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Dark Souls is a classic franchise that started back from the Demon Souls game. It has become so famous for its difficulty that it has spawned multiple terms and memes such as “Souls-like” or “the Dark Souls of x.” While FromSoftware has made Elden Ring; their latest release, nothing stops us from going back and enjoying the masterpiece Dark Souls 3.
I have never been great at souls games; however, that does not stop me from enjoying the challenge. From dying to Midir to dying to Ornstein and Smough, it brings me great pain and great joy to share this experience with others.
On a more relevant note, however, we will be talking about Pickle Pee and Pump-a-rum by extension. While Nestlings have appeared ever since Dark Souls 1, it is only in this game that they are officially named Pickle Pee and Pump-a-rum. So let’s talk about this unique vendor.
Why you need to meet Pickle Pee
Pickle Pee is a Vendor NPC who can get you powerful items at the cost of other items in your Inventory. I mean powerful as he can bring you things you usually get in the middle to late game and help make your early game experience a much more pleasant experience.
The only problem is that to meet him the intended way, you must get the tower key and unlock the third floor of the Firelink Shrine.
However, unlocking Pickle Pee also frees up essential items that you might need. They are found up on the third floor’s rafters, and you can get the Covetous Silver Serpent Ring and an additional Estus Shard.
You can get the Estus Ring and the Fire Keeper Set in the tower. However, as you will soon find out, there are ways to reach Pickle Pee without going through the tower. Therefore, you will not get these two items in exchange for meeting the Crows early.
I implore you to consider meeting Pickle Pee and Pump-a-Rump early.
How to get to Pickle Pee
Pickle Pee is locked away on the roof of Firelink Shrine. There are two ways to get onto the roof; however, since Firelink is accessible very early into the game, I will quickly go through the steps to get to Firelink and then, from there, lead you towards the Nestlings.
How to get to Firelink Shrine
- Go straight from spawn across Cemetary of Ash
- Go left near the cliff and avoid falling off the cliff
- Defeat Iudex Gundir
- Beyond that is Firelink Shrine
If you follow this pathing precisely, you might miss a few things, so if you feel like wandering around, here are items you can find before getting to 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
Getting to Pickle Pee can be done traditionally by getting the tower key or using the method that speedrunners have found over time. After many patches, the developers left the shortcut in, leading the community to believe that the shortcut was intended rather than a bug. However, the shortcut is challenging to pull off without practice as it is a precise jump off a tree’s hitbox.
Getting the tower key
Method 1. You can buy it from the Shrine Handmaid for 20,000 Souls
Method 2. You kill Irina of Carim.
Irina of Carim is an NPC you can convince to join the Firelink shrine; she will then become a vendor that can sell Miracles (holy magic), both light and dark. So if you kill her, do know that attaining Miracles will become much more difficult.
Spook or Silvercat Ring Method
Step 1. Go to the Road of Sacrifices bonfire
Step 2. Head towards Eygon of Carim (take the lift one floor up then go out, he is by a cliff)
Step 3. Make sure that you are at full health
Step 4. Cast Spook or equip the Silvercat Ring
Step 5. Drop down the cliff to Eygon’s left and land on the rocks along the way.
Step 6. Kill Irina.
To explain why you do not die from the fall damage that would usually kill you. Spook and the Silvercat Ring reduces the damage you take from falling so long as the fall does not instantly kill you; by precisely falling on the rocks, you will take no damage on your way down.
No Spook or Silvercat ring Method
Step 1. Go through the Undead Settlement until you reach the graveyard with falling spears. You can use the bonfire at the Dilapidated Bridge as a fast travel point to have a shorter walk.
Step 2. Gather the Mortician’s Ashes (item on the floor tucked on the left side). This is easier if you befriend the Giant of the Undead Settlement before coming here, as he will not attack you with spears.
Step 2b. Alternatively, if you have a White Birch Branch in your Inventory, he will not attack you. Otherwise, you must walk to the tower and go up the elevator to the roof. There you can speak with him to make peace.
Step 3. Return to Firelink Shrine and give the Mortician’s Ashes to the Shrine Handmaid.
Step 4. Buy the Grave Key (1500 Souls)
Step 5. Go to the Dilapidated Bridges Bonfire and open the sewer’s door using the Grave Key.
Step 6. Go through the sewers (it’s a straight path) until you find Irina in her isolated room.
Step 7. Kill her and acquire her ashes and the Tower Key (these are guaranteed drops)
Be warned that by doing this method, you earn the ire of Eygon of Carim, a large man with a much more giant hammer. This NPC has no questline and drops his shield and weapon. However, by making him an enemy, I believe he will no longer be summonable in the Crystal Sage and Dragonslayer Armor fights.
As you can tell, these methods are pretty long and require many items to accomplish. This is especially true for the no Spook method, as this would take a few hours of gameplay. So the community played around Firelink Shrine until the tree jump shortcut was discovered. Using this, you can access the Nestlings early without leaving the Firelink Shrine area. Here is how.
Step 1. Run up to the right side of Firelink Shrine and climb the stairs to the third floor.
Step 2. Head to the outside through the open door on your right
Step 3. Past the tree where you can get the seed of a giant tree (If you do this early, it should have a prompt that says “the seed of the giant tree has yet to fall”)
Step 4. Turn around so that you are facing away from the locked tower. (you should see a tree along a small cliff facing the room of Firelink Shrine)
Step 5. Run towards the tree’s center between the two roots, then strafe right and jump while ascending the tree. (you should have both the tree and the roof in a straight line in front of you)
Step 6. If all goes well, you land on the roof to the right. Where you can enter the inner third floor to meet the Crows.
This method is much shorter but requires more timing and mechanical skill. I would recommend watching a video like this one to see the timing on the jump; once you have it down, it becomes more fun than tedious to complete.
What can you trade?
The Nestlings only accept barter rather than souls. Once you are at their nest, you can drop these items one at a time in the middle of their nest for them to exchange with other things once. If you have already traded for the item, she has various responses declining the trade. You also get reactions like this if you try to trade things that the Nestlings do not want.
To drop the item for trade, stand in the middle of the nest and go to your Inventory; when you select an item, choose the “Leave” option; this puts the thing on the ground where Pickle Pee will trade with you after a few moments.
Here is the list of trades that you can do with the Nestlings. As an added note, you cannot trade any upgraded items with the Nestlings; otherwise, they will decline the trade.
|Firebomb or Rope Firebomb||Large Titanite Shard|
|Black Firebomb or Rope Black Firebomb||Titanite Chunk|
|Prism Stone||Twinkling Titanite|
|Loretta’s Bone||Ring of Sacrifice|
|Avelyn||Titanite Scale x3|
|Coiled Sword Fragment||Titanite Slab|
|Lightning Urn||Iron Helm|
|Homeward Bone||Iron Bracelets|
|Seeds of a Giant Tree||Iron Leggings|
|Siegbrau||Armor of the Sun|
|Vertebra Shackle||Lucatiel Mask|
|Divine Blessing||Very Good Carving|
|Hidden Blessing||Thank You Carving|
|Alluring Skull||Hello Carving|
|Undead Bone Shard||Porcine Shield|
|Any Sacred Chime||Help me Carving|
|Shriving Stone||I’m Sorry Carving|
|Xanthous Crown||Lightning Gem|
|Medicant’s Staff||Sunlight Shield|
|Blacksmith Hammer||Titanite Scale|
|Large Leather Shield||Twinkling Titanite|
|Moaning Shield||Blessed Gem|
While you are also up here, make sure to hit the illusory wall on the rafter to the right of the Estus flask shard. The shard is easy to spot as it is on a body next to the giant nest of the Crows. Once you hit the wall, it disappears, leading you further inwards until you have to drop down straight ahead. Roll straight and to the right as on your right is the Covetous Silver Serpent Ring within a chest. Then you can simply go back down to the main area of Firelink Shrine. Both drops do a small amount of damage to you, so be sure you are at least at 50% health otherwise, it might kill you.
What do these items do?
While that may look like a giant block of text, worry not; just so that you understand what to aim for and an idea of what those items do, here is a quick summary. I will also put down if the thing is unique or farmable, but to keep this from getting too long, I shall not put down where to farm the items if you can acquire them from somewhere else.
You can find many of the items in the world of Dark souls, so assume that they are searchable. For this table, however, I will put it after a summary of the item in parenthesis if they are farmable, trade only, both, or neither. If they are Neither, I will follow up with Searchable or Unique—Unique, meaning that there is only one of these in the game.
|Large Titanite Shard||Upgrade material to reinforce weapons from +3 to +6 needing 12 total to reinforce 1 weapon. (Both)|
|Titanite Chunk||Upgrade material to reinforce weapons from +6 to +9 needing 12 total to reinforce 1 weapon. (Both)|
|Twinkling Titanite||Upgrade material to reinforce Unique weapons from +0 to +4 needing 15 total to reinforce 1 weapon (Both)|
|Ring of Sacrifice||An item that prevents soul loss on death, prevents turning into a Hollow on death, prevents Bloodstains from disappearing on death. However, once the user dies with this equipped the item breaks. (Tradable)|
|Titanite Scale x3||Upgrade material to reinforce Soul-Transposed Weapons (Boss weapons) and some Unique weapons from +0 to +4 needing 15 total to reinforce 1 weapon (Both)|
|Titanite Slab||Upgrade material to reinforce normal weapons from +9 to +10 and special weapons from +4 to +5. The amount needed varies per item. (Searchable)|
|Iron Helm||Part of the Armor of the Sun set, Average compared to other Helms. (Unique)|
|Iron Bracelets||Part of the Armor of the Sun set, Average compared to other Gauntlets. (Unique)|
|Iron Leggings||Part of the Armor of the Sun set, Average compared to other Leggings. (Unique)|
|Armor of the Sun||Part of the Armor of the Sun set, Average compared to other Chest Armors. (Unique)|
|Lucatiel Mask||Part of the Mirrah Set, is slightly better than average compared to other Helms. (Unique)|
|Very Good Carving||Item with unlimited uses. Creates an audible sound saying “Very Good” (Unique)|
|Thank You Carving||Item with unlimited uses. Creates an audible sound saying “Thank You” (Unique)|
|Hello Carving||Item with unlimited uses. Creates an audible sound saying “Hello” (Unique)|
|Porcine Shield||Can use Shield bash with either hand, Average compared to other shields but is better in PvP. Also it is a Pig (Unique)|
|Help Me Carving||Item with unlimited uses. Creates an audible sound saying “Help Me” (Unique)|
|I’m Sorry Carving||Item with unlimited uses. Creates an audible sound saying “I’m Sorry” (Unique)|
|Lightning Gem||Upgrade material to infuse weapons with lightning damage as well as giving the weapon Faith scaling. (Farmable & Searchable)|
|Sunlight Shield||Average shield with solid Physical Reduction and Stability and can be equipped with very little investment. (Unique)|
|Blessed Gem||Upgrade material that gives the weapon the Blessed property. This means it lowers base damage and gives a 20% damage buff against reanimated enemies, HP regen, and Faith Scaling. (Farmable)|
|Hollow Gem||Upgrade material that gives weapons the Hollow property. This means it lowers base damage, gives +1 luck for every 2 reinforcement levels, Luck scaling, only activates when player is Hollow) (Searchable)|
|Covetous Silver Serpent Ring||Ring that increases the number of souls dropped by fallen foes by 10% (Unique)|
|Estus Shard||Upgrade material for Estus Flask and Ashen Estus Flask up to 15 times between the two flasks. This increases the amount of uses one per shard. (Searchable)|
Searchable items are limited in any game world, requiring a New Game Plus to respawn those item drops, so it is imperative to acquire a few of them early on since they are so limited and scattered throughout the world.
The Crows are also the only way to get the Armor of the Sunset, an average set of armor, and a shield. However, it is a call back to Solaire of Astoria, a character from Dark Souls 1 and a fan favorite. If you want to feel some nostalgia, this set is worth getting. Praise the Sun.
Where can I get items to trade with
So with all of those items up for grabs, it’s best to know where you can gather the materials to trade with. I will be stating a more general way to collect these items, and I will also tag them in parenthesis at the end to ensure you understand how rare this item is. Many of these items are farmable and buyable, so for the ones with multiple acquisition methods. I will say the easiest way to acquire them immediately.
|Firebomb or Rope Firebomb||Sold by the Shrine Handmaid for 100 Souls and Sold by Greirat for 50 Souls. (Trade-only, Searchable)|
|Black Firebomb or Rope Black Firebomb||Sold by Unbreakable Patches for 300 Souls, or Chosen as Burial Gift. (Trade-only, Searchable)|
|Prism Stone||Sold by Shrine Handmaid for 10 Souls (Trade-Only)|
|Loretta’s Bone||Found on a hanging corpse on the balcony of a house in Undead Settlement. Hit the corpse from the balcony then head down to retrieve it. It is a key item to acquire Greirat as a merchant. (Unique)|
|Avelyn||In the Grand Archives, pass through the darkroom where Power Within lies. Then go up the stairs and past the balcony with a broken railing. Drop onto the bookshelf, then walk towards the corpse with the Avelyn in its hands. (Unique)|
|Coiled Sword Fragment||When you get to the Untended Graves, it is where the bonfire normally is, in the copy of Firelink Shrine. (Unique)|
|Lightning Urn||Sold by Greirat and Shrine Handmaid (After she receives Greirat’s Ashes) for 600 Souls (Searchable, Trade-Only)|
|Homeward Bone||Sold by Shrine Handmaid for 500 Souls (Searchable, Trade-only)|
|Seeds of a Giant Tree||Get Invaded 10 times and banish the invader, then check the giant tree near the tower at Firelink Shrine. (Unique)|
|Siegbrau||Defeat the Fire Demon in Undead Settlement with Siegward of Catarina surviving, he gives you the item 2 more times after this. (Unique)|
|Vertebra Shackle||Defeat the “Mad Spirit/Invader” Holy Knight Hodrick in Undead Settlement. (Farmable)|
|Divine Blessing||Obtain as Burial Gift or sold by Greirat for 8000 Souls. (Both, Searchable)|
|Hidden Blessing||Obtain as Burial Gift or sold by Shrine Handmaid or Unbreakable Patches for 1000 Souls. (Trade-only)|
|Alluring Skull||Sold by Shrine Handmaid or Unbreakable Patches for 800 Souls. (Both, Searchable)|
|Undead Bone Shard||Go to the Dilapidated Bridge bonfire, go back to the graveyard with fallen spears. Head right of the white birch tree, there you can jump onto a body with this item. (Searchable, Unique) used to increase the amount of healing done per Estus Flask capping at +10|
|Any Sacred Chime||Dropped by Undead Cleric at Cemetary of Ash or Sold by Greirat for 4000 Souls. (Both, Searchable)|
|Shriving Stone||Left of Road of Sacrifices near the entrance to the area. (Farmable, Searchable)|
|Xanthous Crown||Kill Yellowfinger Heysel at Road of Sacrifices (Unique)|
|Medicant’s Staff||Farm Man-Serpent Summoners in Archdragon Peak (Farmable)|
|Blacksmith Hammer||Go to Untended Graves, it is where Andre would normally be (Unique)|
|Large Leather Shield||Sold by Shrine Handmaid for 800 Souls (Trade-Only)|
|Moaning Shield||Kill Eygon of Carim at Road of Sacrifices (Unique)|
|Eleonora||Kill the first Monstrosity of Sin to aggro you at the church in the swamp in the Profaned Capital. (Unique)|
As you can tell, many of the items here are meant for the late game; however, for upgrade materials, it is pretty easy to acquire the items to trade for them, usually being sold by the Shrine Handmaid or found nearby.
I believe that the developers kept it this way to award skillful players with a boost to their early game and reduce their grind for upgrade materials. Then, later on, it rewards players with nostalgic armor sets and rarer upgrade materials.
Who is Pickle Pee
Now that we have finished what Pickle Pee does for us, we can look into who Pickle Pee is? While it is not confirmed if this is the same Crow found in all previous Dark Souls games, they have a similar motif as the ones previously. They are all crow merchants who trade through dropping items. They also speak in the same high-pitched voice and child-like manner and their usage of “Pickle Pee” and “Pump-a-rum.”
In Demon Souls, Sparkly the Crow was the Vendor, and Dark Souls made a small change with Snuggly the Crow. For Dark Souls 2, they were known as Dyna & Tilo. In Dark Souls 3, they go by many names, Nestling in the credits, Snuggly The Crow in the official strategy guide, and Pickle Pee and Pump-a-rum by the community.
Sad to say, but in their current iteration, they are unseen, and even if you hack the game into Free camera mode and look around Firelink Shrine. Their disembodied voice still rings out whenever you trade with them, leaving us mystified by who they are but thankful that they are willing to assist us.
Question: What should I trade Snuggle the Crow with?
Answer: Early game, it would be best to trade away the Firebomb, Black firebomb, and Prism Stone. They are renewable resources that give you those rare upgrade materials that would typically take hours of gameplay to farm.
Question: How do you reach Pickle Pee in DS3?
Answer: The fastest way is to use the tree strafe to jump up towards the inside of the third floor. It might be difficult, but it will become much more manageable once you have it down. There are many guides on Youtube on how to do that technical jump.
Question: How do I trade with Pickle Pee?
Answer: Go to your Inventory and select the item you wish to trade away. Then select the Leave button to drop it onto the ground. Do this in Pickle Pee’s nest, and they will switch it after a few moments.
In Conclusion, Pickle Pee is a character that does not have a definite shape, but we can assume that this mysterious vendor looks somewhat like a crow. They are helpful at all stages in the game as they sell essential items for players and nostalgic items for returning players.
Praise the Sun!
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