Dark Souls 3: Ashes of Ariandel's Snowy Mountain Pass bonfire will be your base of operations for the next area you'll be exploring. It's is full of Followers. There's a mix — some firebreathers, some shield-and-spear, some javelin-throwers — and there are a lot of them. Also, remember Millwood Knights? Yeah, they're here, too.
In typical Dark Souls fashion, you're going to go through this area multiple times with slightly different goals. Your first pass will familiarize you with the layout and pick up items. Then you'll start opening up shortcuts and working toward the area's ultimate goal — and the end of Dark Souls 3: Ashes of Ariandel.
Table of contents
First things first
The secret to maintaining control in the area surrounding the Snowy Mountain Pass bonfire is to think of it like an Assassin's Creed mission. In other words, focus on taking out one Follower at a time.
Use the terrain to your advantage. Keep watch for lookouts who will raise an alarm. When you find them, sneak your way around to take them out silently from behind.
Watch for enemies that are dozing on the ground, and take them out before they become a problem. If you start to get outnumbered, turn and run. Get some distance between you and your enemies, breaking your line of sight so you can regroup.
Where is everything?
To orient yourself, look for three landmarks. At the beginning, there's the tree bridge that you pass under. (This is a subtle hint for later.)
The next landmark is the huge bell. It's to the right of where you start and about halfway up the hill.
The third is another ice ledge at the top of the hill that sticks out over the large clearing, far below you.
Around the bonfire
From the bonfire, follow the path that leads under the tree bridge. As you head for the first item to pick up, remember our advice about limiting your fights to one enemy at a time in mind. (Channel your inner Ezio or Altair … but, you know, not Connor because screw Connor).
Your goal is at the base of a tree near the cliff's edge, more or less straight ahead of you. There's a javelin-throwing Follower off to your left that's easy to miss until there's a javelin sticking out of your chest. Loot the corpse at the base of the tree for 10 Prism Stones.
Keep heading right along the cliff edge (and through a few more Followers) until you come to a ledge to drop off. Loot the corpse there to find the Follower shield, which has "a faint resistance to the Abyss," which means high resistance to Dark.
Keep walking along the cliff until you come to a path on your right. After you handle the Followers that attack, head up the path toward the giant bell. There's a cave on your right guarded by two more Followers. Inside is an Ember.
The first tree bridge
Continue along the path and turn left. There's a snoozing Follower at the top. This is where you'll see your third landmark — the ice ledge. If you walk out onto it, it will collapse and you'll be dropped into an area with three Millwood Knights. If you're into that, by all means go for it.
Otherwise turn right and head down the path. There's a fire-breathing Follower (surprise!) waiting for you on your right. In front of you, you'll see an out-of-place-looking, rotting tree. Walk up and fell it to create a shortcut back to the building. Cross it and activate the lift to return to the Snowy Mountain Pass bonfire and recharge.
The Millwood Knight arena
While optional, the arena-like depression with the three Millwood Knights contains some worthwhile goodies.
Now that you've opened the tree-bridge shortcut, you can get back to the arena while avoiding almost all of the Followers. From the bonfire, take the elevator up to the roof and use the tree to cross over. Take out the fire-breathing Follower and continue to the right and up a patch of land that looks … well, it's a ramp.
The brute force approach is to just run up to the ice bridge, which will collapse under your weight drop you in. There are three Millwood Knights in here, though, so a more nuanced approach is better. (If you find yourself in the middle of the arena and don't want to die, this is a good place to use a Homeward Bone.)
After you walk up the ramp but before you come to the ice ledge, watch for a path on your right. Take it down. There's another Follower waiting for you down here. Take care of him and then take the ramp on your left up.
You'll soon find yourself standing above and behind a Millwood Knight with a two-handed hammer. Use magic or another ranged attack to take care of him without getting your hands dirty. If you don't have any, try a plunging attack.
If you drop down onto his ledge, you'll find a path that will lead you back around to the tree bridge.
Continue up this path to the top. Look down to see the another Millwood Knight with an axe and a shield. Handle this one ranged as well, or use the ledge to get a plunging attack.
Be careful of getting the attention of the magic-using Millwood Knight across the arena. He'll cast an earth-shaking area attack that will take you off your feet. Be ready to roll out of the way when you see the dust gathering around you. After defeating the second Millwood Knight, you can turn your attention to the caster.
Once he's defeated, collect the items scattered around the arena. Loot the various corpses for two Large Souls of a Crestfallen Knight (worth 20,000 souls each), one regular-sized Soul of a Crestfallen Knight (10,000 souls), a Large Titanite Chunk and the Earth Seeker — the Millwood Knight axe.
Head out of the arena under the ledge that brought you here. There's a path leading to the right that will drop you off a couple of ledges, leading you back to the first tree bridge and the bonfire.
The upper area and the second tree bridge
From the Snowy Mountain Pass bonfire, head into the building and take the elevator up to the first tree bridge. Walk across and kill the fire-breathing Follower patrolling the area.
Head up the left hill (the one that doesn't take you to the arena with the Millwood Knights) toward the bell, keeping your guard up, as another fire-breathing Follower may spot you and charge as you crest it. Take a slight right and then a left. You'll know you're going the right way because you'll see another fire-breathing follower sitting down just beyond a rock.
Follow the path around, and kill another fire-breathing Follower who's looking left over a ledge. Walk down a short hill and then up another. There are two ways to go here: left and right. Either way you go, you're about to face a pack of wolves.
The short left path
Turn left and follow the path down, where you can pillage a corpse for a Large Titanite Shard. Continue down the path toward another corpse, but don't rush. There's yet another fire-breathing Follower hiding just behind the corpse.
Take him down, and pillage the corpse for a Follower Torch. It's more than a torch. It's a weapon, and it allows you to breathe fire just like them.
The long right path
The right path is a lot longer than the left path. It has difficult enemies, but cool weapons and a shortcut back to the bonfire. It's also the key to unlocking the final part of Dark Souls 3: Ashes of Ariandel. It breaks down into a few parts.
Turn right at the top of the hill, and take your first right, prepared to battle a pack of wolves. Your strategy remains the same as it's ever been: Block, attacking only after they jump in to attack you.
The Millwood Knight with the bow and arrow
Continue up the hill, and take your first left. Keep your shield up. Take the next right, and you'll be facing a Millwood Knight with a bow and exploding arrows. Counterintuitive as it may seem, it's best to approach him. He'll drop his bow and pick up his two-handed weapon. It's easier to beat him in that configuration.
When he's dead, return to where he was standing when you saw him, and pillage a corpse for a Quakestone Hammer, the giant two-handed weapon that the Millwood Knights wield.
Two more Millwood Knights
Make your way back to the hill, hugging the left wall. Ahead of you are two more Millwood Knights. The closest has a sword and shield, while the one behind him has a bow and arrow.
If you have ranged weapons, this is the time for them. You can coax the first Millwood Knight toward you with ranged weapons, and you should. As always, it's about fighting one at a time. Take him down safely away from his buddy, and then head for the other one.
Keep your shield up, and approach him. Lock on when you can and keep moving left and right to ensure that his arrow won't hit you. Get close, and let him fire his arrows close to him. Let them explode. Hit him with ranged weapons if you have them, or head in and chip away at his health, backing away as necessary.
Hop off the ledge next to where the second Millwood Knight stood, and pillage a corpse there for a Large Titanite Shard.
Head down the path until you see another read, hollow, rotted tree. Approach and topple it to unlock a shortcut back to the Snowy Mountain Pass bonfire. Go there if you need to replenish your Estus flasks, but return here when you're done. Take the two tree shortcuts you've created to drastically reduce your commute.
Into the mountain
Just behind the tree you knocked down above, there's an entryway that leads to a complex in the mountain. That's our next destination. Make sure you have a torch (or better yet, the Follower Torch), because you're going to need it.
The ground floor
The first room
In the first room, you'll find eight giant bugs to fight. Kill them all, but beware of their special kind of evil.
They'll leap at you and grab onto your head, causing regular and bleed damage. They also have the tendency to puke little bugs on you, which not only cause damage but quickly build up bleed damage. They're the worst.
In short, if the giant bugs take to the air, just assume they're going for your head. Run or roll away — or charge them to kill them immediately.
A torch is the key to keeping the little bugs at bay. If you find yourself covered in little bugs, equip the torch, and that'll burn them off. Better yet: Just keep the torch out the entire time, instead of your shield. None of the bugs pose a huge threat, and they're reasonably easy to kill. Keeping your touch out is actually a hedge against their little bug puking attack.
On a plank on the right side of the room, there's a body to pillage for two Dung Pies, which turns enemies toxic, but also build up your toxicity, too. Be careful when you're out on this ledge. A giant bug will almost certainly jump out at you and push you into the area below. There's a much better (and safer) way to get there.
Before you head down, though, look for the other, non-illusory door in this room. Hug the wall closest to the door you entered, and cross the planks to get to the other side of the large opening. Take the stairs up. Open the locked doors, and you'll find yourself in Ariandel Chapel. Hit the bonfire to recharge before you head back down into the super gross basement.
The first illusory wall
In a corner of the first room, there's a docile giant bug staring at the wall. Look on the ground, and you'll see blood that seems to go under the wall. Swing away, and you'll discover that it's an illusory wall. Also, kill the bug. It'll start attacking if you bump up against it. Also, it's evil.
The big room
Down the stairs behind the illusory wall is a room teeming with giant bugs. Walk slowly and kill them one by one, using ranged weapons if you have them.
Don't go charging through. As always, these enemies are happy to gang up on you. Individually, the bugs are easy to dispatch, but if they mob you, things get out of hand quickly. Catch them unawares if and when you can, walking the perimeter of the room and attacking the pairs and trios you find.
When you've cleared the room, there are two items to pick up. Pillage a corpse in the middle for a Blood Gem. In the far right corner of the room, you'll find the Vilhelm armor set, which has high fire resistance and poise.
Near the armor, one of the pillars has a wheel to turn. Interact with it to trigger a cutscene. The mechanism opens the path to one of the Ashes of Ariandel's two boss fights. Before you go seeking out the boss fight, though, there's more to do down here.
The second illusory wall
About halfway down the wall on the right side of the room, you'll see a few stairs that lead into a door blocked by bricks. Shockingly, that's an illusory wall. Hit it, and you'll unveil another path.
Take the stairs down and turn left to fight a Crystal Lizard, which will reward you with a piece of Twinkling Titanite.
Down the tree
Exit through the door slowly. You're going to hop down, and you don't just want to jump off the ledge outside of the door. The branches and/or roots you're following down take a lot of twists and turns, but try to generally keep to the right. It's more intimidating than difficult to get down.
When you land on the chunk of bridge sticking out from the Colosseum tower, turn around and pillage the corpse for two Homeward Bones and the Pyromancer's Parting Flame. The latter requires 15 strength, 13 Intelligence and 13 Faith, as opposed to the standard Pyromancer's Flame, which requires none of those attributes. It also has a spell buff of 98, meaning that it'll make your pyromancies more powerful.
If you happen to be embered at this point, you'll be invaded by the mad dark spirit Livid Pyromancer Dunnel.
Defeat him to earn the Floating Chaos pyromancy.
There's no way down or back up from here, so use one of the homeward bones you just picked up to return to a bonfire.
Down to the depths
We spent a lot of time looking for a way down to the ground from the tower. There isn't one — at least not one that won't kill you in the process. To get to the ground, travel to the Ariandel Chapel bonfire.
Head out of the chapel and down the stairs. Instead of crossing the bridge this time, attack it. It will collapse and create a ladder for you to descend.
Once again, make your way down via an elaborate root and branch system. There are a few Followers and two Millwood Knights with bows to deal with this time, though.
About halfway down, you'll find a ledge. There's a Crystal Lizard here that gives you some Twinkling Titanite and, behind two Followers, an Ember. If you managed to avoid the first Millwood Knight, be careful here. You're in his line of fire, and he'll rain explosive arrows on you from above. Continue onto the branches and down.
Your goal is behind the second Millwood Knight, close to the ground. Get him out of the way and drop to the ground. Turn around and head straight across the icy field.
In an ice cave directly across from you, you'll find the Depths of the Painting bonfire.