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Else Somewhere Else
A tale of Elseweyr's adventures in Lordran
There was a set of stairs that wound up along a cliffside, away from the safety of the bonfire of Firelink Shrine. Else paused for a brief moment to take in the unfamiliar and strangely peaceful scenery. After ascending the stairs and coming to the first level landing, she let out a small yelp as a filthy and reeking Hollow ambled toward her. She saw more of them higher up! At this point she wasn't entirely defenseless, however, and promptly raised her shield. After her initial shock, fighting the zombielike creatures wasn't too bad.
A firebomb-throwing Hollow seemingly blocked her way up along the stairway -- this gave her a pause. How can I get past that? She mustered all her courage and ran up the stairs, shield held high -- only to be attacked by a second, axe-wielding Hollow! Two on one? Fine then… She dispatched them both with a swift set of slashes from her trusty sword. Surveying her surroundings, feeling quite proud of her accomplishment, her eyes fell on some gleaming treasure on one of the aqueduct's horizontal support beams. She still wasn't quite sure on her feet after all she'd been through, but decided to jump for the beam. It was a four-foot jump, and the fall below her seemed to go on forever, out of sight into the dark mist below. She almost made the jump, but miscalculated her angle and fell screaming to her death.
She was back at the Firelink Shrine bonfire, and she felt horrible and lifeless again. Her face itched badly, and the familiar stench of her own decaying flesh hung in the air. But she was used to this. She had to press on. The second time going up the stairs wasn't too bad, she continued toward--
There was a narrow traversable passage along the inside of the aqueduct, and for a moment she was terrified she'd lose sight of the sun and outside air once again. To her relief she soon stumbled out of the dark and was outside in the light once more. There were two Hollows waiting, and she drew her sword--
Her Hollowing mind was a mess again; she'd started to have blanks in her memory once more. No matter -- she had to go on. She had now come to an area that looked like it had been inhabited at some point. She wound her way through dilapidated housing and narrow streets, fighting off more mindless Hollows. Upon exiting a small building, she suddenly heard the flapping of gigantic wings, and look! -- a red Dragon landed right in front of her, eliciting a frightened screech from her parched throat. She was too shocked to move for a short while, but then started moving forward again.
Presently, she reached a second bonfire. She almost continued on without resting at it; she didn't really feel the fatigue, her body was numb and her mind really confused. Right outside the warm glow of the bonfire was a group of Hollows that seemed to reappear every time she rested at the fire, which wasn't even surprising to her anymore. Nothing made sense. She even saw the phantom of an Ancient Legend, a mysterious everlasting Knight from another time. She found some comfort in the hallucination: maybe I'm not alone?
In all of her fighting and exploring up to this point, she'd become quite adept with the sword. She fought the Hollows in the vicinity over and over, and discovered she could kick them off balance if they were overly defensive. I'm really good at this, she thought; and she was. All this fighting had truly made her stronger. So, when she came upon an undead merchant a while later, her eyes immediately fixed on a beautiful Katana that lay beside the squatting merchant--
You should get that sword, by any means necessary
She attacked again, her mind was screaming, she didn't understand what was happening.
The sword was the finest tool she'd ever seen; she swung it around and enjoyed its lithe movement. She had stripped off her hindering cuirass, and reveled in the freedom of movement. She returned to the nearby bonfire and rested, this time concentrating all of her will on clearing her head. It was working! The same black and suffocating sensation as before, followed by an immense relief and a feeling of her Self returning.
With newfound vigor she practiced her new, more agile, fighting style. She also had a bow, which proved to be a useful tool indeed. She was very adept at dodging, backstabbing and kicking enemies. The Katana took some time to get used to, but the slender blade soon became almost like an extension of her arm.
She had only died once in this new land, and even that was a reckless and stupid mistake she had made while jumping for the treasure back near Firelink Shrine. Unbeknownst to poor Else, that was about to change. She was now traversing a spiraling staircase that wound itself up through a tower and seemed to lead to the top of a huge wall. A fog door stood before her.
End of part two
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