**** Getting to Dragon Covenant Early (Spoilers) ****

#1brackorPosted 10/8/2011 8:56:45 PM
Posted this in another post, so figured I would put it in its own topic. And as noted in topic comment ****** Spoilers to Come ******

* Note: These directions require the master key to do immediately from the start at firelink, but can also be followed by anyone once you can get to the bonfire in the bottom of Blighttown as well.

** Also Note: You just might end up cursed when doing this, but there's really nothing keeping you from completing this even if you do catch too much frog spit in the face. If you are worried about getting cursed, wait until you at least get access to the cathedral shortcut so you can access the return to tutorial area bit and also get the cracked red eye orb you'll need to trade for it.

*** And One More Thing: I would seriously recommend grabbing the gear out of the valley of drakes by making a few suicide gear runs from firelink shrine, you can get a fire resistant shield and poison resistant shield that will help out alot in blighttown. To say nothing of a very nice little physical/magic damage longsword. (S10 D10 M -- F14)
#2brackor(Topic Creator)Posted 10/8/2011 8:57:04 PM
Okay then, starting from the Firelink Shrine, take the elevator down to New Londo.
Head down the path and stay to the right side (near the blacksmith) to find the door to the Valley of Drakes. Using the Master key (or the New Londo key), unlock the door. You are now in the Valley of Drakes.

Upon entering the Valley of Drakes there is a plank bridge across a chasm, the suicide gear run stuff is to the left across the bridge in front of the big rotting looking dragon and farther down past a few drakes on a bridge. To the right from the plank bridge is the (back) entrance to Blighttown.

Now for the fun part, run past the big poison ogre guys (rolling and such as needed) and take the ladder that will be on your right after a while. Continue heading down ladders, using the spider shield against the mosquitoes and the dragon's crest shield against the fire-breathing worm/pig/crawler things. You will eventually come to a big waterwheel looking contraption. This is your elevator down to the swamps in the bottom of Blighttown. Now, hug the wall to your left and run past two more firebreathers to get to a stone cave looking archway. There is a bonfire inside on the left, use it to reset any enemies or poison effects.

Take a few minutes to gather some of the nearby sparklies and more importantly, run up the ramp from the bonfire and grab the dragon scale from the chest in the arena looking place. That done, start from the bonfire and head left (away from the spikey sand mound where the second bell boss resides). Just ignore all the enemies and run straight for the root looking ramp (they're slow anyway, but you'll likely be poisoned at this point). You will come to a corpse leaning against the wall inside the tree. Collect the loot and hit the wall, it'll vanish and you will come to a chest. Loot the chest, get a good laugh and hit the wall to the left of the chest. Proceed through the second fake wall and you will shortly come to the bonfire at the top of the Great Hollow.

Rest at the bonfire to clear your statuses and any chasing enemies. Now for some fun with icky curse spewing frogs. The Great Hollow looks like a giant jumping puzzle, but there really is an easy, non-jump intensive route down. Basically stick to the greener looking roots as these form an uninterrupted path to the bottom and is also more or less the way you will be coming out the other way. Follow the roots down until you come to a slight drop offdown to a slightly more open area with your first frogs. The route appears to continue ahead and to the right, but do not be fooled into the dead end (though there is some loot if you really want to grab it. Instead, hang a hard left and you will see the route continue down along some platforms until you come to a ladder. You will probably want to take the straighter sections at a run because you have evil curse frogs chasing you at this point. Take the ladders down until you get to the webby looking miiddle/bottom section. Run to the left of the main trunk minding the holes in the floor and curve around the jutting root to come to the next ladder.
#3brackor(Topic Creator)Posted 10/8/2011 8:57:46 PM
Now for an important point, while you are going down this ladder point your camera so that you are looking to your left. As soon as you touch bottom, hammer roll to avoid eating gooy frog death and also get you going straight to the ramp down. Continue along the spiral staircase made out of shrooms (minding one gap) and you will see a passageway past some big shroom guys. Keep running and you will emerge out into Ash Lake. At the End of the entrance ramp, hang an immediate right and run to the bonfire to light it and rest.

Now you are in Ash Lake, a freaking amazingly beautiful area in the game. Not quite all of the sparklies you see down here are dragon scales. One of them is the Great Magic Barrier miracle (F24 required). There is also a giant hydra down here that you do not actually have to kill to get to the covenant shrine and it's actually kinda fun to run from it the whole way.

Okay, last leg of the trip. Using the peak of the sand as a guide, run toward the hollowed out log laying on it's side. You can either run through the hollow or just to the right of it and slide down the back side. Next, aim for the Skull farther up the beach and keep running. Pass the skull on the right side and continue on toward the giant hollowed out tree. Slide down the treeward side of the sandbank and continue running up the beach. Now for the last leg (where I randomly got blasted about half the time by the hydra) you will run along an ever narrowing lane of sand and shoreline in a snakelike pattern until you finally make it to the bonfire inside the shrine.

Just don't shoot the dragon in the face m'kay? He got enough of that in the openning cinematic.

There are three scales I've found on the ground in ash lake, plus the more-headed hydra drops two.

Here's where they are:

Left past the hydra is when you enter (also the best place I found to fight the thing, though like anything else, always better with fire!)
In the hollow log on it's side on the path.
On the beach to the left before getting to the giant hollowed out tree.

To get out of here, just follow the same path back out with one exception. When you get to the part in the Great Hollow where you slid down, you will have to run past the frogs to get to a ladder (or torch them and proceed at your liesure).
#4brackor(Topic Creator)Posted 10/8/2011 8:59:32 PM
By the time I got done with this my cleric was level 20 and I went on to feed the Taurus demon a face full of flamey breath to add insult to the two handed head-cleave to the face that nearly one shot him.
#5TechFinchPosted 10/8/2011 9:02:59 PM
Awesome, thanks for this little guide. I'll definitely keep this in mind for my next playthrough.
#6PHoToS999Posted 10/8/2011 9:03:29 PM
Wow...
Just...wow.

May try tomorrow.
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#7brackor(Topic Creator)Posted 10/8/2011 9:05:16 PM
One more thing, you CAN chop off the everlasting dragon's tail without breaking the covenant (at least for now) to get the dragon tail greatsword (S50 required!)
#8mhayes86Posted 10/8/2011 9:07:46 PM
Is this the only way to the Dragon Covenant? I've already finished Blight Town, and may have actually looted this corpse, so I've obviously missed it. I wouldn't know a single thing about invisible walls if it weren't for this board! The player messages are few and far between in my game.
#9Genji19BPosted 10/8/2011 9:11:15 PM(edited)
I'd recommend cutting off that dragon's tail too. He doesn't get pissed.

Also, once you get the dragon head stone you can dupe infinite souls.
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#10brackor(Topic Creator)Posted 10/8/2011 9:11:27 PM
mhayes86 posted...
Is this the only way to the Dragon Covenant? I've already finished Blight Town, and may have actually looted this corpse, so I've obviously missed it. I wouldn't know a single thing about invisible walls if it weren't for this board! The player messages are few and far between in my game.

So far as I know, yeah. I think this may be the first time I've seen a secret area hidden behind another secret area. Though I think the item was a good hint that something was a little fishy. All this for a plank shield?! Really?????