[WIP] Dark Souls 3: Kings and Vagabonds

Count Dorku

Renegade librarian
Validated User
The dark is generous, and it is patient, and it always wins...
- Matthew Stover, Revenge of the Sith novelization

PROLOGUE: AIN'T NO GRAVE

I have no name, but I remember fire.

Mirrah. The word seems...significant, somehow. It isn't my name, I know that, but...A land. I know that it is, or was, a land. Was it my home?

I was a knight. I remember a quest, a long journey...and I remember that I failed. I do not recall the goal of the quest, but I remember fire.

My memories, such as they are, are scattered and broken, and no matter how long I sit beside my grave and struggle to piece them together, I cannot . Am I from Mirrah, or was that a story I was told as a child?

I remember it now. It was a story. A cursed knight who wandered the land, seeking...something. She, too, met her end on her quest. I remember hearing it as a child...but I do not remember my mother.

I have no name, so I shall call myself "Wayfarer". It seems I am to make another journey - to learn the cause of this resurrection, if nothing else.

These notes will serve to anchor me, prevent me from forgetting anything more. I must leave this place, this grave; there are no more answers for me in this pit.


Spoiler: Show
Hello again, VGO, you may remember me from things like Letters from Hell or a bunch of Sentinels of the Multiverse stuff. I like doing LPs with a bit of a creative element, so this one is going to be the journal of Wayfarer, a knight, who gets his name from an old Gospel song, specifically the version performed in the Youtube series "No Evil".

I have been somewhat spoiled by a variety of things, so while I haven't played this before, I'm not going in blind. I apologise; I know that people value the experience of a blind playthrough; but I can only scrub tvtropes pages from my browser history, not my brain.

For technical specs, I'm playing this on PC with mouse and keyboard. It's at the upper end of what my cheap, crappy-ass laptop can handle, so don't expect super-rapid progress; I go by the rule that I quit out when my keyboard starts getting too warm, since my last laptop died to overheating.
 
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Count Dorku

Renegade librarian
Validated User
It appears that this region is known as the Cemetery of Ash, and it is home to strangely familiar foes: seemingly mindless, viciously aggressive dead men, capable of operating weapons but little else. I believe these were known as hollows, and although the source of this name is unknown to me, it seems apt: these creatures have nothing left but the need to kill.

My body has been broken multiple times, but it appears that the grave, having expelled me, refuses to accept me back: when a strange crystalline monster tore my flesh asunder, for example, I stood restored at the coffin, and since then I have found the bonfires – I recall their powers, perhaps from my last quest?

The gravest threat, however, was the warrior I engaged at the gateway after the first bonfire: a foe I have since learned was named Iudex Gundyr. His blade tasted my blood repeatedly, and when I thought he would surely fall, the strange pustules sprouting from his neck burst into monstrous life and gave him a new and terrifying aspect.

Once I had slain the monster, however, I gained entrance to a place of refuge, which I am told is the once-glorious Firelink Shrine. As it stands, it is a home to outcasts and the wounded: a blind Fire Keeper, a man with no legs, an elderly merchant, a skilled blacksmith and a man consumed by despair. The great thrones at its edge are of troubling aspect, however; I know not why, but a chill runs through my flesh when my hand brushes the script at one’s back.

I have learned, through interactions with those at the shrine, that my tongue is clumsy and shrivelled. I can make my wishes known, but it seems I am fated to be eloquent only in these notes. No matter; my blade speaks clearly, even if my tongue does not, and it seems I am required for my blade above all. Supposedly, the purpose of my return from the grave’s clutches is to hunt and slay the “Lords of Cinder” – warriors of fearsome mien and terrifying power. I may seem weak, but I have learned one truth in my time: any foe may be bested with patience and a keen will.


Spoiler: Show
I can go for about 10-15 minutes before the temperature starts to concern me, and I’m probably being over-cautious but better that than being out of pocket another thousand bucks, so I’m not moving the fastest, but I’m making progress.
 

Count Dorku

Renegade librarian
Validated User
“I suppose false hope is better than none.”
“Any hope is better than none. Always.”

- Sorin and Nahiri, Magic: the Gathering

PART ONE: NO GLORY

This is not a place of honour. No righteous dead walk here.

My journey has taken me to the High Wall of Lothric, a place of thronging hollows – some of them quite fearsome in battle. It shames me that I have fallen more often to a well-placed blow from a mortal halberd than to the monster that Gundyr became.

The High Wall is a torturous place, a warren of threats and terrors, a hive of monsters and men. There is a foe behind every corner, down every ladder and proceeding along every staircase. Fleshless dogs patrol the corridors, eager to launch a savage attack, while hollowed warriors wield their weapons with all the skill they used as men. Worse, some of the hollows within this domain are infested with the same twisted blight that corrupted Gundyr.

And, naturally, there is a dragon. Fortunately, the beast lacks any allegiance to the dead that walk here, and its flame has proven itself to be extremely valuable as a weapon, albeit one that I cannot control.

I am writing this entry at the second bonfire I have reached, as I brace myself for the next sequence of foes.

Spoiler: Show
Okay, so. A couple of notes so far.

1) I think playing Jotun a while back is kind of messing with me for this, because my brain wants me to think that left-click is normal attack, right-click is heavy attack. The actual command for a heavy attack is to hold shift while left-clicking, and right-click is to use the shield. This has led to a couple of beatings I would have preferred not to sustain. I’ll get it ingrained eventually. (In my defence, this game does not, without modding, tell you the keyboard commands at all.)

2) I have yet to kill the first Black Knight you meet in a fair fight. That said, Dark Souls is not a series about fair fights, so I feel no shame at luring him into the dragon’s fire to get a head start on his HP.
 

Montegris

Mostly lurking
Validated User
“I suppose false hope is better than none.”
“Any hope is better than none. Always.”

- Sorin and Nahiri, Magic: the Gathering

PART ONE: NO GLORY

This is not a place of honour. No righteous dead walk here.

My journey has taken me to the High Wall of Lothric, a place of thronging hollows – some of them quite fearsome in battle. It shames me that I have fallen more often to a well-placed blow from a mortal halberd than to the monster that Gundyr became.

The High Wall is a torturous place, a warren of threats and terrors, a hive of monsters and men. There is a foe behind every corner, down every ladder and proceeding along every staircase. Fleshless dogs patrol the corridors, eager to launch a savage attack, while hollowed warriors wield their weapons with all the skill they used as men. Worse, some of the hollows within this domain are infested with the same twisted blight that corrupted Gundyr.

And, naturally, there is a dragon. Fortunately, the beast lacks any allegiance to the dead that walk here, and its flame has proven itself to be extremely valuable as a weapon, albeit one that I cannot control.

I am writing this entry at the second bonfire I have reached, as I brace myself for the next sequence of foes.

Spoiler: Show
Okay, so. A couple of notes so far.

1) I think playing Jotun a while back is kind of messing with me for this, because my brain wants me to think that left-click is normal attack, right-click is heavy attack. The actual command for a heavy attack is to hold shift while left-clicking, and right-click is to use the shield. This has led to a couple of beatings I would have preferred not to sustain. I’ll get it ingrained eventually. (In my defence, this game does not, without modding, tell you the keyboard commands at all.)

2) I have yet to kill the first Black Knight you meet in a fair fight. That said, Dark Souls is not a series about fair fights, so I feel no shame at luring him into the dragon’s fire to get a head start on his HP.
Remap your keybinds now, and be happy forever. My usual setup is left click for light attack, right for strong, thumb button 1 for block, thumb 2 for parry.
 

Count Dorku

Renegade librarian
Validated User
Remap your keybinds now, and be happy forever. My usual setup is left click for light attack, right for strong, thumb button 1 for block, thumb 2 for parry.
Remapping the bindings is all well and good, but I own a cheap mouse that has no thumb buttons. I'll have a fiddle in the morning, see if I can get a setup I can work with more effectively.
 

Montegris

Mostly lurking
Validated User
Remapping the bindings is all well and good, but I own a cheap mouse that has no thumb buttons. I'll have a fiddle in the morning, see if I can get a setup I can work with more effectively.
In those cases, shift for block, tab for parry is a common way to place things.
 

Count Dorku

Renegade librarian
Validated User
I have come to the conclusion that discretion is the better part of valour. After one of the Gundyr-like horrors repeatedly proved beyond my capacity to defeat, I resolved to use another strategy, and simply sprinted past it. A similar strategy permitted me to escape some ferocious knights in the garden below a mighty castle.

Nobility in battle is all well and good, but even given my rejection from the grave, dismemberment is still an unpleasant experience.

Fortuitously, my explorations revealed a useful path – a simple elevator, previously barred to me, permitting me to travel more swiftly between the first bonfire and the castle gardens. Unfortunately, however, the exit from the castle gardens to the next stage of my travels is blocked by a ferocious beast, the so-called “watchdog” of the Boreal Valley, who is proving difficult to defeat. Still, the beast is only mortal, and with patience and determination it shall surely meet its end.

Spoiler: Show
I ended up just sticking with the default keys because I'm starting to get used to them now.
 

Count Dorku

Renegade librarian
Validated User
I have learned that after absorbing the power of an Ember, I gain considerable advantages: for example, my flesh becomes more durable and able to resist hostile strikes. By consuming one, and calling upon a spectral ally, I managed to best the damnable beast of the Boreal Valley, gaining access to the edge of the High Wall.

Upon besting the creature and holding aloft the banner I had been given, I was plucked from the wall by strange, gargoyle-like creatures, and deposited within what I believe to be a settlement of some form – although the corpse-choked, monster-haunted nature of it makes me wonder if “abattoir” might not be a better name. Ruthless arcanists, frenzied hollows and towering killers patrol the region, and worse, even the vegetation appears hostile – there is a fearsome tree, twisted by malign curses, that strikes at those who draw too near.

I have encountered several allies within the Settlement, however: a strange pilgrim, a gifted pyromancer, and a strangely clad knight whose foolish demeanour belies his prowess in battle. Even a mighty giant, whose greatbow bombardments proved troublesome, has proven amenable to reason; he has offered to spare me from serving as a target for his archery in future.

I have taken some steps to reduce the malignity of the region, at least a little: I have fought alongside the knight, whose name is Siegward, to bring down a mighty demon, and bested another of the beasts of the Boreal Valley – although this one, smaller and faster than Vordt, succumbed not to any blade but to an exercise of cunning, and was lured into a pit. Much like Vordt, the beast was guarding passage to another region, but I think I shall linger here a time: there are still many parts of the Settlement I have yet to truly explore, and I should like to have time to train my blade…and possibly bring down that accursed tree.
 
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