This should help as well.
There's a npc locked in a cell close to the Undead Parish alter who carries the ring of favour and protection. This ring boosts health, stamina and equipment load but it does break when you take it off.
The key 'mysterious key' to his cell is located within the Undead Parish. It's on a body in the section where you have to go down the stairs to get around the closed port cullis. The port cullis is just past the boar and two archers on the bridge where the alluring skull is; not the one left of the bonfire underneath the dragon. Once down the stairs you'll enter a room with a ladder going up and then another on the level above. The body is in a small sunken area left of the first ladder.
The npc is located in the upper part of the church building. Facing the alter turn left and you'll see two doorways these are the lifts which take you back down to Firelink Shrine. To the right of the doors is a stairway leading up. Go up these stairs and follow the corridor and you'll come to a room with a wizard and about ten of those zombie like enemies. In the bottom right hand corner of this room is the ladder which leads up to the gargoyle boss and first bell. Instead of going up the ladder look around and you'll see another passage way follow that and go up the stairs to reach the npc's cell.
Once you've let him out he'll spin you a yarn about being some king or other and having a castle located elsewhere but its one big crock. Leave him be for now and let him go to firelink shrine; he'll be on the lower part opposite the female firekeeper. Head back to firelink shrine and kill him. Don't leave it too long because if you don't kill him he will kill the firekeeper and its bye, bye bonfire. Once he's dead nab the ring and humanities.
Went back to the Asylum.
About half an hour later I managed to die twice before getting back to my stuff and lost the 13 Humanity I had equipped
Twas a day of Dark Souls frustration yesterday
Did you return to the cell where you start the game and grab the item there? If not I would recommend doing so as that item grants you access to a secret area hidden in a painting in Anor Londo. The area contains a wealth of gucci/rare items and one of the secret bosses.
When it comes to humanities best to only have a few equipped at any one time as these get scarce later in the game. Best thing to do is buy the bottomless box from the Undead Burg merchant and sling most in there. You can access the box at any bonfire so you can use them as you see fit.
I wouldn't worry too much about the demons great hammer. It ain't that great and there are plenty of other better weapons. The Undead Burg merchant has the Uchi-Katana but you do have to kill him to get it.
The worst is when you die in view of your soul.
That's happened to me quite a few times especially in Blighttown. If your having trouble with Blighttown let me know. There's a massive shortcut for getting down to the second bell.