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Dark Souls II Walkthrough, Part Twenty-Seven: Shaded Woods - Ruined Fork Road
Shaded Woods sounds like it should be a nice vacation spot after a hot day, but it's just the opposite. The Woods are filled with pot-bellied ghouls and boss-like shadows of the past, and in this next section it only gets worse as you're forced to take on phantoms in the fog. But press on, brave warrior, you're making good progress...
- After recovering at the Bonfire, go up the right set of stairs. There are three paths here; check beside the right path to find Creighton, the man you met in Huntsman's Copse. He's still hunting the treacherous Pate, and says the rogue lives in Brightstone Cove, down the path he's watching over. We'll travel this path shortly.
- Try the path straight ahead first. Amazingly, it's free of enemies - but it's also a dead end at this point. Check a corpse in the small pool along the path for a Red Tearstone Ring, and note the giant door at the end.
- Return to the Bonfire and take the left path. Stop short beyond the doorway, as there's a gang of ghouls straight ahead. Start by looking to your left; there's one here. Kill it first and you'll bring the others running. Retreat to the Bonfire and you'll not only spread the others out, but you can probably lure them one-at-a-time and dispatch them in a more orderly fashion.
- There's a crossroads ahead. Take a left around the bend of the ruins and you'll find two more ghouls which you can fight one-at-a-time if you're not too hasty. Beyond them is a corpse holding a Ring of Life Protection and a Large Soul of a Proud Knight.
- Follow the right path back on the main road. It leads down to a set of ruins... and watching over them, a Flexile Sentry! Yay, bosses are now normal enemies! The Sentry is the same as last time, though it has less HP and won't hit as hard. Rush down to it, then back up the way you came. It won't follow the whole way - but the hidden ghoul nearby will. Dispatch it before attacking the Sentry. It will drop a Twinkling Titanite. Check the corpse it was watching over for a Dragonslayer's Crescent Axe and a Golden Falcon Shield.
- Go up the path to your left, where the ghoul was secreted. At the top you'll find the Winter Shrine. You can't enter this place just yet, but keep it in mind for later.
- Backtrack to the Bonfire.Now you have to go through the door on the right. A thick fog envelopes this next area, and will make the going tougher as enemies become more difficult to track.
- Stick to the left edge of this area and follow it as far as you can. You'll find a small clearing on your left when you go far enough. It's watched over by a small circle of columns, and in the middle a healp of bones and rubble. 'Talk' to it and you'll discover there's a head here, the Head of Vengarl. Talk to it enough and it'll offer to sell you items, teach the Decapitate gesture, and warn you to stay away from its headless body. Hrm. Keep talking to him and he'll give you Vengarl's Helm. As you leave the clearing, check to the left of the path for a body that holds a Soul of a Proud Knight and... something else. (Help! I missed it!)
- Make your way back to the Bonfire. Now follow the edge of the forest to the right. Along the way you'll find a corpse bearing two Lloyd's Talismans. Continue past here and you'll come under attack by arrows from the mist; continue rushing along and you'll discover a chest containing an Old Sun Ring. Grab it quickly, as invisible enemies will begin to attack from multiple angles if you linger too long.
- By now you have the gist of this place: you can't see your foes. Not for the most part, anyway. If you're well-armoured, you can fight by backing up against a tree or the perimeter wall, waiting for an attack, and then lashing out against seemingly nothing. If you're lightly-armoured, like a sorcerer, I recommend just rushing through this area.
- Back to the Bonfire. Rush straight ahead through this area until you come to a cliff's edge. Go left from here and you'll find a narrow ledge up the side of a a cliff. At the top is a chest containing a Chloranthy Ring +1. You can also reach this by continuing left past the last treasure chest.
- (I know there's more to be found here. I'll keep exploring once I have a buffer character reach this place.)
- Back to the Bonfire. Return to Vengarl's little part of the Woods and keep following the edge of the Woods to your left. You'll soon hear running water, and the fog will part as you arrive at a mossy green ruin. Enter it and climb to the second floor to find a new Bonfire: Shaded Ruins. Huzzah!