Lord's Blade Ciaran
Lord's Blade Ciaran is a Character in Dark Souls.
Lord's Blade Ciaran, most commonly known as simply Ciaran, is one of the Four Knights of Gwyn Lord of Cinder and member of The Lord's Blades. She represents the classic thief-like character of the Four Knights. She uses her signature Hornet's Ring and the Lord's Blade Set as well as the Gold and Dark Silver Tracers, which she offers you in exchange for Artorias's soul. In combat, Ciaran uses flurries of weak but fast attacks and dodges in conjunction with throwing knives and Lloyd Talismans to rapidly wear down her opponents, much in the style she used to hunt the foes of her lord.
The Gold Tracer and Silver Tracer are both exceptional weapons (albeit with exceptional dexterity requirements), one being arguably the best weapon for inflicting bleed and unprecedently being the only weapon to gain a superior moveset when wielded in the left hand, the other being the weapon with the highest critical modifier and the nigh-unique ability to inflict toxic damage, making trading the relatively less useful soul somewhat common among players.
Her armor, the Lord's Blade Set, is effectively the midpoint between light and medium armor types, offering superior poise and defenses compared to light armor sets at the cost of slightly higher weight, while still being lighter then any medium armor set and having greater curse and poison resist, being an asset to almost any playstyle, making Ciaran's murder exceedingly common.
She appears next to a tiny grave in the place where you fight Artorias, after you defeated him (may require to reload or warp to a new area before triggering her spawn). She asks for the Soul of Artorias if the player has it, to pay tribute to his memory. If you give it to her, she will gift to you the Dark Silver Tracer and the Gold Tracer, claiming that she won't need them anymore. If you refuse, she will not turn hostile, and will remain where she is, and will speak to you again if prompted, giving you another chance to give her Artorias's Soul, but will disappear forever after you reload/go to another area. If you attack her, she will fight you, and she will use Lloyd's Talismans.
If you choose to give the Soul of Artorias to her, next time you reload/warp to a new area she will be gone, with no way to find her again until the next NG cycle, thereby depriving the player of the opportunity to obtain The Lord's Blade Set. If the player wants all of her items and to keep Artorias's Soul, it is recommended to kill her immediately or after speaking with her once to hear her dialogue and refuse her (many players recommend killing her on sight as it is apparently suprisingly common for players to speak to her to hear her dialogue, then select the wrong answer, accidently giving her Artorias's Soul.) There are no known benefits besides those of moral conscience for giving her Artorias' Soul instead of killing her. (she gives you her blades silver tracer and gold tracer in exchange, which can be obtained from her dead body).
NOTE: Ciaran secretly has a spare Gold and Dark Silver Tracer. Giving her Artorias's soul to take her weapons so the player can easily kill her for her armor does not work.
Ciaran can be considered one of the more difficult NPC's to fight, having extremely good weapons, decent health, good dodging ability for an NPC, and the unique ability to use Lloyd's Talismans like the player can. Because of her high damage and her ability to rapidly inflict bleed, it is possible for her to kill the player in three or four of her chain attacks. For players on their first or second playthrough, it may take several attempts to kill her, so it is recommended to rest at the Ooacile Township bonfire to allow repeated rapid attempts.
Like many initially passive NPC's, the player's best bet is to use Power Within or the Red Tearstone Ring to inflict huge damage on the passive character with the aggro'ing hit, so that the second or third hit kills her. Despite this, patience is often required for the fight, as attempting to spam her to death can often result in her outdamaging the player if the player does not stunlock her or runs out of stamina before she is dead. If succeeding with two hits does not work, it is often prudent to back off to recover stamina and interupt her during her attacks or as she moves closer to you, and keeping your distance when you are not attacking is universally recommended, given that she cannot recover health in any way. Spells like Dark Bead and Homing Crystal Soul Mass that inflict high damage but are hard for NPC's to dodge can trivialize the fight for spellcasters, as can Fire Tempest (provided she is still passive) and Black Flame or Great Combustion for Pyromancers, while weapons with high stun are recommended for builds with the strength and endurance to use them. Faith oriented builds are recommended to start with fast high damage moves like Wrath of The Gods then followed up with Darkmoon or Sunlight Blade on an weapon with some range, as Ciaran will often dodge slower moving single projectiles like the Lightning Spears (these can however be used in combination with high poise armor with high bleed resist to hit her in the middle of her attack chains.) Armor with high bleed resist and/or the Bloodshield and Bloodbite Ring is a must as this is Ciaran's primary method of inflicting damage.
Ciaran is weakest at range, with her only options being non-damaging Lloyd Talismans (these should still be rolled) and throwing knives. Backing up to recover stamina for attacks will usually prevent her from attacking the player except for heavy builds, but will cause her to throw Throwing Knives (which can be sidestepped) and Lloyd Talismans (which must be dodged). Due to her fast and lengthy attack chains and sweeping slashes, it is difficult to dodge her attacks and remain close to her without getting hit, thus if you choose to fight Ciaran close up it is recommended to use a shield to avoid letting your guard down, ideally one that can resist bleed, often in conjunction with a spear or thrusting sword so that your guard does not have to be dropped, due to the high attack speed of her weapons. Having a heavy shield will often cause her attacks to bounce off, allowing for easy hits with reasonably fast weapons.
- 10,000 Souls
- Dark Silver Tracer & Gold Tracer (only if she didn't trade them for Soul of Artorias with you)
- Lord's Blade Set
- Killing her in the past (Oolacile), causes a Lloyd's Talisman to appear in front of Artorias' Grave in the area you fight Sif in Lordran (the present).
- Anyhow, handing over Artorias's Soul to her and NOT killing her won't trigger any other events in the present.
- Consuming Artorias Soul before re-entering the arena will not make her appear.
- Her ring, Hornet Ring, can be found behind the gravestone of Artorias. you pick it up from a corpse that looks female, so it is possible that that is her body. When you meet her, she really wants to pay her respect to Artorias, so it is possible she died praying for him. Alternatively if you killed her that would also explain the location of her corpse.
- Curiously, Ciaran, contrary to appearances, speaks of humans as if she were not one of them, speaking of humanity as a whole when you fight her, as well as her dialog if approached with the Artorias Soul in storage or burned for souls instead of being on hand. If this were the case, that would make her a race not seen elsewhere in the series, or otherwise a very short variant of the race that Artorias and the Silver Knights are composed of.
- However, despite her claims, given her height and build, which is only ever seen in human characters in the entire series and the fact that she is succeptible to Dark Hand's lifedrain, which ONLY works on human opponents, it is highly likely that she is indeed human, which has interesting implications regarding her viewpoint and beliefs.
- As Ciaran dies, the line without subtitles "My... dear.. Artorias..." can be heard, suggesting she might have had a romantic relationship of sorts with him.
- In Hawkeye Gough's cut dialogue, he exposes Ciaran indeed had romantic feelings for the knight, but they were unrequited.
Initial Meeting: "...You, is that not... The soul of the man who fell on this spot, he was a dear friend. I wish to pay proper respect, with that Soul. Would you be willing to part with it?"
Answering "Yes" :"Thank you, you are very kind. Please take this, I no longer need it. May the Lord guide thee."
Answering "No": "Yes, of course... I must not be presumptuous, Artorias would not have approved."
Talk after answering "No" What is it? Something else? Have you changed your mind?
Answering "No" again: ...Then you have no business with me...
Talk without possessing the Soul of Artorias: "...Are you human? ...I forgive you. I'm here to pay respects to a dear friend. Please allow me a moment alone."
Attacking her: "Hmph, you humans... Always taking what you please. Then, I shall do the same."
Upon killing the player: "Hmph, such conceit... How did you imagine that the Lord's Blade would not reach you?"
Killing her: "But, how... You humans... *My...dear...Artorias*" (portion in brackets unsubbed)