Dark Souls: Killer Forest

Previously on Dark Souls: Morgan explored a cavern filled with skeletons and whatnot, and discovered a very important item.

I climbed out from the twisting caverns of the Catacombs and shielded my eyes from the sunlight. It had been a while since I’d been above ground, and the brightness was a little distracting while I was fighting the skeletons between the cave’s mouth and Firelink Shrine’s bonfire.

At this point, I was rocking a pretty significant surplus of souls, so I sauntered back to Andre’s forge in the Undead Parish. I had the blacksmith upgrade a bit of my gear, and then purchased the outrageously expensive Crest of Artorias from him. I had no idea what horrors that crest kept locked away, but I felt like whatever it was couldn’t be any worse than Anor Londo.

Heading back to the massive set of doors in Darkroot Garden, I slotted the crest into the circular  indentation in the middle. The crest shone brightly and the doors opened on their own, revealing a vast forested area. I stepped in cautiously, and before I made it very far, I was accosted by ghostly wizard. He wasn’t like the malicious invaders that I had fought earlier, but he was no less fierce in his onslaught, tossing magical bolts at me like there was no tomorrow.

I defeated the wizard, at a great cost to my health, but as his figure faded from the world, another apparition jumped out from the trees. I had no choice but to run, and I quickly hobbled up the stairway and through the garden’s doors. I hung a quick right and hid in the shadow of the nearby wall, hoping to elude the spectre. But when I leaned against the wall, to my surprise, it simply vanished! Hiding behind this false wall was a most welcome bonfire. Now that I had a nearby rest stop, the woods ahead seemed that much less daunting.

Refreshing at the bonfire, I headed back to the forest. Straight ahead is where the ghosts lurked, and to the left was a cliff that dropped off into nothingness. I decided to see what was over to the right, hugging the wall to avoid and ghostly encounters. Unfortunately, that side of the forest is literally covered with weed-monsters. These guys are harmless if you’re fighting them one-on-one, but in a group of seven or more? Yeah, you’re boned. You Died.

I decided to take my chances with the ghosts again. I figured that at least I’d be able to take them on one at a time. I was wrong. I guess I walked a little too far into the trees, and two of the spooks flanked me on either side. I ran back to the doorway, and hid behind the staircase, hoping that they would lose track of me and go back to whatever they were doing before I showed up.

To my great surprise, both ghosts ran up the staircase and lept off the top, over my head, and into the abyss below. I stood there, dumbfounded, looking into the fog. After a few seconds, their souls floated up and added to my wallet.

That was a freebie.

There were a few more ghosts in the forest, and I decided that despite it being terribly unlikely, I’d try to have them run off the cliff again. And they did. Each and every one of them. I suppose that all of these guys died of massive head wounds.

Moving on, I came to the remains of a small tower that bridged a gorge between the two halves of the forest. Inside the rubble was a large cat-like monster. It noticed me before I walked in, but didn’t attack me. Instead, the creature talked to me. She warned me that the depths of the forest were a sacred place, and that I should turn around and leave. I stated that I had no intention of doing so, which made her quite cross with me. From that point onward, she refused to speak even a word to me.

At least she wasn’t trying to eat my flesh, I suppose.

The far side of the forest was comparatively peaceful. There were no ghosts, or weed monsters, or murderous statues or anything. There were a bunch of little mushroom-looking creatures running about in circles, but they didn’t appear to have any interest in me. I was cautious around them at first, but one came up behind me and simply brushed past me without so much as turning to look at me. Sure, why not?

But there was a darker side to these mushroom folk. In the center of this area was a small pond. In that pond were two much larger mushroom people. They were at least three times the size of the waist-high munchkins that toddled around endlessly. The big ones didn’t move at all. They simply stood watch over a treasure chest seated right in the middle of the pond. Obviously I went for the treasure, and even more obviously, the big mushroom guys didn’t like that much.

One mushroom-man stayed to protect their cache while the other began lumbering towards me. It slowly raised a fist, and I raised my shield to absorb the blow. When it connected, I was launched back several feet, and I’d taken a massive blow to my health. These mushroom-men were not fooling around. I got up and carefully engaged the mushroom. I swiftly evaded his next punch, but when I went to counterattack, he surprised me with a follow-up swing. You Died.

Tune in next week for Part 25: Throw Me a Frickin’ Bone

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