Shaded Woods Walkthrough

Arrving From Majula

Area begins after the player opens the gate originally obstructed by the petrified Rosabeth of Melfia. Pulling the lever will open the cells in this room, causing several Forest Grotesques to attack you, as well as open the door to the next room. Beware, as a Basilisk is waiting on the other side. Defeat them then head to the door on the left at the bottom of the stairs to light the first Bonfire. The room to the right of the stairs holds a Chest containing an Estus Flask Shard. Head up the stairs and jump to the ledge on either the right or the left, to find 2 more doors on each side. The right ones contain only more Grotesques, the ones on the left contain another Grotesque and a Gyrm Worker. The room with the Gyrm Worker inside contains a corpse with items a Soul Of A Proud Knight and a Human Effigy. Note that, as in the room before, once you trigger one of the enemies, the rest will break through the doors and attack you as well. Back at the top of the stairs continue on into the Shaded Woods.

Up ahead is another Grotesque, feasting on a corpse holding Fading Soul. Continue until you approach a clearing with multiple Grotesques, some of which are on the ledge above to your left and will throw rocks at you. Move up the hill and turn sharp left and walk along the ledge the Hollows were on. At the back end is a corpse holding a Pharros' Lockstone. Grab it then turn around and head on,encountering 4 more Grotesques, feasting on 2 corpses, containing a Soul of a Proud Knight and a Human Effigy. Moving on, you will eventually reach a crumbling building, containing the second Bonfire. Up the stairs are 3 different doors that lead to 3 different paths:

ds2 sw4bonfire1

  • Left
    • Head out and confront the 2 Hollow Falconers ahead. Move through the bridge arc and deal with the approaching Falconer, then turn to the left after the castle wall to find a small pathway with two more Falconers. At the end of the path, you'll find a corpse with a Human Effigy, a Large Soul Of A Proud Knight, and  2x Twinkling Titanite. Get back on track, eventually getting to a more open room with an item at the very end, right before a collapsed archway. Take care of the  Roaming Soul guarding the area and the Grotesque coming from the left. By the archway is a corpse holding the Dragonslayer Crescent Axe and Gold Falcon Shield. The archway is blocked by broken stone pillars but the pathway on the left leads to the Shrine Of Winter.
    • To further progress here, you need either all of the four Souls of the Old Ones and to have lit the Primal Bonfires, or have collected a specific number of souls since starting your game. The required number of souls is: 1 million on NG, 2m on NG+, 3m on NG++, and so on until it caps on 7m in NG+6 and higher.
      • However, this only counts the souls you've gained since you started NG+ - so if you started NG+ with 2.5m souls, you'll need 4.5m souls to go through.
  • Straight
    • Move ahead to encounter 2 Prowler Hounds on your way as well as an Ogre arounjd the corner. In the body of water in front of you, you'll find a corpse holding the Red Tearstone Ring. Far up the path is a Kings Door leading to Aldia's Keep and a Syan Knight guarding it. However, you need the King Ring to gain further access so, this becomes another dead end.ds2 sw4aldiaskeep
  • Right
    • Taking the path to the right, will lead you to a area filled with mist, this way is progress.

About the Mist

  • TIP: When entering the first fog door, the Jester's Robes is the single most important item to equip when coming into this area, as it nullifies enemies Critical Hits (you cannot be backstabbed).
  • This area is very easy to get lost in so we will be returning to the starting area for reference sometimes.
  • There are also many trees with faces on them. If you attack them they let out a deep cry which attracts nearby ghosts.
  • Note that the following area is actually circular: not that you should, but if you follow one edge all the way around, you'll end up back at the entrance; part of the edge is a fatal drop, so watch your step closely.
  • If you work patiently and keep continue ghost busting, it appears that they will stop coming at some point; i.e., they don't infinitely spawn (~10-15 ghosts).
  • The hex Profound Still also leaves an unclear aura marking onto the ghosts due to the nature of the spell, not quite helpful but better than none. You may also wear Moon Butterfly Cuffs to leave the poison buildup marking onto the ghosts to make them visible.
  • Homing Soul Mass and Affinity don't chase the ghosts.
  • A light source such as a torch, or Cast Light sorcery helps add some contrast, and causes the ghost to cast a shadow, making them slightly easier to detect.
  • If you are a pure caster, just keep walking around, don't stop until you find an item. Use Dark Storm/Chaos Storm until all the enemies die, pick up the item, repeat. Go back to the bonfire if you need to. 
  • While you are in the Mist, the camera is also zoomed in more than normally.

Through the Mist

Enter the mist and move forward hugging the left wall going up hill. You will soon reach corpse behind a tree that is holding a Soul Of A Proud Knight and a Human Effigy. Continue onto the high left path to reach NPC Head of Vengarl. Exhaust his dialogue to receive Vengarl's Helm then circle around the outside of his alter to find a Fire Seed.

ds2 sw4vengarl

Head back down the hill to reach a corpse holding a Soul Of A Nameless Soldier and a Radiant Lifegem. Beware of the Ghosts of the woods, they are hard to see and can't be locked on to. Head back right until you reach the entrance. This time head straight through the trees. Its near impossible to describe exactly where the following items are, but somewhere in the middle of the area, are corpses with a Soul Of A Nameless Soldier, 2x Amber Herb, and between two trees lies a chest containing the Clear Bluestone Ring +1. Beware as there is also at least 1 Urn that emits Cursed Gas here, as well. Follow the closest wall back to the starting area.

From here hug the right wall and follow it religiously. Soon enough, you will reach a corpse holding 2x Lloyd's Talisman. Continue on and you will soon reach a small hill with a Chest at the top containing Old Sun Ring. Ahead is a cliff edge so be careful. If you have not found the chest with the Clear Bluestone Ring + 1 yet, head in the direction the chest you've just opened, is facing, and you will eventually encounter a facetree. Continue past it and run a bit more to see an iron chest on your left next to another facetree.

Follow the cliff along to the left and you will soon reach a small pathway leading uphill towards the left. At the top is a chest containing Chloranthy Ring +1. Note that this is an excellent spot to tunnel the Ghosts -just wait here with your shield up, and take them out in a single file. Directly from the chest, Drop down from the path and keep moving while hugging the right wall. There will be a steep hill to your right which eventually brings you to a stairway.

Shaded Ruins

Keep heading up, and behind a broken make-shift ramp on the second floor, there is a Bonfire. The Forlorn may invade you shortly after this bonfire. At the very top is a corpse holding a Radiant Lifegem. Go back down and over the bridge. Take care of the Ghost sitting against the wall and halfway across the bridge,  jump toward the glowing hole in the far wall on your right. Break the Curse Urn before it curses you and head left to reach a corpse holding a Soul Of A Brave Warrior and 3x Firebomb.

Head back up the hill to the fallen tree. If you have a Fragrant Branch Of Yore, unpetrify and defeat the nearby Lion Clan Warrior to receive the Fang Key. This grants access Weaponsmith Ornifex ahead. Go across the fallen tree to reach the bridge you leapt off of previously. On the left side, behind where the Ghost was, is a ramp leading into the room below. Within is a Chest containing 10x Magic Bolt.

Head back up and continue across to find another Curse Urn above you, just out of sight. Break it if you have the means, or just quickly run past and up the hill to the left. You will come to an area with multiple Curse Urns. There are a few places to go from here so, once again, we will be using the main entrance from the bridge as a direction reference so assume each start from there.

ds2 sw4map

  1. Sharp left, pretty much behind you, is a grassed over building and a pathway leading down to a Ghost and a corpse holding a Flame Butterfly and 3x Torch. Before heading into the building, turn around the right corner. Along the wall is a crack, which you can use to destroy the cursed urns on the same level as you, and the one above you from range. Carefull when going down the stairs, another Ghost and cursed Urn will be waiting there. After taking care of these threats, destroy the barrels to find a corpse a corpse holding a Soul of a Brave Warrior and a Pharros' Lockstone. Go through the door under the stairs to enter sandy ruins, and find NPC Manscorpion Tark below you. Before dropping down, go through the doorway to the left to find another cursed Urn and a Crystal Lizard around the far wall. Head back out and go through the broken wall to find an iron Chest containing a Dark Scythe. You can now drop down and approach Manscorpion Tark, however, you need the Ring of Whispers purchased from Sweet Shalquoir in Majula, to communicate with him; exhaust his dialogue and he can be summoned for the boss fight. ds2 sw4tark
    • Turn around and head down through the doorway to the left of the stairs. Down here is another petrified Lion Clan Warrior, blocking the entrance to the room. Inside the room is Headless Vengarl which you can defeat to obtain the rest of Vengarl's Set, as well as a corpse containing a torch. Now you can also pay a visit to Head of Vengarl, he will mention the defeat of his body and will be available as a summon later in the game. Outside, through the large doorway and up the path to the left is another petrified Lion Clan Warrior blocking a bridge. Don't waste your Branch here, there's a better way to reach the other side. Head all the way back to the bonfire and go to the very top. Move forwards and look over the left side until you see the small broken bridge below. Line up your jump over the edge so you will land on it.
      • Alternatively, just jump out the window at the same level as the bonfire overlooking the bridge in question. Much easier.
      • Now that you have saved yourself a precious branch, head up the stairs to the left. Inside, you'll find a Sentinel, so watch out. In the room is an iron chest guarded by a Syan Soldier containing 1x Sublime Bone Dust and a corpse with 1x Soul Of a Brave Warrior & 1x Twilight Herb. Head back down stairs and you will notice a doorway on the other side of the small broken bridge. Make the jump to find a chest containing the Black Knight Halberd. The doorway on the right can be used to jump to the small ledge ahead. Head back up and to the right to return to the bonfire. From here head back across the bridge to the initial big open area.
  2. Slightly left is an area with 2 Urns and a petrified Lion Clan Warrior blocking an iron chest containing 3x Human Effigy, 3x Bleeding Serum and the sorcery Repair.
  3.  Far ahead is a ruins with big barrels and a couple of Lion Clan Warriors inside. The stairway leads to a corpse holding a Pharros' Lockstone and a Soul of a Brave Warrior. Behind the stairway in the corner of the room, you can find another petrified Lion Clan Warrior, killing him yields a Warlock Mask.
  4. To the close right, is a small archway leading back onto the upper level of the bridge. Jump across towards the Curse Urn to break it if you didn't earlier, another Ghost and loot the chest ahead for a Titanite Chunk and a Petrified Dragon Bone. Head back either by jumping back or dropping down.
  5. Head to the far right to face rwo more Ghosts on the elevated area to the left, a Curse Jar and a corpse in a corner. The wooden platform near the corpse will break as soon as you step on, so tread carefully along the wall. Grab 1x Lifegem  from the corpse. Now its time to go down, step onto the platform and prepare to fight multiple Basilisks. Clear them out and search the small caves, they emerged from. One contains a corpse holding a Twinkling Titanite. There is also a wooden door here that you can open with the Fang Key, you acquired earlier. Inside you'll find Weaponsmith Ornifex  and a corpse holding another valuable Fragrant Branch of Yore. Talk to her and she will mention that you should visit her at her home later on. She will move much further ahead in Brightstone Cove Tseldora.ds2 sw4blacksmithGo out and head down the pathway making sure to avoid the orange puddles, as they do corrosive damage to your equipment. Head forward to find Darkdiver Grandahl sitting up above. You can't reach him from here, but it's good to know that you can see him. Go out through the hole in the wall, head up to the left and return across the fallen tree towards the bonfire.

The Scorpion Queen

Head across the bridge once again. Return to the wooden platform which you broke previously and find a Ghost above a corpse, and another one hidden near in a tree. The upper pathaway holds no items so there's no incentive to fight them. In the ruins to the right, you will find more Cursed Urns, a Basilisk, another 2 Ghosts (one behind the barrel and one near the two Curse Urns on the outside wall) and another petrified Lion Clan Warrior blocking the entrance to a chest which contains a Fragrant Branch Of Yore, the Lion Mage Robe, Lion Mage Cuffs and Lion Mage Skirt.

Head to the ruined building across from here. There is a grassy area and a few trees to the right which has another collapsing floor near the left corner. This will drop you onto the ledge in the cave with NPC Darkdiver Grandahl  and a chest containing the Homing Soul Mass. Exhaust his dialogue to further help your progress in joining the Pilgrims Of Dark.

ds2 sw4darknpc

Drop down and head out the hole in the wall once again and return to the ruined building right next to the fallen grassy floor. The door all the way right has a staircase winding up. Upstairs approach the NPC Creighton the Wanderer who is resting against the wall (he is here only if you have previously spoken to him in Huntsman's Copse.) Exhaust his dialogue and loot the corpse here holding a Soul Of A Brave Warrior and a Skeptic's Spice. Go down to ground level, face the ruined building and head through the large archway in the middle, where the Bradley of the Old Guard summon sign is. A Great Moth clings to the back wall of building, dispatch it if you wish, then continue up to reach the Boss Fog.

ds2 sw4creighton

BOSS FIGHT: Scorpioness Najka

ds2 sw4boss

Note: In the boss arena is a tree trunk with a corpse on the top. You can't reach this unless you make her run into it and break it. The corpse only holds a few Flame Butterflies though, so don't get yourself killed over it.

Next Move

After defeating the area boss immediately head back and speak to Manscorpion Tark with your Ring Of Whispers on if you want that Fragrant Branch of Yore, mentioned earlier. Return to the boss area and proceed through the doorway to the right to enter Doors Of Pharros.

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