Re: Dark Souls - October 4th, 2011
McQueen, this is how Estus Flasks and bonfires work.
At a bonfire that has a Fire Keeper (Firelink Shrine, first one in Anor Lando, Sun Princess, any place where NPCs will hang out pretty much), it will automatically be kindled to +10. Any other bonfire will be +5. If you use humanity to reverse hollowing, you will become human and are able to use another humanity to kindle the bonfire to +10.
Until you get the Rite of Kindling (dropped by a boss later in the game), you cannot kindle more than +10. After getting the Rite of Kindling, you can kindle it 2 more times until +20.
But if you are playing online and have kindled to +10, anyone else on your server/covenant who has kindled the same bonfire and has used it recently will help boost your bonfire to +11, +12, +13, etc. Don't count on this to happen often.
You won't come around humanity much until you get to the sewers (The Depths) and can farm rats for it.