Dark Souls 3 is a game that chooses to show gamers how it works and what the story is all about, rather than telling them about it. However, while this challenging aspect has endeared it to so many fans who don't mind the difficulty and piecing the proverbial puzzle together themselves, it does leave some pretty important mechanics unexplained and easy to miss.
A good example of is this is the Dark Sigils that you can acquire from the flesh of the Ashen One in Dark Souls 3.
Most players don't know this, but Dark Sigils actually play a prominent role in Dark Souls 3. In particular, they affect the player's Hollowing level. This, in return, helps determine the outcome of the linked questlines of both Yoel of Londor and Yuria of Londor.
How to Increase Hollowing Level in Dark Souls 3
If you want to raise your Hollowing Level in Dark Souls 3, all you need to do is have the Dark Sigil and die multiple times. This can help speed up the decomposing process of the body. You'll then receive as much as 5 more Dark Sigils from Yoel of Londor once you reach Hollowing Levels: 0, 2, 6, 12, and lastly, 15.
If you want access to the Luck stat-boosting effect that Hollow-infused weapons have, you'll want to get your Hollowing level to at least 15.
All in all, there's really no big disadvantage as far as staying as a Hollow in Dark Souls 3 for the entirety of your playthrough. Except, of course, you'll have to make do with your character in Dark Souls 3 looking like it's had its more than fair share of gruesome injuries.
With that said, there is a trick to retaining your Hollowing Level in Dark Souls 3 without making your character look like a walking zombie.
Request Dissolution from Velka Statue
Before anything else, you'll want to get your hands on the Mortician's Ashes first for this to work.
You can find the Mortician's Ashes near where the giant showers arrows on a narrow pass at the Undead Settlement. It's located up a hill just right where you would've gone through the wooden shack the first time you went there.
Once you have the Mortician's Ashes, you can give the item to the Shrine Handmaid in Firelink Shrine. This is where she'll start selling you items, including a Grave Key for 1,500 souls.
Purchase the Grave Key and head on over to the Undead Settlement once again where you'll now have to go through the sewer area. You'll know that you are on the right track if you pass through dense fog, filth, and a giant rat. Eventually, you'll find a couple of branching paths, one of which will lead to Irina of Carim's cell and the other leading to Velka's statue.
Once you've found the statue, you can interact with it and be presented with a list of options. This includes Request Dissolution, which will remove your current Hollowing level without removing its effects. However, it won't come cheap. It'll cost you your level multiplied by 100 in souls, which means that a level 25 player will need to pay 2,500 souls to avail of this service.
Consuming a Purging Stone
This is by far the most convenient option if you want to heal your Dark Sigil in Dark Souls 3.
The only problem is getting your hands on a Purging Stone in Dark Souls 3, which is a lot easier said than done.
So far, here are some of the ways you can get a Purging Stone in Dark Souls 3.
- Buy for 4,500 souls from Yuria of Londor at Firelink Shrine
- Buy for 4,500 souls from the Shrine Handmaid if given Yuria's ashes or 3,000 souls if given the Hollow's Ashes
- Dropped by the Sewer Centipedes of Irithyll of the watery areas in Boreal Valley and in the toxic swamp of the Profaned Capital
- Picked up as loot in the Profaned Capital, specifically in the toxic swamp surrounded by Sewer Centipedes and in a nearby chapel among the Monstrosities of Sin (4 in total)
- Picked up as loot in the Ring City near the area that leads to the Ringed Inner Wall bonfire (2 in total)
Use the Purging Monument to Request Dissolution
This method requires having The Ringed City DLC and solving one of the most obscure riddles in all of the Dark Souls game.
Basically, all you need to do is to head on over to the Ring City Streets bonfire where you'll find a message. The said message will display a riddle that will tell you to show your humanity, which is actually quite simple as all you have to do is to use a Young White Branch or cast the Chameleon spell to transform.
You'll know if you've succeeded when the game spawns a ladder that gives you access to another area with 2 ringed city knights and a giant, besides which is a set of stairs leading down to their base where you'll come across a bridge.
Once you've crossed the bridge, you'll find a grotesque statue that you can interact with and choose the Request Dissolution option to have your Hollowing level removed.
Keep in mind that this is not free. The Purging Monument works the same way as Velka's statue.
Can You Heal the Dark Sigil Permanently in Dark Souls 3?
The methods we mentioned above are merely half-measures. There exists a permanent solution to this problem in Dark Souls 3. However, as is always the case in Dark Souls games, there is a catch and you probably wouldn't like it.
To gain this option, you'll need a Fire Keeper Soul, which you can loot from the corpse of a former fire keeper located at the top of the tower behind Firelink Shrine. But, to gain access to the said tower, you'll need to purchase the Tower Key from the Shrine Handmaid for a whopping price of 20,000 souls.
Once you have your hands on the Fire Keeper Soul, you'll hand it over to the living Fire Keeper who will reveal how to heal the undead curse.
Apparently, the cost will be calculated based on your next level up multiplied by the amount of Dark Sigils you have, which is a lot. Not to mention, once permanently removed, Yoel will no longer speak with you and Yuria will leave the Firelink Shrine forever, which prevents you from completing her questline and achieving the Usurpation of Fire ending.