With my trusty broadsword in hand I set out on my adventure, following a stone corridor which led out into a great forest ruin. A strange albino hiclops (cyclops/hippopotamus hybrid) patrolled the river and didn't really pay attention to me, but all the hollow soldiers certainly did. They have a new trick now "play dead", which catches me by surprise more than once.
Still, I do pretty well and reach another bonfire - this one home to a merchant hag. Probably the same merchant hag from Undead Berg? She happens to have the key for the blacksmith's shop so I buy that before moving on. The area around her is quite tough though, with "heavy" ninja turtle soldiers. I am also jumped by an eagle riding knight while exploring who slaughters me with ease. Good thing that bonfire is nearby!
Son of a...
In some nearby mines I also find Cale the Cartographer, who seems to be losing his marbles. He does admit to be squatting in one of the larger mansions in Majula though, and gives me a key so I can visit! I decide to do just that, seeing as the Lord Vessel's power of bonfire teleportation is still available to me. I warp back to Majula, slay a stray skeleton in Cale's mansion, and unlock the blacksmith's shop for him. Awesome! Now there's more stuff on sale that I can't afford to buy.