Title a slight lie, as we'll be getting a stack of stuff done in this section after the bonfire.
Dark Souls 3: Undead Settlement to Cliff Underside
Return to the Undead Settlement bonfire and battle your way to the flaming tree. Rather than heading through the building, cross the bridge, taking out two grunts patrolling it; one will lob firebombs at you, so be careful.
The path forward is through the barn, but there’s a small path to the right with loads of treasure – and danger. Proceed with caution. There are two knife-throwing assassins on the rooftops ahead. Let's call them Lefty and Righty. Unless you’ve got a lot of arrows, they’re too far away to pick off from the safety of cover. Worse, three more assassins are set to ambush you along the path.
Start by advancing slowly, shield up to guard against ranged attacks, and scan the left wall till you see the first ambushing assassin. Lure him back out around the front of the barn and kill him there.
Next, advance carefully to the pile of boulders; Lefty and Righty will probably be hammering you with knives by now, but you should be able to break line of sight Lefty so you only need to guard one direction. Keeping a wary eye on Righty, dart around the rocks and immediately back; pull the second assassin back to the front of the barn and murder him. Rinse and repeat for the third assassin that usually appears from the right of the rocks.
Now return to the rocks. If you like, you can kill Righty from here with ranged attacks, timing yours between his – or we can get to him in a minute, using that ladder. In either case your next goal is to kill Lefty. Run around the rocks and get out of Righty’s range, if he’s alive, then climb onto the rooftops and battle Lefty – and another assassin on the lower roof behind.
Collect the Firebomb from the apex of the roof here, then look for a path leading behind the buildings at ground level. There’s a Plank Shield you can collect. Around the corner is a cage beast, but it won’t attack you, and, uh, you can talk to it. Do so?
Back around the front of the building, climb the ladder so you can kill Righty, if you haven’t already. Collect a Homeward Bone from the rear of his roof. Back on ground level in front of the house, grab the Fading Soul in front of the ladder.
This area is now clear and we need never go here again - but don't leave just yet. There's a new covenant available here. Simply climb onto Righty’s rooftop, drop down into the lower area while the lumbering woodsman is walking away, get up behind him and press Cross/A to climb in. This gives you the option to pledge to the Mound-makers. You can only do this before you defeat the boss in this area, but there is another way in. See our covenant guide for details. Whether you join the covenant or not, it’s worth visiting this area a bit later once you know your way to and from the church below, to shoot down the corpse hanging in a tree for a Flame Plate Ring.
When you’re done, return to the barn by the bridge and this time go inside. Watch out for the two tall pitchfork enemies who attack from the stalls to the right. Grab the Large Soul of a Deserted Corpse from the left.
Push on slowly and be prepared for a new variant of assassin holding a sword; it attacks differently from those you’re used to, has more health, and usually sits further away than you expect. When he’s dead, open the double doors. Look right; there’s an item glow there. If you’ve been to a bonfire since you cleared the nearby side path, you’ll be attacked by Lefty’s buddy when you go for it, so keep an eye out behind you. Grab the Caduceus Shield and turn your attention to the nearby bridge.
The other side of the bridge is a horror. See the passive guys on the other side? They’re sitting by exploding barrels. When you get close enough, a grunt above and right will throw a firebomb down and ignite them.
The whole area beyond is littered with explosive barrels, and there are two more grunts ready to drop more bombs on you. You might be tempted to make a run for the arch, where none of them can hit you, but there’s a woodsman here, who will smash you or chase you back out, likely into an explosion.
There are two ways to get through this horror. You can grab your bow and snipe the enemies down before engaging the pot-carrying woodsman, or you can drop down to a path visible to the right of the bridge. You can also do both; you want to go down to that ledge regardless.
There may be up to two grunts on the ledge, depending on how many firebombs dropped around you as you made your way here, so be careful when you drop down. If you didn't snipe the firebomb guys above, you’ll want to run down the path towards the building a bit before fighting the grunts down here, so you don’t get pinged with more firebombs yourself. When it’s clear, grab the Titanite Shard from the dead end under the bridge – moving quickly to avoid firebombs, if applicable. Then simply pass through the door at the other end and you’ll be able to active the Cliff Underside bonfire.
There's some more to do on this side of the settlement before we can continue to the boss arena. Move on out the door on the other side of the bonfire room. Follow the path up and onto the rooftops, where you can get at the three firebomb guys if they’re still standing.
Near where the one solo firebomb guy was standing, you can walk around the corner and collect a Hand Axe. Look back towards the path from the bonfire to spot an item glow on a hanging corpse. Shoot it down, then speak to the man in the cage; it’s a pyromancer called Cornyx. Accept his offer to learn pyromancy and he’ll be transported to Firelink Shrine, where he becomes a spell vendor. The first time you talk to him he gives you a Pyromancy Flame, and the second time, he’ll hand over the Welcome emote.
Collect the Partizan from where it fell after you shot the corpse, then drop back down to ground level somewhere you won’t suffer too much damage. Engage and kill the woodsman if you haven’t already so you can explore the area with all the fire barrels.
There’s a Soul of an Unknown Traveller on the gibbet. Roll through the barrels on the left of the gibbet to allow access to a narrow pier of sorts behind it; walk to the end and grab the Fire Clutch Ring (you don’t need to kill the poor passive guy here; he won’t aggro).
Go out through the arch and down the stairs. Ignore the passives on the right; they’re harmless. Hug the left wall and roam around the building to find a narrow cliff side path leading to a Large Soul of a Deserted Corpse. Sometimes something will attempt to attack you from inside this building, and mysteriously die in the process – but be careful anyway, as it may be able to hurt you or frighten you into falling off the edge.
Head down the next set of stairs, watching out for the dogs and three grunts. There's also an Evangelist patrolling the path. One dog is tucked behind a tree, but apart from that they could be anywhere, depending on how long you've been running around; sometimes half of them have already fallen off cliffs, or are hanging around at the other end of the road.
There’s an Ember near the tree the dog was hiding behind. The big doors here won't open yet, so turn around and go the other way. Look for a door on the right, tucked into the cliffs. There's usually a dog in here. Take the ladder down to the sewers and you’ll be attacked by three rats. They don’t have a lot of health but they attack deceptively quickly; make sure you don’t get swarmed. Past them, you can collect a Caestus.
Move forward very, very slowly and you’ll aggro two rats. Run back as soon as you see their shapes and fight them closer to the ladder. There’s a giant rat in the mist. It’s very quick so if you want to fight it at a distance, don’t aggro it up close – throw a bomb or ping an arrow. If you struggle with this fight, aggro the rat with an arrow then sprint back to the ladder (remember you need stamina to climb). You can cheese it with ranged attacks from the top. You get a Bloodbite Ring for your efforts the first time you down it, but be aware that it does respawn.
At the misty end of the tunnel you’ll find a ladder. Climb up and open the door to the Dilapidated Bridge bonfire. Nice. Top up your health if you need to.
Head back to where you entered the sewers and observe the enemies on the other side of the bridge. If you want to use arrows on the three woodsmen, they have some trouble getting through the door to the ladder, so you can hide in questionable safety till they give up on you. There’s also a grunt to deal with. There’s an Ember on the bridge, and a Large Soul of a Deserted Corpse on a raised area with a building. There’s a pair of dogs behind this structure, so be careful; they guard three Alluring Skulls.
Head along the path between the buildings. Don’t attack the guy sitting on the left side of the path; it's Eygon of Carim, a non-hostile NPC. Notice the locked cell nearby. Enter the church and wait for the lift to come up, bringing with it Siegward of Catarina, another friendly NPC. Chat with both of these characters until their dialogue is exhausted; we'll advance both their quests in upcoming pages. You can preview via the NPC guide, if you don't mind spoilers.
Sprint over the lift so it goes down; this brings the top platform into reach. Take the lift up and collect the Soul of a Nameless Soldier in one corner before climbing the stairs. Don’t attack the giant at the top! Talk to it and offer a token of friendship (gives a Fading Soul from your inventory) to receive a Young White Branch.
That's this side of the Undead Settlement complete. You can now either open the shortcut to the boss arena, or tackle an optional boss. We'll assume you want to do the optional part first.