Dark Souls 3 is a timeless series that originated with Demon Souls. It has gained widespread acclaim for its challenging gameplay, even inspiring terms like “Souls-like” or “the Dark Souls of x.” While FromSoftware has since released Elden Ring, their latest masterpiece, it’s still worth revisiting the classic that is Dark Souls 3.
Now, I must admit, I’m not the greatest at souls games. But that doesn’t stop me from relishing the thrill of the challenge. From my countless deaths at the hands of Midir to the frustration of facing Ornstein and Smough, the pain and joy of my experiences are worth sharing with others.
But let’s dive into the main topic at hand—Pickle Pee and Pump-a-rum. While nestlings have made appearances since Dark Souls 1, it’s in Dark Souls 3 that they are officially named Pickle Pee and Pump-a-rum. So, let’s take a closer look at this unique vendor.
Why Meeting Pickle Pee is Essential
Pickle Pee is a vendor NPC who offers powerful items in exchange for items from your inventory. And by powerful, I mean he can grant you access to mid-to-late game items, enhancing your early game experience. However, meeting him the intended way requires obtaining the tower key and unlocking the third floor of the Firelink Shrine.
Unlocking Pickle Pee also opens up access to essential items. On the third floor’s rafters, you can find the Covetous Silver Serpent Ring and an extra Estus Shard. Additionally, you can acquire the Estus Ring and the Fire Keeper Set within the tower. But, as you’ll soon discover, there are alternative routes to reaching Pickle Pee without going through the tower. However, choosing these alternative paths means missing out on the aforementioned items.
So, I implore you to consider meeting Pickle Pee and Pump-a-rum early. The rewards are well worth the effort.
How to Reach Pickle Pee
Pickle Pee is tucked away on the roof of Firelink Shrine. There are two ways to access the roof, but since Firelink Shrine is accessible early in the game, let me quickly guide you through reaching Firelink Shrine and then onward to the nestlings.
How to Get to Firelink Shrine
- Head straight from the spawn point across the Cemetery of Ash.
- Go left near the cliff, being careful not to fall off.
- Defeat Iudex Gundir.
- Beyond that, you’ll find Firelink Shrine.
Following this path precisely might cause you to miss a few things. So, if you’re up for exploration, here are some items you can find before reaching Firelink Shrine:
- Soul of a Deserted Corpse (200 Souls)
- Estus Flask Shard
- Ravenous Crystal Lizard (Titanite Scale x1)
- Soul of an Unknown Traveler (800 Souls)
- Firebombs x5
- Titanite Shard
Reaching Pickle Pee traditionally involves obtaining the tower key. However, speedrunners have discovered a shortcut that the developers seem to have intentionally left in the game. This shortcut requires a precise jump off a tree’s hitbox, which can be challenging without practice.
Getting the Tower Key
Method 1: You can buy the tower key from the Shrine Handmaid for 20,000 Souls.
Method 2: Another option is to kill Irina of Carim. She is an NPC who can be convinced to join the Firelink Shrine. Once she does, she becomes a vendor selling Miracles (holy magic) of both light and dark varieties. However, killing her will make acquiring miracles much more difficult.
Spook or Silvercat Ring Method
- Go to the Road of Sacrifices bonfire.
- Head towards Eygon of Carim (take the lift one floor up, then go out; he is by a cliff).
- Ensure you have full health.
- Cast Spook or equip the Silvercat Ring.
- Drop down the cliff to Eygon’s left, carefully landing on the rocks along the way.
- Kill Irina.
Using Spook or the Silvercat Ring reduces the damage taken from falling, as long as the fall isn’t instantly fatal. By landing precisely on the rocks, you can avoid any fall damage.
No Spook or Silvercat Ring Method
- Travel through the Undead Settlement until you reach the graveyard with falling spears. You can use the bonfire at the Dilapidated Bridge for a shorter walk.
- Collect the Mortician’s Ashes (item on the left-hand side of the floor). Befriending the Giant of the Undead Settlement beforehand will prevent him from attacking you with spears.
- Alternatively, if you have a White Birch Branch in your inventory, he won’t attack you. Otherwise, you’ll need to walk to the tower and go up the elevator to the roof, where you can speak with him to make peace.
- Return to Firelink Shrine and give the Mortician’s Ashes to the Shrine Handmaid.
- Purchase the Grave Key (1500 Souls).
- Go to the Dilapidated Bridge bonfire and open the door to the sewer using the Grave Key.
- Proceed through the sewers until you find Irina in her isolated room.
- Eliminate her and acquire her ashes and the Tower Key (guaranteed drops).
It’s important to note that by following this method, you’ll anger Eygon of Carim, a formidable man wielding a massive hammer. This NPC has no questline and will drop his shield and weapon when defeated. However, he’ll no longer be summonable for the Crystal Sage and Dragonslayer Armor fights.
As you can tell, these methods can be quite extensive and require several items to accomplish, especially the “no Spook” method, which could take a few hours of gameplay. So, the community explored Firelink Shrine until they discovered the tree jump shortcut. This shortcut allows access to the nestlings without leaving the Firelink Shrine area. Here’s how it’s done:
- Run up to the right side of Firelink Shrine and climb the stairs to the third floor.
- Head outside through the open door on your right.
- Pass the tree where you can obtain the seed of a giant tree (if attempting this early, you should see a prompt stating “the seed of the giant tree has yet to fall”).
- Turn around and face away from the locked tower, observing a tree along a small cliff facing the room of Firelink Shrine.
- Run toward the center of the tree, between the two roots, then strafe right and jump while ascending the tree (ensuring the tree and the roof are in a straight line in front of you).
- If all goes well, you’ll land on the right side of the roof, where you can enter the inner third floor and meet the nestlings.
This method is much shorter, but it requires precise timing and mechanical skill. I recommend watching a video tutorial to grasp the timing of the jump. Once mastered, it becomes more enjoyable than tedious.
What Can You Trade?
The nestlings only accept items for trade, not souls. When you reach their nest, drop the items one at a time in the middle of the nest for them to exchange. If you’ve already traded for a specific item, they will decline further trades for that item. They’ll also decline trades for items they don’t desire.
To drop an item for trade, stand in the middle of the nest, open your inventory, select an item, and choose the “Leave” option. This places the item on the ground, where Pickle Pee will initiate the trade after a few moments.
Here’s a list of tradeable items and their corresponding trades. Upgraded items cannot be traded, as the nestlings will decline such trades.
- Drop: Firebomb or Rope Firebomb
- Receive: Large Titanite Shard (Trade-only, Searchable)
- Drop: Black Firebomb or Rope Black Firebomb
- Receive: Black Firebomb (Trade-only, Searchable)
- Drop: Prism Stone
- Receive: Twinkling Titanite (Trade-only)
- Drop: Loretta’s Bone
- Receive: Ring of Sacrifice (Unique)
- Drop: Avelyn
- Receive: Titanite Scale x3 (Trade-only, Searchable)
- Drop: Coiled Sword Fragment
- Receive: Titanite Slab (Unique)
- Drop: Lightning Urn
- Receive: Iron Helm (Unique)
- Drop: Homeward Bone
- Receive: Iron Bracelets (Unique)
- Drop: Iron Leggings
- Receive: Armor of the Sun (Unique)
- Drop: Vertebra Shackle
- Receive: Lucatiel Mask (Unique)
- Drop: Very Good Carving
- Receive: Very Good Carving (Unique)
- Drop: Thank You Carving
- Receive: Hello Carving (Unique)
- Drop: Alluring Skull
- Receive: Porcine Shield (Unique)
- Drop: Undead Bone Shard
- Receive: Any Sacred Chime (Unique)
- Drop: Help Me Carving
- Receive: Shriving Stone (Unique)
- Drop: I’m Sorry Carving
- Receive: Xanthous Crown (Unique)
- Drop: Lightning Gem
- Receive: Medicant’s Staff (Farmable & Searchable)
- Drop: Sunlight Shield
- Receive: Blacksmith Hammer (Unique)
- Drop: Titanite Scale
- Receive: Large Leather Shield (Unique)
- Drop: Twinkling Titanite
- Receive: Moaning Shield (Unique)
- Drop: Moaning Shield
- Receive: Blessed Gem (Farmable)
- Drop: Titanite Scale
- Receive: Hollow Gem (Searchable)
While you’re up there, make sure to strike the illusory wall on the rafter to the right of the Estus Flask Shard. The shard is easily visible next to the giant nest of the crows. Once the wall disappears, proceed further in to find a spot where you need to drop down straight ahead. Roll straight and to the right to find a chest containing the Covetous Silver Serpent Ring. Afterward, simply return to the main area of Firelink Shrine. Keep in mind that both drops cause a small amount of damage, so ensure you have at least 50% health to avoid potential death.
What Do These Items Do?
I know that may seem like a significant amount of text, but worry not—I’ll provide a quick summary of each item’s purpose and whether it’s unique or farmable. I won’t include farming locations to keep things concise.
- Large Titanite Shard: An upgrade material used to reinforce weapons from +3 to +6. (Both, Trade-only)
- Titanite Chunk: An upgrade material used to reinforce weapons from +6 to +9. (Both, Trade-only)
- Twinkling Titanite: An upgrade material used to reinforce unique weapons from +0 to +4. (Both, Trade-only)
- Ring of Sacrifice: A consumable item that prevents soul loss and Hollowing upon death, but breaks upon death. (Trade-only)
- Titanite Scale x3: An upgrade material used to reinforce Soul-Transposed Weapons and some unique weapons from +0 to +4. (Both, Trade-only, Searchable)
- Titanite Slab: An upgrade material used to reinforce normal weapons from +9 to +10 and special weapons from +4 to +5. (Searchable)
- Iron Helm: Part of the Armor of the Sun set. (Unique)
- Iron Bracelets: Part of the Armor of the Sun set. (Unique)
- Iron Leggings: Part of the Armor of the Sun set. (Unique)
- Armor of the Sun: Part of the Armor of the Sun set. (Unique)
- Lucatiel Mask: Part of the Mirrah Set. (Unique)
- Very Good Carving: An item with unlimited uses that says “Very Good” when used. (Unique)
- Thank You Carving: An item with unlimited uses that says “Thank You” when used. (Unique)
- Hello Carving: An item with unlimited uses that says “Hello” when used. (Unique)
- Porcine Shield: A shield that can perform a shield bash with either hand and is better for PvP. (Unique)
- Help Me Carving: An item with unlimited uses that says “Help Me” when used. (Unique)
- I’m Sorry Carving: An item with unlimited uses that says “I’m Sorry” when used. (Unique)
- Lightning Gem: An upgrade material used to infuse weapons with lightning damage and grant Faith scaling. (Farmable & Searchable)
- Sunlight Shield: An average shield with solid Physical Reduction and Stability, requiring minimal investment. (Unique)
- Blessed Gem: An upgrade material that infuses weapons with the Blessed property, providing HP regen and Faith scaling. (Farmable)
- Hollow Gem: An upgrade material that infuses weapons with the Hollow property, adding Luck scaling and activating when the player is Hollow. (Searchable)
Please note that many of these items are obtained late in the game. However, for upgrade materials, they can be acquired through various means, such as purchasing them or finding them nearby.
Where Can You Find Items for Trading?
Now that you know the items you can trade, it’s important to know where to find them. Here’s a more general guide to acquiring the tradeable items. Note that some items can be obtained from multiple sources, but we’ll focus on the easiest methods.
- Firebomb or Rope Firebomb: Sold by the Shrine Handmaid and Greirat. (Trade-only, Searchable)
- Black Firebomb or Rope Black Firebomb: Sold by Unbreakable Patches or chosen as a burial gift. (Trade-only, Searchable)
- Prism Stone: Sold by the Shrine Handmaid. (Trade-only)
- Loretta’s Bone: Found on a hanging corpse on the balcony of a house in the Undead Settlement. (Unique)
- Avelyn: Located in the Grand Archives. Requires passing through the darkroom and dropping onto the bookshelf. (Unique)
- Coiled Sword Fragment: Obtained in the Untended Graves, in the copy of Firelink Shrine. (Unique)
- Lightning Urn: Sold by Greirat and the Shrine Handmaid (after receiving Greirat’s Ashes). (Searchable, Trade-only)
- Homeward Bone: Sold by the Shrine Handmaid. (Searchable, Trade-only)
- Seeds of a Giant Tree: Obtain after being invaded 10 times and banishing the invader. (Unique)
- Siegbrau: Obtain by defeating the Fire Demon in the Undead Settlement with Siegward of Catarina surviving. (Unique)
- Vertebra Shackle: Defeat the “Mad Spirit/Invader” Holy Knight Hodrick in the Undead Settlement. (Farmable)
- Divine Blessing: Choose it as a burial gift or purchase it from Greirat. (Both, Searchable)
- Hidden Blessing: Choose it as a burial gift or purchase it from the Shrine Handmaid or Unbreakable Patches. (Trade-only)
- Alluring Skull: Sold by the Shrine Handmaid or Unbreakable Patches. (Both, Searchable)
- Undead Bone Shard: Found near the white birch tree in the graveyard with fallen spears, accessible from the Dilapidated Bridge bonfire. (Searchable, Unique)
- Any Sacred Chime: Dropped by an Undead Cleric at the Cemetery of Ash or sold by Greirat. (Both, Searchable)
- Shriving Stone: Located left of the Road of Sacrifices entrance. (Farmable, Searchable)
- Xanthous Crown: Kill Yellowfinger Heysel at the Road of Sacrifices. (Unique)
- Medicant’s Staff: Farm Man-Serpent Summoners in Archdragon Peak. (Farmable)
- Blacksmith Hammer: Go to the Untended Graves, where Andre would typically be. (Unique)
- Large Leather Shield: Sold by the Shrine Handmaid. (Trade-only)
- Moaning Shield: Kill Eygon of Carim at the Road of Sacrifices. (Unique)
- Eleonora: Defeat the first Monstrosity of Sin to aggro you at the church in the swamp of the Profaned Capital. (Unique)
As you can see, many of these items are more easily obtained in the late game. However, for upgrade materials, it’s usually possible to trade for them, purchase them, or find them nearby. This design rewards skillful players with early-game boosts and reduces the need for extensive farming.
Who is Pickle Pee?
Now that we’ve covered what Pickle Pee can do for us, let’s explore who Pickle Pee is. While it’s uncertain if this is the same crow found in previous Dark Souls games, the motif remains consistent. Crow merchants have appeared throughout the series, trading items by dropping them. They all speak in a high-pitched, child-like manner and use phrases like “Pickle Pee” and “Pump-a-rum.”
In Demon’s Souls, we had Sparkly the Crow, and Dark Souls introduced us to Snuggly the Crow. Dark Souls 2 featured Dyna & Tilo. In Dark Souls 3, they go by various names in the credits, but are commonly known as Nestlings, Snuggly The Crow, or Pickle Pee and Pump-a-rum.
Unfortunately, their current incarnation remains unseen. Even if you enable free camera mode to explore Firelink Shrine, their disembodied voices still resonate during trades. So, while their identities remain a mystery, we’re grateful for their assistance.
- Can I trade upgraded items with Pickle Pee?
- No, Pickle Pee will decline trades for upgraded items.
In conclusion, Pickle Pee may not have a definite form, but it’s safe to assume this enigmatic vendor resembles a crow. Their helpfulness spans all stages of the game, offering essential items for new players and nostalgic items for returning players.
Praise the Sun!
Looking for more interesting reads? Check out:
- Dark Souls 2 DLC Guide
- Gaping Dragon Dark Souls Guide
- Dark Souls 3 Greirat Guide
- Dark Souls 3 Respec Guide