Loaded back up, started at that first bonfire yet again. I knew I could make it back to my souls, I just had to be cautious and take my time...getting impatient can prove to be a death sentence in this game, even in areas that you have been through dozens of times.
I got down to the swamp and headed back toward the moving platforms when I found the bonfire finally. Just before resting there I got the message that I was being invaded by Mildred something...so I just kinda waited in there with the bonfire before I saw the red phantom headed toward me. Killed her pretty easily, got a Butcher Knife and some humanity, then I went ahead and rested.
Went directly to the platforms, got up and snagged my souls and worked my way toward the large stone structure back there. Thankfully I had learned how to zoom in with my bow yesterday so I was able to slowly work in there and take out the bastard snipers toward the back. Occasionally I'll even absorb a dart on purpose just to stay on target and finish them off. I think there were four total, including the one in that little corner guarding the Soul of a Proud Knight.
Cheaped out the dogs from above with my bow then went down...found my second Firekeepers Soul which is awesome since I can upgrade my Estus again. I really thought there would be more to this area than there was, seemed like where a boss fight might be.
Anyway, went back up, saw a ladder headed upwards so I progressed on into the cave up there...which turned out to be simultaneously a waste of time and a revelation. If only I had known I could have avoided all the BS earlier by going through the Valley of the Drakes from New Londo...I found it early in the game but never ventured in too far out of fear. At this point there was only one logical way to go...that hill with the rock-throwing giants with that ominous hole I saw yesterday.
Quelaags Domain or something like that...can't recall completely. Gotta be honest this place had me on the edge of my seat, so to speak. The enemies you encounter are strange...not even particularly dangerous until they split into a mass of grubs...but easy enough. To my surprise, right outside the white light door was a summon sign, which obviously clued me into a impending boss fight. This was my second time summoning for assistance, and I thought about going solo, but the rest of Blighttown had been such a nightmare to that point I assumed the boss would be ridiculous. Oddly enough, the person I summoned was the same person who had just invaded me. Mildred...something. Nice outfit, by the way.
Nice cutscene...insane looking boss. Mildred was much more help than Lautrec and Solaire against the Gaping Dragon. She kept the attention off me initially so I could get an idea of what the attacks were like, but it still wasn't completely easy. The lava was frustrating as I would keep backing into it while locked on to Quelaag, and she did a ton of damage despite my upgraded armor. At the end of the day, it was academic. Move, avoid, get behind, attack. My Gargoyles Halberd is +9 now so it was going good damage, and she fell easily enough. I took probably 85% of her health, Mildred was just more of a distraction, but welcome nonetheless. So I won on the first go 'round and it was great. I'd put this fight on par with the Gaping Dragon in terms of difficulty...maybe a little easier.
After that was over, went further in up the stairs and found a lever...and alakazam...rang the second bell. Super awesome, but that cutscene after was crazy. That huge guy opening a huge gate (which I assume is where that knight with the round head was sitting)...can only be bad things behind there. I also figure I'll be fighting that monster gatekeeper sooner than later.
Noticed that I could go further down...so I did. At the bottom of the staircase was a circular thing in the middle of the floor. I thought this might be an elevator like the one down to New Londo...but it wasn't, lol. However, there was a door leading to a bonfire...right at the doorstep of what I can only imagine hell would look like.
The Demon Ruins.
I see lava, an enemy off in the distance that I've never encountered before...looks somewhat similar to the Capra Demon if I recall correctly. Could be wrong since he was so far away, couldn't even hit him with arrows.
Also some flaming tentacles...?
Yea, I left after resting at the bonfire and kindling it. Went back to the swamp, explored a bit. Killed some slugs that seem to drop titanite with relative frequency then went back to the bonfire. Figured I'd take a break after that.
Now I have two options...Demon Ruins or back to the Undead Parish to see what's behind that gate...orrrr back to Darkroot Garden to use that Crest to open that door.
Might head back to Firelink Shrine first to see if any of the NPCs have anything new to say. Kinda curious about that chick who was there before with the Miracle guy and the other two...I suck with names sometimes. Anyway, he says she went missing and he can't find her, but he certainly isn't trying very hard standing in one place, lol.
So, that's it for now. More to come.