These areas can be accessed from the end of harvest valley, so read the end of that section for instructions on how to reach this area.
Lower Area Path:
Most people will want to take this path first as you can find an estus flask shard down it. The lower area is accessed via the room with the two sledgehammer undead surrounded by poison vases in harvest valley. Stop at the platform surrounded by poison liquid in the next room and ready your poison cure / reduce items. You will see a doorway leading to a small hallway in the nearby wall. This is the direction you should travel. In the tunnel a body containing the Estus Flask Shard will be plainly visible. There is also a pharro's device down the hallway on the right side that opens up a nearby wall to reveal a chest with a Soul of a Proud Knight and the Poisonbite Ring inside. Once you have the items you want return to the platform you started from and take the upper area path to continue onwards in the area.
Upper Area Path:
After you travel past the vases the lone sledgehammer undead was hiding in before you will enter the upper area path. It turns to the right at the wall in front of you, and if you look partway up the stairs as it goes upwards you should be able to see a large hole in the wall. Inside is the first enemy of this area (a poison tick) so be careful as you approach it. The ticks are similar to the poison butterflies from earlier areas except they can slowly move towards you and perform melee attacks when close enough to you. Ranged attacks are recommended to avoid the poison mist they blast out, otherwise you will have to risk it and try to kill them off quickly. At the back of this little alcove is a corpse with Skeptic's Spice, but you will want to clear the area above before dropping down to pick it up.
When you continue up the stairs, you will see three sledgehammer undead in the area above (one behind a wall to the right, the other two in the open to the left). Lure these enemies to battle one at a time and take advantage of the stairs to screw with their path finding. The straight lines of the area make for relatively safe dodge rolls (unless you dodge into the poison pool below). Defeat them one at a time and clear this small area.
Due to the difficult jumps involved and potentially deadly enemies in the next small area, you may want to save attempting it until after you defeat the nearby boss (mist door in the area with three sledgehammer undead) and light the bonfire nearby. This will make backtracking trips far quicker and less annoying. For those that want to do it now however, you can. You may have noticed metal bars embedded in the nearby wall with a ledge and a poison tick as you were climbing the stairs before. Ranged characters will want to take out this tick in advance. This is the area I'm talking about. To reach it, you need to jump down (you cannot just sprint off) to it from the upper area where the three sledgehammer undead were. Missing the platform will result in death thanks to the lethal pool of poison below.
For those that have trouble jumping, you may want to pack a homeward bone as well to make sure you don't leave you souls on the far side. Once you have made the jump successfully, take out the nearby tick if you weren't able to before. The hallway beyond holds your first blade assassin. These enemies are fast, damaging and will occasionally dodge ranged projectiles. This makes them a real threat for unwary ranged characters. Melee characters with shields however will be able to simply block their attacks and hammer them back. Use the large area of the room the tick was in to dodge and roll away safely as you take it out (don't rush towards it initially as quicker players may have noticed the discoloured stone in the hallway that triggers an arrow trap).
Once it is dead, step up to the hallway entrance and peek around the corner to the left to find another blade assassin waiting to ambush you. Repeat the same process you just used against the first. Head into the hallway (skirting the trigger stone) and enter the small room beyond. Another blade assassin will be waiting in a small alcove to the left, you know the drill by now (although cruel players may want to let it trigger the arrow trap). Once it is defeated, you will have free run of the hallway. This means you can pick up the Soul of a Nameless Soldier and Titanite Shard on the nearby corpse and open the chest to grab a Heavy Crossbow +3 and Heavy Bolts from inside.
Return to the starting room and (if you packed one) you can use the homeward bone to return to the boss bonfire (if you have activated it) or to the mining machinery area in harvest valley. Everyone else will have to try for this pretty difficult jump. You need to land on the ramp that leads up and out of the poison pit below. Landing in the poison (no matter how short the distance looks) will instantly kill you. Try to make it but don't be surprised if you don't and have to return to the nearest bonfire. Make your way back to the upper area that the three sledgehammer undead were in before, grab the torch from the trapped chest in the alcove to the right and pass through the mist door to take on the first boss of this area.
Boss: Covetous Demon
Personal Death Count: 0
Body Slam: The demon rears all the way up (nearly at ninety degrees for a second and then slams down towards your position. If you are far enough back you can just keep attacking with ranged attacks or wait until he finishes the slam to move back in and keep attacking in melee. Backward roll are the best way of getting out of the way if you are too close.
Claw Slash: The demon will slash towards your position with one of his claws. Rolling backwards is generally the safest option against this attack.
Jump Lunge: The demon will huddle down at the front for a second and then launch himself at the position you were in when he initiated the huddle. Simple to avoid by moving or rolling away from where you were standing at the time. Also presents a good opportunity for back attacking or healing up.
Lick and Munch: The demon will stick it's tongue out and move it around before trying to eat the player (if they are too close it will grab them and swallow them). This annoying attack will remove all your equipment (into your inventory), turn you into a hollow (if you weren't already) and reduce your maximum health by a large portion. Needless to say, avoiding this attack by rolling backwards out of range is essential to your survival (and sanity). The good thing about this attack is it has a rather long recovery animation meaning you can pile on the damage if you avoid it.
Roll Over: The only side attack the demon has, the demon may wobble sideways and then roll over and try to crush the player (sometimes multiple times). Roll away from the demon to avoid the attack (and stay away until you know it has stopped rolling.
Saliva Spit: The demon may rear up slightly and spit burning saliva/ objects in front of him. Roll to the side or back away to avoid this attack.
Tail Swipe: If you get around behind the demon, it may smash it's tail down multiple times in an attempt to hit you. Roll away when you see it go up and move around the side of the demon in melee or cast away while it slams at nothing.
The covetous demon will take a few seconds to even get up to face you, so ranged characters should use the time to get in a few shots (archers can also use the time to hit the glowing green urns to drop undead into the room to distract the boss). The boss may look threatening but as long as you play defensively and roll away from his attacks (all of which are pretty obvious and easily dodged) you shouldn't have any problems dealing with him. His jumping attacks have a relatively slow windup and pretty obvious tells (he will huddle forward for a whole second or more and then launch towards where you were when he initiated the attack). Magic users will be able to take large chunks of health with their spells and melee characters will be able to move to his sides to attack as he takes forever to initiate and recover from his attack animations. Seriously, watch the video to see how little a threat this boss poses ( I was way too defensive, I could have had him at half health before he even managed to reach me for the first time). Melee characters really only need to watch out for the roll over attack that can cause some serious damage when they are beside the demon.
Once the demon is no more, you should see a door opposite the one you came in from as well as a staircase (blocked off) leading upwards. Take the doorway, head up the stairs to find the first bonfire of the area as well as Lucatiel (you've met her at a couple of bonfires before by now). Talk to her and she will give you a Ring of Steel Protection +1. Past the bonfire is a small room with holes in the floor leading down to poison below. Pass through this room and in the next you will find a small balcony overlooking some huge cogs and axles with a staircase leading up to your left.
Be wary when heading up this staircase as two blade assassins will be waiting in the room above. You should be able to trigger them individually by not approaching the further away one until you have dealt with the close one. After the first one is dead, you can take out the second one further on. After they are dead, you will need to take on a sledgehammer undead hiding behind the large poison cauldron at the back of the room. Be careful when you approach as it can smash the large poison cauldron when it tries to attack you, potentially poisoning you. Finish it off to clear the room and snatch the Radiant Life Gem from the nearby body.
You now get to move onto the narrow walkway in the next room, to your right on a parallel walkway are two poison archers who will open fire when you enter the room. A spear knight is at the end of this walkway and will attack if you get too close. If you have ranged abilities, kill off the archers before moving up to engage the knight. Otherwise you will need to trigger the knight and retreat back to the previous room to avoid the hail of arrows. Either way, you should retreat back into the earlier room as there is far more room to dodge the knights damaging and quite quick attacks. The knight uses a shield and will keep it raised most of the time during battle. This means melee characters will need to break his guard to damage him successfully. Ranged characters will need to lure him into attacking, roll away and open fire before he can raise his shield again. Take note that these knights can use estus flasks when their health is extremely low (if you see him glowing orange, lay into him quickly to prevent healing).
Once the knight is finished, you can travel along the walkway again (or sprint if the archers are still present). In the room at the far end, you should see a ladder on the wall to the left and two other doorways to your right. Be aware that if you move towards the ladder, two blade assassins will drop down and engage you. It may be best to get that out of the way now, before you have to go up it shortly (don't worry, I'll remind you about them when we come back). If you couldn't kill the archers before, the first door leads to the walkway they were on, allowing you to finally wreak your revenge. You will likely spot an item nearby but we will pick it up later, so don't try to jump for it.
Just inside the second doorway is a switch that raises the nearby poison cauldron that you can pull. Around the second corner down this path is another blade assassin lying in wait. Back up and finish him off quickly (at least you don't have to worry about the poison cauldron). Past where the blade assassin was, you should come out on a small narrow ledge. At the far end of which is a chest that can be opened to reveal a Pike for you to collect. Now it's time to go back and approach that ladder we passed before (remember the two blade assassins that may drop down from above!). If the assassins haven't dropped down, they may be waiting above. Climbing to the top of the ladder should allow you to spot any waiting assassins (there will be a minimum of one) nearby. Climb up and quickly ambush him.
Take note of the small ledge beside him that provides access to the axle powering the windmill blades here as you can light this on fire with a torch from the bonfire you are just about to discover. This lowers the poison level in the next boss fight making it much easier (poison heals her and damages you). The mist door behind him leads to the second bonfire of the area (not a boss for once!). For those that don't know how to use torches (or just haven't had to yet) they aren't actually individual items in your inventory anymore. Instead you will see a timer in your inventory with a torch icon next to it. Each torch you pick up adds five minutes to the timer. This is the amount of time you can have a torch active. Go to any bonfire and press the switch interaction button (Y on Xbox) to find a second option that allows you to light a torch. This will replace the item in your left hand and can be put out by swapping it out using the D-pad. Now that you know about torches, head back and burn those blades.
When you get there the boss will be quite a bit easier. Now we can continue on. Next to where the mist door was, you should see the stairs continue upwards. Walk up to the top and pick up the Black Firebomb from the corpse at the top (be careful of the nearby trigger plate that releases a stream of deadly arrows). Further along this room, near the ladder is a blade assassin hiding behind a pillar and a corpse holding onto a Manikin Mask. If the door at the top of the stairs you just came up is closed, it is because you let the assassin at the bottom of the stairs retreat up here. This means you will have to take the alternate path (at the other end of the platform climb up, drop through the stopped fan, kill the two sorceresses within and head to the right to open the gate).
In most cases however, the door will be open. Peek out the door to you left to spot a waiting blade assassin. Keep in mind that the path to the right is clear of enemies so you can use this open area to deal with the assassin pretty easily. Now the area is clear it's time to meet a new NPC and pick up some nice items (bring 2000 souls to pay the man). You can break through the railings in this small area to access a corpse holding a Simpleton's Spice and then run all the way to the other end to discover the ladder making NPC Gilligan. When you talk to him, he will offer you a deal for a ladder. The cost is 2000 souls (its well worth it). Agree to the deal and climb down the new ladder to pick up a Pharro's Lockstone and Twinkling Titanite from the body below. Climb back up and learn the prostrate gesture, exhaust his dialogue and he will appear in Majula next time you are there. He is very handy in traveling to the next area after this one, the pit.
Back on the main walkway, turn the corner (noticing the lift control switch here for later) and walk onto the wooden platform. A nearby ladder will take you to the slightly higher platform. When you reach the top, you should see three poison vases in a line in front of you. Ranged characters can smash the vases and attack the blade assassin in the room beyond (easier than killing him in normal combat later). When you are ready, turn to the right to find a hallway with a spear knight at the end. Lure him back to the more open area and take him out. The door on the right wall of this hallway leads to a set of stairs with Pate (yes, the same one from the forest of fallen giants - he only appears if you met him there). The nearby door won't open from this side so we need to go back to the hallway where the spear knight was.
The path splits here (left and right). This time we want to head left. At the top of the next set of stairs is a spear knight and two fire mages to deal with. Fire mages shoot two main types of projectiles. A large arc of projectiles (that will hit the roof above the stairwell if you stay there and explode harmlessly above you, if you are in the open however this attack can be very deadly). The other attack is like a linear frag grenade, they will shoot a fiery ball in a straight line towards you and after a few seconds it will detonate in a large explosion. Needless to say, these mages can pose a massive threat to more fragile classes (and those without significant fire defense). You will need to move forward to engage them if you are a melee class as they will remain in the same spot normally when casting.
You will need to deal with all three enemies up here (one at a time is possible) to access the trapped chest containing a Pharro's Lockstone. At the far end of the room, a blade assassin awaits for you to obliterate. Return to the corridor where the path split and take the other path now. Ahead you should see a fire mage standing over a corpse. There is actually a large gap in the walkway here between you, so ranged attackers can just stay back and open fire. Melee attackers will need to sprint and jump over the gap and take on the mage in close quarters (you will need to angle towards the left wall when making the jump to increase your odds of success). Take out the mage quickly because if the platforms you both are standing on take too much damage they will fall. Once the mage is dead, pick up the Radiant Life Gem from the dangling corpse and open the chest at the far end for a Soul of a Brave Warrior and a Crimson Water.
Jump back across the gap and look for the fragile railing (like the one we destroyed before to meet Gilligan) and smash your way through. Drop down and look behind you for a small alcove containing a chest with the Great Heavy Soul Arrow spell inside. Head back out and open the door in the walkway to get back into the room Pate was in (if you encountered him earlier in the game). Note: Pate may also provide you with his armour set if you used him as a summon in the battle with the last giant and you succeeded. Now that shortcut is open, head back to the lift room (the one with the wooden platform with the nearby switch we ignored earlier.
Pull the lever and sprint over to the wooden lift platform (it will move after a few seconds). At the top is a chest with a Mirrah Shield to pick up. The poison vases here had fire mages behind them (that you have already killed). The lift will descend after a few seconds, so if it already has just drop down into the room below. The next items to grab are more dangerous and require you to run under the lift. Pull the switch and run underneath the lift platform to pick up a Divine Blessing and the Soul of a Proud Knight. Head for the ladder to avoid the descending platform.
Make your way back to the shortcut through Pate's room and head back out to the walkway you just came from and look down into the whirling machinery below. Underneath you should be the walkway with archers you passed a litlle while ago. Players who have mastery of their jumping abilities (and who are packing a homeward bone to get back) can jump down to this walkway and pick up the Poison Broadsword and a Human Effigy. Sprinting at a forty-five degree angle to the wall works quite well to avoid hitting the axle above the walkway. If you attempt this and succeed, use the homeward bone to get out safely and then work your way back to the walkway next to Pate's room to resume.
From the walkway outside Pate's room, head right to the end of the walkway to spot a ledge below you can drop down to find a chest containing the lightning spear spell. You can drop down to another, lower ledge from this one. On the lower ledge, you will find a doorway (with a blade assassin inside). You may recognize this as the area where we picked up the pike a while back. Climb back up the ladder (dealing with any blade assassins on the way) and rest at the bonfire once more.
This time, we need to head up the stairs from the bonfire and use the ladder at the far end of this room (killing the blade assassin hiding behind the end pillar if you want to). Climb up and you will see two paths you can take. The light green path to the left leads to a hole that drops down to the lift area, which we don't need to do anymore. The other path to the right has a set of stairs inside and three poison vases against the wall. You can break these and interact with the wall behind to find a hidden door. Inside is a corpse that holds a Spell Quartz Ring +1. Head back to the staircase and head up it. Two fire mages will be standing in the passageway beyond. Next to them are poison vases that can be broken with ranged attacks to bring down the mages quickly and safely. Do so if you can, otherwise you will need to try and lure them one by one and deal with them in close combat.
Past the mages is a spear knight on the lower level and another fire mage on a raised platform to the right. Lure over the spear knight and fight him individually before taking on the fire mage. You may need to run for the stairway in the opposite wall to be far enough away to be safe from the arcing shot (the added height makes it especially dangerous). Kill off the fire mage and take a look around. You should see two spear knights on a lower platform guarding a doorway (the mist door to the second boss fight of the area). We will pass that up for now and trigger the nearby bonfire first (making subsequent boss trips far easier).
Head up the well illuminated staircase (you may have already taken shelter in it) and on your right as you ascend you should see a rioom full of poison vases. Use ranged attacks to break them and fight the seven poison ticks inside (they are slow but can surprise you if you aren't careful). In the same room is a mimic pretending to be a treasure chest, as well as a pharro's device. The device creates a pool of poison that (if you burned the windmill earlier in the area becomes poison curing / healing water), this really isn't worth it so don't waste the stone. There is also a corpse in the room holding a Smooth and Silky Stone. Back to the mimic, attack the chest and it will morph. You should be able to get a good couple of hits in, no matter what class you are before it will start changing. If you are quick enough you should be able to kill it before it is even a threat. Once it's done the transformation into the small child from the Grudge, it will move around and try to attack you. Finish it off as quick as you can and it will drop Dark Gauntlets and a Work Hook.
Continue up the stairs to find a NPC red phantom wielding a large sickle. Despite his appearance, he is relatively easy to deal with, just use hit and run tactics (lure him down to the floor below where you have room to manouver and simply used ranged attacks or good blocking and strikes to whittle him down fast. Casters with the yearn spell can make this fight pathetically easy by casting it at the wall behind him and then blasting away. You will see a large row of poison vases and what looks like a dead end in both directions. A hidden door to the right contains the final bonfire for this area and a hidden door to the left holds a chest with a Petrified Something inside.
To reach the boss, head back down the stairs and head to the right to take on the two spear knights (ranged characters can take advantage of the horrendous pathfinding on the stairs), while melee characters will want to use the small ledges in the area to drop down and run up to outmanouver the knights. To the left of the stairs in front of the mist door is a corpse holding a Poison Stone and on the other side of the stairs is an NPC summon sign for the boss ahead. When you are ready, part the mist and enter the boss chamber.
Boss: Mytha, The Baneful Queen
Personal Death Count: 10
Charging Lunge: Mytha will lean backwards and then launch herself forward a fair distance trying to impale you with her spear. The recovery animation for this attack is one of the longer ones, giving you a good couple of hits on her. To avoid the attack, roll to the side after she leans backwards.
Eye Blast: Mytha will huddle forward and then raise her head in her left hand, this then launches a blast of energy directly towards you. Roll to the side to avoid this attack (or past her if you are close enough to get a hit or two in).
Eye Spray: Mytha will hold her head out below her for a split second and then fire a line of energy towards you. You will need to roll sideways to avoid this attack successfully.
Grapple: If you are really close to her (in front of) she will perform a relatively slow grab towards you. If she succeeds this can be seriously painful. Back up or roll backwards to avoid it.
Head Shot: Occasionally she will throw her head onto the ground in front of her. It then creates an explosive AoE of energy from that position. She will then move to retrieve it, giving you a good opportunity to heal or deal damage. Roll backwards from the head when you see her throw it.
Spear Slam: Mytha will move her spear arm back and over her head, then jab her spear at an angle towards you quickly and then slam it down on your position in a second swing. This attack causes serious damage but if dodged gives you a decent amout of time to heal or to hit her.
Spear Spin: Mytha will lift her spear all the way behind her and then spin around rapidly with her tail and spear outstretched. Deals major damage if you are caught by the attack. Roll backwards out of her range when you see the spear raise.
Spear Strikes: Mytha will move her spear arm back slightly and then jab her spear directly towards you quickly two or even three times. You have to time your dodge quite late or she will adjust her aim and attack you where you finish rolling. Roll to the side slightly after the tell but before the spear actually hits you (may take a couple of times to get the timing down).
Tail Slam: Mytha will raise up her tail when you are behind her and then slash it in a large arc behind her. Roll backwards to avoid the attack.
Ah, now this is a real area boss (unlike the previous one). Players might notice some similarities to the Old Dragonslayer boss from the cathedral of blue (spear and attack style). If you burned the windmill blades earlier (like was recommended) the poison in the room will be more like a small moat around the central area of the room. Players who didn't will have their work cut out for them and will need to use the stones near the entrance of the room to avoid the poison and fight the boss there (some players have suffered a glitch which results in the poison staying in the room even though they burned the windmill blades). Just burn those blades to make life easy and fight her in a better situation. She is also quite weak agains hexes (as you can see in the video as my character uses the weakest hex available and it still does more damage than the more powerful sorcery spells.
The main thing about the poison moat is that it heals Mytha if she moves over it and poisons you if you wander into it. Melee players will be able to block most of her heavy thrusts and roll away from her multi hit attacks relatively easily. Mages and Archers will want to be strafing constantly, using her recovery animations as their time to deal damage. Keep moving, dodge or block (if able) her spear attacks and deal damage quickly to bring her down. If she wanders into the poison and starts healing, this is the time to unleash your heavy ranged attacks as a caster as she will generally remain there for a couple of seconds and then use her charging lunge or her eye blast attack.
After a few attempts you should have her pattern down and if you are having trouble, don't forget to bring the NPC summon in with you.
Once the boss is no more, head through the door on the opposite wall (the larger one with a set of stairs through it) to reach a small lift beyond. Step into it and ascend. You will arrive at a large room with a passage leading off to the right. You should reach the start of the area of Iron Keep (which we will explore later in the guide). For now, look for a set of stairs descending to your left that lead down to a bonfire (surrounded by magma). Activate it and it's time to head back to Majula for our next destination, the Pit.