There are some tough fights in this optional area. Be strong.
Dark Souls 3: Abandoned Tomb to Smouldering Lake
Many players consider this area optional, but we think it's worth heading down just for a certain NPC interaction. The boss and treasure hunting beyond are much less essential, and will be marked as such.
Proceed on down the path from the Abandoned Tomb bonfire to Smouldering Lake. There’s a ballista in this area, which will fire on you constantly. It shoots in bursts of three and takes a while to reload, so sprint from cover to cover as it is wound back up.
There are many item glows around the lake and almost all of them are Large Titanite Shards. The three you can see from the shore as you arrive are pretty easily obtained, but those closer to the ballista are guarded by giant crabs, and not really worth the effort just yet.
What's definitely worth the effort is a small path along the wall. Sprint from cover to cover towards the ballista keeping a sharp eye on the right wall, and you ought to spot the concealed opening near the second tree. Wait for a break in fire and dash across.
Along this path you’ll find two Crystal Lizards, who drop Twinkling Titanite and a Titanite Chunk. Beyond them, you’ll find Horace of the Hushed.
We don’t know what’s happened to Horace (hollowing, probably, given his associations), but he’s not friendly. There are no negative consequences to putting him down – and in fact, if you check our NPC guide, you’ll see there’s a good argument for doing it.
Horace uses a halberd, and he’s extremely deadly. He’s not super quick, but the range of his weapon means you’re not necessarily safe behind him. This is a duel you should take very seriously.
If you’re more of a nervous type, your investment in ranged combat pays off again. With Black Bow of Pharis +4, Standard Arrows and Dexterity of 33, we were able to do an average of 100 damage with a headshot taken from several steps into the cave, and were not followed after sprinting away. It took less than 15 arrows.
When Horace is down, you can collect the Llewlyn Shield, two Large Titanite Shards and some Yellow Bug Pellets from around his arena.
Horace is the only story-critical objective you had in this area, so if you'd like to get back on track, skip ahead a few pages to High Lord Wolnir. Otherwise, stay tuned as we challenge an optional boss.