The Greatwood was used as a desperate attempt by the residents of the Undead settlement to seal away the curses that plagued the town. This initially proved successful but eventually the curses overcame the tree and it transformed into a twisted abomination.
Upon entering the courtyard, the Greatwood is initially dormant at the far end of the area and surrounded by worshipping Peasant Hollows. Upon awakening, it will attempt to crush the player with its arms and legs whilst also leaking a poisonous liquid from its underside. It will also bombard the player with the putrid "fruits" that hang from its branches, sacks filled with decomposing corpses. All of its attacks are easily evaded but it is not advised to block them. Unlike other bosses, the Greatwood can only be damaged by attacking the tumors on its body.
To trigger the second phase of the battle, at least one of the growths covering the boss must be destroyed, the easiest one being the growth on its belly. The hollows will attempt to distract the player but will often be killed by the bosses' attacks, so it is recommended to avoid them and destroy the growth as quickly as possible. The boss will smash the floor, dropping the player into a new area. They will not take any damage but any surviving hollows will perish.
During the second phase, the Greatwood becomes more aggressive and a white hand emerges from its front. This hand can perform a powerful grab attack so it its recommended to keep behind or beside the boss and destroy the remaining growths. Some of them are may be hard to reach with melee weapons so ranged attacks and spells can be effective. The boss will be stunned once each growth is destroyed which enables the player to attack its front unmolested or target another growth.
Whilst risky, the player can continue to deal damage to the Greatwood by attacking the hand and the wound in its chest, rather than destroying the growths.
The following method can present an easy defeat, though it can become lengthy if the player isn't aggressive enough. During the boss's first phase, the player can take the offensive to grant them an opportunity to attack the growth's in the boss's front area. Once they are destroyed, the second phase will begin. At this point, the player may begin to play more defensively and should heal when necessary. The boss can be baited into a slamming attack, and when this happens, the player can take advantage of the weakness to get powerful hits in on the boss while it recovers. If this is repeated, the boss should prove to be of little difficulty.
Soul of the Rotted Greatwood
- The Greatwood is an optional boss; however, defeating it rewards the player with the Transposing Kiln, which is required to forge boss souls weapons.
- If the player wishes to join the Mound-makers covenant, they must do so before defeating the boss. Hodrick, the character who inducts the player into the covenant is located in the pit below the boss arena and will be killed when the floor collapses. His corpse is visible after the fight.
- The arm that emerges in the second phase resembles the Clawed Curses found in the Grand Archives.