Start a new game, adjust the gamma, and create your character to get started. At the end of the opening cinematic, you will appear in a short tutorial area where Bataran is telling the basic game story to you and Jokell, your AI companion.
Run forward and you can interact with a Traveler NPC. As you continue forward you will be given some gameplay basics and you will see the first scavengable item on a skeleton on your left indicated by the white glowing symbol that you will come to find in hundreds of places throughout the world. Pick up this item- a Broken Bone Hatchet that I found to be worse than the starting Spiked Club (less damage but a chance for critical damage). Feel free to experiment with different weapons as you find them. Head towards the item on the right and you will be instructed to use
for a light attack (you can lock onto enemies by pressing
). Kill this enemy and pick up the Plank Shield.
I found blocking in this game to be nowhere near as effective as it is in Dark Souls so I will use a one hand weapon only until I get a two-handed weapon. Feel free to experiment and find what best suits your playstyle.
Continue onto a sloped stone path and you will be prompted to jump over the gap (run with and press to jump). If you look down from the edge you can see an item below so jump across, hop off the stone structure, and go left to find a stream. Follow it around and down to find an item called White Sapote. This is a single-use item that restores 30 health. After picking it up, open your inventory and move it to a consumable slot (toggled in-game with , used with ). Continue along to the bottom of the area below towards the item. On the way, you should see brown rabbit-like animals (Rafets) scurrying around. You cannot lock onto them and they are not hostile. Kill one to unlock an achievement:
If they all manage to get away there will be plenty more in later areas. There are also two other non-hostile animals that you need to kill for associated achievements- a blue bird (Squork) and a shaggy brown deer (Deer, creatively enough) that can be found further in the game. These animals generally drop consumables when killed and Rafets in the area may have run into the stream and drown, possibly dropping an item that you can walk into the stream to get.
Collect the final item at the end of the path- an Apple Cricket consumable that improves stamina regeneration for 30 seconds. You will also see a sitting statue with a red glow- these will be used later in the game via a learned ability. Head back up to the previous area and continue along the path past two more Travelers to your current objective marked with a gold indicator- your AI friend at the end of the path. Approach him to trigger another scene after which you will awaken in a watery cave. Pick up the White Sapiote behind the pillar on the right and exit the cave. Bataran will give you some info and set the stage for your first Journey (quest).
You can now open the Journeys and Map menu with . Do so to see that Jokell has run ahead and become your current objective, marked with a gold indicator. Run down the path and interact with him to advance the journey. You must now collect Bataran's Hammer and Spark, which are indicated on your map.
Enter the cave on the left to find a stack of Bone Spears and equip them
(you can toggle through weapons with
and aim/throw spears with
), then head out and over to Jokell. Ahead you will encounter your first enemies. Try to fight them individually by baiting their attacks, then counterattacking and always try to let your AI partner be the tank to keep the enemy focus off of you. Just don't let him get overwhelmed as he will get killed- try to find a good balance of letting him tank and then pulling enemy focus while you attack. Getting on opposite sides of an enemy is always advantageous as they can only focus on one of you. A good basic combat strategy is to run in, attack a few times, then evade backward to get away from counterattacks.
After going up some steps you will see an enemy sitting down on a large rocky structure to the right. Head up to kill him, then the other enemy that should come after you. Continue forward but beware a spear throwing enemy on top of a stone structure ahead and somewhat to the right.
You can throw a spear at him to kill him before he even sees you. To the left of the large stone structure is the inactive Relic Stone (the thing we're fixing as part of the current journey) and visible behind that is an item that you want to get- a two-handed Broken Iron Club
. I equip this immediately and use it moving forward as I much prefer the range and arc of two hand weapons as well as the running
attack which I almost always use to initiate any sort of battle.
Kill the nearby enemy and continue towards the objective by the V in Vagrant's rest on your map (through the stone structure where the spear enemy was) to encounter a strong enemy wielding Bataran's Hammer. There may be a weaker enemy nearby that you want to kill first, then focus on the stronger enemy. Allow Jokell to tank him and use the range of the Iron Club to your advantage. Heavy attacks can stagger the enemy and charged heavy attacks will knock him down. After killing him you will receive Bataran's Hammer, which is visible in your inventory menu under the Artifacts tab (artifacts are quest items).
Get on top of the nearby stone structure (where the spear guy was earlier) and you will find an opening that you can drop into to find a Black Ashen Feather which gives a slight health increase. I'll do my best to point out Ashen Feathers throughout the guide. You now want to head towards the remaining objective by going through the visible path above the R in Rest on your map. You'll have to jump/climb up some rocks to get to the upper area and fight several enemies as you make your way to the objective marker. A nearby cave has a spider enemy that can prove challenging and a stack of Bone Spears inside. Two enemies will ambush you from behind the huts near the objective marker. Pick up the marked quest item (Bataran's Spark) when it's safe.
Go behind the rock along the river to the right to find a small scoria stash, then head to your quest marker and interact with Bataran. Always give the associated item in these situations with the option. You will then be prompted to interact with the Ritual Stone, which will trigger a scene, complete a journey, and unlock an achievement:
The Ritual Stone is much like a bonfire in Dark Souls. You can sit down at it to restore health (and reset enemies) but you can also just get close to heal without resetting things.
Both Bataran and Jokell will have indicators over them, so interact with both to receive new Journeys. Bataran's is a main journey and Jokell's is a side journey, so we will work on Jokell's first.
Head towards the objective marker in the southern area by going through a stone building
, down some ladders, and through a square stone arch. To your right you will see an item on a pillar in the river- it's possible to climb on the wall and carefully jump across to get it, but you can die if you fall in the water. This consumable item is a Craven Remnant
and returns you to the Vagrant's Rest Ritual Stone when used- basically a Homeward Bone from Dark Souls.
Head back to shore and upon getting the notification that you have entered Wandering Lake, Jokell should join you. You'll see a sloped stone bridge to your right with a lone enemy- feel free to run out and carefully engage him. Then head over to the stone structure with the objective marker, fighting through some enemies on the way. When you approach the marker on the wall you will be prompted to press to propose an assisted climb- do so and Jokell will help you climb to the ledge above.
Pick up Aho's Lockbox, then head south along the marked path on your map. Fight off a few enemies and you will see an item on a skeleton several feet up in a stone structure
. Climb up to get the Cleaving Axe, which is the weapon I use for the remainder of the game. Just ahead through an arch you can see Bataran and behind him is a path to a Kite Shield, so feel free to grab that before heading back to the objective marker in Vagrant's Rest if you'd like. Before climbing the ladder that takes you back up to Vagrant's Rest, loot a small scoria stash inside the building.
Interact with Jokell (again, always give the associated item to advance or complete the journey) to get a health increase and receive the Crimson Gourd.
This multi-use item is essentially the Estus Flask from Dark Souls and is a refillable healing source, unlike White Sapotes which are in limited supply. By default, it restores 75 health per use and has three uses (swigs). Going near or resting at a Ritual Stone will heal you and refill the Crimson Gourd.
Interact with Jokell's Workbench where you have the ability to spend Scoria to increase the number of swigs that your gourd can carry, which we will do over time to eventually get to 8 swigs. Then talk to Jokell again to receive a new journey.
Head again through the path in the northeast of Vagrant's Rest that leads towards the objective marker in Placid Stream. You need to get to the thin path to the right of the objective marker where you will meet Vorsa
. Interact with her to receive a new journey in an area to the south
. For now, follow the path north and circle through the northern part of Placid Stream to find some items and kill some enemies, then make your way back to Vagrant's Rest to heal and to talk to Jokell, who is marked with a quest indicator. This completes a journey which gives a health upgrade and crafting upgrade that we can't use yet. Talk to him again to receive another new journey in an area to the south
If you look at the map there is a section to the upper left of the "P" in Placid Stream that contains a cave with a Corb, a crab-like enemy. Killing this Corb unlocks an achievement:
There's no rush to do this immediately but it shouldn't be too bad with Jokell's help. As you leave Vagrant's Rest and get the Placid Stream notification, Jokell should join you, but I had issues with getting his help. Try running around the area briefly and hopefully he will appear to help. There's no immediate rush to do this so if you struggle with the Corb, feel free to come back when you are stronger. The cave also contains a White Ashen Feather which gives a slight stamina increase.
Rest again at the Ritual Stone and then head towards the objective marker on the left side of the map for Bataran's journey. You'll want to go over the large slanted stone bridge to get to the other side of the river. Make sure Jokell is with you before dropping off, which I suggest doing close to the river as there are enemies under the end of the bridge. Kill them, then look ahead to see an item on the ground with some blue birds around it. Throw a spear at one of the birds and if you hit it, an achievement will unlock:
If you miss, don't worry as these birds are everywhere- just keep your eyes peeled and try again when you see more. This area also contains shaggy brown deer and if you can kill one (it might be easier to use a spear than to chase one down), an achievement will unlock:
Like with Rafet and Squork, these deer are found throughout the game so don't worry about not seeing one here now. Head to the southern part of this area to find a Ritual Stone to heal and refill.
You can make a running jump to get an item on a nearby outcropping, get another item in the river itself on a grassy path that you can walk on, and a third item on some rocks along the river at the far north section before interacting with Bataran at the objective marker (if you venture to the right of Bataran you can kill a few enemies and find a couple of items). Bataran will give you a lantern
that can be toggled with
and held along with a one hand weapon. This next area has some dark sections so you will likely need to use the lantern and a one hand weapon, although Jokell's lantern may provide sufficient light. Approach the large door and interact with one side, causing Jokell to interact with the other side and open the way forward.
Head inside and you will see a shadowy apparition run forward. Follow her to the end and the path splits. To the left is a spider enemy guarding a Speckled Mushroom. This consumable restores 60 health over 10 seconds. Go back the opposite way but be careful as after a small doorlike opening, a spider on the ceiling will ambush you as you walk forward. Kill the two spiders and continue into the next room. On the left is a well that you can interact with to refill your health and gourd. Continue forward and the apparition will interact with the wall before disappearing. Drop into the hole at the end of the path and pick up the item on the ground to start the first boss battle.
BOSS: Dark Elder Ukkoto
The area is dark and Ukkoto is black and stealthy. It's up to you whether you want to use a one hand weapon with the lantern to help illuminate the area or just deal with the limited lighting and Jokell's added illumination. Avoid Ukkoto's lunges and attack him when you can and he will eventually start to emit smoke for several seconds until he explodes, dealing a burst of damage. He will also try to run away and hide in a hole in the wall, and if he does you can flush him out by shining light on him.
Defeat Ukkoto to unlock an achievement:
Defeat the Elder Dark Ukkoto.
You can use the nearby well to heal and refill (during the battle, if needed), then interact with a door with lines of light and it will open, allowing you to progress. At the end of the corridor, you'll get knocked down as an enormous creature slithers away, revealing a large opening with a path that leads to the objective marker. Interact with Amara, say Yes, and Gefn will appear and advance the main journey.
Head back towards where you came from and take the left path to a Craven Remnant, then go back the opposite way. The path splits and you will encounter two more spider enemies. Take the right path to find an armor upgrade
, then backtrack slightly and take a ladder up to then work your way along a linear path and out of the dungeon (there's a refill well near the dungeon exit). Once outside, you can cross the river either by jumping across the rocks on the far left side or by using the grassy section that extends most of the way across (you could also use a Craven Remnant). Once back in Vagrant's Rest you will notice some construction progress as the village is being expanded. Climb up the wooden structure near Bataran to get a Craven Remnant, then interact with Bataran to advance the journey and unlock weapon crafting. Interact with the nearby forge to see weapon upgrade options.
I spent 500 scoria to upgrade my Cleaving Axe from Broken to Repaired. Then speak to Amara to advance her journey, unlocking talisman and relic crafting. You can now interact with her bench to see available talismans
You can equip up to four talismans. It costs 1000 scoria to equip one and if you unequip it, be aware that you have to pay 1000 if you decide that you want to equip it again. You can tab over to see relics which cost 10,000(!) scoria to equip. Relics give much larger benefits than talismans and you want to equip Ukkoto's Guile when you have enough scoria as it provides a nice damage bonus. Save your scoria for now and talk to Amara again to advance her journey.
Before heading to the objective marker, go to Jokell's bench and buy another gourd swig for 1600 scoria (use small scoria stashes for 250 each if you need to).
Note that the village will continue growing and you will eventually get access to a stash, but in the meantime, your inventory will fill up. Throw away low tier weapons and shields to make room if needed. There is no reason that you will need any of the weapons you currently have aside from the Cleaving Axe and whatever one hander you prefer (the starting Spiked Club or Spiked Cudgel are probably the best options).
Take the central lower path from Vagrant's Rest into Wandering lake to make your way to the objective. Beware as there are a few enemies around tot he left of the large stone structure on the left side. Fight through a few more enemies as you approach the objective and pick up the Pot of Glue, then take it back to Amara in Vagrant's Rest. Then talk to Bataran to advance his journey.
All three potential objectives are in the unexplored southern area, so it's time to head down there by following the brown path that goes through the "W" in Wandering Lake. You'll go through a stone structure that leads to a ledge with a slope down into the next area.
Sliding down into the Eye of the Needle will update your map. A tougher enemy will likely attack as you slide down. This enemy is much more mobile than earlier enemies so engage him with care. You can see the Relic Stone straight ahead in the distance so run to it first to save and refill.
Head down and to the left towards Vorsa and Jokell's objectives. As you enter the large open area you will be attacked by wild dog enemies called Einar. Kill three to receive an Einar Head which can then be brought to Vorsa. Continue exploring the Eye of the Needle area as you make your way towards Jokell's objective. This is a large area with numerous enemies and climbable stone structures and there are lots of items scattered about. There are several enemies guarding Vann's Notebook at Jokell's objective, so carefully fight your way to it.
Once you have it, you have a couple of options: you can return to Vagrant's Rest (walk back or use a Craven Remnant) to advance Jokkel and Vorsa's journeys or just head back to the Ritual Stone to heal and refill and then continue to Bataran's objective
before returning to Vagrant's Rest.
You can cross the river at the grassy section up and to the left of the Ritual Stone or at the southernmost point across some stone structures into an area called the Outpost. There is a cave to the north with several enemies and items but be careful if you choose to explore through it as you must drop down to progress and cannot simply reverse direction to exit. At one point you drop into a large, watery area and must fight two spiders and a Corb at once. You must then fight through a few more spiders and another Corb as you climb out. Likely not worth the risk or hassle for the items you find (a few scoria stashes and a one hand weapon) unless you're after a challenge or just full exploration.
You can also explore around the perimeter of this area but the objective is Eila who can be found in the central stone structure. Talk to her to begin her journey with objectives in the area to the south.
I had explored to the south of this area and revealed the next area on my map. Feel free to climb this large structure to reach a few items before returning to Vagrant's Rest to advance other journeys.
You will see that the village is being built up even more. Interact with Jokkel, Bataran, and Vorsa to advance their journeys and get rewards. Vorsa's bench will become available for crafting spears. And your stash will finally be available.
Feel free to store all the items/weapons that you aren't using to make room for more stuff. At this point, I had about 6,000 scoria and dozens of scoria stashes, so I spent 4,500 on a Cleaving Axe upgrade
(taking it from Repaired to Forged) and then used some scoria stashes to buy an additional Crimson Gourd swig for 2,700 (taking me to 5). I could equip a talisman or two for 1,000 per but there is such little benefit from what's available that I didn't bother.
Vorsa and Eila's journey objectives are in the next area south called Sindre's View while Bataran and Jokell's journeys are an additional area further, so those will have to wait. Before leaving, climb up the construction ramp near the talisman bench and follow the path to drop into a building with a White Ashen Feather which gives a slight stamina increase. Then head south out of Vagrant's Rest and follow the brown path between Eye of the Needle and the Outpost to the diamond marker that leads into the next area. You'll reach a bridged structure that leads to an opening in the wall.
Go through and into Sindre's View, a huge area under a snowstorm with a Relic Stone just off to the right.
Facing the Relic Stone, go to the right, down some steps, and along a cliffside path. There will be a dark opening on your left, go inside and use your lantern so you can see. You will be ambushed by two spiders so carefully dispatch them and get the Black Ashen Feather for a slight health increase. Continue forward and back outside, then head along the wall towards Eila's objective south of your location. Progress carefully through this area as enemies are considerably more dangerous and numerous.
You'll reach a point along the wall where you must slide down a ramp to move forward. Be careful with the enemies at the bottom- try not to stir up too many at once. Keep to the right and continue forward until you see an opening with four glowing red statues and a bonfire.
Proceed down this path and you'll see several pillars with an item on top of one that you must use an assisted climb to reach. This item is an armor piece that has slightly better damage reduction and slightly more stamina penalty- it's up to you whether or not you want to use but I imagine the difference is minor (I'm hard-pressed to believe an armor found further in the game is strictly worse, though). Continue forward and two enemies will come out from behind the next set of pillars. Follow the path up some steps and around and it will split- to the left you can see an item in a window and to the right down a path is the objective. Head to the objective and pick up the Heartbone Rod
, then go back the other way to the window with the item. Propose an assisted climb to reach the ledge above. When you drop into the area ahead you will be attacked by a few enemies, so be careful. Follow the path forward and you'll have to jump across a gap. Kill the three enemies on the other side and continue along. Follow the path, jump across another gap, and you'll see a doorway that leads to a somewhat open platform where you'll have to fight several enemies at once. After killing them all, take the steps up to the top outside platform and an achievement will unlock
Take the Grit talisman from the nearby skeleton and then loot the items on the previous level (where you fought all the enemies). Follow the path around to the right to drop down to a platform with a White Ashen Feather which grants a slight stamina increase. To exit, slide all the way to the bottom but beware as enemies have likely respawned. I was out of gourd swigs so I instead quit the game through the menus and continued from the Relic Stone.
From here, make your way to the two objectives down and to the left. You can explore and go around the large structures to the right, but be careful as there are numerous dangerous enemies. Defeat a Corb to acquire Corb Bile, Vorsa's Objective. For Eila's second objective you must make your way into a large stone building that contains a few enemies and Einars. A small set of steps will lead into the next area which contains the objective and you will see a shade enemy with glowing red eyes within. He will teleport away as you get close and you will see him standing over the objective in the middle of the area. These enemies are very dangerous- they will do a fast charged attack and pin you, dealing damage in increments. If this happens to Jokell, quickly knock the enemy off before it kills him. They will also emit red smoke for about two seconds before exploding, dealing damage in a radius around them. Carefully kill the enemy and collect the Seeing Stone, then a new objective will appear at the lower central part of the area. There is a Relic Shrine near this objective and no enemies between so head in that direction.
Save and refill at the Relic Stone and talk to Eila at the objective. A short scene will occur and an opening will appear in the wall. Head in towards Eila's new objective. Carefully fight through several enemies in the open area within, then exit through the doorway in the back left corner. Clear out some more enemies along the path and drop down to the white snowy floor. After clearing enemies and looting items to the left and right, look ahead to see a lone figure below in an area with glowing yellow trails. This is the second boss so go back and approach the Relic Shrine (do not sit down) to refill and heal, then return and drop in to start the battle (be sure Jokell is with you).
Garoran will slam his weapon into the ground which creates an explosion and summons several slow-moving skeletons. He will also do several variations of melee attack and you need to balance avoiding his attacks, damaging him, and killing minions as to not get overwhelmed.
Defeat Garoran to unlock an achievement:
You'll also receive the Runic Axe as a reward, which does slightly more base damage than the Cleaving Axe but with 10% less crit chance. They have nearly identical movesets and I don't see one being strictly better than the other so I chose to stick with the Cleaving Axe as it has an additional upgrade already. Search the area for loot and head to the objective, which is a Relic Stone outside the arena. You will get the notification that fast travel is unlocked as you approach it. Hooray! Sit at the stone and fast travel to Vagrant's Rest. The village continues to grow. Interact with Amara and then Eila (on the outskirts) to advance journeys and receive upgrades. Interact with Eila's bench where you can upgrade Crimson Gourd potency (I upgraded once for now), then talk to Eila again for journey advancement.
I had 15k scoria so I used several small scoria stashes and bought two swig upgrades for 5750 and 11750, respectively (for a total of 7). In hindsight, it probably would have been better to equip Ukkato's relic for 10,000 as it provides a damage boost rather than getting the 7th gourd swig. I needed a crafting material that I hadn't found yet to upgrade my weapon further.
All of the new journeys are in an unexplored area to the south, so fast travel back to Listener's Ridge. From the Ritual Stone, slide down into the next area and the map will be revealed. The wall to the right is too tall to get past so we need to head around to the left with the goal of reaching Vorsa's objective.
Several enemies will engage you as soon as you enter the clearing ahead, including on particularly strong fellow. Clear them out and continue along the brown path. You need to circle around and take the path that leads to the bottom of the yellow objective area. Watch out for a large enemy on a ledge above that will jump down onto you when you get close. As the path bends to the right you'll encounter some purple glowing Einars. You can go under a slanted stone to reach the small lake and use a ledge to jump across to get to the objective (where you have to kill a large dangerous Einar) but your follower likely won't jump across with you so I suggest not going about it in this manner. Instead, backtrack and follow the path around as described previously. NOTE: the area to in the upper right contains a twin mini-boss encounter that you are given as an objective later. You could probably kill them now and unlock the Double Trouble achievement but I chose to wait for it to be given as part of a journey.
As you get down towards the word REACH on the map a huge Diasora will fly over you and land on a structure in the distance. If you take a brief detour to the left you'll see an item out on a ledge and immediately behind that is a cave. A spider is waiting to ambush you above the item in the cave path so be careful. There are several more spiders in here along with an Ashen White Feather on the ledge above. Exit the cave and head towards the objective. The actual brown path will head down a slope towards a large stone structure but we aren't ready to go that way quite yet. You'll notice a glowing Einor chasing several deer around a large open area and you want to head up the path to the right. You may notice a tall pillar with an item on top- we can't reach it just yet. Continue down the path and be prepared to fight several glowing Einar and a large black Einar that is considerably stronger than the others. Defeat it to obtain the Hound's Tail objective item. There's a Black Ashen Feather in the back corner of this area, so grab it before heading towards Eila's objective marker (you will not be where the player indicator is on the linked image).
You'll take a narrow stone bridge over a stream as you progress and will soon encounter a slew of enemies of various strengths. Try not to pull too many at once and carefully make your way past them and towards the objective. It appears that Bataran's objective is nearby as well but it is actually down in the area below so we cannot access it from here. You'll see an item at the base of a stone rise- Insurgent Armor. It provides better defense but has a slightly increased stamina penalty, so I didn't equip it. Disciple Vestments allows for five full stamina swings and the Insurgent Armor only allows for four. Continuing to the objective- a woman named Nella in a small hut. Interact with her to advance Eila's journey, then make your way around to the left and onto the plateau directly above to reach a Ritual Stone. Before heading back you can circle around left, up, and to the right to reach the wall that blocked us from reaching this side of the area initially and find a large scoria stash worth 10,000 scoria, but you'll have to fight through a gang of pretty tough enemies to get to it. Either way, head back to Vagrant's Rest.
Visit Amra and Eila for rewards and to advance journeys. At this point, I had 10,594 scoria so I equipped the Ukkoto's Guile relic at the talisman bench for 10,000. With this relic equipped, you build up orbs on your helmet with each hit you land on an enemy. Each orb improves your damage by five and you lose your orbs when you take damage. This is just a nice bonus and not necessary so you may or may not be able to equip it depending on your scoria situation.
Head back to Eila and notice a barrel to her left with a white indicator above it.
Interact with the barrel and have a look inside to trigger a brief scene, during which an achievement will unlock
You will end up in Einarden Reach fairly close to where you want to be, which is to the right of your current location (a stone area I mentioned earlier). Head left to the brown path on the road and follow it down towards the large stone structure. To the left is an enclosed area with a few enemies and a skeleton with Overlord's Haurberk armor. Like the last armor we found, I prefer being able to have an extra weapon swing to additional damage reduction so I stuck with Disciple Vestments. Use whatever you prefer, though.
Follow the path into the stone structure and drop to a lower level where you have to fight several enemies. Follow the linear path until you reach another outside area with a square tower in the center. Fight off the nearby enemies and climb onto the perimeter ledge, circling around to a small room around a corner where you'll find an enemy and a Sapient Moss on a skeleton. This is the upgrade material we need to further upgrade our weapon. You can make your way around to reach a ledge that you can use to jump onto the central pillar, then across to the other side. Continue making your way around and up until you reach a skeleton with a Black Ashen Feather. Drop back down and make your way to the exit and you'll see the large structure with the giant Diasora on it.
There will be a few enemies and glowing Einhorns out here and a Relic Stone off to the left that I advise you to run to immediately.
Toggle to Jekell's objective as that's the closest one. Be especially careful with enemies that have glowing purple staves as they will do a suicide run towards you and will down/kill you if they get to you. You can either try to time an attack to kill them as they leap towards you or roll away when they jump.
Facing the path you came from, there's a cave to the right. You will see a red-eyed shadow enemy at the entrance and if you get close, he retreats. You can either chase him into the cave and then let him charge you (quickly roll out of the way to avoid being pinned) or hit him with a spear and make him hostile immediately. This cave is particularly dangerous because if you fall into the water, you die. There are two Sapient Moss in the first large room; you must carefully jump across platforms (and deal with the skeletons on each) to reach the far side. As you make your way down the next hallway a new lizard enemy will charge you, so carefully dispatch it and continue on. There will be two more lizards and some skeletons as you approach the item ahead- another Sapient Moss. You'll come to a large open room with tough enemies to the left and you lack the ability to progress further anyway, so head back and out and heal/refill at the Relic Stone (you can quit from the menu and continue if you don't want to risk falling into the water and dying).
At this point I chose to go to Vagrant's Rest to upgrade my weapon. The next upgrade requires 9000 scoria and one Sapient Moss (Forged to Ash Infused), but you may not have enough scoria depending. Since I'm diligent in my exploration I also had about 33000 additional scoria in scoria stashes, so I used enough to get to 17,500 scoria for the next upgrade, as well (Ash Infused to Ash Infused +1).
Travel back to the Whispers Relic Stone. Jokell's objective is on top of a structure in front of the larger structure. Clear out the enemies in the immediate vicinity and work your way around and up the stone path to reach the top where you can interact with Kalla to advance the journey.
Switch to Eila's destination, carefully drop down to ground level and make your way towards it. As you approach the large body of water you'll see a large enemy on a scaffolding
and a few smaller enemies at the base. Carefully deal with these threats (beware the suicider), then continue to the right. Fight through enemies until you can make your way up a ramp on the right and then around to the left to find a Relic Stone
. Heal/refill, then head back towards the shore to work towards the objective marker. There is a visible item under scaffolding against the wall to the right of the ramp in a little stone recess- Listener Garb armor. Like other armors that we have found, this also has a large stamina penalty so I prefer not to use it. Climb up the nearby scaffolding and follow this wooden path up and around to get over to the area with the objective. You must kill the marked enemy to obtain Ake's Lure, then return to to the ramp that leads up to the area with the Relic Stone. Follow the steps around to the right to reach some scaffolding along the building that seems inaccessible.
From the other side, have your AI do an assisted climb to reach a stone ledge, then do a tricky jump onto the wooden scaffolding.
Climb the nearby ladder and follow a linear path around and through the building. At the top, you will see an unmarked objective marker over a man- interact with him to receive a relic and unlock an achievement
Use a Craven Remnant to get back to Vagrant's Rest. Talk to Jokell and Eila to obtain rewards and advance journeys. Before moving on, head to the section of land directly to the left of your current location- the northern part of Restless Knoll. Get there by jumping over the river near the waterfall from the high stone ledge. This area is called Brutish Shore and is home to a strong enemy that we need to kill for an achievement. He can be found in the center of the area with a few other enemies. You'll encounter strong enemies like this moving forward. He is super aggressive and will do a long charging attack that you want to try to dodge away from as well as other strong melee attacks. Defeat him to unlock an achievement:
We could have come here long ago to do this but you should be strong enough now to make it easier. You'll also find a Sapient Root in the vicinity which is the next tier of weapon upgrade material. Make your way down the rocks to drop into Restless Knoll and then head back to Vagrant's Rest.
There are two objectives available now- Bataran's and Eila's.
Bataran's objective is a boss battle at the end of a very long and difficult dungeon, so let's get Eila's objective out of the way, then get our ducks in a row before heading into the Seat of the Matriarch. Travel to the Whispers Ritual Stone and head south to the objective marker. Interact with Flokkir
to begin a journey with him.
Return to Vagrant's Rest and talk to Eila for rewards and journey advancement
. While there I upgraded gourd potency at the bench to 133 for 3250 scoria.
Since we are headed out for a long quest, you want to maximize before leaving. I equipped four talismans (which costs 1000 scoria each): Amity, Respite, Swift, and Last Stand. I already had the Ukkoto's Guile relic equipped. I used most of my remaining scoria stashes to get enough scoria for another weapon upgrade that required 26,2650 scoria and 4 Sapient Moss (Ash Infused +1 to Ash Infused +2). Another consideration would be increasing the number of gourd swigs or potency.
When ready, travel to the Matriarch's Seat Ritual Stone. Head left and down the path leading forward, killing enemies along the way. At the end of a stone bridge you'll see an item on a skeleton- the Forgone Axe which I believe to be one of the best one hand weapons in the game (the only one with a whopping 30% crit chance). Continue through a dark room with several skeletons and along the path until you reach another section of the bridge. You can refill your gourd at the small well in the middle, then interact with either side of the wall at the end to open the way forward. Just ahead you'll reach another dark room with skeletons and a strong enemy. Defeat them, climb the stairs in the next room, and make your way around the perimeter ledge and into an open room with a set of steps where skeletons are waiting in ambush. Defeat them and follow the steps up and into an open area with a path to the left. If you instead go around to the right you'll find a hard to see the path.
This leads to a large scoria stash on a skeleton but, more importantly, a shortcut to the bottom of this area (you need to carefully drop down from platform to platform, fighting enemies occasionally, until you reach a long slanted pillar that leads to a ground-level far below). The guide will be going the long way but this shortcut is an option for anyone who struggles with the difficulty of enemies in this long dungeon.
The left path leads along a narrow bridge where you have to fight a tough enemy. Carefully do so and continue on. The path forks at the end, but if you go forward and around the wall to the left you can find a White Ashen Feather. Facing back towards the previous path, you should see a set of stairs headed down to the left. This short, ultimately dead-end path leads to several upgrade materials and a large scoria stash but you will have to fight through several dangerous shade enemies and not-so-dangerous skeletons. Continuing on the proper path, you'll go down a few sets of steps to reach a dark area with an ominous enemy in the distance.
On the left side of this area you can find the Rotted Axe, a solid two-hand weapon with 30% crit chance. You must now engage the enemy at the end of the area to advance. Go down some stairs to reach another dark open area where you must defeat another strong enemy and some skeletons. There is a gourd refill well on the right side of this area, so be sure to use it before moving on. Follow the path around to the left and engage another strong enemy. Continue forward but beware the shadow enemy around the corner. Kill it and push forward, carefully taking out a strong enemy who initially has his back to you. Keep moving and you'll take some steps up to an area with several strong enemies around the perimeter of the area. There is also a gourd refill well that you'll likely need to use after clearing everything out. I suggest aggroing these enemies individually by throwing spears at them to try to kite them into the stairwell one at a time. The items on the close left/right platforms are Sapient Moss and the item on the second right platform is a large scoria stash. Beware that there are one or two lizard enemies on each platform, also. After killing everything, refill at the well behind the stairwell and continue forward.
As you continue down the path you'll be attacked by several lizard enemies, so carefully kill them and keep pushing forward. The path will wind around and somewhat down and you'll reach an area where you get attacked by a lizard and a large, strong enemy. You can go up some steps, jump across a somewhat long gap, and follow the path around a corner to find a Black Ashen Feather (don't fall and die or you'll have to start at the Ritual Stone!). Backtrack and head left along the proper path. After you make a right turn and see a long run of downward steps, be prepared to be attacked by two shadow enemies and a lizard. Kill them and follow the path, be prepared for more enemies after you turn another corner. This area is dark and you'll see an opening to the left; a strong enemy will charge you so be prepared. Move through this room and follow the right wall around to a set of downward steps and a shadow enemy. If you take these steps downward you'll reach a room with several dangerous enemies; clear them out and you can loot a large scoria stash. Go back up and continue forward into a large open room where the path splits- left or right. Either way curves around and down to the same place where you'll find a thin stairwell in the ground leading downward. Continue along this path and you will eventually reach the bottom of the area and see the Ritual Stone ahead.
Interact with it to save and refill.
From here, it's a straight run past several enemies to the boss room. Start by moving forward to engage a few lizard guys and a strong enemy. If you use some swigs or get downed, touch up at the Ritual Stone to heal/refill, then continue forward. The next enemy is like a smaller version of the 2nd boss, Garoran. He will smash his weapon into the ground to create an explosion and summon some skeletons. Kill him, then move forward to face two more enemies before reaching the boss door. Interact with either side to open a path forward and enter to start the boss encounter.
This large shambling boss carries around a lantern that he will occasionally throw at you. You want to focus damage on the lantern and after dealing enough damage to it, it will break and start leaking purple liquid. This causes damage to the boss to be increased. Up until that happens, Amiren may drop the lantern and smash it with its staff. If this happens, get far away as a big explosion is coming.
After the lantern starts leaking, standing in the spilled purple liquid will damage you, so be careful. From here, do your best to avoid Amiren's attacks and attack when you can. If you stay underfoot, Amiren will continually try to stomp you, which is easy to avoid.
After you defeat Amiren, you will unlock an achievement:
Defeat the Listener Matriarch.
Interact with Silaren, accept her offer, and you will be transported to Vagrant's Rest. Silaren will now have a journey for you that will be our next task, but first, talk to Bataram and Amara to advance their journeys and claim rewards. Here, I swapped the Last Stand talisman for Robust (which helps negate the stamina penalty from armors), allowing me to swap over to Overlord's Hauberk and still have a decent amount of Weapon swings per stamina bar. I also upgraded my weapon once more for 33,500 scoria and one Sapient Root (Ash Infused +2 to Ash Infused +3). Finally, I bought two gourd potency upgrades from Eila's bench to increase the healing to 162 and then 191 per use.
Once you're ready, fast travel to Listener's Ridge and head towards Silaren's objective.
Use an assisted climb and defeat the two marked enemies to receive the Cunning Pestle and unlock an achievement:
Return to Vagrant's Rest and talk to Silaren to advance her journey and get rewards. Interact with her bench to see about crafting potions, then talk to her again to receive a new journey.
Climb up the ladder of the building being built near her to get to a Black Ashen Feather, then fast travel to Whispers. Your objective marker is on Silaren who is sitting on a pillar. As you approach, she will teach you a new ability.
You can now throw spears at the sitting statues with a red glow to be teleported directly to them (there are spears on a skeleton to the left of Silaren should you not have any). Do this for the first time to unlock an achievement:
This ability will allow you to get past the wall ahead and into the area beyond. Up to this point, there have been several statues in impossible to reach places that you can now access. One is along the curved wall at the southern end of Wandering Lake, one is atop a pillar near where we killed the large black Einar in Einarden Reach, a few are out on small islands around the shore south of Seat of the Matriarch, and a few more are in the dangerous cave north of the Whispers Relic Stone. There may also be one in the area where we killed the second boss, Garoran. I'll leave it up to you to go back and find more if you so desire.
For now, Flokir's and Amara's objectives are close by so work towards those destinations by moving from statue to statue into the blocked off area. If you need more spears, you can craft Ghost Spears at Vorsa's workbench in Vagrant's Rest for 200 scoria per bundle of 9.
You can see Flokir's objective on a skeleton on the ground in the first area.
Be careful dropping in as there are two Corbs that will attack you, so dispatch them carefully and then pick up Flokir's Toolkit. Loot the other items in the area and then make your way over the next wall into the second area towards Amara's objective, which, if you get to the top of the tall central pillar, can be seen on a corpse on the left side of the area.
You could also get to a ledge with two items on the right side of the area by making two running jumps from this tall pillar, but the second jump is pretty much max distance and the two items are just a Sapient Moss and a stack of spears. Either way, make your way over to the objective item- Archve Tablet, and then feel free to drop down to fight more Corbs and loot the item on the ground (a Sapient Moss), then find a path out of this area to the right that leads to a cave by the shore that contains some Sapient Moss and a Sapient Root. After finishing here, make your way back and along the left path to get out to the front of the big wall, then again use the statues to get over the Halls of Klifa and to the area with Silaren's objective.
Before doing any exploring, head straight through the stone pillars and continue past a stone and wooden structure into Prophet's Rise to find a Ritual Stone on your right. Fast travel back to Vagrant's Rest and interact with Amara and then Flokir to advance journeys and get rewards, which will unlock an achievement:
Unlock all crafting specialities.
You will then be directed to Flokir's workbench where you can craft an upgraded (brighter) lantern. Scoria is likely better spent elsewhere but there is an achievement that requires crafting the Listner Lantern and another lantern eventually, so there's no rush to get this one now. Talk to Flokir again to receive a new journey.
At this point I bought the 8th and final Crimson Gourd swig for 22,000 scoria, then traveled back to Prophet's Rise to work towards Silaren's and Jokell's objectives. Make your way towards Silaren's objective, fighting through numerous enemies on your way. The easiest way to deal with the spear throwing enemies above is to throw spears at them from a distance. You need to do an assisted climb to reach the platform with the objective item- Talon of Riak. Toggle to Jokell's journey and make your way towards the objective marker.
Follow the main path to reach a large, open area with rickety scaffolding and numerous visible enemies and items. Work your way around to an upper platform to reach the objective- an NPC named Bol who you interact with to advance the journey.
You can find an armor upgrade called Forebearer's Charge in the room below. You will also see an item near a teleport statue on a ledge across from Bol, so teleport there to find a large scoria stash, then continue onward. As you round the next corner you will be rushed by a brute, so carefully dispatch him and continue on. As you continue forward you'll see several enemies on a ledge above lobbing spears down at you, so try to take them out from a distance with spears of your own, then move forward and take out any remaining enemies. Follow the path around to the left to find a Ritual Stone.
Travel back to Vagrant's Rest and interact with Jokell and Silaren to advance their journeys and get rewards. At this point I had enough resources for a weapon upgrade, which required 41,000 scoria and two Sapient Root (Ash Infused +3 to Ash Infused +4). Once you're done here, travel back to the Loom to work on objectives for Eila, Silaren, and Flokir.
Start with Eila's objective.
Follow the path forward into the next area. After climbing up and reaching a watery section, you'll see a brute just ahead. Aggro him and avoid his charge, then kill him and continue on. After passing the wooden scaffolding you'll get a notification that you've entered the Loom. Fight through some enemies and head up the stone ramp on the left. Watch out for a spear thrower on the right side of the area and grab the White Ashen Feather behind him, then go back and into an area on the opposite side with the objective marker. Kill the nearby enemies, including a brute that you want to be aware of, and a marked enemy will appear; kill him to get Fiske's Lure and complete the objective.
Switch to Silaren's journey as her objective is the next closest.
Backtrack to the wooden scaffolding and you'll have to use spear teleport to get across the gap. Climb the nearby ladder and be ready to engage a brute and some other enemies in a small area. Continue forward with another spear teleport, then follow the wooden path to a platform with a bonfire and several enemies, including a spear thrower. Clear them out and notice a gap ahead where you can spear teleport, but instead, head to the left to find a cave with a non-traveling Ritual Stone. Refill and heal here (don't sit or you'll have to fight the nearby enemies again), then go back to the platform with the bonfire. Spear teleport to a statue on the wall where you can see an item on a skeleton, then spear teleport again to the top of the wooden structure to reach the objective- the Spinner's Cauldron. Then toggle to Flokir's objective.
Before continuing on, notice the large spider-like wooden structure. You need to get to the top of it to obtain an item. Spear teleport to a higher level and work your way around, but beware the brute at the end of the path. Carefully kill him and get onto the raised platform nearby so you can see the teleport statue on top of the spider. Teleport across to find the Orli's Fuse relic. Carefully climb/drop back to the lower level, heal/refill by approaching the Ritual Stone, then exit the cave and look to the right. You can teleport to a statue up on a platform, but be careful because you'll immediately be rushed by two brutes. You can find a Black Ashen Feather in a cave to the right and a large scoria stash in a cave to the left. Get back to the platform near the Ritual Stone (heal/refill if needed), then spear teleport across the gap beyond the spider structure to reach a new area.
Head to the right and take a wooden ramp that leads into a cave, but be careful as there are numerous enemies within, including a brute. Follow the path to another room with a few enemies, one of which is marked with the objective marker. Kill him to obtain the Message to Darkling Chief, Flokir's current objective. You'll also find a new armor piece in this room- Tyrant's Plating. With no objectives left, the goal now is to fight through Pinion's Pass into the next area and reach the Ritual Stone.
As you exit the cave and look right, you'll see a brute in the watery area and a spear guy on a raised platform. Try to pull the brute back to you so you can fight him without interference, then take out the spear guy with spears of your own. Follow the stone ramp up on the right and engage another brute and some other enemies, then continue forward. Make your way past one more brute, then climb up the stone and wooden structures to find a large scoria stash before exiting the cave into a huge open area called Cracked Path.
Head left to find the Ritual Stone and travel to Vagrant's Rest to interact with pretty much everyone. Clear out your journey objectives and you'll receive the Seer talisman from Flokir, which provides steady health regeneration. Consider using this if you think it would be beneficial. After advancing all my journeys, I bought a gourd potency increase for 14,000 scoria and upgraded my weapon for 48,000 scoria and 4 Sapient Root (Ash Infused +4 to Ash Infused +5).
At this point, everyone but Bataran has an objective in the new area. Travel back to the Bronzed Mire Ritual Stone and toggle to Varsa's objective.
This area is huge and filled with dangerous enemies. There are two other Ritual Stones to be found in this area, the first of which is at the end of the marked brown path that winds along the left side of the area. The only way to the right side of the area is through a cave at Silaren's objective marker. With that said, take the stairway down from the Ritual Stone and as soon as you reach ground level you'll see what appears to be a greenish bunch of rocks in front of you. This is actually a strong, slow-moving creature called a Roamar that will wake after you attack it. Killing a Roamar unlocks an achievement, but be careful that you and not your AI partner must land the killing blow:
This will also get you a Roamar Horn, satisfying Varsa's objective (which was marking a Roamar on another part of the map). Toggle next to Flokir's objective.
Head into the stone structure on the right, engage an enemy or two, and run past the spear throwers above and drop down into the swamp below. Be careful as there are a few Corbs nearby and another large spear throwing enemy on a different ledge. You can also find an Ash Infused Rambling Club +1 nearby. Continue down a dead end path towards the objective marker and some enemies will jump down. Kill them and pick up the Glowing Bone, at which point more enemies will ambush you. Fight them off, then I suggest using a Craven Remnant to return to Vagrant's Rest (or run back to the Ritual Stone to fast travel). Interact with Varsa, then Flokir to advance their journeys. Upon doing so, an achievement will unlock:
There will now be two lanterns available to craft at Flokir's workbench, requiring 7,500 and 16,600 scoria respectively. If you are able to craft both now (and then quip them), an achievement will unlock:
If not, you can do so once you have enough scoria. You will also have unlocked the Double Swig talisman which grants two more Crimson Gourd swigs, which I suggest switching something over to. Once you are done in Vagrant's Rest, travel back to Bronzed Mire and head towards Eila's objective.
Work your way through Cracked Path towards the objective marker. You will encounter many strong enemies along the way, so proceed carefully. Try to be diligent in exploration as there are many large scoria stashes found in this area. You'll eventually reach an arched entrance and see several enemies on an upper platform waiting to pummel you with spears. This area is extremely dangerous. You'd be best served taking out the spear guys with spears of your own, otherwise, you need to run underneath the upper platform and take out the enemies there while you are mostly out of spear line of sight. Then continue further down the path and you'll see some steps on the left side leading up to the upper area. Head that way and kill numerous enemies as you follow the path around to the right to eventually find a marked enemy that will try to run away. Defeat him to obtain Kory's lure and complete the objective.
Next, toggle to Silaren's objective.
Make your way back down to the road that ran under the ledge with the spear enemies and head down the path between buildings opposite the steps you used to get to the upper area
. Follow this path to the end and you'll see a Ritual Stone
at the very end of the path straight in front of you. Run to it to refill and heal.
At this point, you want to travel back to Vagrant's Rest and talk to Eila to complete her journey, unlocking an achievement:
While here, buy any upgrades you want (I bought three gourd potency upgrades), then travel back to the Palace of Lathyrus Ritual Stone. Facing the Ritual Stone, there is a path to the right that leads to a blocked door which we cannot get through just yet, so instead, head towards Silaren's objective marker. The easiest way to proceed is to get to the high ground to the left of the Ritual Stone and do a spear teleport to the platform directly across and to the left of the spear enemies overlooking the main path. Kill the enemies nearby and continue towards the objective marker. Follow the path towards a stone structure, head inside, and kill any enemies in your path as you progress around and to the left. You'll eventually reach a small courtyard with a path that leads into a dark cave-like area.
Proceed with caution, killing a charging shade enemy and some skeletons and you'll eventually turn a corner and see several enemies just ahead
. This encounter is extremely dangerous as there are several charging shades and a single very strong enemy that you must kill to complete the objective. I suggest throwing a spear at shades to try to pull them individually back to you as charging in would likely be suicide. After you kill the large enemy, you will obtain the World Seed and complete the objective.
Toggle over to Jokell's journey.
Continue through the cave to emerge and encounter several enemies. As you move forward you'll enter Khal Estate and reach a non-traveling Ritual Stone. Refill and heal, then continue towards the objective marker, killing enemies along the way. You'll find a two-hand weapon at a campsite called Nomad's Balk with a unique moveset. Follow the path around to a large stone structure that contains the objective marker. Several enemies will attack you as you enter the area, so be prepared. Head down the steps on the left side of the main path to get to the area with the objective and you will be attacked by several more enemies. Kill them, then the two shielded enemies near the objective, an NPC named Malik Khal. Talk to him, then attack him to obtain the Shield of Mhalik and complete the objective.
Make your way to the southernmost part of this area and you'll see an item on a pedestal protected by multiple enemies.
Carefully clear the area and collect the item- Defiler Veil armor. This armor offers slightly less protection but has less of a stamina penalty, too. It's up to you whether you want to swap to it (I did). Then toggle to Amara's journey.
Exit Khal Estate and run back to the Ritual Stone to heal/refill. Then take the path that leads away from Kahl Estate and goes through a black stone structure. You'll enter Mother's Tears where you want to follow the path around to the bottom to reach the objective marker. You'll go through a dark cave and get ambushed by a large enemy and skeletons. Exit the cave and follow the path to the end to reach the objective marker and meet Gefn. This will trigger a brief scene that opens the entrance to the palace, after which an achievement will unlock:
We now need to complete objectives for Flokir and Vorsa, so toggle to Flokir's journey.
Retrace your steps through the cave and back to the black stone structure where you can climb up a series of ledges on the left to reach an upper area (feel free to run back to the Ritual Stone first if needed). Continue along the left path until you reach a cave with the objective marker. Kill the enemies within and pick up Flokir's Milk Teeth to complete the objective, then toggle over to Vorsa's journey.
Exit the cave and start making your way around to the right and towards the objective marker. Cross over a small pond and head towards a distant building. You will encounter several large black Einars on the way. Climb onto some dark rocks and do a spear teleport to reach the top of a building and you will see the objective marker on a skeleton below. Drop down and collect the Mother Scale to complete the objective. With all current objectives complete, use a Craven Bone to return to Vagrant's Rest.
Make the rounds to interact with everyone, hitting the side journey NPCs first. Start by talking with Vorsa which completes her journey, unlocking an achievement:
Next, talk to Jokell to complete his journey, unlocking an achievement:
Then talk to Flokir to advance his journey. Finally, talk to Silaren to complete her journey and then Amara to advance her journey.
The next goal is to work through the Palace of Lathyrus, a long and difficult dungeon culminating in an intense boss fight. There is a non-travelable Ritual Stone before the boss so you want to get everything squared away before moving on. Things to prioritize:
- Upgrading your weapon at Bataran's workbench
- Increasing Crimson Gourd swigs at Jokell's workbench
- Increasing Crimson Gourd potency at Eila's workbench
I had already maxed my swigs at 8 and bought a potency upgrade for 39,250, resulting in 336 healing per swig.
If your weapon is already at Ash Infused +5, you likely lack the necessary upgrade material to upgrade further- Twin Sapient Root. You'll start finding them in the Palace and a few can be found in locations that we haven't yet visited. There are three in the Wrinkled Grotto, a difficult cave north of Placid Stream. I'll guide you through finding them and then make the Ashen Infused +6 and +7 upgrades myself before leaving for the Palace, but if you don't plan on doing these upgrades immediately, don't bother as you'll find plenty as you work through the Palace.
OPTIONAL: Head to the Wrinkled Grotto entrance and you'll see a shadowy figure just inside.
Aggro him with a spear and avoid his charge, then kill him. Head into the cave and when you reach the open area, immediately charge to the left and take out a shadow before it can react. If you look the opposite way you'll see some enemies fighting across a bridge- a large enemy that will kill some weaker enemies. There is another nearby shadow enemy that gets aggrod as you approach the bridge, so walk forward and then run back to bait its charge, then kill it. There are two more shadow enemies across the bridge and off to the left (one may not get aggrod initially), so be aware that they will charge you as you run in to fight the large enemy. Kill them all, then continue along the path to the left to encounter a normal enemy. You will see an item on the ledge above him. Continue a little farther and you'll see a stone on the left that you can climb on and use to jump back to the platform to get over to the item, which is a Twin Sapient Root. Continue forward and follow the path around to the left into a small area with some spiders. Kill them and follow the wall around to find another Twin Sapient Root. Return to the main path, kill a couple of skeletons, and head up a sloped ledge until you see a shadow enemy at the top to the left. He will do an explosion after seeing you, so wait that out, then charge him and try to kill him quickly. Another large enemy further down the path may see you and engage you as well, so be aware of his presence. After you kill both, go up a slope to the left to reach an area with a campsite where a spider drops onto and kills a small enemy. If you look across the huge opening you'll see a platform with an item. There may be a shade on the ledge, too, if it didn't get aggrod while you were clearing the lower area. Throw spears at him so he isn't a problem and once you're sure that it's gone, line yourself up and make a dangerous running leap to land on the ledge and pick up the third Twin Sapient Root. If you miss, you will most certainly die, so you might not want to chance it if you aren't ready to make the final weapon upgrade. If you'd rather not walk back, use a Craven Remains to get to Vagrant's Rest.
I was now able to upgrade my Cleaving Axe twice to the maximum level, Ash Infused +7. The +6 upgrade required 54,000 scoria and one Twin Sapient Root and the +7 upgrade required 63,000 scoria and two Twin Sapient Root. Once you're done with upgrades and crafting, travel to the Palace of Lathyrus Ritual Stone and prepare for a long journey through an area full of tough enemies.
Head across the bridge that leads to the palace and enter through the door that is no longer blocked. The first room on the right has a gourd refill well, which is odd. Kill the enemies in the next rooms and approach the door at the end of the hall. Interact with either side and your AI partner will help you open it. Step inside and the doors will close behind you.
As a reminder, proceed with care through this Palace. It's a long way to the Ritual Stone and very easy to run out of gourd swigs before you get there. Engage enemies with caution to try to minimize damage and consider waiting for your health to regenerate before pushing forward if you are using the Seer talisman. There are a couple of gourd refill wells along the way but it couldn't hurt to be extra careful anyway.
You'll see some steps ahead and a brute near the top that will charge as you get close. There is another brute and two smaller enemies on the platform at the top of the steps. so try to aggro them and use the stone pillar to your advantage. You'll find another Twin Sapient Root on a corpse against the wall. You can go left or right here as both paths lead to the top, but if you head left you can find a stack of Shield Maiden Spears in the room on the left guarded by a few enemies. Head up the stairs and engage a lone enemy, then continue forward to reach a long hallway stretching forward.
As you proceed two enemies will engage you, so deal with them, then kill the other enemies in rooms on either side and continue forward. You can climb into the well to find a large scoria stash. You will find rooms with enemies on either side. Both sides contains dark areas where you will be attacked by a few shade enemies and you can find a Twin Sapient Root at the end of each. Go back to the main hall and you'll see an enemy in the room ahead, but be careful as there is another enemy out of sight to the left. Kill them both and the statues blocking the way forward will move out of the way.
In the next room you can take steps up and around to the left or to the right. Before going up the steps, go around to the left and break some jars to find a Twin Sapient Root. Then go back to the steps and head to the left first, charge and kill a shade enemy, and you'll reach a room with another Twin Sapient Root, some Traveler NPCs, and a gourd refill well. If you have a lot of scoria that you don't want to risk losing, buy scoria stashes from a Traveler (at a slight loss) that you won't lose if you die. Go back the other way, the area will darken, and you'll see a shade at the top of the steps. Aggro him with a spear to take him out here, then continue up the stairs and you'll reach a slightly open door.
if you didn't kill the previous shade he will be visible just inside the door across the hall. This area is dark and there are two more shades to the left and the right with their backs to you, so charge either and take it out before it can react, then repeat with the other. Both paths lead to the top platform and once you get up there you'll see another shade on a pillar at the base of the next set of stairs. Aggro him with a spear and kill him here before heading up the steps. There will be another shade on the left of the platform at the top of the steps, so either rush it or bait its charge and kill it. Continue through another door and up some steps, and around the corner. On the right is an area that you can drop into with four large statues and an item in the middle. Be careful as there are shade enemies in here that will attack after you drop in- you can walk around the perimeter before dropping in and kill them with spears if you want. The item is the Maiden's Shelter shield, the best shield in the game. Hop over the wooden ramp and make your way back up the steps to continue forward.
You'll soon come to a large open area with three paths- left, right, or straight.
Head to the right and follow the path until you reach a straight hallway and look to the right to see a shielded enemy blocking an item. Kill him and pick up the stack of Shield Maiden Spears. Continue forward into a room with green drapes where you will be attacked by a few enemies. Go down the first path to the right and into a room around the corner to find an Ash Infused Lathyrian Sagaris +3 which may be your strongest one hand weapon if you've stuck to the Cleaving Axe like I have. Keep moving forward and you'll go down some steps and see another run of steps t your right. You can find a large scoria stash to the right of these steps. Head up the steps and as you approach the next room a few enemies will likely attack you, including a brute. Kill them and follow the stairs around and up to the right and you'll eventually reach a hallway with some red tapestries.
Head forward and look to the left to see a brute with his back to you. Charge and kill him, then kill the enemy in the area near the pillar with the seated statue. Push forward a little further and several enemies will come at you at once. Kill then and the enemy in the second small area to the left, then continue along the path and you will see a room ahead that appears to be a library. Approach this room carefully as enemies will attack you when you get close. Kill another shade in the back of the room and then look down the hall to see a brute in the shadows at the end of the next hallway.
Throw a spear at him to get him to charge you, but be careful as there is another shade enemy that will likely come at you as well. Kill them both and move into the dark hallway ahead. Climb up on the wooden scaffolding on the right, then jump across to the scaffolding on the left so you can get onto the bookcases in the previous room. Hop across to the furthest bookcase and you will see an item on a ledge that you can do a running jump over to. Do so to obtain two large scoria stashes, a Twin Sapient Root, and a Black Ashen Feather. Drop down (or jump back to avoid fall damage) and continue down the dark hallway. Follow the path around to the right and you'll reach a room at the end with a gourd refill well.
Use it, then backtrack move into the hallway on the right where you will see a dark room ahead of you with a couple of visible enemies. Throw a spear to get them to come to you and kill them, then enter the room and a couple of shielded enemies will come down the steps. Kill them and go up the stairs on either side (both ways lead to the same place), killing any enemies that may appear. A brute will be patrolling the top platform so kill him and loot the item against the back wall- Praetorian Regalia Armor. This provides a sizable defense boost and the stamina penalties are mostly negated by how much stamina we have, so switch to it and follow the long hallway the opposite direction.
You'll see some steps ahead with a brute near the top.
This is the last difficult fight before the Ritual Stone so be prepared. There are two enemies in addition to the brute which makes for a very dangerous encounter. Before moving forward onto the steps, clear out the enemies in the small rooms on either side of the hallway so they don't become an issue. With that done, approach the pillars and you will see the two enemies flanking the brute. Throw a spear at the shade and they will all charge you, which is preferred. Back up and try to take out the brute first, then handle the other two. After all three are dead, the statues blocking the path move out of the way and you can progress forward. You'll find yourself in an open outside area.
There is a single enemy in each of the two small rooms on each side of the large statue. Kill them and then run to the non-teleporting Ritual Stone out opposite the large statue to save/heal/refill. From the Ritual Stone, head up the stairs on either side and kill a shielded enemy, then carefully handle the brute at the top. Enter the open door to find Amara and talk to her to complete the objective. Interact with the door to open it and head inside to begin a tough boss battle.
BOSS: Shadow of the Ashen
This boss has two phases. During the first phase you will have your AI (or co-op) partner AND Amara fighting with you. The boss is fairly agressive and will do a few different melee attacks. Your best bet is to try to put damage on him while he is focused on someone else. Enemies will continually spawn from time to time so keep an eye out for them and try to kill them before they can become a problem.
After dealing enough damage to the boss, he will teleport to the middle of the arena. You want to move off of the hexagonal inner area as standing on it will cause damage to you.
After getting his health to about half, a scene will occur where the boss will absorb Amara and become even stronger. Things get hectic in the second phase as the boss is more aggressive and enemies spawn in more quickly. As the boss' health gets lower, shade enemies start to spawn in addition to the larger enemies. If you're relying on an AI partner, you need to try to find a balance between letting him tank the boss and pulling aggro so he doesn't get overwhelmed and killed, all why dealing with the additional enemies that spawn in.
Defeat the Shadow of the Ashen to unlock an achievement:
Talk to Amara and another achievement will unlock:
Unlock all townsfolk outfits.
Follow her instruction- go through the open door and make your down the hall to a room with a large hexagonal hole in the center.
Jump into the hole and another achievement will unlock:
You'll find yourself in a new area called the Gnaw. Toggle to Flakir's objective.
You should probably travel to Vagrant's Rest to spend the pile of scoria you've likely accumulated. If you still need to, work on upgrading your weapon and your Crimson Gourd. Also be sure to have some spears (ideally 20+ Bone Spears, which can be crafted in stacks of 9 for 200 scoria) as there are numerous places to spear teleport in the Gnaw. When you'r ready, travel back to the Gnaw Ritual Stone.
This swampy area is dark and full of shade, lizard, and skeleton enemies. Start by heading down the steps and killing some skeletons. When you get to the bottom area you will be attacked by a glowing purple lizard enemy. Kill it and some other skeletons and follow the path forward. You'll have to go through some water to get to a doorway with red statues on either side. At the top of the stairs, the path turns to the left and there will be multiple shade enemies in front of and behind you, so be prepared.
Continue along the obvious path and you will eventually reach another stretch through the water leading to a platform with red statues on either side.
When you reach this platform you will be attacked by a couple of lizard enemies. Kill them and continue forward and up some steps, killing skeletons along the way. You'll come to an open platform with several skeletons and a single strong enemy, so carefully kill them and continue forward down a narrow ramp with some skeletons. You need to drop off at the end to a platform below with numerous skeletons. Head through an archway with red statues on either side and follow the path around, then cross some water to get to steps that lead up to another platform. Here you will be attacked by a large enemy and a shade. Off in the distance you can see a red statue and an item atop a structure.
Rather than moving forward, stand to the right of the downward steps and attempt to throw a spear at the red statue. Once you hit it you will be teleported to it and can get the nearby item- the Celestial Aegis armor, which is the best armor in the game. From the back of this structure, look across the way to see a raised platform with several red statues.
Throw a spear at one to teleport across and kill the nearby enemies to obtain Lira's Cowl and complete Flokir's objective. Then toggle to Amara's objective.
Use a spear to get back to the other side, then follow the path towards the objective marker. You'll come to an archway where you can see Gefn in the distance. Carefully handle the enemies on the steps and approach Gefn. You will be prompted to give hearts- do so and an achievement will unlock:
Head to the Ritual Stone to the left of Gefn and travel to Vagrant's Rest. Interact with Flokir to complete his journey and unlock an achievement:
Then interact with Amara and then Bataran to advance the main journey to its final step.
Before heading to the Wrinkled Grotto, go to the talisman bench. You need to equip the four relics that you haven't equipped yet (Guardian's Pact, Gefn's Blessing, Orli's Fuse, and Umbral Veil), then re-equip Ukkoto's Guile, which will cost a total of 50,000 scoria. Doing so will unlock two achievements:
All that is left to do now is to go through the Wrinkled Grotto and defeat Sissna, the final boss. Make sure you have all your upgrades done and stock up on White Sapiote so you can save your gourd swigs for the final battle- I suggest buying several stacks of 9. When you're gotten everything in order, head up to the Wrinkled Grotto.
I gave a brief walkthrough for this cave earlier to show how to get some Twin Sapeint Roots but it was optional, so you may or may not have been through here before. Aggro the shadow at the entrance with a spear and kill him, then move down the cave path and when you get into the main area, run to the left and quickly take out another shade. If you look the other way you should see some enemies fighting on the other side of a bridge. There are a few more shades and a single tough enemy that you need to deal with, so start by running onto the bridge and quickly backing up to pull a shade that you can quickly kill, then head across the bridge to kill the large enemy and another shade (or possibly two).
If your AI companion falls off and disappears, I'm pretty sure that you'll have to run back to Vagrant's Rest Ritual Stone and then return so he will reappear. If you find that you are struggling to keep him with you as you work to the final area, you can disable AI in the menus until you get there, then enable AI and he should appear. I never had problems, though.
Also remember that both you and the AI can only get downed once and will always die if downed a second time, so if either of you get downed on your way to the boss, go back to Vagrant's Rest to reset. Sissna's 2nd form is brutal and you need the AI to stay alive for as long as possible, so having been downed once going in is bad. Should you end up needing to attempt the boss several times you may want to try to just run past everything to the boss to avoid the hassle of fighting through the enemies, but I never tried this so I'm not sure how well it would work. If you want to try this, definitely disable the AI so he doesn't get crushed while you're running through.
And also, make it a priority to save all of your gourd swigs since you'll need them for Sissna. Heal with White Sapiotes until you reach the boss, even if you need to use a ton of them (which is why I suggested loading up).
Back to the cave- continue along the path to kill a normal enemy, then circle to the right and kill a couple of skeletons. As you go up a sloped path you'll see a shade at the top that will glow red and explode upon seeing you, so keep distance to avoid taking damage, then charge him. There will be a strong enemy along the path to the right that may or may not attack you when you go after the shade, so be careful. The path forks here; one way leads to a dead end platform and the other way leads to the boss. Take the forward path, kill a couple of skeletons, and prepare for one last shade that you need to kill before reaching a huge open area.
You'll see Bataran and Amara off in the distance. Follow the path along the wall to the right and if you look to the left you'll see a Black Ashen Feather. Grab it, then make sure your consumables are in order and your lantern is unequipped and continue along to the final area to trigger a scene and begin the encounter.
This is another two phase boss where the first phase is relatively tame compared to the second.
For her first phase, Sissna will focus her attention on one of you and do various melee attacks that are, for the most part, easy to avoid. Try to put damage on her when she is going after your partner and do your best to roll away from her attacks when she comes after you. I like to do a running attack, which has a wide arc, and follow it up with a couple of regular attacks until I need to evade away.
Again, try to save gourd swigs for the second phase by healing with White Sapiotes. This phase has a lot of health so it may take a while to wear her down, but chip away and once you deplete her health bar, a scene will play and the second phase will begin.
Sissna is now much more aggressive and her attacks do even more damage. You can only hope to tank a few shots and anything more will likely kill you, so do your best to attack and evade with care. The AI seems to have mixed results in terms of staying alive here, and you need him alive for as long as possible. When Sissna focuses on your partner, you need to quickly get to her and attack to pull aggro to you, then evade away. If you leave her focused on the AI, she will kill likely him and you'll be in bad shape hoping to solo her the rest of the way.
Outside of her varied melee attacks, she will do two other things from time to time. She will run somewhat erratically around the area and attempt to charge over anything in her path, which deals a lot of damage. Since the AI can be dumb, he will often try to rush her while she is doing this and get killed. When you see her start this charging attack, you want to run towards her yourself and roll away at the last moment to pull her out of the charge. She will also slowly walk upright flailing her appendages, which can deal heavy damage but can easily be avoided by simply keeping your distance.
It may take you several attempts to work out a strategy and to get a run where your AI partner stays alive long enough, but once you defeat Sissna, an achievement will unlock:
Defeat the Elder Dark Sissna.
You should now have 30/31 achievements and a completed normal playthrough.
Children of Sissna Playthrough
Children of Sissna is selectable from the main menu after Silaren teaches you how to teleport with spears in your normal playthrough. In this game mode, which is played on a separate save file, your character has significantly reduced health and stamina. The rest of the game is identical. As you can imagine, this makes things extremely difficult as enemies will kill you very quickly, particularly in the later stages of the game. Your AI companion is weaker than he was in standard mode, too, and dies a lot more as a result.
My character ended up with about 400 health and 260 stamina in normal mode, but in CoS mode, my character only had 141 health and 128 stamina, which equates to roughly ⅓ health and ½ stamina. I completed all journeys so outside of maybe some more health/stamina from missed Ashen Feathers, this is what you have to work with.
Progressing through the game in CoS mode will be a a slow going, tedious, and potentially frustrating experience. The difficulty increases as you get deeper into the game and the Palace of Lathyrus, Shadow of the Ashen, and the Gnaw are brutally difficult and and I'm not convinced that Sissna's 2nd form is even possible to defeat by yourself (with an AI partner). The saving grace is that you can engage in co-op with real players who are in standard mode and let them tank for you, but this only makes things somewhat easier. This requires coordinated co-op with someone on normal mode with similar journey progress.
If you work through the game yourself, you will seee how unforgiving and borderline unfair it is. Enemies can kill you in one or two hits and you have so little stamina with which to attack or evade. It might not be so bad if it weren't for the "second time downed and you die" mechanic, making it so you have very little margin of error. I had little issue completing a level 1 playthrough in Dark Souls, which seems like it would be comparable, but CoS mode is a completely different beast.
The Gefn's Blessing relic from Kol the Wildman proved to be invaluable for me. Being able to nullify (or even just reduce) a single attack was often the difference between life and death. Be sure to get this and equip it as soon as you can. The Robust talisman also provided a great benefit, allowing me to wear heavier armor without making such a major stamina sacrifice. I also used the Amity and Steadfast talismans but had to trust that their benefits actually worked as there was really no way to reliably test them. I used Swift in the fourth talisman slot.
If you are able to play with a friend on normal mode, obviously allow him to lead during exploration and tank bosses.
For the Shadow of Ashen, I focused mainly on adds and let my partner try to keep the Shadow's attention. Adds can get overwhelming at the end and I couldn't possibly go face to face with the boss without dying very quickly.
Our strategy for Sissna's 2nd phase was for me to keep a distance to avoid being one-shotted and throw Shield Maiden's spears to chip away while my friend tried to keep Sissna's attention, doing damage when he could. There's no way to engage her directly without getting absolutely decimated.
Complete the game on Children of Sissna mode to unlock the final achievement:
Congratulations on a solid completion!
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