By - stephanl33t
As an Ashen One, I can confirm that most of the time I have no fucking idea where I'm going
"I don't know who I am, I don't know where I am... All I knoe is must kill"
I think they knew what they were doing. But as far as the gravity of the whole situation, maybe not (excluding ringed city). I think by the time they get to the end of that DLC, its safe to say they're "wiser" than when they first woke.
The Ashen One is Unkindled, they are someone who attempted to link the flame in a previous Age of Fire, but they failed to die properly. They knew the gist of what they needed to do, they knew they needed powerful souls to make the journey to the Kiln of the First Flame to rematch with the Soul of Cinder so they could, perhaps successfully link the flame. However I believe a doubt grew within the Ashen One, as majority of the Lords of Cinder refused their duty, they were no longer willing to sacrifice themselves to extend the Age of Fire.
However I do believe that most of the things that happened in the Ashes of Araindel dlc, the Ashen One was unaware of what they were exactly doing. They just knew an old slave knight begged for their assistance, so out of the kindness of their ashen heart they accepted the duty Gael gave them, and did what he asked.
But I believe that the aforementioned doubt was one reason that the Ashen One had that led them to go to the End of the World. So they could see if what they're fighting for was worth it, and to see if there was a actual reason to not link the flame. But I also do believe that the Ashen One has more knowledge than they let on, I believe that the Ashen One went and talked to the Painter after killing Friede and listened to her say,
"My thanks, Ashen One. I can almost see the flame. Soon uncle Gael will bring me the pigment. I wonder if he has found it? The dark soul of man..."
And I think that the Ashen One understood where Gael was going. I think the Ashen One knows that the Pygmys live in the Ringed City, created by Gwyn. And that Gael was going to the Ringed City to take the Dark Soul.
"Mother Rosaria I crave violence"
Ashen One, Toucher of Things is just a meme.
I remember someone had a really good theory on how Gael, by killing everyone, becomes the most noble hero in the entire world of dark souls. It involves time travel stuff and I’ll try to link the comment if I can find it. But I like to think Gael explains the stakes between the two dlcs. Like after you stumble you’re way through ashes of ariandel and kill friede, he explains why you went to the painted world, and where you have to go to kill future Gael after he has the blood of the dark soul.
I found the comment [here you go](https://www.reddit.com/r/darksouls3/comments/rr7p8a/the_implications_of_slave_knight_gael_are/hqfr5yf/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=ios_app&utm_name=iossmf&context=3)
The ashen one knows nothing. You are a mindless cursed undead who failed it's purpose in life. You are returned to consiousness by the bell of awakening and given a mandate by the fire keeper. You are not the only one.
Throughout the game, you only know one thing. Souls give you power. You can feel the lord souls from across the world and are drawn to them like a moth to the flame. So it is inevitable that you confront them.
The dlc are more direct. This is because you already recovered your mind through the gaining of power. At the dlc point of the story, the player is ment to have made the choice. Continue the flame, end the flame, or take the power your self.
To sum it up. The ashen one is just stumbling into strong undead untill they make a choice, Then all actions are direct.
I think the Ashen One, being Unkindled, knows exactly what's going on. Look at the game's other unkindled. Siegward, Anri, even Horace. They know what they're doing, and as long as they have a purpose they'll pursue it. What your Ashen One's propose is might vary from player to player, character to character, be it power, knowledge, or actually saving the world, as long as you're playing, pursuing your purpose, your character knows what's going on. Just so long as you don't ever quite go fully hollow.