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I went to the shaded woods and unlocked her door to find her tombstone, I paid 11k souls(Twice already?) and her spirit appeared, I exhausted the whole chat thing and she said I should visit her at her home. She never died, and she never showed up in the brightstone cove either, what's going on here?

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When Ornifex dies in the shaded woods, she will never go home to Brightstone and you cannot use her as smith/merchant for this playthrough, even if you pay 11k souls at her gravestone.

Bonfire Ascetics also do not revive killed NPCs, so save them for later.

Soruces:

GameFAQs Forum

Reddit post

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    Thing is, she never died? When I first opened the door, there already was a gravestone But yeah I guess I'll have to wait for NG+, Thanks! – Kshro May 12 '14 at 15:25
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    @Kshro She might have died from the breath of the basilisks while they were trying to attack you as Timmah pointed out. – Kodama May 12 '14 at 16:51
  • It is depressing how many times I have had Enemies No Clip through the walls to Kill NPC's. I swear to god if Straid had less health those exploding mummies would kill him every time I enter by the bonfire next to him. – Mondrianaire May 12 '14 at 16:57
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The only way is through NG+

I found that when freeing Ornifex it was easier to go to the 2nd much smaller hole in the ground in shaded ruins (near the end of the level) and then take care of the basiliks before they can kill her with their petrification breath.

Other than the boss weapons, i think she's the only NPC that sells unlimited amount of flame butterflies (able to light torch anywhere), and unlimited amount of flaming arrows.

EDIT: Thanks @5pike for pointing out that NG+ and burning a bonfire ascetic do not yield the same results.

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    Sadly, Bonfire Ascetics do not revive killed NPCs. – 5pike May 12 '14 at 13:16
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    Apologies, it seems she will only respawn in NG+ – Timmah May 12 '14 at 13:34

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