Fighting the two bloated hollows wasn’t as hard for me at this point as it would be when I first found them. I was careful to backstep and not receive any blows from one while I attacked the other, but in general they were slow, though strong, and it wasn’t so difficult to maim and then kill both of them. The agility of the drake sword proved very useful at this point. As I proceed into the cave, I went down a series of wooden platforms through ladders. I killed a couple of the fire-spitting bugs Laurentius had told me about, but my dragon shield was very helpful in protecting me from their flames. The biggest threat in the swamp, I soon noticed, where the large bugs that spit poison, as well as a child blowing poisonous blowdarts which made me dizzy just from the fumes they expelled after hitting my shield. Luckily, they weren’t on my path down, so I could avoid him entirely, and the bugs weren’t hard to kill either. At some point I came to a large spinning wheel, which I rode down to the swamp’s base level.
Laurentius had told me about a bonfire down there that I could rest on after arriving, so I proceeded to look for it. Before finding it, however, I saw another red phantom invade my world from the middlle of the swamp. Her large butcher knife showed she was one of the cannibals, so I got prepared to fight in a stretch of land where I could move more freely. She was incredibly tough and certainly a hard match. I had to endure a couple of blows to my shield which would throw me off balance had I not felt the clear effect of the wolf ring I had found in the Darkroot Garden. With each movement and attack I studied her, and soon noticed she was strong and incredibly tough, but her technique was unsophisticated. I profited from the first safe opportunity to parry and kill her.
Right after the fight was over, I found the bonfire. The way to Queelag was clear: there was a large cavern entrance covered in spiderweb, but I needed not rush to fight her, so I decided to explore the area and see if I could find anything useful. Walking in the swamp proved extremely weary however, and its poisonous nature would quickly consume the few medicinal moss scraps I had collected from the living trees in the garden. So I sat there to ponder my future actions before foolishly moving forward. On the backside of the bonfire I found a chest, and inside it, a stone scale of the ancient dragons. That could prove useful, I fought, so I put it in my bag. As I came back to the bonfire, my mind wandered off to the rusted ring I had found in the Asylum. It had showed no clear effect when I used it before, but perhaps it could help me in poison resistence. It did not do that, but it made it considerably easier to walk in the swamp. I was thrilled and proceed to explore the area.
With the help of the ring, the enemies I found were not especially hard, about a dozen slugs that inhabitted the swamp. Searching the corpses in the area, however, gave me amazing, very useful loot: a few large titanite pieces exactly like Andre had requested. I came back to the bonfire and pondered on my future actions. Should I go back to Andre and have my sword enhanced before fiighting off Queelag? It sure seemed safer and generally a good idea. The use of the goldpine resin and the water mist pyromancy taught by Laurentius, however, according to himself, should be enough. I decided to risk it.
Unfortunately, during my whole stay in the bonfire I could not see any marking in the floor, so I would have to fight without any help, and that was of a big concern to me, not necessarily because I wouldn’t be strong enough to fight Queelag alone, but specially because every previous help I had was important for knowledge of tricks I could not know without foreknowledge. I tired to write my name on the floor as well, but no one summoned me. It was time to go and fight off the spider demon.
Her lair’s entrance was guarded by a group of bloated hollows, but I was able to sneak past them without calling their attention. As I reached land, I ate my last scrap of moss and proceeded to the cave. In the inside there were a few of Laurentius’ people covered in spider eggs and in great agony. They did not attack me however, so I left them alone. From the distance I saw the fog gate which would take me to Queelag and was happy to see markings on the floor. I touched them and was surprised when the cannibal woman who fought me earlier arose, as a white phantom. She did not attack me for some reason. I didn’t know if I could trust her, but she seemed well-intentioned and I did not have problem with white phantoms prior to that, so once again I decided to risk it.