Soul Sanctum's Scholars

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The mind still limits us so.
How to break past its constraints?
To attain a pure focus, is it even possible?

The lands of Hallownest are filled by several groups of strange sentient creatures. They occupy various territories around the vast kingdom and developed their own societies and cultures aside from the Pale King's rule.

Table of Contents

BeesFlukesFoolsMantis TribeMosskin TribeMoth TribeMushroom ClanSnail ShamansSoul Sanctum's ScholarsSpider TribeThe Grimm TroupeGodseekers

The bugs of the Soul Sanctum are highly intelligent scholars[1] who served the Kingdom of Hallownest. They researched ways to expand the mind and attain pure focus,[2] secluded in their Sanctum in the kingdom's capital. When the kingdom's minds became plagued by the Infection, the Soul Master, head of the Sanctum, sought its cure in Soul,[3] the energy animating bugs and beasts alike.[4] He refused to listen to the Pale King opposing his work,[4] and failed to realise that his own infected mind was influencing him.[5]

In their madness, the scholars consumed souls, convinced it would lead them to immortality.[6] These experiments had their share of failures, deforming some of them into formless Mistakes and Follies.[7] More successful ones retained their physical integrity, becoming supernaturally skilled Soul Twisters and Soul Warriors.

The Infected scholars kept hoarding souls as the Kingdom fell. They gathered Soul Totems and many bugs from which to harvest the vital energy. They eventually used the furthest rooms of the Sanctum to unceremoniously discard the ancient structures as well as the husks of their victims. They even captured a Snail Shaman to forcefully steal its Soul abilities.

Unlike the kingdom's bugs, the scholars survived the fall of Hallownest. Some of them remain in the Soul Sanctum and attack any intruder, with the Soul Master still clinging to the Infection's false promise of immortality.[8] Others, although also Infected, joined the Colosseum of Fools as fighters. The Volt Twisters, in particular, adopted the teachings of the Sanctum to evolve their abilities and continue fighting or meditating in seclusion.[9]



  • An early concept sketch shows a scholar with growths of Infection on their body.[10]


  1. Soul Twister Hunter's Journal entry: "Highly intelligent bug"
  2. Soul Sanctum Lore Tablet: "The mind still limits us so. How to break past its constraints? To attain a pure focus, is it even possible?"
  3. Soul Master Hunter's Journal entry: "Hoarded soul hoping to stave off Hallownest's affliction."
  4. 4.0 4.1 Soul Tyrant: "the answer was in the soul that animates our bodies. But the King... why?! He opposed everything I did..."
  5. Soul Tyrant Dream Nail dialogue: "Did their souls bring me closer to the light?"
  6. Folly Hunter's Journal entry: "I've heard whispers that the secret these fools were searching for was immortality."
  7. Mistake Hunter's Journal entry: "Once a highly intelligent bug, deformed by the misuse of soul."
  8. Soul Master Dream Nail dialogue: "The King falls, but I live forever!"
  9. Volt Twister Hunter's Journal entry: "spends its entire life fighting in the arena or meditating in seclusion."
  10. Production design in Hollow Knight at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image.