Dark Souls 2 secrets guide: shortcuts, estus shards and more

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Estus Flask Shards

Lifegiving Estus Flasks don't come easy in Dark Souls 2. You'll have to hunt for flask shards to assemble complete flasks. Here's where you can find each and every one of them.

Majula: Strike the stone resting on the edge of the well to raise a corpse with the shard.

Forest of Fallen Giants (Cardinal Tower bonfire): Head up the staircase behind Merchant Hag Melentia and destroy the breakable door. The shard is in a chest on the second floor of the bonfire room.

Majula: Obtain the mansion key from Cartographer Cale (located in a cave in the large open area after the first fog gate). Use the key on the mansion in Majula and kill the skeleton in the basement. The shard is on a corpse on the right.

No-Man’s Wharf: After ringing the bell to call the ship, continue past and head down to the ground floor. Turn left and the shard will be in a room with behind some poison pots guarded by Varangian Sailors.

The Lost Bastille (Exile Holding Cells bonfire): Head down the ladder after the Heide Knight and hug the left wall after killing the Undead Jailor and 2 dogs. Hug the left wall to find the chest containing the shard.

The Lost Bastille (Tower Apart Bonfire): Fight through the room with the Royal Swordsmen and get the Antiquated Key in the chest in the next area. From the Servants’ Quarters bonfire (after Ruin Sentinel Boss), head left in the bottom floor of the circular stairs room instead of going up the stairs and drop down from the rooftops. Use the key on the door to your left and break through the boards in the opposite corner. Hug the left wall after dispatching them to find the chest containing the shard.

Harvest Valley (The Mines bonfire): Just before entering Earthen Peak on the bottom floor, there is a small set of stairs leading down to a long hallway filled with poison. The shard is at the end of the hallway. Note: the poison can be drained by using the torch on the windmill axle near the Central Earthen Peak bonfire.

Shaded Woods (Old Akelarre bonfire): In a chest directly across from the bonfire door on the bottom floor. To enter this area you must use a Fragrant Branch of Yore (obtainable in Harvest Valley) on the petrified Rosabeth of Melfia.

Shaded Woods (Shaded Ruins bonfire): Unpetrify the Lion Clan Warrior across the log to the right of the bonfire and kill him. He will drop the Fang key that can be used to open the door at the end of the corrosive pits area to the right of the giant Basilisk. Inside the door is the shard and Weaponsmith Ornifex (Boss Soul Trader).

Brightstone Cove Tseldora (Royal Army Campsite bonfire): Just before the Prowling Magus & Congregation boss fog gate, there is an illusory wall on the left. Head up the staircases and the shard is at the top.

Brightstone Cove Tseldora (Lower Brightstone Cove bonfire): On a corpse through the door directly opposite of the bonfire room.

Drangleic Castle (Central Castle Drangleic bonfire): After activating the golem to start the elevator, head through the large room with the Alonne Knight Captains, Primal Knight, and Royal Guards. The shard will be located in a solitary chest in the room just before completing the loop back down to the bonfire.

Shrine of Amana (Crumbled Ruins bonfire): After killing the ogre hug the right wall instead of entering the hut, and you will find the shard after killing a Lizardman and two Amana Shrine Maidens.

Sublime Bone Dust

Sublime Bone Dust upgrades your Estus Flask to a max of +5, allowing for greater health recovery from each swig. To upgrade your Estus Flask, you must burn the Sublime Bone Dust in the Majula bonfire. If you attempt to burn additional Sublime Bone Dust past +5, you will receive a message stating “Cannot burn further items."

Heide’s Tower of Flame (Heide’s Ruin bonfire): After defeating the first Old Knight, you will see a second with a large hammer just up a set of stairs. Killing him will drop the Sublime Bone Dust and he will not respawn. You can use a bonfire ascetic after defeating the Dragonrider boss to respawn the Old Knight and obtain another Dust.

Huntsman’s Copse (Bridge Approach bonfire): Just before the end of the bridge to the Executioner’s Chariot boss, jump across the small gap to the right onto a ledge containing a corpse with the Sublime Bone Dust.

Black Gulch: After defeating The Rotten boss, there will be a small cave on your right with a chest containing the Sublime Bone Dust between the boss room and the Primal Bonfire.

Iron Keep: After defeating the Old Iron King, you will find the Bone Dust in a chest before heading down the stairs to the Primal Bonfire.

Sinner’s Rise (The Saltfort bonfire): Head down the ladder and down the stairs to the elevator. At the bottom of the elevator take a left and kill the Enhanced Undead. The Sublime Bone Dust will be located up against the wall behind it.