Lothric Slaves

The slaves kept by the Kingdom of Lothric are consistently said to be “trifling”, (卑小) a lowly bunch keeping their scrawny forms close to the ground below the notice of their masters; with how they comport themselves, you would be forgiven for thinking them smaller than they actually are, the size of the average man at their full height. Armed mainly with slipshod hatchets, speed is their only credit to fame, and even this nimbleness was perhaps learned as a means to get by without catching any attention. They clearly aren’t treated well based on their malnourished appearance and unkempt beards overgrowing through their hoods, and definitely don’t want to be treated worse. Their habits are thus thanks to harsh teachers. They are pathetic in every sense — certainly not a “cunning” lot with cunning weapons as the localization would suggest. Regardless, such thralls have become a common sight across the land, exported to wherever manpower is needed by Lothric and its allies alike. One has to then wonder where the northern state procured so many forced labor.

Small hand axe. Thing that slaves of Lothric use.

Trifling persons also have trifling weapons, but they are thus also nimble, dangerous weapons.

Although all of the thralls we encounter are Hollows, they probably weren’t originally enslaved for being Undead given that Lothric already transfers its accursed to the town outside the city. Even if kept in chains, Undead are still a risk to human civilization, so what slaves we do encounter are likely the “survivors” of the death and chaos plaguing the land by and large, just like most other Undead enemies we face. In that case, they are more likely to be prisoners of war or descendants of them, though we never encounter female slaves to confirm the possibility of such relations. Lothric does have a history of conquest, and we are given no indication of the kingdom’s current foreign policy beyond the surrounding stagnant lands. Moreover, several slaves wield warpicks and flamberges, suggesting that at least some have had some degree of military training. And finally, we see Lothric employ a similar practice with the Stray Demon.

If Lothric is capturing and enslaving foreign soldiers, the same may be true for domestic prisoners. Aside from making the meager thralls easy to identify, their distinctive hood also serves to humiliate criminals, though the description notes that it is only put on such prisoners occasionally. If you are trying to degrade convicts to be on the same level as slaves, why not apply the punishment to all? Is there a reason to be so selective with whom you try to humiliate? Even if there is, what is the point? As Greirat demonstrates during our first encounter, such miscreants would be left rotting in their cells, unlikely to see anyone besides their prison guard. Only slaves get to be paraded around with proof of their lowly status for all to see. And so, if there are only certain criminals considered worthy of punishing in that manner, why not just make them thralls? It would be far more productive than them wasting cell space. In short, Lothric may have used the hoods to also mark criminals under consideration for slavery.

Hood put on trifling persons in Lothric. They are employed in various places as slaves.

Also, this hood is occasionally put on criminals. Simply for the sake of shaming and ridiculing those people.

Not every crime was punishable by enslavement, of course. Among our possible backgrounds is a thief, specifically one who turned to crime after deserting the army based on our armor’s description. And while its crest may have entirely faded, it is still clearly the equipment of Lothric troops as seen by those patrolling the kingdom. Therefore, the fact that a common soldier turned runaway thief only to end up buried at the Cemetery of Ash suggests that our initial firelinking attempt wasn’t a willing endeavor. In all likelihood, we were captured trying to get by through thievery whilst on the run, then forced into the firelinking system as a sacrifice. Given the military’s reverence for firelinking, this would be an honorable execution for one who had so disgraced the kingdom — who knows, they could always end up becoming a Lord of Cinder or unkindled ash. And with soldiers doubling as law enforcers, it is only natural for them to exempt their own from from the ignoble fate of a trifling slave. At the same time, the fact that Greirat was given a hood suggests that this wouldn’t apply to former soldiers who turned Undead and then became thieves.

Armor of a common soldier. The crest is already completely faded.

Its slightly dirty, rusted, and barely-held-together appearance is probably appropriate for those who have lost themselves to thievery.

Regardless of whether it was comprised of prisoners both foreign and domestic, Lothric clearly amassed many slaves by the time it collapsed. And with their masters all dead or gone mad by the time the kingdom drifted into the Dreg Heap, what Hollow thralls remained with their sanity intact apparently decided to finally make their escape. We find numerous slaves living and dead among the ruins of Harvest Valley, which just so happened to overlap with the remains of Lothric where we can find no such enemies. Even as the world creeps to its end, these Hollows wish to continue living, free. And in taking their chance with poison, they were rewarded with meeting Zoey, a descendant of the Jugan desert pyromancers who resided in Earthen Peak in Dark Souls II. (DS2)

Evidently, Mytha’s flame-fanning servants remained in Harvest Valley following her death, presumably to take over the Queen’ mining operation and continue extracting the beautifying poison they had sought. And considering these women’s proclivities and time spent on a continent littered with Hollows, some birthing and raising children isn’t beyond the pale. Even so, the corpses with their clothes scattered around what remains of the valley in the Dreg Heap indicate that none of this lineage have survived the drift. The one exception is Zoey, whose name does derive from Greek to mean “life” funnily enough — especially since she uses an Undead Estus flask. The young woman has inherited her maternal line’s flame arts and captivating beauty, with her immunity to poison possibly indicating that her ancestors had figured out how to safely use the valley’s poison. But while the Japanese description for her revealing clothing reminds us that the sorcerer’s captivating beauty was itself “poisonous”, the text for her Flame Fan pyromancy notes that Zoey never poisoned hers, instead becoming the slaves’ Queen.

Hood of a pyromancer of the sands, former resident of the Earthen Tower. It is said that the thin, burgundy cloth is tinged with magic power.

Pyromancers of the sands are mostly women and known for their folding fans of flame and captivating physical appearance.

And captivation is at times poisonous, so this garment will very much increase it.

Pyromancy of Zoey, descendant of the pyromancers of the sands. Greatly brush the fan with fire.

It is aso a fan of fire brushed side left and right by using it continuously.

Zoey was beautiful, as were the pyromancers of the sands. However, she didn’t poison that beauty, and just became the modest queen of trifling persons.

Perhaps the last sorcerer of the sands is truly such a beautiful person, or perhaps she was simply lonely; it is potentially even sympathy for these trifling beings’ plight — given Harvest Valley’s source for labor in DS2, her father may well have been a slave himself. Whatever the case, Zoey decided to gives these Hollows a home under her leadership. She wielded a whip not to punish them, but to defend them. For males who had possibly never been shown such kindness from any woman, much less one so attractive, the pyromancer must have been an enrapturing experience. Thus, the thralls have embraced their new Queen, and are willing to put their lives on the line if the few acting as her escort are any indication. If their only purpose is to serve, then they can at least choose their own master.