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Tidbits about the story that many don't notice: Gods exist outside of lordran. Most notably in Carim. Lautrec of Carim is guided by Fina, the god of love in Carim, whose arms embrace his armor. He is in the land for dubious reasons, and gives you a sunlight medal for your troubles in freeing him. Did he get it legitimately, or through sinister methods? He is available for summon in the first two of solaire's summons, but hasn't got a yellow sign. How does he fit into the Dark Souls timeline?
Oswald of Carim is a pardoner of Velka, the god of sin and punishment. You can find a set of Pardoner's clothing and Velka's rapier in the Painted World, implying that a pardoner went into the world to either pardon or punish someone. Perhaps to right the sin in the creation of Priscilla.
Priscilla is Seathe's progeny, but was an abomination by the kingdom's standards, but due to being of a high nobility, was granted sanctuary in a painted world created by her, where she welcomed any other outcasts (mutated humans, mutated rats, things that have no place in the world).
Seathe, being distraught over his daughter's predicament, takes up experimentation in order to grant her acceptance by fixing her flaws, but ultimately goes crazy in his other project to seek immortality. After going crazy, his experiments spiral into horrors and butcherings. His channelers travel the land to abduct people to be experimented on, which it is hinted that if you purchase all of Rhea's miracles, she is abducted and found as an abomination in the duke's archives.