After overcoming the Asylum Demon in the Northern Undead Asylum, you are carried by the Crow to Firelink Shrine; the figurative hub of your Dark Souls career. Upon arrival, you'll encounter a new NPC known as the Crestfallen Warrior, a deprived individual that has nearly given up all hope in this cruel land. If you begin speaking to him, you'll learn that to continue on through the game, you'll need to ring two bells known as the Bells of Awakening. One of them is above in the Undead Parish and the other is far below in Blighttown. However, he won't give you much more information than this.
If you proceed to explore some more, you'll come across another individual known as Petrus of Thorolund. Petrus is a Cleric that is on an Undead Mission (much like our good friend Oscar, Knight of Astora) with his currently absent company, who will appear later on. When you speak to him, he'll feel a little uncomfortable speaking with you so he'll ask for you to maintain a distance. If you speak to him again, he'll be a little more detailed about the fact that he's uncomfortable and give you a Copper Coin as to not offend you by his request. Speaking to him a third time will cause him to decide that he has the time to teach you some miracles while waiting for the arrival of his comrades. In doing so, he will request that you join the Way of the White covenant and will only begin teaching you these miracles once the covenant has been made.
There are quite a bit of items that can be obtained here in Firelink Shrine, including some very beneficial items and even some very good gear for low level players. If you head on past Petrus of Thorolund, you'll find an elevator shaft with no way of going up. Instead, jump down (don't worry, it's not a big fall!) and you'll find four chests soon after that contain the following items: 4 Cracked Red Eye Orb, 6 Homeward Bone, 4 Lloyd's Talisman, a Morning Star, and a Canvas Talisman. If you continue on past the chest containing the Lloyd's Talisman, you encounter what looks like, and is, a graveyard.
In the graveyard portion of Firelink, there are two enemies to be wary of; quite a lot of Skeletons and two Giant Skeletons. Unfortunately, these guys simply [I]will not die[/I], will they? If you happen to "kill" one of the skeletons, they will become reanimated after a few seconds pass by. If you're interested in picking up some of the loot in this area, you'll have to make a clear run through this place, and make some timely dodges. Some of the items you can find here include the following: Zweihander, Winged Spear, Caduceus Round Shield, Binoculars, a few Soul of a Lost Undead, and 2 Large Soul of a Lost Undead.
From Firelink Shrine, there are several paths that you can take.
The first course of action would be to take the stairs up, where you'll encounter multiple Undead Soldiers and a lone Armored Hollow. Take them out and then continue to go up into the sewers, killing the Undead Rat that's chewing on a corpse, which will reward you with one Humanity. Continue through the sewer and take a left, leading you on to Undead Burg.
Another way to go would be down into the New Londo Ruins, though it is advised that you do not go past the narrow bridge until you have better gear later in the game. However, you can take a right from here immediately after getting off the elevator to take a stairway up to a locked door. If you chose the Master Key, you'll be able to unlock it and progress towards either the Valley of Drakes or descend further into Blighttown. The fourth option to take would be to journey down into the Catacombs by running through the graveyard towards a stairway that goes down (on the edge of the cliff), which will take you to grab some more great starting gear, but is very risky and unadvised.
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