday. Even the Duke of Tseldora’s Hollow is carrying a Dark Quartz Ring — rings currently created mainly in Melfia’s magic school, which didn’t exist during Drangleic’s era. This crystal stone derived from the Dark must have come from a different source, and Velka is the only god of Anor Londo to employ Dark magic for herself and her servants.

Cromwell reinforces the notion. This solemn man wears the black uniform of Velka’s priests and serves the same role as Oswald in DS1, forgiving sins in exchange for souls. However, this wasn’t always the case. He sells the white uniform that Drangleic priests wore before the kingdom’s collapse as well as various miracles, including Perseverance — a spell given to clergy traveling abroad where they would benefit from the miracle’s protection against poisons and other dangerous status effects. The fact that these clergymen are charged with proselytizing and training as ascetics but don’t often return brings Lecia of Lindelt to mind, but this spell is only sold by Cromwell. Evidently, the man was one such priest sent out to Drangleic where he has remained ever since. The fact that he is the only one to sell the unabridged story of Great Heal and the only other besides Targary to sell Heavenly Thunder suggests that he was quite the high-ranking cleric too. His location at Tseldora’s chapel further indicates that he was a member of the mining town’s local parish, hence he wields the same great scythes carried by its parasitized peasants.

This history explains why Cromwell converted to a somewhat forgotten goddess, dressing in the very same robes that her followers did long ago. And he has fully embraced her. The cleric sells medicine created by rolling up “dark bugs” as well as the Scraps of Life hex, matching his heretical Goddess of Sin’s own dabbling with the Dark. Cromwell likewise sells all the bite rings originally created by Arstor, the shady earl of a shady nation that Velka had kept a firm presence in during the events of DS1. This connection also explains why he owns the Ring of Resistance. Having most likely found this Olaphis masterpiece in town, the man probably took it specifically because it boosts poison, bleeding, petrification, and curse resistance — the same four resistances that the three bite rings boosted in DS1. (petrification was originally classified as part of curse) Moreover, the ring’s description calls these gemstones “blessed” unlike those of its counterpart, the Dispelling Ring. Their sacredness is presumably why Cromwell only gifts the ring to those with decently high faith, associating the magic power with his atypical deity. That it is called the “resister’s ring” (抵抗者の指輪) is almost too perfect.

As to where he learned his darker works, it is possible that hexes and the like were taught in Tseldora. It is also possible that he learned from the Hollow sorcerers found lurking around town. Despite their white robes and use of standard soul sorcery, these Hollows possess dark troches and rouge water associating them with less than holy magic. This is only emphasized by their use of bat staves, which have bat corpses attached to the tips for some vaguely religious ritual significance despite the cadavers’ pathogens making them poisonous. These sorcerers clearly flirted with the Dark powers of pagan faiths and may have shared some of their secrets with Cromwell before hollowing. If their presence predates Tseldora’s destruction, then it is all the more likely. But what about his black uniform, imbued with Velka’s power according to its DS1 description? The other priests found in the chapel wear the standard robes of Drangleic sorcerers, so how did Cromwell come to possess this unless he has met or at least received the attention of his goddess?

If Velka is still alive, then it would explain Caressing Prayer. This spell is a basic miracle for clergy and thus sold by both Cromwell and Licia, but its menu graphic and effect are obviously derived from the Remedy sorcery from DS1. This is why its description notes it to be seemingly relatively new and so possibly not even a genuine miracle. That is odd since the DS1 sorcery was a product of New Londo’s sorcerer healers. Moreover, miracles are generally stories of the gods, so this too must reference a god related to it. But what god? The New Londo sorcerers served in a religious capacity for a country where Velka had a profound influence. She is familiar with all manner of arts both old and new as well, so it isn’t impossible for her to recreate this essentially lost sorcery as a miracle. And yet, the nameless Goddess of Sin doesn’t seem to have remained a prominent figure in the remnants of the Anor Londo faith now centered around Lindelt. But another god has, a God of Tears whose existence also seems to have only become known in relatively recent times. (this connection to Caitha later becomes explicit with Caressing Prayer’s return in Dark Souls III as Caressing Tears)

Miracle of healing that is the foundation for clergymen. Purifies and completely removes poison eating away at the body.

Its healing effect is given not just to the caster themselves but to those surrounding them too. The period that this miracle was discovered seems to be relatively new. It may not even be a genuine miracle, somehow or other.

In short, the miracle is further proof that Caitha is Velka, a more palatable identity to a goddess who enjoys learning arts considered profane. She has survived and spread her influence across the region under this alternate identity. But do the stories of the God of Tears date back to the era of DS1 or after it? If the latter, were the events eventually associated with a separate deity or were they always thought to be actions of a different person? In either case, did Velka fashion this false identity from the start or merely appropriate their distorted memory of her long after the fact? Whatever the exact circumstances, she began taking an active role there sometime between the events of the two games after her true name had already been long forgotten in these parts. Perhaps Cromwell was one of the few to be rewarded the full truth along with the judgment set for his devotion. He does at several points speak as if quoting someone else in Japanese dialogue. Of course, this may just be him reciting scripture of long past revelations, but his significant awareness about his god compared to other clergy nonetheless draws suspicion.