This civilisation may claim itself the first, but something else did exist within this place before Hallownest.
The ancient civilisation was a society of bugs that existed in the distant past before the Kingdom of Hallownest was founded. It originated from or near the Abyss but later expanded to the entire land of Hallownest. This civilisation did not devote its worship to any lord or power but instead worshipped the Void itself.
Soul Totems are remnants of the ancient civilisation. These Totems are present in all areas of Hallownest and depict several unknown bugs or creatures. Soul Totems contain Soul, the substance that animates bugs' bodies, which can be used to cast Spells or to Focus. It is unclear what kind of power the ancient civilisation had over Soul.
Several Soul Totems can be found in Deepnest in the Sharp Shadow area. These Soul Totems have Void tendrils attached to them which appears to have corrupted them, forming the Sharp Shadow Charm. This Charm contains a forbidden Spell that transforms shadows into deadly weapons and bears a resemblance to the shape of one of the Soul Totems.
Relics created by the ancient civilisation, Arcane Eggs are stone eggs that contain knowledge hidden within. Most of these eggs are found in the Abyss. An egg is a perfect protective form. While the kingdom of Hallownest used stone journals or tablets to store information, the Arcane Eggs have their records stored within their multiple layers.
Extracting this knowledge is difficult and painstaking work for relic seekers such as Relic Seeker Lemm, making them only able to access the outer layer of the eggs in fear of damaging them. Some relic seekers claim that Arcane Eggs have some sort of will and that each is drawn to a specific bearer.
The Void Idol is a rare artifact belonging to the ancient civilisation. Its Journal entry is obtained after defeating all bosses in the Hall of Gods on Attuned difficulty. Defeating all bosses on Ascended and Radiant changes the state of the idol. The first state of the Void Idol contains only a drop of Void. The second state has volatile Void that writhes within.
On Radiant difficulty, the Void Idol's spires are twined in a unified form, and it contains a large amount of perfectly still Void. This final state is similar to the state of the entire Void after it has been unified by the Knight when they acquire Void Heart.
Other ancient remnants
These ancient remnants have no inherent connection to present-day Hallownest, but it is unknown if they are related to the ancient civilisation.
|An ancient Nailsmith who tried to create a Pure Nail whose corpse lies in a hidden area of Kingdom's Edge, hunched over an anvil. The imperfect nails which were discarded in this attempt eventually fused together to form the Quick Slash Charm. It is not known if the ancient Nailsmith was successful in creating a Pure Nail. Its Dream Nail dialogue, "Pure", is the same as that of the Nailsmith's corpse after he has forged the Knight's Pure Nail. The hallway leading up to this room also has architecture similar to the Temple of the Black Egg and those found near many Soul Totems.|
|This bug holds the Void bowl in which the Shade Cloak is acquired. In the game's files, it is called "Shade Beast". When the unawoken Dream Nail is used on it, a possible seal appears over its head. Its Dream Nail dialogue can only be seen with the Awoken Dream Nail. Before obtaining Void Heart, this creature claims that the Void has power if it is unified. After the Knight has Void Heart, its dialogue changes, referring to them as the Lord of Shades.|
|The giant six-eyed corpse of this bug is seen in the Queen's Gardens. Its file name is "Green Beast". There is no other information on this bug besides its file name and appearance.|
Colosseum of Fools corpse
|The Colosseum of Fools is built inside the carved out shell of an ancient bug, located at the top of the ashen cliffs of Kingdom's Edge. It has six eyes, and two claws near the front of its body. From the way it appears on the Map for Kingdom's Edge, it seems that it has a segmented torso. Not much else is known about this bug other than its current purpose as a location for the Colosseum.|
Temple of the Black Egg shell
|The exterior of the Temple of the Black Egg was fashioned from the shell of an ancient bug. Its head has six horns, with several more horns located on its segmented lower body. The origin of the Black Egg inside the Temple is unknown.|
Beast's Den shrine
|A room located in the west part of Beast's Den contains an unknown being. The file names for the sprites in this room refer to the area as a "shrine". Hitting the being with the Nail produces a metallic sound. Hitting it with Spells makes a seal appear over it. It is unclear if this being is the corpse of an ancient bug or a statue.|
- The Shade Beast, Green Beast, and the Beast's Den shrine are shown in various concept sketches.