Dark Souls II Walkthrough, Part Twenty-Six: Shaded Woods - Old Akelarre
The Iron Keep is a distant memory, as are the intense flames that ruled its bowels. Now you're headed somewhere far cooler and shadier, where the leaves are slick with wet and statues that sing of flame bar your way... (One statue, anyway...)
- After zipping back to the Bonfire, leave Majula. Head back towards the caves where the game's tutorial took place.
- There's a field almost directly ahead as you go through the archway, at at one end of it is a branch-wreathed doorway. Pass through it and follow the path beyond.
- Outside a set of ruins you'll find a man who claims that the way ahead is blocked by a statue. Take your fill of him, then check the corpse beside the stairs ahead for three Lifegems and three Homeward Bones.
- Enter the ruins. The statue the man speaks of is on the other side of the circular room, clutching a switch. It prevents you from passing through here.
- You now have a choice - namely, two doors on either side of the room. Both contain restless occupants, though the one on the left is better-armed, and its weapon can poison you temporarily. In the left room you'll find a corpse holding three Lloyd's Talismans; in the right is... nothing. Oh well.
- Pull out a Fragrant Branch of Yore and use it on the statue that's by the far door. (The earliest Fragrant Branch of Yore you're likely to find is in Harvest Valley.) It will thaw the statue, revealing a pyromancer named Rosabeth. Talk to her enough times and she'll give you a Prism Stone; keep talking and she'll ask for clothes. You can give her new clothing in exchange for an achievement, so fork over any duds you're not using. You can also purchase a variety of pyromancy wares from her, good for any sorcerers who have fun with fire. She'll head to Majula after she's freed.
- Go back outside and speak with the dude bearing the long sword. He'll thank you, reveal that his name is Benhart, and after you leave he'll depart as well.
- Back into the ruins. The girl was clutching a switch; if you pull it, monsters in the four cells above you will come out and attack. More, the entrance of this place will close, and the door beside the switch will slowly open and let in another monster. Yay. I highly recommend sniping open one of the doors up top first and shooting its occupant in the head to lure it out. This will bring the rest out as well, though you can retreat towards Majula and more easily manage killing them off. Then pop the switch and take out the monster beyond.
- The next room has a set of stairs leading up to the Shaded Woods beyond, a brand new area for you to explore. Before you do, though, check the cells beside the stairs. One contains a chest with an Estus Flask Shard; the other holds the Old Akelarre Bonfire. Be very careful using this Bonfire! You'll have to hit a switch to reach the Shaded Woods, and each time you do you'll open the cells above the Bonfire and release four more of the ghoulish creatures you fought earlier. They'll crowd and pummel you if you give 'em a chance.
- Follow the thin path through the trees. There are two more creatures ahead; one milling over a corpse on your right, the other hiding a bit further down to the left. Try to engage the one on the right before catching the attention of the left. The corpse holds a Fading Soul.
- There's a clearing ahead. Two more creatures sit in plain sight; a third lingers on a ledge to the left. Approach it slowly and you'll only catch the attention of the right one. Draw it away for the kill, then move forward to aggravate the one on the left. The guy on the ledge will come down in due time. Be careful entering the clearing, as a fourth ranged one sits on the left ledge and will hurl rocks. Beside it is a corpse that holds a Pharros' Lockstone.
- There are ruins ahead. Two more melee attackers will rush you, while a third follows behind and lobs rocks. Dispatch them as you see fit. They're swift on their feet, but the guys with the clubs are very slow to recover after they swing. Take advantage of that.
- Approach the ruins. Another creature sits just inside the entrance. Just beyond it is what you were doubtless hoping for: a Bonfire, Ruined Fork Road. Score. We'll explore it in the next article.