Proceed down the stairs from the Abyss Watchers Bonfire to enter the Catacombs of Carthus. From the ledge ahead you can take a look at the area below where you’ll eventually end up. It is possibly to rush past the stairs you by dropping down onto a lower platform below on the right. But we’re going to go left to collect everything we can. The Catacombs are filled with skeleton enemies, many of which will often resurrect after you take it down the first time.
You will face the first of many skeletons as you go left. Defeat it and loot the 2 Carthus Rouge behind it. From here you’ll see a bridge heading to the other side, and an armored skeleton patrolling over it. These skeletons will turn invisible as they charge at you and attack, so be prepared to block or dodge back. Draw it back if you don’t want to fight on the narrow confines of the bridge.
As you head to the other side of the bridge, a skeleton archer will form at the top of a platform you can’t get to yet and two more Skeletons up ahead to block the doorway. Kill the Skeletons and move past, but the Archer up on the platform will follow you into this room as well, so be mobile and dodge its arrows. As you enter the room you’ll see some stairs going up with a Skeleton guarding it. Kill it and go up to kill the Skeleton Archer close to it, before proceeding to the archer that was taking pot shots at you while you were on the bridge. You can go past where this archer first formed, but we’ll go around another way which will bring us back here.
Check the right side of the upper platform after you exited the stairs and you will face a couple more Skeletons with a corpse behind them holding a Soul of a Nameless Soldier. Head downstairs when you’re done and be prepared to fight a couple of powerful red-eyed Skeletons. Don’t try to engage both at once. Lure one upstairs, take it out, and then go back down to take out the other one. Search the room to find 2 Titanite Shards in the corner.
Now we’ll go back a bit to explore an area we moved past. Back on the first bridge if you had looked left you would have noticed a platform below you. Jump onto that platform and take out the skeleton that forms beside you. Continue into the hall and guard yourself against the skeleton ambushing from the right. Straight ahead you’ll find a corpse holding the Carthus Pyromancy Tome.
This may seem like a dead end, but hit the illusiory wall to reveal a hidden pathway leading into another red-eyed Skeleton. This enemy likes to hop around and dodge your attacks and throw knives from a distance. It will take good dodging and retaliating on your part to take it down. Close to the assassin you will find a Sharp Gem. If you head right, you’d come back to the room where you had killed the first two red-eyed skeletons. If you go left you will find a Soul of a Nameless Soldier and a ladder that will take you to the platform where the first skeleton archer had formed. If you take the ladder, be careful of the switch on the ground. If you step on it, you’ll trigger a trap that shoots arrows from one end of the hall. There will be more traps like this throughout the catacombs.
Go back to the room that leads to the great staircase. Before we head downstairs, we want to explore the room beyond which has 4 skeletons. Further up you will meet Anri who seems to have lost Horace. Just past her is a balcony that leads to a Crystal Lizard holding a Twinkling Titanite and a corpse holding 3 Bloodred Moss Clumps. While you are on the balcony guard yourself against the skeleton archer on another platform. That is the same platform you could have jumped on at the start of the catacombs to bypass the stairs and everything we have gone through so far.
Now it’s time to go down the stairs, either by jumping from the platform at the start or the main stairs. Either way, be warned that when you are on the stairs, a huge boulder of bones will roll down the path. It will keep going back and forth crushing you or enemies alike. There is an Ember midway on the stairs, so if you’re feeling brave, grab it quick and sprint to the end of the path and turning left to avoid the boulder.
Here you will find an unarmed skeleton who is actually the one responsible for the skeleton boulder. Killing him will cause the boulder to stop rolling through the stairs. Grab the Undead Bone Shard up ahead after you’ve dealt with the skeleton.
You’ll find more skeletons in the next corridor but one of them is a nuisance who will throw bombs. These aren’t regular bombs, for when they smash on the ground they release a dark energy that homes in on you to do a good chunk of damage. Kill the skeletons fast before the corridor is overwhelmed with these dark orbs. As you turn right, you will notice many urns positioned to the right side of the corridor with a glowing orb behind them.
If you want to smash past these urns, do not hit any of the smaller urn that seem to be covered. They will release that dark energy that will damage you. So smash your way to the corpse by destroying only regular urns to obtain a Carthus Milkring (now you too can go invisible when dodging!).
Go down the path and avoid the pressure trap on the ground. At the end of the corridor, you can drop down left or proceed right. Let’s go right for now, where you will find 2 skeletons and another red-eyed one. Don’t try to engage all at once. Isolate the red-eyed one and take it out.
Proceed right and you will face a couple more skeletons wielding sword and shield. Kill them one by and move to the end of the hallway but watch for the pit! Carefully make your way around the pit to loot the Ember. If you look down you’ll see a Bonewheel Skeleton, but we won’t jump down here. Go to the right passage you saw while heading to the ember. Hear that sound? It’s another skeleton boulder.
Grab the Titanite Shard to your left then sprint to the other side of the hallway. Make a sharp turn left when you see the bonfire and your checkpoint!
After lighting the bonfire head back to the passage and go left, but beware of the boulder still rolling to and fro through the corridor. As you descend down you will see a few rats that you may have noticed from above earlier. Take out the rats and the giant rat hiding to the right. To the left you will find a Skeleton Assassin guarding 2 Titanite Shard.
Notice that there are three doors here as you exited the corridor with the boulder. Before checking any of those out, go right where you will find some Bonewheel Skeletons you may have seen a bit earlier. These enemies charge at you by rolling on their wheels. Simply dodge or strafe past and take them out while they are getting their bearing after smashing into a wall. At the end of this corridor is a Slime creature guarding a Carthus Bloodring.
Now go back and we’ll explore the doors. The closest door will lead to a room with an Ember. You may be invaded by Knight Slayer Tsorig, who wields a greatsword and greatshield. Do not fight him in the narrow corridor. Rather, you can draw him out into the waterlogged area where the skeleton boulder is still rolling back and forth. You can lure him so that he gets hit by the boulder and gets knocked down so you can get a few hits on him. He will drop the Knight Slayer’s Ring and reward you with My Thanks! Emote. Also, you’ll notice that the room with the Ember has a closed gate and the room beyond is filled with bones. Once we find a way to open this gate, this path will serve as the shortcut to the boss, so it’s good to remember this area.
Go back to the second door and it will lead upstairs. You’ll find a red-eyed archer, the skeleton controlling the boulder, and a Skeleton Assassin. Lure the Assassin downstairs to fight him safely. Then head back up kill the archer and the boulder controller. Loot the 3 Carthus Rouge near the balcony while being careful not to step on the pressure plate. Upstairs if you turn around and head the other direction you’ll find another Assassin. Kill it and loot the Large Titanite Shard and Grave Warden’s Ashes. Go back down below.
It’s time to explore the door to the very left. As you move through the narrow path you’ll find a small crystal lizard here holding a Fire Gem. Just up ahead, standing on the edge of a cliff is a Skeleton. Sneak up on him to take him out. To the left you’ll find 3 Yellow Bug Pellet. You should also see a sign on the floor that gives you a hint on what to do ahead: “the bridge ahead is wearing thin”.
Head to the right side and you’ll enter the bone filled room you had noticed earlier from the room with the Ember. Pull the lever first of all to establish the shortcut. Luckily, all the bones in the room will not rise to fight you, only a few. Loot the Large Soul of a Nameless Soldier and the 2 Black Bug Pellet and head to the bridge but don’t cross it yet.
Look for a path sloping up from the bridge. At the end of the path you’ll find Anri again who is still searching for Horace. Talk to her and head back. Start crossing the bridge and as soon as you do you’ll hear all the bones in the previous room starting to form skeletons. Sprint to the other side of the bridge and cut the ropes so that the skeletons chasing you will fall below.
The end of this path leads to the boss fight, but there’s a bit more to explore here. After you cut down the bridge, it’ll turn into a ladder you can use to climb below. Head down and enter the next room to find yourself facing a Demon. Stack on fire resistance before you engage this imposing foe. He will attack you with his mace, try to stomp on you, and burn you with his breath. If you feel like this fight is getting a bit tricky to handle, run downstairs to the other room below to raise all the other skeletons. Chances are the demon will get distracted by the skeletons which will buy you time to attack it or recover some health. Run back if you see the demon lift his axe above. A massive aoe attack follows. Defeating the demon rewards you with a Soul of a Demon.
Head back up on the ledge and proceed to the other side to find a chest, well, a Mimic. Kill it to obtain a Black Blade. Now head downstairs to the room with many skeletons. If the Demon hasn’t dealt with them, you should try to lure only a few at a time so as not to get overwhelmed. After clearing the room, loot the Large Titanite Shard and Large Soul of a Nameless Soldier. Continue to the next room to find a Witch’s Ring and the Old Sage’s Blindfold. The adjacent room here holds the bonfire and the entrance to the next area, The Smouldering Lake.
You can head here now, but we still haven’t finished the boss of this area yet, so go back up to enter the boss room. The fight doesn’t immediately start. You have to interact with the goblet on an altar, which will teleport you to the Abyss to face against the High Lord Wolnir.
BOSS FIGHT – HIGH LORD WOLNIR
As soon as you’re teleported to the abyss, darkness will surround you. You will notice a corpse on the ground holding a Grave Warden Pyromancy Tome. But as soon as you try to pillage it, High Lord Wolmir will reveal himself to start the fight.
The trick to ending the fight quickly is to destroy the bands on his wrists. You will notice one band on his right hand (which is to your left) and two bands on his left hand (to your right). Destroying each band does 1/3 of the boss’s HP in damage, so your goal should be to destroy these as soon as possible. Would be easy if his hands were static, but he’ll keep moving his arms to attack you or crawl forward. And if you’re too close to his body, the black smoke lingering there will damage you significantly.
Try to position yourself close to the hands as much as you can while avoiding his swipes and smashes. Hit his bands whenever you get the opportunity. It will take more than a few hits to get the job done. Watch out when he raises his body and starts to breathe out some black smoke. Run away from him to the back if you don’t want to die.
The boss will summon skeletons through the fight, making things even more difficult. You can either fend them off yourself or let the boss’s attacks destroy them. Your goal is to watch when he smashes the ground or crawls forward a bit. That is your opening to hit the bands. Try to take out the lone band on his right hand first, as that is his sword hand and will make things difficult once he summons his sword.
If you see him raise his hands and a golden glow appear on the ground in front of you, run away. A massive aoe damage follows. When he summons his sword watch for his arm. If he raises it, an attack is coming. Try to dodge it and follow up with attacks on his band. If you can destroy his bands fast, you won’t even have to deal with many skeletons or the sword. So try to learn his pattern and aim for the bands from the start of the fight. If you’re a spell caster, try to position yourself to the sides and aim for the bands when he puts his forearm on the ground.
Another thing you want to be careful is if you’re too far away from him, he’ll crawl towards you (which does create an opening to hit his bands), but if you let him crawl too close to you and you get pinned against the wall, that doesn’t bode too well for you.
After you defeat the boss, you’ll obtain the Soul of High Lord Wolnir and be teleported back to the room with the goblet. Light the bonfire and notice the path ahead which leads to Irithyll of the Boreal Valley. Or you can go back below and enter the Smouldering Lake.