Wednesday December 18, 2019
Dragons, Gargoyles, and Leeches
“There are actually two Bells of Awakening. One’s up above, in the Undead Church. The other is far, far below, in the ruins at the base of Blighttown. Ring them both, and something happens…”
Check out the first entry here if you missed it!
Last we left off, our intrepid hero Abracadaniel had just conquered the Taurus Demon and met fellow Undead, Solaire of Astora. Today, the plan is to head into the Undead Parish, unlock the shortcut to Firelink Shrine, and (unfortunately) make a quick pit stop in Blighttown. First things first – we want to sneak underneath the Hellkite Dragon in order to access the bonfire at the Altar of Sunlight. We have to bait the dragon into jumping down onto the bridge so we can sprint past it. Rest as quickly as possible to reset it – it will actually fly away at this point (I may or may not have gotten fried once on the bridge trying to do this).
Now that we’ve had a rest and found the Altar (which we can’t interact with just yet) it’s time to head up into the Undead Parish. There’s a particularly nasty enemy waiting for us – it’s a pig wearing armor (because of course it is) but there’s an easy way to deal with it.
Abracadaniel methodically clears the area of hollows (staying on the upper level to avoid the boar) and picks up a handy item – the Alluring Skulls. From the narrow upper level, we can chuck a Skull onto one of the roaring fires below. Because these items draw enemies in, the boar will walk straight into the flames and take a shitload of damage. It’s a quick clean up with Soul Arrows from there! Easy money.
From here, we head down into an underground room filled with hollows (just mind that they don’t swarm and overwhelm you) and up a ladder – we’re just outside the church now. I’m taking the side path, through one Balder Knight instead of the 3 inside of the building. I just run past all the hollow knights, beyond the church to the bonfire I know is just down the way. The comforting sound of smithing – of metal striking metal – greets me, as I say hi to Andre for the first time!
I buy a longsword from him, then head back to the Parish. I take care of the massive Berenike Knight with some Soul Arrows, then unlock the elevator shortcut back down to Firelink Shrine. I want to take a detour at this point, down to the New Londo Ruins and eventually Blighttown. Because Abracadaniel’s primary stat is going to be Intelligence, we’ll need a melee weapon that scales with that, rather than Strength or Dexterity. In order to get a Magic weapon, we’ll need to talk to the Vinheim (Dragon School) blacksmith, Rickert, who resides in New Londo. Rickert also sells a couple spells, so I grab another Soul Arrow – I now have 60 casts instead of 30.
In order to upgrade a Magic weapon, you need Green Titanite Shards – these drop from both the slimes in the Depths, and the leeches in Blighttown. It’s time to do some grinding. Sigh. From New Londo, we can take another path, through a locked gate, that lets us cross the Valley of the Drakes, and enter Blighttown from the “exit”. We can only do this because we started with the Master Key – without it, I wouldn’t be able to access this area until later.
I simply sprint through the entire area until I reach the bonfire at the bottom – I light it, and rest. Now, I skirt the edges of the poison swamp, killing the giant leeches and praying for the (somewhat rare) Green Titanite to drop. On the bright side, the leeches drop 5 at a time, so you only need 2 drops to have enough for a fully upgraded (+5) Magic weapon. It takes about 30 minutes, but I get my Titanite and get the hell out of Dodge – though I do stop and pick up the Crimson set for some new clothes. It’s back to Rickert to upgrade my sword, and then a quick level up with the souls I’ve collected. Now that we’re back up to Firelink Shrine, I also reverse my hollowing.
Now we’re ready to take on some gargoyles! I head back up to the Undead Parish, and deal with the horde of hollows and Channeler waiting in the upper portion of the church. Then I head right into the boss fight. I thought about summoning Solaire for fun, but opted to solo it instead. With my +5 weapon it’s fairly easy anyway.
Once we’ve beaten the two Bell Gargoyles, we can ring the first Bell of Awakening! Yay!
I realize at this point I’ve forgotten about a certain NPC – normally, you would free him from a cell inside the Undead Parish; when I go to find him however, he’s conspicuously absent. Hmm…
Before I forget, I run outside and grab the Basement Key from the set of stairs just behind the area where the boar is. Fun fact: if you read the description of this item, it tells you exactly what the next boss is going to be!
I head back down to Firelink, to find out if Lautrec of Carim, the NPC that I missed is there (he is – and I’ve probably screwed up his questline) and to figure out what I want to do next. I decide to try to take out Havel (aka The Rock) for his excellent ring – it greatly boosts your equip load, so you’re able to wear heavier armor while maintaining a fast roll.
I run through the Undead Burg to get to the tower where Havel is – below where we originally fought the Taurus Demon. Again, I wouldn’t be able to access this area if I didn’t have the Master Key. Because I’m a first-class clown, and I was trying to take too many screenshots, Havel flattened me. Oops.
I have better luck on my second try – the easiest way to beat this NPC this early is to simply backstab him to death. Just be careful – he will one-shot you if he hits you. But anyway, Havel’s ring is mine, and I can now put on the rest of the Crimson set without being overweight.
Before I quit for the day, I want to rescue another NPC – one who will be able to teach us some sorceries – from the next area, the Lower Undead Burg. Back at the Hellkite bridge, I open the door using the Basement Key, and once I’ve dealt with a couple dogs, I find a particular residence with a locked door. If the Master Key doesn’t work on this door, you can purchase the Residence Key from the Undead Merchant in the Burg.
Inside the locked residence is Griggs, a sorcerer – apprentice to Big Hat Logan, he’s also trained (allegedly) at the Vinheim Dragon School. He thanks us for saving him, and heads back to Firelink Shrine.
I want to try and do some co-op to pick up some extra Souls (sorceries are expensive man) so that’s where I’ll leave it for the day. I slap my summon sign down in the Parish near the Gargoyles and settle in to do some jolly co-operation. See you next time – we’ll finish off the Lower Undead Burg, and start prepping for Blighttown!