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The story of Elden Ring is expansive and sometimes complicated. There’s a number of historical past and backstory to uncover as you journey by the Lands Between, and simply getting a way of the native politics and faith is a crucial facet of determining what the hell you are attempting to do. It is also straightforward to overlook what is going on on round you, particularly as a result of a lot of the sport is non-obligatory. In the event you’re not inspecting each nook, studying each merchandise description, or speaking to each character you meet a number of instances and on a number of events, components of the story would possibly blow proper previous you.

If you understand the place to look, although, you possibly can be taught rather a lot about what is going on on in Elden Ring, and the way you are affecting the sport world as you progress by it. Positive, you are killing a bunch of demigods–but understanding who they’re and why you are killing them illuminates rather a lot concerning the sport itself. So we’re endeavoring to elucidate the broad strokes of what truly occurs in Elden Ring, not simply the historical past that units up the story. That is the story of you, the Tarnished who can be Elden Lord, reducing a bloody swath by the Lands Between to face earlier than the Elden Ring.

After all, this text will include spoilers. In the event you’re not up on the broad lore and historical past of the Lands Between, you must learn our Historical past and Lore explainer that talks about every part that occurs earlier than you get up within the Church of Ambition. We’re additionally going to keep away from going into the hunt tales of assorted characters, as these could make your journey in Elden Ring right into a extra particular story. And whereas we’ll discuss concerning the ending of the sport, we’re solely going to speak about the primary, easy ending, and never any of those that require finishing NPC quests to unlock. For explainers on these, take a look at our different Elden Ring story articles.

Extra Elden Ring story explainers

The Maidenless

Because the opening cinematic makes clear, you are {one of the} Tarnished–a one that died exterior the Lands Between however has by some means been beckoned again by “grace,” which appears to be the ability of the “outer god” often known as the Larger Will. In sensible phrases, some increased energy needs you within the Lands Between to enact its will. In reality, there have been numerous Tarnished referred to as to the Lands Between for this job, and all earlier than you have got failed. What precisely you are meant to do, nevertheless, is not clear, and you will hear a complete lot of various interpretations from different characters alongside the way in which.

Melina is not a Finger Maiden, but the strange, spectral woman will act as one on your behalf if you help her reach the Erdtree and remember her purpose.
Melina shouldn’t be a Finger Maiden, however the unusual, spectral girl will act as one in your behalf for those who assist her attain the Erdtree and bear in mind her objective.

After being instantly accosted and certain killed by a boss (a Grafted Scion–more on that factor later), as is the way in which of Soulsborne video games, you awaken within the Lands Between correct, seemingly helped alongside by a wierd horse and a shrouded girl. Leaving the tomb, you meet a wierd man named Varre, who provides you a fast rundown of your deal: guided by grace, attempting to turn out to be Elden Lord. However sadly, he explains, you are “maidenless,” in contrast to different Tarnished, and that in all probability means you are doomed to die. Nonetheless, he explains, you possibly can a minimum of see the “steerage of grace,” a wierd golden mild that factors you towards no matter your subsequent objective is. Grace is a manifestation of the Golden Order, the Larger Will’s…will, or the knowledge of the Two Fingers–it’s not notably clear which. As issues go on, you will see why that lack of distinction turns into a little bit of an issue for Tarnished attempting to make their approach within the Lands Between.

Tarnished can see the steerage of grace, giving them some divine knowledge as to the place they need to be going. Finger Maidens are younger ladies who’re equally touched by the servants of the Larger Will, following their very own steerage of grace to help the Tarnished of their missions. Finger Maidens’ closeness to some divine energy permits them to channel runes–pieces of the Elden Ring–into energy for his or her Tarnished buds. Successfully, Finger Maidens are the means by which you stage up in Elden Ring, so the truth that you do not have one is a significant issue. (Why you do not have a Finger Maiden is a speculative story for an additional time, however you cross the physique of a maiden in your approach out of the tomb initially of the sport, and it appears possible she might need been yours and Varre could have doubtlessly performed a component in her demise.)

Elden Ring is famously open and free–in Limgrave alone, there’s an enormous quantity of stuff you are able to do that has nothing to do with following the steerage of grace. Finally, although, you will as soon as once more meet up with the lady you noticed briefly within the tomb initially of the sport. Introducing herself as Melina, she presents to function your Finger Maiden for those who agree to assist her attain the Erdtree. She additionally provides you a whistle that lets you name Torrent, the goat-horse bud you met briefly earlier than, that can assist you get round.

The Roundtable Hold is home to a number of other Tarnished, all of whom are fighting for the Elden Ring, as well as Hewg, a blacksmith chained to the wall and forced to serve Tarnished warriors--but for what reason is unclear.
The Roundtable Maintain is residence to a lot of different Tarnished, all of whom are combating for the Elden Ring, in addition to Hewg, a blacksmith chained to the wall and compelled to serve Tarnished warriors–but for what motive is unclear.

Melina’s state of affairs is attention-grabbing. Like lots of people within the Lands Between, she’s not truly alive–she is, as an alternative, some form of spirit. She’s additionally trying to find her objective, which she says was given to her by her mom contained in the Erdtree, however which she has forgotten. Melina has some mysterious increased function on this world, however even she is not actually certain what it’s. Her journey with you is an enormous a part of the story, but it surely’s additionally straightforward to miss–you can be taught rather a lot from her concerning the gods and demigods by on the lookout for alternatives to talk along with her at websites of grace.

Not lengthy after she first meets you, Melina will give you the chance to enterprise to the Roundtable Maintain, a particular, (normally) impartial location the place Tarnished collect and might relaxation in security. The Maintain is one thing of a wierd location, one to which you can not bodily journey, which provides it an otherworldly high quality. Tarnished have seemingly been assembly right here for years as they unsuccessfully quest to turn out to be Elden Lord. A couple of warriors are nonetheless scattered about, although most have misplaced the flexibility to see the steerage of grace by this level. One Tarnished appears to be the de facto “chief” of the Roundtable Maintain: Sir Gideon Ofnir, nicknamed “the All-Realizing.”

Gideon has little endurance for you whenever you first arrive, suggesting that so many Tarnished come by the Lands Between, and the Roundtable Maintain, that he is given up treating any with respect earlier than they’ve confirmed themselves in battle. This suggests that almost all Tarnished by no means quantity to a lot. However you do get a little bit of a rundown about your objectives within the Lands Between. The search of the Tarnished is to attempt to restore the damaged Elden Ring, and thereby turn out to be Elden Lord. To try this, they want a minimum of a number of the Nice Runes held by the remaining demigods within the Lands Between. That signifies that, to assert these Nice Runes, you will should face these demigods in battle, since they don’t seem to be going to half with their energy willingly.

Again in Limgrave, your subsequent logical step is to comply with the steerage of grace towards the situation to which it’s directing you, and with this new data, you now have a greater deal with on the place the steerage is sending you: Stormveil Fort. The lord of the citadel, Godrick, is likely one of the Shardbearers you are trying to find. Godrick is a demigod who claimed a Nice Rune, so the steerage of grace is directing you to invade the citadel and take it from him.

The Fell Omen

Margit is an Omen, a powerful creature marked by horns all over his body, who works to block Tarnished from venturing into Stormveil to take on Godrick the Grafted.
Margit is an Omen, a strong creature marked by horns throughout his physique, who works to dam Tarnished from venturing into Stormveil to tackle Godrick the Grafted.

Earlier than you attain Godrick and even Stormveil correct, although, you run into one other main boss, and probably the primary you battle within the sport in any respect: Margit, the Fell Omen. An incredible champion of the Golden Order, Margit fought within the Shattering in service of Leyndell. The mounted Night time’s Cavalry bosses you’ll find across the Lands Between at night time as soon as served him.

Margit appears bent on stopping Tarnished of their tracks, earlier than they ever get the prospect to realize a Nice Rune and make a play for changing into Elden Lord, however he is not in service to Godrick. As an alternative, he appears to be planted on the gates of Stormveil in service of the Golden Order; that is Queen Marika’s faith and authorities, in addition to her guidelines of actuality. Margit means to cease you from attempting to satisfy your quest to turn out to be Elden Lord as a result of he serves the outdated regime, damaged although it could be.

That is notably attention-grabbing as a result of, as time goes on, you will be taught extra concerning the Omen individuals. Margit is a big, towering man with grey pores and skin and horns rising throughout his physique. Omen are thought-about “cursed” by the Golden Order, and most Omen kids have their horns lower off once they’re infants–which normally kills them. There are additionally fanatics referred to as Omenkillers that hunt Omen throughout the Lands Between, which could counsel that the Golden Order even sanctions their elimination; if not, some civilians take it upon themselves to remove the highly effective however supposedly impure Omen individuals. Nonetheless, some Omen are allowed to reside, held within the sewers and jails beneath Lyendell, and whereas the Golden Order appears to hate them, they’re generally used as troopers due to their nice power. In all circumstances, although, the Omen are just about slaves and prisoners, so it is notable that Margit fights for the Golden Order. That’ll come up once more later.

Defeating Margit opens the trail to Stormveil correct, and with the assistance of the citadel’s gatekeeper, Gostoc–one of the commoners who very a lot hates his lord, Godrick–you could make your approach by a secret entrance. Gostoc is not an ideal ally, although. He expects you to die as you make your approach by Stormveil and steals your runes whenever you do; he’ll even lock you in a room with a lethal Banished Knight so he can pillage your stuff. (You too can ask Gostoc to open the closely fortified essential gate–though he’ll advise you in opposition to this, for good motive). No matter your path, after combating your approach by the troopers of Stormveil, you possibly can attain Godrick.

Inside Stormveil, you would possibly come throughout one other Tarnished named Rogier. A spellsword, Rogier provides you with some details about Godrick and Stormveil, and later will return to the Roundtable Maintain. Speaking with him later elements into a wierd aspect of the Lands Between: undead creatures often known as These Who Reside in Loss of life. Their story, and Rogier’s, in addition to that of others within the Roundtable Maintain, considerations Godwyn the Golden–the first demigod to ever die. We can’t dive too deeply into Rogier’s story, however discovering and speaking with him is helpful in opening up some story avenues in Elden Ring that we’ll get to later.

The coward Godrick the Grafted

Limgrave's lord, Godrick, seeks to increase his own strength by grafting the limbs of Tarnished warriors onto his body in a bid to finally gain the respect he thinks he deserves.
Limgrave’s lord, Godrick, seeks to extend his personal power by grafting the limbs of Tarnished warriors onto his physique in a bid to lastly achieve the respect he thinks he deserves.

As you wander Limgrave, you will see the outcomes of what Godrick has wrought on the place. His males rule the south of the Lands Between, crucifying individuals alongside the roadways and establishing checkpoints at key places. Troopers stand at these chokepoints, ready to assault Tarnished as they cross bridges or cross beneath gatehouses, searching them and stopping them from reaching Stormveil.

It is fairly to straightforward to deduce that Godrick is holed up in Stormveil Fort, hoarding his Nice Rune, aligning his troops to ensure nobody can come for him. We get a number of the backstory that implies why that is: Godrick form of sucks. Communicate with Kenneth Haight, who claims to be the lord of a stronghold referred to as Fort Haight and “the rightful ruler of Limgrave,” and he’ll let you know about Godrick’s true character: that Godrick sneaked out of Leyndell through the Shattering among the many ladies to keep away from the opposite demigods; that he hid from Basic Radahn moderately than interact the demigod in honorable fight; and that he insulted one other demigod, Malenia, after which begged for mercy upon getting walloped by her. So it certain seems like he is hiding in Stormveil, afraid another person will come to take his Nice Rune. Whenever you truly enter the citadel, you see extra proof of this, as virtually all of Godrick’s troopers are arrange within the courtyard, manning artillery and dealing with towards the primary gate in case anybody threatens to enter the citadel.

On the way in which to Stormveil, you be taught extra about what Godrick is definitely doing within the citadel. He is hiding, however he is additionally attempting to strengthen himself–he’s determined to be taken critically and revered by the opposite demigods. On the highway north to Stormveil, you would possibly cease by Stormhill Shack and uncover a younger girl named Roderika, who tells you that she was with a gaggle who of Tarnished who ventured to Stormveil, solely to be “grafted.” That is the destiny that has befallen a lot of warriors who’ve tried to tackle Stormveil, if they will even attain the stronghold within the first place. Godrick’s troopers patrol Limgrave, trying to find extra Tarnished to seize and carry again to the citadel for grafting.

Stormveil is filled with pieces of corpses necessary for Godrick's grafting experiments.
Stormveil is full of items of corpses crucial for Godrick’s grafting experiments.

Whenever you ultimately meet Godrick, you will be taught what grafting is all about: The lord has actually grafted the limbs of different individuals onto his physique, hoping to take their power into himself. Godrick is roofed in further legs and arms, and Stormveil is filled with dismembered our bodies from all of the individuals the lord has maimed, tortured, and murdered as a way to make himself extra highly effective. You will additionally run throughout a number of enemies referred to as Grafted Scions within the Lands Between, who appear to be each kids and grafting experiments. Recall that the primary boss you confronted within the Church of Ambition was a Grafted Scion. That implies that Godrick, anticipating Tarnished to return for him, stationed considered one of his gross experiments proper at their entry level to the Lands Between to cease them earlier than they might turn out to be a risk.

Through the battle, Godrick makes use of grafting proper in entrance of you, claiming the top of a useless dragon and utilizing it rather than an arm. That is one other nod to his ancestors: Godwyn the Golden, Godfrey’s son and the first-born demigod little one of Marika, famously defeated the dragons who as soon as managed the Lands Between. Godwyn was truly so beloved and so impressed the dragons that a couple of of them befriended him, in reality. Godrick, in fact, is chasing the glory of his bloodline and attempting desperately to make it his personal, however even whereas forcing a dragon to be a part of his precise physique, he cannot stand as much as the measure of his forefathers, and also you kill him and take his Nice Rune.

Godrick’s defeat opens up the way in which by Stormveil, which leads north to the following part of the Lands Between. The story continues in Liuria of the Lakes, Half 2 of this sequence.

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