Part 14: Grave of Saints Doors of Pharros
We're going through two areas tied to a certain covenant. There'll be rats. At the end of each you'll be allowed to join a covenant. If you do you'll be able to go through both areas without having to worry about enemies, even if you haven't explored it yet.
The Heide Armor looks rather sweet with the Heide Iron Mask. I'm a little bit reminded of Artorias' design from the first game. But just a little bit.
Royal Rat Vanguard
There isn't much to say about this fight. You'll have enough opportunities to learn how to deal with rats in small groups until you reach the fight. Now deal with an entire swarm. You need to kill ten of them until the Royal Rat Vanguard shows up. It's uh... yeah a rat. It looks like the other rats but has a Mohawk and takes more hits. If you lock on to it and have ranged attacks you can move more freely and avoid the other rats more easily while looking for an opportunity to attack, when going melee it's better to break the lock-on if you have to retreat. It may take a bit to find the Vanguard again, but you'll have an easier time maneuvering through the swarm.
I think in the video I said they inflict toxic, but it's actually petrify the rats inflict.
Royal Rat Authority
This one, however, is a little more interesting, though, the hardest part is the very beginning. You wont be immediately attacked upon entering the arena, instead you'll find four small rat-dog hybrids and if you look up the wall behind them you'll see a really big one. Once you aggro the small ones the big one will jump down.
Naturally, it's a good idea to take out as many of the small ones as quickly as possible. Because they can cause some damn trouble. A sufficiently upgraded crossbow can do the job, taking out one of the small ones with one hit each. In general, if you have a sufficiently upgraded ranged attack you can try doing that. AoE spells and the likes are also a good option. Spells like Firestorm, Heavenly Thunder and Scraps of Life all have roughly the same effect and may take out several rats, but they are random. You can, of course, also just run towards them and attack them close up. Depending on your weapon you may be able to take out more than just one with a hit. In case you don't get them all before the big guy gets down just stay patient, and focus your efforts on dealing with the small ones first. But be careful, they can inflict toxic an you and with multiple targets it'll get very hectic, making it difficult to heal. It's practically a death sentence and really hard to salvage that situation.
But anyway, once you got them all you need to face the Royal Rat Authority. It's a huge rat. Well, it looks like a dog-rat hybrid, like the smaller ones, but the game refers to it as just a rat. Big quadripedal enemy. If you've played Dark Souls you might remember Sif, and the easiest strategy to beat him. Which would be to get right under him and preferably use fire. Aside from that the two fights are very different, though, and for obvious reasons we're going to focus on the Royal Rat Authority here.
As said: If you have fire you should use it, because the Royal Rat Authority is weak to it.
It has a couple obvious attacks, it can stomp and swipe with it's front paws. It can also do a sweep that covers everywhere around it. The most dangerous attack, though, is a short charge. It's definitely possible to dodge it. I've done so before but find it unreliable. My timing may be off but I think it just has too many active attack frames to dodge it reliably. Blocking, even with a weak shield, works, though. If it has low stability you might get guard broken, but you'll be able to recover in time (see the fight in the video). Those attacks are all mostly harmless when standing under it.
There's one more thing it can do though, which is vomit out acid, which destroys your equipment. It'll cover a large area and you should avoid touching it at all cost. Thankfully it tends to do it only once at low health. Sadly, it's the only real way it can force you to get away from it (other than it jumping or running away, which it sometimes does.) otherwise it could be an actually interesting boss. The main difficulty of the fight comes from the four smaller rats in the beginning, though.
Royal Rat Vanguard's Soul
Soul of the Rat King's vanguard, of the underground realm.
The Rat King's loyal servant judges the worthiness of those who seek royal audience.
Trade Soul with: Straid
Magic Type: Pyromancy
Description: Creates a green cloud wherever it's cast. Everything inside of it will be inflicted with toxic. Of course only if they can't manage to leave the cloud in time. Enemies are subject to build-up of status effects as much as the player.
Dark Souls II: A fringe pyromancy of unknown origin. Creates a powerful cloud of poison mist.
The poison gradually erodes the target's body, inflicting damage all the while. Whoever created this spell did not believe his enemies deserved a swift death.
Dark Souls: Unique pyromancy crafted by Eingyi, considered a heretic even at the Great Swamp. Create intense poison mist.
Why was Eingyi driven from the Great Swamp? One only need cast this pyromancy, a perverse diversion from the art of fire, to find out.
Note: Eingyi was some dude who helped the spider ladies in the first game. It is believed that he is the one who caused Blighttown to be full of poison, although he most likely did not do it on purpose as he's trying to cure the Fair Lady who is suffering from the poison.
Royal Rat Authority's Soul
Soul of the Royal Rat Authority, of the underground realm.
Those who choose to serve the Rat King must have the courage to face His challenges.
Use the special soul of this rat to acquire numerous souls. or to create something of great worth.
Note: I've been omitting this last bit from soul's descriptions and replaced it with something that tells you who to give the soul to so far because it usually adds nothing, in this case its the part that classifies the Rat Authority as a rat rather than a dog. Interestingly, the Royal Rat Vanguard's Soul refers to it as a soldier in the last bit and doesn't acknowledge the obvious fact that its a rat at all.
Trade Soul with: Straid
Magic Type: Pyromancy
Description: Like Toxic Mist, only instead of toxic the cloud will damage the opponents equipment. This, of course, only works on NPCs or other PCs. At least I don't think it works on regular enemies but I may be wrong. Generally, it's considered a great way to be a dick to other players. Despite using it I have yet to receive hatemail.
Dark Souls II: A fringe pyromancy of unknown origin. Sprays an equipment-eroding acid.
Does not directly damage foes, but eats away at their equipment instead. Yet another pyromancy inspired by perniciousness.
Dark Souls: Pyromancy foreign to the Great Swamp. Emit acid which corrodes weapons and armor.
Not all pyromancy originates in the Great Swamp. One hears rumors of unknown pyromancers inhabiting various lands, and this spell is the work of one such outlander
Rat King Covenant
This is a very unique PvP covenant. Essentially, rather than invading other players, you force them into your world. This only works in the designated covenant areas which covers the entirety of the Grave of Saint's until the boss door as well as the Doors of Pharros past the big rat-head entrance you'll also have seen in the Grave of Saints As long as you're in the covenant none of the enemies in those areas will attack you, but they will attack other players. What you are supposed to do is utilize the various Pharros contraptions to set free more enemies or various hazards, like acid. Mostly no one does this, though. If you are succesful in fending off the "Invader" you get a Rat Tail, if you win as the invader by either defeating the host or reaching the fog-gate of the boss you get a Pharros Lockstone. The rewards for the Covenant aren't really anything to write home about but it's an interesting covenant nonetheless
For joining you get the Rat Crest, which will summon other players for you to defend against when equipped.
For 10 Rat Tails you get 10 Small Smooth and Silky Stones which you can give to Dyna and Tilo in Things Betwixt.
For 20 Rat Tails you get 10 Smooth and Silky Stones.
For 35 Rat Tails you get a Slumbering Dragoncrest Ring, which will make it so you don't cause any noise when walking.
Grave of Saints
Whisper of Despair
A hex that releases verbose darkness. The darkness echoes words of despair, reducing the defense of opponents.
The Dark blankets the world in black. A thing of tranquility, a thing serene.
Armor of Aurous
Helm/Armor/Gauntlets/Leggings of kings of the desert land of Jugo. First worn by Aurous, the land's heroic founder.
According to legend, the armor of Aurous is composed of a mysterious substance that cannot be seen by cowards. What do your eyes tell you?
Note: Fun Fact: It's invisible no matter what. Dropped by Rhoy the Explorer, a phantom that only appears when playing offline. You can also get it from Maughlin if you talk to him without having any souls while he's in the final stage of his questline. And uh... I said it's invisible. But there actually is a visible version too. Remember the Twinblade guy in No-Man's Wharf? Yeah, he'll drop it. Only it has a really low drop rate so it's not worth it. Generally, if you can't see the set it doesn't mean you're a coward it just means you're not wasting your time grinding.
A severed rat's tail
Demonstrate fidelity by offering it to the Rat King, and strengthen the bond with your covenant.
The Rat King is proud and merciful, as any king true to his stature should be.
The Rat King looks favorably upon those who follow the path of right, even disgraceful humans.
Doors of Pharros
A spear that was embedded in a stone statue.
According to an old local legend, a great spear was used to defeat Santier, the walking statue. Perhaps this is that very spear.
But it will be difficult to utilize such a thing in the manner of a spear. Your only choice is to swing it around, and smite foes about the head.
Note: A Halberd type weapon with 500 durability. Until you break it, at which point the stone head will break and it will turn into a proper spear type weapon with infinite durability. When in the rat covenant attacking the giant Mastodons in Doors of Pharros is a good way to break it. Alternatively you can stack corpses and attack them as attacking things that don't take damage from your swings depletes durability faster.
Black Scorpion Stinger
Manscorpion Tark's thrusting sword.
The scorpion pincer guard contains poison, which is injected into foes pierced by the blade.
Tark's past is a thing obscure. But then again, do any of us know who we are, let alone what we may have been?
Slumbering Dragoncrest Ring
Dark Souls II: An old ring of the Melfian Magic Academy.Depicts a soundly slumbering dragon. Masks the sounds made by its wearer.
The precise origins of the Magic Academy are hazy, for over its long history, its faculty has been dissolved and reestablished at least a dozen times.
Dark Souls: This ring was secretly worn by a surreptitious sorcerer at Vinheim Dragon School.
The ring is engraved with an everlasting dragon in silent slumber, and masks all sound emitting from its wearer.