Ambushes are everywhere in this next section of Dark Souls 2, but it's worth exploring every nook and cranny as there's some serious loot to be had as you make your way to the fight against the Duke's Dear Freja. Follow our guide if you want a heads-up on all the nasty surprises that are sprinkled throughout this area of the game.
How to find the Duke's Dear Freja
As soon as you've finished killing the Prowling Magus, go through the door that's on the other side of the room, then head through the opening on your right. Keep going around the very narrow corner here and you'll be able to light a new bonfire.
Once you've done so, make your way downstairs, then look beneath the stairs when you reach the bottom to add a Soul of a Proud Knight to your inventory. Now carry on through the next door ahead of you.
Smash up all of the pottery you find in the next room to get hold of a pair of Wilted Dusk Herbs. Now make your way upstairs, but make sure you've got a ranged weapon equipped if you have one to hand. This makes it much easier to kill the spider that's just up ahead and on the path below you. Make your way towards the wooden arch, then slither down the rope. Now take a left and walk into the room you eventually come to at the end of this path.
Be aware that a spider will attack if you open the door to the side-room. Go to the other side of the room and smash up everything you can until you've looted a trio of Charcoal Pine Resin. If you haven't already smashed your way into exposing a opening on one side of the room, do so, then make your way through the gap and into a new area.
On your left is a door. Open it to pick up a Torch, then make your way through the next door along. Kill the enemy you encounter, then grab the Titanite Chunk from just over on your left. Carry on in the opposite direction and take out the next monster using your ranged weapon - alternatively, you can jump down and then kill it up-close with melee attacks. It's better to kill it from range if possible though, as we'll be coming back to this lower room a little later on.
Make your way back into the room with ropes, and then carry on walking towards the end of the path. Slither down the next rope along, then kill the spider and the mage, before heading right and walking down the corridor.
"There are quite a few spiders and mages to deal with in the next room, so we recommend luring them back into the bonfire room."
The room up ahead contains a pair of mages, so kill them both, then eliminate the threat from the spider on the ceiling using a ranged weapon. Grab the four Lightning Urns over in the corner, then head out through the door and make your way down the ladder.
Kill the spider that falls down from the ceiling, as well as its friend who approaches from the left as soon as you walk into the room. Make sure you light the new bonfire you come to, then carry on through the nearby door.
There are quite a few spiders and mages to deal with in the next area, so we recommend luring them back into the bonfire room so you can polish off the spiders without having to worry about dodging magical missiles at the same time.
As soon as the spiders are dead, kill the mage who's on the ground floor, then grab the Petrified Dragon Bone from over on the right. Now head in the opposite direction and go through the door that's just to the right of the door that leads to the bonfire. Smash up all of the pottery here to get a Pharros' Lockstone, then whack the shelves by the entrance to add a Flame Butterfly to your inventory. If you unlocked her earlier, this is also where you will locate Weaponsmith Ornifex.
Now make your way back outside and kill the enemy standing on your left (assuming he hasn't already entered the room). Next, fire a ranged weapon at the red creature to get its attention. If you don't now kill it quickly, it will explode and likely kill you, so get ready to take it down when it scuttles towards you.
Where to find the Crescent Axe
There's another mage up ahead of you, but you should be able to make out a door on your left. Open it, kill the spider and the mage lurking around inside, then smash up all of the barrels by rolling into them. You'll uncover a tiny room with a coffer and a spider inside. Once you've killed the spider, loot the coffer to add a Soul Vortex and a Crescent Axe to your stash.
Go back into the main room now and squeeze through the gap that's over on your left. You can get a Titanite Chunk by interacting with the nearby item, before walking through the next door along. Two zombie spiders are waiting for you in this new room, so kill them quickly.
Before you walk into the next room ahead of you, edge over to your left to force a new creature and a spider to spawn. Kill them both, then kill the pair of spiders that spawn next. Only go into the next room when all these creatures have been killed.
Make your way up the stairs, and then open the door at the top when you come to it. Grab the Large Titanite Shard from the ledge nearby, then go back downstairs to the level below you and walk towards the arch. When you do so, you'll have to deal with a mist-spitting enemy. Wait for it to fire the mist, then kill it as quickly as possible.
When you pass through the archway, you'll trigger an Invader who approaches from the left. Kill it, then carry on down the path and through the doors at the very end. Watch out for two zombie spiders who appear from above when you open the door. Kill them, then make your way through the door and into the next area.
Unfortunately, there are six spiders to contend with in this next room - do not, under any circumstances, go charging in unless you want to fight all of them at once. Instead, fire your ranged weapon at the spider that's furthest to the right, then finish it off on the floor. Move ever-so-slightly further into the room and the remaining creatures will drop down onto the floor.
Where to find the Black Knight Ultra Greatsword
Finish off the rest of the spiders, then smash up all of the furniture over on your right to get four Gold Pine Resins and a Soul of a Hero. You won't be able to unlock the door here until you've finished the boss fight in this area, but make a note to come back later. Once you've finished killing the seven spiders who lie on the other side of that door, you'll be able to loot a coffer for a Fire Seed, a Great Fireball and a Black Knight Ultra Greatsword.
"Watch out for the spider that ambushes you as you walk along this wispy bridge."
For now, make your way back into the main room, then activate the lever to open up a door on your right, just over on the other end of the room. Take the handful of Homeward Bones you find inside, then go through the other door on the left and kill the zombie. Now make your way up the ladder.
Once you've reached the top of it, drop down onto the next area along, then make your way towards the spider-web bridge. Watch out for the spider that ambushes you as you walk along this wispy bridge, and don't be too quick to grab that item ahead of you. There's another enemy that will pounce as soon as you approach it, so kill the creature before looting the Torch.
Head over to the pots on the far side of this area, and smash them open to get your hands on a Pharros' Lockstone. Now carry on towards the next bridge on your left. When you're around halfway over it, jump down onto the webbing on your right, then carry on in the opposite direction to get onto the platform just ahead. There's an item to grab from your right, but be ready to fight the spider who attacks you when you land on the webbing.
When the spider's dead, make your way to the platform and grab the Twilight Herb. Get back down onto the webbing, but retreat back onto the platform as soon as you hit the ground. A pack of spiders will ambush you, but if you back up onto the platform they won't be able to attack you from the rear.
When all five of them are dead, grab the Simpleton's Spice from the centre of the room, the Radiant Lifegem that's on the platform on the other side, and the Corrosive Urns from the other platform. Don't be too cocky as you prowl this area, as there might be one or two spiders you've not triggered yet.
Once you've grabbed all of the loot in this area, head into the patch of mist to start the fight against the Duke's Dear Freja.
Two heads are better than one as far as Freja's concerned, but we've got a few useful tips that make this boss fight just a little less frantic. It's a fight that can end in disaster within seconds too, so read ahead if you want to survive long enough to land your very first blow.
How to kill the Duke's Dear Freja
As soon as this boss fight starts, you'll be attacked by a pack of spiders. In most boss battles, you'll want to prioritise taking down these trash targets before fighting the boss, but that most definitely isn't the case when it comes to fighting Freja.
The attacks this boss throws your way come quickly, and they're capable of draining a frightening amount of your health - even one-shot killing you if your stats are weak enough. Kill a couple of the spiders if you can - more if you're particularly zippy about it - but make sure you get stuck into Freja as quickly as possible.
Freja uses both of her heads to throw attacks your way, although only one of them will be active at any given time. The most effective strategy, then, is to get close to one head, then dart over to the opposite side as soon as the first head flinches. If you simply repeat this defensive process, you'll avoid the majority of Freja's attacks. The only ones you won't be able to avoid are the leaping attacks and the deadly beam of light.
That beam covers almost 180 degrees directly in front of the head that launches the attack. For this reason, it's incredibly important that you dart over to the other head as soon as you see the beam coming. It can't be blocked, and it's by no means easy to evade either, so you really want to be right behind Freja when it comes.
"As soon as you've killed Freja off, kill any spiders that remain, then make sure you pick up the Great Soul."
As for Freja's jumping attack, it won't feature as often as the beam, but it's almost as tricky to avoid. When you see it coming, get ready to run into position beneath Freja as quickly as possible, then dodge out of the way just as she's preparing to land.
When it comes to the spiders in this room, by all means take a few down as you're darting between heads - just make sure you do this quickly, and don't hang around too long. As soon as you've killed Freja off, kill any spiders that remain, then make sure you pick up the Great Soul.
How to get Vengarl's armour
Now make your way through the opening just over on the other side of this area. When you come to the next room along, sneak quietly up behind the Duke and kill him with a single critical hit from the rear.
For this decidedly sneaky act of heroism, you'll be rewarded with a Fragrant Branch of Yore, a Dark Quartz Ring +1, and the Brightstone Key. Now head through the next door along and into the massive room in front of you. There's an enemy to fight here, but he moves very slowly so you should have no trouble landing critical hits from the rear. Remember the decapitated head you could speak to back in the Shaded Woods? Same guy. His body leaves you with a Vengarl's armour set, which is excellent.
Once the enemy's dead, light the bonfire and then use it to get back to Majula.