In my personal opinion, the story of Tark and Najka is one of the most tragic stories in the entire Souls series. Here you have Tark and Najka, horrific monsters made by a madman. But they were literally made for each other, and they were happy and in love, despite being freaks. As weird as it was, Tark, Najka, and the Duke were a family. But then Tseldora gets destroyed and Tark and Najka have to flee to the woods. But at least they have each other, right? No, because slowly Najka starts to go insane. Maybe from the stress of losing her home, maybe from the revulsion of all the travelers that see them gets to her. Tark tries his best to take care of her, but she only slips further and further into madness. Until she completely loses her mind and attacks him. Tark survives, and flees deeper into the woods. We know they fight on more than one occasion, perhaps Tark risked visiting her to try and save her, or perhaps she deliberately came after him, or maybe he sought her out to perform a mercy killing. But every fight ends in a stalemate. Until Tark meets you. And begs you to kill his beloved, to give her the peace he was unable to give her himself. Even if it means that he will be alone once again…
I dunno, just thinking about them really gives me severe feels guys.
As one might expect within the ruins were more hollows. What was surprising however was that they were not human. As least not all entirely human. They appeared to be a vicious tribe of man-lion warriors, wielding large axes coated with some sort of cursed resin. Few in number, but extremely resilient they delivered raw power through each swing of their axes. If it was not difficult enough to handle them one at a time there were also various large urns adorned with a weeping face expelled the same noxious curse from their weapons in a gaseous form. If I breathed too much of the black vapors I could feel my humanity slipping away as my own curse took hold. Surely it would be lethal if I weren’t undead already.
Within one of the larger ruined buildings I came across a different kind of hybrid. It was a huge black scorpion with the upper half of an astonishingly normal looking human where you’d expect the head to be. Unlike all the other monstrosities I encountered, this one was different. Backed into a corner, it looked defeated and alone—distinctly melancholy. Head hung down, it seemed to be totally unaware of my presence. As I approached cautiously it took notice but was still not hostile—even appeared to attempt to communicate with me. Using one of the rings I had bought from the cat in Majula I could hear and understand what it was saying.
He explained that he and his wife Najka were experiments created by an unknown master and that there were others like them. This confirmed my suspicions that someone or something was possibly responsible for the horrible creatures I’ve encountered thus far. He lamented that his poor wife had gone completely mad and needed my help to end her—and his—misery as he could not defeat her himself.
Najka was waiting on the opposite side of the ruins. Together with Tark and another summoned soldier we launched our attack. She was considerably larger than Tark with two large poisonous stingers as well as a command over powerful soul magic. Despite her immense size and formidable strength, she had been so focused on Tark that my summoned companion and I were able to assault her with lightning spears from a far.
A bittersweet victory to be sure. I know full well the madness of this curse—the madness of this whole land—is inescapable, but in the back of my mind I wonder if there could have been a different outcome. Maybe the time for any other possibilities was long gone. Perhaps Najka was lost to her own form of hollowing.
It makes me think if this whole kingdom has gone hollow? How many countless undead come here for salvation only to become lost to time and consumed by madness. The Emerald Herald spoke of the king and attributed the condition of the land to his own madness, but can all this death and loss really be dependent on the corruption one great soul? Can something truly be that powerful? In this tormented existence it’s hard to believe in something possessing a power akin to a god’s when all seems so helpless.
But maybe that’s the curse speaking. The madness seeping in around the edges of my mind.
Lost in the fog, learning gestures from a severed head, and helping a manscorpion become a widower, followed by failings aplenty in the spider caves, skellington-lords, and some serious non-axe-induced cleavage…