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The vault will only restore the Dark One in exchange for another life.
Belle French to Emma Swan src

The Vault of the Dark One is an Enchanted Forest location featured on ABC's Once Upon a Time. It first appears in the fifteenth episode of the third season.


Before First Curse

At one point, the Sorcerer named Merlin battles the Darkness at the place which will become the Vault of the Dark One and, in order to be free of it and protect the realms, he tethers it to a human soul. In turn, that soul becomes the Dark One, who is bound to the control of a cursed dagger. ("Operation Mongoose Part 2", "Quiet Minds")

The Vault of the Dark One, located in the ground as a circular seal, can restore a Dark One by sacrificing a life. It's not known if the prior Dark One, Zoso, ever used the vault. When Rumplestiltskin gains power as the Dark One, he gains a key from the vault, which is hidden in a book in his castle. ("Quiet Minds")

Before Second Curse
After Mr. Gold's death, no new Dark One assumes the role since he dies after stabbing himself with the dagger. Following a return to the Enchanted Forest, Belle and Neal research for a way to bring him back. The Wicked Witch of the West, with her own ulterior motives, nudges them in the right direction by deploying a candelabrum, Lumiere, to show them the vault key and leading the pair to the vault itself. Once there, Lumiere tells them to brush aside the snow on the ground, which reveals a vault seal. Before Neal can put the key in, Belle realizes Lumiere is lying, after he states having lived in Rumplestiltskin's library for two-hundred years, though the room wasn't built until prior to the first curse. Lumiere admits doing the Wicked Witch's bidding against his will as she wishes to resurrect Rumplestiltskin and control him with the dagger. Belle warns Neal about the consequences if this happens, but he places the key in the vault despite this. The key then brands his palm with a triangle tattoo, and he pays with his life as his father is revived. Rumplestiltskin, unable to accept his son is dying, absorbs him into his own body before Neal perishes. During this distraction, the Wicked Witch grabs the dagger and commands Rumplestiltskin to kill Belle. Before he can follow the order, Lumiere burns his candelabrum flames at the Wicked Witch. Belle then seizes the chance to flee, grabbing Lumiere as she goes, as the Wicked Witch fumbles in anger at her escape. ("Quiet Minds")

During Second Curse
Under the second curse, Mr. Gold is unable to remember absorbing Neal into his body. While confined by Zelena, he escapes, and at some point after this, Neal assumes control of their shared body. After fainting, he is taken to the hospital, where Belle notices his palm has a burned triangle symbol and promptly goes to research it. Throughout the day, Neal comes to realize he and his father are sharing the same body. This is further confirmed when Belle finds the symbol on his palm is connected to the vault of the Dark One, in which someone who uses the vault to resurrect a Dark One is branded and must pay with his life. To ensure Mr. Gold recalls the name of the Wicked Witch of the West, Neal asks Emma to separate him from his father's body. ("Quiet Minds")

Template:During Camelot Quest


On-screen Notes



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