With the deep axe, slow and steady progress led me to another bonfire and the unlocking of shortcuts back to earlier bonfires. I even find a prisoner caged in one tower but with no key I decide to come back some other time. In a cathedral guarded by knights (who I'm getting more efficient at killing now) I meet the elderly priestess Emma who offers me to join the Way of the Blue covenant. Since it helped me out last time I jump at the opportunity! Newbie guild for me! :)
It was then time for a rematch against Battle Cat, but this time I used an ember (the replacement of humanity here) to power up and to summon the katana guy from before. I'll call him Bill. Apparently kicking each other off a cliff was enough to become friends! He-man's steed has no match against the two of us, and Bill waves farewell as I go ahead and wave a little flag Emma had given me to summon transport to bring me to the undead settlement: demon transport.
Here I find the regular hollows being fed to some hounds by some sadistic villagers. I also find a pilgrim named Yoel who offers his sorcery services to me. Sure! The more friends the better! He warps out to Firelink shrine, while I continue into the rather large village full of psychos armed with pitchforks and butcher knives who enjoy stringing up their victims. Also among their number are fat, bearded sorceresses, and midget assassins. Oh and some caged victims have melded into ridiculous, multi-legged monsters. It certainly feels like I walked into a circus.
A circus that needs to be purified with fire.