As its name would suggest, the Undead Crypt is a massive mausoleum dedicated to those who have manifested the curse. Why does such a burial ground exist? The answer proves obvious once we explore the place: you can never be quite sure when the Undead are finally just dead. At various points we can see Hollows buried on its grounds rise out of the earth like stereotypical zombies, showing that it isn’t just the living dead who still won’t enter final repose. The curse makes it exceedingly difficult to verify the truly dead versus the simply comatose, so taking precautions like those seen at the Grave of Saints are ideal. But if you aren’t concerned with separating holy men from the rabble, what better precaution is there than confining all Undead to a single facility? It is far easier to keep track of potentially undying corpses when they all have that potential. If nothing else, the Undead Crypt is a practical solution to the issues in burying Undead with everyone else.
I am Agadulan. Guard of this mausoleum. This is a place of repose for countless dead, wrapped in the repose called Dark. Light reveals everything. Something so rude is unneeded here.
This land is where all rest. Since the far-off, distant, distant, past. The rich and poor, wise and foolish, all are the same before death.
That then leaves the question of actual origin, though this too proves immediately evident. Agdayne notes the Crypt’s great age, and all of its sociable affiliates make mention to the “Great Dead” (大いなる死者) or “one who brought death” (死をもたらした者) to the world previously, a clear-cut allusion to Nito. Aside from reaffirming his place as the Gravelord orchestrating death for a time in the original Dark Souls, (DS1) it confirms that this god was responsible for staffing and perhaps even building this facility. There is no denying that the emergence of undeath threatened Nito’s absolute control over the dead, so having the Crypt would allow the god to maintain his iron grip over his kingdom of entropy while still bringing in all manner of death. The Undead were being treated as second-class citizens, so to speak. While not surprising, it fits with the larger role the facility played at the time it was established.
Once we go through the Anor Londo-style doors in the Shrine of Amana, we need to take a large lift down to reach the Crypt, an elevator identical to those seen in DS1’s New Londo. This is only time this style of lift is employed, making it unlikely to be a case of reusing assets. In other words, this entry point was likely built as a direct connection to New Londo originally, before the Crypt ended up in the New World. Nito was constructing such an enormous graveyard in conjunction with the Undead city as part of his larger collaboration with Gwyn. Anor Londo would collect all the cursed in one place, and the Kingdom of Graves would receive all those ultimately put down as Hollows. It was an efficient system, and complements the Gravelord’s concurrent contributions to Anor Londo’s cause. It also solves a hanging thread from DS1. We saw graveyards for the gods, their giant slaves, their human servants, and the Undead Burg, but not New Londo. The simply explanation would be that any burial ground was submerged with the city, and the Undead Crypt reaffirms that insinuation.
Even if the Crypt would continue to operate after Nito had severed ties with the gods, the corpseflow surely ceased with New Londo’s ruin. The God of Death had bigger issues to concern himself with than the migration of Undead into his kingdom, and he mostly ignored those, too. Like the description for the hex derived from his soul implies, Nito acted as if what he didn’t immediately see didn’t exist, and that sequestering within the darkness of his lair ultimately did nothing to prevent his ruin. This means that the Undead Crypt was more or less running itself even before its King of the Dead was truly dead. In that respect, not much changed when the grave kingdom found itself, at least in large part, relocated so far and away from Lordran. The area was now accessible to the outside world again, but retained its independence owing to its location.
Hex that alters the body. Reduce damage received for a certain period of time. However, one’s own field of view will also become Dark.
Things that can’t be seen don’t exist. It’s a common belief but it’s not so; how long has it been in this world?
To reach the Crypt, we travel beyond Drangleic Castle by way of the Shrine of Amana, and the official map confirms an area matching those directions in the northernmost part of the continent — the fact that it is represent by a gravestone reaffirms its identity. Looking up from Vendrick’s boss room at the Crypt similarly reveals light pouring in from high above, implying that the tomb has some infrastructure on the surface. Some fans have posited that we can see this infrastructure behind the Forest of Fallen Giants in Majula, but closer inspection proves this is just another layer to the forest’s seaside fortress hidden behind the rest. It may be possible to see the Undead Crypt from above ground, but there is no evidence that outsiders would find anything more than large dark holes to look down. This leaves the New Londo lift as likely the only entry point; combined with its remote location relative to human settlement, and no one was going to be conquering these tombs anytime soon.
Nonetheless, this change in locale undoubtedly restarted relations with humans. Both Agdayne and the description to Soul Appease reference the Crypt as where “all” eventually come to rest, indicating that its interests lie not just in those bearing the Darksign. Indeed, with the Gravelord no longer bringing death to the world and his domain in shambles, it is only natural for the remnants of his kingdom to try picking up the pieces. And in order to accomplish that, the living dead needed to make dealings with the resident humans who happened upon such an obscure graveyard. The end result was the Amana ruins constructed by Heide, including the “Tower of the Dead”, (死者の塔) whose ruins preserves a fiery altar capable of reversing hollowing. With these ruins adjacent to the Crypt, this facility serves as another example of crossover between the two areas. And despite its ostensible purpose, the mausoleum functions as more than just a glorified bedchamber.
Just outside Tower of the Dead crawl the Hollow “worshipers” seen in Harvest Valley and the Tseldoran church. Although bizarrely poisonous — an obvious result of directly copying over the enemy from the noxious valley — the enemies clearly represent Undead who were hoping to restore their human form at the altar but became too far gone before its flames could abate their curse; their mindless husks still crawl begging the higher powers for salvation. Indeed, the description for the Ring of the Dead reveals that some Hollows, at least those retaining some measure of sanity, try to appear human. In other words, there is some semblance of an Undead society existing within the Crypt, with its members wanting to at least look human if not actually regain their humanity. Apparently eternal rest isn’t the immediate priority within the Crypt, perhaps because the awakened have the wherewithal to not disturb the others. Either way, their life can continue on after first death. But it isn’t Undead running the show.
The equipper of this ring retains the appearance of the living even if hollowed.
The Undead Mausoleum is regarded as a place where one can resume with those who have died. No one escapes death. But, man seeks what undoubtedly was lost.
From Death Reborn
Managing the facility all this time are the grave wardens, tasked with making sure the dead stay dead in this Undead necropolis. Although they do use Estus, this is likely because the flasks were confiscated from the interred, not that they are cursed themselves. Their bodies have corpse-like blue pallor, and virtually all of them cover their eyes with a cloth, showing an aversion to light typical of the dead. That said, they don’t seem to be your typical corpse reanimated by necromancy. As demonstrated best by Agdayne, originally Agadulan, (アガドゥラン) these gravekeepers have the same level of intelligence and individuality as living humans, even remembering all the names of those they look after. Their blood may run cold, but they don’t need a necromancer present to direct their movements, hence their ability to operate so well on their own. Healing with Estus further proves that they haven’t lost all the perks of the warm-bodied either. In that respect, one can say that they are between living and dead, which explains why they are distinguished as “Fenito”.
Mask of a gravekeeper who serves in the Undead Mausoleum. It is for blocking light, so it isn’t very effective.
The mission of the gravekeepers is to continuously put the dead who rest in the Undead Mausoleum to rest. Whether king or subject, wise man or fool, rich or poor, equally, without distinction.
Dark silver spear endowed with the power of Dark.
The mission of the gravekeepers is to protect the rest of the Undead Mausoleum. If there is someone who disturbs that, they will be made to rest beneath the earth by their hands.
Dark silver shield endowed with the power of Dark.
The gravekeepers’ arms are completely immersed in the Dark of the Undead Mausoleum, so its power has soaked in.
It is said that the gravekeepers remember the names of all those who rest underground. This whole, whole time, since long, long ago.
I am a fanito. One who weaves and protects death. I was given this role by the “one who brought death” to this world once.
Those whom Nito assigned to be gravekeepers aren’t the only special dead from the Crypt. The Milfanito are women revealing similar longevity but more limited sentience. While they aren’t a hive mind like the localization suggests, they do possess an incredibly weak sense of self — even to lose their “sanity” more literally means to lose “consciousness” or “true mind”. (正気) Of the two Milfanito we can converse with, both tend to parrot the other with only slight differences in wording due to their individual verbal tic, at least in Japanese dialogue. They also don’t comprehend the concept of individuality, only ever speaking in collective terms as the Milfanito. In other words, they are basically clones whose limited contact with outsiders has resulted in barely any deviation in their psychological development. Indeed, “king” is a foreign word to them despite their creator being the Grave King. All of their knowledge comes from birth or around the Crypt, likely because they don’t require a wide array to perform their duties.
Dress of a singer who lost her sanity. Even though its physical defense is nonexistent, it has been blessed beforehand and has high resistance to magic.
They who are said to have been endowed with song by the “Great Dead” have an extremely weak concept of the individual. They only live for their mission, and it will continued until their souls are lost.
Our name is Milfanito. Consoling the many seized by death and Dark, that is our duty.
Milfanito, that is our name. My name…? Um, what is a “my”? The reason being we know nothing of beyond this place…
You are searching for King Vanclad…? Um, what is a “king”? We know nothing of beyond this place. For we will not leave this place.
The Milfanito were created to be songstresses, even dressed for the part. Their God-given singing resounds throughout the Shrine of Amana, only ever ceasing when we approach them to potentially converse. This singing is how the Milfanito communicate with each other across long distances, the Demon of Song’s imitation of it easily identified as fake. However, that isn’t the song’s primary purpose. By their own admission, their role is to soothe the dead Undead, and their melody contributes to this. Not only is their song beautiful, it also prompts a reaction from the local Brightbugs. True to their name, these “light bugs” (光蟲) glow like fireflies, and their “dance” to a Milfanito’s song helps comfort the dead, presumably providing them just enough light to solace the soul and cower the humanity — if they feel the sun’s security, then they theoretically won’t be roused from their eternal slumber, even in darkness. Compared to the Fenito, the Milfanito simply don’t need keen minds.
Small bug that emits light. They inhabit the watery spots leading up to the Undead Mausoleum and are said to comfort the dead.
Those about to die emit a stronger light, and one can momentarily acquire great power by completely ingesting them. Last-resort for adventurers who’ve lost their place to go.
Those little ones dance due to our song. Those who keep death and Dark in their bodies are captivated by those things and acquire soothing and comfort… We were taught such.
Those little ones were born from the “Great Dead”. We were entrusted with song by that Great Dead. We have continued to sing since then. In order to comfort those seized by death and Dark. We were taught such.
Even their appearance can be attributed to this emphasis on relief. Unlike the Fenito, the Milfanito appear no different from living human women. However, saving one such Milfanito trapped in Drangleic Castle awards us with a Ring of the Dead. This possibly indicates that they hide a more corpse-like form, like the resident Hollows — such a specialized ring might even be another Nito product, only later shared with Undead. If so, then the sole reason would be to make themselves likewise more palatable to the cursed. On top of that, the Milfanito commonly gift Divine Blessings as thanks, suggesting some connection to Gwynevere. Indeed, as a princess, it wouldn’t be odd for her to contribute to Nito’s work as part of their two kingdom’s collaboration; the Gravelord may well have used the beautiful, motherly goddess who comforts others with light as the model for his Milfanito. Put simply, their every facet was designed to be pacifying for Undead and nothing more.
Nito made the Fenito to be administrators and the Milfanito to be caretakers, and we might even be able to discern the meaning behind the names he presumably gave them. The creator’s name stands out at the end of both. The Fenito are also more accurately the “Fanito”, (ファニト) leaving the additional prefix “mil” as the only difference between the two corpse races. Considering that the most notable disparity between the two is their sex, “mil” is most likely intended to denote “female”. Conversely, their most pertinent similarities is that they are unique products of their god. We can thus translate Fanito as “creation” or “child of Nito” and Milfanito as “female child of Nito” — in other words, sons and daughters of Nito. This choice of naming lines up with the Gravelord’s behavior in DS1, and the king of necromancy certainly treats them as more than one of his throwaway carcasses.
Although he never uses it himself, Agdayne does own a peculiar katana dubbed Darkdrift, or rather “Darkhaze”, (闇朧) due to its blade existing in-between dimensions, resulting in a practically invisible edge that can pass through solid objects like shields but still pierce flesh. The weapon previously belonged to Nito, so the fact that Agdayne now possess it implies that the god gifted it to him. This might have been a reward for his performance; it wouldn’t be the first of its kind. Agdayne is also recipient of the Crypt Blacksword symbolizing his guardianship over the mausoleum. There is no denying that the Fenito acts as the lead grave warden — aside from his unique kilt and uncovered face for conversing with outsiders, he speaks in archaic language imbuing him with an aura of divinity and thereby authority. If there is anyone who would have this weapon, it would be Agdayne, but we derive it from Nito’s soul, implying a shared association with the god. In short, it is likely another weapon that was entrusted to the Fenito along with his duty as the head gravekeeper.
Black ultra greatsword that is a symbol of guardianship of the Undead Mausoleum. That sword that has never seen light before is dyed the same color as the Dark.
Katana of Gravekeeper Agadulan. Possesses a transparently clear blade and can penetrate an opponent’s shield with its strong attack.
This blade is said to have once been the personal effect of the “one who brought death”, and it actually exists in a half “out-of-sync” place.
Nito was no stranger to providing his loyal followers with weapons as members of his covenant in DS1 can attest. But why bother treating one of his mass-produced creations like one of the god’s living human followers? Because to the Gravelord, a Fenito was no different from a Gravelord Servant, both part of his one big family of death. They may not be human, at least no longer, but that simply makes them all the more precious. The God of Death will always favor entropy, and he made some very special dead for a very special task. The Fenito and Milfanito reciprocate that affection by continuing to perform their duties even absent their Gravelord for so long. Indeed, Agdayne seems to almost mock our race’s lack of purpose, having forgotten our allegiance to the Dark and Gwyn’s fear of us bringing about its Age. Meanwhile, Agdayne and his ilk understand the reality of their existence, what they are supposed to do and why. The old Bringer of Death may be gone, but they will still carry on his legacy.
Come and Stay
It is worth noting that Nito’s children are surprisingly tolerant, even beyond the awake accursed they look after. While we find no shortage of dead and Undead alike trying to kill us, the Fenito themselves take no issue with the living coming and going as they please. Perhaps this is simply because they assume that the living will eventually find themselves down there anyway, making it an extension of their all-accepting behavior toward the dead. Nonetheless, it speaks to the laxed nature of those aligned with entropy, the grave wardens simply standing by and letting us pass through without resistance. Of course, not every visitor was necessarily welcome. Not long after we enter, Agdayne warns us against bringing light with us inside for fear of disturbing the dead’s final rest. If we ignore him, he and his fellow gravekeepers will turn hostile. The Fenito are still the Crypt’s protectors, and there are limits to their magnanimity.
So long as you are here, pay your appropriate respects. If you do, this land will accept anyone. Death is a tolerant and impartial thing. Because everyone is embraced in its bosom sooner or later.
Human. Never produce a light. That was a warning. Those who bring light here, no matter who, will not be forgiven.
Whether it is a person or place uniting them, Leydia, originally Ledia, (レディア) produced a number of followers dedicated to the God of Disease Galib, or Galiv. (ガリヴ) Although their uniforms seem to be divided by sex, the male “pyromancers” also cast sorceries, with the witches additionally casting hexes and miracles. Considering that these men wield magic swords for catalysts and not pyromancy flames, their pyromancy is closer to sorcery — the flame-conjuring witches’ unique magic staff specializes only in sorceries, miracles, and hexes, after all. Regardless of the technicalities, however, this variety in spellcraft reveals a breadth of knowledge unseen in many magical practitioners. Furthermore, the Leydia disciples’ emphasis on magic must tie into their worship of Galib, or else why immerse themselves in it to begin with? Given that the god is fittingly represented by the graphic for toxins and contagions, why not employ weapons poisoned with pathogens like the staves Drangleic sorcers typically use? Because these acolytes had grander plans.
Hood of a witch of Ledia.
The disciples of Ledia worship the God of Disease Galib and were once with the Fanito in the Undead Mausoleum, but they gradually began to get conceited and started controlling who enters the Undead Mausoleum by administering both the transmission and curing of disease in various places.
Staff that a witch of Ledia used. It is tinged with the power of special magic and becomes a catalyst for sorceries, miracles, and hexes.
The disciples of Ledia who excelled in sorcery operated unique weapons but were destroyed as desecrators.
The Leydia disciples eventually found their way to the Undead Crypt, where they chose to reside alongside the dead. Some have suggested that this is because their God of Disease is actually Nito, but the close relation between plague and death exists even absent this assumption — why wouldn’t worshipers of disease to want to be close to those who died of it? But as time progressed, the Leydia cult began to rob authority from their housers. The group started spreading disease throughout the region, only to then cure it at their leisure. This impressive control over illness was likely the result of their wide magical studies, acting presumably in accordance with their god’s will. Only they, servants of Galib, could save the people from plague, and one can imagine how they leveraged the position they put themselves in to obtain tribute. If the afflicted couldn’t make a satisfactory offering, they died, effectively making the Leydians decide who would be entering the Crypt; the actual gravekeepers were not amused and exterminated the cult for desecrating the sanctity of death.
Hood of a pyromancer of Ledia.
The disciples of Ledia who were once in the Undead Mausoleum grew impudent and toyed with death. That provoked the intense wrath of the Fanito, and they were stamped out with the brand of desecrators.
Another unwanted party were an order of knights famed for their strength once upon a time, though their country of origin goes unmentioned. Yet these elite warriors don’t employ a traditional arsenal, instead relying solely on a pair of greatshields to pummel their foes with while maintaining an ironclad defense. These shields depict the twin followers of some higher power Orma and Reeve who judge men’s souls in the afterlife, each implicitly arguing for their good or ill deeds in a debate. The symbolism of seeing the twins’ image approach moments before death is humorous, but the characters and the circumstances behind them don’t fit into the series’ established cosmology. In short, Orma and Reeve are pure fiction from the knights’ pagan religion. That being the case, the knights’ reason for assaulting the Undead Crypt is obvious: they identified it as their faith’s underworld and hope to meet, if not liberate, the twin entities who had “helped” them in so many battles. For the first time, their conquest failed.
Shield of knights who once tried to conquer the Undead Mausoleum.
They had no weapons and smashed enemies with a pair of left and right shields as if they were playing with them. It is said that only miserable corpses remained afterward.
Depicted are the twin apostles said to greet the dead and deliberate the good and ill of their souls.
Finally, there are the clerics of a similarly unidentified country, once renowned for their holiness. Dressed reminiscent to European crusader knights, these clergy are evidently the militant kind of holy men, as shown by making a mace their miracle catalyst. They strike down their foes with divine power and so fight with the gods on their side, at least in theory. Like the previous party, the clerics chose to subjugate the Undead Crypt, and their reason is just as obvious. Friction between the Anor Londo pantheon and the living dead have existed since DS1, especially within the Way of White. The Crypt is undeniably a place where all those who deny true and final death come to thrive in darkness, cursed with the Darksign or otherwise. It is no surprise then if a pious group inheriting the religion recognize the mausoleum for the affront to the gods’ natural order that it is and try “cleansing” it. The Fenito punished them for such insolence.
Helmet of once famed clergymen. Long ago, they tried to conquer the Undead Mausoleum. As a result of the group’s actions, they are denied death due to that insolent sin and receive the command to protect the mausoleum.
Mace of once famed clergymen. It doubles as a holy bell and can unleash miracles and hexes with its strong attack.
Their souls which should be in a holy state are roaming around a dull darkness.
In all these cases, the parties somehow disrespected Nito and his kingdom of the dead, and all were afforded the same retribution. Item descriptions consistently convey that these impudent invaders will never enjoy the ultimate peace of eternal rest, instead kept reanimated as additional guardians for the Crypt. Some souls are allowed to keep their decaying cadavers; others are left to take form as disembodied ghosts. No matter the circumstance, however, they all suffer as constant slaves to the grave wardens’ will. We would presumably share the same fate for our similar transgressions against the will of the dead, if not for the fact that we can never truly die and face the consequences of our actions by virtue of game mechanics. It is also questionable why flammable sconces were even built into this facility to begin with — the Fenito apparently only care if we light up the place right in their face. Regardless, many have found themselves victim of the dangerous forces within the mausoleum.
Helmet of once famed knights.
Long ago, they tried to conquer the Undead Mausoleum. As a result of the group’s actions, they are used as watchmen of death, losing their peace for their arrogance.
Small shield that the disciples of Ledia used. It is tinged with the power of special magic and can deflect spells via its parry.
Despite being residents of the Undead Mausoleum, the disciples of Ledia who made light of death have been kept from the peace of death as their punishment.
Among Agdayne’s wares for sale are various spells, many of which are supposedly circulated only in the Undead Crypt as of now. These include the Warmth pyromancy, so they are unlikely to be arts of the Fenito’s creation. Rather, they are most likely the magic texts collected from the corpses of previous visitors, similar to some of his other wares. The grave warden doesn’t necessarily collect every single one, of course. Chloanne sells Soul Appease, the description of which claims the miracle to be another of the Crypt’s spells. Considering that her trade is finding and selling rare or unusual stones, this non-magic caster most likely came across the mausoleum while exploring for rocks deep underground where she picked up the miracle text as additional inventory for sale. This notion is reinforced by her other spell for sale, Dead Again, a hex whose text we can otherwise only acquire from the likewise subterranean Black Gulch. Evidently, Agdayne only picks up and sells what leftovers he comes across in the course of his duties, leaving people like Chloanne and ourselves to loot the rest.
Lost pyromancy handed down only in the Undead Mausoleum. Creates a harmless, warm fire and restores HP of those who’ve touched it.
Fire is a symbol of wisdom and warmth along with proof of power. Fire is what you want it to be.
Lost miracle handed down only in the Undead Mausoleum. Deals lots of damage to Hollows that have lost their selves. However, does no damage to anyone other than Hollows.
The Undead Mausoleum is a place of peace that all the living go to. Even those who have suffered the curse on their bodies can come here someday, right?
In its totality, we can say that the Undead Crypt is as dangerous as it is welcoming, with many people, groups, and magics lost to its pitch-black depths. Everything the Fenito and Milfanito do is a compromise with those cursed to deny death. The dead rest, but they will let the Undead rise; the dead hide in darkness, but they will let the Undead bask in light — as long as the former are allowed their preference, so too will the latter be permitted theirs. Whenever the two intersect, the wardens’ will step in, with extreme prejudice. If Nito’s children truly believe that all will end up resting in the Crypt, then perhaps their violence serves to remind the living of why they should join the dead. As both Agdayne and his kilt’s description acknowledge, to live means to suffer, whereas death brings the ultimate peace. In that case, if you disturb the peace of the dead, then a little of life’s suffering might remind you why to take part. Those now forever denied that reprieve surely understand its merit, as do the Fenito, though they will continue to sacrifice such tranquility so that they may spread it to others; just as their god intended.
Kilt of Agadulan who serves at the Undead Mausoleum.
Life is suffering itself and certain people called it karma. Everyone is eventually embraced by death. But does that really mean an end to the suffering?
You have met that man and come back, human. Living is always an unfair, merciless thing. Especially on the path you proceed on. Someday, peace shall visit you.