Dark Souls Diaries – Day 03

I begin the day with high hopes. I have purpose now. The first couple of days were full of experimentation and exploration, but both activities were rather aimless. It’s all well and good to be propped up by mysterious powers and shoved in the direction of a grand quest, but the first step still has to be made. Well, I have surveyed the land, and I think I have found the road I am meant to take.

On top of that, I have some new toys. There is my spear, but while exploring what is left of New Londo I also found an estoc, which is a long, stabby sword. Both of these weapons feel completely different from my club and the morningstar. They emphasize range and poking enemies in their eyeballs, which suits me just fine.

spear

The bad news is that skeletons don’t have any eyeballs for me to poke. Turns out stabbing them doesn’t do much at all; even though my spear has damage numbers comparable to my club, its attack type (and the attack type of the estoc) is listed as thrust, while my club is strike damage. With a 2-handed grip on my spear I attack the first skeleton I find and do a measly 20 damage. My club does 50 damage for a regular attack, and twice that for a good skull smash. The skeletons even recover from the damage faster, reforming their shapes the instant their bones clatter to the ground. The estoc is even worse off, as it does less damage than the spear. To make matters worse, the estoc seems to have some serious hitbox issues, where the tip looks like it is making contact when I thrust, but no damage is registered. I’ll have to save my thrusting weapons till I find some enemies worth thrusting.

Using the stabbing weapons for a while instead of swinging my club around makes something more obvious to me when I switch back: there is a definite difference between the recover of a landed attack versus the recovery of a whiffed attack. I translate these easily in my mind, as fighting games, especially 3D fighting games, are structured the same way. I only wonder if there’s a big difference between block recovery (the skeletons do occasionally block my attacks) and hit recovery. I assume the extra whiff recovery is there to give opponents an opening for critical strikes. I still remember that one skeleton who hit me with a fully animated counter attack when I air-balled a club swing and it was standing close enough to reach me.

What is more, it’s generally agreed upon by experts in the field (at least from what I’ve read) that, especially for novices, thrusting attacks are always preferable to taking swings when using a weapon like a sword or baseball bat (which is basically a club), and for pretty much the same reasons as are illustrated in Dark Souls and 3D fighting games: a whiffed swinging attack throws the aggressor off balance and takes a long time to recover from, which gives their opponent an opening, while thrusting or stabbing attacks don’t telegraph as much (no front swing), are less likely to throw the attacker off balance, and are easier to recover from. I haven’t used the spear or estoc enough to notice a difference in recovery frames, but that’s something to consider for the future.

Anyway, when I’m swinging my wood around I make short work of the graveyard skeletons, and soon I make my first foray into the darkness of the tomb, or as the game calls them, the Catacombs

The Catacombs

tomb 1

The first thing I find is another skeleton. I lead it back a bit, further into the light, and have no trouble taking it down, though it does have twice as much HP as the graveyard skeletons. He shatters with my last blow, and I hear the game’s distinct killing sound. But I don’t gain any Souls. That is a strange, but there’s nothing to be done about it, so I move on.

I am not more than 5 paces further when I hear the sound of a skeleton rising. Only, it’s not coming from ahead of me, further in the dark, where I’d expect to encounter more skeletons. The sound is coming from behind me. I spin around. The skeleton I just killed, or at least thought I had killed, is back on its feet, and once again trying to murder me. That would explain not getting any Souls from him. Well, alright; these things happen. I kill it again. And again it comes back.

Well, this is a little much, so I retreat back to the Catacomb’s entrance. The skeleton reaches the end of its leash, and though it obviously wants to keep after me, to see me dead at its bony feet, it cannot go any further. I watch it, considering.

What am I up against here? Is this a Castlevania Red Skeleton situation? Except that this skeleton doesn’t look any different from the ones I’ve fought before. Maybe it just has multiple lives. I kill it 3 more times, just to be sure, and every time it comes back, with a full bar of health.

This is a real problem for me. I know I can fight skeletons one at a time, or two at a time, but if every one I kill is going to get up behind me, eventually I’ll have a dozen of them on my ass, and there’s no way I can make progress like that.

Maybe I can kill it and run past, and it will lose my scent?

It doesn’t work. I knock it down and take off, but when it gets back up it’s still after me. But now I’m committed, so I keep moving.

Once I’ve entered the Catacombs proper I find myself on another narrow set of stone steps, with another dead drop into the dark on my left. I hear something new, as well, a haunted swooshing sound. I see a trio of purplish skulls floating around near the stairs. As I try to pass I hear the swooshing sound rise in pitch and volume, until it’s a shriek in my ears. Suddenly, there is an explosion of orange fire. I instinctively roll away from it. I have found some exploding ghost balls.

Which gives me an idea. Maybe I can’t kill that skeleton, but that doesn’t mean something else couldn’t do the job for me. I imagine a skeleton’s life is tough, and they probably get clubbed a lot. Who knows how long they have been in these Catacombs. I’ve already seen that there’s no way for them to leave. Maybe every couple of weeks a new adventurer passes through and smashes them all up again. Maybe over the years they’ve built up a Dread Pirate Roberts-style immunity to being clubbed to death.

I don’t get a chance to test that theory out, as a new skeleton rushes me from the darkness at the bottom of the stairs. I am a skeleton sandwich now, with fireball gravy. I don’t make it. But the fireball that kills me does hurt one of the skeletons, which is promising.

I return to the Catacombs, and I carefully position myself so that I can attract the attention of the skeleton, and then push it, gently, with my club until it is within range of the Skull Ghosts. One of them does its thing and blows up all over, I dodge out of the way, and the skeleton takes the hit full on.

The skeleton dies.

But I get no Souls.

The skeleton gets back to its feet.

Well, shit.

Now what? I see only one other option. One option besides just running for it. I lure the skeleton to the top of the stairs and bash at it till it falls into the darkness. The death sound plays, and I get no Souls, but it has nowhere to recover from. I am rid of it.

The game seems to approve of this tactic. As I continue down the stairs, the skeleton that rushed me last time is coming at me again, but instead of rounding the bend and taking the stairs to attack me, it decides to take a leap over the edge, trusting in whatever faith it might have had before death. Its prayers are not answered, and it falls into the endless void.

I reach the bottom of the stairs. Through a small door I see the ground give way in a jagged edge, with only more darkness behind it. I also hear the scrabbling of skeleton feet. I step through the door.

I am assaulted instantly. One of the skeletons had gotten stuck, I suppose, trying to run straight through the wall at me. When I am finally in reach it strikes, slashing me twice, cutting me deep. I scramble for distance, making it back through the door, and pull out my Estus flask, hoping to get my health up a bit while the skeleton recovers. I don’t get the chance: the skeleton comes cartwheeling after me with surprising speed, rolling and hopping in a tight ball until it is close enough to land the killing blow. The sight is so absurd that I don’t even mind the death.

I go through the same routine again, kicking the first skeleton over the edge, watching the second skeleton plummet to its death, and then approaching the third skeleton, who is waiting in its corner again. I can hear it moving. This time I don’t take any chances, and as soon as I see a shield peaking out through the doorway I pounce, clubbing the skeleton with such force that it tumbles over the jagged edge and into the darkness. But the skeleton does not die. I step through the doorway and see a ladder on my left, leading down. It’s not a dead end, and the skeleton only fell a couple of meters. With my targeting circle I can see that it’s trying to climb up the ladder to continue the fight. I stand at the top, waiting. I can see it’s bony little head poking up, but when the skeleton gets to the top rung it stops and looks straight at me. Am I blocking it’s passage? I never thought a skeleton would feel unsafe dismounting a ladder. It stays there, just glaring at me, like I’m being rude for standing in the way.

Amused, I allow it to get up, and then I turn and run back to the stairs, and around the first curve. There is now a large gap of empty space directly between me and the skeleton, and rather than navigate the curve of the stairs, it decides it would rather follow it’s buddies into the darkness below. Works for me.

tomb 2

At the bottom of the ladder I find what cushioned the skeleton’s fall. There is a large pile of old bones and dried out corpses. It’s as if, after the graveyard had filled up, people starting chucking their dead down here, not even bothering to file them away in chambers and coffins. Maybe the Catacombs had filled up as well. Maybe there were just too many bodies and the undertakers couldn’t handle the strain. Or maybe when the dead starting rising up on them, nobody was willing to carry their dearly departed any further than a distance they could outrun the restless Undead back to the light of day.

tomb 3

What to do next, though. I know there will be more skeletons; I can see the vague outlines of bone piles in the dark even from here. It’s impractical to lead them all back here, up the ladder, and into the pit. Not only is it impractical, but it feels a lot like cheating.

When I first encountered the term metagame it had nothing to do with competitive video games, which is how it is most often used these days. It was something I read about in a Dungeons and Dragons manual. It was the idea that the players know there will be a solution to any given problem simply because they’re aware that they are playing a game, a game that has rules, and that was designed by a human mind. There is always logic involved, cause and effect. They know that if they encounter a switch that is out of reach to them that eventually there will be a method of reaching that switch, probably when they most need to do so. Everyone uses the same thought process while playing video games, and it’s what I’m using now.

It makes no sense for a game to be designed the way I’m playing it right now. Nobody makes a game expecting their players to have to trick the AI and force them to suicide in order to make progress. Perhaps I can’t kill these skeletons now, but there will be a reasonable limit to them. There has to be a point where I am given a method of dealing with them.

So I do what makes the most sense: I run. I’m going to make it as far as I can, at least as far as it takes for me to find the mechanism needed to end this skeletal menace.

I sprint into the darkness. Ahead of me a skeleton begins to form, then another. I can see the shape of this chamber now, long and slightly rectangular. On my left are a pair of stone statues, worn down to uncertain humanoid blobs, and I can see that the spot they watch over leads deeper into the Catacombs. I don’t even stop to watch the skeletons take shape. I keep running. I’m in a dark corridor now. There are skeletons on the ground, in my path, slouching against the walls. These are fully formed, though, and not animated. They break apart as I stomp past. I’m in another small room, pillars in rows along the walls to either side. There is only one way to go, a hole smashed into the left wall. There are more skeletons popping up from the ground. I keep running.

I am moving down a gentle slope. I see light up ahead, and another room. I gain the doorway.

A fireball hits me in the face. I lose half my HP.

I quickly focus my sights on the source of the attack. There is an ugly dude in a brown robe, left hand raised and holding what looks to be a sack full of flame. Is this the Fire Keeper?

I lay into him, clubbing away with my fastest attacks. I can see him forming another fireball every time I let up, and I’m worried that taking a bigger swing will give him the time he needs to blast me again. So focused on the task am I, that I don’t even notice the skeleton coming up behind me until it’s too late. I am dead.

But I have made progress, of a sort. I have seen something new.

This time I when I enter the Catacombs I am not a kamikaze tourist set on seeing the sights or dying in the attempt. Instead, I am a warrior with a mission: I’m going to shove my spear so far down that Fire Keeper’s throat that he won’t be able to bend over for a month.

I run the gauntlet again, and this time, when I reach the room with the fireball thrower I roll as soon as he’s in sight. Doesn’t matter, though, as he ends up hitting me with a fireball anyway, and while I’m chugging from my Estus Flask he makes ready to do it again. This time I dodge properly, and when I get up I start jabbing him mercilessly in the face with the tip of my spear. I’m using short, sharp attacks, because he’s still trying to throw a fireball at me. I only hope that he runs out of HP before I run out of stamina.

tomb 4

That doesn’t seem to be much a problem. I’ve noticed that the way stamina works in this game isn’t quite what I expected: although every action has a maximum stamina cost, there doesn’t seem to be any minimum. This is important because it means that no matter how little stamina I have left, I can still throw out my strongest attack, or dodge, or block. This is still balanced out by a short cooldown period before stamina starts charging again after it has been exhausted. So I can’t attack forever, but I don’t have to wait for a full bar of stamina again to throw out some damage. That’s what lets me take down skeletons with ease, because I can keep hitting them with my club’s smash attack, even though I don’t really have enough stamina to use it more than once. And it’s what allows me to keep poking this asshole every time he raises his hand at me in the hopes of melting my face off.

tomb 5

Only after I’m standing, striking as vibrant a victory pose as I can manage without any proper clothes, do I notice that this entire room is blanketed by a never-ending stream of giant bugs. I also see that there’s another bonfire nearby, so I light it and spend the Souls I’ve collected on another point in strength. I figure I’m going to need more of that if I want to keep using the weapons I find.

bonfire 1

There is also a large chunk of stone with a lever, which I push. Nothing else to do but leave and see if I’ve accomplished anything.

And I have; there are two skeletons in the next room, and I club down each of them. They stay dead. I get Souls. I have done whatever needed to be done.

The problem is that I don’t know exactly what caused this. I see three possibilities: it was the switch I pulled, it was lighting the bonfire, or it was killing the dude with the bag of fire.

I eliminate one of those right away. The room I’m in now, where I’ve just killed these 2 skeletons, has a new exit, leading back out into the open air. A giant stone door blocked that way out when I first came through here, and it looks like it was placed pretty close to where the switch was. Close enough for them to be connected. So it wasn’t that.

That leaves the bonfire and the fire guy. What’s curious about that is that the fire guy didn’t respawn when I sat at the bonfire. I was explicitly told that enemies (or was it Undead?) would respawn whenever I use a bonfire. Maybe it’s a special enemy type. Maybe the bonfire turns an area into a safe zone.

But it looks like I’m headed back out.

tomb 6

There is a path sloping upward, back into the sunlight. On either side are rows of those lumpy statues. As I get further outside I see that I’m not quite out in the open yet. All around me are isolating walls of dense rock, jutting this way and that, curving out and in and away, but all tapering to a point high up above, coming so close to forming a complete dome that only a crack of cloudy light makes it through. I can see a waterfall cascading down to a point just out of sight.

tomb 7

I’m standing in this enclosed valley now. On my right is a sizable gap, on the other side of which is another artificial chamber, another tomb. Standing on the edge directly opposite me is another of the fire throwers. For the moment he hasn’t noticed me. The path ahead slopes downward, then makes an abrupt right turn into a narrow land bridge that leads into the new tomb, and the room with the fire thrower. But before I can get there I have to deal with the skeleton that’s just seen me.

He comes at me, rolling endlessly like I’ve seen before. This time I’m prepared, and I block the attack, and retaliate. The skeleton dies. I get no Souls. It gets up again.

Flummoxed, I retreat to into the last tomb, headed for the safety of the bonfire so that I can think about what to do next. But this skeleton is rightly pissed that I whacked the proverbial snot out of it, and it follows me all the way, looking for a rematch. When I get to the bonfire it flares up and then becomes unusable. Can’t use it when enemies are near. So I get back out, and the skeleton gets stuck somewhere along the way, leaving me in peace for the moment.

I’m standing across from this fire thrower again. I can see him there, and now he sees me. If I try to go down the land bridge to get at him I can see there are at least 2 more skeletons in my way, and I’m going to assume that they aren’t going to die, either. This is a pickle. I pull out my binoculars to survey the scene, but while I’m scrolling through my items I notice those firebombs I found way back at the Firelink Shrine.

I know I’m the type to sit on items forever, never using them not only because I’m sure there will be a better time for it, but also because I feel like I should be able to overcome a game’s challenges without a crutch. But I’m really not looking forward to running another invulnerable skeleton gauntlet. May as well use what I’ve got.

Unfortunately, throwing the firebombs is incredibly awkward. I have no options for aiming my throw, the best I can manage is to lock my target onto the fire thrower. I approach and throw. The bomb falls short, exploding harmlessly against the cliff below where he stands. This does not please the fire thrower, so he chucks a fireball at me. That’s a problem as well: every time I try to move closer to the edge he starts chucking fire at me. He eventually runs out of kindling or something and lets up. I move closer to the edge and throw again. Still short. I’m down to 4 bombs. I dodge a few more flames, then move even closer to the edge, and throw again. This time my firebomb lands at the top edge of the cliff, close enough to my target’s feet that he takes some damage. I set up for another throw, but I’m hit by a fireball and back up to heal. My next throw falls short again. Only 2 left. I get close enough, and I hit him twice more. But he’s not dead, and I’m out of bombs. Looks like I’ll have to do it the hard way.

I sprint toward the land bridge, shield raised, but the two skeletons there block my path with their bodies, and I get hit in the back by a fireball. I can’t make it through, and I die.

I try again, and again the same thing happens. I lose my body, and 1000 Souls.

To make matters worse, this bonfire seems to be second rate. When I respawn I only have 5 charges in my Estus Flask, instead of 10.

Well, I know one method of dealing with skeletons that don’t want to die.

It’s an arduous task. I have to lead the skeletons out one by one, and there are nearly a dozen in there. Every time I get close to the fire thrower he scarpers, and I have to get rid of more skeletons to catch up. Siren-like, I lead them to the land bridge, and they either jump willingly to their deaths, or I give them as many kicks as it takes to send them over the edge. At last, I am down to the final skeleton, and the fire thrower. The problem is that this skeleton is an archer, and it stands in its vantage point, looking over the land bridge and the entrance to the tomb, and will not budge. I’m also out of flask charges. So I charge down the hall at them and do what I can, which ends up being not very much. The archer and the fire thrower are split up, so I can’t attack one without the other shooting me in the back. Which they do, and I die.

I go through the process again, and this time I get a better result. The archer and the fire thrower are standing next to each other, so I can hit them both with every club swing. The skeleton archer dies, and before it can reform, I kill the fire thrower. The archer comes back to life and I kill it again. This time it stays dead, and I gain Souls. That answers that; these guys are what keeps the skeletons alive.

I go back to the bonfire to lick my wounds and spend some of my Souls before moving on. Another point into vitality.

bonfire 2

I am now able to explore the tomb fully, killing every skeleton I find, and gathering all the loot. I get a new weapon, a large polearm called a lucerne. It’s another thrusting damage weapon, like my spear, and also requires 15 strength where I only have 14. I can use it 2-handed, but its damage doesn’t compare to my club’s, so there’s not much point.

I clear the tomb and find another exit, but now I’m presented with a new problem. I have over 2000 Souls, and I want to take them back to the bonfire. But if I go back to the bonfire then I lose my progress and have to go through all of these skeletons again. Which will net me another large sum of Souls. I can’t keep taking them back, at some point I have to push on ahead. I’m also worried about how few charges I have left in my flask. With only 5 total I am down to 2 by the time I clear out the tomb, which doesn’t seem like enough to head into the unknown.

tomb 8

There is another land bridge, and on the other side are a pair of skeletons standing guard over a fire thrower. But this land bridge is impassable, full of spikes. Off in the distance, near the waterfall, I see another switch like the one I pulled in the bonfire room. I connect the dots: the land bridge I used to get into the tomb also had spikes, but they were running along its sides. This new bridge doesn’t look like it’s carved naturally from the rock. It looks like it’s been installed by someone, attached for a purpose: being able to rotate it so that it becomes unusable.

On my right is a path leading toward the waterfall. Hovering about are more of those exploding Skull Ghosts. The fire thrower sees me and starts throwing fire. Two flask charges left, and 2000 Souls in my pocket.

I’m going for it.

I get about a half a dozen long strides before skeletons start popping up. A Skull Ghost closes in. I try to cut around the skeletons, but when I move right, getting close to one of those lumpy statues that are everywhere in these tombs, spikes shoot out and impale me. I am locked in hit stun, 3 skeletons closing in, and then the Skull Ghost explodes and I die.

After a couple of runs I’ve collected nearly 5000 Souls, and somewhere along the line I picked up a Humanity as well. Stepping out onto that ledge is making me more and more anxious. I decide that it’s time to retrace my steps and see if my accomplishments have changed anything.

Back at the Firelink Shrine there is little news. The guy by the fire tells me that at some point the bird (it’s a crow) grabbed someone and flew away with him. The bird is still perched in the same spot as before, so it must have happened when I wasn’t around. The mute woman in the cell still isn’t talking, and won’t upgrade my Estus Flask.

I’m still looking for an edge, though, and I remember the cleric. I get him to teach me a basic healing spell, but I need 12 faith to cast it. I then figure as long as I’m sampling magic, I’ll get something from both sides, so I buy a Soul Arrow spell from the blacksmith in the New Londo Ruins.

Only problem is, I can’t use either of these spells. I have the required intelligence for Soul Arrows, but apparently I need a magic wand equipped to use it, and I don’t have one of those, and I can’t afford one, either. I need a talisman to cast my healing spell, and I picked one of those up somewhere in my travels. By the time I get back to the Catacombs bonfire I’ve got enough Souls to level up my faith.

bonfire 3

I test it out. To cast my spell, I have to equip the talisman and use a heavy attack. I then do a little hand gesture and kneel down to pray. The entire process takes a good 5 seconds. It’s not type of thing I can do during combat.

But it’s still more healing, which is more HP overall, and hopefully it’s enough to get me to the waterfall. I also have 10 flask charges from camping at the Firelink Shrine. I’m in good shape.

I go through the tomb again, using my healing spell instead of flask charges. On a whim, I test whether or not clutching my little cloth talisman in both hands makes any sort of difference to how effective my healing spell is. It doesn’t seem to, but maybe I’d need higher magic stats to notice. As it is, the healing is a little more than half my total HP, which is nice.

I get to the tomb’s exit again, and I’m determined to take it slow, now that I have some idea of what I’m up against. I also have the feeling that I’m dealing with another pack of invincible skeletons, now that there’s another fire thrower in the mix.

After getting rid of the few Skull Ghosts, I walk cautiously down the path, staying far away from the lumpy statues. I get the first skeleton I find to chase me back to the safety of the tomb. As expected, when I kill it, it doesn’t die. I resign myself to my job as the Siren of the Catacombs, and lead him back to the land bridge. While crossing, something strange happens. I hear a death sound, and I am credited for 1000 Souls. Then, when the skeleton chasing me plummets to its doom, I gain another 100 Souls. I cross the land bridge again and look back to where the fire thrower had been standing. He’s not there.

For some reason, I’m going to say through pure frustration over how moronic his skeleton posse is, he decided that he’d had enough and tossed himself off the cliff. Finally, some luck. Getting the rest of the way to the waterfall is a cinch, and when I’m there I find there are actually 2 switches. I pull the first, and in the background I see the bridge rotating so that it’s possible for me to cross. I’m standing directly under the waterfall now, and the sound is deafening. I can see the other switch, but it’s blocked off by a wall of rock. Standing next to it is a man in light armour, who I figure is another non-hostile NPC. I can’t reach him from here, and if I’m trying to yell for his attention my voice is being overpowered by the noise of water falling on rock.

waterfall 1

I cross the new bridge and take out the pair of guards without any trouble. Inside is another tomb. There is a small, empty burial chamber to my right, and stone steps spiralling lazily down into the darkness below.

waterfall 2

I begin to descend. After a short distance, I come across a small alcove built into the rock. A skeleton pops up, and I put it down. And it gets up again.

Sad face.

While leading out yet another pack of skeletons, I make a fatal misstep and get myself killed again. On my way back, collecting yet more Souls, I notice that I’ve somehow acquired another Humanity. When I retrieve my body I have 4600 Souls and 2 Humanity. Perhaps I gain Humanity automatically when a set amount of Souls have been collected? That kind of follows from what the bonfire guy told me. Still not sure what I’m supposed to do with them, but they have to be important, so I’m doing my best to look after them.

After clearing out the skeletons from this level of the tomb I am presented with yet another opportunity to plunge into the darkness below, with another set of descending stairs.

waterfall 3

I start moving down, and I find him, the fire thrower. He’s standing around in a little room, guarding another switch. I won’t deny it: it felt good when my club split his skull open.

The stairs go no further down, terminating in a dead drop. I pull the switch and return to the floor above, where a new exit has opened up. I try to leave, and nearly stumble to my death before noticing that the ground ahead ends abruptly. One step further and I’d be dead.

waterfall 4

I find a side passage, which leads further down, and then out again. I’m standing under the bridge I used to get into this tomb. To my left is the waterfall, to my right is a bridge that leads to some white light.

I go left.

I find a ladder leading up to the armoured man I’d seen before. He asks me what I’m doing in the Catacombs, and if I’m a cleric.

I think about that for a minute. I didn’t choose a clerical class to start with, however, I have entered a Covenant with the Way of White, and I even know a healing prayer.

I tell him yes, I am a cleric.

He tells me good luck on my mission. I can’t get anything more out of him.

Did I say the wrong thing? Would he have asked me to do something for him if he didn’t think I already had clerical business?

Too late now. The only thing left to do is head into the white light.

I get most of the way across the bridge and suddenly it shifts, turning under my feet and dumping me into the valley below. I do not survive the fall.

Well, that’s something. Payback for all the abuse I’ve been dishing out to those poor skeletons?

I can see it. I can see my body, a green glow at the end of the bridge. But to get to it I have to go through all of those skeletons again. I feel tension for the first time. When a skeleton raises its sword, my heart feels likely to skip a beat. What if it’s faster than me this time? What if I don’t make it? At the slightest sign of danger I retreat to the safety of a bridge and heal up while the skeletons fling themselves into the abyss. Which is convenient, for me.

I make it back to my body and recover all my Souls. I also have 3 Humanity now. The bridge has not returned to its original position.

Standing there, it’s fairly obvious what happened. When I first came down here I heard and felt movement, the same as when I’d used a switch before to upright a bridge. And there is only one switch around here, and only one other person who could have used it.

I find the armoured man standing well away from the switch, which has definitely been pulled out. He must have opened my passage when he first saw me coming, and then dumped me over the edge when I was too far over the bridge to make it back.

I confront him, and he pulls an innocent act. He asks me if being thrown to my death was “inconvenient.” I tell him that, yes, it was. He claims to have slipped, and offers me a Humanity as a peace offering. He calls himself Patches or something. “We’re on the same side! Undead outcasts!” he laughs.

After some reflection, I mentally shrug, and decide to move on. When it comes down to it, who’s to say I’d have done any different? And I’m still here, and I’ve recovered all my Souls and Humanity. If I hadn’t maybe I’d feel different right now, but what I really want to do is move on.

But next time I cross that bridge I’m going to run the whole way.

However, though an Undead doesn’t seem to need food, the player does. That’s it for today.

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