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Return of Who, How, Why and from Where?


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Basic question, we still get a big update called RoT. But who are we talking about and how they are coming, why they are coming and most importantly from where?
The only thing keep coming since update is strange creatures but all of them are old creatures (in lore) in world and new ones are "mutated" ones so that don't makes them a new creature that came from another place.

If you guys discussed this before you just can't leave link of thread and thread can be locked.

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Before RoT, "Them" was just the way shadow creatures and other nightmarish entities were named by Maxwell, I'm not a lore expert but I've understood a few things and I'm just guessing "Them" also applies to the celestial side of the board, the "brightmares" and they're returning a bit more every update to complete this new "chapter" of the game, there's a war booming down in the caves after you power the archive and that's where we are right now. Now we need for "them" to return a bit more and see what happens... er, basically.

Edit : Btw maybe you'd like to take a look at this old theory I've made last year, some of the stuff here were wrong but it could leads you somewhere and understand a bit more what's happening between the two side of the game.

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i love lore threads

what i think:

who: ancient god(s) of darkness (there is a possibility the moon is included on that plural)

how: by re-activating ancient stuff like the ancient gateway and the archives, charlie is triggering the darkness and the moon to fight eachother

why: i have no idea. wortox knows , but he dont tell anyone

from where: that is a hard one. from metheus puzzles we can see an eye coming from the ancient gateway, wich may imply Them come from another dimension, but if the moon is included as Them, i dont know becouse the moon is already here.

 you really should check zeklo's channel on youtube. he made the real research

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10 minutes ago, VouMorrer said:

charlie is triggering the darkness and the moon to fight eachother

As I know moon is on the charlie's side right? She just make them fight for get rid of Maxwell's residues. Or am I wrong.

11 minutes ago, VouMorrer said:

zeklo

Thanks I will.

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Well.. officially I think Them would be the ancients or the shadows or uhm something (Maxwells quotes from single player DS speak about Them) he says he doesn’t know what they want.. they just watch silently from the shadows- that before he arrived in the constant not much existed there except Them which he refers to as “the watchers” that had been there long before he got there.

But NOW that’s being changed ALOT because Wurt exists (is Maxwell Merm girls creator?) And he appears shocked that the ancients library even exists.. as if he did not create it.

While the lore for this game is all over the place Who them are is “The Watchers” What they want is “Unknown” & Why they are returning is “Something I bet Klei isn’t willing to let us know anytime soon.”

BUT.. as a Joke I put in Maxwell Memes there’s also THIS: 

Spoiler

1845C473-193F-481A-BA27-11DED6476E62.thumb.png.1583d1b1eb513be83117bb227eb12f98.png

And while this was a JOKE, it actually becomes slightly valid.. the moment Wormwood and Warly came into the game.

Is this what I think them actually is? no of course not, but would it be nice to see the franchises entire cast like shown in my Meme? Absolutely! 
PC players can already achieve it with Mods.. but us console players have to hold onto that tiny shred of hope Klei adds them Officially into DST.

AND as an added Bonus Return of Them really COULD mean Return of Them playable dlc characters, along with whatever “Them” actually is.

Spoiler Aside: I think it would be absolutely ludicrous to think that the Return of Them updates are going to come to a conclusion Anytime soon.. They still have 7 character refreshes to finish up (13 if you can count the 6 additional DS solo characters) I don’t know how Klei runs their business but- if I was designing the Return of Them content updates I would design my final (& hopefully biggest most content filled update ever) Around the abilities of what my games playable cast of characters can do.

And with 7 of them as of yet to be seen- to answer your question OP, I don’t think we’re going to find out Who Them are & Why they’re returning or from Where anytime soon.

Maybe “Them is Moon People? Maybe it’s the Gashalts? Maybe it’s Horror Pengull! Maybe it’s the return of them books checked out of the ancient library but haven’t been returned yet and are long overdue? Who knows..? only Klei knows. ;) 

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27 minutes ago, Slagger said:

As I know moon is on the charlie's side right? She just make them fight for get rid of Maxwell's residues. Or am I wrong.

charlie has been possesed by the shadows, but i think at the end she is on her own side.

well, charlie fighting for the moon might explain the "why": she is trying to free herself, but if it is true, it would make no sense to reactivate the ancient gateway, becouse its shadow power.

why do you think charlie is moon side?

edit: and the maxwell residues are not disappearing. everything he created is still there.

again, all theories are acceptable, i wont say anything is right or wrong

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Aaaaa hi I'm in the process of compiling a lore document for the community to make this easier on everyone when it comes to understanding the lore. For 'who' is coming the answer is simple, Them. Them being sort of the creator of the shadow creatures and the source of nightmare fuel. Given all the times we've heard of 'Them' being spoken about, we can rule out the moon due to all the instances of it being associated with nightmare fuel and the fact that Maxwell questions if They knew if the Ancients once worshipped the moon, which would seem like an odd thing to ponder if it was the moon themselves that was Them. Furthermore They're the reason that the ancient civilisation likely went into ruin as the metheus puzzle gives us a vague look at how they came to Ruin and the interpretation that makes the most sense to me in the third image is that the eye in the gateway is 'Them' and it converted the ancients into Terrorbeaks (given the similar appearance) and the dust moths into Crawling Horrors (this one's a bit more of a stretch but the shape is similar as well as the fact it'd account for why there's no dust moths in the ruins outside of the archives if the archives was an untouched part when it comes to Their reach.)

Them.thumb.png.6b3aa3b5a135c9a5512f4deaf36668d9.png

As for the 'how' my guess would be through the Ancient Gateway. My running theory at the moment is that the gateway is in a damaged state (we can see much difference appearances for it in the Metheus puzzles and each look more complete except for the last one) and it's too unstable to sustain a portal to Them, this would also account for why it destabilises after the fuelweaver fight, it isn't directly related to the fight per say but rather after the time taken to defeat the fuelweaver it just can't sustain itself anymore. In the Metheus puzzles we see white and black energy surrounding it initially and eventually the energy becomes more black, likely meaning that the ancients used lunar and shadow magic to sustain itself. We can make this assumption using the celestial portal and walter's slowdown ammo as well. Both utilise moon rocks which are associated with lunar magic, and purple gems which are associated with shadow magic, and both result in warping reality itself. As the ancients abused the fuel it may be safe to say that the gateway slowly couldn't handle itself until it inevitably destabilised when They showed up. Charlie could be looking to repair the gateway and harness lunar magic in some way so she can summon Them.

Obelisk_face1.PNG.thumb.png.40524afdb8babaf7327636f35986c654.png

As for the 'why' , well that's hard to say when we don't quite understand Charlie's new personality yet. Personally I would prefer if Charlie doesn't just play second fiddle to Them because she ended up in this situation from being an assistant to some shadow nerd (Maxwell) already and having her do it again for a bigger shadow nerd (Them) would just feel....unfulfilling for her character to me. I would prefer if the 'why' be for power tbh. The Ancients used the gateway most likely to harness Their power but eventually destroyed themselves from abuse of the nightmare fuel and neglect of Lunar Magic (or perhaps avoidance, after all it would appear the Ancient Archives could've been sealed away by the Ancients). Charlie could sustain the gateway this time around in order to bring back Them for her own purposes. The issue with this though is that They are far stronger than Charlie most likely so her only chance of controlling Them would be total control over the Gateway. Why Charlie would want power ehhhhhh it's still hard to say. We really don't get much of her personality but the A New Reign trailer would imply that both her shadow side and her regular side wanted to rule over the Constant and they likely met a compromise when they fused together into a totally new side of her (her human half used white as her colour, shadow side used black, and her new side used red to signify that she's a new force entirely from human and shadows). Soooo why? Because Charlie wants to for some reason.

And 'where' is easy enough to answer with the theory I'm using, it'd be the Ancient Gateway. Another reason I would want Charlie to be in control of Them is because They had destroyed the Ancients and betrayed the Forge's denizens so I get the feeling that our survivors would probably die if They could do whatever They wanted.

Also something I wanna clear up, the moon isn't affiliated with Charlie. Given their unique interactions with shadow magic where gestalts avoid it and greater gestalts attack you for it plus the shadow war etc etc, it's much more likely that the moon's magic opposes shadow magic. It's a Light vs Dark type of situation essentially. The lunar entity, whatever it is (gestalts are connected to a greater being that's most likely the moon itself or something sealed within it) likely dislikes Charlie due to the fact she wishes to bring back Them. That being said it's likely not good. The fact that it's offering the survivors forbidden/forgotten knowledge in exchange for doing things for it is wayyyyy too much of a Maxwell move for me to trust it, plus the fact that the Ancients worshipped it and then seemingly abandoned it and then survived and got introduced to Them gives me the vibe that they willingly abandoned lunar magic because they knew something we're unaware of. And wortox's lunarune quotes give me that vibe as well, but who knows. I could be wrong but all evidence points to this conclusion for me atm. 

Edit: I have a post analysing Them and Charlie but I'm not sure if i'm allowed to link it in other posts, otherwise I would've to help with all this lol.

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12 minutes ago, ArubaroBeefalo said:

with the 70's scifi sounds the altar make i think they come from out of space 

Sounds like a joke, but you might actually not be far off. Return of Them is all about the sea and the events that happen after a chunk of the moon fell on the ocean.

From what it seems, there are three "sides" (four, if you count normal inhabitants):

  • Shadows: Anything of shadow magic or that wields it. Confronts Lunar-related creatures, prefer low sanity.
  • Ancients: Fully extinct or turned into the Shadow-side. Seemingly just an advanced civilisation.
  • (Potentially) "Them": They appear after the moon incident, Gestalts (both in Lunar Island and Grotto) seem to be related. Confront Shadows (and anything from them), prefer high sanity.

Heavy theorising ahead:

Shadows are hinted to be something like primordial creatures (or at least Nightmare Fuel/whatever was used to make Nightmare Fuel) in The Constant, and since there is a "dark side", there needs to be a "light side". My guess is that "Them" is the opposite group of primordial creatures/substance. They were driven out to the moon by the Shadows when they grew in power or were limited to the moon (or more) while the Shadows started manifestating in different dimensions (whether by themselves or because of the Ancients).

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thanks for the detailed text, @Scypham!

17 minutes ago, Scypham said:

Them gives me the vibe that they willingly abandoned lunar magic because they knew something we're unaware of.

that is something i really want to be true: darkness is the lesser evil

17 minutes ago, Scypham said:

As the ancients abused the fuel it may be safe to say that the gateway slowly couldn't handle itself until it inevitably destabilised when They showed up

not necessarily. seeing the mistake, the torch or the staff bearer purposely destroyed it

the why is the best part: why charlie wants more power?

-to free herself from her curse

-revenge against maxwell

-revenge against Them

-the entity that posseses her wants that power, not charlie

-to rule more absolutely than she already is

-to destroy the moon, the force opposing her

any other options i missed?

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2 minutes ago, VouMorrer said:

not necessarily. seeing the mistake, the torch or the staff bearer purposely destroyed it

True! I didn't address that but that's certainly a possibility for why it's in a destroyed state. I would like to believe it destablises now due to being both incomplete and lacking in lunar magic, however if it is that lunar magic isn't need to  stabilise  the portal to Them then it could simply be to 'fine tune' the power of Them through the portal per say. That is, lunar magic could potentially be used to limit Their influence but still channel Their power for one's own use. Which would lead us to the assumption that the abuse of fuel from the Ancients could've simply made them let their guard down as they became enraptured with it and as they used less Lunar magic, it gave Them an opportunity to appear.

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Since we're talking about lore, we had a lot of "chess" associations, and it served as a metaphor for the clockworks, Maxwell, Charlie, and even the survivors as pawns. I just wanted to ask if there have been any further developments in this theme since a New Reign? I haven't personally spotted or heard anything about it.

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6 minutes ago, W0l0l0 said:

Since we're talking about lore, we had a lot of "chess" associations, and it served as a metaphor for the clockworks, Maxwell, Charlie, and even the survivors as pawns. I just wanted to ask if there have been any further developments in this theme since a New Reign? I haven't personally spotted or heard anything about it.

honestly, i cant remember anything related to chess after the shadow pieces, i will look the wiki.

edit: besides the potter's well acepting moon shards as materials (to craft chess pieces that dont spawn shadow pieces) , no chess in the return of them updates.

apparently the moon thinks chess sucks

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23 minutes ago, Scypham said:

Given all the times we've heard of 'Them' being spoken about, we can rule out the moon due to all the instances of it being associated with nightmare fuel and the fact that Maxwell questions if They knew if the Ancients once worshipped the moon, which would seem like an odd thing to ponder if it was the moon themselves that was Them.

Careful here. You've twisted a quote into a specific that isn't necessarily the truth.

Quote

"How did I not know of this place? Did They know?"

This is the quote. Maxwell is astounded he didn't know of the place—not that he didn't know the Ancients once worshipped the moon. Meaning the more accurate contextual meaning is "Did They know of this place?" Not, "Did they know what this place was for."

With that said, I do agree that it's more likely that They are simply the shadow entity we've believed them to be all this time. "They're" influence is in the deepest parts of the constant while the "Moon's" is in the highest. So it would probably be more of a surprise to the Shadow Entity to find traces of Lunar stuff within their 'territory'. But I suppose the Moon could be just as surprised to find remains of its influence in the enemy's cradle.

...

It is interesting to realize how little "They" are actually mentioned though—Maxwell's Nightmare Throne speech, the accomploshrine, the lantern, and of course the moon statue. That's really all I found with a quick search. Only one of the four is even related to shadows specifically.

Quote

LANTERN = "I hope it keeps Them away."

Granted this singular instances spells it out pretty well.
A lantern isn't really going to keep the Moon away, but it will keep away things relating to the dark.

Quote

MOONROCKIDOL = "They always need an offering."

If we wanted to play devil's advocate a bit, there is this quote. It's structured in such a way that it's impossible to tell whether or not the 'they' here is in reference to Them simply because the the sentence starts with it.

...

Ultimately, it's entirely possible Klei is misguiding us in certain regards, but for now it's safest to simply know the Shadow Entity as "Them" and the Lunar Entity as the "Moon".

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I dunno the last update (forgotten Knowledges) gives me Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone vibes.. (as in we literally trigged a War between White & Black Chess Pieces) Were playing Wizards Chess now- (Aka playing on a gigantic Chess board)

It is also highly important to note that in the actual game of Chess: Anytime a pawn makes it all the way to the enemies side of the board A pawn becomes a Queen..

The chess references are still there: Shadows being Black Chess pieces, Gashalts being the White ones.

But that still doesn’t explain Who or What “Them” are, and Why they are returning, and where they are Returning from.

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Could Maxwell have been referring to the Gestalts instead of the shadow creatures when he talked about "Them"(Such as "Or maybe They've grown tired of me.", "Just dust. And the Void. And Them." and "I don't know what they want. They... they just watch."  Could the Gestalts have been watching since the original Don't Starve?  And now they are "returning" to possibly interfere with Charlie being on the throne.  Since the shadow creatures have always attacked you meaning they don't "just watch"

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i hope klei didnt end doing the cliche of making bad vs good

i see these entities as something bigger than the survivors so it could be far away of their understanding

i think charlie wants to use the fight between these 2 sides for a personal plan

also i have notice that the atrium and the moon has eyes representing them. This could mean having awareness. If someone has watched "final horizont", the gateway remembers me the engine made of a black hole that manipulates the minds of the crew, this could happened to the ancient after they leave to the caves, where the moon has no power so they cant use his energy, so they started using nightmere fuel and the found of the nightmere fuel, the gate,  manipulates them to abuse of this power like the codex umbra did with maxwell

what i dont understand is why there is skeletons in the moon, an altar buried in The Constant, an ancient machine that looks after altars, a heart behind shadows with the shape of clockworks, a skeleton (ancient are like artropodes so they have exoeskeleton) that can be revived by it, why the entity sit on the thron can create entire worlds (adventure mode), etc

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9 minutes ago, ArubaroBeefalo said:

what i dont understand is why there is skeletons in the moon

Do we have an animation of Crabby Hermit hit by thunder? Maybe crab people despite having... kind of exoskeleton, have also an internal skeleton and that how there is an skeleton on moon island.

And crab people could be aliens from moon...? 

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31 minutes ago, ArubaroBeefalo said:

heart behind shadows with the shape of clockworks, a skeleton (ancient are like artropodes so they have exoeskeleton) that can be revived by it,

well, the metheus murals shows the staff bearer summoning a skeleton that looks like the fuelweaver, so it may not be from the same specie as the ancients. why it is revived by a shadow heart? why not? both the skeleton and the heart come from the same power.

why is the heart behind shadow clockworks? i dont know that one. i believe that the conscience within the heart is the staff bearer becouse of fuelweaver's quotes, wich means after the 4th mural from metheus, Them managed to kick him out of the throne and trap him inside the heart, wich was guarded by other shadows, the shadow pieces.

31 minutes ago, ArubaroBeefalo said:

i hope klei didnt end doing the cliche of making bad vs good

YES! the thing i most want in all this lore stuff is to that the Shadow Entity is less evil than the Moon Entity.

18 minutes ago, Notecja said:

And crab people could be aliens from moon...? 

please klei, not aliens.

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10 minutes ago, VouMorrer said:

well, the metheus murals shows the staff bearer summoning a skeleton that looks like the fuelweaver, so it may not be from the same specie as the ancients. why it is revived by a shadow heart? why not? both the skeleton and the heart come from the same power.

why is the heart behind shadow clockworks? i dont know that one. i believe that the conscience within the heart is the staff bearer becouse of fuelweaver's quotes, wich means after the 4th mural from metheus, Them managed to kick him out of the throne and trap him inside the heart, wich was guarded by other shadows, the shadow pieces.

maybe in the mural is showed that nightmere fuel can animate corpses and that they used it as an army or something. The skeleton used to fight fw remembers me the shape of klaus but doesnt have the mouth in the middle of the belly so idk. This remember me another question, who punished klaus? he has sewing eyes and mouth

i like your theory about the staff guy being trapped in the heart

 

 

2 hours ago, VouMorrer said:

to craft chess pieces that dont spawn shadow pieces

as scott said "working as intended, for now"

hype over 9000

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11 minutes ago, ArubaroBeefalo said:

i like your theory about the staff guy being trapped in the heart

it is not mine, is a common theory.

11 minutes ago, ArubaroBeefalo said:

This remember me another question, who punished klaus? he has sewing eyes and mouth

maybe charlie. klaus appeared during the new reign, when charlie was showing her new creations.

edit: 

about the mouth in the belly, klaus, wortox and krampus appear to be from the same species, but those 2 dont have the weird mouth. is charlie doing some anatomy experiments there?

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