The Firekeeper, in her short time of being one, had not expected to be serving two Ashes. However, she had a duty to fulfill, to serve the Ash who would bring the Lords back to their thrones and grant death to those who delivered the First Flame. When the Ash she had longed for; for such a long time finally entered the shrine she had not expected it—no, them to be so... odd. She listened to the conversation the two of them were having Although she did not understand every word leaving their respective mouths, she could put together what they were talking about.
The first Ash, whose name was presumably Connor was talking about 'bosses' and weapons they should be collecting, while the other Ash, who's name had to be Jimmy, was franticly trying to tell Connor to listen to what he had to say. Their conversation intrigued her. Sometimes it got extremely lonely in the shrine. Not many words were spoken between the people residing here. So, she, the Firekeeper sat down on the stone stairs and continued to listen to her Ashen Ones.
"I'm telling you this is a bad idea." Connor said, rubbing his temples as he stared at the bonfire—well, if they had obtained the Coiled Sword it would have been an actual bonfire. "Climbing down to reach the underside of the Cemetery of Ash and walking through the mountains to reach Lothric? That idea has to be one of your worst yet, buddy."
Jimmy shook his head, shrugging. "Hey, it was worth a try. I mean if we're really out of options we could always just fight Gundyr." He laughed.
"And die seconds later. I honestly think we're not even strong enough to pull out the sword from his chest. I mean look at us," Connor said, pointing his thumb at his chest. "The only experience I have with swords is that I fence. But remember that fencing is a sport. There are rules you have to follow. But guess what? There are no rules in Dark Souls." Connor finished, crossing his arms.
"Don't drink Estus during a duel." Jimmy replied. "That's like the number one rule of PvP. Estus is for bosses and enemies, not for real players. If you drink Estus during a duel you are the worst scum out there in my opinion." He added, glaring at Connor. "Right, Mr. I swear it was a miss click."
Connor let out a laugh, patting Jimmy's shoulder. He looked around the shrine and noticed a man sitting on a set of stairs, his head down and his gaze fixed on the floor. Connor suddenly started smiling and started walking towards said man, confusing Jimmy.
Jimmy raised an eyebrow at Connor's action and decided to follow his friend. The man might be a downer, but he turns into a real asshole in late-game.
"Hello there, Hawkwood." Connor said, looking down at the man.
Hawkwood looked up to see two teenage boys staring down at him, both with expression of curiosity. This confused him a bit, but he didn't really care too much. "Ah, another one roused from the sleep of death. Well you're not alone. We Unkindled are worthless, can't even die right. Heh, gives me conniptions."
Jimmy snorted, while Connor started giggling.
"He said the line." Connor said, nudging Jimmy. "It gives me conniptions. This man is a legend." He looked at Hawkwood, who had his gaze back to the floor again as he always had. Connor cleared his throat loudly, getting Hawkwood's attention once more. "Greetings! I am Connor," he said, holding out his hand. "The guy behind me is my best friend, Jimmy. We have traveled far and wide and arrived here without even knowing we arrived here."
Hawkwood stared at the young man in front of his with raised eyebrows. "I beg your pardon, but is there not a reason you're here? I mean both of you are Unkindled, you know why you're here. Return the Lords of Cinder back to their thrones. And they'd have us seek them and return them to their molding thrones. But we're talking true legends, with-.
"Yeah, yeah, we're not even fit to lick their boots." Connor replied.
Hawkwood grunted before shaking his head. "Whatever might two youngsters such as yourself be doing in a place like this? You two wouldn't even fit for a squire. That is if you're even fit to be anything at all. Pheh, enjoy your stay in this godforsaken place." He chuckled lightly to himself, shifting his gaze back to the floor. "I know I will."
Connor was about to reply, but was stopped when Jimmy cut him off by speaking for both of them.
"And what of the dragons?" Jimmy asked. Hawkwood did not seem interested. "Are you not a true dragon? Do you not wish to become one? We both know what you're really after, and after one of us obtains it you will move away from this place to find true meaning, right? Well what if I told you I know exactly where you need to go?" He said.
"Then I'd call you a fool. No one has been able to find a way to become a true dragon. Both of you should know that the art was lost long, long ago. I have given up my search, and I will not continue. I already deserted one legion, and I will not go on some kind of never ending quest to find treasure that has long been lost." He replied. "I am impressed by your knowledge, young man. However, heed the advice of this warrior. Seek not fire, seek not lords. Everything you do will ultimately lead to your downfall. You will die over and over again without even knowing why."
"Like you let your brothers die while you fled?" Connor retorted, crossing his arms. "I've waited for this moment for a long time. Ever since I laid eyes on you I knew something was off. And now I know exactly what that is. You're a coward, not a deserter. Deserters might have actually fought or made themselves useful. But I'm guessing you didn't even see a glimpse of action, did you?" He asked. Connor's confidence and strong choice of words seemed to have no effect on Hawkwood at all, as he simply remained seated.
"I guess we should go outside and explore a bit more. See what we can find." Jimmy suggested.
Connor nodded and followed his friend, while Hawkwood remained seated, contemplating the words that had just been spoken to him. A coward? Him? He was no coward. Cowards did not enter the Abyss Watchers. The Legion of Farron only wanted the strongest and toughest opponents they could find! And he was granted passage into their ranks. He was no coward. Not at all. He was a true warrior. He might have deserted, have left his brothers for dead. But they were dead to begin with, when they decided to guard that tomb... the tomb leading to the High Lord. He simply valued his life above all else. Was that really so bad? It's only human to care for one another, but caring only for yourself requires a certain set of skills and a good mouth.
Speaking of mouths, those two boys seemed to know a lot more than they showed him. Perhaps they could lead him to certain treasures that were long lost... waiting to be found again.
Standing in front of the in-human sized door that lead to judgement, Connor and Jimmy contemplated on their next course of actions. There was no denying that what awaited them behind this door was a challenge no normal human could possibly hope to defeat. Iudex Gundyr might be the tutorial boss and considered to be one of the easier bosses in Dark Souls III, but when one is in the safety of their own room, their only worries being the well-being of their controller and their souls, things are usually considered to be easy. But these two boys had to face a warrior who had probably killed dozens of people before. His halberd was not their only worry, though. Gundyr's second phase... now that is a scary thing.
"How are we supposed to do this? I mean those hollows were, well, hollows. But we're talking about an actual boss!" Jimmy said, sweat dripping down his neck as he recalled his first time playing through Dark Souls III and coming face to face with the Judge of Battle. "We have two weapons, a spear and a sword. I don't even know how to use this thing!" He exclaimed, dropping the spear to the ground.
"I don't know what we're supposed to do, man." Connor replied, equally as conflicted as Jimmy was. "Those hollows were not the toughest people to face, but this is... this is something that is on a whole new level of dangerous!" He looked down at the longsword he held in his hand. Gripping the hilt tightly, Connor let out a sigh before turning around. "Let's face it... we can't do anything on our own. We're not getting cocky. Let's head back and see if anyone else wants to help out."
"Don't even bother trying to ask anyone for help in that place." Came a voice from behind the two.
Connor and Jimmy turned around to see Hawkwood the Deserter standing behind them, his claymore behind his back and his shield in his left hand. "I don't know what it is about the two of you, but you seem to know a lot. I found your... speech intriguing. But the stories of dragons even more so. Tell me, if I were to aid you in your quest can you assure me we shall find the path to dragons? The path to those who even death could not touch?"
Connor and Jimmy exchanged glances of worry.
"Are you sure you want to do this?" Connor asked, before being silenced by a jab in the side from Jimmy.
"What he meant to say is: Welcome aboard!" Jimmy exclaimed, placing a hand on Hawkwood's shoulder. "Now there is a big fight coming up and we're going to need your skills to make this work. While I have no combat experience whatsoever I compensate that by using my head. I'm a strategic thinker, and seeing how this world has been treating us so far, I say we treat it like it treats us. Time to fight fire with fire."
"What are you getting at?" Connor asked.
"It's time for gravity to kick in."