Wednesday January 8, 2019
The Pale Drake
“Seath allied with Lord Gwyn and turned upon the dragons, and for this he was awarded Dukedom, embraced by the royalty, and given a fragment of a great soul.”
Bequeathed Lord Soul Shard
Now that we’ve taken a brief rest in the Duke’s Archives, attuned our Pyromancy spells, and freed Big Hat Logan, it’s time to press on to our quarry: Seath the Scaleless. The albino Dragon, born without the Dragon’s Scales of Immortality, betrayed his own kin and aided Lord Gwyn in his fight against them. He was made a Duke thereafter, and was given free reign to pursue his research in the archives; his research was concerned with achieving an alternate form of immortality for himself, though he is also known as the “grandfather of sorcery” for his contributions to the magics. He had his Six-Eyed Channelers combing Lordran for subjects to experiment on – these “snatchers” would return to the archives with specimens in tow, to accommodate for their blind master. Seath was eventually able to create his Primordial Crystal, which effectively makes him invincible, to make up for the scales that he lacks. We’ll have to destroy the Crystal in order to put him down. But where to find it?
There’s a lever in the secret library that lowers a set of stairs, and allows us to access the central garden area that we’ve seen from the balconies throughout the archives. There’s a ton of Crystal Golems out here, and some items scattered about. But Abracadaniel is only interested in one of them. There’s a Golden Golem (similar to the one that contained Dusk of Oolacile in Darkroot Basin) and it just might be hiding someone as well. Once we’ve killed it, sure enough, a very familiar looking NPC falls out.
This isn’t Siegmeyer though. This is actually Sieglinde of Catarina, the Onion Knight’s daughter. She’s travelled to Lordran in search of her father, Siegmeyer. We’ll catch up with her later at Firelink Shrine. There’s nothing else I really want in the garden, so I continue onward, and into the Crystal Caves. This area is quite nasty, for several reasons. The most important one being that there are (many) invisible, crystalline walkways we’ll need to traverse. Most are fairly obvious, as the developers have left messages (with the signature Orange Soapstone) so you can see where they are. But some are a bit trickier, and there is one particular section I’m really not looking forward to.
The upgrade item that we need to max out our Enchanted Longsword, the Blue Titanite Slab, is here in the Crystal Caves. It is, however, across a massive, gaping chasm that is going to force us to navigate a narrow, winding walkway of invisible crystal. Hurray! What larks. Miyazaki: the visionary, everyone.
I’m using the Prism Stones (items that sparkle when dropped on the ground) to try to figure out where the path is, and avoid plunging off the edge to my doom. This is really helpful, especially when the path stops abruptly and turns. My strategy works – for a while.
As per, it takes us two attempts to make it to the Slab. Once I’ve picked it up, I use a Homeward Bone to leave – I’m not even going to try to walk back across these invisible pathways. It’s a quick run back down from the Duke’s Archives bonfire anyway. Before we head back down, however, I want to make a quick trip to Anor Londo, to see our friend the Giant Blacksmith. He’s in charge of forging Lightning weapons (Dragon’s weakness) so I’ll make a Lightning Longsword for the Seath fight. Despite my low Strength/Dex, this will probably work better than my Enchanted Longsword – especially if I want to try and get the tail cut. Okay, back to the archives.
We can proceed downward through the caves now. There’s a narrow walkway with a tough Golden Golem that I ignored before, so once we (gingerly, without falling off) defeat it, there’s only one more invisible walkway before we’re home free.
There are a bunch of Moonlight Butterflies in this area, and they have the potential to drop Blue Slabs. They’re Seath’s creations, and can only be dealt with using ranged attacks. They’re non-hostile until provoked though, and I already have my Slab, so I leave them alone. There’s a cavern full of the Giant Clam enemies (like the ones in Ash Lake) that we’ll have to clear out before approaching the next section – spoiler alert, it’s the boss room – because we don’t want them following us in. Because there’s no fog gate immediately, they can actually end up in the room with Seath, and I don’t want to deal with that. Once they’re dealt with, we can move on. It’s a wide open cavern, and would you look over there – there’s a thin, sparkling crystal at the far end. Let’s go take a look. Once you move close enough to the Primordial Crystal, a cutscene triggers, with Seath flying down to protect his greatest treasure. It’s on!
When you destroy the Primordial Crystal (hit it with anything – it’s quite fragile for a source of immortality) Seath is staggered for 10-20 seconds. If you’re trying to cut his tail off for the Moonlight Greatsword, this is the time to do it. Wait until he moves as close to you as he will (i.e. when he starts to charge an attack) then destroy the Crystal. Two-handing my Lightning Longsword, I immediately sprint around and behind the massive Dragon. You need to target the middle tail – that’s the only one you can cut off – not the two on either side. I get a hit or two in before he starts attacking, and now I need to be careful.
With Abracadaniel’s low health and defense, this is a really difficult task. Seath’s most dangerous attacks are his tail swipes and slams, which he does when you’re behind him. I need to hang around in front of him to bait his crystal breath attacks, and then try to run around him while he’s locked in the animation. I can’t be slicing like a madman either, because he’ll one-shot me easily. I need to get a hit or two, then (autobots) roll out to reset. This takes a while, but with patience, I get the tail cut, and the Moonlight Greatsword is mine. Unfortunately, I die almost immediately after.
But that’s okay. I don’t have to worry about the tail anymore, so we can just go ham, and fight him normally on our next attempt. I run through the Caves, and past the Clams because the fog wall is up now, so they’re locked out. Important to note: Seath is still here, but the Primordial Crystal resets after each fight. We need to get around him and break it again before we start on the offense.
My Pyromancies are doing massive damage – I hadn’t realized that they scaled with Intelligence, but with the upgraded flame, and my high Int stat, we’re absolutely wrecking this lizard. I prefer to have high Curse resistant armor on for this fight, and hang out in front of Seath (slightly to the right side). I can heal through the crystal attacks, and he can’t really reach you with anything else. We still watch for the tail swipes, though. The fight is over quickly, and we have our second Lord Soul Shard.
There’s only one thing left to do in the archives now. We can see the end of Logan’s questline, but first, we’ll need to buy all of his spells (not an inexpensive venture). Once we’ve purchased all his spells, his attitude changes abruptly. He’s forgetful, and hostile – he doesn’t recognize us. If you leave the area, he’ll disappear. We’ll need to go to the first room where we encountered Seath (the room where he kills you before imprisoning you) to see what’s become of our mentor.
I forgot that I still had the Ring of Fog on, so when I enter the room, Logan doesn’t even see me. I almost didn’t see him either; he’s easy to miss, honestly. Standing in the middle of the room, stark naked, with only his signature hat and staff. He is hostile. I sneak up behind him and lob a Great Chaos Fire Ball at his back – it almost one-shots him. Another one puts him down. Rest in peace, Big Hat Logan. Whether it was Seath’s research, or accomplishing his goal and losing his way that made Logan go hollow and mad, it’s not exactly clear. In addition to his Hat™, If we return to Logan’s previous spot, we find a chest with his full set of robes, along with his catalyst most importantly. Abracadaniel equips that immediately. We’ll remember him fondly!
Unfortunately, we only have two areas left to tackle now – we need the souls of Gravelord Nito, and the Witch of Izalith – and they’re easily my two least favourite areas in the game. Both the Tomb of the Giants, and the Demon Ruins/Izalith are awful for their own reasons. I don’t particularly enjoy either area, so because I’m totally not stalling, there is an optional boss in Anor Londo we can deal with. We’re pretty much done with this area for our playthrough, so we can fight him now. I head to Lord Gwyn’s tomb, beneath the area with the Painting Guardians.
We’ve talked to Gwyndolin before – he let us join the Blades of the Darkmoon covenant – but now, we’re here to murder him. It be like that sometimes – sorry, man. Passing through the fog gate, and trespassing on the tomb, will initiate the fight.
This boss is a bit of a puzzle, and very annoying. You’re in a never-ending hallway, and you’ll have to chase Gwyndolin until you’ve depleted his health bar completely – you have a short window to attack once you catch him, before he teleports further away. He’ll shoot you with Magic attacks (homing arrows, and one giant orb) and an arrow/crossbow attack. You can use the pillars on the left and right to avoid most of these, and I also opt to equip the Dark Wood Grain Ring, so I can dodge/backflip through most of his moves with i-frames. This explains my nakedness – I needed to be under 25% of Abracadaniel’s equip load.
I thought his Magic defense would be quite high, but with my new Crystal sorceries from Logan (God rest him) I make pretty quick work of the Dark Sun. He only teleports away from me once or twice before I can finish him. Once Gwyndolin is dead, we can pillage the (honourary) tomb of Lord Gwyn. It houses my favourite miracle, Sunlight Blade, and the Brass Armor set.
From this point on, the Firekeeper at the Anor Londo bonfire (aka the Darkmoon Knightess) will be hostile towards us. Once we warp to the bonfire, she attacks immediately, and upon death, we can no longer use her bonfire. We’ll have to use the Chamber of the Princess bonfire from now on.
That’ll pretty much wrap us up for this entry. Next time, Abracadaniel will be heading down into the Tomb of the Giants (because I hate that area marginally less).
GRavelord Nito is throwing a party for the dead – and we’re going to crash it!