Thanks for the advice. I upgraded my Longsword and Green Shield with Rickert last night but ran out of green tranite so will have to farm for some tonight. I also picked up the enchanted ember from the dark root forest last night.
Wow, that's ... that's a lot of attunement. I'm not familiar with a magic build but ...wow
Intelligence has to be your primary stat, yes? This means your most powerful attacks come from spells which scale with magic. There's a talisman you can get later which will make miracles scale with intelligence as well, so you never need to put a point in faith. With the longsword go hit a mushroom in Darkroot Garden and he'll lead you to a lake with an enchanted chest in it. Enchanted weapons scale with intelligence, the Longsword +5 is A scaled. Take this ember to Rickert and he'll sort you out, but you should be using a magic weapon in the meantime in any case as you want to get base damage up and aren't fussed about scaling.
A katana might be a nice option, given the bleeding it can cause which you'll definitely land attacking the snakemen. It's settled then - go kill the male undead merchant in the undead Parish
I had issues with the giant cat things as they are really fast and poweful so had to use invisibility to bypass them to get the the chest with the ember.
I've heard that killing the merchant in the undead parish isn't a good idea as he sells some things you can't get anywhere else.