Shrine of Ash is one of three locations where you will encounter a main boss. By defeating them, you will receive Glands, key items that will bring you closer to the final boss fight and improve your parry. When it comes to exploring the location, you will find new opponents - their descriptions are in the text. At the very beginning, you can find here, e.g. Sester Genessa and a statue with a book. If you interact with it, you will fight Hadern over the Smoldering Mace weapon.
When you defeat Hadern, pick up your new weapon. It is quite useful in this location as it allows you to make opponents lose balance with a strong attack, and it has a great range. However, the weapon is slow.
Going forward, watch out for opponents. There is another basic version of the opponent known from Fallgrim. One of them is standing in front of you. The other enemy is around the corner on the right. The third opponent is little further to the left. At the end of the path, you will find mushrooms. However, and an opponent is behind the pillar. Pick them up one at a time.
On the left is a passage that you have to follow. Watch out, for a new type of an enemy with a shield. He will try to knock you out with a shield and then attack you. It is worth attacking him with charged strong attacks - several of them are enough to destroy the shield. You can also get behind him when he attacks and deal the opponent some damage. Once you beat him, go through the passage.
Now you have two paths. The upper leading straight is the main path. First, head right and down.
In the room downstairs, you will find a tomb. Open it to get a Glimpse of Affection and Foundry Stone, which will be needed to improve the Smoldering Mace, or rather unlock the weapon's abilities. Once you open the tomb, get out of it quickly.
Opening the tomb spawns 3 ghosts - they can disappear and appear in front of you, and cast fire on a certain area. Deal with them as soon as possible, you should be able to kill them with two attacks. Then step back and follow the main path up.
There is an invisible enemy on this path - will show up to you when you get close to him. This opponent inflicts heavy damage, but his attacks are slow, and he is easy to knock out of balance with strong attacks. When you beat him, pick up the Scripture of Repent. Later, you will encounter two weaker enemies. You will also find another scripture to read. Open the door and move on.
In the next room, you will encounter two weaker opponents as well as an enemy with a shield. Take care of the two weaker ones first to make the fight with the shield-wielding opponent easier.
Don't get tricked by the number of items that you can pick up on both left and right sides - they are guarded by regular opponents. Deal with them, pick up the items, then go right first. The path on the left is the main one.
On the right, you come across an Iron Maiden. Open it and get a Glimpse of Futility. The door on the left of the Iron Maiden is cannot be opened from this side. The shortcut will be unlocked a little later. Back up and go the other way.
Moving on, you will reach a room where you will have to face two more powerful opponents with two-handed swords. It's worth provoking them to move in a straight line, use one strong attack, then use Harden and back up. Keep doing this until they are dead. On the right is another Iron Maiden, open it to get Quenching Acid. Move forward.
There is a big gap in front of you. A few opponents sit near the pillars. If you have unlocked the ability to kick, it is worth using it to kick them down and unlock a trophy. Pick up the Bronze Bell and beat 4 enemies.
There is a hall in front of you, at the end of it, you will see a cauldron. Inside it, there is an opponent who attacks with distance attacks, usually twice. You have two options. The first, riskier but faster, is to run towards the cauldron while avoiding the projectiles. Then you can kill the enemy quickly. He won't attack you if you attack him first. Be careful, though, because there will be two weaker opponents coming your way. The second option is to let the weaker opponents get to you. Stand behind the wall - you will be safe from the ranged attacks. After dealing with them, run to the cauldron and watch out for his attacks.
After eliminating the enemy inside the cauldron, open the Iron Maiden on the left, to receive a Large Bolt. Another enemy with a shield is also there. Enter the room, you will find another tomb.
At the tomb, you will find two weaker enemies. Defeat them and open the tomb to receive a Glimpse of Wisdom and Effigy of Tiel. Opening the tomb spawns 3 ghosts. Beat them and get out of the room.
When coming out of the tomb, you have an enemy with a two-handed sword on the left. Another cauldron is behind the pillar on the right. Take care of the cauldron quickly and then the other opponent. However, do not go left (where the enemy with a sword is) after defeating them. Instead, you have to go right. You will find an enemy with a shield.
Deal with him by attacking him from behind. More enemies are in the next room (some of them are sleeping, pretending to be dead).
Kill enemies pretending to be dead. There's another cauldron on the right. Deal with him. There's a door right in front of you - the one you couldn't open before. It's a shortcut.
If you have low health, it is not worth going to the next room, because apart from fighting a few opponents, you will not get anything interesting there. There are two opponents with two-handed swords. Instead, go back to where you fought the other cauldron and the opponent with a two-handed sword.
One of the more powerful opponents is on the right side - do not go towards him. Instead, move ahead and defeat weaker enemies. You will also find another scripture there. Go up the stairs.
Pick up a Glimpse of Futility and Untarnished Mask. You also find Sester Genessa, meaning you will unlock a checkpoint. You don't have to worry that dying will make you start from the beginning.
After having health restored by Sester Genessa, go to the Blazing Herald (the enemy presented in the photo). He is a tough opponent to beat, but it is worth noting that if you defeat him once, you will not have to fight him again. You can start this fight by shooting him in the head with a Ballistazooka. If you don't have one, focus on melee attacks. Moving away from the enemy won't help, as the Blazing Herald can easily leap towards you. Each of his attacks inflict fire damage. Focus on using Harden and strong attacks. Once you've beaten him, search the area for Glimpses of Affection, Remnant of Tar, and a spawn point of Healing Mushrooms. Then go up the stairs.
The door on the right leads to an earlier location with two enemies using two-handed swords. Now, with a checkpoint unlocked and a lot of health, you can go there and beat them. You will find Quenching Acid in one of the Iron Maidens. Then go back to the door and move on.
You will see a small bridge. There you will encounter two weaker opponents and another enemy with a sword. One of the sword-wielding opponents is hidden behind the tomb. When opening the tomb, you will face two enemies with swords. You'll find Glimpses of Futility and Awakened Stone. After defeating them, go ahead and open the door.
After that, kill another opponent and pick up a Glimpse of Hope. There are two similar opponents below the stairs. Further down you will encounter another Blazing Herald. Defeat him in the same way as the one earlier.
Next, you'll find Sester Genessa. Unlock her now so you won't have to repeat previous fights in case of your death. There is a chalice near Sester Genessa. Drinking its contents will initiate a fight with the boss, Imrod. Before you do that, however, go back to the stairs and down.
At the bottom, you will find a chest containing 2x Mortal Token and Extracted Tar. There is also a scripture there. Be careful, though, because when you open the chest, 2 ghosts will appear. After that, you can fight Imrod. A walkthrough for this battle can be found on another page of the guide. After defeating the boss, go back to Sester Genessa. Talk to her and go down the stairs. There's a body on the left side between the stairs. Interact with the body to get a key item - the whole location will get dark. Now you have to go back to the very beginning of the location - use the shortcuts you opened earlier.
Some opponents will get replaced. You will now fight mostly with ghosts. You don't have to fight them; you can run through the entire location to get out as quickly as possible.
Watch out at the very end, or the beginning of the location - you will encounter another Blazing Herald. After defeating him, talk to Sester Genessa and leave the location.