Dark Souls 3: Ashes of Ariandel's Rope Bridge Cave bonfire will be your base of operations for areas we haven't yet explored. Each departs in vastly different directions, which may seem strange, but this is the ideal bonfire from which to launch your assault. It's also the closest bonfire to a hidden area.
Yeah, it's confusing. Here's how we'll approach them:
- Lady Friede and the Ariandel Chapel bonfire, which contains a non-playable character, an item and a bonfire.
- The field with the tower, which contains a bunch of tough enemies, weapons, souls and a way back to the Rope Bridge Cave bonfire.
- The Corvian Settlement bonfire, which is the next big area along the DLC's critical path.
- Dark Souls 3: Ashes of Ariandel's hidden area with an optional boss fight, which we cover in its on section.
Table of contents
Lady Friede and the Ariandel Chapel bonfire
From the Rope Bridge Cave bonfire, head straight out and cross the eponymous rope bridge. As you climb the path on the far side, you'll come across some more poor souls making a creepy pilgrimage to the top, but they won't attack you. (If you've played the original Dark Souls and visited its painted world, this will look eerily familiar.)
At the top of the path, you'll come to the Chapel doors. Take a moment to talk to the knight hanging around out front. Before you open the doors, head to the right of the Chapel to find a corpse with a Hollow Gem.
Go back to the front and push open the doors. Inside you'll see the Ariandel Chapel and Lady Friede. Light the bonfire and have a conversation with the Lady.
She'll give you the Chillbite Ring. It's not required, but putting it on right away will protect you against Frostbite. (Keep this in mind for later battles with tough enemies.)
When you turn around, you'll see a ladder that leads up to another room of the Chapel. There's some stuff to look at up there, but there's nothing to do yet, so exploring it is optional at the moment. Head back out of the chapel and back across the bridge.
From here, you can go three places:
- Back where the ledge collapsed earlier in the game, into a field with tough enemies and good loot.
- The next bonfire.
- The hidden bonfire.
We'll get to those in that order.
Getting to the field
If you choose to tackle the field and the tower — with their tough enemies and tantalizing loot — the Rope Bridge Cave bonfire is your best starting point. Your trip back to the hill and then down will allow you to catch many of your enemies unawares and grab some loot that you didn't get before.
Retracing your steps
From the Rope Bridge Cave bonfire, retrace the steps you took to get here, killing the two tree women on the hill back up.
Just before the crest of the hill are three more of those not-creepy-at-all giant fly monsters in a field of what appears to be eggs. Kill them and pillage a corpse there for the Frozen Weapon sorcery.
Before you crest the hill, kill the tree women guarding the top, and use any ranged weapons you have to kill the two wolves sleeping at the top of the hill. Then hug the right wall to kill the two wolves you first killed when ascending the hill.
Make your way back to the crest of the hill, where you'll find more tree women to lock onto and kill. Turn right at the crest and head toward the far side of the hill, where you'll find a tree woman guarding a corpse you can pillage for a Large Titanite Shard.
Back down the hill and the Greatwolf
The hill you're on is the same hill that ends with a cliff. If you've followed our guide, the last time you were were, you turned right at the cliff to take the path back to the Snowfield bonfire. This time, you're going left to the field with the tower.
On your way down, you'll run into more wolves. Stand and fight them where they attack you. You'll make things much worse if you run way. They won't forget you, and you've got something big coming up.
As you near the cliff, a Greatwolf will leap down from a ledge. (You only have to fight it once, so if you fought it before, you won't have to here.)
Your approach to the Greatwolf is the same as the small ones — keep moving, watch your stamina and only attack when there's an opening. Use the trees around you to put an obstacle between you and the wolf when you can.
At the cliff's edge, turn left and enter the field with the tower.
The field, the tower, the archers and the wolves
On your way here, you cleared the area behind you of enemies. The field in front of you has one visible enemy. But there are are more enemies than you can see, and if you get to close to the tower in the distance, an archer will make your life miserable. So we're going to divide this field into a few areas and take them on in sequence.
Clearing the field
As you travel under the overhanging rock on your way into the field, you'll see a tree. On its far side, pillage a corpse for a Large Soul of an Unknown Traveler, which is worth 1,000 souls.
Ahead of you, you'll see an open field, a lot of half-walls, a tower in the distance and, right in the middle of it all, a Millwood Knight, Ashes of Ariandel's most powerful regular enemy.
If you have ranged weapons, you can zoom in and get at least one hit on the knight when he's far away. He's carrying a shield, and as soon as he raises it, your ranged attacks will be worth significantly less.
Don't stray too far into the field, unless you want to deal with exploding arrows from an archer in the tower. (You don't.) If you need more room to fight, move back to where you entered the area. That's clear of enemies.
How kill Millwood Knights
If and when you're fighting a Millwood Knight in close proximity, your overriding priority should be to fight reactively. In short, don't attack until they attack.
The giant that you see in this text box carries a gigantic shield, and that'll block most of your attacks. Wack away, and you'll only drain your stamina and make yourself vulnerable. Millwood Knights pack several devastating attacks that they chain together in rapid succession. Then again, like just about every enemy in the Dark Souls series, even the most brutal attacks end with a period of vulnerability for the attacker. That's your opportunity to attack.
Counterintuitive as it may seem, let Millwood Knights attack you first. Block and keep as much distance as you can to avoid their attacks. Roll away if you can — or into their attacks, to take advantage of the brief period of invulnerability you have during your summersault. When they're done attacking, swing away and move behind for a backstab.
Defeat him, and you'll see that Millwood Knights tend to drop Titanite Shards.
After defeating the Millwood Knight, head to the first batch of half-walls to the left of where you entered the field. You'll see a tree. That is, in fact, tree woman enemy. Take her down from the safety of the two half-walls.
There are more Millwood Knights in the area, but these are paired with wolves, which present a new challenge. In short, when the wolf sees you, he'll chase you. Concentrate on killing the wolf first. Then you're only dealing with one enemy at a time, and the easiest will be dead.
In an outcropping on the opposite side of the field from where you defeated the tree woman, you'll see a Millwood Knight with a wolf. Use the half-walls for cover and head over there to finish the fight. When they're dead, pillage the corpse there for Homeward Bones.
There's also a Millwood Knight with what looks like a mace (it's actually a Quakestone Hammer) with his own wolf. That's a two-handed weapon, which means that your ranged attacks will be more effective, since he doesn't have a shield.
If you run into this duo on your way to the enemy just above, your strategy should be the same: Convince them to follow you back to where you came in. It's a safe, open area that gives you the benefit of mobility.
There's a third Millwood Knight with a Quakestone Hammer hiding behind some walls farther into the field, along the left wall. You may not even get his attention at this point, and that's fine. It's better to head to the tower first, so you can fight him later without a hail of arrows raining down on you.
Climbing the tower
With the Millwood Knights in the field out of the picture, it's time to head inside the tower that looms over the field. On the first floor, pillage a corpse for a Soul of a Weary Warrior, which is worth 5,000 souls.
You'll spend the next several minutes of your life split between climbing and fighting the two Millwood Knights inside the tower. When fighting, use your mobility to your advantage. If you're in trouble and there's a ladder nearby, climb it. Your enemies won't be able to follow. Also, if the bad guys fall down, you should continue exploring and save them for later.
Climb the ladder next to the corpse. As you climb, you'll see a Crystal Lizard. Don't worry about it for now. You'll get it on your way back down and collect a piece of Twinkling Titanite. Likewise with another corpse, which you'll pillage for an Ethereal Oak Shield. That's the shield that the Millwood Knights carry. Aside from offering 100 percent physical damage reduction, it also restores your health gradually. Browse the gallery above to make sure you didn't missing anything.
Make your way down, hopping between the staircases and rafters, collecting everything that you didn't snag on your way up. Now it's time to go see the archers.
The archers and their weapons
Two paths split off from the field. The one closest to where you came in leads to a dead end where two Millwood Knight archers and their wolf companion are waiting for you. Along the way, you'll face several tree women. It won't be easy, but at the end, you'll have a new weapon to show for it.
Begin between the half-walls where you killed the tree woman after entering the field. Exit through the arched doorway pictured above and turn left, heading up a hill. (If you walk straight to the next structure or even get too close, you'll find a Millwood Knight, but we'll save that fight until we're on our way back down.)
There are several tree women scattered around this area, so make sure you've got equipment that protects against fire damage. Their sheer numbers all but guarantee that their floating, burning leaves will be causing damage. The path you're on is shaped something like a upside-down V, and the best way to approach it is to eliminate the tree women as you go.
After you clear the area, then take the path around until you can spot the two Millwood Knight archers and their wolf. That's somewhat easier said than done, given all that trees that stand between you and the archers. One is standing to the left. The other one is on the right, and the wolf is laying at his feet.
There's no particularly easy way to do finish this fight. If you have ranged weapons, make sure you can fire or cast them quickly because one of the archers will nearly always be firing on you, and their arrow explode after landing. When you're under assault, retreat up the hill and use the trees as cover.
If you're fighting up close and personal, run in with your shield up, chip away at your chosen target's health, and then retreat back up the hill for cover and healing. Getting close will also convince the wolf to follow you. Take it down as soon as you can.
With the archers defeated, go back to where they stood, and you'll find a corpse to pillage. You'll receive the archers' weapon of choice, the Millwood Greatbow, and five arrows.
Retrace your steps to leave the area, and on your way back down, you'll come face-to-face with the Quakestone Hammer-wielding Millwood Knight. Remember: Since he doesn't have a shield, he's a great target for ranged weapons. Take him down, retreating back up to the safety of the hill you cleared if you need room. Return to where you found him, and pillage a corpse for a Heavy Gem.
The wolves, the loot and returning to the bonfire
The second path that leads out of the field is located just beyond the path that took you to the archers. It looks suspiciously empty. It won't be for long.
Start walking up, and another giant wolf will appear — as will a pack of wolves. It's bigger and meaner than the others, but the strategy you developed fighting wolves while you made your way here still applies. Wait to fight the smaller ones until they attack you, but focus your energy on the big one first. Use ranged weapons on the big wolf, since that one's less able to jump out of the way. Keep blocking, and counter attack when the wolves pounce.
After you've defeated the wolves, continue up the path until you find yourself at a ledge. Look for a safe place to jump down. Do that a couple more times, and you'll find a corpse to pillage. Do that and collect a Large Soul of an Unknown Traveler (1,000 souls).
Hop down again, and you'll find yourself in an alcove. Walk out, turn right, and you'll be just around the corner from the Chain Bridge Cave bonfire. Head there and rest up. It's time to head to the next bonfire.
To the Corvian Settlement bonfire
Head to the bridge, but instead of walking onto it, take the ladder to its left. Head to the left, back under the bridge, to find a path.
Watch above you on the cliff face for a couple more fly monsters guarding a corpse holding some Shriving Stones.
Turn around and follow the path back past the ladder. There's a Crystal Lizard just a little way down the path, but be careful attacking because that drop is a doozy. Kill it for a piece of Twinkling Titanite.
Right after the Crystal Lizard where the path opens up, there are two Followers waiting for you. If you kite them back to take them on one at a time, make sure you watch your footing.
On the far side of their clearing is a ledge. Drop off and fakie ollie nosegrab McTwist your way down the halfpipe. Or just slide down the hill on your boring old feet. At the bottom of the slide, head to the left to pick up a Large Soul of an Unknown Traveler (1,000 souls).
Head back to where you can overlook the low area with all the Corvian bodies. Keep to the left to work your way around the outside. Drop down off the ledge and keep going straight to pick up a few Budding Green Blossoms. Eat them, and you'll temporarily boost your stamina regeneration.
Drop into the low area. This will alert all the not-quite-dead Corvians laying around you, but they're mostly just set dressing. Take them out or ignore them as you see fit. Head through the door in front of you, turn right and get ready to fight.
A new enemy will drop from underneath the bridge in front of you. The only non-expletive-laden name we gave this oversized Corvian was Lady Deathstrike-Scissorhands-Wolverine. Dark Souls 3: Ashes of Ariandel calls it a Corvian Knight, and so will we for simplicity and accuracy.
These enemies are fast, have a long reach and deliver a flurry of deadly (and stamina-draining) strikes with their claws. If you can keep away from them, ranged attacks are great here. If you have to make it a close-quarters fight, exploit the Corvian Knights' weakness — they have low poise. A string of fast strikes will keep them off-balance and let you deal significant damage. Just make sure to get out of reach before you drain your stamina or it recovers its footing.
Once the Corvian Knight is dead, continue past the bridge. You'll find a corpse to loot for a Large Soul of an Unknown Traveler (1,000 souls). Just past that, there's a ladder along the wall to your right. Take the ladder up into the building above you. Inside, there's an Ember and a Corvian you can speak with.
Head outside and enter the building straight ahead and a little left of you to find the Corvian Settlement bonfire.