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Ancestor (First Form)
Ancestor Small
Enemy Class Eldritch/Human
Size Small (1)
Actions per round Turnticker
HP 5
HP (Stygian/Bloodmoon) 6
Dodge 23.75%
Protection 100% (shows 80% in game)
Speed 12
Tray stealth Stealth No
Poptext stun Stun 122.5%
Poptext poison Blight 247.5%
Poptext bleed Bleed 247.5%
Poptext debuff Debuff 72.5%
Poptext move Move 73%

You still foolishly consider yourself an entity separate from the whole, I know better. And I. Will. Show you.
~ The Ancestor

The Ancestor is both the Narrator of the Game and part of the final boss of the Darkest Dungeon. Whether he is an illusion brought on by the madness of the dungeon or he has truly betrayed his humanity for other-worldly powers, he has come to put an end to your party.

History/Biography[ | ]

As paradoxical as it may sound, we know very much and very little about the enigmatic man who is our Ancestor. This biography will mostly be speculation based on a reconstruction of the timeline of events that led him down the path of forbidden knowledge, his opening of the gates to oblivion, and his ultimate failure of being a human being. The Ancestor's memoir often describes a series of events that led to the horrors that endanger the Hamlet. It begins with an inconsequential event, transitioning to the Ancestor's interaction, and ending with the creation of a horrifying power that threatens the hamlet.

A Noble Bloodline & Pressures of Nobility[ | ]

Little is known about the Ancestor’s past or his family, only that he is descended from a long line of powerful nobles. They had armies of loyal soldiers to defend their lands, and they were unbelievably wealthy.

It is believed that the Ancestor was born in the Manor like his ancestors before him. While his childhood is a mystery, the Ancestor was liked, even beloved, in his youth by the people of the Hamlet. Whenever he could abandon the Nobility of the Courtyard to their lavish, unbridled hedonism, he would walk among the common folk, raise his glass in the tavern, and drink with other residents of the Hamlet.

While his kindness and generosity made him somewhat of a town hero to some, the Ancestor considered his popularity to be but a temporary escape from his duties, to his family name and societal stature. Every time he returned to the vile denizens of the Courtyard, to partake in their degenerate activities and entertainment disguised by a thin veneer of sophistication and powdered wigs, the Ancestor felt his own sanity and patience dwindle.

First Bloody Encounter with the Supernatural[ | ]

The Ancestor first encountered the supernatural during his younger years as a member of nobility. As he hosted yet another lavish party at his Manor, the Ancestor met a woman of almost unearthly beauty. While all the other guests were bewitched by her beauty, the Ancestor could sense something inside the Countess that made her a lurking threat. Driven half-mad by cloying vulgarity and dwindling patience for his fellow aristocrats, the Ancestor plotted to rid himself of the Countess in a grand display of sadistic sport.

He lured his prey to the terrace, and together they danced underneath the star-filled heavens; but as the moment of murder drew nigh, a ray of light from the gibbous moon revealed her inhuman desires and designs in all their stultifying hideousness. The morbid encounter resolved itself in the Ancestor’s favour, with the Countess mortally wounded on the cold stone floor of the terrace overlooking the Manor’s gardens. The Ancestor, adrenaline in his veins, stared at the corpse in silent awe and horror as a morbid scheme crept into his mind.

For years had the Ancestor been forced to partake in the degenerated activities and entertainment of the vile Courtyard denizens, all in a bid to uphold his family name. The Aristocrats and Nobles of the Courtyard were the worst kind of humans in his eyes; the Baron, a hunch-backed fiend who orchestrated grotesque entertainment at parties, his disturbing performances filled with such cruelty and depravity that any sane human would be sickened; the Viscount, a ravenous gourmand with unhealthy and vile appetites who continuously devoured everything he could even as the once-fine feasts turned into a putrid slurry.

He could have stopped them, but the weight of upholding his family name and societal stature forced the Ancestor to stoop and debase himself to their level, until eventually he too became a slave to his own appetites. Any restraint would render him a hypocrite and an outcast. After years of these parasites leeching off his family fortune and good name, the Ancestor planned his revenge by pursuing degeneracy in its most decadent forms.

The Crimson Curse & the Vision from Beyond[ | ]

Rather than quietly dispose of the vampiric Countess, the Ancestor dragged her corpse to the Manor’s wine cellars, where he drained her blood from her body as a butcher does a pig after slaughter. He mixed her blood with the vintage wine stored in the Manor's cellars, until all barrels and bottles of the house vintage were tainted.

The Ancestor's motive for such a heinous act of iniquity can only be guessed; perhaps the encounter with the Countess broke his remaining sanity, or his years socializing with degenerate nobles and their enervating activities and entertainment twisted him into the very thing he hated most. Or maybe he realized he couldn't escape his family name or his societal stature, and decided to end everything and take his tormentors with him. After all these years, had the Ancestor’s dwindling patience for his peers finally expired, leading him to view the Nobility as too degenerate and corrupt an entity to properly function within society? Might he purge them for the good of the common folk and save the realm, regardless of the consequences? Or did he perhaps hear whispers and rumors of nightmarish creatures not unlike the Countess, and saw in her the opportunity to exact revenge upon the Nobles of the Courtyard?

Whatever his motives, the Ancestor acted. Days later in the Courtyard, he invited the Nobles to enjoy his entire supply of exotic and decadent wines that his family had collected over years, among them his newest vintage. The nobles filled the Courtyard Gardens and, blinded by greed and curiosity, ordered their servants to transport all the tainted wine barrels and crates from the Manor to their mansions and houses in the Courtyard.

As the guests gathered at the stone terrace overlooking the courtyard gardens, the air pulsed with anticipation as the Ancestor revealed the "new" house vintage. As they raised their glass for a toast in the Ancestor’s honor, the Ancestor felt a rising joy and happiness as his devious plan reached its final conclusion, but his exultation was cut short as the attending gentry turned upon themselves in an orgy of indescribable frenzy: Guests tore out their own eyes as they screamed madly to the heavens, while others ripped and tore the skin and flesh off their bodies in an act of auto-cannibalism. Those who survived the feast attacked each other, drinking their blood in a mad frenzy of bloodlust.

Realizing what was happening to his guests, he quickly removed the glass from his lips. However, he realized far too late that he had consumed a single drop of the tainted tannin that laid the attending gentry low. Instead of turning him into a ravenous, bloodthirsty aberration, it granted him a vision, a mere glimpse, of what laid hidden deep within the earth underneath his manor. And in that moment, he understood the terrible truth of the world, or at least had an inkling of understanding what the world really was. There he stood, a changed man in the middle of the Courtyard, surrounded by half living and mutilated corpses of his fellow nobles. As his head throbbed with newfound knowledge, the air slowly began to fill with the growing whine of winged vermin from the Moor that have come to drink the tainted blood that lay spilled on the terrace’s floors.

Either by a freak chance of fate, a series of unfortunate events, or by the grand designs of some greater intelligence hidden in the shadows using an unseen malicious guiding hand moving its chess pieces across the board, the Ancestor was triumphant. It does not matter whether it was unintentional or not; in one fell swoop, the Ancestor succeeded in getting rid of the upper class and leaving him the sole ruler of the realm.

After the whole ordeal, the Ancestor left the Courtyard a changed man, locking the Iron Gate to the Courtyard behind him, leaving the Courtyard and its denizens to rot in their own decadence and degeneracy as the plague known as the Crimson Curse spread like wildfire. No one would ever open these gates again, until many years later.

It is unknown what the Ancestor did with the body of the Countess after the ordeal. At some point, the Countess regained her form, renewing her strength and courtship over the Crimson Curse. The Countess would later arrive, bent on exacting revenge.

Early Pursuits for Forbidden Knowledge[ | ]

When the Ancestor returned from the Courtyard, the Estate entered a period of consolidation. The mysterious disappearance of the nobles left a power vacuum, which allowed the Ancestor to position himself as the sole ruler of the hamlet. With the wealth that he gained from the transformed nobles of the Courtyard, the Ancestor began his pursuit for knowledge.

The Ancestor started his pursuits for forbidden knowledge. His early pursuits began with mastery over life and death, and he collected many rare and elusive volumes on ancient herbal properties. Before he was ready to begin a comfortable study for several weeks, a singularly striking young woman insisted on repeated calls to the Ancestor’s house. Her knowledge of horticulture and its role in arcane practices impressed the Ancestor greatly, creating a professional bond between the two. In his pursuit of knowledge, the Ancestor hired a crew of unsavory mariners that retrieved artifacts and relics, and had invited many experts from overseas to learn more about the techniques and alchemical processes surrounding necromancy. The Ancestor had a homeless village lass that shadowed his errands during his pursuits. While he originally found it charming, it became "troublesome" later.

A Vestige of Human Decency[ | ]

The Ancestor began researching the ways and rituals of blood sacrifice and summoning rites; he soon created a monster that required prodigious amounts of meat to sustain, and a swarming, contorting abomination of wasted flesh. Luckily, the Ancestor had a steadily supply of meat from the Hamlet, and the excavations unveiled an ancient network of aqueducts and tunnels that soon became the nesting grounds of the pig-human hybrids that the Ancestor had unleashed.

While his colleagues from overseas were asleep, he murdered them all. They were later reanimated by the Ancestor, becoming free from the trappings of their humanity. The dead began reviving the dead, continuing their experiments of necromancy.

The Ancestor's research partner changed over time. She began quaffing all manner of strange fungi, herbs, and concoctions, intent on gaining some insight into the horror that they knew was growing beneath them. The change in her was appalling, and soon the Ancestor sent her to the Weald, where her wildness would be welcomed.

At some point, the Ancestor was low on resources needed to further his pursuit for knowledge, and his strained wealth could not meet his mariners' demands for an increase to their pay. As an alternative payment to the crew of mariners, he hexed their anchor with every twisted incantation he could muster, imbuing it with the weight of his ambition and his contempt for the crew's extortion. At the witching hour, the crew was pulled down into the depths, with their cries drowned out by the swirling black waters. Meanwhile, the Ancestor struck a bargain with the ancient things that surfaced near the cove. With a small push, he sent an obscure idol, with the bothersome waif chained on it, into the icy waters. When the tide receded, the Ancestor collected the magnificent jewels that were scattered upon the shore.

The start of the excavations beneath the Manor was the beginning of the end. A filthy, toothless miscreant began boasting uncanny knowledge of the Ancestor's ambitions. He prognosticated publicly that the Ancestor would unleash doom upon the world. To the Ancestor's dismay, none of the stockades, icy waters, and enthusiastically delivered knives managed to silence the madman. Rumors of the Ancestor's actions and secretive excavations were spread throughout the Hamlet. Awe turned into ire, and demonstrations were held in the town square. The Ancestor was unable to control the constabulary of the Hamlet, even with a generous amount of gold. To reassert his rule, he hired some unscrupulous men skilled in the application of force, who brought with them a war machine with terrifying implication. Eager to end the tiresome domestic distraction, he sent the men to their work. Compliance and order was restored, and the noisome population of the Hamlet was culled to more manageable numbers.

Behavior[ | ]

The Ancestor has only 5 health points, but is immune to all forms of damage during this phase. He will first summon 3 Perfect Reflections which you can deal damage to. After dealing a deathblow to any one of the Perfect Reflections, the Ancestor will summon more reflections to fill in the missing positions at the start of the next round.

Sometimes the Ancestor will summon Imperfect Reflections, and when these are killed the Ancestor will take 1 damage. Be sure to kill at least one reflection every round, because if all ranks are full on the Ancestor's turn he will use Time Heals All and heal every reflection. Once 5 Imperfect Reflections have been felled to wipe out the Ancestor's health, he will move on to his second form.

To explain in detail how this phase of the Ancestor acts, here are the exact probabilities/odds:

  • He will only use Perfect Replication ONCE; afterwards, it will be either of the other two options;
  • Imperfect Reproduction starts with a 2.0 chance of being used by the Ancestor, increasing by 6.0 each round that goes by. That means that the longer the fight goes on, the more likely he is to use this skill.
  • Sporadic Reproduction has a fixed 50.0 chance of being used by the Ancestor, disregarding how many rounds have already passed.
  • Time Heals All has a mere 5.0 chance; this skill will most probably only be used if all Reflections are alive, and he cannot use either one of his other skills.

Strategy[ | ]

  • For the first form, killing an Imperfect Reflection will always deal 1 damage to the Ancestor. The Ancestor himself does not attack, only summons, so you'll be dealing with at most 3 attacks. If you're able to kill the Reflections quickly, your party won't suffer damage, following similar strategies when dealing with The Collector.
  • Note that although the Ancestor's resistances to DoT skills is extremely high and under normal circumstances he can't be Blighted nor Bleeded, with the right Trinket and skill combination, you can pull it off. But regardless if it is achieved, the Ancestor is entirely immune to DOT effects.
    • Namely, this is possible with two Grave Robbers using Poison Darts and one of them having the Blighting Satchel+Blight Amulet combination. Although the initial chance won't suffice to cause Blight to the Ancestor, stacking the Blight Resistance Debuff will let you achieve it realistically after 2 rounds.

Abilities[ | ]

Darkest Level
Skill Name Range Rank Target Accuracy Crit
Damage Effect
Perfect Replication Ranged 1, 2, 3, 4. 1, 2, 3, 4 (allies). 0% 0% 0 New game plus save icon Summons 3 Perfect Reflections No Effect
Imperfect Reproduction Ranged 1, 2, 3, 4. 1, 2, 3, 4 (allies). 0% 0% 0 New game plus save icon Summons Imperfect Reflections or Perfect Reflections* No Effect
Sporadic Reproduction Ranged 1, 2, 3, 4. 1, 2, 3, 4 (allies). 0% 0% 0 New game plus save icon Summons Imperfect Reflections or Perfect Reflections** No Effect
Time Heals All Ranged 2, 3, 4. 1+2+3+4 (allies) 0% 0% 0 Skill attribute heal Heal 7-11 No Effect

* 50:50 chance to summon either.

** Twice as likely to summon the Perfect Reflections

Second Form[ | ]

Ancestor (Second Form)
Ancestor Big
Enemy Class Eldritch/Human
Size Small
Actions per round Turnticker
HP 252
HP (Stygian/Bloodmoon) 303
Dodge 15.75%
Protection 0%
Speed 10
Tray stealth Stealth No
Poptext stun Stun 72.5%
Poptext poison Blight 67.5%
Poptext bleed Bleed 77.5%
Poptext debuff Debuff 67.5%
Poptext move Move 0%

The flesh is fluid, it can be changed, reshaped, remade!
~ The Ancestor

Behavior[ | ]

The Ancestor's size grows bigger and he summons 3 Absolute Nothingness. These summons function much like the Shattered Pew of the Prophet fight in that they simply are there to set the Ancestor's position to the back. The Absolute Nothingness have extremely high resistances and dodge, which makes them impossible to hit. However, many of this form's attacks will cause him to move about, so eventually even a team with only close-range attacks can access him and progress the fight.

When killed, he will cocoon himself within a Gestating Heart.

Strategy[ | ]

  • Although you're unable to deal damage to (or hit) Absolute Nothingness, they can still be attacked. If you have a unit with nothing fruitful to do, but you don't want to move or pass the turn, just swipe futilely at the Nothingness.
    • If you have self-sustaining units like the Leper, Crusader, or Abomination, the moments where the Ancestor's out of their reach are the best times to self-heal.
  • In this phase, the Ancestor's resistances plummet down as depicted in the Stats Table. Therefore, in this phase you can apply DoTs to him with very high reliability and even Stun him, which, considering the Resistance chance, can also be done pretty safely and thereby prevents him from acting.
  • All in all, this part of the fight is pretty straightforward and easy, giving you ample time to recover from the last part, should you have the necessity to do so. Stunning him while healing HP/Stress can be a good idea, since the next part is set on a timer and will advance to the Heart of Darkness after 3 turns.

Abilities[ | ]

Darkest Level
Skill Name Range Rank Target Accuracy Crit
Damage Effect
Refashion Them Ranged 1, 2, 3, 4. 1, 2, 3, 4, 100% +1 target. 113.75% 12% 5-14 Poptext bleed 140% Bleed 5 (6 in Stygian)
Tray afflicted Stress +7 (+9 in Stygian)
Poptext move Shuffle Self
Unmake Them All Ranged 1, 2, 3, 4. 1+2+3+4. 113.75% 7% 2-7 Poptext bleed 135% Bleed 3
Tray afflicted Stress +7 (+9 in Stygian)
Poptext move Shuffle Self
Embrace Futility Ranged 1, 2, 3, 4. 1, 2, 3, 4. 113.75% 0% 1-3 Poptext move 150% Shuffle
Poptext debuff 150% Debuff: -20% DMG, -5 SPD, -10% CRT
Tray afflicted Stress +18 (+20 in Stygian)
No Effect

Gallery[ | ]

Trivia[ | ]

  • The Ancestor's first form displays "PROT: 80%" in-game. This is because protection is hard coded to cap at 80%. Ancestor in reality is immune to all forms of direct damage, regardless of protection.
  • Many of his quotes, such as: "Remind yourself that overconfidence is a slow and insidious killer" and "How quickly the tide turns" became internet memes.

See Also[ | ]

Regional Necromancer MiniScrollpip Prophet MiniScrollpip Hag MiniScrollpip Brigand Pounder MiniScrollpip Swine Prince MiniScrollpip Flesh MiniScrollpip Siren MiniScrollpip Drowned Crew
Roaming / Event Shambler MiniScrollpip Collector MiniScrollpip FanaticThe Crimson Court DLC MiniScrollpip Thing from the StarsExclusive to The Color of Madness DLC MiniScrollpip Shrieker MiniScrollpip Brigand Vvulf
Boss Minions Cauldron MiniScrollpip Brigand Matchman MiniScrollpip Shambler MiniScrollpip Wilbur MiniScrollpip Drowned Anchorman MiniScrollpip Shrieker's Nest MiniScrollpip Barrel O' Bombs
CourtyardThe Crimson Court DLC Baron MiniScrollpip Viscount MiniScrollpip Countess MiniScrollpip Crocodilian MiniScrollpip Garden Guardian
FarmsteadExclusive to The Color of Madness DLC Miller MiniScrollpip Fracture MiniScrollpip Sleeper
Darkest DungeonContains spoilers for the Darkest Dungeon
Shuffling Horror MiniScrollpip Templar Impaler MiniScrollpip Templar Warlord MiniScrollpip Mammoth Cyst MiniScrollpip Ancestor MiniScrollpip Heart of Darkness