On this day the sky had gone gray, somber gray clouds filled the sky and blocked the golden rays of light, adding salt upon the wound.

Even now they would not be sent off, unable to see the guiding light of the Erdtree

Tarnished…That is what they were called, no…declared by their very god herself….

The Beaches of Limgrave, the lowest point of the lands between was where they were to be sent off with what little aid was given to them. Longboats were lined along the damp beach, with mighty warships to meager skippers, they were all in the midst of being loaded with cargo. Preserved meats, dried food, anything that could last their upcoming trip…trip…no, Exile was the proper word for this.

An entire army, exiled and for what?

To grow in strength, to be strong enough to wield the Elden Ring.

That alone only wrought more questions than answers, as why would they; Mere Mortal Men and Women, have to face the chances of becoming Elden Lord when there already was one.

Why would she cast him aside, Lord Godfrey, what was she hiding…

The man's mind was plagued with questions, gnawing at his will and focus instead of distraught, anger, and the other emotions of betrayal that festered in the Legion's mind. The air was tense with it, the countless men of women of the Tarnished legion were silent as they worked away at preparing for the trip.

Unlike him, unlike Sigismund, as he trekked through it all with his head bowed and hood over his head, keeping him as a mere forgettable face amongst it all. Of course his face was, but the armor and cloth he was? None could forget the appearance of a Confessor. They were always seen mucking about in the aftermath of battles and skirmishes, at the besides of fading men and women before their souls moved on, back to the Erdtree

Many had died already, from the sheer weight the news of their exilement had wrought upon them, after everything they had done. From their lesser campaigns below amongst Liurnia to the Caelid wilds, to their march upwards to challenge the Giants. They had given their blood and tears, only for their goddess to exile them from their homes, from their families, from everything they knew.

Suicides weren't his expertise, but the priest made his due in passing the bodies over so they could at least be buried with the roots.

Perhaps that was why they were giving him his space, perhaps expecting him to break down…heh…the thought was amusing, truly, but Sigismund had much to do.

Like Everyone else.

Sigismund could see him now, the man who towered over them all as a rippling mass of muscle and flesh. He was what many men had aspired to be, and would still be in the decades to come until he faded from history.

Lord Godfrey, The Elden Lord.

That is what Sigismund, and every other 'Tarnished' chose to call him as he was their lord, a man who had earned his title. Yet now he had been robbed of that name, resorting to a long forgotten name, Horah Loux.

The man was circled by a select few, of chosen advisors of differing status in the legion, from aged veterans to the most prominent of holy men. They had earned their renown in the war with the giants, just as Sigismund had and it was why they knew to part when he approached.

"...Lord Godfrey."

Sigismund uttered out, stoically as he kept his palms together with his digits interlocked as he awaited his acknowledgment. The warrior king had finished his talk with his advisors and sent them forth when the confessor had come to him.

"Speak Confessor, for what reason do you need my attention?"

Despite having lost his title, the Tarnished Lord had no desire to correct his men, it was why he was quick in getting to the topic.

Like everyone else, the King had much to do.

"I have…done all I could to fulfill the given tasks at hand, and it appears we were wrong…no foul play was found…", Sigismund softly uttered out loud. There was displeasement in his voice, the same seen in his lord's eyes as he turned his head away and crossed his arms.

"Then that's it…this is what Queen has decreed"

Sigismund didn't press on as he saw the frown paint the older man's face as he lost himself in watching his army at work. Sigismund joined him for a second, turning his head to take in the sight of his fellow warriors at work. Though something caught his eyes, something he chose to point out, "We are being watched, Milord." Sigismund didn't bother to pull his palms away, merely letting Godfrey follow his gaze to the rock cliffs.

Men, women, and packs of children watched them all from afar, not for some enjoyment but perhaps to silently send them off with prayers or who knows what else…

"...shall I gather a few men to send them off?"

Asked the confessor after a moment of silence, and when he was given no response Sigismund turned to his lord. The man had moved on, walking away, almost…broken in a manner, as he had…given up, the glint in his eyes had dulled…

"My lord-"

"Do what you want Confessor, preferably something that will get us to sea sooner…"

Sigismund didn't respond, there was no point in doing so as it would have no point…at this point Godfrey really was gone. The first cracks had appeared when the Queen had given her decree and now only pieces were left.

He was tired, just like his soldiers, just like Sigismund.

Stoically Sigismund stood in place, watching as the Tarnished Lord disappeared amongst the army of men. With him gone the confessor let out an exhale of breath and closed his eyes before turning his head.

"You lot."

A trio of soldiers stopped their actions a good few meters away, they had been in the midst of binding rope to a collection of crates. Their faces hidden beneath their helms as they looked to the confessor, "Yes sire?" One of them would ask in response.

"Which of these ships is going to fall under the command of Lady Auric?", Sigismund would ask them, and felt his lips twitch for a soft smirk as he was given his answer via a soldier pointing towards a skipper…

That would do.

The winds howled, the sky crashed with the sea, and lightning was like a blinding light as it came down from the heavens. It met its end on the mast of the neighboring ship, a frigate, and the Confessor and many others could only watch as the sails lit aflame with the wood groaning as it slowly began to tip. Cries of alarm and terror followed as it came careening over the edge and nearly onto the sloop henceforth known as Carian's Woe.

"Turn us portside! She's going down!"

Sigismund could hardly hear the cries of the ship's recently adorned captain, Lady Auric, a prideful woman but one with skill to back it. The woman was perhaps a mighty spell sword that could cleave through the battlefield, but the sea was foreign to them all. They were soldiers not seamen! Sigismund let out a cry of alarm as the ship began to turn sharply to the left, per the Captain's orders.

"Out of my way! Out of my way!"

He was forced to bark out as he held onto whatever could give him traction as the storm continued to rage on. He was soaked like a dog! These winds were growing harder to hear over, and the rocking of the ship had already cost them a man!

"Auric! Auric! Galia!"

The Carian woman was struggling to remain still as she gripped the wheel and turned it out to straighten the ship when he came stumbling up. "What is it Confessor! Has another man gone overboard!", roared the noble as her gaze moved to the bow of the ship, to the few men that could keep the ship nearly working.

"Nay! Nay you mad lass!"

The priest barked out as he stumbled up to the rear railing of the ship and took hold of a set of roping meant to keep the mast aligned. He didn't continue, initially, as he turned his head outwards to the roaring waves as they overtook the burning wreck of the neighboring ship. The waves made it hell to get a proper look, but he could see others, more vessels fighting against the waves in the endless storm that made up the Fog.

It was a barrier of sorts, one that turned off all who sought the Lands Between, but also kept the Golden Order restricted to the island continent. He was no proper scholar, as such it was all he knew of the fog, and not where it came from but of its destructive and foreboding nature.

"Turn us starboard! We are losing the fleet!" Sigismund turned his head for only a second and looking back it was as if they were even further away! "Are you daft! Do you see those waves! Any closer and we'll be crashing into each other yet again!" Lady Auric roared out to him as another wave crashed into the skipper and nearly sent her off of her feet.

"Any Further and we'll be lost in this fog!"

Another bolt of lighting came down from the sky, striking the sea in a sharp explosion of light that made the man clamp his eyes shut. The flash remained in his eyes as he tightened his hold on the railing and was tempted to get on a knee and pray for once.

"We'll be alive will we not! Even if we are separated, is this is not what you wanted!"

Of course she would use his own words against him…

"This is no time to argue, Auric! Change the course! Maintain formation!" releasing his hold on the ship, Sigismund fell off of his feet as the ship met a wave. He met the floorboards of the vessel and didn't care about appearance now as he scrambled on all fours up to the steering wheel.

"What are you doing! This is my vessel!

Growled the woman as she found herself fighting for control, her knight armor clinking as she was wedged partly to the side. The two fought for control of the wheel, pushing as much as they could into one another in hopes of besting the other.

"Sirs! Sirs!"

The cries of a man proved to signal the victory of this match as Lady Auric bested her challenger, sending him off with a sharp elbow to his Jaw. "What! What is it dog!" Barked the woman as she turned her gaze to the man, only to see just what had spoked the man.


In the distance, all to see, from the left-port side of the ship could they watch as Trimere erupted into shards of wood. The cause being balls of water boiled and spat from the maw of the seven headed serpent that rose from the water. Its sea blue scales were dulled by the gray forecast of light and the constant pouring of rain, but amongst it was its orange eyes. The multiple pairs showed the feral nature of the beast as it used its heads to snag up any poor soul that had survived the shattering of the vessel or did not have their corpses turned into mere pieces of flesh.

"To starboard! We must maintain formation!"

Roared the knight-commander as she sharply turned the wheel to the right, the vessel swiftly mimicking it as it turned right. All the while Sigismund let out a sharp groan as he slid along the floor, his back meeting the wooden half-wall he had propped himself against previously.

"Now do you see! Marika's tits! Listen to me next time!"

Sigismund barked as he shakily pulled himself back up to his feet and held on for dear life as a wave met the side of the vessel. Water was kicked up and sent across the ship, blinding the confessor and forced him to raise an arm to wipe out his eyes. A silent swear followed as he noted how they were missing a soldier, damn it! One that had been operating the sails! Already the mast was faltering and turning alongside the winds, slowing the vessel down.

"Maintain heading! Do you hear me!"

Sigismund bellowed out to his compatriot as he scrambled forth, stumbling down the stairs to fill the new position on the ship. He heaved on the rope and helped bring the mast under control before a bolt of lightning filled the sky, illuminating his face. His red locks of hair were bunched up for a slick mop of hair that came falling over his eyes from his hood fluttering back. He turned his head sea bound, and could watch as they began to rejoin a junction of ships, three other sloops and another barge-wait! That was-!

"There! There! The Storm King! There is still hope yet!"

The words of one of his fellow Tarnished helped express what Sigismund felt as the Carian's Woe slowly joined the line of ships from behind. Yet another bolt came crashing down, signaled by the loud crack of energy followed by blinding light. Yet to the awe of many, the bolt came down upon the Storm King and seemingly was redirected skybound to light up the sky.

"By Marika! What was that!"

"Sir Godfrey! It had to be!"

"Nay! It must be Marika herself! Only a god could do such a thing!"


That was the only thing Sigismund chose to believe, the Warrior King had bested legions of giants on his own, it was not hard to believe he could best the mightiest of storms…but what of the sea?


Many upon the sloop didn't even see it coming as the vessel had it's midship ruptured, sending men, planks, and anything that wasn't nailed down flying into the air. Sigismund was one such man, and he let out a cry as he flung into the air, a ragdoll only to see glimpses before his body met the sea

It was dark, it was endless, and it was cold.

The man could never forget the campaign to take the mountain, the highest peak in the lands between, and the home of the giants. All to control and smother out the flame that dared to threaten the Erdtree, all for Queen Marika, for the Guiding Grace…It had been slow, treacherous, and ungodly cold…many men had frozen to death when making the ascent.

Yet this…this plunged him back into hell, the Confessor could see the true horror hidden beneath the surface.

Men sunk further into the ocean, at least thoughts wearing plates of armor that weighed them down, even as they kicked and swatted at the water to try and resurface. They slowly drowned, at least those who were not able to pry off pieces of their armor, and then there were the wrecks. Ships were sinking, carved in two or left as nothing more than large fragments with their vital cargo lost and devoured by the dark void below.

Then there was what lurked in that darkness…

The Hydra was merely one of such creatures that had come to feed, and Sigmund could only make out dark blurs that snagged the bodies of his kin before his mind caught up. He was a confessor, a man of the gods, not a soldier so he was lucky that he did not have to struggle for the mere prospect of resurfacing. When he did he gasped for air and madly kicked his legs for dear life as he shook his head and dug his palms into his eyes. The salt water stung, but it would not kill him, as he would turn his head left to right as the waves carried him.

A stray board gave him leverage to rest his legs as he hooked his arms around it and turned his head to take in the carnage that had Hydra had pursued and snaked through the water, gods it must have blasted the sloop! Gods, he was alive…!

The crack of lightning came once more, aimed for the storm king that swayed in the waves next to Sigismund, and bounced yet again! The bolt hit its mark, being one of the Hydra's seven heads with it flinging back before it came falling forth. Its scales had been scorched black with an eye having ruptured from it, and the creature's brain must have followed as it sunk into the water.

Its many other heads hissed in fury at the loss of one of their own and an assortment of its necks bulged before it spat water into the barge's deck. Yet the mighty vessel did not falter as the golden light of holy magic shined brightly in the form of a protective barrier that flickered and crackled as it took the blow. Then like that lightning, arrows, and sorceries were unleashed in retaliation from the many soldiers upon the deck, keeping the false dragon at bay.

Sigismund had watched the sight, his breathing heavy as he turned his head away, his safety came first! Not the sight of battle! Many prayers for hope of surviving were reinvigorated as one of the few remaining sloops circumvented the conflict, picking up what survivors they could with Sigismund amongst them. He was grabbed by his shoulders by a pair of men and unceremoniously dragged a few feet away from the edge before thrown onto the floor. They had no time to care about ranks and title, these men only knew that their comrades, shield brothers/sisters, and blood brothers needed their help.

Many didn't stay still, they chose to get to the edges of the ship, to try and help fish more soldiers from the sea. Others were winded, still processing what was happening, lost in watching the fight before them, of how the Tarnished Legion fought back the sea. Sigismund was amongst the latter, stuck on his back gasping for air as he watched another one of the Hydra's heads explode in a mass of flaming gore…

It hissed and snapped one of its heads out in return to the loss, sending the barge shaking and men screaming as it pierced through the deck. Yet that would prove to be fatal for the sea serpent as its head came flying back, geysers of blood seeping from it. It was a gruesome sight, watching as life left the limb as the head slowly titted and fell, showing the large gash in its neck. It was then the Hydra registered defeat and would turn in the water, quickly falling back into the water, but it sent waves forth from the sudden actions.

Many of the lesser vessels that had survived the Hydra's assault and the onslaught of the sea were seen careening together. They couldn't fight the waves, nor could the poor souls within the water as they were dragged away as water came flying over the edge of the sloop. Sigismund was not the only one to get thrown across the deck, as distinct yells were heard, but Sigismund was lucky enough to get flung over board as he hit the half wall of the deck.

"Gah!"Sigismund let out a groan of pain as the ship rocked and almost made him empty his guts as he found the strength to push himself up. Gripping the edge of the railing, the confessor rose to his feet and coughed for air before depositing his head over the edge.

Correction, the rocking of the ship had made him empty his guts.

As his retching slowly stopped did he raise his head and turn to look over his head and out to the sea. There were no signs of the beast, but there were sinking wrecks, and ships working to collect survivors. Looking back to the Storm King gave him no answer, the ship's deck was far above the water, and left Sigismund guessing what the status of the ship was or what was happening on the other side.

The confessor would collapse onto his knees, panting for air, as he would then turn to sit with his back against the wall. He half heartedly registered the sight of the men and women running amuck before him, keeping the ship straight while also checking on the survivors. One man came up to him, reaching out to grab him by his jaw and to turn his head left to right before smacking him softly.

"I'm alive…", Croaked the confessor, his words almost a slur as he closed his eyes and raised a palm to swat off the man's hand and to wipe his face off. That was all the soldier needed as he moved onto the next soaked soul that had survived the ordeal. At least until a palm took hold of his wrist, causing the Tarnished knight to look back to the confessor.

"Where…where is…Lady Auric…Where is…"

The greatest army to ever be seen before, that is what they were once called, and within the span of days their numbers slowly culled away. In the span of days hundreds were lost to the sea, starvation, or disease as their supplies grew more and more sparse. What had been packed would have lasted them all a handful of months, at least it was speculated, yet the treacherous sea had changed that. Many of their supply ships had been lost, many of their food became rotten, barrels holding clean water, ale, anything drinkable had shattered. Medicine was proving to be useless to combat the rise of rampant disease that slowly spread from ship to ship. The sick had been forced to be quarantined upon a single vessel…then two…then three…in the end those vessels would be set aflame.

Where was the honor in it all? Where was the glory these men and women deserved? Why had they been shipped to sea? Why had they been robbed of their families? Why did he deserve to be here? What had he done! Sigmund! A Confessor who had heard a thousand secrets! A Man who carried the final words of hundreds! Why…why was it all taken away…?

Sigismund could only look half-heartedly down to the water as it collided with the ship's wooden skin, and to his crooked reflection. The bottle of mead was empty, and no matter how many times he suckled on it he would not be able to taste the honey mixed within, nor the Rowa fruit. It made him lick his dry lips as the ghost sensation of the taste plagued him again, it was maddening, to be plagued with a desire to dilute his mind and to wash away the thoughts.

It was dark, it was endless, and it was cold.

Having had enough of it, Sigismund closed his eyes and raised his free hand up to massage his temple to waver out the thoughts of the sea. He couldn't forget being below, beneath the surface of the water, thinking of the burning that had occurred in his lungs. He could see only how worse it could have been, in a suit of armor made to protect oneself from the most dangerous blows, only for it to become your own killer. To feel his torso on fire, his conscious fading as he tried to desperately swim upwards, to breach the surface.

Gods she suffered, didn't she-


The confessor snapped, his eyes widening as his body moved on its own to throw the empty bottle out to the sea, to never be seen again. Already many had broke, having gone into stupors of forlorn and loss, or anger and rage…it must have hit differently, seeing a superior break. He moved on instinct alone, and his instincts told him to be angry, furious! And so he was! He kicked at the wooden half wall, an empty bucket, and finally a few crates tied down and secured. He had screamed and roared out incoherent noises as he slowly tired himself out and slowly collapsed onto his knees.

The deck was mostly empty, the winds were calm as were the waves…it left a…somber mood in the air, and it affected the men on the vessel. There was no fear at the moment, no concern of rushing to fix the sails or correct course, many of the men were lying about with little to nothing pushing them on.

They all accepted they would most likely die.

To think that the collective of men and women on the ship were under his supervision, that he should have been up at the helm. Instead he had ordered what was close to a ghost crew to keep the sip straight and eyes left right and cent. They were probably watching him…in nervous silence, maybe even waiting for him to take his madness out on them. That thought made the confessor chuckle, a smile gracing his lips as he began to laugh and cackle, with it growing louder. He laughed like a madman, and maybe he was one, as he reeled his head back and laughed to the clouded sky till he was forced to gasp for air.

It would be then he collapsed forward onto his hands and knees, his forehead resting against the floor boards with soft sobs. He was breaking, he couldn't take this, soon he would join those bastards! Maybe he would even throw himself overboard to feed the sea…

When light slowly crept through his hood and at the edges of his vision did he find his breathing rising, as too were distant voices. Bells were slowly beginning to be wrung, with the distinct thuds of boots on deck, and that was enough to slowly make Sigismund push himself up. He watched as a few men passed him, running up to the bow of the ship, all looking skyward with hope as sunlight finally began to breach the sky. It was…glorious to see the sun again, to finally see the sky as the gray fog began to recede the further the fleet moved.

After weeks within the gray hellhole did they reach freedom.

The March of the Tarnished was at its end.

I must admit, I don't know if anything more is to be expected of this, perhaps it'll remain as a one-shot or maybe I'll make it into a crossover as there is only so much you can do with games like Elden Ring and Dark Souls. There's nothing wrong with that, I just merely feel as though you cannot really do much given how the stories go, on how Dark Souls 2 emphasizes the point of how in Dark Souls the actions of our character won't matter in the cycle.

I'd greatly appreciate an criticism for this, especially reviews since they well...give me motivation to work, as it means people will have expectations of me lol.

Sincerely the Greatest of Boats, Le Hugboat