There was a major patch for Dark Souls II today, which includes a screen-filling new character known as The Scholar, updated lore, and more. The Souls series is all about hiding things in weird places, so we're only scratching the surface. Here's a taste of what's been found so far.
The patch is free for all versions of Dark Souls II and went live last night. Most importantly, it introduces a new NPC called The Scholar. Even if you've beaten Dark Souls II, you can still track down this new character. My save was sitting at the beginning of the game's first piece of downloadable content, and I was successfully able to escape via bonfire and find The Scholar.
The Scholar first appears in the Black Gulch. Look for the small room at the end of the boss area for The Rotten—by the entrance to the DLC—and you'll run into The Scholar. He appears at other locations throughout Dark Souls II, but I won't spoil the spots, in case you want to find it.
I've recorded the first two conversations with The Scholar, so fair warning: spoilers ahead.
Dark Souls doesn't tell a story using traditional methods. Item descriptions are where it's at, and the community works together to piece the larger narrative embedded by From Software.
On Reddit, players have started digging into the updated lore, largely reflected in new item descriptions within the game. Prior to release, the developers teased the lore would provide new "hints" about what's going on in Dark Souls, a series with a purposely opaque storyline.
Here's what was attached to the Giant Lord Soul in Dark Souls II, for example:
Soul of the Giant Lord, who once conquered Drangleic. The Giants landed on the northern shores, and set siege to King Vendrick's castle to claim an invaluable prize. Use the special soul of this Giant to acquire numerous souls, or to create something of great worth.
And here's what it says with the updated patch:
Vendrick crossed the seas, took prisoner the Giants, and brought them back to his castle, clapped in iron. However, after this modest triumph, his countenance could be seen to grow darker with each passing day. Use the special soul of this Giant to acquire numerous souls, or to create something of great worth.
That's a huge change. Previously, we had no idea why the Giants were so pissed at King Vendrick. What we did know, however, was Vendrick had stolen something from the Giants. I'm not sure anyone predicted Vendrick's thievery literally involved stealing the Giants themselves!
If you're unfamiliar with the nuances of Dark Souls lore, I highly recommend catching up with VaatiVidya on YouTube. There's no one better at outlining what's really happening in Dark Souls. Personally, I just beat the crap out of enemies, learn what little I can, and eventually settle in front of my iPad with the latest series of VaatiVidya entries. He really knows his shit.
The patch is brand-new, so there's much more to find. Let me know if you see anything cool!