Exploring the Undead Settlement, we might come across a locked room, forcing us to drop through a hole in the ceiling to enter. Inside, we will find ourselves in a quaint little residence — at least what amounts to one in this shanty town. On the stove for us to eat sits a warm pot of Estus soup, a creative application of the bonfire’s heat Undead almost exclusively drink to stay sane. On a table in the opposite corner lies an old cloth charm that had been given to Warriors of Sunlight, which we can use to write golden summon signs as a new member of the covenant. The obvious conclusion from these circumstances is that an Undead Warrior of the Sun was living in this humble abode until relatively recently. As to where this person has gone, we seem to trace that path to Farron Keep, whether we can encounter another pot of Estus soup in an encampment on one of the poison swamp’s few islands of safety; beside it lays the Sunlight Talisman bearing the same holy symbol as the amulet acquired back at the settlement. Again, our mysterious warrior has apparently gone off ahead. Why? Who is this?

Many fans have posited Solaire. The holy symbol featured on both of the warrior’s belongings is the personal handiwork of the eccentric knight from the original Dark Souls, (DS1) the Sunlight Talisman description even acknowledging how it was lovingly used by the “old Knight of the Sun” (古い太陽の騎士) in that game. However, this is unlikely given that the knight’s tale ended with him either going insane or dying, by self-immolation in the best-case scenario. Dark Souls II (DS2) reinforced this with his successors in Drangleic treating the knight as a legendary figure of a bygone era to emulate, his beloved if aging sword rewarded to the most successful. And now, we can acquire this sword in Lothric, secured in a mimic within one of the Castle’s army stores. The weapon is in better condition than when last seen in DS2, no doubt thanks to its new owners’ great care for it. Nonetheless, it shows a chain of custody with its original wielder long removed from the equation.

As if to add to that impression, we can acquire Solaire’s other equipment, but only from the bird nesting atop Firelink Shrine. The helm is traded for a lightning urn, referencing the knight’s miracles. The chest piece is traded for a siegbrau, the Estus pairing nicely with that sun holy symbol depicted on the surcoat. The bracelets are traded for a homeward bone, its owner drawn to the bonfire the same as how Solaire was drawn to a fiery sun. The leggings are traded for a seed of a giant tree, its ability to make enemies potential help against invading dark spirits mirroring Solaire’s role as a cooperator. And finally, the shield is traded for a Mendicant’s Staff, its use for summoning souls reflecting how Solaire himself could be summoned as a spirit. Whether this armor is simply an easter egg left by the developers or sign of Lothric having collected more relics of the old knight, it is obvious that it isn’t being worn by him; he remains a past figure. This leaves the holy cloths of our mysterious Warrior of the Sun as merely more artifacts of Solaire preserved until the modern day, and for good reason.

Large helmet also called a heaume. It is of solid iron make.

It is said that the one with a red plume is the thing of an old Knight of the Sun.

It has no special power, but it is high quality armor. It was probably well taken care of.

Armor layering a white coat over chain mail. The sun holy symbol is painted big.

An old Knight of the Sun favored it, and it is said that he painted the symbol himself, but it has no particularly holy power.

Large, circular metal shield with the sun holy symbol painted big.

An old Knight of the Sun favored it, and it is said that he painted the symbol himself, but it has no particularly holy power.

While the Sunlight Straight Sword continues to manifest no lightning in the traditional sense, it does possess a curious skill. The name and effect of this “Oath of the Sun” (太陽の誓い) battle art is obviously evocative of the Sacred Oath miracle. By that same token, the sword’s description suggests that this sunlight power was imbued into the weapon as a result of the covenant cooperator’s manic faith, reaffirming the implications from DS2. Indeed, it was this faith that made a cloth painted with the holy sun and tied in a knot into a legitimate miracle talisman — it may have some of the weakest faith scaling of any talisman, but its particular “Prayer to be Firm” (断固たる祈り) skill makes the wielder the most steadfast praying for miracles. Even the holy cloth allowing us to be summoned as golden spirits for the covenant was a likely a result of the knight’s sincere devotion. That last one was probably a simple gift the eccentric handed out to his fellow cooperators in the Undead Burg before things collapsed in DS1, but it and the other items are all potent artifacts which sun worshipers might now covet.

Old straight sword harboring the power of lightning.

It looks like nothing more than an ordinary long sword, but the power it is harboring is undoubtedly that of the sun. That is the fruits of feelings akin to mania even, isn’t it?

Battle art is “Sun Oath”. Raise up the sword with an oath of the sun and boost attack power and cut rates, including surroundings. It is said that the Warriors of the Sun were cooperators since times immemorial.

Talisman to perform miracles of the gods. An old Knight of the Sun favored it.

The holy symbol painted by himself is his earnest faith itself, so its battle art makes one “be more firm”.

Battle art is “Prayer to be Firm”. A battle art available whether equipped in the left or right. Temporarily increases tenacity while using miracles so prayers are not interrupted even if attacked by enemies.

However, with Solaire long dead, that leaves the identity of our missing sunlight warrior still open. To begin with, it might be more accurate to say former sunlight warrior. Even if the holy cloth wasn’t being used to perform the duties of the covenant, it is odd for the miracle talisman to be left behind. Wouldn’t the adherent of Gwyn’s firstborn want it for exploring such a perilous swamp? The casual disregard for these items instead indicates that the owner wasn’t as attached to that religion as Solaire, at least by the time of leaving the Undead Settlement for Farron. If our mysterious stranger’s faith was ever firmer, it was most likely as a knight stationed in Lothric Castle — the royal abode is the cult center for the Warriors of Sunlight in the region, the garrison does collect and store relics of Solaire, and the residents do get banished to the nearby settlement upon becoming Undead. In short, our Solaire fan is liable to have been a prominent knight who swore service to the firstborn. But now the warrior’s trail has gone cold in Farron. And that is where another’s trail starts to warm.

Taking a step back, our mysterious Warrior of Sunlight’s camp is set up practically next door to the ladder the dreamchaser fled up to escape pursuing slugs. This makes it easy to imagine the dreamer’s path as simply the continuation of the warrior’s journey. After all, the son of a High Priestess would likely join the Warriors of Sunlight while rising a knight’s ranks, which complements his military experience; composite bows were originally designed for rising on horseback — or in this case, dragonback. Priestly nepotism would also explain how he was able to take possession of the old knight of the sun’s holy cloths. And, of course, a Lothric man who dreamed of joining the Abyss Watchers would set out from the Undead Settlement in search of the old wolf of Farron, leaving his old covenant by the wayside. The closer he would get to his target, the less he would care about leaving Solaire’s creations to rot. But then his trek through the poison swamp took a turn for the worse, and the hunter would never make it back to camp.

Therefore, the dreamchaser is the most likely candidate for who we have been unintentionally following since the Undead Settlement. Solaire’s legacy, for all the attention, has been to be a model for others — and so often do role models fade into the background. His Sunlight Straight Sword is still being left to rot with the ages, just with better keeping. His handmade holy cloths are perfectly disposable when something more enticing presents itself. And we can’t even be sure what happened to his shield and armor. For as much sincere love Solaire had for the gods and the sun, his heirs have nowhere near lived up to that example. His existence is a passing memory, something to revere in the moment then allow to blend into the scenery. Perhaps it was inevitable in this world slowly burning to ash. But regardless, Solaire’s memory flickers out with a dying sun.