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Farron Keep

 
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At the beginning of this level on the left are some slugs. They don't have much to offer besides poisoning you with their muck. Still take these out then you'll need to go put out a total of three flames to ultimately proceed. There are some Purple Moss Clumps in the corner you can grab then further up the path is the pyromancy spell, Iron Flesh. Now, if you were to go in a circle around this area starting from the left, you'll see some remains and a group of slugs. Kill the creatures to grab a Ragged Mask from the corpse. Put it on for improved poison resistance if you like. Onward to next small land mass where you can find a Titanite Shard on the left. Next is the bigger land mass where the path splits.

Farthest to the left are just enemies and trees, to your left is a piece of loot and a bad guy, to the right is bridge, and up ahead is more ground with yet more enemies. Above that is the first of the three fires you need to extinguish. Begin by snagging the Estus Shard by the downed tower, then collect the Titanite Shard on the center land mass. Some Prism Stones are on the small piece of land close to the trees. In any case start moving towards your objective, which is the first fire. Kill off the Ghru guarding the flame. Go around the rear section of this island to secure some Rotten Pine Resin.


You'll want to consider making another pass around this island through the treeline, where you'll find a Stone Parma on the left and more Rotten Pine Resin to the right. A little further ahead is a crumbling tower guarded by a Dark Wraith. Kill the thing to grab the Sage's Coal. The second flame is just beyond the trees up ahead and will once again be guarded by Ghru. Turn right and you should see some bridges so step onto the nearest one to pick up a Greatsword at the end. At the opposite end is another foothold that leads to some Purple Moss Clump. Make your way back to the land mass where one Ghru is waiting. Grab the Titanite Shard on the right and kill all the Ghru enemies waiting at the top of the stairs. Collect the Purple Moss Clumps then extinguish the second flame. Defeat the Ghru if haven't already done so before crossing the bridge to find a bonfire. Rest here or warp to the Firelink Shrine to spruce up your character if you want.


Also if you look to the left of the bridge leading to the bonfire, you'll see three Ghru surrounding a Poison Gem. And should you prove strong enough to defeat them, you will receive an extra Pharis Hat and a Black Bow of Pharis. Moving on, grab the Titanite Shard beneath the bridge then kill all the slugs up ahead to collect an Undead Bone Shard. Now if you scan the swamp trees, you'll see some Ghru milling around their kill. Dispatch this Ghru bunch to get Sage Scroll. This is an item that Orbeck needs so hand it over to him as soon as you can. Next, look into the corner at the far end of the area to find a Giant Crab. Succeed in killing this ting and it'll drop the Lingering Dragoncrest Ring. Plus you'll get to pick up all the loot behind the enemy including some Gold Pine Bundle, some Young White Branch, a Crown of Dusk, an Ember and finally some large souls.


Anyway, take a left behind the large column to find a Wolfblade Snowgrass which you'll use later. There's a Sunlight Talisman nearby. Now for the third flame, you'll need to use the pyres as a guide and traverse through the small land masses. Be very careful of the Giant Ghru monster up ahead, wherein the key to defeating is staying at its back as much as you can. Chances are you will die some before you finally get to kill the thing, and once you do, turn left to collect some Titanite Shards and a set of Nameless Knight equipment in the swamp. Continue on your way to the location of the last flame, in which you will be greeted by another Giant Ghru. Defeat this monster to reach the flame and extinguish it. The path to the level's boss is now open, and while there are other things to do here, I'll head straight for the Abyss Watchers and come back for the rest.


Proceed through the newly opened door and follow the path to a group of Corvians as well as a Shaman. The Corvians will ignore you until the Shaman shrieks, so you'll want sneak behind the Shaman and kill him quietly. You'll find a Shriving Stone on the path to the right. Moving on along the main path, you'll find an ongoing battle between some Dark Wraiths and Ghru's. It's best to wait until things quiet down so you can lure the enemy patrols and kill them one by one. After that, head right into the ruins and light the bonfire you see there. Move onward into the abyss to face the Abyss Watchers boss.

Boss Battle - Abyss Watchers

This boss battle has two phases, where the first phase pits you against a regular non-powered up Abyss Watcher. His most basic attack is the three-slash sword combo which can do a lot of damage if they hit. You can try to block this but it would be best to just roll backward or sideways out of range. Quickly move in and counter with your own combo as soon as the boss completes his. He also does a lunging stab sometimes, which you can once again avoid by either blocking or rolling. Although the latter works better. The second phase starts after you defeat his first form. The Abyss Watcher revives with embers activated, so it will be a good idea to consume Red Bug Pellets at this point. While your opponent's attack patterns are the same, the flames do significantly improve his range. He recovers faster after combos too so you might not be able to land as many hits when countering. Try to be patient getting two hits in at a time then back away and prepare to evade. This battle was especially fun for me as I like one-on-one swordfights.


Congratulations on defeating your first Lords of Cinder. You'll also receive some items as usual along with the Lords of Cinder: Abyss Watchers trophy. Go light the bonfire here and rest before you proceed. Go spend those 18000 souls at the Firelink Shrine if you want. Head down stairs across from the bonfire to reach the Catacombs of Carthus.
 
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