Upon properly scouting, I find another path that leads to a bonfire and a rickety wooden bridge spanning a large chasm, leading to some sort of chapel. At the door is a Sir Vilhelm, a knight in black armor with the voice of a chain smoker, who tells me to go in and talk to his boss, Sister Friede.
Friede is very amicable, gifts me a frostbite ring and politely tells me that I have no place here. Vilhelm's echo of this is more direct and aggressive. Yeah I'm going to fight him later aren't I? Deciding against leaving just yet, I follow a path down the mountain side which leads to a small village inhabited my mostly dying birdmen.
Sliding is fun! And one way...
It's good that most of them are dying though, because the few full powered ones are bloody fast and dangerous to fight. They must be infected by something because the strong ones also attack their weak kin. One dying birdman in a kitchen tells me this directly, begging me to stop this disease. There's definitely more than meets the eye here.