Term for those who seek to put Lords of Cinder to rest. Arising from coffins made to hold them at the chiming of a great bell that wakes them from death, the Unkindled rise to seek the Lords of Cinder, who as was prophesized would refuse to return to their thrones. As was the case with the Undead, those who are Unkindled are intended to link the dying First Flame, although the prior mechanism for doing so has long since vanished, now being done by killing previous Lords of Cinder to gain enough power to venture to the Kiln.
The difference between the Unkindled and the Undead is a subject of great debate, as some differences exist but enough time has passed in the series that one could simply have become the other. The terms Undead and Unkindled both are utilized within the setting of Dark Souls III, but are occassionally used interchangably when refering to the player character, implying that at the very least, Unkindled are a kind of Undead. Two prevalant theories exist:
- One theory, suggested as a possible interpretation by Miyazaki, is that Unkindled are Undead that attempted to become Lords of Cinder, but failed due to being too weak, dying in the process. Many of the terms used to refer to the Unkindled refer to them as Ash, implying the leftovers from the burning of a flame, much as Cinders are. Although they also could be Lords of Cinder in full, they lack the burned features characteristic of Lords of Cinder, implying that this was not complete.
- The second theory is that Unkindled are simply another term for Undead, that sufficent time has passed that the purpose of the Undead has become known, and that so many undead have either gone hollow or cindered themselves that those which have done neither, instead continuing to exist without undergoing the Cindering process, are therefore labelled as Unkindled, effectively defying their purpose and being, as the name implies, those who have not been Kindled.
Both Undead and Unkindled are immortal, appearing at bonfires when slain, minus the souls they are carrying. However, Unkindled cannot go Hollow without attaining further darksigns, and are shown capable of death, arising from a coffin at the beginning of the game. While this could be indicative of Unkindled being a variety of Undead, it could also be the case for Undead as a whole as a consequence of the events of Dark Souls II, where several methods for averting the loss of Humanity upon death are discovered, and methods through which Undead may die are seen. Regardless, the difference is such that Unkindled do not require using resources to return to a human state, and can even absorb fragments of the flame in the form of Embers to attain a significantly more powerful state.