I am overcome with the strangest tingling sensation as my body materializes near the eternally burning bonfire atop a small, somewhat hidden hill. I felt the stones shift under my feet once again as I set off to the decrepit ruins where Iudex awaited me. I had it down to a strict routine now; first I would evade the hooded ghoul patrolling the hill, leaving his two dozing acquaintances in the dust as I did so. Next I would run down the narrow path that took me to the ruins and narrowly dodge the ghoul’s deadly charge, let the flaming crossbow bolt fly past my body as I barge through the frazzled zombie and reach the impenetrable fog. My years snatching purses before I met my untimely demise had made me incredibly nimble, and I dodged the rusted blades of these creatures the very same way I had dodged the polished axes of the royal guard my whole life.
I traversed through the fog and stared over to the hulking Iudex jolting to life on a centrepiece in the midst of an oddly tranquil expanse of clear water and cracked stone. A huge mass of armour that stood at around 8 foot tall, Iudex wielded a large halberd which he swung with uncompromising ferocity. He wasn’t fast enough for me though. I begin the duel just as I had done a hundred times before, sidestepping through dirt and water, staying just out of range from Iudex’s strikes. My nimble feet glide along the uneven surface of the ruins as I manage to gain considerable distance away from Iudex. As he tries to close this distance, my opportunity presents itself. Iudex kneels down and leaps into the air, I roll to the side and he drives his halberd into the ground as he lands where I was merely seconds ago. As he staggers to get to a vertical frame, I use my small dagger to slice at the coarse flesh in between his formidable armour. I manage to get three hits in before he composes himself once again. Iudex and I continue this dance until I feel my blade cut through his flesh and scrape against the reptilian scales which lay beneath the surface. Then I knew the real battle was beginning.
Without warning a massive fleshy hand burst out of the right arm of Iudex’s armour while an equally imposing serpent head exploded from his helmet. This was the monstrosity that had felled me so many times before and as I examined it’s slimy, crawling skin and snapping jaw it was hard to believe this time would be any different. My strategy remained largely the same, sidestep the beast, gain enough distance, and then wait for it to leap for my moment to strike. Except this time I had that horrid hand to deal with, which Iudex would swing almost everytime he landed. Still, I managed to roll underneath his strikes and stab at the now exposed flesh on his back. I felt him begin to tire, I was close now but it wasn’t until the hand knocked me off me feet that I realised I was getting careless.
With one strike Iudex had changed the complexion of the fight entirely, I stepped back to take a swig at my Estus flask but was once again struck by the thrust of his halberd. I sprinted away from the lunging serpent and tried to regain my composure, drinking the last of my Estus. Just as the last drip of the elixir hit my tongue Iudex was upon me, I dodged and weaved desperately as he swung the halberd, getting a few slices in with my dagger as I did so. I backed away from his clutches but suddenly the serpent’s head closed in on me, I almost suffocate within its jaws. Barely escaping his jaws, I see Iudex raising his weapon to deliver the final blow; I’m almost resigned to my fate when I remember the firebombs I had picked up several lives ago. At the last second, I manage to throw the small explosive which explodes onto the serpent, burning away at its flesh and sending it reeling to its knees with a cry of agony. Iudex’s body dissipates just as mine had so many times before and I felt my undead body strengthen.
Image source: http://darksouls3.wiki.fextralife.com/Iudex+Gundyr