This walkthrough will show players how to explore the Undead Settlement and defeat the Curse-rotted Greatwood in Dark Souls 3. There are multiple paths you can take to reach this boss, but we will explain the most efficient method for finding collectibles and bonfires along the way.
The Undead Settlement consists of a dank village overrun with lonesome creatures and hidden surprises. The boss location is rather easy to find, but there are multiple routes that lead you to this location. For this walkthrough, we will explain what we feel is the most efficient method for traversing the Undead Settlement, showing you where to find shortcuts, valuable loot, and persons of interest.
This walkthrough will be broken into sections, based off of efficiency and ease of navigation. We will start by explaining the quickest path for finding each bonfire, then we will use these bonfire locations as reference points throughout. Our goal is to help you explore the region and reach the boss without missing important people or items along the way.
Shortly after defeating Vordt of the Boreal Valley, you will arrive at the Foot of the High Wall Bonfire. Descend the stairs, and turn left. Continue along the stone path and look for a corpse upon a pile of rubble to the left. Pillage the remains to receive a Large Soul of a Deserted Corpse. Return to the bonfire stairs, and continue down the next staircase headed away from the bonfire.
There are several undead hounds and other enemies gathered near the portcullis on the level below. The hounds will make quick work of the others, and are drawn toward you as you reach the bottom of the stairs. Fight of the first three hounds, then turn left away from the portcullis. Behind the overturned wagon, there are two more hounds feasting on a corpse. Fight them off, and collect the Alluring Skull from the remains.
Continue along the path until you reach the hunched pilgrims near the collapsed bridge. At the far left corner, pillage the remains of a corpse that holds a Homeward Bone. Investigate the opposite side across from the corpse, and listen for a quiet prayer from Yoel of Londor. Speak to Yoel, and either accept or decline his services.
Afterward, return to the portcullis and pull the lever on the left to raise the gate. Enter the settlement, and fight off the lantern holder guarding the gate. The Undead Settlement Bonfire is found in the small structure just ahead of the entrance.
Two Bonfires, and a Pyromancer
Shortly beyond the Undead Settlement Bonfire, the village splits into two diverging routes that connect back to the boss room later on. Both routes have their benefits, and we will eventually cover all there is to find along each route.
For now, we are going to start by explaining the best method for finding the next two bonfires in a single run, while also unlocking a shortcut that connects the two routes. There is a bonfire on each half of Undead Settlement, and having both bonfires lit allows you to travel between the two routes rather than having to respawn back at the Undead Settlement Bonfire each time.
Beginning at the Undead Settlement Bonfire, follow the path toward the house. Prepare to face the two enemies who emerge from the doorway. Enter the house, and turn right to find a hanging corpse holding a collectible. Cut down the corpse to receive a Small Leather Shield.
Continue down the stairs to the left, and watch out for the thrall-hooded slave who will drop down from the ceiling. Collect the Charcoal Pine Bundle from the remains near the crates, then head out to the balcony. Cut down the hanging corpse holding the collectible, then carefully walk around the balcony corner to fight the enemy standing here. Pillage the Repair Power from the corpse at the end of the balcony, then return inside the building.
Proceed downstairs, and kill the enemy immediately to the right. Watch out for blow darts from the enemy crouched near the far wall, as well as another enemy who approaches from the left. Clear the room of hostiles, then collect another Charcoal Pine Bundle in the corner of the room. Exit the building, and turn left to loot the wrapped corpse you cut down earlier. You will receive Loretta’s Bone, which must be returned to a certain NPC.
This is where the two routes diverge. From here, you can either go forward past the burning tree, or turn right past the well to cross the bridge. For the purpose of quickly reaching both bonfires, we are going to take you through the bridge route first. For details on the left route beyond the burning tree, skip ahead to the section titled Through the Graveyard and to the Boss We Go.
As you approach the bridge, watch out for the enemy on the left path. Another enemy patrols the bridge itself who will throw firebombs at you. Dodge his attacks, and make your way across the bridge. A second saw wielding enemy may come through the doorway. Enter the stable, and prepare to fend off two villagers with pitchforks on the right. Grab the Large Soul of a Deserted Corpse in the left corner, then proceed toward the barn.
When you enter the rounded doorway, a thrall-hooded enemy will drop from the ceiling. This one is pretty easy to defeat, but keep in mind that there are several more along the rooftops above you that you must deal with momentarily. Push open the double doors, and turn right to pillage the Caduceus Round Shield from the corpse beside the cliff. Watch out for blow darts from on high.
You can either proceed forward toward the bridge, or retreat to deal with the pesky foes on the rooftops to the right. We’ll help you clear out the roof dwellers first, for the sake of picking up a few collectibles along the way. Feel free to skip down a few paragraphs to continue toward the bonfire.
Retreat back to the front of the stables, and head down the path on the right. Anticipate another three enemies ahead, one on each rooftop. Dispose of the first enemy as he jumps at you from the left roof. Back up behind cover, and take down the next two rooftop enemies using a ranged attack. Arrows or long distance magic attacks work best. Pick up the Fading Soul near the cliff, then walk onto the left rooftop toward the barn.
Near the edge, you’ll find the enemy who was blowing darts at you earlier. Dodge his ranged attacks once more, and eliminate the threat. Look for a corpse bent over the left edge of the rooftop, and pillage the remains to obtain some Firebombs. Go back to the buildings where the two roof enemies were a moment ago, and search the path to the left. Collect the Plank Shield on the ground, and disregard the caged corpses around the corner.
Climb up the ladder to reach the rooftops where the enemies once were. On the far side, you’ll find another body bent over the edge of a platform corner. Pillage the remains to discover a pair of Homeward Bones. Make note of the hounds and other enemies below. You’ll deal with these enemies soon enough, but not just yet.
The area to the right of the roof consists of another path that curves around the cliff side. There is a tough-looking Hollow Manservant who roams the path with a cage on his back. Just beyond him is a collectible hanging from a tree. Shooting down the collectible causes it to fall to the path below, where you can collect it momentarily.
Don't attack the saw-wielding brute. Instead, approach the fellow from behind and get close to the cage on his back. Press Examine when prompted. A brief cut scene will ensue, and you will be transported to a mysterious room beneath the Curse-rotted Greatwood, where you can meet Holy Knight Hodrick and join the Mound-makers Covenant. You must do this before defeating the boss, however, as the floor collapses and kills Hodrick during the boss fight. When finished, speak to Holy Knight Hodrick again to receive a Homeward Bone to teleport back out of the room.
Return to the bridge beyond the back doors of the barn. Look across the canyon, and you should see a path beneath the bridge leading to the base of the building ahead. This path leads you to a bonfire inside the building. While standing on the bridge, carefully drop down onto the lower ledge. Make sure you have enough health to sustain some fall damage. There are two enemies on this path who you must defeat quickly. If you time your drop correctly, you may be able to attack one of the enemies as you drop.
Collect the Titanite Shard at the end of the path, then proceed toward the doorway at the base of the building. Enter the room to discover the Cliff Underside Bonfire. Rest to replenish your health if needed. Exit through the back door toward the cliff, and continue up the staircase on the right. This leads to the rooftop at the back of the building, as well as the upper balcony. Don’t drop down from the roof just yet, because you can’t easily get back up here otherwise.
Head up the wooden stairs on the right to reach the upper middle section of the structure. A pair of enemies stand along the middle platform, overlooking the area. Fight them off, then proceed up the stairs to the higher balcony. Defeat another enemy standing on the right edge of the balcony. Curve around the left corner of the balcony to discover a caged man. Snag the Hand Axe on the corpse to the left, then speak with the person in the cage.
This old pyromancer is named Cornyx. Upon speaking with him, you must decide whether to accept or decline his offer to learn pyromancy. Accepting the offer causes Cornyx to become a new resident of Firelink Shrine, where you can speak with him at a later time.
From here, you should see a hanging corpse holding a collectible near the staircase where you came from. Retrace your steps toward the walkway. Shoot down the hanging corpse, and loot the body where it falls to obtain a Partizan.
There are a couple more collectibles in the courtyard in front of the building down below. To reach these items, you must get past the enemy beneath the walkway who carries a large clay pot. This enemy can be quite challenging, as he will quickly approach you to smash you with his clay pot, or even chuck the pot at you. Be mindful of the explosive barrels as you maneuver about the courtyard, as you can use them to your advantage to take out the pot wielding foe.
Once this enemy is defeated, you can grab the two collectibles in the courtyard. Loot the body on the torture rack to obtain a Soul of an Unknown Traveler. Walk to the end of the wooden walkway that extends over the chasm, and loot the corpse to receive a Fire Clutch Ring.
Shortcut Through the Sewers
Once you feel you have collected everything you want, head through the open gate where the enemy wielding the pot came from and go down the long flight of stairs. You will see some hollows sitting at the base. As usual, you can either kill them and collect their souls, or leave them be. Next to them is a set of stairs leading down. Go down the stairs and immediately turn to the right. Depending on the location of the enemy patrol, you may run into a few challenging enemies. We suggest you ignore them and run away for now. If there are no enemies, then consider yourself lucky.
Continue down the path. Do not get distracted by the enemies across the bridge to the left. We’ll deal with them later. Right now, your goal is to get to the next bonfire as soon as possible. Go to the right, hugging the wall beside the wooden wheeled cart, until you reach an opening with a lantern hanging from the ceiling.
Beware of the surprise hound. Go through the doorway and down the ladder. These sewers are infested with rats. Kill the first three that charge at you once you step into their domain. Pick up the Caestus along the way, and note the left locked door. We’ll explain in detail how to get the key for that in due time. In short, you need to give Umbral Ash to the Handmaid at Firelink, which can be found in the graveyard.
Ahead you will come upon some fog hugging the shallow water, making what lies beyond impossible to see. A couple rats emerge, along with what seems to be their giant mother. We found throwing firebombs into the mist super effective.
Once killed, the giant rat will drop an invaluable Bloodbite Ring. Continue forward and go up the ladder to the right and open the one-way door. It opens to a wooden bridge and right across the bridge is the Dilapidated Bridge Bonfire. We will soon show you how to reach this bonfire by taking the left route past the prayer group, but having the sewer shortcut makes traversing the two halves of the map much easier.
“Good Friend, No Hit”
Now we are going to explore further into the right side of the Undead Settlement, where we can meet an old friend, and make a new one. Befriending the giant will allow us to walk safely through the graveyard area ahead of the dilapidated bridge. If you walk through the graveyard before befriending the giant, he will mistake you for an enemy and shoot massive spears at you from atop his tower. You can see him if you look closely at the top of the tall, isolated tower in the distance.
You can get to the tower by starting at any bonfire in the Undead Settlement. However, we recommend starting where we left off at the Dilapidated Bridge Bonfire. From this bonfire, walk along the wood path back into the sewers. Pass by the rats, and climb the ladder at the far end, avoiding the hound at the top. Be careful once you step outside because sometimes there is a sorceress with a magical prayer book patrolling the area. Whether or not she is there, you will have to either run passed her or fight her.
Standing at the exit/entrance of the sewers, you should see a bridge with multiple enemies standing in the area on the other side. The one on the left end of the bridge has a sword. The other three wield pots. You can run through them and head straight towards the tower located beyond them, or you can fight and grab some collectibles. Just watch out for the clay pots that will likely be thrown at you along the way.
If you stay and fight, be sure to pick up the Ember on the bridge. If you pillage the remains of the body up the small stairs to the right, near the water well, you will collect a Large Soul of a Deserted Corpse. Around the back of the wooden building are two dogs guarding several Alluring Skulls. Now that you have collected and cleared everything, head down the path towards the tower.
Talk with Eygon of Carim, who can be found sitting to the left, guarding a locked chamber with a woman in white sitting in a cell. Talk with him after observing the woman to initiate a different dialogue. To complete an optional path to free the woman in the cell, proceed to our guide on How to Get the Grave Key and Free Irina of Carim.
Before going into the tower, look up to the side of the mountain and you will see a corpse hanging high above with a collectible. Shoot it down with an arrow and collect the Flame Stoneplate Ring. This was the hanging corpse past the large enemy seen from the rooftops earlier.
If you miss or don’t have any arrows, don’t worry; you can get it by starting at the Undead Settlement Bonfire and going across the bridge to the right, following the right path around the stable. You’ll need to kill the Hollow Slaves found on the rooftops earlier, climbing atop said roofs and jumping down to the far right where you will be greeted by a large enemy with a saw-blade. Cut down the corpse, make sure you have full health, and return to the base of the hill to collect it.
When you’re ready, open the giant tower doors to be greeted by a familiar face. Siegward of Catarina introduces himself after coming up an elevator he seems to be confused by. After talking with him, step on and off the elevator button, causing it to go down. Another elevator platform will arrive from above. Stand on that button and ride the platform up.
At the top, you will meet a giant covered in chains. Don't attack! Instead, approach the giant and speak with him. When he asks who you are, be sure to offer a token of friendship in response. You'll hand over a Fading Soul, and the giant will give you a Young White Branch as a symbol of your new bond in return. Now you will be able to explore the aforementioned graveyard without hindrance. As long as you keep the branch in your inventory, the giant will provide support in a couple of other enemy-filled areas later on as well.
Ride back down the elevator and pay close attention. You will hear Siegward mumble a “Hmm...” This acts as a cue for an optional side excursion, where you can join forces with Siegward to fight a Demon. To proceed with this optional adventure, roll off the lift onto a wooden platform, using Siegward’s voice as a cue for when to jump. You’ll find Siegward sitting on a ledge outside, overlooking a large area full of enemies and loot. Speak to him, then approach the Demon to proceed with the excursion. We cover this optional area in our guide on finding Siegward and defeating the Fire Demon.
Now that you are done befriending a giant, it’s time to return to the Undead Settlement Bonfire. You can either run there or homeward bone there. Keep in mind that if you take the elevator down to the lowest level, you will be led to a chamber containing the Boreal Outrider Knight mini-boss and doorway to the next region. We won’t be doing this just yet, but you can fight this vicious knight if you wish.
Through the Graveyard and to the Boss We Go
Once you are done resting at the Undead Settlement Bonfire head to the right into the familiar house guarded by two undead peasants. Make your way through the house, pick up any collectibles you may have missed from earlier, and head outside where the prayer group is standing, all seemingly mesmerized by the flames. Rather than crossing the bridge, this time we are heading along the route to the left, gathering valuable items along the way.
You can ignore the praying enemies if you wish, but since we’re after loot, we’re going to insist on fighting. Throw a firebomb at the barrels in order to easily clear away some enemies. Pick off the remainder one by one, but be careful of the sorceress with the prayer book. She will consume herself in fire and try to hug you. Yes, she will burn you alive in her bosom. She will also send out a swirl of black magic that will target and follow you. When this happens, simply run behind something to take cover.
Once you deal with her, pick up the Estus Shard lying in front of the fire, and the Ember behind the fire. Next, run to the left of the fire towards the shaded portcullis to find a Soul of an Unknown Traveler. Head back towards the burning tree, go down the left path and turn right. Several enemies are standing watch and some are on patrol. Defeat them, pick up the Titanite Shard, and enter the side room to the far right of the building, the staircase entrance next to the chasm.
Down the corridor inside, defeat two agile thrall-hooded slaves. This will prevent them from jumping down on you through the hole when you walk down the corridor beneath them. Let us do that right now. Go around to the other side of the building and go through the door into a dark room with hanging corpses. To the right you will see the bright light of a Charcoal Pine Resin collectible.
Beware of the spider-like caged corpses. Hanging above the staircase is a corpse with a collectible on it. Cut it down and pillage for a Large Soul of a Deserted Corpse. Don’t go down the stairs yet. At the bottom of the stairs is a door that can only be opened from one way, and the only way in is through this upper floor.
Near the entrance door is a hole in the ground. Jump through it and into the room. You will find the Warrior of Sunlight covenant insignia on the table, and a cooking pot full of healing Estus Soup. Yummy! If you drink the soup and are at full health, don’t worry; it replenishes upon resting at a bonfire.
Go through the newly opened door and head down the corridor. Beware of the caged hollows and defeat the enemy with glowing red eyes. Once you reach the giant hole in the wall at the end of the corridor leading outside, turn immediately to your right. Clear the debris in the corner and walk along the hidden narrow path to collect a Soul of an Unknown Traveler.
We did not do this at first, but if you jump to the lower path below you and walk ahead you will collect a Titanite Shard. Keep in mind that jumping down prevents you from coming back up, so you will have to proceed forward and backtrack. If you do so, you will perform the steps in this guide in reverse order, starting with fighting an undead peasant with a hammer.
Head back and to the right and aggro the peasant with a pitchfork. Be careful while you do this because another one of those huggable ladies with a fiery bosom will start shooting her magical swirling homing missiles at you. She will continue to do so as you progress down the pathway. You can hide from it in the rooms to the left and right as you proceed.
Further down on the left the door will burst open if you get too close to it. Inside are two enemies protecting a Whip. Continue down the path and you will spot the magic wielding woman shooting down at you on a small bridge. To the right is where you would have found the Titanite Shard and likely fought the peasant with a hammer if you took the narrow path shortcut earlier.
Unless if you wish to brave the fight with the woman on your own, we suggest you stand underneath the bridge and dodge just before she jumps down on you. Run around the left corner after the bridge and go up the ladder. You should be relatively safe from her if done right. Collect the Titanite Shard across the bridge and then, if you can, jump down and strike her.
Once the hugging sorceress is defeated, and can no longer force herself on you, go through the doorway of the building behind the bridge. Go down the stairs, out the door, and down the path to your immediate right. You will run into one of those evanescent Crystal Lizards which, once killed, will supply you with a Sharp Gem. Retrace your steps back to where the hugging lady was. Around the corner, opposite the ladder to the bridge, you can jump to a wooden platform and pick up a Rusted Coin.
Just as a point of reference, the Dilapidated Bridge Bonfire is down below and the graveyard is further ahead. You can brave jumping down to reach the bonfire, or go back through the building, down the stairs, and around the corner instead. Rest at the bonfire if you need to, because to the boss we go, picking up collectibles along the way of course.
Getting to the boss from here is relatively simple. Defeat or run past the saw-wielding Hollow Manservant beyond the dilapidated bridge, and proceed through the graveyard. You should be protected by your giant friendly archer. Pick up all the collectibles: Ember, Reinforced Club, 2x Young White Branch, Fading Soul, and a Large Soul of a Deserted Corpse. Jump across the chasm in the direction of the tower with the giant and collect the Undead Bone Shard from the corpse.
Instead of going inside of the building across from the graveyard entrance, head uphill to the left towards the wall. You will see a small wooden maintenance shack amongst the graves with another collectible. It is a full cleric outfit: Blue Wooden Shield, Cleric Hat, Cleric Blue Robe, Cleric Gloves, and Cleric Trousers. Be careful picking this up, as a slave sits atop the shack waiting to ambush you.
Proceed further into the graveyard. At the base of one of the large trees you will find an important item: Mortician’s Ashes. This item is worth your efforts. If you give it to the Shrine Handmaid back at Firelink Shrine, she will upgrade her wares, allowing you to purchase the Grave Key. This key opens the locked door in the sewers.
The path beyond the locked sewer door will be described in detail in our guide on How to Find the Grave Key and Free Irina. In short, it will lead you through a series of tunnels where you can find a Velka Statue and a failed fire keeper who, once spoken to, will home herself at Firelink Shrine and sell you Miracles.
If you are ready, head back and into the unexplored building. Defeat any remaining enemies yourself, or lure them out and have your giant friend shoot them. In the room, you have the option of running and jumping onto the narrow wooden platform and picking up a Great Scythe located on the balcony.
Continue down the stoned corridor aligned with vines, tree roots, and pink flowers. Open the boss door to the right to connect routes with the Cliff Underside Bonfire. After opening the door, turn around and walk into the boss’s domain: a courtyard of pink flowers and colossal trees.
Boss Battle: Cutting Down the Curse-rotted Greatwood
Approach the Curse-rotted Greatwood to initiate the fight. When you are close enough, it will wake up. We suggest you kill as many enemies in the vicinity as you can as they will all start attacking once the Greatwood awakens. You can’t get rid of all of them, since new enemies will spawn from the Greatwood, but you can reduce their numbers so they won’t be such a nuisance.
For maneuverability, the Greatwood slides on its bottom as if crab-walking, and is rather slow as a result. However, the Greatwood does devastating damage if he hits you. Your first goal is to attack the white bulbous growths on its groin region. When you do this, the Greatwood may lift up suddenly and try sitting on you. Be aware of his movements and be prepared to run away when necessary.
The Greatwood will turn around, hitting you with his legs in the process, and will also try stomping and slapping you into the ground. Once you pop the growths on its groin region, the Greatwood becomes understandably upset and will jump into the air causing the ground beneath you to give way, plunging you to the depths below.
You won’t take damage from the drop, and you won’t need to worry about any secondary enemies because they will have all died by the fall. A giant albino hand and arm will emerge from Greatwood’s stomach. Your goal now is to look for more growths to attack, and to strike the albino arm when possible. Some growths are on its hands, thighs, shoulders, and back. More form on its groin region as well.
We found arrows and pyromancy effective at damaging the bulbs on the Greatwood’s back, which were difficult to reach for us. Watch out for the protruding attacking hand as it will grab you and nearly kill you in a single animation. If you see the arm pause, be ready to dodge an incoming swipe.
The Greatwood occasionally drops toxic blobs on you and spews an orange-yellowish substance that slows you down, making it difficult to avoid being hit. Furthermore, the Greatwood will also stand up and try falling on you. Do your best to avoid these annoyances. Keep hitting away at the bulbs on his body, and attack the protruding arm when you get the chance.
When the Curse-rotted Greatwood is defeated, you will be awarded with a Soul of the Rotted Greatwood, and a Transposing Kiln, which we suggest you take to Ludleth back at Firelink Shrine. A Wargon Wooden Shield and a Homeward Bone wait for you as glowing collectibles near the new Pit of Hollows Bonfire.
Reach the Road of Sacrifices
A door to the Road of Sacrifices is found at the base of the tower where the giant is located. Step onto the elevator lift, and this time head down to the bottom of the tower. Upon reaching the bottom level, quickly snag the Ember on the corpse, then prepare to face the ruthless Boreal Outrider Knight. This enemy’s attacks inflict frost damage that eventually lead to frostbite, causing you to become slowed and vulnerable.
This frost knight performs quick slash attacks, as well as a powerful downward strike. Keep your distance to avoid the knight’s attacks and frosty breath. The pillars near the door provide little respite from the knight’s long swings, and can even get in the way of your own attacks. Kite the knight toward the staircase near the elevator, and use a ranged attack to deal damage from the top of the stairs.
When you see the knight stand up straight, prepare to dodge out of the way to avoid his downward strike. This will allow you a brief moment to attack the knight from behind. Get in a few strikes, then quickly maneuver away. Defeating the Boreal Outrider Knight will reward you with the Irithyll Straight Sword weapon.
Once the area is clear, push open the doors on the far side of the room to reach the Road of Sacrifices, where a new bonfire awaits. Continue on to our Dark Souls 3 Road of Sacrifices Walkthrough, or return to our Dark Souls 3 Walkthrough and Guide.