Straid is a masked figure, covered head to toe in black robes.
Straid was an oddly gifted mage, well-versed in both sorceries and pyromancies, but his curious temperament never allowed him to settle down in one place for very long and he became a wandering sorcerer of sorts. Straid has extensive knowledge on all manner of subjects. He will extol to you the cycle of the Curse and has even read of the Ancient Lords, with special interest in the Witch of Izalith and her daughters. But Straid, always immersed in magic, never accepted an apprentice. As a result, much of his extensive knowledge is permanently lost.
Homing Soul Arrow, Heavy Homing Soul Arrow and Soul Bolt are sorceries devised by Straid, the great mage of ancient Olaphis. He started with an unwieldy spell that back-fired on its caster, and in time, perfected it.
Lingering Flame and Flame Swathe are pyromancies devised by Straid, the great mage of ancient Olaphis.
Straid was invited to the old kingdom of Olaphis for his wisdom, but its depth was such that people soon feared him. Olaphis was a kingdom that stood on the same spot Drangleic does now. Not much is known about it, but it appears to have developed highly advanced techniques for weaponry and catalysts. Though not explicitly stated, it is likely the land was welcoming of sorcerers and pyromancers, though did not necessarily embrace those who used miracles and almost certainly not hexers. The Helix Halberd was likely created in Olaphis and utilized a complex design, that some would say was excessively so, while the Staff of Wisdom, Straid’s staff, appears to have also been created in Olaphis by affixing a finely polished crystal to the tip of a staff. The crystal greatly augments the spell strength, and as we know from Seath the Scaleless, crystals and sorcery are deeply entwined.
It may be that Straid was invited to Olaphis to combat the Curse. To do so, he created Rings of Resistance. The Resistance Ring was created in Olaphis and it provides resistance to curses. The artistry required to attune the varying powers of four different stones within one ring could only be described as transcendental. There is only one sorcerer who could have done this; a man from the lost land of Olaphis. The sorcerer who created this was so powerful that he became widely feared.
But Straid knew that anything that has a beginning also has an end. No flame, however brilliant, does not one day splutter and fade. But then, from the ashes, the flame reignites, and a new kingdom is born, sporting a new face. So it seems that Straid’s solution may have been half-hearted, and what he really came to Olaphis for was to devise new spells using powerful souls, likely continuing down the path he had started on prior to coming to Olaphis.
“Souls! I need souls! You cursed fool!
If you seek my strength, bring me souls!
Bigger, stronger souls! Heh heh…
Unusual souls produce unusual spells. Heh heh heh…
My power is yours! Let it serve your desires! Heh heh heh…”
There is a curious description from the Straid’s Black set that was released in the Network Test version. It says that Straid was a sworn brother-in-arms of the ancient king of old Olaphis. Together, they slew the Ancient Dragon, and tasted omniscience… However, even the renowned wisdom of Olaphis was not enough to control the peculiar magic birthed by his arts. We can only imagine what unusual and peculiar magic Straid devised using the soul of an Ancient Dragon (or Old One as he calls them), and perhaps this is what led to the people fearing him so greatly. Or it may simply be that Straid was too powerful and the king along with his people feared this, as they could not manage the glories that were his spells.
During Straid’s time in Olaphis, the cursed ones were imprisoned within the land. The people feared the cursed ones like a plague, and in some unused dialogue Straid will say their king did too: “Our king, Alvis, feared the cursed ones like the plague”. Straid says that some people would rather keep dreadful things out of sight, out of mind. In the end they swept them up and corralled them to the Lost Bastille. Following a trend that had begun with the Undead Asylum’s of old and continued throughout the ages:
Long ago, a bastille lord, driven to desperation by the rapid spread of curse across the land,
began to see each subject as a carrier of the blight, and locked them away in droves.
This entire bastille was turned into a prison, and left abandoned to rot with its prisoners.
Once people became aware of their own frailty… They seized anybody they found undesirable, cursed or no, and impounded them in the Lost Bastille. Whoever posed even the slightest threat, was removed. All so that they could sleep better at night. In the end Straid was led into a dreadful trap and they turned the great Straid into a stone!!
Straid spent several lifetimes as stone. During this hiatus, kingdoms rose and fell, until the land called Drangleic came to be. Long enough for the old kingdom to have crumbled, long enough for Olaphis to rise, fall, and fade away.
Straid will say to you: “Drangleic… I've never heard the name. Is that what they call this place now?”
Upon being freed, Straid seems most interested in continuing the work he had begun in Olaphis, devising new spells and creations. He will constantly urge the player to bring him souls, twisted, powerful souls. He uses these souls to create spells and weapons. Straid does not seem to have any interest in keeping these creations for himself, and simply seems enamoured with the idea of devising new and powerful things.