Head back to the Shaded Woods Ruined Fork Road bonfire. This time head through the doorway in the middle. Follow the path to find a Red Tearstone Ring in the pond ahead. Continue down the path and enter the large door at the end that requires the King's Ring. Make sure you have the King's Ring equipped to open the door to enter Aldia's Keep.
Pick up the Soul of a Nameless Soldier and Petrified Dragon Bone next to the tree on the left, as well as the Poison Throwing Knife and Alluring Skull just ahead. Defeat the enemies that attack, then head into the structure ahead and light the bonfire inside. Head back out of the structure and around to the left side of the larger building ahead. Attack and defeat the coffer to find a Sunset Staff and a Dark Mask.
Head all the way around to the stairs on the far side, and pick up the Fire Seed to the right of the stairs. Go up the first two stairways, then grab the Radiant Lifegem in the small pond in the middle. Continue up the next set of stairs and around to the far left side to find a Twilight Herb, then head through the main passageway.
Defeat the invader, Aslatiel of Mirrah, then head through the door at the end of the hall. In the next room, pick up the Fading Soul in the middle, then quickly move forward to avoid the bone dragon's attack. Head back to the entrance to find a Darknight Stone, go into the hallway under the stairs and around the corner to the left. Pull the lever, then head to the opposite side and speak to the Royal Sorcerer Navlaan to browse his store.
Head back out to the main room and up the staircase on the right. Head around the corner to the right to find a coffer at the very end that contains a Great Magic Barrier. Go back in the direction you came and take down the enemies in the mirrors ahead. Only three of the mirrors have enemies in them; walk up to them carefully to engage the enemies, then back away as they break out.
Pick up the Northern Ritual Band +2 and Petrified Dragon Bone items at the end of the hall, then head back to the main stairs and over to the far left side to find a staircase. Go up the stairs and into the hallway ahead. Head all the way to the far right side and down the hallway to find a coffer at the end that contains two Bonfire Ascetics.
Go back to the main room, pick up the Crimson Water item next to the cage, then attack the giant frog held inside. Head through the door at the end and pull the lever on the statue to open the door ahead. Use a Pharros' Lockstone on the face in the corner, then continue down the hall. Attack the painting on the left to reveal an enemy. Defeat it, then use a ranged attack to engage the enemy in the cage above and knock it down to the hallway.
Pick up the Radiant Lifegem and continue down the hallway and through the next door. Head down the stairs in the room ahead, then used ranged attacks to take out the enemies inside the cage. If you don't have ranged attacks available, remove all of your armor, open the gate and draw the enemies outside. Fighting in the acidic pool will only destroy your armor.
Once the enemies are down, remove your armor if you haven't already and wade into the pool to collect a Soul Geyser, a Petrified Dragon Bone, an Aldia Key, the Large Soul of a Nameless Soldier, and four Corrosive Urns. Head back out and up the stairs, then through the doorway to the left. Strike the painting to engage the enemy hiding behind it, then continue down the hall and into the next door on the right.
Take down the two enemies in the room beyond, then pick up the Soul of a Proud Knight. Head down to the cage near the end of the room and take out the enemy, then pick up the Large Soul of a Brave Knight on the far wall. Turn around and head through the door on the right. Strike the enemy in the next room to bash a hole in the wall, then take down the enemy. Kill the beast in the cage just ahead, then head into the room on the right.
Turn around and head back through the broken wall and through the doors ahead. Pick up the Simpleton's Spice and Twilight Herb items on the left, then immediately dodge back to avoid the enemy that attacks through the wall. Take down the beast, then head through the newly formed hole in the wall to engage the invader, Royal Sorcerer Navlaan. Watch out for the invaders powerful magic, which has deceptive range. Take down the invader, then head across the bridge and through the mist door ahead to fight the Guardian Dragon boss.
Boss Battle: Guardian Dragon
There's one simple strategy that works extremely well against the Guardian Dragon: stay by its hind legs. This avoids the Dragon's fire breath attacks and the swiping attack from its mouth. If it lifts one leg up, move away slightly to avoid the stomp, then move back in and continue attacking.
If the Dragon takes flight but hovers over you, move away to avoid the ground stomp that follows. If the Dragon flies to the side of the area, move as far away from it as possible to avoid the long-range fire breath that will follow shortly afterwards. While you can remain directly under the Guardian Dragon to avoid the fire, you will still get hit when it lands and stomps the ground. If you stay on the far side of the area, you avoid both the fire breath and the ground stomp that follows.
When you move back into close proximity, be careful of the Dragon's various close-range attacks. If you approach from a distance, the Dragon may attempt to bite with its mouth or breathe fire straight ahead. If you're not quick, either attack may occur before you can get under the Dragon to attack its legs. Dodge to the side to avoid the fire breath, and dodge forward or back to avoid the swiping attack, depending on your distance from the Dragon. If you're close enough to dodge under its legs, dodge forward. If not, dodge to the back.
After defeating the Guardian Dragon, head through the doorway and across the bridge. Go down the hallway and pick up the Dragon Scale to the right of the doorway. Move into the lift to reach the floor above, then head through the doorway to the right and down the hall to reach Dragon Aerie.
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