PREPARE TO DIE LESS
Your journey through Lothric doesn't end here. Be sure to check out the rest of Polygon's Dark Souls 3 guide , which offers everything from tips for beginners and returning masochists to detailed walkthroughs of every area — including all of the secret, bonus content.
The goal here is to extinguish three flaming bowls in three elevated sections. Much of the map is a poison swamp that slows your movement unless you roll. There are many enemies, but none more potentially deadly than Basilisks, which release cursing gas. Get cursed, and you'll die immediately.
Table of contents
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How to get there
Warp to the Crucifixion Woods bonfire in the Road of Sacrifices. Drop down to the swamp and head for the center of the keep. You will encounter a pair of stout, dual-wielding Unkindled at a staircase (assume you haven't already done so when first exploring Road of Sacrifices). After defeating them, head into the building and down the ladder. You'll find Farron Keep's first bonfire there.
Farron Keep bonfire
As you leave the bonfire area, make a right and move forward until you reach an ascending ramp leading to a raised hill. Note that there is also a Purple Moss Clump just outside the bonfire wall if you make a right. There's also a Ragged Mask outside the bonfire wall if you make a left. To the right of that is a Titanite Shard. You can also grab an Iron Flesh nearby, which is to your right as you approach the ramp on the critical path. If you go past the ramp slightly, you'll find a couple of Titanite Shards.
Enemies in your immediate area include Rotten Slugs, Ghrus, and Elder Ghrus. Rotten Slugs shouldn't pose much of a challenge, especially if you're equipped with a weapon capable of sweeping attacks. They're only a hassle because they're well camouflaged in the dark swamp surface. Ghrus behave like standard melee foes; study their combos to figure out brief moments of opportunity. The mad variant of the Ghrus are the ones you should watch for. Even though they don't have traditional weapons, they are incredibly effective with high pounce attacks, so approach with caution. The Elder Ghrus look like lumbering beasts, but they can actually cover a large area in a short span of time. They're more slower in actual combat so flank them as often as you can.
You'll find the first bowl at the top of the raised hill. The top of the structure has two Homeward Bones. After you've extinguished the flame, head back down the ramp.
If you leave hill using the other ramp, make a right and head for the keep wall. Grab the Large Soul of a Nameless Soldier.
To go back on the critical path, leave the structure from where you came from and head straight until the Farron Keep bonfire is on your left by 90 degrees. Make a right, pass the small sunken tower and go up the curved stone ramp to find the second bowl.
There's also a Soul on top of the submerged bridge along the way, as well as an Estus Shard by the sunken tower. You should also spot a Soul close to the stone ramp as well as two more Souls and a Stone Parma to your left.
When you've reached the top of the raised hill, extinguish the flame. While still on top of the structure, grab the Soul nearby. Go past the stone arch, hang a left and go down the ramp.
Looking slightly left, follow the two campfires to the last elevated structure. There are two more Souls along the way and a Greatsword at the submerged bridge on your right.
If you make a U-turn left, you can grab some Sage's Coal in a tower as well as gain experience fighting a Darkwraith.
A mad Ghru will be blocking your way up the ramp as you stick to the critical path. Grab the Titanite Shard near the Ghru. There are also a few Ghrus at the top of the raised hill. After extinguishing the last flame, grab the Purple Moss Clump and head down the path to the left of the bowl to light the Keep Ruins bonfire. There are three Ghrus blocking your way. Due to their proximity to the bonfire, this makes for a useful level farming spot up to about level 40.
From here, you have choice to make. If you want to stay on the critical path that leads you to the boss, hop down to the Keep Ruins bonfire section. If you're up for exploring, keep reading to learn about an optional area that includes a covenant, an optional boss and hidden path to a ton of loot.
Old Wolf of Farron bonfire
Leave the Keep Ruins bonfire and head down the ramp, away from the enemies on the bridge next to the bonfire. There's a Titanite Shard to your left. At the bottom of the ramp, turn right and head toward the wall in the distance. Around the corner, you'll find three slugs gathered around a ladder. Kill them and climb the ladder to find the Wolf of Farron bonfire. Light and rest up.
Watchdogs of Farron covenant
Approach the giant wolf next to the bonfire, and you can join the Watchdogs of Farron covenant. Its members automatically invade the worlds of kindled players passing through the poisonous marshes.
All about covenants
Convenants got your down? Or confused? Or maybe you just want to know more? We've got you covered in our guide to Dark Souls 3 covenants.
The illusory wall
On the wall opposite the Old Wolf of Farron, you'll see a corpse with a glowing item dangling on a ledge. Exit the room through the same door you entered, turn left and follow the path around the building. Take a staircase up, and you'll find yourself level with the corpose you just saw. Hack away at the illusory wall on your left, and pillage the corpse for the Dreamchaser's Ashes, which you can give to the Shrine handmaid in Firelink Shrine.
The Stray Demon boss fight
Back in the room with the Old Wolf, take the elevator up and prepare for a fight with the Stray Demon, an optional boss. He's huge, and he's a monster, but if you time your rolls right, you can roll right into (and therefore through) many of his attacks.
If you've have ranged weapons, they come in particularly handy against this boss, because they allow you to stay far away from his giant club.
Either way you fight the Stray Demon, stay away from it unless and until it's time to strike. Then get in, swing away and get the heck out of there.
Defeat the Stray Demon, and you'll earn 5,000 souls and the Soul of a Stray Demon. Give the latter to Ludleth of Courland in Firelink Shrine to create Havel's Ring, which boosts your equip load, or Boulder Heave, a pyromancy that, well, lets you puke boulders.
Don't return to where you came from just yet. There's a hidden area where you can grab more items just on the other side of the bridge.
The hidden area
Head back as if you were going back down the stairs and the elevator, but instead walk off a broken patch of railing that abuts the tower. Follow that around, and you'll find a hidden area filled with goodies (and a few enemies).
When you arrive on the far side of the bridge, you'll see a Crystal Lizard in the distance, as well as some souls to pillage. There's also a Crystal Lizard on the path you'll take out of here, to your left if you're facing the dragon at the end of the bridge.
Kill the crystal lizards for large titanite shard and twinkling titanite. (If one escapes, you can return and resume you hunt after you rest the world at a bonfire.) You can also pick up Lightning Spear near the dragon corpse, which as you may have guessed allows you to throw a spear of lightning (provided you have 20 Faith). On another corpse, you'll find the Dragon Crest Shield, which has great resistance against fire damage.
When you've pillaged all there is to pillage, head away from the dragon hugging the right wall, where you'll find a path that leads up toward the top of the gate in the middle of the bridge. Keep your guard up, because there are a handful of easy enemies to defeat, most of whom are pretending to sleep. There's also a Crystal Lizard on the path up and out of here. Kill it for a Heavy Gem.
Keep Ruins bonfire
There's another tower that's closer to the large entrance with the double doors with the three flames. Enter the tower for some easy kills against a bunch of Rotten Slugs. It's worth a visit since it also has an Undead Bone Shard.
Head past the large double doors to continue along the critical path. Take the path on the right, take on the Corvian and the Corvian Storyteller, and grab the Shivering Stone. When you've reached the top, prepare to take on two Darkwraiths. They behave similarly as the two Unkindled that blocked your way to the Farron Keep bonfire, just a bit quicker and with longer reach. They also serve as an adequate overture before the next boss fight. After you've defeated them, make an extreme right, almost a U-turn. Head through the arched doorway and down the hall to find another bonfire.
Farron Keep Perimeter bonfire
While here, head to the other end to create a shortcut with the Road of Sacrifices. Take on the mature Crystal Lizard (who will drop a Titanite Scale) and the Ghrus along the way.
There is also a hole in the wall that will lead you back to the poison swamp. This path includes an Atonement spell and a Hollow Gem.
To head back on the critical path, leave the Farron Keep Perimeter bonfire from where you came from and head for the temple in the distance, dealing with the several Ghrus along the way. There is also an Ember, a Soul and a Black Bug Pellet in this area. Head into the temple for trigger the next boss fight.
Short version: Defense comes first.
Tactics (first phase): There are two opportunities to bait the main Abyss Watcher during this first phase. The first chance is during the start of the fight. There's a good chance the boss will dash-attack toward you. Shift sideways to dodge the attack and use that opening to deal up to four hits. The next baiting opportunity involves the secondary Abyss Watchers who will join the fight shortly. The twist is that they don't have any allegiance to the boss; they just want to kill. When things start to get crowded, run away from the free-for-all. There's always a chance that the lesser Abyss Watchers will take off a substantial amount of health from the boss. When focusing on the boss yourself, simply stay away from its frontal attacks with either forward rolls or rolls to the sides.
Tactics (second phase): The good news about the second phase is that it's a one-on-one battle. The bad news is that the boss is now fire enhanced. All its flashy flame attacks aren't as lethal as they look. Again, avoid frontal attacks. If not, block them and watch your health. The room is large enough that you can create distance to heal and reinforce gear. Fundamentally, the Abyss Watcher is a more aggressive version of Iudex Gundyr. The upside is that its aggressiveness leaves it open to your attacks.
Abyss Watchers bonfire
Head to the altar to open the passage to the next area along the critical path, the Catacombs of Carthus. Be sure to also pick up the Twinkling Dragon Head Stone near the bonfire.