Elden Ring is a big game. You’ve probably noticed that already. It’s full of monsters to slay, weapons to collect and sidequests to complete. Of all those sidequets, Ranni the Witch’s is probably the biggest. A mission that sends you through two eternal cities and a lake of actual rot, it’s also arguably Elden Ring’s most essential non-essential quest.
Ranni’s quest is worth doing for three reasons. First, you’ll glean some valuable lore. Second, you’ll get some even more valuable loot. And finally, it’ll have an impact on what endings are available to you. To begin the quest, you’ll need to have unlocked the Liurnia of the Lakes area. This guide will take you through everything from meeting Ranni through to beating the final boss in the questline.
To initiate Ranni’s mission, travel to the northwest of Liurnia, through Carnia Manor. Beat the boss of that dungeon, and you’ll open a path to a field full of glintstone crystals.
This area has three towers and one dragon patrolling about. Ride past the dragon and travel to the west of the field, where you’ll find Ranni’s Rise. Go to the top, and you’ll find Ranni in her chamber, where she’ll solicit your services. Accept her request, then go downstairs to meet her three other servants: Iji, Blaidd and Seluvis.
Blaidd is the key NPC here. The wolfman will tell you he wants to inspect Nokron, the Eternal City, and that you should meet him at the underground Siofra Well. You can do this, but this step is completely skippable. To begin the quest in earnest, you’ll need to beat Starscourge Radahn. Good luck!
Once you beat him, a falling star will crash into the Lands Between. Luckily, it will happen in the precise spot that allows you to travel to Nokron. This allows you to begin Ranni the Witch’s quest.
Nokron, the Eternal City
The goal of exploring Nokron is to find the Fingerslayer Blade for Ranni. You’ll get a lot of helpful loot on the way through too, including the Mimic Tear summon and a bunch of Grave and Ghost Gloveworts, which are used to level up your summon ashes. To begin, you’ll want to find your way into find the entrance to Nokron.
Travel to the Site of Grace at Fort Haight West. Get on Torrent and travel up the path, and you’ll see a cluster of floating rocks in the sky. That’s where the falling star struck the Lands Between. Platform down the floating rubble, and you’ll find a pathway into Nokron, the Eternal City. You’ll enter through half-destroyed buildings, traverse rooftops in an abyss and run across a fallen tower that acts as a bridge into another huge building. Jump through the open window, follow the path and you’ll find a Site of Grace.
Run into the town square, beating all the bad guys and collecting all the goodies along the way, and then travel down the flight of stairs in the northern end of the area. Follow the path and you’ll be treated to a vista of Nokron, and then you’ll hit a yellow magic wall that signifies a boss area. Here you’ll find the Mimic Tear, which is an exact replica of your character. Defeat it and you’ll get the Mimic Tear summon which, when powered up a few levels, will become a huge help to you.
After you beat the Mimic Tear you can sit at the Site of Grace. Beyond the Site of Grace is a bridge, which you’ll cross. (Note: You can ride Torrent now.) You’ll come into a big open area populated by blade-wielding beasts — the worst kind of beast. Dealing with them is part of a whole other quest, so just ignore them. Follow the path and you’ll see one of the beasts on a hill next to a statue. She’ll be emitting a blue aura as she sings. Ride Torrent to the path on the left of the hill the singing beast is on. Follow around the corner and you’ll find a Site of Grace.
Jump onto the rooftop you can see on the right. Run along, then jump down onto the ledge of the next building, then run behind to the other side of it. You’ll be greeted to a graphic saying you’ve entered the Night’s Sacred Ground, and when you jump down onto the pathway, two blobs will turn into Silver Tear warriors who attack you. From here it’s just a matter of following the beaten path: run to the other side of the area you’re in, run along the rooftops and you’ll find a makeshift bridge that takes you into a cathedral. Beat the bad guys inside, then exit, go downstairs and find a Site of Grace.
Here you’ll face a long path filled with the black sludge monsters. Beat them all, or run past them, into the big building at the end of the path. Inside is a treasure chest with the Fingerslayer Blade.
Ainsel River, Nokstella and the Lake of Rot
When you give the Fingerslayer Blade to Ranni, she’ll thank you and give you the Carian Inverted Statue. Not a very exciting reward, though it is crucial to unlocking one of the game’s several endings.
The following is a diversion from Ranni’s quest, but I’m including it here since it involves the Carian Inverted Statue that Ranni gives you.
Take the Inverted Statue to the Carian Study Hall and place it on the pedestal at the front of the hall. Walk up the stairs on either side of the pedestal, then fall down into the lift shaft and head through the doorway, where a couple of little-hand monsters will ambush you. You’ll find that the study hall has literally been turned upside down. Your job is to platform down from the top of the hall, onto the chandeliers, then the beams of wood and finally onto a platform that will take you to Liurnia Tower Bridge. Your traversal will be obstructed by the Godskin Noble, a tough miniboss that you’ll have to get through. Your reward, once you get into the Divine Tower of Liurnia, is the Cursemark of Death. You can give this item to Fia in the Deeproot Depths to unlock a gnarly boss fight and ultimately give you an extra option for Elden Ring’s ending.
Back to Ranni’s questline: After giving Ranni the Fingerslayer Blade, head over to Renna’s Rise. At the top of the tower you’ll find a transporter that takes you to Ainsel River Main.
Once there, walk forward and you’ll find a Site of Grace. Nearby there’ll be an item to pick up, a Ranni the Witch Doll. Go back to the Site of Grace, take a rest and at the bottom of the menu you’ll see that you can “Talk to miniature Ranni.” Tap this option several times — the first few times you’ll get no response — and it’ll eventually ask you to destroy the Baleful Shadow.
Follow the river and you’ll find Uhl Place Ruins, with a floating worm creature that sends rocks crashing at you. Run under it and go southwest, through the Ainsel River, and you’ll discover Nokstella, Eternal City. It’s beautiful. It’s worth exploring this whole place, but for the purpose of this guide, destroy all the ants and sludge monsters on the river. Press forward and you’ll find an elevator shaft to the left that will take you further down into Nokstella’s depths. There you’ll find a Site of Grace, and a cave opening in front of you.
Pass through and you’ll find an ominously red area where you’ll be attacked by the Baleful Shadow. Note that if you haven’t spoken to the Ranni doll, the Baleful Shadow will not appear.
Once you defeat the Baleful Shadow, you’ll get a Discarded Palace Key, which can be used to open the treasure chest in Raya Lucaria’s Grand Library to get the Dark Moon Ring. Move on from where you fought the Baleful Shadow and you’ll find a lift, which will let you descend to the Lake of Rot.
There’s an optional boss that you can fight here — a Dragonkin Soldier, for which you’ll earn a Dragonscale Blade — but if you’re rushing, scurry diagonally across the Lake of Rot. Obviously, it being a lake full of rot, your health will quickly start deteriorating as you run through. You can get around this by crafting and regularly consuming Preserving Boluses, or simply by replenishing your health with your Flask of Crimson Tears. Either way, get across the lake and into the huge temple and find the Site of Grace.
Platform down to the bottom, clear the room of enemies and head towards the Grand Cloister temple. There’s loot inside there — a Scorpion’s Stinger dagger — but what we’re after is actually to the left of the entrance. You’ll find a coffin, which transports you to a room of respite before a big boss. You’ll fight a giant scorpion freak: Astel, Naturalborn of the Voice. It’s a tough battle, since Astel is both large and fast, and will frequently distance itself from you by transporting itself to the other side of the arena. Once you do so, your path will be clear to a lift that takes you up to the Moonlight Alter. (Note: If you don’t have the Dark Moon Ring, a large magic shield will block your path.)
A cathedral will be in your view, but you’ll be stopped by a Glintstone Dragon. Beat it, or run by it, inside the Cathedral of Manus Celes. I chose to fight the dragon — it sucked. On the upside, you’ll get 120,000 runes for defeating it, plus three dragon hearts.
There’s a Site of Grace inside, as well as a hard-to-see hole in the ground. Drop into the hole, and, you’ll find Ranni herself. Give her the Dark Moon Ring, and you’ll be rewarded with the Dark Moon Greatsword. Congratulations, you’ve finished what may be Elden Ring’s biggest sidequest.
As a post-quest bonus, if you return to Ranni’s Rise you’ll find Blaidd waiting for you. He’ll pick a fight with you. Kill him and you’ll get his armor. Then go to see Iji by the Road to the Manor Site of Grace and speak with him about Blaidd. Once you’ve done that, transport away and back to the same Site of Grace. You’ll find Iji has left something for you where he once stood: Iji’s Bell Bearing, which lets you buy Somber Smithing Stones 1-4 from the Twin Maiden Husks, as well as his helmet.
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