Bought and downloaded Crown of the Old Iron King? Excellent, we're off to a good start. As with the first DLC episode, it's not immediately obvious how to gain access to the content, so follow our guide to make your way to the relevant location of the main game and begin your journey.
How to access Crown of the Old Iron King
Dive into Dark Souls 2, browse your inventory and you'll discover you now possess a Heavy Iron Key. To make use of it, first transport yourself to the Eygil's Idol bonfire in the Iron Keep (the one up the ladder just before you fight the Iron King). The traps nearby should be off, but if they're not then use the switch at the top of the ramp next to the bonfire. Go down to the bonfire and take the ladder into the room below, then down the next ladder in the far right corner.
At the bottom of this is a small passageway. Kill the enemy waiting there (or kite it out of the way and sprint past), then head down the rooftop and fall onto the pathway below. You should be back in the area where you fought the Old Iron King. Pause to ruminate on whether he was a little on the easy side, then snap yourself out of your reverie and go round to the far right into the little room with a chest (already open) and stairs leading down to the bonfire below.
As with the first DLC drop, there should be a new doorway here, leading to a room with a serpentine obelisk at the rear. Examine this to enter the DLC area.
You made it! OK, now go up the stairway, through the door and onto the elevator, which should start to ascend. When you get to the top, go through the mist, then continue right and up some more stairs. Ignore the fallen soldiers littered around. Instead, why not pick up the item in the statue near the end of the ledge to gain six Smelter Wedges? These deactivate Ashen Idols, which you'll see quite a lot of in this DLC. Some of them spit fire and molten goop, while others introduce enemies. You can spot the idols easily - they are the statues with fire coming out of them, dur - and as soon as you spot one, it's a good idea to advance on it during a lull in its flamery and use a Smelter Wedge to destroy it. Back in the here and now, walk across the large chain past the smashed statue to enter Brume Tower.
Now we're motoring. There's a bonfire here, so light that and warm your paws, then go up the stairway up ahead. There's an Ashen Idol here, so bide your time and take advantage of a gap in its nonsense to introduce it to a Smelter Wedge. It drops a Soul of Nadalia, Bride of Ash. Grab that, then swivel round and you should see a stairway to the right of the way you entered.
Go down that, then around the corner. A little way along, you should be able to drop down to a platform suspended in the air. Fall down again onto the circular area in the middle of the room and you'll find two Old Growth Balm items. Fall down again behind the item and there's a door.
There are more stairs here, but watch out because an Axe Demon will emerge from the soot. He's not the fastest, though, so you should be able to stroll up behind and bang in a critical hit before he gets his first strike in order. Once he's dispatched, grab the two Twilight Herbs at the end of the ledge. Then head along the pathway to the right and smash the fallen knights you encounter - you might discover a few more items.
That Axe Demon wasn't so bad, was it? Good, because there are three more at the bottom of this hill. Now might be a good time to resort to ranged attacks if you have them, which should let you get in a few hits before they can lug themselves up the hill. Should one of them decide to leap in your direction, dodge the attack and move in behind for a critical hit. It probably goes without saying, but endeavor to avoid battling them all at once.
Once they're gone, descend the hill and take a snappy right-hand turn. There's another enemy here waiting to emerge from the soot, but it's short of backup so you shouldn't have any difficulties. Keep on going and you should find an item near the gate. Grab it for a Rogue Water and then retreat the way you came and through an entrance on the right.
There's a ladder here. Climb down it, then move to the end of the small ledge and navigate around the curved structure you encounter. Your reward for doing so is a Blackweed Balm, offering a handy intelligence boost. Go back to the small platform, locate the next ladder and head down it to discover a Scythe +7.
There are some other bits nearby. If you want to find everything, fall off onto the ledge just below and to the right of where you found the weapon and there's a Possessed Armor and Axe Demon waiting to fight you. If you can deal with them, there's a chest through the entrance nearby containing a Bonfire Ascetic and two Human Effigy.
If you can't be bothered with those, just go through the door to find 10 Prism Stones. Keep going round the corner and there's a chest with a Titanite Slab inside. Descend the ladder ahead of the chest and you'll find another Ashen Idol and a pair of enemies to deal with, along with a third adversary in the room next door. (This is the room that the ledge with the Bonfire Ascetic and Human Effigy overlooked, so if you're rejoining us from there, hello again.)
These rooms with the Ashen Idol and multiple enemies can be a little testing, but if you're patient and do your best to isolate enemies, you should be OK. Stay close to the ladder initially and only one enemy should approach you, while the Ashen Idol should not activate. Then head into the nearby room and deal with the enemy here, but stay close to the entrance to avoid alerting a second enemy lurking deeper inside. Once these guys are dealt with, you can pick up a Dance of Fire spell. In the main Ashen Idol room, use ranged attacks on the other enemy if you can, and watch out for enemies dropping in from the balcony above if you didn't take the detour earlier for Bonfire Ascetic and Human Effigy.
Move towards the Ashen Idol and another Axe Demon will appear. Deal with it and whip out a Smelter Wedge to disable the Ashen Idol. This will spawn one final enemy on the other side of the room, but if you use ranged attacks from near the ladder then it won't be able to close the ground before you've smashed its stupid face in.
Looking for something else? Head back to page one of our Crown of the Old Iron King walkthrough to get back on track.