Previously on Dark Souls: Morgan splurged on a really expensive magical trinket, and got pulverized by a jacked-up mushroom-man.
Dusting my hollowed self off, I got up and left the bonfire to travel through the mushroom-infested forest again. Having the ghostly figures in the first section jump to their dooms again earned a tidy profit of souls on the way, adding nicely to the figure I recovered from my bloodstain.
My second encounter with the mushroom-men went much more smoothly than the first. I took a few wallops, each requiring a couple swigs of estus to recover from, but ultimately the key to winning against them is to take it very slowly. Their punches hurt like nothing else, but they’re also very slow. Mushroom-men aren’t hard to kill, but it might take you all day to get the job done.
After defeating the two large mushrooms guarding the chest (an Enchanted Ember), I thought about slaughtering the harmless little mushrooms that were just minding their own business, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I may have been undead, but that didn’t make me a bad person.
Past the mushroom grove was a massive set of doors, even bigger than the ones that I opened with the Crest of Artorias. I could also see a white mist seeping through the seams, and I decided that I did not feel like a boos encounter at this point.
I turned tail and ran all the way back to Andre, who I figured would be able to put my Enchanted Ember to good use, but he said that he couldn’t do anything with it. I’d have to find another forge to give this bauble to.
I returned to the forest, but explored the far half of the first section a little more thoroughly this time. Past the innumerable weed monsters, I found a path made up of ledges and ladders that led into and across the ravine, up to the other half of the forest. It seemed like a roundabout way of getting over there, since taking the bridge was much easier and a more direct path. I was able to get a good glimpse at the hydra in the basin below. It was by a very wide margin the biggest creature I’d ever seen, and I didn’t have even the slightest motivation to get anywhere near the thing again.
At the other end of this unusual trail was a small clearing. Around it was slightly elevated ground, lined very neatly with trees. It looked almost like a cage created by nature. On the other side of the tree line, I saw a large shadow stalking about. I crept close enough to get a better glimpse, and saw that it was a huge feline. The beast’s fur was thick and spiny, and its wide, toothy jaw looked like something out of a nightmare.
I decided that it would be best to try to engage the big cat from a distance. I stood by the ladder leading into the ravine, ready to bail if the beast charged me, and took aim with my bow and arrow. My first shot hit its mark. The cat turned toward me and charged, but stopped at the tree line and started to slowly back away, never breaking its eye contact with me.
It repeated this pattern indefinitely, as if it was afraid to step down into the lower clearing. So I just shot it to death with arrows. Two more cats showed up, but they just did the same stupid thing and I shot them both to death as well. It took a long time, and well over 100 arrows, but I felled them all without breaking a sweat. It was weird, but I wasn’t going to look a gift horse in the mouth.
As a bonus, the cat monsters didn’t reappear when I rested at a bonfire, as most other monsters did. So I’ll never know what was going on with them, but that’s alright.
Fresh off of my victory against the cats, I pushed open the misty doors with confidence and waltzed through them with a swagger. Past them was another clearing, this one much bigger, and lined on all sides with slippery rock formations. In the very center was an absolutely massive tombstone, and an equally gigantic sword thrust into the ground in front of it.
I strode forward to check it out, but before I got too close a giant dog leapt out of nowhere, pulled the sword from the earth with its mouth, and then started swinging it at me. A huge dog, swordfighting me. And I thought that I’d seen it all.
The dog was not a great swordfighter though, and I felled him without too much trouble. And by trouble, I mean physical resistance from the dog. I really didn’t want to kill or even fight the oversized canine, as he was the most adorable thing I’d seen since I woke up in the Demon Asylum. In fact, he was the only thing I’d seen in Lordran that wasn’t some sort of hideous beast. So, yeah, I had some emotional resistance to stabbing him. I kinda just wanted to give him a big hug and scratch his tummy.
For my troubles, I was awarded a ring called the Covenant of Artorias. It didn’t seem overly useful at the time, and this was one trinket that I found no pride in having acquired.
Tune in next time for Part 26: Return to Anor Londo