Open the double doors on the other side of Iudex’s boss arena and collect the Broken Straight Sword straight ahead.
Take the ledge on the left side of the path that leads to two Grave Wardens and a Homeward Bone and then head up the stairs to find two more Grave Wardens sitting in the grass near some tombstones. Be careful when fighting these enemies since there is another Grave Warden nearby with a crossbow.
Backtrack a bit and search the right edge of the cliff to find a Grave Warden looking out on the landscape, allowing you to backstab him and kick him off the ledge, and then continue up the steps. The archway straight ahead leads to Firelink Shrine, but rather than entering you’ll want to head down the path to the right to find a Starved Hound and Ember .
Enemy Info: Starved Hounds are wild beasts that attack quickly and although they are weak on their own they can overwhelm you when encountered in groups. Watch your back as they can easily flank you and keep your shield up, blocking their initial attack and then countering.
Head back across the front of the Firelink Shrine and continue to the other side of the area. Take the first set of stairs to grab the East-West Shield and then turn around and kill the two Grave Wardens before taking the stairs. This path will lead to an Ember and a dead end with a Homeward Bone behind a large tombstone.
You can now backtrack to the other side of the shrine and head up the stairs to the right, leading to the Sword Master adversary.
The Sword Master is your first encounter with a skilled adversary, similar to PvP encounters, and he duel-wielding a katana. With powerful lunging attacks and combos, the Sword Master can kill you with only a few strikes. Lure him into a charged attack and then go in and perform a long combo, making sure to save enough Stamina to roll away at the end of your combo.
Don’t be afraid to back up and heal when you get an opening, making sure that the Sword Master is not charging forward, and you should be able to defeat him ( Uchigatana , Master’s Attire , Master’s Gloves ).