Just a short trot to the next location.
Dark Souls 3: Distant Manor to Irithyll Dungeon
Having bashed in Pontiff Sulyvahn’s face, travel to the Distant Manor bonfire. last time we were here we just used it as a pit stop; now we’ll explore those mysterious stairs (don’t mind the dark corner; it’s empty).
Head on down the stairs but take your time about it when you enter the next room. The two slaves on the stairs will run away as you approach; there’s a Pontiff Knight on your left waiting to ambush you if you chase them incautiously, and they’re hoping to join the fun.
Note: the knight is not easy to lure out of his corner, and even when you do, you have very little room to cheese him. If you really can’t handle it and don’t mind dashing ahead, you can always just run straight out the door on the other side of the room, ignoring all the baddies and no especially valuable items in this room, to sprint on to the next bonfire. This won’t work if you’re in Ember form; trust us.
Assuming you clear the knight, further surprises await. A bishop is easily spotted (and cheesed) before you descend the second half of the stairs, but look to the dark arches to spot an invisible slave and an invisible slave mage who would ambush you if you dropped down for that item glow over there. Take them out, collect the Large Titanite Shard under the arches, then climb back up the stairs and drop down to grab the Rusted Gold Coin.
Head out the door and down the cliffside path. If you’re in Ember form you’ll be invaded by Dark Spirit Alva, Seeker of the Spurned. He has a crossbow and his attacks eat up your poise. The door behind you seals when he invades, so it’s a straight duel; retreat further up the path to where the railings will keep you from rolling off.
Alva’s worth having a go at, even if you use an ember at the next bonfire and wander back. He drops the Murakumo sword, and if you manage to defeat him you can grab his armour in a later area. One good way to beat him is to wait for him to slash and roll behind him; on those occasions where he’s using his weapon art, he’ll just keep on spinning past you for a few moments, allowing you time to position yourself for an attack (or heal or reposition).
Whether you beat up Alva or just skip through in unkindled form, head through the doorway and down the stairs to activate the Irithyll Dungeon bonfire. That wasn’t so bad, was it? Practically a holiday compared to what’s ahead. Just a warning.