In a land devoid of everything it means to be human, humanity becomes a priceless commodity. And those who cling to their humanity have lost all sense of what it means to be human.
The beloved Saint Astraea lost her humanity to the scourge of the Deep Fog like every other peasant, merchant, knight and royal in the kingdom of Boletaria. The Deep Fog spread across the forsaken kingdom, smothering the people, allowing demons to kill and maim to feed never-ending souls to The Old One.
While those who would transform into demons would be nothing but pawns to The Old One, Astraea was different. She didn’t shapeshift into a vile creature; she kept her beauty and her form because her purity and devotion to the troubled and abandoned was unprecedented. With greater power, comes greater possibilities and the Demon Astraea would use her newfound curse to aid those in desperate need and in turn prove humanity could evolve to a higher state of benevolence.
Before the Deep Fog ravaged Boletaria, Saint Astraea and her trusted protector Garl Vinland along with several knights ventured into the Valley of Defilement, a place where society’s broken, diseased and unwanted are banished to live out their days. She heard of the torments of the people here and sought to see if the Valley’s tales were true. And indeed they were.
She was heartbroken to discover countless souls surviving amidst the filth and the grime of the valley. Living their lives in a dark and dank hell using crude tools and structures to lift them mere feet from the poisonous sludge below. Beasts wade through the muck as the denizens use what little has been thrown down into their depths to survive.
The Valley of Defilement is certainly a despicable enough sight to cause one to question faith in God and justice alike. No just deity would allow innocent people to live in such a deprived state. As the abhorrence clouded Astraea’s mind, she chose to stay with the defiled and give them what they’ve never experienced before; care and concern.
As she began building a better life for her people, The Deep Fog rolled through the Valley of Defilement, summoning demons to wander the muck. After turning two knights into vile major demons, it was Astraea’s moment of judgment. Instead of fighting the fog, she embraced it forcing her to become a demon but unfalteringly keeping her form.
With her new powers, she resurrected the dead and breathed life into the valley. For the first time, the denizens began to thrive within the region and adapted to the dark better than ever. But being an Arch Demon is a double-edged sword; with what power is given to her, she is obligated to feed souls to The Old One constantly.
As the Valley of Defilement changed for the better, word spread quickly through the falling kingdom and the church. The dear Maiden Astraea has forsaken her God and in turn, herself, has become the most foul of all demons. The vitriolic thought impedes heavily on the hearts and minds of Boletarians so knights are sent to seek out the truth behind Saint Astraea. Unfortunately, none make it out of the Valley of Defilement to tell their story.
Each and every knight is killed by the denizens who worship Astraea’s every whim and whisper, and rightfully so. Their souls are brought to Astraea who in turn feeds The Old One and keeps it satisfied. A small price to pay, Astraea adjudicated, to keep her beloved people and home thriving.
The Saint used her powers for good, greatly improving the lives of countless people deemed unworthy by the society that deemed herself a high authority of the church. A hierarchy wavering in its ideas as this society would later revoke her title and dub her the most impure of the demons. For the first time ever, The Valley of Defilement is thriving whereas the rest of Boletaria is falling apart and it is all thanks to the Demon Astraea and the Deep Fog.
But then comes you, Slayer of Demons, steadfast warrior tasked to rid Boletaria of The Old One and its wicked source of nourishment; the Arch Demons. No matter the deeds attached to the Saint, she is a demon and must be killed.
You’ve heard the rumors of a foul demon residing in the deepest crevasse of the valley slaying knights and feeding the Old One. You venture through the muck, killing the filthy creatures dwelling between the rock and wood until you reach the very end and see the most beautiful image of a woman sitting alone next to a pile of dead knights and a scattering of worshiping creatures. A contrasting image compared to the rest of the valley but nonetheless, another obstacle on the path to The Old One.
For all intents and purposes, she must die.
And so ends the valley’s golden era and with it everything Astraea strived to accomplish. Why restore a world so prone to hatred and so easily influenced by hierarchies? This was Astraea’s plight but unfortunately, the faction who wishes The Old One’s end only saw her as a demon needing to be snuffed out but she was so much more than that.
The Demon Astraea was a beacon of virtue and valiance in a fallen kingdom. Her strength and dedication to those in need makes her the most compassionate in the Souls series while her devotion to her own will and ideals against a society so quick to label her a pariah proves her the bravest of warriors. Yes, compassionate people, brave people and strong people exist in Boletaria but to find a person with such a cohesive blend of everything it takes to be a decent human being in such a world is a distinction unique only to Saint Astraea.