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Blacksmith Andre is a staple of Firelink Shrine from the moment you step inside, and he's one of the few NPCs you're going to visit regularly regardless of your build. Among other things, Andre will upgrade your weapons with the use of a variety of materials scattered throughout Dark Souls III, and he can turn otherwise humdrum weapons into vicious tools of destruction.
To fully unlock Andre's capabilities, however, you need to find Coal. Coals are key items that you can hand over to Andre. This will unlock new upgrade paths for your weapons, greatly expanding your options when outfitting your character. This guide will help you locate all four Coals, as most of them are tricky to find.
Depending on how you proceed through Farron Keep, the Sage's Coal is the first Coal you're likely to stumble upon in Dark Souls III. Upon entering the poisonous swamp of the Keep, you'll have several options on where to head first. Tend towards the left, making your way towards the first major island in the swamp where you can extinguish one of the flames that block the way out of the area.
If you slip around this island and continue along the wall, you'll come to an old structure guarded by a Darkwraith. The Sage's Coal is inside the structure. Darkwraiths are not easy to kill, so unless you're confident in your combat skills you may want to roll into the structure, grab the Coal, and run for your life. Unlike most foes Darkwraiths are aggressive towards other enemies, and you'll soon distract the Darkwraith with new prey.
The Sage's Coal allows you to infuse weapons with the following gems:
- Crystal Gem (adds Magic damage to weapon)
- Blessed Gem (weapon scales with Faith, grants HP regeneration while equipped)
- Deep Gem (adds Dark damage to weapon)
Next up is the Farron Coal, also found in Farron Keep. After opening the swamp's massive double doors you'll find a path to the Abyss Watchers boss, as well as a path to the Farron Keep Perimeter bonfire and back to the Road of Sacrifices. Enkindle the bonfire and continue back through this passage to the Road of Sacrifices.
If you ignore the door back to the swamp on the Road of Sacrifices you'll find a short dead-end passage guarded by a Black Knight. Go out onto the balcony to the right of the Knight and you'll find a side path that will allow you to drop back into the building, behind the Knight. At the end of this corridor is the Farron Coal. Grab it, then run past the Knight, up the stairs, and back to the bonfire. You can kill the Black Knight at this point, but it's a difficult task for newer players.
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(Technically you can get this Coal earlier, while you're travelling through the Road of Sacrifices for the first time, but if the Black Knight catches you the return trip will be much longer.)
The Farron Coal allows you to infuse weapons with the following gems:
- Heavy Gem (weapon scales more heavily with Strength)
- Sharp Gem (weapon scales more heavily with Dexterity)
- Poison Gem (weapon now inflicts Poison status on enemies)
Your third coal, depending on which path you took from Irithyll of the Boreal Valley, is the Giant's Coal. Head to the Anor Londo bonfire, go up the stairs past the Silver Knights, and take a left at the big double doors. There's a smaller side door with the corpse of a giant inside. The Giant's Coal is in its hand. (Poor giant.) Even if the Silver Knights are chasing you you should have plenty of time to grab the Coal.
The Giant's Coal allows you to infuse weapons with the following gems:
- Chaos Gem (infuses weapon with Fire damage, scales with Faith and Intelligence)
- Lightning Gem (infuses weapon with Lightning damage, scales with Faith)
- Simple Gem (infuses weapon with Magic damage, grants FP regeneration while equipped)
The last Coal you will find, depending on how you proceeded through Irithyll of the Boreal Valley, is in the Irithyll Dungeon. Make your way through the Dungeon until you reach the lowest level, the divided path to the Profaned Capital that's patrolled by a number of Jailers.
Upon entering from within Irithyll Dungeon you'll see cells on your left and right. Take a left and you'll find a large cell with two doors and filled with weird, baby-faced Wretches. The Profaned Coal is in here.
The Profaned Coal allows you to infuse weapons with the following gems:
- Dark Gem (infuses weapon with Dark damage, weapon scales with Faith and Intelligence)
- Blood Gem (weapon now inflicts Bleed status on enemies)
- Hollow Gem (weapon scales with Luck)