Like the first game, Dark Souls features a number of Covenants. Available much earlier on in the sequel, these factions confer various benefits on your character as you play through the game. In order to join each one, you'll first need to pledge an oath to a particular NPC.
Note also that different Covenants have different focuses - some focus on co-operative play, while others demand you duel against other players to unlock the greatest rewards. Before we go into detail on the individual Covenants, here's a quick breakdown of what you'll need to do to advance in each one.
|Co-Op||Heirs of the Sun / Way of the Blue|
|Invading PVP||Brotherhood of Blood / Blue Sentinels / Bell Keepers|
|PVE||Company of Champions / Pilgrims of Dark|
|Summoned PVP||Rat King / Dragon Remnants|
In order to join the Bell Keepers, you'll first need to kill the Ruin Sentinels. Afterwards, make your way towards the bonfire in the Servant's Quarter, climb down the nearby ladder, kill the canine enemy, and then use a Pharros Lockstone on the face in the wall. Hit the wall to uncover a path, then head down it, open the door and speak to the small man sitting on top of a dresser.
After you've gone through the very lengthy dialogue options with him, he'll give you a ring which you can use to be summoned to the very top of the tower. You now need to kill your opponent before it manages to pass through the fog. Once defeated, you'll be rewarded with a Ruin Sentinels.
|N/A||1 x Titanite Slab||Join the Bell Keepers|
|1||1 x Titanite Slab||Kill 10 Hosts invading as Grey Phantom / Kill 10 Black Phantoms invading the Belfries.|
|2||Hidden Weapon||Kill 30 Hosts invading as Grey Phantom / Kill 30 Black Phantoms invading the Belfries.|
|3||Bell Keeper Helmet||Kill 100 Hosts invading as Grey Phantom / Kill 100 Black Phantoms invading the Belfries.|
|Bell Keeper Bellyband|
|Bell Keeper Cuffs|
|Bell Keeper Trousers|
The Blue Sentinels
"In order to join the Blue Sentinels, you'll need to seek out Blue Sentinel Targray who can be found in the Cathedral of Blue after you've defeated Old Dragonslayer."
In order to join the Blue Sentinels, you'll need to seek out Blue Sentinel Targray who can be found in the Cathedral of Blue after you've defeated Old Dragonslayer. In addition, you'll need to have a token of Fidelity in your possession. You can get one of these by assisting another player in killing a boss as a white phantom, or by looting the corpse underneath the Huntsman's Copse rope bridge.
Once you've joined the Blue Sentinels, you'll be able to equip the Guardian's Seal which allows you to be summoned to Way of the Blue members whenever they're invaded. Covenant members can only attack the invader in another host's world, and will not be able to attack standard enemy characters. Defeating the host's invader will reward the Covenant member with a Token of Fidelity.
When you're a member of the Blue Sentinels, you can also make use of an item called Cracked Blue Eye Orbs, which allows you to invade worlds that belong to the guilty. Guilty players gain this status by invading other players' worlds and killing the host. In order to rank up with the Sentinels, you must achieve Victories by winning duels in the Cathedral basement, defeating an invader as a Blue Phantom, or by killing a guilty player.
|N/A||Guardian's Seal||Join the Blue Sentinels|
|1||Spirit Tree Shield||50 Victories serving the Sentinels|
|2||Wrath of the Gods||150 Victories serving the Sentinels|
|3||Bountiful Sunlight||500 Victories serving the Sentinels|
Brotherhood of Blood
You'll be able to join the Brotherhood of Blood by speaking with Titchy Gren, a character you'll find in an area just following the fight with the Executioner's Chariot in Undead Purgatory near Huntsman's Copse. You'll also need to have a Token of Spite before you can join. Get one from the chests as you make your way into the Gutter, or from an invading player, or by invading another player via a Cracked Red Eye Orb.
Once you've joined the Brotherhood, you'll be able to take part in arena duels with other Brotherhood of Blood members. Simply approach one of the statues by Gren with a Token of Spite in your inventory to commence a bout of battling. You'll receive a Cracked Red Eye for each one of your victories.
|N/A||Crest of Blood||Join the Brotherhood of Blood|
|1||Curved Twinblade||50 Victories|
|2||Crescent Sickle||150 Victories|
|3||Great Chaos Fireball||500 Victories|
Company of Champions
The Company of Champions is one of the first Covenants you can join in Dark Souls 2, although doing so ramps up the difficulty of the game considerably. Expect enemies to hit twice as hard and receive a 50% bonus to their defensive capabilities too. This is a Covenant for those who want a seriously stiff challenge, or a taste of New Game Plus on a single playthrough.
Join the Champions by praying to the Victor's Stone located in Majula. You can increase your rank with the Company of Champions by obtaining Awestones. You'll receive these by killing invading NPC or black phantoms. You can loot them from regular enemies, too, but only very rarely, so don't expect to come across too many of these during regular play.
|N/A||Champion's Tablet||Join the Company of Champions|
|1||Great Magic Weapon||10 Awestones|
|2||First Dragon Ring||25 Awestones|
|3||Vanquisher's Seal||50 Awestones|
You can join the Dragon Remnants by giving a Petrified Egg to Magerold of Lanafir of Lanafir in Iron Keep. To get the Egg, go to Dragon Shrine and then kill the enemy who shoots lightning at you. Head up the nearby steps, kill the pair of knights, then look for a pair of chests you can jump towards. Open the chests, kill the knight and black phantom, then take the Petrified Egg from the altar. Magerold of Lanafir is located in Iron Keep.
In order to improve your rank with the Dragon Remnants, you'll need to get your hands on Dragon Scales. Put your Ancient Dragon Seal down, and then then win the duel that either materialised in your world, or in the one you get summoned to.
|N/A||Ancient Dragon Seal||Join the Dragon Remnants|
|1||Dragon Head Stone||10 Dragon Scales|
|2||Dragon Torso Stone||20 Dragon Scales|
|3||Black Dragon Greatsword||30 Dragon Scales|
Heirs to the Sun
"Like the first game's Warriors of Sunlight faction, joining the Heirs to the Sun faction boosts co-operative play."
Like the first game's Warriors of Sunlight faction, joining the Heirs to the Sun faction boosts co-operative play. Working with other players to kill the boss of an area while a member of the faction rewards both participants with a Sunlight Medal - and your friend need not be a member of the Covenant to get the reward either.
You'll find the Covenant in Harvest Valley, just before you reach Earthen Peak. Follow the path after the wooden bridge that's located just beyond the pair of giants sitting in the poisonous fog. Go through the entrance until you come to a ruined statue, then interact with it to join the Covenant. You can also acquire the Praise the Sun gesture from here too, even if you choose not to actually join the faction.
|N/A||Sun Seal||Join the Heirs to the Sun|
|1||Sunlight Parma||10 Sunlight Medals|
|2||Sun Sword||20 Sunlight Medals|
|3||Sunlight Spear||30 Sunlight Medals|
Pilgrims of Dark
To join the Pilgrims of Dark, you'll need to speak to Darkdiver Grandahl in three different locations:
- In Black Gulch, jump down between the pair of worms and you should be able to see a gate. Drop down again and then walk into the cave in front of you. Kill the two giants inside to get your hands on the gate key. Darkdiver Grandahl is on the other side of the gate.
- In the Shaded Ruins, turn right at the big basilisk until you arrive at a path between two buildings that leads to the boss. Don't go through the path, instead take a look around until you see some scaffolding. Drop down into the area below this scaffolding to find Grandahl.
- In Drangleic Castle, there's a room by the first bonfire that contains some massive statues. Activate them using souls, deal with the sentinel enemies that emerge, then go through the final gate on your left to drop down and find the Covenant leader once more.
Once you've joined forces with the Pilgrims of Dark, you'll be given an Abyssal Seal Ring, which increase the damage output of all hexes, albeit at the expense of taking a small amount of hex damage yourself.
The Ring also allows you to enter special Abyss areas called the Dark Chasm of Old in exchange for Human Effigies. Each one of these dungeons contains a pack of very fast, high-damage phantoms which you'll need to take on all at once. You'll also need to light the dungeon's bonfire to clear the misty gate and leave. Once the gate's open, you'll fall down through a hole that takes you out of the dungeon, with one exception.
Falling through the hole of the third dungeon will put you into a boss fight with a new boss called Darklurker. Once you've killed him, you'll be able to trade his soul for a new hex. Here are your rewards for clearing each stage of the Dark Chasm of Old:
|N/A||Abyssal Seal Ring||Join the Pilgrims of Dark|
|3||Xanthous Armor Set|
Rat King Covenant
The Rat King covenant allows you to take on other players in two specific areas of the game: the Grave of Saints and the Doors of Pharros. The idea is that you're protecting the rats' heartland from trespassers. By slipping on the Crest of the Rat ring and skulking around these areas, other players who enter these areas in their game have a chance of being automatically summoned into your world to be taken down. Rat King covenant members can even summon enemies while hollowed.
Covenant members will not be attacked by the regular rat mob enemies in either area and the numerous Pharros Lockstone contraptions in the Doors of Pharros allow you to modify the environment to include more traps to ensnare trespassers. Take out a trespasser and you receive a Pharros Lockstone and a Rat Tail, which can be offered to the Rat King as a further sign of your devotion in exchange for escalating rewards. (If a trespasser survives, they receive a Pharros Lockstone, but screw those guys, right?) Beware that there's a 10-minute time limit for taking out trespassers.
In order to join the Rat King covenant, players must defeat the Royal Rat Vanguard boss in the Grave of Saints or the Royal Rat Authority boss in the Doors of Pharros area and then speak to the Rat King afterwards.
|N/A||Crest of the Rat||Join the Rat King|
|1||10 x Small Smooth & Silky Stone||10 x Rat Tails|
|2||10 x Smooth & Silky Stone||20 x Rat Tails|
|3||Slumbering Dragoncrest Ring||35 Rat Tails|
Way of the Blue
Speak to Crestfallen Saulden in Majula to join the Way of the Blue Covenant. You'll be rewarded with the Blue Seal, which provides a slight boost to your HP, and also summons Blue Sentinels to assist you whenever you're invaded. Here are the rewards you can work towards while you're a member of this faction.
|N/A||Blue Seal||Join the Way of the Blue|
|1||Bloodbite Ring||Kill one invading phantom|
|2||Hush||Kill 5 invading phantoms|
|3||Blue Tearstone Ring||Kill 10 invading phantoms|