Continue your journey with Prima's Dark Souls 2 Guide and Walkthrough!
Go up the stairs and enter the open cell on the right to find two Common Fruits. Continue up the stairs to find a bonfire in the open cell on the left. Head up the stairs and down the path. Ignore the White Knight sitting on the ground ahead, and look for an opening in the wall to the left. Just below the opening is an enemy. Drop down to take him by surprise, then take out the enemy and the two dogs that attack.
If you're not confident with your combat skills, take the ladder in the alcove ahead (to the left). This allows you to fight the dogs first, while the other enemy slowly approaches. This enemy uses a lance and is best fought from behind. His attacks have a great deal of range and a wide attack arc. Even attacking from behind, you must be careful to always stay out of the trajectory of the enemy's wide, sweeping attacks.
The enemy drops a Twilight Herb. Pick it up, then break down the wooden structure in the corner to find an Alluring Skull. Turn around and break down the other wooden structure, then head through the small opening behind it. Open the coffer at the end to find a Large Titanite Shard and another Estus FLask Shard.
Head back out and down the corridor and take down the remaining dog enemy. Pull the lever at the end and take out the two dogs beyond the gate. Continue down the hall and into the opening on the left. Light the bonfire, then head through the doorway to find several chests in the next room. Open them to obtain five Titanite Shards, two Large Titanite Shards, 10 Iron Arrows and 10 Heavy Bolts. Collect all of the items, then speak to the man at the end. Come back a bit later (after a death or two) to open the chest he's sitting on and obtain a Craftsman's Hammer and a Twinkling Titanite.
Leave the room and head up the stairs to the right to engage another lance enemy. Dodge to the right or left as you approach to avoid the barrel that he knocks down the stairs. Continue down the hall and take out the dog that attacks. Head down the path to the right, before you reach the barrel ahead. At the end of the path is a Gold Pine Resin. Continue down the hall, kill the dog and the lance-wielding enemy at the end, and continue up the stairs and into the room ahead.
Speak with Lucatiel on the far side of the room to receive a Human Effigy, then head back the way you came. Just before you reach the stairs, use the broken wall to the left to reach the balcony. Head down the passage to the right and through the door ahead. Do not go through the doorway yet.
In the room to the left, there are five enemies that will rush out when they see you. In addition, there are two more enemies that patrol the stairs. There's a chance not all of them will spot you, but either way, do not fight in this small room. Run back out to the balcony and engage the enemy at the choke point to make the battle a little easier.
As soon as you open the door, step inside, then immediately back out. This should cause only three of the enemies to see you and rush into battle. Take out the three enemies, then go back through the doorway. If you see the two patrolling enemies on the stairs, head back out and take them on. If not, wait until they appear, then take them down. When the first five enemies are down, enter the room to the left, then immediately back out so you have room to take out the last two enemies.
With all seven enemies down, head down the stairs in the middle room. When you reach the bottom, head through the hallway to the left and watch out for the enemy climbing down the ladder. Pick up the item at the end of the hall to find a Soul of a Proud Knight and another Human Effigy.
You can climb up the ladder here or go back up the stairs. Whatever you do, do not open the door in the room with the stairs. There's nothing behind the door, and if you go through the doorway, you will fall to your death.
If you choose to take the stairs, use the lever to open the gate in the room the guards were in. Defeat the one or two additional guards that attack (one may have climbed down the ladder earlier), then head down the hall. The first cell on the right is where the ladder on the lower floor leads to. Search the next open cell on the right to find two Radiant Lifegems, then head through the mist at the end of the hall to engage in a boss battle against the three Ruin Sentinels.