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Sens fortress02
"Sen's Fortress is an old proving grounds built by the ancient gods. It is the only route leading to great Anor Londo. Of course, most fools can't even find their way into that fortified deathtrap..."
Andre of Astora

Sen's Fortress, (センの古城, "Ancient Fortress of Sen") is a location in Dark Souls.


Sen's Fortress is a large, stone fort inhabited by an assortment of enemies, including Serpents, undead knights and Titanite Demons. It is notable for its many traps and environmental hazards that line the hallways, and is said to be an old proving grounds built by the ancient gods. It is the only route that leads directly to great Anor Londo.

It can be found by crossing the stone bridge leading out of the enclosure in the Undead Parish out of a doorway in front of the bonfire before where Andre of Astora is working. The fort can only be entered after ringing both of the Bells of Awakening.


After Lord Gwyn sacrificed himself to link the First Flame and prolong the Age of Fire, his sons followed his design of shepherding the humans to repeat his sacrifice and preventing the coming of a Dark Lord among them[1]. Accordingly, at the foot of Anor Londo and behind the Undead Burg, the gods built Sen's Fortress on the only route leading to their city to serve as a further testing ground[2]. The fortress would become the second main trial for the Undead that managed to overcome the first challenge of the Bells of Awakening and seeked to enter Anor Londo to receive the Lordvessel[3].

After ringing the Bell of Awakening placed on the Undead Church of the Undead Burg and in Quelaag's Domain[4] the Chosen Undead would learn of their mission from the awakened Kingseeker Frampt at Firelink Shrine. The Primordial Serpent would tell them that their fate is to succeed Lord Gwyn and link the Flame to continue the Age of Fire and undo the curse of Undeath, directing them toward the Sen's Fortress, to be tested further and prove themselves worthy enough of entering the city of the gods where they would acquire the Lordvessel and continue their journey[3]. After ringing the two bells, an enslaved Giant would recognize that an Undead has completed the first trial of their quest and open the gate to allow them to enter the fortress[5].

The structure was filled with many lethal traps including swinging blades, large rolling boulders and hidden ballistae traps to create the ultimate deadly challenge path. Many deadly enemies also guarded the fortress to hinder those who attempt to venture though. The main force of the defenders is composed of Serpent Soldiers and Serpent Mages, hybrids of humans and snakes with monstrous appearance and strength[6] created by Seath the Scaleless to act as his jailers[7][8][9]. Addotionally enslaved Giants were used as gatekeepers, living launchers of firebombs and loaders a machine which will send boulders rolling throughout the fortress, creating environmental hazards capable of destroying those who wandered around the location[10].

As the final challenge for those Undead that managed to venture past the fortress, the gods placed an Iron Golem, a construct with the purpose of acting as a guardian for Anor Londo[11]. The golem is a hunk of iron that makes up its iron armor of immense weight[12] and is equipped with a heavy iron axe capable of releasing a powerful blade of wind[13]. It's animated by a core that the gods created by infusing the bone of an archdragons with the power of souls[11][14]. The golem served its purpose well and, over the centuries, slayed countless heroes seeking to reach Anor Londo[14]. For the few exceptional champions who would have managed to pass this further test, three Batwing Demons would have come to pick them up and transport them inside the walls of Anor Londo where their trials and the journey to obtain the Lordvessel would continue[15].

Centuries after Lord Gwyn's sacrifice, as the First Flame began to fade and the curse of Undeath to regain strength[16] heroes and warriors from all different lands tried to reach Lordran and ventured to Sen's Fortress to try and reach Anor Londo. Very fre were successful, like the strongest Berenike Knight known as Black Iron Tarkus[17] and a Warrior of Sunlight known as Solaire of Astora[18]. However, most of them failed in their mission to conquer the fortress's challenges despite their multiple attempts over the decades, ending up trapped, hollow or only became additional roadblocks to further hinder future warriors[19]. Amon them the famous sorcerer Big Hat Logan that tried to reach the Duke's Archives to seek Seath the Scaleless's knowledge[20], the Undead Prince Ricard a legendary hero that wandered the lands in a fateful ill-conceived journey until he ended up Undead and in Lordran[21] and the Knight King Rendal and his Balder Knights that attempted to seek the Lordvessel and restore the power of the Flame to save their country plagued by Undeath[22].


The only bonfire in the area is located near the top of the fortress, in the area where the Giant throws firebombs down toward the player. To reach it, the player must immediately turn left upon crossing the mist barrier and spotting the first giant. After climbing the first flight of stairs, the player must run directly across to the second flight of stairs. After climbing the second flight of stairs, the player will be led to an open courtyard with scorch marks etched onto the ground along with a burnt corpse. To the right, there will be a broken segment of wall. Simply approaching and dropping down here will lead to the bonfire. The fall will cause minor damage to the player, and it is possible to die before lighting it.



  • There are many traps that line the halls of the fortress, but most can be trivialized by approaching an area cautiously and with your guard up.
    • The swinging blades on the narrow walkways can send a player careening to their doom, but never require mad dashes to bypass. By carefully looking for safe gaps in which to stand, the blades can be passed without ever needing to sprint or roll dangerously.
    • The large hidden ballistae traps are always denoted by a raised pressure plate on the ground before them. The projectiles can be harmlessly blocked with a shield for little to no stamina loss. Furthermore, the first few ballistae traps will only fire from in front of the player upon activation, but the last few will be placed in such a fashion as to backstab an unwitting player.
  • The rolling ball trap is a tricky situation to contend with: initially, when a player first reaches it, it appears as though the direction of the balls can be manually controlled via the central mechanism, and while this is indeed true, the mechanism will actually reset itself should the player move far enough away. It will generally not reset while the player is on a potentially hazardous ball ramp / grove, but can reset if the player goes from one grove to the other, and will seemingly do so as if aiming for the player.
    • Interacting with this ball trap mechanism is necessary to reach certain optional sections of the fortress. Covetous Gold Serpent Ring can only accessed by filling the zig-zagging stair route with several balls, and Big Hat Logan's imprisonment area can be found by rolling a ball down the central ramp (the one facing the fortress' entrance).
  • The trigger-able traps only react to the player's presence, but can be turned against enemies quite effectively. By luring a Serpent Enemy onto a swinging blade or ballistae path, these enemies can be dispatched with minimal risk to the player.






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Upgrade materials[]



  • It is possible to enter Sen's Fortress before ringing the Bells of Awakening by using a glitch that prevents the closed gate from loading.




Dark Souls How to pass Sen`s Fortress (Guide) + Bonfire


  1. Darkstalker Kaathe dialogue.
  2. Andre of Astora dialogue: "Sen's Fortress is an old proving grounds built by the ancient gods. It is the only route leading to great Anor Londo. Of course, most fools can't even find their way into that fortified deathtrap..."
  3. 3.0 3.1 Kingseeker Frampt dialogue: "Very well. Then I am pleased to share. Chosen Undead. Your fate... is to succeed the Great Lord Gwyn. So that you may link the Fire, cast away the Dark, and undo the curse of the Undead. To this end, you must visit Anor Londo, and acquire the Lordvessel." and "Those who seek the Realm of Lords must brave Sen's Fortress, a deadly house of traps. Many have gone before you, but none have returned. Fate has chosen you, but proceed with caution."
  4. Bells of Awakening#Plot
  5. https://darksouls.fandom.com/wiki/File:Bells_of_Awakening
  6. Man-serpent Greatsword description.
  7. Cage Key description: "Key to the hanging cage in Sen's Fortress.If a hapless adventurer becomes fatigued during an imprudent attempt to overcome the fortress, the serpent men will not kill him, but lock him up in a lonely cage. Eventually, unless they have forgotten, they drag the victim off to who-knows-where."
  8. Archive Tower Cell Key description: "Key to the prison built in the Duke's Library tower. The Library tower was once filled with precious books, but became a prison following Seath's madness. The snake-men, who do not value books, have become their jailers. At the bottom of the tower, the results of the horrible experiments carried out in this place writhe."
  9. Archive Prison Extra Key description: "Another prison key built in the tower of the Duke's Library. There are several keys to the tower's prisons, and the cell structure itself is chaotic. This confusion probably comes from the improvisation of the prison guards, the Snake Men."
  10. Giant#Location
  11. 11.0 11.1 Dragon Bone Fist description.
  12. Golem Set description.
  13. Golem Axe description.
  14. 14.0 14.1 Core of an Iron Golem description.
  15. https://darksouls.fandom.com/wiki/File:Anor_Londo_Travel
  16. Opening (Dark Souls) dialogue.
  17. Black Iron Set#Availability
  18. Solaire of Astora#Locations
  19. Crestfallen Merchant dialogue: "Ah, what? What? Who are you? Ahh another Undead, eh? I took on Sen's Fortress alone... But I'm no different from those vile creatures... I was driven by conceit... Ahh, you think you're different? That you can handle it? Yes, I remember that feeling. For I was the same... So let me help you out. With your souls searching." and "Let me give a nibble of advice. Don't even consider visiting Anor Londo. Not in your state. For a century, they have tried, and failed. The Knight King Rendal, Black Iron Tarkus, and even Logan himself. You won't stand a chance. You'll be eaten alive. But, go along, if you wish. If only to deepen your despair!"
  20. Big Hat Logan dialogue.
  21. Ricard's Rapier description.
  22. Balder Set description.